Chicago Cubs Top Prospects: Midseason Top 30 Chicago Cubs Prospects (#20-11)

The Chicago Cubs have a minor league system that features some top-level talent and is also filled with players that project to be major league contributors.
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Number 17 

Michael Arias RHP

Age: 21 Years Old

Level: A+ South Bend Cubs

Joined the organization via: Free Agent Signing in 2021

2023 Stats: 53.2 IP 2.85 ERA 77/31 K/BB

Michael Arias may not be my favorite prospect in the system, but he’s absolutely my favorite story in the system. Arias was shortstop when he was signed and subsequently released by the Blue Jays organization as an international free agent. The Cubs believed in the arm and signed him and he’s paying significant dividends this year as he’s already been promoted.

Arias has the exact problems that you would expect from a player that is relatively new to pitching and is more of a thrower at this point. He’s walking more batters (5.2 BB/9) than you’d like to see but he’s striking out batters at an equally impressive clip (12.9 K/9). 

I’ve referenced this before, but the Cubs moved Daniel Palencia, Porter Hodge and others to the pen earlier this season to try to help the major league bullpen as soon as possible. They could have made that move for Arias as well, but they didn’t which tells me they believe in his ability to stick as a starter.

The Cubs seriously lack power pitchers that have starter potential and if Arias can be that kind of guy he could be a top-ten prospect in the system by the end of the 2024 season and a guy competing for a rotation spot going into the 2025 season.