Last week, Baseball America released its top 100 prospect list that included this year‘s draft class and featured three Cubs prospects. Late Tuesday night, MLB Pipeline updated their own top 100 list to accommodate recent picks. The Cubs had four top 100 prospects in the first iteration, but that has fallen to three and should be down to two very shortly
Nico Hoerner (51), Brailyn Marquez (68), Brennan Davis (78), and Miguel Amaya (95) all appeared in the bottom half of Pipeline’s top 100 in January. At the time, the list was a good sign for an organization that has worked to rebuild its depth after being decimated by promotions and trades.
This new list, however, is a bit of a disappointment. Top Cubs draft pick Ed Howard IV was the 13 draft picks added, but those who did make it ended up bumping Amaya from the rankings. As soon as Hoerner gets to 130 MLB at-bats, he will lose his prospect status and be gone as well. The Cubs will have a new No. 1 prospect in a week, but not necessarily because anyone stepped up and proved themselves.
While the order of the Cubs did not change, each of their players slipped a bit. Hoerner dropped down to 56, Marquez fell to 76, and Davis also slipped eight spots to 86. If there’s a bright spot in all of this, it’s that it might be the most temporary list in the history of MLB Pipeline.
Most of the top 50-60 names in the top 100 are actually on their respective clubs’ 30-man rosters and will lose their prospect status just as quickly as Hoerner. In a month’s time, Amaya and Howard could make their way onto the list as guys like Royce Lewis, Luis Robert, and Jo Adell accrue service time.
As for the Cubs’ own Top 30 list, not much has changed since March. Howard (5) leads three draft picks who’ve been added. That goes to show the high talent level of the young man many believe was the top shortstop in the draft.
“There’s no doubt that Howard will be able to remain at shortstop,” Pipeline stated. “He’s a smooth defender with athletic actions, quick hands and a strong arm capable of making throws from a variety of angles. He has a high baseball IQ and the ability to slow the game down on both sides of the ball.”
Second round pick Burl Carraway came in at No. 11 and we could see him in Chicago very soon, considering the issues the Cubs’ bullpen is currently having. Basically a two-pitch reliever, Carraway could hang at the MLB level according to Pipeline due to “high spin rates and…good extension in his high three-quarters delivery.“
Outfielder Jordan Nwogu, their third-round pick, was pegged at No. 21. Pipeline was profuse in their praise of the Michigan product’s “prodigious strength” and “ability to crush fastballs out of any part of any ballpark.” The only issue with Nwogu is the Cubs will have to rework his swing a bit to make his power more consistent.
With additions come subtractions, specifically with outfielder Nelson Velazquez, first baseman Aflonso Rivas, and former first round pick Brendon Little falling off the board. One of those three should bounce back on once Hoerner is eliminated.
There will of course be more changes by at least next January, when the Cubs are finally able to sign shortstop Cristian Hernandez on the second day of the new year. For now, just take this all with a grain of salt and chalk it up to another wrinkle in the weird season that doesn’t include minor league ball.