As we enter the final throes of the Chicago Cubs 2014 season, Cubs fans have begun to look forward to the future. With prospects such as Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, and Arodys Vizcaino all in AAA, it may not be unreasonable to suggest that 2015 could be a competitive year on the north side. However, it does not stop there, in AA and below, the Cubs have some true talent.
10. Victor Caratini (Catcher-A)
Caratini, who was acquired at the July 31st deadline, has been stationed in single-A, Kane County, hitting .255, with 12 RBI in 12 games played. When he was acquired, many assumed he would be groomed to be the catcher of the future for the Cubs. He has made his name through excellent defensive play, and above average offense.
9. Billy McKinney (Outfielder-Advanced A)
A part of the blockbuster July 4th deal that sent Jeff Samardzjia and Jason Hammel westward, McKinney has been a quiet contributor in Daytona. He has hit .306, with 23 RBI in 43 games played. A left-handed bat, McKinney could prove to be an asset down the road. He is known for his aggressive nature at the plate and on the base paths. His defense is also above-average.
8. Arodys Vizcaino (Reliever- AAA)
Had it not been for crippling elbow injuries, Vizcaino could very well have been near the top of this list. However, it appears that Vizcaino’s injuries have chased him to the bullpen. He has three pitches he can utilize to get outs. His fastball and curveball are terrific, and he has an emerging changeup that is nearly major-league level.
7. Albert Almora (Outfielder- AA)
At the beginning of the year, hopes were high for the former 2012 first rounder, however, a slow start to the year, and a poor response to AA baseball has caused his stock to drop. Whether this is an off-year for Almora, or something more serious remains to be seen. However, his defense is still stellar, and his cannon of an arm could serve him well as a center-fielder.
6. Kyle Schwarber (Outfielder/Catcher- Advanced A)
A relative unknown, Kyle Schwarber was a surprise when he was picked 4th overall in this year’s draft. However, he has taken off in the Cubs minor league system, being called up after playing just five games with the rookie ball team in Boise. He would go on to play 23 games with the A team in Kane County, before landing with the advanced-A team in Daytona. Altogether, Schwarber, has 14 home runs, a .341 batting average, and 44 RBI. He should start the 2015 season in AA, with the possibility of making the major league club in 2016.