Dynasty: Chicago Cubs’ 2020 Preseason Top 50 Prospects

Andy Patton ranks the Top 50 prospects in the Chicago Cubs farm system for dynasty formats.

The Chicago Cubs very clearly do not want to wait another 108 years to win a World Series. That has resulted in dealing a ton of elite prospect capital in recent years. Their aggressive moves since 2016 have yet to yield another championship, however, and have instead decimated a farm system that might be among the worst in the league, from a dynasty and overall talent perspective.

Chicago is doing their best to peruse the international market, and if they hit on a handful of young, promising kids from Latin America they could turn things around in a hurry — although not as quick as a potential Kris Bryant trade, which would replenish the top ten in Chicago’s system.

Here’s a look at their top 50 prospects, including when they are expected to debut and how you should value them in deep dynasty formats, as well as shallower leagues and for some of them, redraft and NL-only formats.

Note: These Top 50 lists are all done through a fantasy baseball-focused lens. Many players who are ranked higher or lower on other platforms will get a boost here. For example, players who profile as middle relievers or glove-first infielders likely won’t have much fantasy relevance, so they won’t be ranked as highly. 

 

1. SS Nico Hoerner

 

Age: 22

Highest level: MLB

Hoerner flashed some promise in his first taste of the big leagues, as the young shortstop managed a .282/.305/.436 slash line with three home runs in 82 plate appearances. The three home runs and .154 ISO were nice, but Hoerner will need to show he can sustain that kind of power over a full season to reach his potential as a top-tier fantasy middle infielder.

A move off shortstop is a possibility as well, although he would still hold a lot of value at second base if he ends up there long term, especially after drawing Ian Kinsler comparisons in the past. Hoerner is a very solid dynasty asset and one who will contribute in the big leagues in 2020.

ETA: 2020

 

2. C Miguel Amaya

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A+

Catcher is such a tricky position in dynasty formats, but any owner who ends up with Miguel Amaya should be happy. The 20-year-old has been aggressively promoted through Chicago’s system, and he has displayed excellent plate discipline and raw power at every stop of the way.

Last year’s 13.2% walk rate and 16.8% strikeout rate at High-A were elite, and he has all the tools to be an above-average hitter behind the dish, making him an attractive dynasty asset and one should should fall within the top 100.

ETA: Late 2021

 

3. OF Brennen Davis

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A

Chicago’s 2018 second-round pick, Davis scorched the ball at Single-A last year, slashing .305/.381/.525 with eight home runs in just 50 games played. He’s young and only committed full-time to baseball recently, giving him extremely tantalizing potential — especially if he grows into his 6-foot-4, 175 pound frame.

Injuries are slightly a concern here, and while scouts believe he will stick in center it’s possible added muscle will slow him down and move him to the corner — but if power comes with that, he should be just fine.

ETA: 2022

 

4. OF Cole Roederer

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A

Roederer went shortly after Davis in the 2018 draft, and he comes in just behind him here. Similar to Davis, Roederer has the tools to be a power/speed combo center fielder, albeit with more strikeout concerns and a greater likelihood he ends up in left field long-term.

However, the comparisons to Andrew Benintendi are there for a reason, and his nine home runs and 16 stolen bases in 108 games at Single-A last year prove that the tools are very prevalent, even though a .224 average and 25% strikeout rate soured his performance a bit.

Roederer is still a very solid outfield prospect, and one who should be targeted in most dynasty formats.

ETA: 2022

 

5. LHP Brailyn Marquez

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A+

There’s little debate that Marquez has passed Adbert Alzolay as the team’s best pitching prospect, and he is among the best left-handed pitching prospects in the game.

Marquez’s fastball has steadily climbed into the mid-90s, and he’s reached back for 99 at times as well. With his plus fastball comes generally strong command, although he did struggle to a 5.00 BB/9 in 77 innings at Single-A last year.

