The minor league season is soon to be over. Here’s a look at the top prospects left in the Cubs’ system and who is making a final push to increase their stock before the offseason.
- Trevor Clifton (#6, LHP) has continued to struggle in Double-A. After posting a 2.52 ERA over his first eleven starts of the year, Clifton has an atrocious 9.30 ERA over his last ten starts. Clifton looked like a candidate to end the year in Triple-A before, but now the Cubs have a lot of figuring out to do. Clifton was excellent in nearly 120 innings in 2016, so it wouldn’t seem fatigue should be an issue. Clifton could have entered the offseason seen as the Cubs’ top prospect, but he appears to have taken a step back.
- Oscar De La Cruz (#7, RHP) has pitched just twice since May when he went down with a tender throwing arm and he did not exceed three innings in either appearance. De La Cruz still has the talent to grow, and he will get the chance to continue to prove himself in the Arizona Fall League.
- Mark Zagunis (#8, OF) had season-ending surgery on a broken hamate in his left hand. At least his minor league season is over. Zagunis could still make an impact with the big league club in September and beyond if he comes back quickly. It all depends on how he recovers, but the Cubs may opt to let him take more time to heal as well.
- Jose Albertos (#9, RHP) has made eight starts in Low-A Eugene and owns a 2.86 ERA while striking out nearly eleven per nine innings. Albertos is still just 18 years old until November and is still showing loads of potential as he progresses through the ranks. It would not be a stretch to consider Albertos the top prospect left in the Cubs’ farm.
- Jen-Ho Tseng (#40, RHP) has been outstanding since being promoted to Triple-A in early July. Tseng owns a 1.69 ERA over eight starts in Triple-A and could be one of the Cubs top prospect arms moving forward. He’s also still just 22 years old for another month.
- Adbert Alzolay (NR, RHP) was also promoted in early July and has done well in Double-A where he has a 3.03 ERA over seven starts.
With the minor league season wrapping up, it will be interesting to see who gets to play with the big league club in September and potentially beyond. Much has happened over the year and many of the Cubs’ former top prospects are playing for other teams. Look for an updated Cubs Top 50 Prospects soon as we head into the offseason.
Article featured image of Adbert Alzolay – courtesy MiLB.com, via Johnathan Bentley/Tennessee Smokies