Chicago Cubs fans scratched their heads this past offseason when 2020 National League Cy Young runner-up Yu Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini were dealt to San Diego for a seemingly underwhelming return. Among the prospects that came back was 18-year old switch-hitter Reginald Preciado. Earlier in the year, he got some Kris Bryant comparisons and was recently named the team’s #10 prospect by MLB.com. Now that Minor League Baseball is back up and running, Preciado is getting his first looks in the organization.
Preciado has now officially begun his minor league career, as he did not play professional ball in the Padres organization. He was signed as a 16-year-old out of Panama by the Padres in 2019, and was considered the top prospect out of Panama that year according to one ranking.
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The 6-4, 185-pound infielder was assigned to the Arizona Complex League this year and had accumulated 16 at bats (five games) for the ACL Cubs going into Sunday. In those five games he slashed .375/.524/.625 with a home run and four RBI. He walked four times against three strikeouts and also added a trio stolen bases. It’s worth noting that he made his ACL debut on June 28 and hit his first homer that day.
A very small sample size, but something to keep an eye on as he continues to play. There is a long way to go for him, as his current ETA to the majors is around 2024. This is about the same time 2020 first-round pick Ed Howard (currently the Cubs #5 prospect on MLB.com) is expected to arrive to the Show.
If Preciado keeps moving in the right direction, and other prospects graduate to the majors, then he can move further up in the team’s rankings over the next few seasons.
Chicago Cubs: Reginald Preciado, other prospects, will be hugely important
Fans could very well be paying more attention to the minors than normal very soon if indeed we are heading for another rebuild. 2012-2014 was a time the Cubs farm got more attention than ever as the future was groomed in the minors.
Even if a potential rebuild does not go to quite the extent of the Theo Epstein era, there will still be plenty of reasons to watch what is happening in the farm the next three to four seasons.