The concern is the secondaries, which have flashed plus in the past — particularly his power curve — but none have developed into bona fide offerings at this point. He’s still just 20, so no need to panic yet, but I see enough relief threat here to be somewhat concerned.

Still, there aren’t many starters who have top of the rotation potential out there, which keeps him among the organization’s top 5 prospects for now.

ETA: 2022

 

6. 3B Christopher Morel

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A

Morel was signed a few months after he turned 16, way back in 2015, so while it feels like he has been around for a while, he is still just 20 years old. Injuries have slowed his development considerably, but I liked what I saw from the third baseman in 2019 at Single-A.

Morel hit .284/.320/.467 with six home runs and nine steals in 73 games played, showing off the tools that tantalized Chicago a half-decade ago when they signed him. His 4.0% walk rate and 21.6% strikeout rate are concerns, but most scouts believe he’ll only add power to his slight frame, which gives him 25/15 potential. If that’s the case, a few strikeouts here and there won’t hurt his dynasty stock too much.

ETA: 2022

 

7. C Ronnier Quintero

 

Age: 17

Highest Level: N/A

This Cubs system is not particularly deep, which is how a 17-year-old with no professional experience and little fanfare can sneak into the top 10. It’s also because the Cubs dropped $2.9M to sign Quintero, the highest they’ve ever given an international prospect — $100K more than they spent on Eloy Jimenez

Quintero is a bat-first catching prospect with tremendous raw power from the left side, and enough ability to muscle balls out of the yard to the opposite field.

Whether he can stick behind the plate is another question entirely, but .270 with 20 home runs annually is a realistic projection for him, and if he’s doing that from behind the plate he will be a fantasy stud.

High risk, high reward is the name of the game here, but he’s worth keeping an eye on.

ETA: 2023

 

8. 2B Chase Strumpf

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: A

The Cubs’ 2019 second-round pick out of UCLA, Strumpf has drawn the same Ian Kinsler comparisons that have tailed Chicago’s top prospect, Nico Hoerner. After a slightly down 2019 season with the Bruins, Strumpf fell to the second round and had a quiet professional debut, slashing .244/.374/.400 with three home runs and two steals in 39 games across three levels.

Still, a compact swing from the right side should produce double-digit home runs annually, and a reputation for strong plate discipline could make him a nice OBP machine with plus power from the keystone. Steals probably won’t be a big part of his game, limiting his value somewhat, but the potential to be an above-average regular at the keystone places him among Chicago’s top prospects.

2020 will be a big year for him, and he could find himself rocketing up prospect lists with a strong campaign.

ETA: Late 2021

 

9. RHP Adbert Alzolay

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: MLB

Perhaps I’m judging Alzolay too harshly on his ugly 2019 MLB debut, which saw the electric right-hander give up 10 earned runs, including four home runs, in just 12.1 innings, but I have some concerns.

For starters, Alzolay has really only been good in one minor league season, back in 2017, and otherwise his numbers have been rather pedestrian — at least as a starter. He had a nice year in 2015 in short-season ball, although he was primarily coming out of the bullpen — which brings me to my second point.

Alzolay has an electric fastball and a plus curveball, and while his changeup showed some promise in his big league cameo, I’m not sure it has enough consistency to give him a true third pitch, making him a bullpen risk. He’d be a lights-out reliever, which has some fantasy value, but a starter with only two pitches and a really high fly ball rate scares me, enough to knock him down a few spots on this list and to steer clear of him in most shallower dynasty formats.

ETA: 2020

 

10. 2B/SS Zack Short

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: AAA

Short had a forgettable 2019 season, only appearing in 63 games and slashing .235/.363/.404 with six home runs and two steals. A longtime member of Carson Cistulli’s Fringe Five prospect lists, Short was a 17th-rounder who has shown excellent plate discipline and surprising power from the right side, a combo that made him an intriguing dynasty deep league target.

