Saturdays mornings are typically a time for me to do a whole lot of nothing, but that was impossible once I saw that Keith Law had published his top 10 Cubs prospect list (subscription required for all links in this article). It was no surprise to see catcher Miguel Amaya at numero uno, as he made Law’s top 100 at No. 91 a couple weeks ago. Equally expected was Nico Hoerner, who was included in Law‘s next 10 prospects, at No. 2 in this one.
Law filled slots 3-10 with familiar names, as Brailyn Marquez, Adbert Alzolay, Brennen Davis, Cole Roederer, and Aramis Ademan all got nods and praise. I was mildly surprised to see currently suspended pitcher Oscar De La Cruz still in the top 10 along with fellow pitcher Erich Uelmen, who had a rough second half at Myrtle Beach.
While I wouldn’t call it major shock by any stretch, the inclusion of Matt Swarmer on the list represents the highest ranking for the Cubs’ reigning MiLB Pitcher of the Year. Armed with a plus curve, a wicked change, and a deceptive Bronson Arroyo-like leg kick, Swarmer is one to watch in 2019.
The other aspect of the list I found interesting was seeing Davis ranked ahead of Roederer. Scouts rave about Davis’s athleticism and his talents are just being tapped into now that he plays baseball full time, but Roederer seems to have the higher ceiling. Both prospects should really invigorate the system at some point this summer at South Bend.
Law also mentioned several pitchers in the comments section, including Alex Lange, Tyson Miller, Yovanny Cruz, Justin Steele, Keegan Thompson, Brendon Little, Duncan Robinson, and Michael Rucker. Cruz, only 19, is very polished and has excellent command of three pitches. He throws a lot of strikes, a good indicator of success at the lower levels, and is one to keep an eye on this season.
It’s no surprise to see more pitchers on the on list given the Cubs’ overall organizational trends, but the lack of impact bats indicates that there isn’t much balance in the system. Then again, that’s been the trend since Eloy Jimenez was traded. Law only had three position players on last year’s list compared to five this year, though, so perhaps things are coming around a little.
I would have included shortstop Zack Short and southpaw Steele had I been in charge of the list, but neither represents an egregious omission. As always, it will be interesting to see how much Law’s list changes depending on how the talented players in the lower parts of the system — including this year’s draft picks — perform this summer.
MLB Pipeline is the only major prospect list remaining unpublished, but that should change on February 21.