Baseball Prospectus Top 11 Cubs' Prospects
- Josh Vitters
- Starlin Castro
- Hak-Ju Lee
- Brett Jackson
- Andrew Cashner
- Jay Jackson
- Chris Carpenter
- Chris Archer
- Kyler Burke
- Ryan Flaherty
- John Gaub
Most prospecters seemed to have soured a bit on Vitters, but Goldstein gives him a break for his disappointing season in Hi-A due to a hand injury, citing much better numbers against better pitchers in the AFL. Goldstein says his defense has improved and then gushes about his swing.
Vitters' swing is among the sweetest in the minors. It's smooth, powerful, gets into the hitting zone quickly, and stays there a long time. His plate coverage is off the charts, and he's as comfortable turning on an inside fastball as he is driving an outside breaking ball to the opposite field.
Goldstein also notes that Vitters plate coverage can also be a negative as he doesn't draw a lot of walks.
And although he puts Castro as a 5-star prospect, he has these words of warning.
While most believe that Castro will be an above-average big-league shortstop, he doesn't have the tools for true impact potential. His line-drive swing and contact-oriented approach offers little power or projection for much more, while he's also a free swinger who rarely walks. Several scouts noted below-average running times to first base, and his range is affected by it, possibly leading to a move to second base down the road.
I'm not going to reproduce all of BP's premium content, but here are some other highlights.
- Folks within the organization see a Hak-Ju Lee at short, Castro at 2b infield with them batting 1-2 in the lineup.
- Raves about Brett Jackson's 5-tools being good enough to be a early first round pick, but cautions about his swing-and-miss hitting.
- Sees Cashner, Jackson, Carpenter all on the same path to either middle of the road starter or more dominant late-inning bullpen pieces.
- Seems everyone sees Flaherty as a second basemen.
- Gaub relies more on deception than stuff.
Otherwise, a big step forward for the organization and says they'll move way up in the overall rankings.