He still possesses those traits, and a 2020 big league debut seems almost certain. Whether he reaches the Zack Cozart comps he received earlier in his career remains to be seen, but worst case scenario is an above-average hitting utility middle infielder, and he still remains a solid gamble in those deeper formats.

ETA: 2020

 

11. RHP Ryan Jensen

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A-

Jensen caught fire down the stretch in his final college season with Fresno State, helping buoy him into the late first round, where Chicago snagged him at No. 27 overall. However, he still did have a 5.84 ERA in his first two collegiate seasons, and there is definitely some relief risk here.

Jensen possesses an elite, 70-grade fastball that sits in the mid-90s and reaches 98 with late life, but his slider only recently showed any promise, and his changeup is virtually non-existent.

If Jansen puts it all together, he has as much potential as any pitcher in this system, and could easily reach his potential as a mid-rotation starter with plus strikeout stuff. However, I also see a reality where he’s a 7th or 8th inning reliever, touching triple digits with the fastball and relying on the improved slider. That makes him a risky projection in dynasty formats.

ETA: 2022

 

12. SS Aramis Ademan

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: A+

Ademan’s numbers have yet to reflect the scouting reports, which makes the undersized 21-year-old a bit of an enigma at this point. He hit just .221 last year at High-A, but with a nice 11.4 percent walk rate and 16 stolen bases.

Power has never been a part of his game, although if he adds muscle to his 160 pound frame, his quick, compact swing from the left side could result in 8-10 round trippers annually, and his speed gives him 20 stolen base potential.

I can’t rank him higher until we actually see some results in the minor leagues, but there’s still potential for him to be a big league regular, and that is enough for him to get decent billing in this system.

ETA: 2022

 

13. RHP Cory Abbott

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: AA

Abbott was a slightly above average college arm at LMU before he started experimenting with a cutter, which lead to an incredible junior season that included a 43 inning scoreless streak and a perfect game.

He has parlayed that success into a promising start to his minor league career, which included being named Chicago’s minor league pitcher of the year in 2019 after making 26 starts at AA and posting a 3.01 ERA (3.51 FIP) along with a 1.12 WHIP and a 27.8 percent strikeout rate.

Abbott’s secondary stuff looks average at best, however, which limits his value to a back end of the rotation starter or potentially a reliever. I wouldn’t count him out just yet though, as he has demonstrated the ability to learn new pitches, and his command and deception are good enough for him to succeed in the rotation.

ETA: Late 2020

 

14. C Ethan Hearn

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: R

In case this wasn’t already clear, the Cubs don’t have a great farm system. I don’t see a ton of players who seem like surefire bets to be in the starting nine or the rotation, so I’d rather gamble on players who are much higher risk, higher reward than the bevy of middle relievers and utility infielders that make up this list.

Enter Ethan Hearn. Hearn was a sixth round pick who was expected to go in the second or third round, and got paid like it. He’s a high school catching prospect — about as risky as you can get — but he’s shown excellent raw power to his pull side, and could easily challenge for 30 home runs annually.

Whether he can stick behind the plate is not clear, and he struck out a whopping 36 times in 80 professional at-bats last year, so there’s a ton of risk here. But, in terms of upside, he’s worth a gamble for those of you feeling lucky.

ETA: 2023

 

15. OF Yohendrick Pinango

 

Age: 17

Highest Level: R

Perhaps I’m putting too much stock into 274 plate appearances at rookie ball, but what Pinango, a 17-year-old outfielder, did at that level is impressive. He slashed an excellent .358/.427/.442 with a 9.9% walk rate, a 7.3% (!) strikeout rate and 27 stolen bases.

Pinango showed no power (zero home runs), although his 20 doubles are notable. At this point, pure upside is worth chasing in deeper dynasty formats, and Pinango is a name worth following in 2020.

ETA: 2022

 

16. RHP Kohl Franklin

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A

Franklin is a projectable right-hander who stands 6-foot-4 and has seen his fastball velocity steadily rise since coming to Chicago in the sixth round of the 2018 draft.

