PCA – Pic by Tennessee Smokies

The exhausting process is over. It’s not that I lost sleep over it, but I put a lot of work and thinking into who I was going to rank where this summer when it came to Cubs prospects. Part of me said, “Don’t worry because it’ll all change in November.“ And after that, I thanked myself and felt better about my decisions. 

I decided to go with 40 names this summer because I thought that the Cubs had enough depth to cover that big of a list. This is the biggest list I’ve ever done and I’m still contemplating most of my selections between eight and 30. I feel pretty good about the first eight and the last 10. The in between is a tossup. You could literally throw the players names in the air and rearrange them in any order that they fell and they would all make sense,

Let’s go!

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The Just Missed List – AKA – Honorable Mention

Ezequiel Pagan, Cam Sanders, Rafael Morel, Chris Paciolla, Riley Thompson, Brandon Birdsell, Connor Noland, Angel Cepeda, Bailey Horn, Zac Leigh, Bryce Windham. Darius Hill, Jared Young, Koen Moreno, Anderson Suriel, Yovanny Cabrera, and Johzan Oquendo.

40. Adan Sanchez

He is just getting started in terms of his stateside career. From the sound of it, the Cubs are going to be working on his defense with him for a little while and the hitting will come later even though he hit really well in the DSL in 2022.

39. Luis Rujano

I like what I’ve seen from Luis so far and the 20 year old has improved quite a bit from his first few outings.

38. Derniche Valdez

He got off to a rough start in the Dominican. You can just be patient and give him some time to adjust to playing in games that matter. He does have 3 dingers in 3 weeks.

37. Nazier Mule

He’s an incredible athlete who I’m excited to see return in 2024. It’ll be interesting if the Cubs move him to shortstop or if they still plan on him being a two-way player. I would say he’s playing both in spite of having TJS.

36. Chase Strumpf

He’s been put through the ringer the first few weeks at Iowa, but he’s also flashed the ability to drive and runs and hit home runs in his short time there.

35. Brody McCullough

Another Cinderella story, I have to love what he has done so far this year and can’t wait to see him in South Bend in the second half.

34. Alexis Hernandez

He is killing it in Rookie league and it’s making me wonder if he’s going to get a promotion or at least a cup of coffee in Myrtle Beach this summer. He could be top 20 if he continues to rake.

33. Ed Howard

I need more time, and Ed probably needs more time to get 100% healthy. He looks OK at the plate, but when you watch him run, he is still not 100%. The one thing that surprised me a couple weeks ago as I was standing next to him outside the batting cage in Cedar Rapids was I didn’t realize how tall he was. He is at least 6’3″ as he was towering over me at 5’11”.

32. Felix Stevens

He’s been ready for South Bend for two months. He hit for average and home runs in Myrtle Beach which is not easy. He’s going to love playing in the Midwest League with Ballesteros because both of them are going to hit a lot more home runs than they hit in Myrtle Beach.

31. Drew Gray

Once he gets to full season baseball, he’s going to be a guy to watch as he pitches alongside his high school teammate in Ferris. I am excited to see him at Myrtle Beach in the next month or so so that I can see just exactly what he’s throwing and how he is throwing it. He might be the biggest riser this fall/winter.

30. Cristian Hernandez

He’s only 19 and I am still quite patient with him. The stats may not be where you want them to be, but they are not horrible. Their average for the league for a guy who’s two years younger than the average.

29. Caleb Kilian

Once he gets his consistency down, he will be in Chicago. Until then, we never know which Kilian will be pitching – The dominant guy or the one who struggles.

28. BJ Murray

He is one of the big breakouts of this year, and I am really excited to see him blossom so quickly at AA. It was nice to see him get hit hitter of the month in May from NSB. It was cool to see him get a Futures Game nod yesterday!

27. Luke Little

Tennessee is not been the cakewalk that it began as, but that’s good that he is being challenged and hopefully he can figure some things out here in the next 2 1/2 months to get him to Iowa to start 2024 along with a 40-man spot.

26. Yonathan Perlaza

Love him! Can’t talk about him enough, but I don’t know if the Chicago Cubs are listening because they should be as he is ready to go as a hitter.

25. Kohl Franklin

See Porter Hodge below.

Also, l love how free and easy he is throwing this year.

24. Porter Hodge

It’s been an up-and-down year. I am not too concerned about the poor starts, he will rebound, probably when they change the balls again.

23. Kevin Made

The more I see Made in person, the more I love him. He’s only 19 and the glove is pretty close to that of Vazquez. The bat is going to come, but he’s showing that patience at the plate and he’s driving the ball with authority to all parts of the ballpark.

22. DJ Herz

I really liked what I’ve seen from his last few starts and I think the old DJ is pretty close to being back. That’s a good sign for the system and a good sign for DJ.

