These Cubs prospects find themselves in limbo as the lockout continues

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

For those following Chicago Cubs minor league affiliates to get their baseball fix, I have good news and bad news. The good news is the MiLB schedule will be played regardless of the MLB lockout and guys like Brennen Davis, Cristian Hernandez, Jordan Wicks, Pete-Crow Armstrong, and others are getting ready for the minor league season. The bad news is that a handful of key prospects will not be able to participate in professional baseball activities due to their roster status.

For prospects on the current 40-man roster, there will be no spring training or season for them until the lockout is resolved. Even if they are not projected to make the big league roster, they cannot be sent to minor league camp during the MLB transaction freeze.

All the planned activities, workouts and training time for these prospects are on hold until further notice. This is significant for the Cubs organization considering the number of notable prospects on the 40-man roster.

Key Chicago Cubs prospects on the 40-man roster who are “locked out”

Eight of the Cubs’ top-30 prospects (per are on the 40-man roster. This includes #2 prospect Brailyn Marquez, Miguel Amaya (who is injured and will miss the 2022 season regardless recovering from Tommy John), Alexander Vizcaino, Christopher Morel, Alexander Canario, Alfonso Rivas, Greg Deichmann and Nelson Velazquez.

Anderson Espinoza, Corey Abbott, Michael Rucker and Manny Rodriguez are also on the 40-man.

This is a pretty significant number. Part of Chicago’s transition phase is not only developing key building blocks in the farm but also depth pieces. Marquez is currently the most “important” prospect on this list considering he is one of the top-ranked prospects, but all of these guys are important to the organization in the end. The Cubs got to see Rodriguez, Rivas, Rucker, Deichmann and Abbott get a taste of MLB experience in 2021.

Keep in mind…this is happening shortly after 2020, where COVID-19 reduced the MLB season to 60 games and the MiLB seasons were canceled entirely. This is really tough for a guy like Marquez. He spent most of 2020 on the taxi squad, then missed all of 2021 due to injury and COVID complications, and now he has to deal with being locked out.

Training with the staff at the facilities is huge for these prospects, especially for Marquez who is trying to build himself back. With the lockout in place, he’s unable to do this – or have any communication with those individuals.

For the other guys who have had a taste of the majors, this year is their opportunity to build on what they have done. Having that delayed does them no favors. Rodriguez was up and down in his first stint, but his stuff has promise. Rivas had some good looks at the plate before getting injured last year.

For the rest, they are missing more valuable development time. It’s a shame we will not see Velazquez get into camp yet after his impressive showing in the Arizona Fall League. Morel slugged 18 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A last year, Canario hit nine home runs in 42 games in the Cubs system and Vizcaino has 287 strikeouts in 279 career professional innings. All things we want to see further build on.

Next. Free agent targets for 2023. dark

Hopefully, this lockout is resolved as soon as possible because the minor leaguers are the ones suffering the most.