We all know and feel this is a turning corner year for the Chicago Cubs. Not in respect to wins but in respect to turning the corner to see the actual work Theo and Jed have done through trades and the draft. The Cubs have a lot of prospects knocking on the door with 3 of the big 4 sitting in AA/AAA which means this season we could and should see some of those prospects make or come close to being called up to the Big Show. It was until yesterday I realized how important, special, and exciting this year is to be a Cubs fan especially here in Iowa. Let me show you what I am talking about.
Here is a list of prospects who are not only “likely” to make the jump to the Chicago Cubs but I feel are almost certain to make that jump THIS SEASON:
· Javier Baez
· Arismendy Alcantara
· Kyle Hendricks
· Arodys Vizcaino
· Matt Szczur
· Zac Rosscup
Besides Rosscup that is 5 of the top 20 best prospects in the Cubs organization. The main question is where do you play all these guys? Well injuries, trades, and players being DFA will likely solve part of that question for most of the players on this list. I also give you an example of Mike Olt who could be a part of the future and he is seeing split playing time with Luis Valbuena. You could see something very similar with the players above. I by no means think these players would be called up if they were not going to get good solid playing time. Some may end up in Mike Olt’s position where he has to prove he belongs in the starting lineup every day. It also helps that players like Baez and Alcantara are likely to see time at 2b, SS, and 3rd base in both the minors and majors so it would give Ricky Renteria a lot of options and chances to get all these players consistent at bats and playing time.
Other players that are less likely to see the jump but still could are Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, Christian Villanueva, Eric Jokish, Neil Ramirez, Carlos Pimental, and Logan Watkins.
Now possibly equally exciting is the players that would make the jump for AA Tennessee to AAA Iowa. Here are those players that will likely make the jump THIS SEASON:
· C.J. Edwards
· Ivan Pineyro
· Pierce Johnson
· Kris Bryant
· Jorge Soler
C.J. Edwards has been nothing short of amazing for the Smokies and I think it will be a race between him and Bryant who will be called up to Iowa first. Mainly because as impressive as Edwards has been on the mound Bryant has been equally impressive at the plate. Although injuries have slowed Soler I think he is owed too much money not to make the jump to Iowa this year. Ivan Pineyro looks like a bullpen guy for 2015 so I think he gets the call to Iowa as well. I have been going back and forth on Pierce but I think he will get the call to Iowa late in 2014.
Other players less likely to make the jump are Dustin Geiger, Anthony Giansanti, Armando Rivero, Corey Black, and Dae-Eun Rhee.
It is quite possible we will see 10 of the Top 20 Chicago Cubs organizational prospects moving to Chicago or Iowa in 2014. That is enough to get you really excited for the rest of this season and especially for 2015.
Until Next Time…