Cubs Top-15 Prospects of 2012
1. Brett Jackson | CF | Age – 23 | Grade – B
2. Javier Baez | 3b/SS | Age – 19 | Grade – B-
3. Welington Castillo | C | Age – 25 | Grade – B-
4. Matt Szczur | OF | Age – 22 | Grade – B-
5. Dillon Maples | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – B-/C+
6. Ronald Torreyes | 2b | Age – 19 | Grade – B-/C+
7. Trey McNutt | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B-/C+
8. Josh Vitters | 3b | Age – 22 | Grade – C+
9. Dan Vogelbach | 1b | Age – 19 | Grade – C+
10. Marco Hernandez | SS | Age – 19 | Grade – C+
11. Junior Lake | INF | Age – 22 | Grade – C+
12. Jeimer Candelario | 3b | Age – 18 | Grade – C+
13. Tony Zych | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – C+
14. Zeke DeVoss | 2b/CF | Age – 21 | Grade – C+
15. Dae-Eun Rhee | LHP | Age – 23 | Grade – C+
› Prospect Primer (Grading Criteria Explained)
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› Index of 2012 Top Prospect Lists
› Index of Last Year’s Top Prospect Lists
› Cubs Team Page
› 2011 Cubs Top Prospects
- Grades are based on a prospect’s projected value over the course of his career and how likely it is that prospect will fulfill his projected value. Various factors are accounted for including upside, red flags, actual performance, and closeness to the majors. See the 2012 Top Prospect List Primer for more information as it relates to prospect grading and philosophy. Grades can be subject to change.
- Hitters must have 100 or fewer Major League ABs.
- Starting pitchers must have 50 or fewer Major League innings.
- Relief pitchers must have 25 or fewer Major League innings.
Prospect Quick Takes
- 1. Brett Jackson | CF | Age – 23 | Grade – B … See his full report below. Click here to see Jackson go head-to-head against Dodger prospect Chris Withrow.
- 2. Javier Baez | 3b/SS | Age – 19 | Grade – B- … Talented but raw. Will take time to develop.
- 3. Welington Castillo | C | Age – 25 | Grade – B- … He’s got power and he’s solid behind the plate as well. He’s also blocked by Geovany Soto at the moment.
- 4. Matt Szczur | OF | Age – 22 | Grade – B- … High contact center fielder is very athletic, but I’d like to see more walks.
- 5. Dillon Maples | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – B-/C+ … Young pitcher has good stuff, but questionable control/command and consistency.
- 6. Ronald Torreyes | 2b | Age – 19 | Grade – B-/C+ … See his full report on Page 2
- 7. Trey McNutt | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B-/C+ … A very down season for McNutt. Looking more like a reliever.
- 8. Josh Vitters | 3b | Age – 22 | Grade – C+ … Plate discipline is still a question mark for Vitters. Contact rate showed improvement. Click here to see Vitters go head-to-head against Diamondbacks top prospect Tyler Skaggs.
- 9. Dan Vogelbach | 1b | Age – 19 | Grade – C+ … He’s massive, but he can hit. Has a good chance to move up in next year’s list.
- 10. Marco Hernandez | SS | Age – 19 | Grade – C+ … An intriguing player with good tools across the board. He’s also a true shortstop that won’t have to move off the position.
- 11. Junior Lake | INF | Age – 22 | Grade – C+ … Development took a good step last year, but his pitch recognition is still a problem.
- 12. Jeimer Candelario | 3b | Age – 18 | Grade – C+ … Hasn’t even made it out of the Dominican Summer League, but his play had scouts buzzing.
- 13. Tony Zych | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – C+ … Great value pick in the 4th round. Mid-90s fastball with a nice slider. Could move quickly as a reliever.
- 14. Zeke DeVoss | 2b/CF | Age – 21 | Grade – C+ … 2011 draft pick gets on base at a high rate.
- 15. Dae-Eun Rhee | LHP | Age – 23 | Grade – C+ … Seems to be fully recovered from his Tommy John surgery a couple years back. Got stronger as each month passed.
