Baseball America unveils Cubs top 10 prospects
A year ago at this time, many were debating who should be the higher-ranked prospect in the Cubs system: Kris Bryant or Addison Russell. After stellar 2015 campaigns, a similar argument is being made, but in regards to who should be the NL Rookie of the Year winner.
Now that those two, as well as catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber, have officially graduated from prospect rankings, a new wave of talent officially takes over in the Cubs system. On Friday, Baseball America published its Chicago Cubs Top 10 Prospects list, with hotshot shortstop Gleyber Torres coming in at No. 1.
Signed in early 2013 from Venezuela, the 18-year-old spent much of 2015 in the Low-A Midwest League, where he hit .290/.350/.383 with 24 doubles and 22 stolen bases. He then wrapped up the season in High-A Myrtle Beach as the Pelicans claimed a league title. Here is a portion of Baseball America‘s scouting report on Torres:
Torres has four above-average to plus tools, with only power lagging behind—but give him time. Torres had good strength when he signed and has improved his body significantly working with the Cubs’ strength and conditioning crew, with a trimmer shape. He combines those tools with a gamer’s mentality and a feel for the game on both sides of the ball. Torres’ bat-to-ball skills are only mitigated by youthful aggressiveness, and as he gains experience, he should learn which pitches to selectively zone in on and drive more consistently, giving him at least average future power potential. Some club officials give Torres plus future power, particularly to his pull side. He has a knack for the barrel, uses the entire field and has a solid approach, showing a good two-strike approach for his age.
The rest of the top 10 prospects are as follows:
2. Willson Contreras, C/3B
3. Ian Happ, OF/2B
4. Duane Underwood, RHP
5. Dylan Cease, RHP
6. Albert Almora, OF
7. Billy McKinney, OF
8. Oscar de la Cruz, RHP
9. Eloy Jimenez, OF
10. Jeimer Candelario, 3B