Through just 42 professional innings, Franklin has a 2.36 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and a 52/19 K/BB ratio. His secondaries — particularly his breaking pitches — need some work, so there’s bullpen risk, but things are looking good for Franklin so far.

ETA: 2023

 

17. 2B/3B/OF Robel Garcia

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: MLB

Garcia is one of the most fun stories in all of baseball, having spent three seasons playing in Italy before homering off Hunter Greene in instructional league play and signing with the Cubs last offseason. He crushed the ball in the minor leagues last year, hitting .284 with 27 home runs between AA and AAA, before making his big league debut and hitting five round-trippers in 31 games.

Garcia has massive strikeout issues, which almost certainly won’t go away, and his lack of adjustment to breaking pitches probably makes him more like Jabari Blash than Joey Gallo.

However, the power potential as a utility infielder makes him intriguing in deeper dynasty leagues and potentially NL-only formats if he carves out a role coming off the bench.

ETA: 2020

 

18. OF Nelson Velazquez

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: A

Velazquez is a bit like Ademan in the sense that his production on the field has yet to match the scouting reports, making him harder to pin down. Velazquez has been labeled as the strongest player in the system, with elite raw power and bat speed along with above-average speed, but last year’s six home runs, five steals and 26% strikeout rate were disappointing.

He’s still got plenty of potential, however, and while strikeouts will likely always be an issue, he could top out as a 25/10 type guy if he gets regular playing time in the outfield in a few years.

ETA: 2022

 

19. SS Rafael Morel

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: R

Morel is an 18-year-old shortstop prospect who looked very solid in rookie ball last season, slashing .283/.373/.448 with four home runs and 23 steals in 60 games, with excellent plate discipline numbers to boot.

In a system full of young international players, Morel is among the most intriguing of the group. If the power continues to develop, he could have 20/20 potential, although he’s still a long ways away from the big leagues.

ETA: 2024

 

20. SS Kevin Made

 

Age: 17

Highest Level: R

A 17-year-old shortstop prospect with virtually no video, who scouts have really only ever talked about because of his excellent glove work? Sign me up!

In all seriousness, Made is already being touted as a potential plus fielder at short, and his uppercut swing shows potential for him to be a power hitter. He’s a long, long ways away from being relevant in most fantasy formats, but in your super deep dynasty league, he might be worth stashing and seeing what happens.

ETA: 2025

 

21. RHP Tyson Miller

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: AAA

Tyson Miller is a rather boring, run-of-the-mill fifth starter prospect who finally saw some success in the minor leagues after abandoning his two-seamer for a harder four-seamer with a high spin rate.

His secondaries are roughly average, with a standout changeup, and he had a lot of success in High-A and Double-A the last two years before faltering in AAA last season. I could see him alternating between long relief and spot starting duty, or he could settle into middle relief with his fastball/changeup combo.

ETA: 2020

 

22. 2B/SS Pedro Martinez

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: A-

Martinez is a speedy switch-hitter who is capable of playing every position on the infield, which makes him a classically valuable utility infielder type. He was one of the youngest players in the Northwest League last season and held his own, slashing .265/.357/.347 with 11 steals and a 108 wRC+.

Power will probably never be a part of his game, which caps his value, but a versatile infielder who can swing from both sides of the plate is an ideal bench bat in the NL, and should lend itself to a lengthy MLB career once he makes it in a few years.

ETA: 2023

 

23. LHP Justin Steele

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: AA

Steele may have slightly more potential than some of the other pitchers ahead of him on this list, but I dropped him a bit because command issues and a lack of a third pitch (his changeup hasn’t really developed) has me thinking he could be a middle reliever/LOOGY type, which would all but eliminate his potential fantasy value.

However, his lively fastball and curveball make a nice combo, and if he does find that change, he could be a mid-rotation starter. He should get his first taste of big league action in 2020.

