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  1. 1. Pete Crow-Armstrong | OF
    Pete Crow-Armstrong
    Born: Mar 25, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Los Angeles, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Rusty McNamara (Mets).
    Minors: .312/.376/.520 | 16 HR | 32 SB | 423 AB

    Track Record: Crow-Armstrong grew up in the shadow of Hollywood as the son of actors Ashley Crow and Matthew Armstrong. Rather than follow his parents into acting, Crow-Armstrong found fame on the baseball diamond. He emerged as a budding star at a young age and was selected for USA Baseball's 12U, 15U and 18U national teams. He starred at Harvard-Westlake High, the same school that produced all-star pitchers Lucas Giolito, Max Fried and Jack Flaherty, and graduated as the program's all-time leader in hits and runs despite his senior season being cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. The Mets drafted him 19th overall and signed him for $3.359 million. Crow-Armstrong's pro debut in 2021 ended after just six games due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder, but the Cubs still acquired him at the trade deadline for Javier Baez and Trevor Williams. Crow-Armstrong rewarded the Cubs' faith in 2022, finishing among the organization's leaders in batting average (.312), hits (132), runs (89) and stolen bases (32) across the Class A levels and earning a selection to the Futures Game.

    Scouting Report: Crow-Armstrong has long been known for his sensational defense in center field, but he's a threat at the plate, too. He has a discerning eye for the strike zone and makes frequent contact with a fast and fluid lefthanded swing. He stays balanced through his swing and has exceptional hand-eye coordination that allows him to hit pitches in any part of the zone. He occasionally gets jammed and is prone to weak contact, but he has the advanced instincts and self-awareness to adjust his setup and timing to close his holes. Crow-Armstrong is a contact hitter and primarily hits hard line drives all over the field, but he has begun showing average pull-side power and could add more as he physically matures. He is progressively getting stronger and posted the highest exit velocities of his career in 2022. Crow-Armstrong enhances his offense with his plus speed and a high-energy style of play. He is a threat to steal at any time and applies constant pressure to opposing defenses with his aggressive baserunning. He is occasionally overaggressive and runs into outs. Crow-Armstrong is an elite defender in center field whose graceful, fluid actions make the position look easy. His plus speed, elite anticipation and pristine routes give him exceptional range in all directions, particularly going into the gaps. He is fearless and aggressive going back to the wall and makes highlight-reel catches almost daily. His above-average, accurate throwing arm rounds out his premium defensive ability.

    The Future: Crow-Armstrong projects to hit at the top of the Cubs' lineup and contend perennially for Gold Glove awards in center field. He will open 2023 at Double-A Tennessee and has a chance to reach Wrigley Field by the end of the season.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 60. Power: 45. Speed: 60. Fielding: 80. Arm: 55

  2. 2. Brennen Davis | OF
    Brennen Davis
    Born: Nov 2, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Chandler, Ariz., 2018 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Steve McFarland.
    Minors: .180/.299/.298 | 5 HR | 0 SB | 178 AB

    Track Record: The son of former Chicago Bulls point guard Reggie Theus, Davis primarily played basketball growing up before choosing to focus on baseball his senior year of high school. The decision paid off when the Cubs drafted him in the second round and signed him for $1.1 million. Davis has excelled when healthy, but he's struggled with injuries throughout his career. He missed time with a hamstring injury, a broken finger, a broken nose and a concussion across his first three seasons. Expected to rise to the majors in 2022, he instead played just 43 games at Triple-A Iowa after having midseason surgery to repair a malformation of blood vessels in his back. He then made it through five games in the Arizona Fall League before being shut down with lower back tightness.

    Scouting Report: Davis stands a long, lean 6-foot-4 and resembles a basketball player with his build and premium athleticism. He has plus raw power with his natural strength and leverage and does damage to all fields when he connects. He has good barrel control and covers the entire plate. Davis makes plenty of impact on contact, but he struggles to pick up spin and takes a lot of uncertain swings. He often gets caught in between and must improve his pitch recognition and swing decisions to make enough contact to be a fringe-average hitter. Davis is a serviceable defender in center field with his above-average speed and long strides, but he projects better in right field and has the above-average arm for the position. Davis' main challenge is to stay healthy. He has played more than 53 games only once in four professional seasons.

    The Future: Davis has the ability to be a solid everyday outfielder, but he has missed a lot of development time. He'll aim to make his big league debut in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 45. Power: 55. Speed: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55.

