Prospects in Iowa Wait for Their Opportunity

The 2017 Chicago Cubs are loaded with talent up and down the lineup card and as fans of the Major League product, that makes life about as good as it can get. But the lack of holes in the order and the amount of depth at the MLB level makes it hard on rising prospects in Triple-A Iowa to find their way to the big leagues. The Iowa Cubs roster is filled with guys that are no slouch at the plate either. With several players that could have impacts on Major League rosters right now, let’s take a look at who those guys are and what we can expect from them now and into the future as it pertains to their role in Chicago. Continue reading

2016 Midseason Pitching Prospect Rankings

The other day I covered the top 20 position player prospects throughout the Cubs farm system and today we have moved on to the pitchers. Now the way I go about presenting the midseason prospect lists is in a very clean and easy to understand way. I want to get the names out there of who the top prospects in the system are, put them in order, and see how they progress according to how I thought they would.

The way I do that is by giving you the facts on who they are: their name, age, and level in the system and also giving you the player’s stats for the current season. That doesn’t always play well because we all know that prospects aren’t determined entirely based off of their stats. A player can be an incredible prospect while having lackluster stats all the while a double-A hitter can be absolutely mashing while not really having a shot at the major leagues.

That is especially true for pitchers, including the ones on this list. What I am doing is giving my list of top pitching prospects in the Chicago Cubs system based on numerous factors but to make things easier on you – the reader – I will still just present the player as his name and his stats. Continue reading

2016 Midseason Position Player Prospect Rankings

The trade deadline is finally over. Which means one thing here at Out of the Vines. It is time for the midseason prospect rankings! Since a few trades have forced Theo and Co. to dig into their pockets full of prospects, this list looks quite different than what it did in our preseason rankings.

Today we cover the position player prospects and with that, we will see a new man on top. With Willson Contreras and Albert Almora graduating from their prospect classification and Dan Vogelbach, Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney being traded away, the entire list takes a new form.

Let’s take a look at the 2016 Midseason Position Player Prospect Rankings. Continue reading

Cubs Futures Game Participants of the Past

Last night was one of my favorite baseball events of the year: the Futures Game. Once a night, every All-Star break, each team across Major League Baseball gets to send a player or two to the game in which some of the best prospects in all of baseball are assembled to face off against each other in a game of USA vs. The World. Every season, the most untouchable prospects are involved, and this year was no different with the likes of Alex Bregman, Andrew Benintendi, and Yoan Moncada to name a few.

This year’s Cubs players included Eloy Jimenez and Jeimer Candelario, both representing the World team in the event. While Candelario could not participate due to the fact that he was already called up to The Show. Jimenez on the other hand got to participate and did not disappoint. Jimenez, going 2-3 with a homerun, a double, 4 RBI and an incredible catch in the outfield, made his best case to take home MVP honors only to fall short to Moncada.

With Eloy now directly in the spotlight as the next big Chicago Cubs prospect, it got me thinking about the players the Cubs have sent to the Futures Game in the past and what those players are doing now. I took a look back at the past 10 seasons to see who the represented the Cubs in the Minor League showcase and also looked at their career stats and where they are now. Continue reading

2016 First Year Player Draft

This year’s draft may have been the the draft with the least amount of hype going in for Cubs fans in nearly a decade. The Cubs didn’t make their first selection until the third round of the draft which means the team was absent from the entire first day. No top 10 pick meant there was no big name prospect that would be heading into the farm system. There was also less hype due to the emphasis being put on the Major League roster. When the team is performing like it is right now, people don’t really care as much about what is going on in Rookie ball in Eugene.

So now that I have just completely turned you off of all draft day excitement, let me tell you that every single draft is important. It doesn’t matter how well your Major League roster is doing or how many straight years you pick at the bottom of the draft, the first year player draft still means so much. Look at the big league roster now. Of course there are first round picks like Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Albert Almora, and Addison Russell on the lineup card every night, but there are also players that weren’t highly regarded draft prospects. Jake Arrieta (5th), Anthony Rizzo (6th), Ben Zobrist (6th), and Dexter Fowler (14th) were all players that were not highly regarded, but still are making impacts today.

With that being said, there was still plenty to gain for the Cubs the past couple of days when they went out and drafted 38 very talented baseball players. Some will make an impact at the Major League level like Arrieta and Rizzo and some won’t even make it to Double-A. But 40 rounds later, here is your 2016 Chicago Cubs draft class. Continue reading

Plenty of Promotions to Go Around on the Farm

It was a busy day across the entire Cubs system on Wednesday as it was a big day for promotions. With the 2016 MLB Draft starting today, some room needed to be made in the lower levels to account for the new draftees coming in. Obviously the shuffling of players began for entirely different reasons on Monday with the promotion of Albert Almora Jr. to Chicago, but I’ll take you through the moves in the minor leagues that were made yesterday. Continue reading