Eight years ago I attended a Peoria Chiefs baseball game that featured Junior Lake and Josh Vitters. It was my first ever taste of the crazy experience they call Minor League Baseball. At the time, the aforementioned Vitters and a guy by the name of Brett Jackson (oof.) were the two of the top rated prospects in the Chicago Cubs minor league system. Not only that, but the two prospects were among the best in all of baseball.
Not too long after those rankings were released, both Vitters and Jackson were considered busts and Lake would follow suit just a few short years later. But it was too late for me; I was already entranced by the entire concept of prospect rankings and how so many people in the wide world of baseball could be dead wrong on players they all thought were sure-fire, bona fide studs in the making. When it came down to it, I didn’t know what method of prospect ranking on the internet I could trust.
So I took matters into my own hands. The 2011 MLB draft produced current Cubs players Javier Baez, Trey Martin, Dillon Maples, and John Andreoli, as well as guys no longer in the system such as Dan Vogelbach, Zeke DeVoss, Tony Zych, and Rock Shoulders. Right around that time was when I began to track the career paths of young players throughout the Cubs minor league system. I have spent the last six years tuning the radio into Cubs affiliate baseball, wearing out the search button on Baseball Reference, and finding new budding stars to love.
It is eight years later and I want to share with you the prospects throughout the Cubs system and stories about them. Each month I will take a look into the top prospects in the Cubs minor league system and see how they have fared recently. That means you will be updated on everything from Eloy Jimenez’s wRC+ to the likelihood that Dylan Cease gets promoted to the next level.
As I keep bringing you updates on the top players in the system, be sure to give the whole Cubs system a follow on Twitter to stay up to date on results every day!
Triple-A Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs)
Double-A Tennessee Smokies (@smokiesbaseball)
High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans (@Pelicanbaseball)
Low-A South Bend Cubs (@SBCubs)
Rookie Level Eugene Emeralds (@EugeneEmeralds)