The Cubs’ minor league system 2-3 years ago was not a pretty sight. One of the last top picks before Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were hired was Hayden Simpson. In 2011 the Cubs selected shortstop Javier Baez with the 9th pick in the draft. That pick has appeared to work out so far, as Baez (at just 20 years old) is at double A Tennessee. In 2012 the Cubs selected outfielder Albert Almora. He is currently in Low-A Kane County hitting everything in sight. This year the Cubs selected third baseman Kris Bryant. Bryant has recently signed and is in his first few games for the Arizona league Cubs prior to a call-up to Boise.
In our mid season top 30 we featured talent as far as the eye could see. I will break down the the top 3 players whom I consider to be elite level players
The elite level group:
1. Albert Almora
2. Javier Baez
3. Kris Bryant
These players are listed in this group because in my opinion, they have plus tools and have the highest potential to be MLB regulars.
Albert Almora: He is considered by many the center fielder of the future of the Cubs, and with good reason. Almora selected out of high school, was one of the top high school players in the county. What Almora features are plus tools that make him my #1 Cubs prospect. He is currently hitting .324 at Kane county, which shows the plus contact ability. He also features a nice glove and arm which will help him sustain in center field. The frame is nice and projectable which will turn him into more of a power hitter rather than a doubles hitter .The power in his bat has not shown up yet, but as he grows and fills out his frame he will be able to drive the ball farther.
Javier Baez: Baez is ranked very high mainly for his great bat. Baez, who would seem not to be a power hitter if you look at his 5’11 180 frame, has excellent strength in his wrists. His bat speed helped him hit 17 home runs in the first half at Daytona this year. Baez seems to be average at best on defense. He has made an insane amount of errors which is the only reason I am holding him back from being the Cubs number one prospect.
Kris Bryant: This year’s Cubs first round pick (second overall) was in my opinion a good choice. When drafting the Cubs took best available rather than need. Bryant, the 2013 Golden Spikes award winner for best college player, had a great season for the University of San Diego, hitting a league-leading 31 home runs in 250 at-bats. He also hit .333 on the year so he’s not what you would call a one dimensional hitter .The power is there but what the Cubs were really looking for was a patient hitter who could work the count and draw walks. Kris Bryant fits the bill. As for his defense, Bryant wants to stick at third base, but will likely be moved to the outfield. He has a plus arm as it is accurate which makes him a plus defender. If he pans out he will be the Cubs cleanup hitter for many years to come.
All in all, these players are what make the Cubs’ future so bright and will help the Cubs when they are playoff contenders.