Boasting arguably the top prospect in baseball in Kris Bryant, the Cubs added another power-bat, Indiana’s Kyle Schwarber, to add to their stockpile of offensive weaponry. Maryland right-hander Jake Stinnett could be one of the better value picks in the entire draft.
For a look at the club’s Top 10 Prospects heading into the year click HERE.
1. Kris Bryant, 3B, Age: 22
I’ve long been on the Bryant Bandwagon – first, listing him as the top collegiate prospect in last year’s draft class, ahead of both Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray; then, I listed the slugging third baseman ahead of org-mate Javier Baez in my book, The 2014 Prospect Digest Annual. Sporting a career .348/.436/.697 with 34 doubles, one triple and 31 homeruns, Bryant is now among the top two or three prospects in the game.
2. Javier Baez, SS, Age: 21
Completely lost in Iowa – enter a, “If you build, he will come” joke – Baez’s production, .223/.279/.431, has been 23% below the league average production. The 21-year-old shortstop is still showing pop (.209 ISO), decent patience (6.4% BB-rate), and speed but his strikeout rate has ballooned to a staggering 34.3%.
3. C.J. Edwards, RHP, Age: 22
Edwards hasn’t made a meaningful pitch since April 20th, courtesy of some shoulder inflammation. His brief, four-game stint in Class AA – 20.2 IP, 8.7 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 – is just harbinger of things to come if his shoulder proves to be nothing more than a speed bump.
4. Albert Almora, CF, Age: 20
Almora is doing his best impression of Javier Baez in high Class A this season, which, unfortunately, is a major disappointment for the organization. The former sixth overall pick is hitting a paltry .245/.266/.325 while showing very little power (.080 ISO) and patience at the plate (2.4% BB-rate).
5. Jorge Soler, RF, Age: 22
Limited to just seven games due to a problematic hamstring. Soler has now totaled just 96 games since coming stateside in 2012.
6. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B/SS, Age: 22
The power has been trending in the right direction for three years now, but Alcantara’s plate discipline, which took a huge developmental leap last season, has regressed back to his career norms (sub-6.0% walk rate). Still just 22-years-old and topping the PCL average production by 8%.
7. Kyle Schwarber, C/LF, Age: 21
The first shocker on draft night – or was it really? – Schwarber signed for a huge under slot bonus, saving the team about $1.5 million, and headed straight to Boise where he’s started his professional career 7-for-11 with two bombs. For his full pre-draft analysis click HERE.
8. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Age: 23
Back from the dead – or at least from the Tommy John scrapheap – Vizcaino has been nearly unhittable in 24.2 innings, striking out 26 and walking seven. It’ll be interesting to see if the club grooms him for a spot in the front half of the rotation, which he seemed destined for a couple years ago.
9. Daniel Vogelbach, 1B, Age: 21
Not necessarily a disappointing season, but it certainly is a modest step forward for the former second round pick. Vogelbach, who is hitting .262/.352/.398, is still showing an elite eye at the plate (11.5% BB-rate), but his power (.136 ISO) would be a career low.
10. Jake Stinnett, RHP, Age:22
The first collegiate senior to be taken this June, Stinnett, who happens to be a personal favorite of mine, is a former position-player-turned-dominant-starting pitcher. And despite his age, 22, he still has plenty of room to grow given his lack of experience. For his full pre-draft analysis click HERE.
Photo Courtesy of chicagonow.com.