Luke Little – Picture by Todd Johnson
With the first month of the season officially complete, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at my prospect list and see where guys are at. I’m not going to redo my prospect list today. That’s not any fun because as soon as I put it out there, I will want to redo it. And I think that’s quite natural to say.
What we’ve seen over the past month is that the Cubs have some really talented prospects coming up through the system. They currently have four top 100 guys in Pete Crow-Armstrong, Kevin Alcântara, Brennan Davis, and Cade Horton. Most national publications have a couple other guys close as Jordan Wicks would be in that discussion along with Owen Caissie and Matt Mervis. That’s seven guys and I didn’t even include Christian Hernandez, who could arguably be the best of all of them when it’s said and done. And after last night, Jackson Ferris could be in that discussion come mid-summer.
But for today, I’m going to look at guys who cold claim one spot on my list, maybe two…..OK, three.
Hayden Wesneski has officially reached 35 innings and is no longer considered to be a prospect. Jeremiah Estrada could reset at some point this summer if he gets back to Chicago. And we may even see Matt Mervis lose his status at some point this summer as he is now in Chicago.
That brings us to today’s questions, who is moving into my top 25? And, who could be falling out of the top 25? Who knows, by the time of the draft, I could have four or five new players in my list.
Here are the guys I listed under the à la carte menu for prospects, 26 to 46. Technically, these were the guys most likely to move up and into the top 25.
Pablo Aliendo, Christian Franklin, Kohl Franklin, Ethan Hearn, Alexis Hernandez, Darius Hill, Ryan Jensen, Zac Leigh, Luke Little, Kevin Made, Nazier Mule, Jordan Nwogu, Christopher Paciolla, Yonathan Perlaza, Yohendrick Pinango, Reggie Preciado, Sheldon Reed, Jake Reindl, Adan Sanchez, Jake Slaughter, Luis Verdugo
There’s a lot of good names on this list and to pick three or four who could easily slide into the top 25 could go several ways. The most obvious names to me would be Jake Slaughter and Luke Little followed by Kevin Made, Kohl Franklin, and Pablo Aliendo. After that, it starts to get tough.
The reason I say that is because there’s some guys I didn’t have in the aforementioned list in the ala carte that have definitely earned a shot. Most of them come from last year’s draft class and they did not debut until this spring.
Brandon Birdsell is one name who should be in my top prospect list and Hayden McGeary is definitely another. I don’t know if Brody McCullough is there yet, but he’s definitely working his way towards the à la cart list along with a few other players. We still have yet to see Mason McGwire and Luis Rujano debut.
And that’s the thing that’s fun about prospects lists is that they can always be changing. They’re always fluid, they’re always in flux, and it never stops. I can’t imagine updating a list every month. It would drive me crazy.
I can’t imagine keeping a prospect list and updating it monthly. That would just drive me crazy in trying to analyze and ascertain who should be where just based on a single month – good or bad. Instead, I will just jot down some names in this post to consider at a later point in time. If things don’t work out between now and July, an eraser will help me correct certain assumptions.
For several years, I just did a top 21 list. This past November, I stretched that out to 25 last November. I’m pretty sure that this year I’m going to have to go to 30 when my new list comes out in late June early July. There’s no doubt in my mind that the system is strong enough, and that there’s enough differentiation between prospects to be able to single out 30 guys. And to be quite frank. It’s a good problem to have. For now, though, I am not changing anything until July.