  3. 3. Kevin Alcantara | OF
    Kevin Alcantara
    Born: Jul 12, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2018.
    Signed By: Edgar Mateo/Juan Piron (Yankees).
    Minors: .273/.360/.451 | 15 HR | 14 SB | 428 AB

    Track Record: Alcantara signed with the Yankees for $1 million during the 2018-19 international signing period and immediately stood out in the Rookie complex leagues. The Cubs acquired him along with righthander Alexander Vizcaino for Anthony Rizzo at the 2021 trade deadline. Alcantara made his full-season debut at Low-A Myrtle Beach in 2022 and continued to shine against better competition. He finished in the top 10 in the Carolina League in batting average, runs, hits, home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage and OPS despite playing his home games in the league's most pitcher-friendly park.

    Scouting Report: Alcantara looks like a basketball player with a tall, lanky 6-foot-6 frame that has plenty of room to fill out. He is impressively coordinated for his size and is able to keep his swing short despite his long levers, giving him an advanced, repeatable swing with plenty of bat speed. His ability to recognize spin is inconsistent and he'll occasionally expand his strike zone, but he makes adjustments quickly and has a chance to be an average hitter with added strength and improved swing decisions. Alcantara already posts exit velocities above 110 mph and can hit balls out to all parts of the park. He has natural strength and leverage that give him plus power now, and he could grow into more power as he adds muscle to his lean frame. Alcantara is an above-average runner who has enough range to play center field for now, but he is likely to slow down as he matures and move to a corner. His average arm strength fits best in left field.

    The Future: Alcantara has one of the highest ceilings in the Cubs' system as an athletic, power-hitting slugger, but he has lots of growth ahead. He'll move to High-A South Bend in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 45. Power: 60. Speed: 55. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50

  4. 4. Matt Mervis | 1B
    Matt Mervis
    Born: Apr 16, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 225
    Signed By: Billy Swoope
    Minors: .309/.379/.605 | 36 HR | 2 SB | 512 AB

    Track Record: Mervis played both ways at Duke as a first baseman/righthanded reliever and showed promising offensive potential with Cotuit in the Cape Cod League. He projected to be drafted between rounds six and 10 in 2020, but he went unpicked after the draft was shortened to five rounds due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mervis signed with the Cubs as an undrafted free agent and broke out with one of the best seasons in the minors in 2022. He vaulted from High-A to Triple-A and led the minor leagues with 78 extra-base hits, 117 RBIs and 310 total bases and finished tied for third with 36 home runs.

    Scouting Report: Mervis is a hulking lefthanded hitter with plus raw power. He previously struggled to make enough contact to get to it, but he shortened his swing and honed his approach in 2022 to focus on pitches in the middle-third of the plate, leading to his breakout year. He has excellent bat speed and natural timing, and his improved swing path and selectivity give him a chance to be an average hitter. Mervis can be a touch aggressive on soft stuff below the zone and isn't as dangerous against lefthanders, but he demolishes fastballs, has good strike-zone recognition and keeps his strikeouts low for a power hitter. He mostly pulls the ball and will benefit from the new rules banning shifts in the majors. Mervis' value is tied almost exclusively to his bat. He is a well below-average runner and a below-average--but passable--defender at first base. He has retained the plus-plus arm strength that helped him reach 96 mph as a pitcher in college.

    The Future: Mervis projects to be an everyday first baseman who hits for power, a case he amplified by tying for the Arizona Fall League lead with six home runs. His big league debut should come in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 30. Fielding: 40. Arm: 70

  5. 5. Cade Horton | RHP
    Cade Horton
    Born: Aug 20, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 211
    Signed By: Ty Nichols

    Track Record: A standout quarterback and All-America pitcher in high school, Horton committed to Oklahoma to play both football and baseball but had Tommy John surgery as a freshman and dropped football. He began 2022 as the Sooners' starting third baseman while he eased his way back onto the mound and struggled early in his return to pitching, but he clicked at the end of the year to rocket up draft boards. Horton carried Oklahoma to the College World Series finals with a 2.81 ERA over four postseason starts and set a CWS finals record with 13 strikeouts against Mississippi. The Cubs drafted him seventh overall one month later and signed him for a below-slot $4.45 million.

    Scouting Report: Horton is a strong, athletic righthander with a power arsenal that overwhelms hitters. His fastball sits 94-96 mph and touches 98 with natural ride and cut that generates whiffs and weak popups at the top of the zone. His hard, vertical slider is a wipeout pitch at 87-90 mph and gives him a second plus offering that he can throw for strikes or use to get chases. Horton primarily throws his fastball and slider, but his low-80s curveball with downward bite is an average third offering he can land for strikes. His firm, upper-90s changeup is a usable, if fringy, fourth offering. Horton has a tick of effort to his delivery, but he maintains his stuff through his starts and throws everything for strikes with average control. He pitched only one partial season in college and still has to prove he can maintain his best stuff over a full season.

