Position Player Prospects #11-15: Preseason 2016

After covering quite a few “older guys” in #16-20, the next few prospects are very young and still have quite a bit of grooming to do even in the lower levels before they work their way up toward the bigs. That also gives them time to work their way up my list, but for right now these young guns are on the outside of the top ten looking in.

 

  1. Victor Caratini

Position: Catcher

Age: 22

Hits/Throws: S/R

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 215

Highest Level: A+ Myrtle Beach

112 Games, (.257/.342/.372/.714), 31 doubles, 4 HR, 0 SB, 10.8% BB, 16.6% K

 

Caratini came over to the Cubs as a catcher and third baseman in the James Russell/Emilio Bonifacio deal and not many people knew a lot about him. Since arriving, Caratini has been super average to be very blunt. He walks a solid amount which contributes to a very solid OBP, and even showed good gap to gap power. His catching skills are still improving and much like many other minor league catchers, he will move up the system along with his glove. If Victor can end up with Major League above average defense behind the plate then he can end up having a role as a backup catcher in Chicago year in a year out. Expect the jump up to Tennessee to happen this year so that he could be available for that backup role as soon as when Miguel Montero’s contract expires after the 2017 season.

  1. Darryl Wilson

Position: Outfield

Age: 19

Hits/Throws: L/L

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 177

Highest Level: Rookie AZL Cubs

22 Games, (.266/.322/.354/.676), 3 doubles, 0 HR, 5 SB, 6.7% BB, 16.9% K

If you are looking for a fun guy to follow in the Cubs minor leagues over the next several years, keep an eye on DJ Wilson. Ignoring much of his stats from 2015 due to the small sample size and looking at his scouting reports, Wilson is a speedy centerfielder that shows a ton of hustle, a very solid glove, and top of the order on base skills. A couple of things that he will need to improve upon is his swing and miss rate as well as his ability to drive hitter’s pitches. The power could someday appear a little, but with a guy like this, power isn’t necessarily needed. The thing that is keeping DJ so far down this list is his lack of experience in professional ball. It will be many years before this kid is ready for the bigs, but be sure to keep an eye on him while we wait.

  1. Donnie Dewees

Position: Outfield

Age: 22

Hits/Throws: L/L

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 180

Highest Level :A- Eugene

66 Games, (.266/.306/.376/.682), 14 doubles, 5 HR, 19 SB, 4.6% BB, 17.8% K

Donnie Dewees is another fun, scrappy 2015 draftee in the outfield. He has a bigger sample size than Wilson with not a ton of success. The difference is his years of college baseball. One of the top producers at the plate in college this past year, Dewees and his game has been compared to Brett Gardner on multiple occasions. Being a college prospect, expect Dewees to move fairly quickly through the system while still starting 2016 in Eugene or South Bend. If he can figure things out, expect Donnie Dewees to be a future fan favorite in Chicago due to his combination of both speed and power.

  1. Jeffrey Baez

Position: Outfield

Age: 22

Hits/Throws: R/R

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 180

Highest Level: A+ Myrtle Beach

106 Games, (.280/.321/.422/.743), 17 doubles, 9 HR, 36 SB, 5.5% BB, 17.1% K

Baez’s 2015 was a tale of two halves. He started off the year ice cold with the risk of falling off of the radar of any and all prospect boards as an afterthought. But after heating up the second half of the season he pushed himself all the way up to number 12 on my list. His slash line all the way across looks pretty solid, with his OBP a tad lower than you would like to see it. But with a very low walk rate that tends to happen. Baez was also the best base stealer in all of the Cubs system and that speed can be put to use even more if he becomes a little more patient at the plate. With the power also coming into play, the only thing really missing in his game is a true outfield position. If Baez can continue to improve on the offensive side of the ball in 2016 he will soon become yet another Baez that Cubs fans should look out for in the future.

  1. Chesny Young

Position: Infield/Outfield

Age: 23

Hits/Throws: R/R

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 170

Highest Level: A+ Myrtle Beach

130 Games, (.320/.392/.386/.778), 23 doubles, 1 HR, 21 SB, 9.9% BB, 8.9% K

If I could put Chesny Young at number one on this list I could. I love this prospect. Realistically he fits in right here right outside the top ten at number 11 but depending on how the front office decides to progress the young utility player, he could become much more valuable than that. All Young does is hit. He hit .320 this past season and when you put that alongside a healthy walk rate, he was on the base paths nearly 40% of the time. He has a line drive oriented swing with very little pop in his bat and you can’t expect many, if any, homeruns out of him year in and year out. But if Chesny can prove that that lack of power is due to his line drive approach at the plate and will not hinder his ability to continue to hit at higher levels, then expect him to progress nicely the next year or so. Being a true utility player, my guess is he will spend 2016 in Tennessee and Iowa with a 2017 big league call-up in order.

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