Baseball America has been my favorite publication since I discovered the magazine in the late 1990’s upon my return to baseball fandom. I became fascinated with Cubs prospects like Corey Patterson, Hee Seop Choi, Juan Cruz, and Ryan Gripp.
Later, I became enthralled by Baseball America’s MLB Draft coverage. Anyone else listen to MLB.com live streaming the draft in the early 2000’s?
All of the top publications have released their top 10 team prospect lists, and Baseball America and MLB Pipeline have announced their Top 100 prospects. Here’s a look at the Cubs top ten list, and below you will find the Baseball America Cubs prospect podcast, as well as two questions I had answered during their Cubs chat.
1) NICO HOERNER
Hoerner, a shortstop, was the Cubs first round draft pick in 2018 (24th overall) out of Stanford University. He played just 14 games after signing (between Mesa, Eugene, and South Bend). Hoerner was a standout in the Arizona Fall League with a slash line of .337/.362/.506 with four doubles, four triples, one home run and 11 RBI in 21 games.
2) MIGUEL AMAYA
The top prospect in the organization for 2019 has not been unanimous among various publications. Amaya and Hoerner have been battling it out for the top spot. Amaya, a catcher, turned 19 just ahead of the 2018 season in which he played 116 games in the Midwest League at South Bend slashing .246/.327/.365 with 12 home runs.
3) BRAILYN MARQUEZ
Marquez will turn 20 in two days (January 30). The 6-foot-4 pitcher from Dominican Republic started 12 games between Eugene and South Bend in 2018. He posted a 1-4 record with a 3.13 ERA and a 59K/16BB rate in 54.2 innings pitched.
4) COLE ROEDERER
The second 2018 draft pick so far. Roederer was selected as a compensatory pick in the second round (77th overall) out of William S. Hart High School in Santa Clarita, California. After signing, Roederer spent the 2018 season in Mesa with the AZL Cubs posting a .275/.354/.465 slash line.
5) BRENNEN DAVIS
Another high 2018 Cubs draft pick, Davis was selected in the second round (62nd overall) out of Basha High School in Gilbert, Arizona. The outfielder played in 18 games for the AZL Cubs slashing .298/.431/.333. The speedster also stole six bases in seven attempts.
6) ADBERT ALZOLAY
Alzolay’s progress was stifled by injury in 2018 otherwise he may have spent some time with the Chicago Cubs last season. The 6-foot-0 Venezuelan pitcher appeared in just eight games a year ago with the Iowa Cubs. Alzolay had a 4.76 ERA with 27K/13BB.
7) PAUL RICHAN
The Cubs held three second round draft picks including a couple compensatory picks. Richan was taken with the 78th overall selection, one pick behind fellow Cubs prospect Roederer. Richan pitched in 10 games for the Eugene Emeralds late last year posting a K/BB ratio of 31/5.
8) CORY ABBOTT
The fourth pitcher on the list to this point, Abbott has been in the Cubs system since he was drafted in the second round of the 2017 draft. A year ago Abbott pitched for the South Bend Cubs and Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Between the two stops, he went 8-6 with a 2.50 ERA and 131 strikeouts and 39 walks in 115 innings.
9) JUSTIN STEELE
A veteran of the group, Justin Steele was drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. Steele was sidetracked in 2017 and undwerent Tommy John surgery. He returned toward the end of last season and started 11 games at Mesa, Myrtle Beach, and Tennessee. The lefthander should see some mound time in Chicago in 2019.
10) ARAMIS ADEMAN
Ademan, a shortstop from Dominican Republic, was a bonus baby out of the 2015 international free agency class. He signed for two million dollars and Baseball America had ranked him as the 12th best prospect in his class. The number one international prospect? Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Ademan was 19-years old for much of the 2018 season he played at Myrtle Beach slashing .207/.291/.273 with 11 doubles and three home runs.
BASEBALL AMERICA CUBS PROSPECT PODCAST
Baseball America also has an online chat the day the publication releases each team’s prospect list. This spring they will announce a list of each team’s top 30 prospects. I was curious if 2018 draft pick Ethan Roberts was under consideration for that list.