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Fangraphs has released its Top 31 Cubs prospects list

... with perhaps a few surprises.

Nico Hoerner
Nico Hoerner plays for South Bend in 2018
Rebecca Snyder

Fangraphs posted their Cubs Top 31 (plus a few) this morning. They have a few curious names in a few curious places, but most of the information looks accurate.

Their assessments are the story here, but I’ll toss in a few pieces, as well. Many are “Things that make you go hmmmmm...” instead of deep insights, but ask questions at will.

Nico Hoerner is second, behind Miguel Amaya. Any lower placement of Hoerner is a red flag on a preference list. However, anyone is entitled to their opinion or definition of prospect. The term is so cliche now that I have no idea what “prospect” means, or if it means anything at all.

Justin Steele is fifth, which indicates they buy his addition to the 40-man roster. Trevor Clifton is nowhere to be found, even though he handled the Pacific Coast League fairly well his first time around.

Brailyn Marquez is seventh. The lefty teen from the Dominican chucks it in the upper 90s. I’m good with a 7 placement, but anything else seems a bit bizarre. That said, everyone can define (or not define) prospect as they’d like to.

Zack Short slides in at nine. A third-day choice from Sacred Heart, he’s hit every step of the way. The cool thing about hitters is “hits every step of the way” is often accepted without “But, what’s his velocity?” Between Short and Trent Giambrone (22nd round from Delta State) the Cubs are MacGyvering some middle infield depth from schools you’d possibly never heard of six years ago.

Richard Gallardo sits at ten, though he’s never pitched in a pro game with a box score. I’m good with him here, though it is awfully aggressive. The paragraph the Fangraphs folks went with probably serves most of you better than the article I’d started on him, so I can recycle that, now. He’s never pitched in a game as a pro. Anything could go wrong. Oddly, his FV is a 55 on his FB. He’s 17, so I don’t know how we know what his future is.

Reivaj Garcia (Javier backward. I have no idea how he wants it pronounced. He’s never played in a game with an audio stream.) is one of the Kiddie Corps. He’s about the last from the Cubs Mexican Excavation Project, which the league defanged earlier in 2018. Garcia is a bat-first infielder. Bring it.

Brendon Little is 13th. He was a recent high pick. I hope he does well, though I haven’t seen much reason for optimism.

Alec Mills is 17th. I’m never sure where to put a guy who might start league games in April or May, while guys earlier on the list haven’t pitched in full-season ball. Which is why I’m not into doing my own lists anymore.

Dakota Mekkes is 25th. As well as being a tag-along to Mills at 17 as a reliever, here’s hoping his class schedule is going well in East Lansing. His choice to finish his schooling was a large part of why he wasn’t considered for a late-season call-up. For some school matters.

Benjamin Rodriguez pops in at 30, so now people will care about him. He was pitching all summer in Boca Chica, and nobody cared. Every six days, or so. The velo number might be a bit under-inflated. His curve might be swing-and-miss, eventually.

Kohl Franklin pegged at 31. He comes from an athletic family. Ryan Franklin is one of them. He seems (from Twitter) confident, but not arrogant. Hopefully, he gets innings in Eugene in June.

Any pipeline that goes 31 deep and ignores Paul Richan (who might proficiency out of going to South Bend), Matt Swarmer, and Michael Rucker hints at some pitching depth. Indy-Baller Ryan Lawlor gets included, as well.

Joel Machado and Jose Lopez hit the mentions. They figure to be in the Dominican League in 2019. I’ll track them, as tracked Rodriguez. No audio, but there you go.

You have questions. I might be able to answer a few of them.