The moment Theo Epstein took over as the Cubs team president, the focus was put on “sustained success” throughout the organization. That means wave after wave of young, talented players.
The first wave hit Wrigley Field this season and made an immediate impact. Kris Bryant reached the All-Star game and is the likely Rookie of the Year, Kyle Schwarber reached almost mythical status with his home runs and Addison Russell became a defensive leader on the infield.
But for Epstein’s plan to come to fruition, the minors need to be reloaded. While they may not take as prominent of a role as the first group of rookies, there are a few young names Cubs fans should be aware of. Baseball America released their ranking of the Cubs’ top 10 prospects for next season.
- Gleyber Torres (SS)
- Wilson Contreras (C/3B)
- Ian Happ (OF/2B)
- Duane Underwood (RHP)
- Dylan Cease (RHP)
- Albert Almorea (OF)
- Billy McKinney (OF)
- Oscar de la Cruz (RHP)
- Eloy JImenez (OF)
- Jeimer Candelario (3B)
The biggest obstacle this group faces has very little to do with how well they actually play. The Cubs don’t have many positional holes to fill, meaning there is as good of a chance that these prospects reach the big leagues with a different team as with the Cubs.
For comparison’s sake, last year’s top five prospects all finished the season with the Cubs.
One point of concern is a lack of available starting pitching. The Cubs will likely have to last at least one more season before bringing up a home grown starting pitcher.