Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mid-Winter Down on the Farm Report

Lots of Cubs news this week, but let's take a day to check in with what the future holds. This will be our first "Down on the Farm" report of 2010! The Cubs have a strong minor league organization, so we start with some rankings.

Top 11 Cubs Prospects
Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus ranked the top 11 minor league players in the Chicago Cubs organization. Here is the link to his article, and here is the list, which includes Kevin's "four more", so really there is the top 15:
1. Josh Vitters, 3B: 5 stars
2. Starlin Castro, SS: 5 stars
3. Hak-Ju Lee, SS: 4 stars
4. Brett Jackson, CF: 4 stars
5. Andrew Cashner, RHP: 3 stars
6. Jay Jackson, RHP: 3 stars
7. Chris Carpenter, RHP: 3 stars
8. Chris Archer, RHP: 3 stars
9. Kyler Burke, OF: 3 stars
10. Ryan Flaherty, INF: 3 stars
11. John Gaub, LHP: 3 stars

4 More...
12. Chris Huseby, RHP
13. Logan Watkins, INF
14. Dae-Eun Rhee, LHP
15. Darwin Barney, SS

Vineline's Ranks
Each year, Vineline, the official monthly magazine of the Chicago Cubs, ranks the best Cubs prospects. The full list of "50 names from the farm" will be in the February issue, but we got a nice preview at last week's Cubs Convention.

Best Command: Casey Coleman
Best Poise/Make up: Hung-Wen Chen
Best Athleticism: Jay Jackson
Best Mechanics: Andrew Cashner
Best Durability: (tie) Mitch Atkins, Hung-Wen Chen, and Casey Coleman
Best Fastball: Rafael Dolis
Best Curveball: Aaron Shafer
Best Change-up: Jeff Antigua
Best Slider: Andrew Cashner
Best Other: Hung-Wen Chen
Best Contact Hitter (tie): Logan Watkins and Hak-Ju Lee
Best Power Hitter (tie): Rebel Ridling and Ryan Flaherty
Best Plate Discipline (tie): Kyler Burke and James Adduci
Best Clutch Hitter: Rebel Ridling
Best Situational Hitter: Rebel Ridling

Best Range by position:
C- Welington Castillo
1B- Rebel Ridling
2B- Logan Watkins
3B (tie)- Ryan Flaherty and Jonathan Mota
SS- Starlin Castro
OF- Jose Valdez

Best Arm Strength by position:
C- Welington Castillo
1B- Jovan Rosa
2B- Logan Watkins
3B- Junior Lake
SS- Starlin Castro
OF- Kyler Burke

Best Throwing Accuracy by position:
C (tie)- Robinson Chirinos and Steve Clevenger
1B- Rebel Ridling
2B- Marwin Gonzalez
3B- Marquez Smith
SS (tie)- Nate Sampson and Hak-Ju Lee
OF- Kyler Burke

Best Foot workby position:
C- Welington Castillo
1B- Rebel Ridling
2B- Logan Watkins
3B (tie)- Ryan Flaherty and Jonathan Mota
OF (tie)- Sam Fuld, Brett Jackson, and Jose Valdez

Best Raw Speed (tie): Jose Valdez, Hak-Ju Lee
Best Base-Stealing Ability (tie): Jose Valdez, Hak-Jue Lee
Best Home-to-First (tie): Jose Valdez, Hak-Ju Lee
Best Baserunning Instincts: James Adduci
Best Heart/Work Ethic: James Adduci and Matt Camp
Best Competitiveness: Brett Jackson, Darwin Barney, and Starlin Castro
Best Baseball IQ: Darwin Barney

Minor League Invites to Big League Spring Training
J.R Mathes, LHP
James Russell, LHP
Andrew Cashner, RHP
Casey Coleman, RHP
Thomas Diamond, RHP
Jeff Kennard, RHP
Vince Perkins, RHP
Robinson Chirinos, C
Steve Clevenger, C
Blake Lalli, C
Chris Robinson, C
Darwin Barney, SS
Matt Camp, INF/OF
Starlin Castro, SS
Bryan LaHair, 1B
Chad Tracy, 3B/1B
Bobby Scales, INF/OF
Josh Vitters, 3B
Brett Jackson, OF
Brad Snyder, OF

Minor League 2010 Schedules
Iowa Cubs
Tennessee Smokies
Daytona Cubs
Peoria Chiefs
Boise Hawks (short season)

Lots of interesting names to follow that are on their way up in the Cubs system!


  1. Great overview! One question: Should that be "Footwork" not "Football"?

  2. Thanks Daver.

    I fixed the mistake! Hopefully no Chicago Bears scouts have contacted the Cubs about trying to pull off a trade for Castillo or Ridling because of this post!

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