The Chicago Cubs do not have the pool of prospects in the farm system anymore. However that does not mean the system lacks any talent, and some of their top players are performing very well.
It may be early in the season, especially for the MiLB, but it is never too early to watch prospects. For some years under Theo Epstein’s reign as team president, the farm system had a number of top-prospects to keep an eye on and was ranked among tops in baseball. Now said prospects are with the big league team or traded away, and are no longer a top-tier system. They were ranked #24 by minorleagueball.com and #27 by Bleacher Report before the 2018 season began.
However, there is still some young talent down there that has good MLB potential. Here is a look at how the current top-five players are doing through 4/28. These rankings are based on those by MLB.com.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
Considered by many as the current-top prospect in the system, Venezuelan pitcher Adbert Alzolay (23) has started the season in Triple-A Iowa. In his first two starts he has pitched to a 3.60 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, four walks and eight strikeouts in 10.0 innings. His first start in there was a very solid, allowing one run in six innings.
Alzolay has a career 3.31 ERA and 1.102 WHIP in the minors since he began pitching in the Cubs system in 2013. Hopefully, if all goes well he can make his MLB debut either late this year or next year.
19-year old shortstop Aramis Ademan was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. He is currently playing in his third season in the system at A+ Myrtle Beach. So far in 19 games, he is slashing .274/.343/.387 with a home run and 11 RBIs. He is a career .263/.342/.381 hitter in 146 minor league games.
As a young kid in A+ ball, he is several years away from the show. If he can develop his bat a bit more, he could potentially be up around 2021. There is promise with him, but he has a lot of work to do and a long way to go.
Oscar De La Cruz
Here is another guy that gets talked about a lot in the Cubs system. He has been seen pitching in spring training games and has been in the system since 2013. De La Cruz was signed out the Dominican Republic in 2012 and is currently 23 years old.
So far he has started four games in Double-A Tennessee and it has not gone well. He is posting a 9.82 ERA and 2.05 WHIP in 14.2 innings pitched, including four home runs surrendered and nine walks. A slow start to the season, but his overall MiLB numbers include a 3.21 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 262 strikeouts in 269.1 innings. Hopefully, he improves soon.
Yet another RHP in the system, 19-year old Jose Albertos was singed out of Mexico in 2015 and is currently with the A-ball South Bend Cubs. Like Cruz, the numbers so far are not pretty. In three starts he sports a 27.00 ERA and 4.000 WHIP and only has four total innings pitched. That is 12 earned runs on eight hits and eight walks.
There is a long way to go and hopefully, he can improve this season. He has a career 4.76 and 1.28 WHIP between the Cubs minor leagues and Arizona Fall League play. It will be a few years before he potentially could make it to the show.
The 30th-overall pick of the 2017 draft began his season in Myrtle Beach and has made three starts. Alex Lange sports a 4.50 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 14 innings so far. He is 22-years old as he was drafted out of Louisiana State University. The sample sizes from him are small and he will not be expected to reach the majors for another two years or so, but he is one to keep an eye on.