Prospect Day: The Chicago Cubs’ Top 10 Prospects for 2016

Earlier today, the BP Prospect Team released the Cubs’ top 10 prospect list, and BP Wrigleyville’s Editor-in-Chief Rian Watt ranked the Cubs’ top talent under the age of 25. The full writeup can be found on the main site, but we thought you’d enjoy a short preview here.

The State of the System: This is now more of a quantity than quality system, but the player development department is playing with house money now, anyway.

The Top Ten

  1. SS Gleyber Torres
  2. C Willson Contreras
  3. OF/2B Ian Happ
  4. OF Billy McKinney
  5. OF Eddy Julio Martinez
  6. RHP Dylan Cease
  7. OF Albert Almora
  8. RHP Duane Underwood
  9. OF Eloy Jimenez
  10. RHP Carl Edwards, Jr.

1. Gleyber Torres, SS
DOB: 12/13/1996
Height/Weight: 6’1” 175 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: Signed July 2013 by Chicago out of Venezuela for $1.7 million
Previous Ranking(s): #8 (Org.)
2015 Stats: .287/.346/.370, 3 HR, 22 SB in 538 PA at Low-A South Bend and High-A Myrtle Beach
Future Tools: 60 hit, 60 glove, 60 arm, 55 speed
Role: 60—First-division regular at shortstop

When you graduate as many quality prospects at the top as the Cubs did, sometimes your no. 1 prospect is just someone by default. That’s not the case here. Torres’ feel for hitting is exceptional and gets better every year, and his ability to make consistent, hard contact to every part of the field with an easily repeatable swing gives him a plus hit tool. He’s shown he’s not allergic to taking pitches, but he can get aggressive. That’ll lead to more swing-and-miss than you’d like from a hitter with fringe-average power. But he has enough strength to put the ball into gaps, and his above-average speed allows him to take extra bases—whether by stretching hits or stealing bags.

There was once debate about whether Torres would stay at shortstop. That debate is over. Torres has excellent hands, top-notch instincts and an easy plus arm. Is he Francisco Lindor with the glove? Nope, but he’s only a notch below. He’s really good, and when you add in his ability to get on base and swipe bags, you get a really valuable player.

Bret Sayre‘s Fantasy Take: After an eye-opening 15 or so years from the 1990s through the 2000s, we’re back to no longer expecting big power from our fantasy shortstops. Which is a good thing for Torres, since he can be a strong contributor everywhere else. A potential .290 hitter with 25-plus steals and non-zero power is safe bet for many top-10 finishes.

Major League ETA: 2018

To continue reading the list, please head over to the main site.

Lead photo courtesy Matt Kartozian—USA Today Sports.

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