|Original Published Date: April 11, 2014|
|Updated: June 9, 2014|
The Chicago Cubs do not have a very good major league baseball team but trust me…help is on the way. Baez, Bryant, Almora, Alcantara will be household names soon. Patience…extreme patience.
1. Next in Line Infield Prospects
- Arismendy Alcantara (2B, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: High
- Javier Baez (SS/2B, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: High
- Kris Bryant (3B, Double-A) – Fantasy relevance: High
Notes: Alcantara has speed/power and is on the 40-man and could be an interesting mid-season call-up. Baez and Bryant are elite prospects but neither is on the 40-man. Baez has gotten off to a terrible start and is struggling with the steady dose of off-speed pitches he is encountering in Triple-A. May and early June have been better but there is still much work left for the 21-year-old. We still see Baez as a special player long-term, but for 2014, fantasy owners need to dial it back. On the other hand, Kris Bryant has been on a roll since college last year and Double-A pitching hasn’t slowed him down at all. While his strikeout rate is also high, his approach should translate. He could see a September call-up.
2. Next in Line Outfield Prospects
- Brett Jackson (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Matt Szczur (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
Notes: Matt Szczur profiles as a fourth outfielder but could steal a hand full of stolen bases if promoted. What’s the likelihood? If there’s an injury, you could see him promoted in the second half.
3. Next in Line Pitching Prospects
- Neil Ramirez (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low – PROMOTED: 4/25/14
- Kyle Hendricks (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
Notes: The lack of pitching depth in the Cubs organization is evident in the upper minors as both Ramirez and Hendricks profile as back-of-the-rotation starters; although I’ve always thought Ramirez had a chance to be a productive major league pitcher. In fact, in his call-up, he’s been used in the bullpen and has been dominate. Could he be a solution to the ninth inning for the Cubs?
4. Next in Line Relief Prospects
- Neil Ramirez (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium – PROMOTED: 4/25/14
- Kyuji Fujikawa (RHP, Injured) – Fantasy relevance: High
Notes: Remember Fujikawa? Well, most people have forgotten about him including your fellow fantasy owners. He could easily be the closer by July but in the mean time, Ramirez is has been in the mix for saves already and can really pitch.