MLB.com revealed its Top 30 Prospects list for the Chicago Cubs for 2019, and while the group is not as stellar as years past, there are notable names.
No, Eloy Jiménez is not sitting atop the Chicago Cubs‘ 2019 Top Prospects list. Jiménez would have been the Cubs’ clear-cut No. 1 prospect had they not traded him for José Quintana in 2017.
MLB Pipeline revealed its Top 30 Prospects list for the Cubs on Thursday. While the group would benefit from a prospect of Jiménez’s caliber, it has several noteworthy names as is.
Catcher of the future?
Catcher Miguel Amaya is No. 1 on the list a year after not appearing in the Top 10. Amaya, whom MLB Pipeline projects will make his big league debut in 2021, spent the 2018 season with Single-A South Bend.
While Amaya posted a modest slash line of .256/.349/.403, his defensive rating of 60 (on an 80-point scale) is the highest of all players on the list. In addition to being the Cubs’ top prospect, he is the No. 7 catcher, according to MLB Pipeline.
Shortstop and 2018 first round draft pick (No. 24 overall) Nico Hoerner is No. 2 on the Cubs’ list. MLB Pipeline projects Hoerner to make his MLB debut in 2020.
Hoerner played three games with the Arizona League Cubs, seven with Low-A Eugene and four with Single-A South Bend and 2018. His season ended prematurely after he strained ligaments in his elbow, however.
Pitching reinforcements finally coming
Marquez and Alzolay surely are a positive sight for the Cubs, considering that the team’s starting rotation features four pitchers 30 years old or over. Marquez is a 20-year-old left-hander projected to make his MLB debut in 2021.
Marquez’s fastball sat at 93-96 mph and peaked at 99 mph in 2018. He posted a 3.13 ERA in 12 games (54 2/3 innings) with Single-A Eugene and South Bend in 2018. He also struck out 52 batters compared to just 14 walks.
Alzolay was on the cusp of making his MLB debut in 2018 before his season ended in May due to a lat injury. His fastball can hit 98 mph, while his curveball sits in the low 80s. NBC Sports Chicago’s Tony Andracki caught up with Alzolay recently.
Potential steal of the 2018 draft?
The Cubs drafted Roeder, 19, 77th overall in 2018. However, he only dropped to No. 77 due to an injury to his (non-throwing) right shoulder and strong commitment to UCLA. He signed for $1.2 million.
Roeder’s .275/.354/.465 slash line is a solid start for the 19-year-old, whom MLB Pipeline has high praise for:
"“Roederer added noticeable strength in 2018 and could become a .300 hitter with 25-homer power if everything comes together for him. He has advanced bat-to-ball skills, a disciplined approach and a quick left-handed swing that produces impressive exit velocities. He’s presently a solid runner with the savvy to steal a few bases.”"
Could Roeder turn out to be the steal of the 2018 draft class? Perhaps, though only time will tell; he is not projected to reach the big leagues until 2022.
MLB Pipeline’s complete breakdown can be found here.