Alexander Canario OF
2023 Level(s): Rookie Ball, High-A South Bend, AAA Iowa, MLB
Joined the organization via: Kris Bryant Trade with San Francisco Giants
2023 Stats: 233 PA, .273/.356/.488, 9 HR, 25 XBH, 2/2 SB, 47 RBI, 33 R
Alexander Canario’s return last season was nothing short of miraculous. He had a freak injury that derailed what should have been a very promising year but he rehabbed hard and still managed to find himself in Chicago by the end of the season.
The thing that held Canario back more than any injury last season though appeared to be David Ross. Despite mashing to the tune of a .844 OPS in the minors, when he received the call up to the majors Ross chose to stick with the exhausted regulars rather than the fresher Canario. He got 17 at-bats at the major league level and hit .294 with one homer that caused fans to get very loud about the decision to keep him on the bench.
Canario should conceivably start the season in Chicago this year unless a major trade or signing leads to a lack of playing time. Considering the amount of time he’s missed over the last couple of seasons, the most important thing to Canario’s development will be consistent at-bats, but fans will likely want those at-bats to come in games that are a little more important than AAA games.
Jackson Ferris LHP
2023 Level(s): Low-A Myrtle Beach
Joined the organization via: 2nd Round Pick in 2022 MLB Draft
2023 Stats: 56 IP, 3.38 ERA, 77/33 K/BB
Maybe we were a little bullish on Jackson Ferris last season, but everything we said still holds true today.
"I understand that there are a lot of people that will use the fact that a Low-A pitcher is ranked higher on this list than two guys knocking on the door at AAA to invalidate it, but this is an instance of star power outweighing a high floor. If we look at the best case scenario for guys like Ben Brown, Cade Horton, Jordan Wicks etc. I see middle of the rotation on a division-winning team or a number two on a solid wild card team. When I look at Jackson Ferris I see a guy that could be a legitimate ace, someone that has the possibility to not only be the best pitcher in our system but potentially the best left-handed pitching prospect in all of baseball and anchor a staff that is World Series bound. "- Cubbies Crib
Cade Horton certainly looks like more than a middle-of-the-rotation arm right now and Ferris slowed down a little bit from his torrid place to start last season, but I still see legitimate ace potential from him. That’s how incredible this farm system is. We haven’t even reached the top ten players on this list and we have a player that could become one of the best pitchers in baseball on the outside looking in.
Ferris’s numbers won’t jump off of the page at you. 77 strikeouts in 56 innings is solid and 33 walks is a few too many. A 3.38 ERA is fine, and a 19-year-old at Low-A isn’t astounding. That being said, you have to see him to truly understand why he is on our list, and if I keep writing much longer I may find myself creeping him back into the top ten.