    The Future: Horton has the ingredients to be a midrotation starter as long as he refines a third pitch and stays healthy. He'll make his pro debut in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Curveball: 50. Slider: 60. Changeup: 45. Control: 50

  6. 6. Ben Brown | RHP
    Ben Brown
    Born: Sep 9, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 210
    Signed By: Alex Agostino (Phillies)
    Minors: 6-5 | 3.38 ERA | 149 SO | 36 BB | 104 IP

    Track Record: A product of the same high school that produced lefthanders Steven Matz and Anthony Kay, Brown signed with the Phillies for $60,000 as a 33rd-round pick in 2017 and would have been drafted higher if not for a burst appendix that caused him to miss the summer showcase circuit. He then had Tommy John surgery in 2019 and made just seven appearances in 2021 due to an elbow injury and a stint on the Covid-related injured list. Brown finally stayed healthy in 2022 and had a breakout season at High-A Jersey Shore, leading the Cubs to acquire him for closer David Robertson at the trade deadline. Brown rose to Double-A Tennessee after the trade and finished the year ranked eighth in the minors with a strikeout rate of 12.9 per nine innings among pitchers with at least 100 innings.

    Scouting Report: Brown is an imposing 6-foot-6 righthander who keeps growing into more stuff. His fastball topped out at 92 mph in high school but now sits 94-97 with late ride and run to generate swings and misses in the strike zone. His primary secondary pitch is a plus mid-80s power curveball with biting downward action that he can land for strikes or bury for chase swings below the zone. Brown also has a short power slider in the 87-91 mph range that is an above-average offering. His rarely-used changeup is well below-average pitch and needs further development to help him better handle lefthanded hitters. Brown is an extremely confident pitcher who aggressively goes after hitters. He pounds the strike zone with average control and is efficient with his pitch counts.

    The Future: Brown has a chance to be a hard-throwing No. 3 or 4 starter if he can stay healthy. If not, he has the stuff and mentality to be an impact reliever.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Curveball: 60. Slider: 55. Changeup: 30. Control: 50

  7. 7. Cristian Hernandez | SS
    Cristian Hernandez
    Born: Dec 13, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 165
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2021.
    Signed By: Gian Guzmán/Louie Eljaua/Alex Suarez

    Track Record: Hernandez trained at the same program in the Dominican Republic that produced big league righthanders Cristian Javier and Deivi Garcia and emerged as arguably the top player in the 2020-21 international class. The Cubs signed him for a franchise-record $3 million bonus and assigned him the Dominican Summer League in 2021, where he had a solid pro debut. Hernandez made his U.S. debut in the Arizona Complex League in 2022 and continued to show promising tools and athleticism, but he slumped as the year progressed and posted a concerning 30.2% strikeout rate.

    Scouting Report: Hernandez stands out with a lean, athletic 6-foot-2 frame that has plenty of room to fill out. He has excellent bat speed and generates plus power to all fields with remarkable ease. He consistently impacts the ball and could have plus-plus power once he reaches physical maturity. Hernandez hits balls hard when he connects, but his swing gets long and he chases too often, particularly against breaking balls. He has the physical ingredients to be an average hitter who gets to his power in games, but he has to tighten his swing and approach. Hernandez is a smooth defender at shortstop with the actions, hands and plus arm strength to stick at the position. He is a below-average runner with a tick below-average range, so he may move to third base as he gets bigger and loses a step. He would be at least an above-average defender at the hot corner.

    The Future: Hernandez has the potential to be a power-hitting shortstop, but he has a lot of offensive adjustments to make before he can reach that ceiling. He'll make his full-season debut with Low-A Myrtle Beach in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 40. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60

  8. 8. Hayden Wesneski | RHP
    Hayden Wesneski
    Born: Dec 5, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 210
    Signed By: Brian Rhees (Yankees)
    Minors: 6-9 | 3.92 ERA | 106 SO | 36 BB | 111 IP

    Track Record: Wesneski pitched three seasons in Sam Houston State's rotation and finished fourth in school history with 224 career strikeouts. The Yankees drafted him in the sixth round in 2019 and signed him for a below-slot $617,500. Wesneski rose three levels to Triple-A in his first full season in 2021 and delivered another strong showing in 2022. The Cubs acquired him for reliever Scott Effross at the trade deadline and called him up to the big leagues in September, when he posted a 2.18 ERA over 33 innings as a starter and long reliever in a tenure that also included an immaculate inning.

