I delved into BCB's rankings and reviewed BA's Callis' winter rankings along with Baseball Prospectus' with some profile information. All told the community is pretty good and the system looks healthy although the Cubs are light from the left side, pitching there is a hole the size of BP's well and at the plate there are only a couple players out of the top 14. If catching prospect Robinson Chirinos makes the 15th spot it will mean more weight on the right side. (May I suggest that two other catching prospects, Steven Clevenger and Wellington Castillo* be added soon for the future voting list.) That said, outside the bottom of this list the top 13 of the talent pool is young, ranging from 20-22 years old, 9 out of 13 are now at AA or above. Only two were drafted by other systems, two were FA from off shore, 5 of 13 are number one draft choices.
Actually Andrew Cashner doesn't count (as does Tyler Colvin or Starlin Castro) but outside of those the following stats: 7 of 13 are pitchers; 1 OF'er, 3 are SS-2B, 2-3B, (Ryan Flaherty is now a 3B). One other note, 6 started out as shortstops, only 2 remain in that position. My one disagreement is Thomas Diamond who is 27 and not really a prospect. I actually now have more hope than dread for the rebuilding effort. Final comment, wouldn't you like to see a high IQ 2B running the bases than the current one?
Other notable exceptions: 2B Tony Thomas, OF'ers Kyler Burke, James Adducci*, Sam Fuld*, 1B Micah Hoffpauir, RHP's Jeff Samardzija*, Mike Parisi, Jeff Gray*, Jeff Stevens*, Mitch Atkins*, Justin Berg, Marcos Mateo* or LHP's H John Gaub*
* On 40-man roster
1. Andrew Cashner (22) power RHP now in bullpen at MLB level (RHP), 19th pick overall, 1st round 2008, 6’5” (ranked 4th in Cubs farm by Baseball America with best fastball in the system, Baseball Prospectus ranked him 5th in system as a 3-star prospect) MLB stats (current); 0-3; 2.93 ERA, 1.50-WHIP when recalled MiLB stats 3-1; 2.75 ERA, 0.97-WHIP
2. Brett Jackson (21) solid hitting (CF’er) now in AA, Bats Left, 31st pick overall 1st round 2009 draft, 6’2” 210 lbs, (ranked 2nd Baseball America, 4th Baseball Prospectus as a 4-star prospect) current stats: .351-BA, 2-HR, 7-RBI’s, 1.062-OPS
3. Josh Vitters (20) power hitting (3B), now in AA, drafted 1st round, 3rd overall, 2007 draft, 6’3” 205 lbs., (ranked 3rd by Baseball America and ranked 1st in the system as a 5-star prospect .222-BA, 4-HR, 17 RBI’s, .612-OPS
4. Jay Jackson, (22) power (RHP) starter, now in AAA, 9th round, 281st pick overall 2008 draft, 6’ 185 lbs, (ranked 5th Baseball America, and ranked 6th Baseball Prospectus as a 3-star prospect) 4-6; 3.89 ERA, 1.11 WHIP
5. Hak-Ju Lee (20) slick fielding speedy SS Low-A, undrafted out of Korea signed 2008. 6’2” 170 lbs, bats Left, (ranked 6th Baseball America and 3rd Baseball Prospectus as a 4-Star prospect), .265-BA, 0-HR, 24-RBI’s, .666-OPS
6. Chris Carpenter (24) (RHP) now in AA was selected 3rd round 2008 draft is 6’4” 220 lbs (ranked 8th by Baseball America and 7th Baseball Prospectus as a 3-star prospect 6-4; 3.16 ERA, 1.42-WHIP
7. Chris Archer (21) (RHP) now in AA was received as a “throw-in” in the Mark DeRosa trade was a 5th round draft pick in 2006 he is 6’3” 180 lbs (ranked 15th by Baseball America and 8th by Baseball Prospectus) 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.88 WHIP
8. Trey McNutt (21) (RHP) now in High-A drafted 32 round in the 2009 draft is 6’4” 205 lbs (ranked 16th by Baseball America and lower than 20 in Baseball Prospectus) 1-0, 4.15 ERA, 1.50-WHIP
9. Hayden Simpson (21) (RHP) just signed out of college, drafted 1st round, 16th overall in 2010.
10. DJ LeMahieu (22 this month) good hitting infielder (2B) now High-A drafted in the 2nd round 79th overall 2009 draft 6’4” 195 lbs (ranked 10th Baseball America and unranked Baseball Prospectus ) .286-BA, 1-HR, 51-RBI’s, .684-OPS
11. Darwin Barney (24) smart, schooled high baseball IQ grinder now in AAA, (SS) drafted 4th round 2007, 5’10” 175 lbs, (ranked 18th Baseball America and 15th Baseball Prospectus) .289 BA, 1-HR, 27 RBI’s, 679-OPS
12. Ryan Flaherty (24 this month), (3B) that bats Left, now in High-A supplemental 1st round draft pick 2008, is 6’3” 210 lbs, (ranked 9th Baseball America and 10th Baseball Prospectus) .304-BA, 2-HR, 30-RBI’s, .813-OPS
13. Rafael Dolis (22) former Dominican (SS) converted (RHP) is in AA, is 6’4” 215 lbs, ranked 13th by Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus) 0-1, 3.00 ERA, 1.56 WHIP
14. Thomas Diamond (27) (RHP) in AAA claimed off of waivers 2009 from Texas Rangers, is 6’3” 240 lbs (unranked Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus) 5-2; 2.53 ERA, 1.13 WHIP
15. Robinson Chirinos (26) C RHB, in AA, is 6'1" 185 lbs signed by the Cubs in 2000 as a FA from Valenzuela, considered Cubs best defensive catching prospect another converted IF, (ranked 26th Baseball America) .314-BA, 9-HR, 40-RBI's, .960-OPS
16. Casey Coleman (23) RHP in AAA is 6'1" 180 lbs, drafted 15th round, 461 overall in the 2008 draft, Cubs Minor Player of the Year 2009, Baseball America pegs him with the best change-up and best control among the Cubs prospects, Baseball Prospectus ranked him 18th in the organization, current stats; (8-7) 4.09-ERA, 1.18-WHIP
17 Chris Rusin (24) LHP is in High A, is 6'2" 185 lbs drafted 4th round 140th overall in the 2009 draft, (received an honorable mention from Baseball Prospectus as a C+ prospect, projected to be a lefty reliever in MLB.) current (3-2) 3.20 ERA, 0.98-WHIP