Part 1: Cubs prospects to look out for
|Monday, October 21, 2019, 11:17 AM- -|
The Chicago Cubs are in the middle of retooling their farm system after call-ups and trades have depleted the minor leagues of legitimate MLB talent. Slowly, top prospects like Nico Hoerner and Miguel Amaya have surfaced to the top of the Cubs prospects list, with possibly more on the way. While these prospects may not be in the top 100 yet, they soon could be.
The highest-rated prospect on this list, according to MLB.com, is Brennen Davis. The 2018 second-round pick impressed in his first prolonged minor league action in 2019. With the South Bend Cubs, Davis was able to show off his plus hitting and baserunning by finishing 2019 with a .907 OPS and four stolen bases through 50 games.
At 6-foot-4-inches, Davis hides a lot of power in his frame. His eight home runs in 50 games would put him on pace for around 26 home runs in a 162-game regular season. His .525 slugging percentage in 2019 would put him second in the Midwest League if he qualified.
That Brennen Davis kid is at it again pic.twitter.com/4lVqgKkTEI— Greg Huss (@OutOfTheVines) September 2, 2019
Like many Cubs prospects before him, Davis is an exceptional athlete. Before committing to baseball, Davis was a star high school basketball player, helping his high school win the Arizona 6-A state championship. While he’s shown a knack for stealing bases, his usage went down significantly compared to his 18-game stint in the Arizona League.
Despite incredible athleticism, Davis still needs to work on his defense. According to MLB.com, Davis still needs work on refining his routes and reaction in centerfield but notes that the organization believes in Davis making significant progress.
With athleticism and power, Davis could be the next big Cubs prospect to burst onto the scene. However, that may take some time as the 19-year-old hasn’t even played 100 professional games yet. As his current ETA is 2022, the young outfielder will have to wait to see his number called up to the big-league club.
The Theo Epstein Cubs have notoriously struggled to develop homegrown pitching talent. After picking Albert Almora with his first draft pick for the Cubs, Epstein chose two pitchers in the first round. Both pitchers are no longer in the organization. When a pitching prospect is mentioned as a bright star in the Cubs organization, it is a big deal.
Brailyn Marquez may be the best-kept secret in the Cubs organization. The 20-year-old left-handed pitcher has had his innings limited to only 153.1 through three seasons, but his small sample size has been promising. Except for a 5.52 ERA in 2017, Marquez has kept his ERA below 3.20 at every level he’s played professionally.
Brailyn Marquez' night is over after 6 innings with 1 earned run and 7 strikeouts (featured below) pic.twitter.com/y86Hkx8nfx— Eugene Emeralds (@EugeneEmeralds) August 15, 2018
The hard-throwing southpaw has top of the rotation potential with a devastating fastball that reached triple digits this season. The main concern with Marquez, like most hard-throwing prospects, is his control. Through 103.2 innings in 2019, Marquez walked 50 batters, giving him a 4.34 BB/9. For context, Dakota Hudson led the MLB in walks given up and had a BB/9 of 4.43.
Marquez has a ton of potential, but a long road ahead of him to the major leagues. As the Cubs look to let Marquez pitch more this season, the club will get to see if he’s improved his control and can last a full season. In either event, the Cubs look to have a potential top pitching prospect on their hands if he continues to improve.