    Scouting Report: Wesneski succeeds by mixing and locating a deep, five-pitch mix. His four-seamer sits 93-94 mph and touches 97 with heavy sinking life, and his 92-95 mph two-seamer runs in hard and late on righthanded batters. Both are difficult pitches to elevate and result in a heavy dose of ground balls. Wesneski's low-80s slider with two-plane snap is a plus pitch that gets swings and misses both in and out of the strike zone, and he'll also mix in an 87-90 mph cutter to give batters a different look. He rounds out his arsenal with a below-average, upper-80s changeup he'll need to improve in order to better handle lefthanded batters. Wesneski's delivery is somewhat unconventional with his long arm action and low three-quarters arm slot, but he has a good feel for pitching and throws everything for strikes with above-average control. He is a tough competitor who earns the 'bulldog' moniker from team officials.

    The Future: Wesneski's deep pitch mix gives him a chance to be a back-of-the-rotation starter or bulk reliever. He'll compete for a spot in the Cubs' Opening Day rotation in spring training.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 60. Cutter: 50. Changeup: 40. Control: 55

  9. 9. Miguel Amaya | C
    Miguel Amaya
    Born: Mar 9, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 230
    Drafted/Signed: Panama, 2015.
    Signed By: Marino Encarnacion/Jose Serra/Alex Suarez/Louie Eljaua.
    Minors: .261/.369/.455 | 6 HR | 0 SB | 134 AB

    Track Record: Amaya signed with the Cubs for $1 million after a decorated amateur career in Panama and made the Futures Game in 2018 and 2019. His rise was halted by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2021, but he returned midway through the 2022 season and picked up where he left off. Amaya posted an .864 OPS in 28 games for Double-A Tennessee while serving as a DH, but a Lisfranc fracture in his left foot abruptly cut his return short in mid September.

    Scouting Report: Amaya is a patient hitter who identifies pitches early out of the hand and rarely chases. He routinely gets ahead in counts and forces pitchers to throw the ball over the plate, earning him good pitches to hit. Amaya takes big, powerful cuts when he swings, but he struggles to elevate and frequently hits the ball on the ground. He has plus-plus raw power and can hit balls out to any part of the park, but he'll need to get the ball in the air more to reach his potential as a fringe-average hitter with above-average power. He crushes fastballs but struggles against breaking balls. Amaya used his rehab time to improve his conditioning and shed excess fat from his frame. Once an overly large backstop, he is now a sleeker, more explosive athlete. He was an average receiver and blocker with a plus arm before surgery, but it remains to be seen where he is now defensively with his new physique and surgically repaired elbow.

    The Future: Amaya remains the Cubs' catcher of the future with Willson Contreras reaching free agency following the 2022 season. Amaya will move to Triple-A in 2023 and could make his big league debut during the season.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 45. Power: 55. Speed: 30. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60

  10. 10. Caleb Kilian | RHP
    Caleb Kilian
    Born: Jun 2, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 180
    Signed By: Todd Thomas (Giants).
    Minors: 5-4 | 4.22 ERA | 125 SO | 59 BB | 107 IP

    Track Record: Kilian led Texas Tech to consecutive College World Series as an anchor of its rotation and was drafted by the Giants in the eighth round in 2019. He emerged from the coronavirus shutdown stronger and throwing harder, leading to a breakout campaign in 2021. The Cubs acquired him with outfielder Alexander Canario for Kris Bryant at the trade deadline that year. Kilian started hot at Triple-A Iowa in 2022 and quickly rose to the majors for his big league debut, but his command evaporated in the majors and he got rocked for 13 earned runs in 11.1 innings. He continued to struggle throwing strikes after he returned to the minors and finished the year with a career-worst 4.22 ERA and 5.0 walks per nine innings.

    Scouting Report: Kilian is a physical, 6-foot-4 righthander with plenty of stuff. His above-average fastball sits 94-96 mph and he can manipulate it to give it cut, ride or sink. Kilian's 75-78 mph curveball with good depth is another above-average offering, and he'll mix in an average, upper-80s cutter that gets hitters to chase. His mid-80s changeup is below-average and rarely used. Kilian previously moved the ball around the strike zone with plus control, but he lost it in the majors and struggled to regain it in the minors. He no longer uses his lower half efficiently in his delivery and struggles to repeat his mechanics, leading to fringy control and a lack of quality strikes. Cubs officials identified the problem with his lower half and believe they can fix it, but acknowledge they have concerns.

    The Future: Kilian has the stuff to be a No. 4 starter, but he has to rediscover his previous form. Doing so will be his main focus in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 55. Cutter: 50. Changeup: 40. Control: 45

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