Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

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Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:57 am

Donzo posted this elsewhere but I like it when we centralize all the Cubs top prospect lists. Here is Sickels' top 20 - as always, he's different from popular consensus: http://www.minorleagueball.com/2016/11/ ... s-for-2017

1. Jimenez
2. Cease
3. Clifton
4. Happ
5. Almora (doesn't have rookie eligibility)
6. de la Cruz
7. Zagunis
8. Candelario
9. Underwood
10. Caratini
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby Bear Cub » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:31 am

There is depth in this organization. Hats off to Jason McCloud and his scouting staff.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:40 pm

Sickels is probably the only one who will have Kellogg in the top 20. 150+ very good innings next year could/should do the trick. I'm very surprised Eddy Martinez did not make the list.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby Little Slide Rooter » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:37 pm

Slotting Clifton at 3 is a bold, bold move.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:45 pm

In the absolute sense, Clifton at 3 isn't really bold at all. Cease doesn't throw strikes, hasn't reached full season ball, and has already had TJS. Candelario goes months looking like a AA washout. Clifton is age appropriate and improved at nearly every objective measure while heaving good enough stuff to be a MLB starter.

Clifton over Happ seems more than a bit silly though.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby TomtheBombadil » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:01 am

Little Slide Rooter wrote:Slotting Clifton at 3 is a bold, bold move.


Meh, 3+ are where you can start getting weird. It's definitely Clifton over Happ that is bold.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby We Got The Whole 9 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:22 am

Do you guys like Clifton or DLC more?
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:24 am

We Got The Whole 9 wrote:Do you guys like Clifton or DLC more?


I go Clifton because he's been healthy
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby We Got The Whole 9 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:33 am

Guess I could've read the stickied thread first but yeah, me too. I know that he thrived in a pitchers environment this year but he really hit his stride toward the end of the year, missing bats with great control. Super excited to see if he can carry it over to Tennessee and be in the big league picture for '18.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby Little Slide Rooter » Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:49 pm

We Got The Whole 9 wrote:Do you guys like Clifton or DLC more?


It's about ceiling vs. floor for me. Clifton's a fairly safe bet to be a big league back end starter or swing man, whereas De La Cruz is more of an all or nothing, who can just as easily be a big league ace as he could burn out by summer and never be seen again.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby d_money » Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:57 pm

Assuming he continues to progress, whats a reasonable time frame on Cease as to when he gets the call? 2018? 19?
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby Cubswin11 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:59 pm

d_money wrote:Assuming he continues to progress, whats a reasonable time frame on Cease as to when he gets the call? 2018? 19?

As a starter probably 2020 as a relief pitcher maybe 2019.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby davell » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:20 pm

AZ Phil mentioned he thought the MB rotation to start the year would be Cease/De La Cruz/Paulino/Kellogg/Steele. If so, it's conceivable he'd be in Tennessee at some point in 2017.......

No idea if he's heard that or just total speculation.

His other predicted rotations are Zastryzny/Beeler/Brooks/Buchanan/Pries/Williams/Frankoff at Iowa(a group of 5 from that). At Tennessee, Underwood/Clifton/Stinnett/Tseng and one of Morrison/Martinez/Leal/Null. SB looks like Hatch/Clark/Moreno/Rondon/Hudson......

I think its fairly likely, although I can see Cease in SB(unless he skips for weather reasons) and Hatch in MB. Tyson Miller could make SB over Hudson possibly. Or with him and Clark just piggybacks.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby Donzo » Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:14 am

FanRag Top 15

It's page loaded (annoying), so here's their list:

1. Jimenez
2. Happ
3. Cease
4. Candelario
5. De La Cruz
6. Zagunis... That's the highest I've seen on him.
7. Hatch... Cubs think he could have been a 1st rounder if not for the injury.
8. Underwood... Nice writeup, still some hope here.
9. Hudson
10 Dewees
11 Clifton... Dang- harsh
12 Albertos
13 E. Martinez
14 Galindo
15 Wilson

Myself, move Clifton in front of Zagunis and I like it a lot.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby davell » Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:48 am

Clifton is top 100 for BP and Law. Probably for BA, too, based on his Carolina League top 20 ranking. Based on proximity, i could see myself putting him 3rd, ahead of Cease. Definitely no lower than 5th, behind Cease and Candelario.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:01 am

davell wrote:AZ Phil mentioned he thought the MB rotation to start the year would be Cease/De La Cruz/Paulino/Kellogg/Steele. If so, it's conceivable he'd be in Tennessee at some point in 2017.......

