The Cubs finally made their signing of 20 year-old Cuban left-hander Gerardo Concepcion official Saturday The contract was a five-year major league deal valued at $6 million with a $3 million signing bonus. Concepcion was Rookie of the Year in the 2011 Cuban National Series, the highest level of play in Cuba (along with the Cuban Super Series). For Industriales, Concepcion went 10-3 with a 3.36 ERA as both a starter and a reliever. But just how good in Concepcion compared to the Cubs other prospects?
Concepcion figures in at approximately the 7th spot of the Cubs prospects list, just ahead of third baseman Josh Vitters. Concepcion’s ceiling may not be as high as former number-7 Josh Vitters or other prospects such as first baseman Dan Vogelbach, but his floor is what really makes him an attractive prospect. Concepcion would seem to be a number 5 starting pitcher at the absolute worst, barring any major injuries; however, he will more likely than not be anything more than an average third starter at the major league level.
According to Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com, Concepcion will report to minor league camp, despite his status on the 40-man roster.
As Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein shift their focus to soon-to-be free agent outfielder Jorge Soler, also of Cuba, one can simply admire what the new front office has done to rejuvenate the farm system. In their first season in Chicago, Hoyer and Epstein have brought in Anthony Rizzo, Gerardo Concepcion, two supplemental draft picks, and other prospects, and are still aiming to add a new top prospect.