Good news for anyone taking shelter from the current bitter cold: the Cubs have announced that pitchers and catchers will be reporting to Spring Training on Feb. 19.
That’s only, like, a little over a month. We can do this, people.
Position players are scheduled to report on Feb. 24, and the first game in Arizona is set for March 5. While we’re waiting, sit back and enjoy Baseball America’s list of the Cubs’ top 10 prospects.
With all the welcomed excitement for this year’s big league club, it’s easy to forget about all the talent waiting in the wings.
Two of the prospects (Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler) figure to be major pieces of the 2015 team, with RHP C.J. Edwards and infielder Addison Russell as slight possibilities to play this year at some point.
The most (pleasantly) surprising part of the list for me is probably outfielder Billy McKinney coming in at No. 6. McKinney is sometimes almost an afterthought in the Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammel trade last July.
And the best part is that the Cubs have Hammel back now.
Also, don’t forget: The Cubs have the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft, so expect to see another top name on the list next year.
* The White Sox have have agreed to a one-year deal with former Cub Emilio Bonifacio. The utility infielder/outfielder was a nice piece to have: a speedy, versatile player who can occasionally get hot at the plate (remember how on fire he was to start last year?). He’s not perfect — very little power, not a great on-base guy — buy I like the move for the White Sox, who continue to have a decent offseason.
* Hall of Fame ballots will be announced today. This year’s newcomers include Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield, and Nomar Garciaparra. The Big Unit and Pedro will very likely make it in, and it sounds like Smoltz will as well.