The Cubs won the 2016 World Series with a young core of position players who developed mostly in their organization, but two seasons have passed and the failure to promote any legit pitching prospects is taking its toll on the club. However, the narrative that the Cubs minor league system sucks and has no hope for the next few years is false.
Developing pitching has been a huge fault for the Cubs during the Theo Epstein regime, yet the team does have a few arms who are on the cusp of becoming top prospects. Left-hander Brailyn Marquez might just be the next big star in the Cubs minor league system.
If you look at any prospect rankings list right now you’ll see two names for the Cubs consistently pop up. Infielder Nico Hoerner, who impressed scouts in the Arizona Fall League, and catcher Miguel Amaya, who had a great first half in 2018, and then struggled the rest of the way in his first full year of pro ball.
And right behind them you’ll see Marquez, who isn’t a top-100 prospect…yet.
Back in December, Baseball America listed Marquez as the third best prospect for the Cubs, three slots ahead of right-hander Adbert Alzolay, who was once the organizations top-ranked prospect. That was following a 2018 campaign that saw Marquez make 12 starts at Single-A, where he had a 3.13 ERA in 54.2 innings.
The lefty is even getting some national attention.
Lefty prospects primed for a breakout in 2019:
Brailyn Marquez (Cubs)
Taylor Hearn (Rangers)
Darwinzon Hernandez (Red Sox)https://t.co/dJ3Ntt8vpX
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) February 8, 2019
#Cubs LHP Brailyn Marquez has a fastball that can touch the upper 90s and a plus curveball with power, as well as the ability to consistently throw strikes. That's why he's the Cubs' best non-Top 100 prospect: https://t.co/bO400BXIGr pic.twitter.com/XlujK8Uryv
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) February 3, 2019
Most recently, John Sickels, who write about prospects for The Athletic, brought up Marquez, and he also gave his stamp of approval.
there's been positive buzz lately about @cubs LHP prospect Brailyn Marquez. I agree with this buzz and see him as a serious breakout candidate for 2019.
— John Sickels (@MinorLeagueBall) February 11, 2019
Marquez is only 20-years-old, but at 6-foot-4, with a great fastball and the ability to throw strikes, Cubs fans should really get to know him because his stock is rising.
Madison/McLeod on 5-6 players worth paying attention: INF Nico Hoerner (“he has a chance to be a special player’), C Miguel Amaya, OFs Brennen Davis, Cole Roederer, P Brailyn Marquez.
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) January 20, 2019
#Cubs Prospect Thread: LHP Brailyn Marquez
The biggest breakout among the Cubs pitching prospects in 2018. Marquez transformed from projectable 6'4" 18-year old to the hardest throwing left-handed teenager in the Minors.
— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst) February 10, 2019
Ho hum, just a casual reminder that Brailyn Marquez is:
✔️ Added ~6 mph to FB last yr
✔️ Topped at 98
✔️ Had a 2.6 BB/9
✔️ Is committed to using 3 pitches
✔️ Secondaries flash plus
Coming soon to a South Bend ballpark near you. pic.twitter.com/doZaEMqIgX
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) January 25, 2019
Since receiving the largest bonus for a LHP during the 2015-16 int'l signing period, Brailyn Marquez has emerged as one of the #Cubs' top pitching prospects and has one of the best fastballs in @MiLB: https://t.co/Oc3FQcgBhT pic.twitter.com/4PZ2fONISb
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) January 13, 2019
Make sure to check out this article by Michael Ernst from Cubs Den. An excellent, in-depth look at Marquez and what’s ahead for the best pitching prospect the Cubs currently have.
— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst) February 11, 2019