No idea if he's heard that or just total speculation.

His other predicted rotations are Zastryzny/Beeler/Brooks/Buchanan/Pries/Williams/Frankoff at Iowa(a group of 5 from that). At Tennessee, Underwood/Clifton/Stinnett/Tseng and one of Morrison/Martinez/Leal/Null. SB looks like Hatch/Clark/Moreno/Rondon/Hudson......

I think its fairly likely, although I can see Cease in SB(unless he skips for weather reasons) and Hatch in MB. Tyson Miller could make SB over Hudson possibly. Or with him and Clark just piggybacks.


I really don't think Cease is ready for high-A but you really don't want his surgically repaired arm pitching in April in the MWL. Obviously Arizona Phil sees and hears more but I'd flip Hatch and Cease.

SB always does piggybacks to start the season and even went to a 6-man rotation last year, so I expect we'll probably see a few additional names to start the season.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby craig » Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:33 am

Yeah, I'd be shocked if Cease went straight to Myrtle. Agree with you, Cal, that Hatch is more likely.

But I'd think it's more than likely that neither starts at Myrtle. If Hatch does, it will reflect that he's had a good spring and the Cubs are pretty happy with him. I recall thinking guys like Pierce Johnson, Kellogg, and Preston Morrison might skip straight to Myrtle(Daytona), but I think Zastryzny is about the only college guy who's done that.

Certainly an interesting pool of names/prospects for SB, Myrtle, and Tennessee. Iowa pretty bad. Phil isn't much of a Hedges fan, but I wonder if he'll start again, after his good season last year.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby Cubswin11 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:50 am

Cease was at ~44 innings this year + EXST. What's a reasonable innings projection/limit on him this year? ~100?
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby David » Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:58 am

Cubswin11 wrote:
d_money wrote:Assuming he continues to progress, whats a reasonable time frame on Cease as to when he gets the call? 2018? 19?

As a starter probably 2020 as a relief pitcher maybe 2019.

Wtf that's a long horsefeathering time. Get him up before he wastes his bullets
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby Cubswin11 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:07 am

David wrote:
Cubswin11 wrote:
d_money wrote:Assuming he continues to progress, whats a reasonable time frame on Cease as to when he gets the call? 2018? 19?

As a starter probably 2020 as a relief pitcher maybe 2019.

Wtf that's a long horsefeathering time. Get him up before he wastes his bullets

To use Giolito as a rough road map it took him 3 years to reach the majors from the time he pitched any remotely significant innings in the minors (his TJS happened earlier than Cease's I believe leading in to the draft so he already had a head start from draft to pitching again) and it is going to be 4 years before he starts his first full year in the majors which is this coming year. So that puts Cease at 2019ish ETA as a full-time guy. I may have over guessed by a year but it's probably no earlier than 2018 mid-season and that would likely be as a relief option, IMO. As a starter, if he reaches that potential, I'm not banking on him until 2019 or 2020. Hopefully he proves me wrong and rips through the minors and stays healthy so we can get to using those bullets. Which I'm all in favor of doing because horsefeathers pitchers.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby davell » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:23 am

I want Cease to dominate this year. If he does, he'll miraculously jump to being a top 20 prospect. At which point, we can trade him for something good to any of the 29 village idiot teams that value young pitching.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:30 am

Cubswin11 wrote:Cease was at ~44 innings this year + EXST. What's a reasonable innings projection/limit on him this year? ~100?


Cease threw 23 innings at ExST, so a combined 67.2 last year. I'm guessing 90-100 is a reasonable guess.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby CubsWin » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:38 am

craig wrote:Yeah, I'd be shocked if Cease went straight to Myrtle. Agree with you, Cal, that Hatch is more likely.

But I'd think it's more than likely that neither starts at Myrtle. If Hatch does, it will reflect that he's had a good spring and the Cubs are pretty happy with him. I recall thinking guys like Pierce Johnson, Kellogg, and Preston Morrison might skip straight to Myrtle(Daytona), but I think Zastryzny is about the only college guy who's done that.

