Chicago Cubs: A collection of Los Angeles Dodgers prospects
Michael Busch – Double-A second baseman, .241/.392/.435, 11 HR
Andy Pages – High-A outfielder, .243/.361/.514, 19 HR
Bobby Miller – High-A pitcher, 2.03 ERA, 53 K, 44 1/3 IP, .175 BAA
Ryan Pepiot – Double-A pitcher, 2.87 ERA, 81 K, 59 2/3 IP, .149 BAA
Michael Busch and Andy Pages
The first thing that jumps off the page is the on-base percentage for Busch. The .392 is a stellar number and offsets his lack of batting average. Like Vientos, he would cure the power problem in the Cubs’ system with his 11 home runs. He is striking out 27 percent of the time this year which may be a little cause for concern, but his production offsets the big strikeout numbers. Chicago will likely need a second baseman for the future as well should Baez leave in free agency. Primarily a second baseman, he has played some first as well, but in a limited capacity. Busch should be the starter of talks with the Dodgers, assuming Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray are off the table.
If you like home runs, Andy Pages is your guy. Just 20 years old, he has 19 home runs in just 73 games. He has 48 career home runs in just 677 at-bats, so basically a bit above a full 162-games worth of ABs. That’s encouraging for when he hits the Major Leagues. There are some strikeout concerns as he’s got a bit of a long swing, but his athleticism is enough that he should be able to remain in the outfield, perhaps even moving over to center field in the long run.
Bobby Miller and Ryan Pepiot
The Cubs have been pretty open about needing to add more power to the system, and Busch and Pages would certainly do that, but pitching is always a focus, as well. The Dodgers system is loaded, and Miller is in his first professional season and has 53 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings with a 2.03 ERA. He went to college at Louisville, and Chicago’s front office loves them a college pitcher. He’s only given up 28 hits and has a BAA of .175. He can touch 99 with the fastball and throws a changeup in the low 80s, along with a split change that tops out in the high 80s. He is all about velocity, another thing the Cubs have shifted to in recent drafts/acquisitions. His 6’5 frame should hold up enough for him to remain a starter.
Pepiot is much of the same in terms of results, but he strikes out more hitters, 81 in 59 2/3, to be exact. The .149 opponent average jumps off the page as well. The fastball is 91-94 and can touch 96, but his changeup is the main weapon, and if it’s a good changeup, the Cubs likely want the player. Pepiot also uses a slider and curveball and will throw any pitch in any count. Another college pitcher out of Butler, he has a bit more experience than Miller, but either player would be a haul for the Cubs and should be a target.