The Chicago Cubs have a solid minor league system that features legit star power, high ceiling/low-floor guys, and high-floor/low-ceiling guys. The system isn’t top heavy, it’s deep and there are more than 30 guys that could have made this list, but these are the 30 guys that I believe are:
- Most likely to make an impact on the major league squad
- May be less likely to make the league, but if they do they have legit star power.
So far this week we’ve broken down:
And without further adieu, here is the 5th best prospect in the Chicago Cubs minor league system:
Ben Brown RHP
Age: 23 Years Old
Level: AAA Iowa Cubs
Joined the organization via: David Robertson Trade with Philadelphia Phillies
2023 Stats: 75.0 IP 3.96 ERA 113/40 K/BB
Ben Brown was our choice for the best pitcher of the first half at AAA Iowa. He struggled mightily in June and July (prior to the All-Star Break) but he came back this week and was absolutely dominant.
I don’t know how many times I’ve referenced the need the Cubs have for power pitchers and power hitters in this list. It’s something that Jed Hoyer has said, and it’s something that Cubs fans know. While there hasn’t been much done at the major league level to address those concerns (signing Trey Mancini, Eric Hosmer, and Jameson Taillon notwithstanding), but it’s something the Cubs have done in the draft and the trade market over the last two seasons.
At the trade deadline last season, the Phillies spoiled us by sending Ben Brown for a 37-year-old David Robertson that had pitched 40 innings and collected 14 saves at that point. They got a solid player for what would be a World Series run, and the Cubs potentially got a cornerstone piece of their rotation for years to come.
When Brown can limit the walks (he’s averaging more than 5.5 BB/9 in AAA) he is the best pitcher in the system and it’s not close. Unfortunately, that’s something that has been very hit or miss since he got promoted from AA Tennessee and is likely the only thing that has prevented him from being called up to replace Drew Smyly in the rotation during this rough patch.
If the Cubs do sell in the next couple of weeks be prepared to see Brown make his debut. By the end of the 2024 season, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to see a rotation that features Justin Steele and Jameson Taillon as the veteran presence with Ben Brown, Hayden Wesneski, and Caleb Kilian/Jordan Wicks all getting an opportunity to learn at the major league level.