- 16. Reggie Golden | RF | Age – 20 | Grade – C+ … Has power potential, and he even walked in greater than 10% of his at bats, but can he make contact at a high enough rate?
- 17. Ben Wells | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – C+ … Throws strikes and has a solid three-pitch mix. Needs to miss more bats.
- 18. Rafael Dolis | RHP | Age – 24 | Grade – C+ … Reliever has good stuff, but inconsistent results.
- 19. Aaron Kurcz | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – C+ … Potential middle reliever.
- 20. Jeff Beliveau | LHP | Age – 25 | Grade – C+/C … Another potential middle reliever…has done nothing but miss bats in his pro career.
- 21. Chris Rusin | LHP | Age – 25 | Grade – C+/C … Finesse lefty could be a long reliever, or even a 5th starter if things break right for him.
- HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order) – Jay Jackson (RHP) | Marquez Smith (3b) | Austin Kirk (LHP) | Brooks Raley (LHP) | Matt Spencer (OF) | Mike Burgess (RF) | Casey Weathers (RHP) | Robinson Lopez (RHP) | Larry Suarez (RHP) | Logan Watkins (2b) | Abner Abreu (RF) | Enrique Acosta (SS) | Jeff Antigua (LHP) | Daniel Lockhart (SS) | Pin-Chieh Chen (CF) | Steve Clevenger (C) | Zach Rosscup (LHP) | Hunter Ackerman (LHP) | Neftali Rosario (C) | James Pugliese (RHP) | Trey Martin (OF) | Chris Carpenter (RHP) | Pierre LePage (2b) | Ryan Hartman (RHP) | Ricardo Marcano (3b) | Graham Hicks (LHP) | Yao-Lin Wang (RHP) | Arismendy Alcantara (SS/2b) | Garrett Schlecht (OF) | Trevor Gretzky (1b) | Alvido Jimenez (RHP) | Sergio Burruel (C) | Ryan Searle (RHP) | Neftali Rosario (C) | Frank Batista (RHP) | Hayden Simpson (RHP) | Oliver Zapata (C) | Shawon Dunston Jr. (OF) | Gioskar Amaya (SS) | Willengton Cruz (LHP) | Brian Smith (LHP) | John Adreoli (OF) | Marck Malave (C) | Tayler Scott (RHP) | Zach Cates (RHP)
- *Anthony Rizzo, Tony Campana, Darwin Barney, Dave Sappelt, and Scott Maine are no longer considered prospects based on the criteria set forth for these lists. This list was put together before the signing of Cuban pitcher Gerardo Concepcion.
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Contact – 45 Now | 55/50 Future
Power – 50 | 55
Discipline – 50 | 55
Speed – 55 | 55
Defense – 55 | 55
Arm – 55/50 | 55/50
Instincts – 55 | 60
ETA – Early 2012
Final Grade – B
Last Year’s Team Ranking – No. 1
Last Year’s Top-100 Ranking – No. 46
Last Year’s Grade – B/B+
Body Type – Solid, muscular build.
Click here to see Jackson go head-to-head against Dodger prospect Chris Withrow.
Brett Jackson has been the same, consistent player he’s been since he entered pro ball. He does everything well, except make contact, but of the things he does well he does nothing great.
Jackson is an above average athlete with better than average power. He has good bat speed thanks to a loose swing in which he whips his bat from its original position and then back. This loading of the hands adds a little length Jackson’s swing, but it enables him to make hard contact.
Jackson will swing through his fair share of pitches, but overall he’s a disciplined hitter at the plate. Sometimes he gets a little too picky with his pitches, but he has solid strike zone judgement and even though he’s not likely to hit for a high average, he’s going to get on base at a good clip. I’d like to see him go the other way more often as he tends to get pull happy at times.
Jackson has above average speed and it plays up thanks to his solid instincts on the base paths. He’s also a capable center fielder with a solid, accurate arm. He can play all three outfield positions.
Jackson should make his Major League debut at some point next year.
Best Case Outcome – Above average everyday center fielder. He’s a potential 20 home run, 20 steal kind of player.
More Likely Outcome – Average everyday center fielder.
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