8 Cubs Sleeper Prospects
Everyone knows about Albert Almora, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Jorge S0ler but I am here to tell you about some Cubs prospects that are flying under the radar.
1. Arismendy Alcantara SS/2B
The Cubs are loaded with middle infield prospects. Javier Baez is the top one, but Alcantara isn’t far behind. He doesn’t get much recognition,and his season ended in July last year due to a broken foot, but he has a lot of potential. before the injury he posted a 271 average with 15 home runs 69 runs batted in and 31 stolen bases. He hits for power and can steal a base. The knocks on him is that he has all the physical tools to be a great defender,but he makes to many mental errors. He has a chance to be the long-term solution for the Cubs at second base,and is versatility enough to play shortstop as well.
2.Kyle Hendricks SP
Hendricks is coming off of a great 2013 campaign at triple A Iowa were he posted a 2.48 ERA , 27 strikeouts and only 8 walks in 40 innings pitched. Before he was promoted he was tearing it up in double A with a 1.85 ERA. Despite not having great stuff scouts say Hendricks commands his pitches very well and is very accurate. Hendricks has a chance to join the Cubs rotation some time this year.
3.Neil Ramirez SP
The Cubs acquired Ramirez in the Matt Garza trade from the Rangers, and they look to be getting a pitcher with a solid combination of command and stuff. In 2011 Ramirez had a breakout season were he bolted up the ranks of the Rangers minor league system pitching in three leagues and ending in triple A. His best pitch is his slider and has what it takes to be pushing to make to the major leagues.
4. Matt Szczur
Although Szczur has been in the Cubs organization he has never had his chance to show what he can do in the big leagues. Last year with double A Tennessee he hit a respectible 281 and had 22 stolen bases. He doesn’t have much pop but he can make contact consistantley and make things happen on the base paths with his speed. He is also as solid defender in his natural center field. It is very likely that the Cubs could call Szczur’s number sometime this year.
5. Christian Villanueva 3B
Villanueva was an addition to the Cubs via the Ryan Dempster trade with the Rangers. With the Cubs having so much depth at third base throughout their system its hard to imagine Villanueva coming into a starting role for the Cubs. Villanueva has a good blend at the plate of power and contact he displayed this by hitting 19 homers and 72 RBI’s for double A Tennessee. He has all of the tools to develop into solid major league third baseman.
6. Jae-Hoon Ha OF
After solidly contributing to the Smokies in Double A Ha struggled to match his output in triple A. Ha has never been known for his power but he is a very savvy player who has great baseball knowledge and a good approach at the plate. His fielding is his strength, he has a plus arm with great accuracy. His bat might keep him from being an everyday starter, but he has a chance at being a solid 4th outfielder in the majors.
7. Logan Watkins 2B
Watkins had 38 at bats in the majors last year and recorded 8 hits. Even though it is a small sample size he is a left-handed bat and is extremely versatile in the field. Watkins will never develop into a star, but he has all the makings of a solid utility man who could help the Cubs for seasons to come.
8.Aroyds Vizcaino SP/RP
Vizcaino has been plagued by injuries, thus he has never thrown a competitive pitch in the Cubs organization. Vizcaino was the main pice the cubs got in the trade that sent Paul Maholm to the Braves. When healthy Vizcaino has the ability to be one of the better pitching prospects in the majors. His two best pitches are his mid to upper 90’s fastball and his power curve. He struggles with command sometimes and like I mentioned before his durability is a concern. Vizcaino looks to be headed to a bullpen role, but if he can buck his injury trend he has the stuff to be a starter.