Kiley McDaniel, now an ESPN Insider after a run with FanGraphs, dropped his first top 10 Cubs prospect list ($) Thursday morning. It may seem a bit odd to be talking about prospects in these strange times, but McDaniel’s rankings are more based on future value and may offer a little hope as we all await baseball’s eventual return.
Nico Hoerner, Miguel Amaya, Brailyn Marquez, and Brennen Davis led the way, just as you’d expect, but things started to vary from other lists after that. Young international free agents Ronnier Quintero and Kevin Made both made the top 10, the first we’ve seen either that high. But, hey, McDaniel thought highly enough of their projected Fantasy Value to boost them up a few spots.
Quintero is a catcher with slick skills behind the plate as well and a developing bat some see as worthy of a middle-of-the-order spot down the road. Made, on the other hand, is a rangy shortstop who has plenty of room for physical projection while already showing a penchant for power at a premium position.
Other prospects in the top ten 10 include Justin Steele, Adbert Alzolay, Corey Abbott, and Cole Roederer. McDaniel lists another 12 other prospects of note, including Kohl Franklin, Michael McAvene, Ryan Jensen, Chase Strumpf, and Richard Gallardo, all of whom are Cubs Insider favorites as well.
One other very interesting addition in the latter section was the inclusion of lefty DJ Herz, the Cubs’ 8th round pick in 2019. Herz was taken out of high school and did well over 6.1 innings in Mesa last summer, posting a 2.61 ERA with eight strikeouts. He will probably be in Eugene’s rotation to start the year and might have an outside shot at South Bend by August.
For more on the other prospect rankings, here are the lists we have covered this winter: