We’re now a ways into the season and some prospects are truly shining. Here’s a look at what the top prospects are up to and who is on the rise.
- Eloy Jimenez (#1, OF) is back in action after starting off the year rehabbing and he is tearing up Advanced-A Myrtle Beach. Jimenez is hitting .286/.400/.548 over his first 100 plate appearances with six home runs. Jimenez had quite a few strikeouts in 2016, but so far in 2017, Jimenez has more walks than strikeouts. We’ll just have to wait and see how long it is before Jimenez is heading for Double-A Tennessee.
- Ian Happ (#2, 2B/OF) has been up in the big leagues since May 13th and is holding his own just fine. Over his first 104 plate appearances in the majors Happ has a line of .209/.308/.516 with five home runs. There is certainly progress to be made with the batting average, but it seems as though Happ is up in the majors for good.
- Dylan Cease (#3, RHP) hit the DL in late May with a sprained ankle, but he has made one appearance since returning from the DL and struck out four batters in just two innings. Cease has now pitched 36 innings total in 2017 for a 2.75 ERA. Luckily, his recent injury wasn’t anything related to his arm and he should go back to dominating as the Cubs’ number one pitching prospect.
- Jeimer Candelario (#4, 3B) was only up in the majors for a short time and got just three hits over 22 plate appearances. The Cubs probably wanted to show Candelario off to use as trade bait, but he wasn’t really increasing his stock in the bigs. Candelario was crushing it before he got called up hitting .340/.443/.649 in Triple-A, but since returning to Iowa he has struggled a fair bit hitting just .188/.255/.344. Don’t lose hope though, if anyone can turn it back around, the Candy Man can.
- Trevor Clifton (#6, RHP) has continued plugging away in Double-A Tennessee. Clifton has now pitched in twelve starts for a 2.84 ERA. He is still feeling right at home playing close to where he grew up in Tennessee, but his stock is rising and the Cubs know they need more pitching in the majors soon. Clifton could be in Triple-A before we know it.
- Mark Zagunis (#8, OF) has a nice line of .249/.399/.462 with nine home runs in Triple-A, but it doesn’t seem as though the Cubs will need help in their major league outfield any time soon. Zagunis could be another key player used in a trade around the coming deadline.
- Victor Caratini (#17, C/1B) is continuing to crush it in Triple-A. Caratini has a slash line of .333/.376/.519 and his stock is rising fast. If the Cubs don’t see Caratini as part of the future plans, he could be a very solid trade piece soon.
- Charcer Burks (#32, OF) is hitting .314/.412/.464 with five home runs and nine stolen bases (though he has also been caught eight times) in Double-A Tennessee.
- Jason Vosler (NR, 3B) is hitting .271/.365/.498 with eleven home runs in Double-A Tennessee.
- Jen-Ho Tseng (#40, RHP) has a 2.71 ERA over twelve starts in Double-A this year.
- Adbert Alzolay (NR, RHP) has started thirteen games in Advanced-A for 70 innings and a 2.83 ERA.
- Justin Steele (#38, LHP) has started thirteen games in Advanced-A for 66 innings and a 2.32 ERA.
- Zack Short (NR, 2B/SS/3B) is is still excelling in Single-A South Bend hitting a slash line of .245/.401/.429 with six home runs and fifteen stolen bases. Short is also accumulating more walks than strikeouts.
- Duncan Robinson (NR, RHP) has been starting more games recently in Single-A South Bend and now has a 2.08 ERA over 65 innings. Hopefully Gregg Popovich and the Spurs don’t try to steal him from the Cubs.
A look at the new draft picks:
- Brendon Little (LHP, drafted #27 overall) is coming from the State College of Florida Manatee – Sarasota and has hit 97 mph on the radar gun.
- Alex Lange (RHP, drafted #30 overall) is from LSU and pitched with excellence in college after having the possibility of being drafted straight from high school.
- Cory Abbott (RHP, drafted #67 overall) is from Loyola Marymount University and gave up just two runs over 67 innings of conference play.
- Keegan Thompson (RHP, #105 overall) missed all of 2016 after having Tommy John surgery, but he has a history of success in high school and college at Auburn.
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