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Young Cubs: Ian Happ, Billy McKinney, and Goodbye Schwarber

Top 10
Name Level Stats
Gleyber Torres Low-A South Bend 2-8, 2 RS, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Kyle Schwarber MLB MLB
Billy McKinney Double-A Tennessee 7-Day DL
Albert Almora Double-A Tennessee 3-14, 2 RS, 1 SO
Pierce Johnson Double-A Tennessee DNP
Dan Vogelbach REHAB AZL 2-2
Carson Sands Short Season Eugene DNP
Jen-Ho Tseng High-A Myrtle Beach DNP
Carl Edwards Jr. Triple-A Iowa Cubs 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 SO
The Others
Name Level Stats
Javier Baez Triple-A Iowa Cubs 2-9, 1 SO
Eloy Jimenez Short Season Eugene 2-8, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO
Ian Happ Low-A South Bend 6-12, 6 RS, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 3 SO
Arismendy Alcantara Triple-A Iowa Cubs DNP
Christian Villanueva Triple-A Iowa Cubs 1-8, 1 RS, 1 BB, 2 SO

News and Notes

As if on cue, Ian Happ balls out and hits two home runs after I questioned what his overall power output would be at the big-league level. I won’t back down from my eval yet, but one thing is pretty clear: he’s way too good for Low-A. … Billy McKinney fouled a pitch off his knee and that’s probably it for his season. But even if he doesn’t play again this year, it is clear that his season was an unmitigated success. McKinney showed off feel for the barrel and a refined hit tool; I’ve heard reports that the OFP isn’t high, but he’s going to be a good, useable player in the bigs. … Dan Vogelbach went 2-for-2 in his return back from the DL for the AZL Cubs. The big-league Cubs will have a tough decision to make regarding his future as he will be Rule-5 eligible and will have to be placed on the 40-man roster. Vogelbach doesn’t have a defensive position, so it’ll be interesting to see what the Cubs do. … Carl Edwards Jr.’s lack of command prevented him from being a contributor at the major-league level this year. His path to the big leagues is clear at this point, he can be an effective reliever with a possible closer role, but the command must improve for him to achieve that status.

Barring some sort of bizarre circumstance, this will be the last time Kyle Schwarber will be mentioned on this update as a top 10 Cubs prospect, so I figured this would be a good time to wrap the book on him. We’ve seen Schwarber hit, and it’s clear that his approach is such that it allows his hit tool and power tool to play over projection because he sees the ball so well. He’s been more than impressive offensively, and defensively I think he will find a comfortable and permanent home in left field with the Cubs organization. Schwarber’s ability to catch will always be in question because the body isn’t really an ideal catcher’s body and his ability to handle velocity and spin from behind the plate are lacking. That’s fine. He can still and will still mash at the major-league level.

Name Level Standings/Notes
Eugene Emeralds Short-Season A Ball 9-8, 2 GB
South Bend Cubs Low-A 25-24, 7 GB
Myrtle Beach Pelicans Hi-A 30-20, 1.5 GB
Tennessee Smokies AA 24-25, 5.5 GB
Iowa Cubs AAA 66-54, 6 GB

What to Watch For

It’s the home stretch and there are some MiLB playoff races for the Cubs to match what the parent club is doing. It looks like Tennessee will miss the playoffs, which is remarkable because of all the talent that’s on that roster. Myrtle Beach is fighting for a spot and will hope that their pitching will carry them through.

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1 comment on “Young Cubs: Ian Happ, Billy McKinney, and Goodbye Schwarber”


I’ve heard Candelario is Rule 5 eligible. Will we have to put him on the 40-man after his decent showing this year at A+ and AA or is it highly unlikely a team puts him immediately on their major league club?

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