Certainly an interesting pool of names/prospects for SB, Myrtle, and Tennessee. Iowa pretty bad. Phil isn't much of a Hedges fan, but I wonder if he'll start again, after his good season last year.

It was only 3 games and 9.2 innings, but Zastryzny did see time in Kane County at the end of his first pro season. He pitched well enough in a small sample and then had a good enough spring that he started his 2nd season in High A. I'm with you in that I don't see Hatch starting off in Myrtle Beach primarily because he didn't pitch for the Cubs at all last season. That matters less than how he looks in minor league camp this spring though.

However, I can understand the Cubs wanting to fast track Cease. Last season was his first full year post-rehab. Between Eugene and ExST, he threw 67.2 IP (throwing only 24 innings in his rookie season with just 3.2 IP in ExST). He has been incredibly difficult to hit thus far allowing BAA of .145 in 2015 and .175 last year. His K/9 was 13.3 (36.3%) last year, and he dominated the NWL in every way except walks. Control/command is expected to be shaky in the first years after TJS, so I expected him to continue to improve in that area this coming season. As it is, his BB/9 dropped from 6.0 (15.8%) to 5.0 (13.7%) last year.

There's a solid argument for either starting in Myrtle Beach or South Bend, but looking at the history of how Jason McLeod has done things in the past, the fact that Hatch hasn't pitched a professional inning yet leads me to believe he's more likely ticketed to start in South Bend (and move quickly if he dominates there), and the fact that Cease is their #1 pitching prospect, has such a high upside and the make-up to handle skipping a level (plus the Cubs need to fill pitching from within in the coming seasons), I can see the Cubs thinking if he were to start in Myrtle Beach.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby craig » Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:55 am

Those are good points, Win.

I've just kind of assumed Cease is so wild, and has so much development left, and needs so much more work on his change, that he'd probably take a steady pace. But, that might be dumb.

In a sense, I don't think it matters hardly at all where he goes. I don't think his development depends on who he's pitching to, it just depends on him. He's obviously got a good enough fastball and a good enough curve that his stuff will match up well anywhere. The plate is the same size and distance in A+ as in A-. His ability to repeat his delivery, to throw his change and curve for strikes or at least close, is progress in those areas probably doesn't much matter whether he's pitching in South Bend or Myrtle.

It would be pretty cool if both Cease and Hatch show well so that they can succeed in A+ this season, whether they start there or not. Two fun guys to watch. Will be really fascinating to see how hatch's stuff shows up, and Cease's control and consistency.
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Re: Cubs Offseason Top Prospects Lists (BA, BP, Sickels, etc)

Postby CubsWin » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:20 am

craig wrote:Those are good points, Win.

I've just kind of assumed Cease is so wild, and has so much development left, and needs so much more work on his change, that he'd probably take a steady pace. But, that might be dumb.

In a sense, I don't think it matters hardly at all where he goes. I don't think his development depends on who he's pitching to, it just depends on him. He's obviously got a good enough fastball and a good enough curve that his stuff will match up well anywhere. The plate is the same size and distance in A+ as in A-. His ability to repeat his delivery, to throw his change and curve for strikes or at least close, is progress in those areas probably doesn't much matter whether he's pitching in South Bend or Myrtle.

It would be pretty cool if both Cease and Hatch show well so that they can succeed in A+ this season, whether they start there or not. Two fun guys to watch. Will be really fascinating to see how hatch's stuff shows up, and Cease's control and consistency.

Completely agree. It doesn't matter a whole lot where these guys start so long as they're not getting completely rocked. What matters is that they have the proper environment and get the innings to develop.

If the Cubs think the coaching in Myrtle Beach is a good fit for Cease and his developing change up (as well as further refinement of his curve and fastball location) then there really isn't anything stopping him from starting there as I think his stuff as it stands now will be good enough at that level. I actually like the idea of Cease being challenged a bit. From what I've heard/read, he's got the maturity and confidence to handle some struggles. Facing better hitters, might clarify what he needs to work on to succeed and speed his development if he's able to make the adjustments in a timely fashion.

I see Dylan as the only Cubs pitching prospect with a #1 ceiling. De La Cruz is a #2 or #3. Hatch is a #3. With the Cubs having to make a decision on Arrieta soon, getting as clear a picture of what Cease can be would be helpful.
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