21. Luis Devers

After maybe another month, he’s going to be fully back. He began coming out of it in his second start at South Bend. I still think he’s not quite 100% yet but he will be. Although, he looked good on Sunday the 25th.

20. Pablo Aliendo

Love this kid! He is a great teammate and hitter, but I did not see the power explosion coming at all. He’s put himself in the running for Chicago in the next couple of years.

19. Jake Slaughter

He slipped a little this year in terms of batting average, but not in terms of production. He is hitting dingers, and he leads the system in RBI at the halfway point.

18. Brennen Davis

Another year, another injury. It’s not that he’s cursed, but hopefully this latest hamstring or leg injury will help him refocus when he comes back.

17. James Triantos

I like what I’ve seen offensively from Triantos. Sometimes he tries to protect too much with two strikes and swings at some bad pitches, and make some unproductive outs, but for the most part, I really like how he can recognize pitches and hit all different kinds of pitches to different parts of the park. The defense needs work.

16. Jordan Wicks

April and May were great and I thought he was ready to head to Iowa. He is but he’s kind of figuring some things out this June to get him ready to go to Iowa when the time comes.

15. Michael Arias

After watching him pitch a couple of times, I was astounded at how much run he gets on his two seam fastball. Once he gets his breaking stuff commanded better, he’s going to take off. Not bad for a former shortstop.

14. Daniel Palencia

100 mph reliever with a 95 mph slider….Yes, please!

13. Jefferson Rojas

He’s flashing hard at Myrtle Beach right now. The consistency is going to come later. He could be much, much, much higher in the fall/winter.

12. Luis Vazquez

Love this kid! His bat has caught up to his glove and it may have surpassed it this summer. I don’t know why he doesn’t get talked about more this year for what he’s doing at the plate, but he’s one of the best hitters in the organization the past two months.

11. Haydn McGeary

This dude is a beast! He tore it up in the Midwest League in April and was promoted to Tennessee at the beginning of May. He had a little bit of a struggle, but then adjusted and has achieved beast mode for the past six weeks with a wRC+ of over 170 in June. Iowa awaits if he can back it up again in July.

10. Moises Ballesteros

I like guys that can rake. Ballesteros can really rake and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet. Once he gets out of Myrtle Beach, he might blow the roof off the Midwest League in July.

9. Kevin Alcantara

He’s had an up-and-down performance this year and a lot of it has to do with his ability to hit breaking pitches and offspeed stuff. He is still fairly young and he’s going to be at South Bend all summer. One thing that does not get talked about enough is that he is really an outstanding defender and I really enjoy watching him go after balls in the gap.

8. Alexander Canario

This is the most uncertain selection I had to make. I just plain love Canario! He has the loudest tools in the system when it comes to power and his arm. But there’s a little hesitancy when it comes to him getting back to the prospect he was in 2022 because of his ankle injury. If he had played in Iowa before the list was made, I would have him at number two, but I’m still a little wary of dropping him out of the top 10 because he still has such massive power. his rehab is going well and he may be back at a full season affiliate to continue his rehab in July.

7. Jackson Ferris

There’s still a lot of Ferris left to see over the next few months, but everything is trending in the right direction. Once he gets to five innings each night he pitches, then we will know a lot more. Right now, he is limited to only 50 pitches a night.

6. Matt Mervis

He’s back down in Iowa….and raking still. He’s only a few ABs from losing his prospect status. Hoefully the trip to Iowa for a while will help him when he returns to Chicago.

5. Miguel Amaya

If things go according to plan, he will not be on the November list because he will lose his prospect status after 45 days on the roster in Chicago.

4. Ben Brown

He’s getting there, but he is still learning quite a bit. You have to remember he had only pitched in high class A when the Cubs acquired him. In fact he was promoted the day before to AA but had not pitched there yet. So it’s been a pretty quick ascension to AAA. The learning curve has just begun.

3. Owen Caissie

He’s done well for himself as a 20 year old at Tennessee. We’ll see just how much of that power still comes out in the second half. It’s sort of came out in bunches in the first, but I am still patient and will wait to see how he does in the second half. I am not quite ready for him to move to Iowa just yet, but he’s fairly close.

2. Cade Horton


He should be in Tennessee by mid-July. Easy.

1. Pete Crow-Amrstrong

I’m ready for him to go to Iowa and get challenged a little bit so that he can be ready for opening day next year in Chicago. If he does, and is a top rookie, the Cubs will gain an extra draft pick and a gold glove centerfielder pitchers will love.

It was also cool to see him make Pipeline’s top 10 and he will also be returning to the Futures Game.

In about four months, we will do this all again.

The biggest movers on that list should be Alexis Hernandez, Jefferson Rojas, Luis Rujano, Alexander Canario (if he gets back to Iowa), and Derniche Valdez. You can probably pencil in the Cubs top pick at #3 for now, too.

Greg Zumach will drop his top prospect list tomorrow while Greg Huss published his yesterday.