4 prospects the Cubs must protect from the Rule 5 draft at all costs

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

4 Cubs prospects to protect from the Rule 5 draft: #4 – Yonathan Perlaza

Currently slashing .254/.349/.496 at Double-A Tennessee, Yonathan Perlaza kicks this list off after having an impressive season in the minors. He’s popped 23 homers and racked up 70 RBI on the year and seems to be near a potential Iowa call-up. The 23-year-old has also added 34 doubles and three triples, giving him a whopping 60 extra-base hits on the campaign.

In the month of August, the middle infielder slashed .274/.336/.604 while launching seven long balls and driving in 17, further proof of his developing power after being primarily an average-first guy earlier in his career. In 2021 with High-A, for example, Perlaza slashed .280/.350/.479 in 357 ABs to go along with 15 homers and 64 driven in.

At just 23 years old, the sky is still the limit for Perlaza. Capable of playing multiple positions, he continues the growing trend of versatile multi-positional defenders. Where the batting average has dipped this season, he has more than made up for it in the on-base department. His 70 walks drawn in 467 ABs are leaps and bounds above the 38 walks in 357 at-bats just a year ago.

If he can continue to add power while learning to balance out the average and continue to improve the plate discipline next year, he can easily turn into a vital piece for the Cubs organization moving forward.