ETA: Late 2020

 

24. C Brayan Altuve

 

Age: 16

Highest Level: N/A

If you’ve read my other Top 50 lists, you know I’m more likely to gamble on super young hitting prospects than I am on some of the more boring pitchers out there. I couldn’t quite get Altuve above guys like Steele and Miller, but I’m more than comfortable slotting him in here, even as a 16-year-old with no professional experience and very little tape.

What we do know is he has a line drive approach that should mature into decent power as he grows, and he has plus speed for a catcher. If he can handle the position going forward, which scouts seem confident he can, he could be a very nice dynasty asset. In really deep, long-term leagues, he’s worth a dart throw.

ETA: 2025

 

25. 1B Alfonso Rivas

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: AAA

Rivas is an undersized first base prospect without a ton of power, who the Cubs acquired from the A’s for Tony KempRivas can straight swing it though, with a .283/.383/.408 slash at High-A and a .406 average in eight games at Triple-A last season.

He’ll need more power to become anything other than a platoon 1B/OF bat, but his hit tool is good enough to consider him in deeper formats.

ETA: 2021

 

26. RHP Riley Thompson

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: A

Thompson is higher on most other, more traditional lists, but his serious injury history (Tommy John out of high school, shoulder issues in college) have me worried, and his pitch mix screams future reliever to me.

Thompson hits triple digits with his fastball and lives in the mid-90s with a power curve and a developing changeup, along with below-average command. If (and it’s a big if) he finds the changeup and the command, and stays healthy, he’s a No. 2/3 starter.

More likely, he gets shifted to the pen where the heater and the power curve play up and potentially lock him into a late-inning role. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that shift happen sooner rather than later, and he might be in the bigs within a year.

ETA: 2021

 

27. UTIL Trent Giambrone

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: AAA

Giambrone is an interesting case. A 25th-round pick back in 2016, he has posted loud power/speed numbers in the minor leagues, complete with 23 home runs and 17 stolen bases in AAA last year, and 17 home runs and 26 stolen bases the previous year in AA.

That is clearly tantalizing for dynasty purposes, but Giambrone’s hit tool is pretty meh (.241 last year, .251 in AA) and his 27.4% strikeout rate in AAA last year is definitely a concern.

He’s played just about everywhere around the diamond, and is almost certainly going to settle into a utility/bench role, but the power/speed makes him somewhat appealing in dynasty formats — even if the strikeouts pile up. Hard to imagine he won’t debut in 2020.

ETA: 2020

 

28. RHP Yovanny Cruz

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A-

Cruz is another Chicago prospect whose results have yet to match up with his scouting reports, and I’m far warier about that combination with pitchers than I am with hitters.

Scouts believe Cruz has the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter and a relatively high floor, thanks to strong command of his three-pitch mix and an easy, repeatable delivery. However, last year Cruz posted a 6.46 ERA in 23.2 innings, while walking 19 (!). He was dealing with tendinitis, so he deserves a little slack, but I’m hesitant to rank him higher than this until I see a healthy season with better command.

If that happens, he’s up in the top 20.

ETA: 2022

29. SS/3B Fabian Pertuz

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: R

Pertuz was labeled by Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen as “a little sleepery” after he hit .298 with 36 steals in 2018 with Chicago’s rookie affiliate. He followed that up by hitting .340/.371/.463 with two home runs and seven steals in 40 games in 2019.

He doesn’t have much power, and he doesn’t draw any walks, but he’s a little interesting thanks to the speed and high average.

ETA: 2024

 

30. RHP Chris Clarke

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A-

Clarke was Chicago’s fourth round pick in 2019 out of USC, where he served as the Trojans’ closer. Although Chicago had him start while in short season ball last season, it’s still likely he ends up a strict relief prospect.

His 6-foot-7, 212 pound frame and 70-grade curveball make him a potential late-inning star, and it’s always possible the Cubs try to develop a third pitch and stretch him out, making him a big question mark, but one worth taking a chance on in deep dynasty leagues.

