10 Cubs Prospects To Watch Beyond The Top 30

The Cubs Top 30 prospects rankings are up now for Baseball America subscribers, with full scouting reports, BA grades and tools grade projections for all 30 players.

Through the process of narrowing the list down to a Top 30, there are other intriguing names who didn’t make the cut but are worth monitoring, with the potential to jump into the Top 30 in the future. Some of those are players who might be in the upper levels and could see big league time this year, though likely in a limited role, while others are lower-level players still in the complex leagues with more upside but plenty of risk.

Beyond the Top 30, these are 10 prospects to watch in Chicago’s farm system.

Adan Sanchez, C. The Cubs signed Sanchez out of Panama for $1.5 million, the largest bonus ever given to a Panamanian player. He is an offensive-minded catcher who controls the strike zone and has a chance to develop into a strong, physical power hitter.

Jeremiah Estrada, RHP. Estrada had Tommy John surgery in 2019 and was hospitalized due to Covid in 2021, but he rebounded to climb from High-A to the majors in 2022. His upper-90s fastball has excellent carry and will help him contend for an Opening Day bullpen spot.

Zac Leigh, RHP. An 18th-round pick out of Texas State in 2021, Leigh impressed in his first full season with a 96-97 mph fastball, a plus 80-83 mph slider and a hard changeup with sink out of the bullpen. He rose quickly to Double-A and could be in the Cubs bullpen by midseason.

Ezequiel Pagan, OF. Pagan always had good bat-to-ball skills and began hitting for power last year after finally growing into his body. He can hit velocity, steal a base and play all three outfield positions, giving him a chance to rise as a fourth outfielder with his newfound offensive impact.

Bailey Horn, LHP. Acquired from the White Sox for Ryan Tepera at the 2021 trade deadline, Horn moved to relief and began sitting 96-99 mph with a plus slider at Double-A. He could reach the Cubs bullpen by midseason.

Jake Slaughter, 3B. Slaughter is one of the most athletic players in the Cubs system and made improvements to his swing and approach in 2022 to make more contact. He’s an above-average defender who can run, plays hard and has a knack for hitting home runs in big spots.

Luke Little, LHP. The massive lefthander has wipeout stuff with a 96-99 mph fastball and an effective breaking ball. He still has to improve his conditioning and the consistency of his mechanics to be around the zone more.

Jordan Nwogu, OF. Nwogu is a slow starter but tends to improve as the year goes on. His swing is unorthodox and his raw athleticism doesn’t always translate on the field, but he has easy power and a chance to be a righthanded platoon bat.

Bryce Ball, 1B. The hulking first baseman continues to show a patient approach and creates quality contact, but his lack of bat speed and surprisingly light raw power make it tough for him to project in an everyday role.

Ed Howard, SS. The 2020 first-rounder has yet to prove he can hit and had season-ending hip surgery after awkwardly landing on first base trying to avoid a tag. Whether his defensive mobility returns after surgery is his biggest question mark.

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