Last week MLB.com ranked their top ten RHP prospects, top ten LHP prospects, and the top ten catching prospects. This week they’ve ranked the top ten first basemen, and the top ten second basemen and today they ranked the top ten third basemen.
So far the Cubs have been extremely well-represented on the lists. They had the number two RHP with 2022 1st Rounder Cade Horton, the number nine LHP with 2021 1st Rounder Jordan Wicks, the number eight catcher on the list with 2021 IFA signing Moises Ballesteros, the number five and six first basemen on the list with 2022 15th Rounder Haydn McGeary and UDFA Matt Mervis and also the number three second baseman on the list with 2021 2nd Rounder James Triantos.
I’ll be honest, I expected to see 2023 first rounder, Matt Shaw at the top of this list but his name didn’t appear anywhere implying that he’ll be listed with the shortstops when that list comes out tomorrow.
However, the Cubs continued to be well-represented with recently acquired INF Michael Busch coming in at seventh on the list. He didn’t make our recent top thirty prospects list because he was acquired after the list was made but he would have slotted somewhere in the top ten, likely just outside of the top five.
Busch is an interesting player. He’s mashed in the minors for the last couple of years and was blocked from getting regular playing time by the significant talent that the Dodgers have been willing to spend for over the last few offseasons so he was dealt to the Cubs in return for the best pitching prospect the Cubs have had since Mark Prior.
The question becomes, who is Busch? Is he going to follow the trajectory of former MLB Home Run leader, Chris Davis who was traded from the Texas Rangers to the Baltimore Orioles after consistently destroying the minor leagues but struggling when he gets to the majors? Or will he follow in the footsteps of former Dodgers prospect, Willie Calhoun, who was well-regarded around MLB but never lived up to the prospect pedigree despite being considered “MLB ready,” at the time of the deal.
We’ll likely find out this season when the Cubs run him out as their everyday first baseman, so let’s hope this is the shot he needs.
If you're interested in checking out our take on the top prospects in the Chicago Cubs farm system going into the 2024 season here's everything you need: