The Cubs had a solid spring and are headed into another promising regular season. Here’s a quick look at where you will see the Cubs’ top prospects at the start of the year.
- Adbert Alzolay (#1, RHP) is set to start the year in Double-A Tennessee. If Alzolay can continue to add upon his 2017 success, he could get a whiff of the majors in 2018 – but even just some time in Triple-A would be a fair year.
- Jose Albertos (#2, RHP) will head back to Low-A Eugene to add on his eight starts that he pitched there last year. Still just 19-years-old, the Cubs are taking their time with Albertos to best assure he reaches his full potential.
- Victor Caratini (#3, C/1B) just won the backup catcher job over Chris Gimenez and will be on the Cubs’ major league roster on opening day. It seems Cubs management thinks Caratini has proven himself enough in the minors and they will still be able to find him playing time. He’s simply ready to be a major leaguer.
- Oscar De La Cruz (#4, RHP) will start the year in Double-A with Alzolay. De La Cruz threw four innings in Spring Training and earned two saves while giving up just one hit. The big righty is on the Cubs’ 40-man roster and could move to the majors quickly – especially if there is a move to a relief role in order to boost his durability.
- Alberto Baldonado (NR, LHP) could be a name to keep an eye on down the road as he threw 6 1/3 innings in Spring Training giving up no runs or walks with just two hits and nine strikeouts. It’s a small sample, but Baldonado could be a lefty option for the Cubs should they need one.
- Justin Hancock (NR, RHP) is another reliever that got through the small sample size of spring with fair numbers. The 27-year-old gave up just one run on two hits over 6 2/3 innings and could be another option in the bullpen.
- Ryan Court (NR, SS) is a 29-year-old utility man that has spent time in the minors with the Diamondbacks and Red Sox. The Illinois-native has excelled through 56 plate appearances this spring slashing a line of .375/.464/.688 with four home runs and five stolen bases. There doesn’t seem to be much room for Court to move up in the system, but if he can keep up his spring play, something’s bound to happen.
- Mike Freeman (NR, SS) is a 30-year-old utility man that received major league at-bats with three different teams in 2017. In 56 plate appearances this spring, Freeman hit .412/.464/.627. Freeman is in a similar place as Court and has to keep proving himself in order to force something to happen.
The Cubs farm system isn’t as loaded as recent years, but there’s already so much talent in the majors and the Cubs made their splash with the free agent acquisition of Yu Darvish. Rather than arming up for a big trade, it seems these prospects are more suited to be the backups and those that can fill in should the major league roster call for it.
Article featured image of Victor Caratini – courtesy Victor Caratini on Twitter (@VictorCaratini)