Cubs Minors: A who’s-who of the team’s prospects heading into the season

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Chicago Cubs / Iowa Cubs
Chicago Cubs / Iowa Cubs /

Cubs: Triple-A baseball is back in Des Moines this season

As someone who used to live in Des Moines, I’m here to tell you: the Iowa Cubs are a deeply-embedded part of that city’s identity. There are few things better than grabbing dinner downtown and heading to an I-Cubs game or deciding to head over to Principal Park last-minute.

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While the Cubs, as a franchise, lack blue-chip talent at the Triple-A level, there will be plenty of guys who bounce back and forth throughout the season. If the big league club sells off anything of value this summer, the depth at Iowa will become even more critical.

Right-hander Cory Abbott, the team’s #15 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, will open the year with the I-Cubs. Two years ago at Double-A Tennessee, he worked to a 3.01 ERA in 26 starts – a more than respectable performance given how hitter-friendly the league was.

That’s the only top 25 Cubs prospect who will open the season at Iowa. But plenty of other names will grace the team’s roster, including pitchers Jason Adam, Dakota Mekkes, Kyle Ryan, Brad Wieck and Robert Stock.

On the position player side of things, PJ Higgins and Jose Lobaton – both of whom could end up catching at the big league level this year, especially if the team trades Willson Contreras – kick things off. Ildemaro Vargas and Patrick Wisdom are two key infielders and in the outfield, Nick Martini, Cameron Maybin and Ian Miller will get reps.

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Here’s to the return of Minor League Baseball. As was the case a decade ago, Cubs fans will likely soon find themselves paying more and more attention to these affiliates and their standout performers.