ETA: 2022

31. RHP Richard Gallardo

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: A-

Gallardo is an 18-year-old international signing who has already flashed polish and power, and the Cubs believe he has the makeup and tools to be a big league starter. He doesn’t possess much strikeout potential, however, which limits his appeal in dynasty formats.

ETA: 2024

 

32. RHP Michael McAvene

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A-

McAvene was Chicago’s third-round pick in 2019, and he looked great down the stretch in short-season ball, posting a 1.42 ERA and a 20/4 K/BB ratio in 12.2 innings. His live fastball reaches 99 mph at times, with a potential 70 grade from Fangraphs, and his slurvey breaking ball has the potential to be plus as well.

He’s down here because command issues and a complete lack of a third pitch have me expecting a bullpen future for McAvene, which limits his value. He’s one to keep an eye on, though.

ETA: 2023

 

33. 2B/SS Flemin Bautista

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: R

Bautista hit .289/.399/.533 with six home runs, 10 steals and a 153 wRC+ as a 19-year-old in rookie ball last year. He posted an excellent walk rate, but will almost certainly need to add muscle if he wants to make it as a utility infielder type in the big leagues.

ETA: 2024

 

34. OF Ezequiel Pagan

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: R

Pagan was a 13th-rounder in 2018, but the Cubs paid him enough to lure him out of high school, and he swiped 18 bases in 41 games at rookie ball with a respectable .287/.356/.339 slash line. He has no power to speak of, but he’s not a terrible speed-only dart throw in dynasty.

ETA: 2024

 

35. LHP Brendon Little

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: A+

Little was Chicago’s first-round pick in 2017, but with limited college experience, he has been slow to develop at the professional levels. The Cubs like his three-pitch mix, but with a low-90s fastball and good-but-not-great stuff, Little will likely never be a strikeout artist and could be headed to a future in the middle innings.

ETA: 2022

 

36. 2B/SS/3B Nestor Heredia

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: R

Another teenage infielder with intriguing rookie ball numbers, Heredia slashed .313/.385/.444 with three home runs and 14 steals last season. His numbers were particularly terrible in 2018, however, so I’m wary it was more than an aberration. He could be a speed-first utility infielder if everything clicks.

ETA: 2025

 

 

37. RHP Erich Uelmen

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: AA

The Cubs are set on keeping Uelmen, a big right-hander with an excellent two-seam fastball, as a starter. He made 17 starts last year across two levels, but the results were sub-par thanks in part to his over-reliance on one pitch.

With fringe secondaries, Uelman will likely find more success as a middle reliever, which gives him a decent floor as a prospect but limited value as a dynasty asset.

ETA: 2021

38. OF Fernando Kelli

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: A-

I’m not sure Kelli will ever hit enough to even reach the big leagues, with a .298 OBP last year and a .308 OBP the year before that, both in short-season ball, but he has blazing speed that has resulted in 133 stolen bases in just 134 minor league games — a pace not even Rickey Henderson could keep.

It won’t matter if he can’t hit, but that’s hard to ignore in deep dynasty leagues.

ETA: 2023

 

39. RHP Trevor Megill

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: AAA

Megill was Chicago’s Rule 5 pick this offseason, and he seems likely to settle into a role in the bullpen as a middle reliever. Most relief prospects are only dynasty relevant if they have closer potential, and while Megill probably needs a more effective out pitch against lefties to reach that potential, he has posted very good strikeout rates in the minors, which makes him more appealing than most other relievers.

Keep an eye on him in dynasty leagues and NL-only formats, particularly those that count holds.

ETA: 2020

 

40. SS Andy Weber

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A

A fifth-rounder in 2018, Weber hit .275/.338/.400 in Single-A last season, but with just three home runs and five steals in 544 plate appearances. He’ll need to show more power or speed to be anything more than a light-hitting utility infielder, and with 30 errors at shortstop last year, there’s no guarantee he sticks there long term.

