Tha Sports Junkies 101

Prospect Profiles: Chicago Cubs



Chicago Cubs are the 2016 World Champions. It has taken 108 years to reclaim that glory and a lot of it had to do with a young core. This Cubs team was built around many young guys; a majority came up in their very own farm system. Last year, the Chicago Cubs had MLB-Best 103-58 record and top of the National League Central. Ultimately they captured the World Series trophy they’ve been after quite awhile. Cubs prospects have stressed that the best is yet to come and that they will be just as exciting to watch as that core group that consist of Bryant, Rizzo, Schwarber, and others.

Eloy Jimenez, OF:

Eloy Jimenez signed with the Cubs out of Dominican Republic in 2013. Jimenez has climbed his way to become the Chicago Cubs top prospect. He his 6′ 4″, 205 lb frame gives him great raw power. Last year, he hit .329/.369/.901 with 40 doubles, 14 home runs, and 81 RBIs. Right now at 19, Jimenez is overaggressive and needs to settle down a bit.

“He is someone who doesn’t swing and miss much for (his age),” said Jason McLeod

He is a few years away from seeing big league action but until then Cubs fans can appreciate his abilities and potential. His power and hitting are what has attracted the Cubs to him. Pitchers will eventually get around that but with his intelligence at the plate they believe he will overcome that.

ETA: 2019

Dylan Cease, RHP:

Dylan Cease was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 6th round of the 2014 June Amateur Draft out of high school. Some scouts said that he would have gone in the first round if not for his Tommy John surgery.  He has not let that surgery set him back and that shows in his 2016 stats in the Northwest League. Last season, posted a 2.22 ERA in 45 innings with 66 strikeout, 25 walks and give up only 27 hits.

“Have you seen Dylan Cease throw? Oh my goodness,” Sutcliffe said of the 6-foot-2 righthander who the Cubs drafted in the sixth round in 2014.

Some compared him to Carl Edwards Jr. mainly because of his size and how hard he throws. The main difference the Cubs are giving him the opportunity to take a future starter role. Cease’s fastball in and around 90 and can touch the 100s and has a widely talked about curve ball and and a solid change-up. The Cubs are hoping that will turn him into a future ace for their pitching staff.

ETA: 2020

Albert Almora, OF:

Albert Almora was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 1st round of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft. Almora spent time between Triple A and the majors last season. Almora batted .303/.317/.416 through 80 games in Triple-A and .277/.308./.455 through 47 games with the Chicago Cubs.

Spring training has begun and he wants the Cubs to know that he ready to make a splash offensively and defensively. Right now, his greatest asset has been is range, speed, and glove. Almora has been able to cover a lot of ground because of that.

Over the next few weeks of Spring training, Almora will focus on his plate approach and becoming patient so his on-base percentage and batting average rises. With that said, the Chicago Cubs will work something out to get him some playing time this upcoming season.

ETA: 2017

Trevor Clifton, RHP:

Trevor Clifton was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 12th round of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft. Clifton went 7-7 while posting a 2.72 ERA in 119 innings with 129 strikeouts and 41 walks. He doesn’t throw as hard as Cease but offers an arsenal of techniques to get outs. His fastball is between 92-95 but combines that with his curve and change-up to consistently throw strikes.

Clifton has grown into sizable form at 6-foot-four and 220 pounds. His once was feeble teenage body has now grown into a major league body that helps his pitching and gain people notice as an actual top prospect in the Chicago Cubs system.

ETA: Late 2018

Ian Happ, 2B:

Ian Happ was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 1st round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of Cincinnati. Happ hit .279/.365./445 through 134 games between High-A and Double-A. During his 2016 campaign, fans saw him hit 30 doubles, 15 home runs, whiling striking out 129 times and driving in 73 runs while swiping 16 bases.

Happ is a switch-hitter that has shown success at the plate. He credits his success to his teammate and being able to pick their brains and also work under former MLB-player Sean Casey. As a former outfielder, learning second base has taken some time for him and will likely spend the next year working out his defensive skill set.

ETA: 2018.

Just Missed:

Oscar De La Cruz, RHP: De La Cruz signed out of Dominican Republic in 2012. Last season, he pitched 39 innings while striking out 51 batter and posting a 3.00 earned run average. De La Cruz was originally an infielder but switched to pitcher and that move could be proved to be his best decision he’s made. His athletic ability will allow him to attempt to learning the position as well as learn few different pitches to pair with his fastball.

Mark Zagunis, OF: Zagunis hit .288/.384/.469 with 25 doubles, 5 triples, 10 home runs, and 78 strikeouts through 101 games. When Zagunis entered the Cubs system he came in as a catcher but having Kyle Schwarber and also Wilson Contreras on the team he moved over to the outfield. With an already crowded outfield, Zagunis could end up as trade bait down the line. ETA: 2017