Cubs News: Three prospects in the new Top 100

Nico Hoerner (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Nico Hoerner (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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MLB.com released its mid-season Top-100 prospects update on Wednesday, and the Chicago Cubs have three spots on the list, and one of them is already in the Major Leagues.

As expected, Nico Hoerner is the Cubs’ highest-rated prospect, slotting at number 56. The other Cubs on the list are Brailyn Marquez and Brennen Davis.

Marquez ranks 76th and Davis 86th. Hoerner has been with the Major League club since September of 2019, and may not have started the season in Chicago in 2020 under normal circumstances. Hoerner should graduate from prospect status reasonably soon.

Much has been made of the Cubs’ development of pitching prospects or lack thereof, but Marquez looks like he may be one of the few guys that work his way through the system. His velocity has increased every year, touching 98 last year, and he is just 21 years old. The big thing with Marquez is that he decreased his walk rate near the end of the year. In 17 starts at South Bend, he pitched 77 1/3 innings and walked 43 hitters, and in five starts in Myrtle Beach, he walked just seven hitters in 26 1/3 innings.

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If he can continue to curb the walk rate, he should be fine. The breaking stuff still needs a little more refining, but he’s young, and on his trajectory, he should add a few more ticks on the fastball and fix the breaking ball. He can be a frontline starter at his peak.

Cubs fans should be very excited about Brennen Davis, especially after a quote from Iowa Cubs’ manager Marty Pevey who is facilitating things at the Cubs’ alternate training facility at South Bend. Pevey said that he has “never seen power like Davis is going to have.” 

That’s pretty hefty praise from somebody who has managed Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Jorge Soler, who all have some pretty prolific power in their own right. Davis was drafted in the second round in 2018, and the Cubs were able to sign him for $1.1 million and keep him from honoring his commitment to Miami.

Davis has all the tools and can be a 30-30 player (home runs and stolen bases), but he has fought a bad injury bug so far, in 2019 he missed a lot of time battling a lingering injury to his index finger. But, in just 50 games, he slashed .305/.381/.525 with eight home runs, and that was a 19-year-old in full-season A-ball. It’s possible Davis is developed beyond his age already.

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One notable omission from the list is catcher Miguel Amaya. Amaya was on the list for the past couple of years. They still believe in his abilities, and he has a high ceiling, but he’s still a young player who needs some polishing. This front office hopes he can be the catcher of the future if they don’t sign Willson Contreras to a long-term contract, and there is time to work out some of his flaws and get him ready for the Big Leagues.