ETA: 2022

 

41. RHP Oscar De La Cruz

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: AA

De La Cruz has been in Chicago’s system forever, at one point being their top pitching prospect, but health issues, command issues and drug abuse issues have plummeted his stock and he is now strictly a relief prospect —  albeit one who could be in the big leagues in 2020 and has potential late-inning potential.

ETA: 2020

42. LHP Jack Patterson

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: AA

Patterson was a late-round steal by the Cubs in 2018, with a plus sinker and average enough secondaries that he could make it as a fifth starter or long reliever in the big leagues. His numbers were great last season, with a 1.69 ERA in 79.2 innings across three levels, but the upside here is fairly low.

ETA: Late 2020

43. OF D.J. Artis

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A+

Artis was a seventh-round pick in 2018, and he has shown solid plate discipline and above-average speed thus far in the minor leagues. He could be a speedy fourth outfielder in a few years.

ETA: 2022

 

44. RHP Josh Burgmann

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: A-

Burgmann was Chicago’s fifth-round pick in 2019, and he looked good down the stretch in short-season ball, posting a 3.79 ERA and a 27.9% strikeout rate in nine starts. We need to see more to know exactly what he is, but he’s worth keeping an eye on.

ETA: 2022

 

45. RHP Ethan Roberts

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A+

Roberts, a fourth-rounder in 2018, is purely a relief prospect. His strikeout numbers are average, which is why he’s below the other relievers, but he has very good command and earned 13 saves last year between A and High-A, so maybe the Cubs are grooming him for a late-inning role.

ETA: 2021

 

46. C Jhonny Pereda

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: AA

Pereda has been in Chicago’s system since 2013, and while he’s never shown any power, he does have very good plate discipline numbers; enough to envision him as a high-OBP backup behind the dish.

ETA: 2021

 

47. RHP Benjamin Rodriguez

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: R

Rodriguez is an undersized 20-year-old who has posted decent numbers in rookie ball for the past few seasons. His fastball has lost velocity, however, and his lack of strikeout stuff curbs his appeal. If he matures and fills out, he could be an end-of-the-rotation starter in due time.

ETA: 2023

 

48. RHP Tyler Schlaffer

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: R

Schlaffer was a high school draft pick by the Cubs in the ninth round in 2019. He’s only thrown 5.1 professional innings, and he’s very early in his development, but he’s worth keeping an eye on.

ETA: 2025

 

 

49. RHP James Norwood

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: MLB

One of very few prospects on this list who has actually appeared in the big leagues, Norwood has a blazing fastball and little else. However, he’s posted good strikeout numbers in the minors and could be a solid middle reliever with high K totals, making him appealing in very deep dynasty leagues or NL-only leagues that track holds and/or K/9.

ETA: 2020

 

50. 1B Tyler Durna

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: A+

Durna turned in a nice year at Single-A last year, hitting .304/.387/.437 with a 10.3 percent walk rate and a 12.7 percent strikeout rate. He’s a 1B prospect with very little power or speed, so he’ll have to post elite plate discipline numbers to make the big leagues as a bench/platoon bat.

ETA: Late 2021

 

Others given consideration: Dawel Rodriguez, Sean Barry, Nelson Maldonado, Davidjohn Herz, Keegan Thompson, Jose Albertos, Corban Joseph

Final note: Chicago signed a ton of international prospects at the 2019 J-2 signing period. The most notable are included on this list, but there are many others who could find their way onto this list in due time. For now, not enough information is out there to reasonably compare them to other prospects.

Featured image designed by James Peterson (@jhp_design714 on Instagram and Twitter)

Andy Patton

Andy is the Dynasty Manager here at PitcherList. He manages all of the prospect content on the site, while also contributing a weekly article on Deep League Adds and dynasty deep sleepers. Beat writer for the Seattle Seahawks (SeahawksWire) as well as the host of the Score Zags Score Podcast.

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