The Cubs are on the rise. That’s the message I took away from the latest prospect rankings, these courtesy of Baseball Prospectus. Chicago netted four of the publication’s top 101 prospects, with another two just missing the cut.
Of course, the man receiving top billing for the organization is none other than top outfield prospect Brennen Davis, who checks in at #27 and could make his big league debut as soon as this year. Last year, between High-A South Bend, Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, he slashed .260/.375/.494 across 416 plate appearances. Davis will likely open the season back in Des Moines with the I-Cubs given he has all of 15 Triple-A games under his belt.
There’s a sizable gap between Davis and the next man up, Owen Caissie, at #67. Drafted by the team in the second round of the shortened 2020 MLB Draft, the 19-year-old outfielder hung a .923 OPS between Rookie Ball and Class-A Myrtle Beach. It’s worth noting, though, he had a major drop-off following the promotion to the Pelicans in the batting average department.
Infielders Reggie Preciado (79) and James Triantos (101) round out the Cubs’ representation on Baseball Prospectus rankings heading into 2022. Preciado spent last year playing in the ACL and he certainly showed he was up for the challenge, getting on base at a .383 clip and slugging .511. Triantos, the Cubs’ second-round pick last June, played with Preciado in the ACL and torched opposing pitching to the tune of a .970 OPS across 109 plate appearances.
Just outside of BP‘s top 101 you’ll find two newcomers to the organization in outfielders Kevin Alcantara and Pete Crow-Armstrong, both of whom came to Chicago via trade deadline deals last summer. Alcantara came back in the Anthony Rizzo trade with the Yankees – and absolutely raked upon his arrival, slashing .337/.415/.609 down the stretch. At just 19 years old, he’s young, sure, but clearly is a name to keep an eye on heading into 2022.
The fact Crow-Armstrong remains so highly regarded really speaks to his skillset given he’s played just six professional games since the Mets drafted him in the first round back in 2020. Hopefully he’s back at 100 percent and recovered from injury and can really start to establish himself this year.
Key Cubs prospect left off Baseball Prospectus’ Top 101 preseason rankings
If you’re thinking there’s a name missing from the above, you’re not wrong. Infielder Cristian Hernandez, who Baseball America ranked as the #81 prospect in baseball recently, is left completely off the BP rankings. That being said, Baseball Prospectus seems overall higher on the Cubs’ system given BA had only Davis and Hernandez in their top 100 and it’s feasible by mid-season, we could see six or more guys cracking the former’s top 101.
The fate of the Major League Season continues to hang in the balance – but, regardless, there’s going to be plenty of Cubs prospect action to keep us all engaged this year. This is just the jumping off point.