Feature photo of James Triantos by Rich Biesterfeld
I’ll take “Thing You Love to See” for $500, Alex.
On Wednesday morning, the Fangraphs prospect team of Eric Longenhagen, Kevin Goldstein, and Tess Taruskin dropped their version of a Top 100 prospects list. Thanks to their tiered approach that features every prospect they have thrown a Future Value of at least 50 out of 80 on, that Top 100 actually goes 114 names deep.
Of those 114 guys, FIVE are Chicago Cubs.
25. Brennen Davis
87. Kevin Alcantara
104. Owen Caissie
106. James Triantos
114. Reginald Preciado
Being this deep in the prospect ranking season, you pretty much know the rundown of these dudes by now. Outside of Davis being an absolute lock in the top 30 or so prospects, the remaining four players plus guys like Cristian Hernandez, Pete Crow-Armstrong, and Brailyn Marquez are littered all around the 100 range across all of baseball.
I highly advise you to read through the entire list, especially the specific write-ups for Cubs players! But the Fangraphs team is extraordinarily good at supplying fun little nuggets in their player descriptions so I’ll provide a sentence or two about each of the Cubs prospects, straight from their piece.
Greater flexibility in Davis’ lower half may be an important piece of him actualizing in-game power by lifting pitches toward the bottom of the zone that he otherwise can’t if he stays upright. While Eric was skeptical of Davis’ ability to do this because he has a pretty tightly-wound lower half, he showed glimpses of doing so last year. There are star-level tools here, regardless of whether Davis ends up playing center field or a corner.Fangraphs
Athletic, 6-foot-6 outfielders who can rotate like Alcantara can are rare. He is loose and fluid in the box but does have some swing-and-miss concerns, caused not by his long levers (we’ve seen him pull his hands in near his body to barrel stuff inner half), but by sub-optimal barrel accuracy. He hasn’t yet grown into elite power, but we think he will.Fangraphs
His high-end exit velos were not only the best in this system but among the top 20 in all of minor league baseball, with max exit velos exceeding 112 mph (FanGraphs’ sourced exit velo info has tended to lop off the top handful of recorded exit velos for each hitter to ensure the elimination of outliers). Already possessing a pro athlete’s build and physicality, Caissie’s huge, broad-shouldered frame indicates he’ll yet grow into more power.Fangraphs
While his ball/strike recognition is below average, Triantos is able to swing with ferocity without compromising barrel accuracy. He finds a way to hit the ball hard somewhere most of the time, and vaporizes mistakes that catch the fat middle of the zone. There is a very exciting hit/power combination here, and it’s very likely that Triantos rockets through the low minors given how dangerous he is in the box.Fangraphs
On occasion, he will add some small but noticeable space (maybe a quarter inch or so) between the top and bottom hand on his bat. While this is likely coming at the expense of his potential power production, moving his top hand up on the bat could help with his barrel control, and allow him to better react, and adjust to ball movement.Fangraphs
Remember to check out Fangraphs entire list and if you want to compare it to what we have to say here at North Side Bound, you can always access our rankings here!