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  1. 1. 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: .260/.375/.494 | 19 HR | 8 SB | 350 AB

    BA Grade: 60/High

    Track Record: Davis is the son of former NBA point guard Reggie Theus, but his father is not a part of his life. He was raised by his mother Jakki, a former standout long jumper at Washington, on a ranch in Arizona, where he tended to goats, llamas, chickens, horses, cats, dogs and other animals. Davis grew into a multi-sport standout and helped Basha (Chandler, Ariz.) High win the Arizona 6A state basketball championship as a junior while being named his region’s defensive player of the year, but he dropped basketball as a senior to focus on baseball full-time. The decision paid off when the Cubs drafted him in the second round and signed him for an above-slot $1.1 million bonus to forgo a Miami commitment. After being limited by a broken finger in his first full season and spending 2020 at the alternate training site, Davis broke out in 2021. He missed the start of the season after he was hit by a pitch in the face during spring training and suffered a broken nose and a concussion, but he still rose from High-A to Triple-A and led Cubs full-season minor leaguers in runs (66), doubles (25) and OPS (.869). He hit two home runs at the Futures Game in Denver and was named MVP.

    Scouting Report: Davis is built like a basketball player with his long, lean 6-foot-4 frame. His long arms create excellent leverage in his swing and help him generate plus power to his pull side. He has progressively filled out as he’s matured and still has room to get stronger and add more power to his game. Davis’ long levers previously made it difficult for him to be on time against fastballs, but he adjusted his swing to be shorter and quicker and now has no trouble catching up to velocity. He turns around both fastballs and breaking balls, covers the entire plate and drives the ball hard to all fields. Davis occasionally expands the strike zone, especially against secondary pitches down and away from lefthanded pitchers, but he generally forces pitchers to throw strikes and projects to be an average hitter as long he maintains his patient approach. Davis is a plus runner who uses his speed more effectively in the outfield than on the basepaths. He effortlessly runs down fly balls in all directions and projects to be an above-average defender in center field. He may slow down as he fills out and move to right field, where his plus arm will fit. Davis is a thoughtful, charitable individual who offered to pay off his mom’s house with his signing bonus and donated 40 pairs of cleats to his high school. He continues to care for his pet llamas, Marco and Polo, in the offseason.

    The Future: Davis has the talent to be an all-star and the personality to be a fan favorite in Chicago. His major league debut should come in 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 60. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60

  2. 2. Cristian Hernandez | SS
    Cristian Hernandez
    Born: Dec 13, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 175
    Signed By: Gian Guzmán/Louie Eljaua/Alex Suarez.

    BA Grade: 60/Extreme

    Track Record: Hernandez showed elite swing mechanics from an early age in the Dominican Republic and established himself as arguably the top player in the 2020-21 international signing class. The Cubs signed him for $3 million, a franchise record for an international amateur, the first day the signing period opened. Hernandez began his pro career in the Dominican Summer League and delivered a promising early return on that investment. He posted an .822 OPS with 21 stolen bases and nearly as many walks (30) as strikeouts (39).

    Scouting Report: Hernandez is the rare explosive athlete who is also a polished hitter for his age. He generates excellent bat speed, gets on plane early and keeps his barrel through the zone for a long time. He effortlessly drives the ball hard to all fields and projects to grow into plus power as he fills out his projectable, 6-foot-2 frame. Hernandez got off to a slow start in his pro debut, but he showed the ability to adjust and caught fire at the end of the season. He has a high baseball IQ and a preternatural ability to slow the game down. Hernandez is impressively coordinated for his age and has the hands, instincts and range to be an average defender at shortstop. He may outgrow the position as he fills out and has the plus arm strength for third base if he has to move.

    The Future: Hernandez has the potential to be an impact hitter in the middle of the lineup, but he’s a long way away. He is set to make his U.S. debut in 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 60. Speed: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.

  3. 3. Brailyn Marquez | LHP
    Brailyn Marquez
    Born: Jan 30, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2015.
    Signed By: Mario Encarnacion/Jose Serra/Alex Suarez/Louie Eljaua.

    BA Grade: 60/Extreme

    Track Record: Marquez signed with the Cubs for $600,000 when he was 16 and blossomed into one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in the minors. He made his major league debut on the final day of the 2020 season and entered last year as the Cubs’ No. 1 prospect, but he contracted Covid-19 before spring training and then suffered a shoulder strain trying to build up his arm strength. His shoulder injury lingered and caused him to abort multiple rehab attempts throughout the year, and he ended up missing the entire season.

    Scouting Report: When healthy, Marquez overwhelms hitters with a fastball that sits at 96-98 mph and touches 102 with remarkably little effort. He pairs it with a mid-to-upper 80s slider with excellent depth and a 90-91 mph changeup he sells well with his arm speed. He also developed a low-80s curveball at the alternate training site in 2020 that he can land for strikes early in counts. Marquez’s stuff is overpowering, but he’s only a fair athlete and struggles to repeat his delivery and release point. His fastball sails high to his arm side when his delivery is not on time and he has yet to show he can throw his slider and changeup for strikes consistently. He has stretches where he pounds the strike zone, but he also has spurts of extreme wildness.

    The Future: Marquez is a wild card depending on the health of his shoulder. Provided his stuff returns intact, he has a chance to be a No. 2 or 3 starter if he improves his control or a closer if he moves to the bullpen.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 80. Curveball: 40. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 45

  4. 4. 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: .417/.562/.500 | 0 HR | 2 SB | 24 AB

    BA Grade: 55/Very High

    Track Record: Crow-Armstrong starred at Harvard-Westlake High in Los Angeles, the same school that produced Lucas Giolito, Max Fried and Jack Flaherty, and was a two-time member of USA Baseball’s 18U national team in a decorated amateur career. The Cubs nearly drafted him with their first-round pick in 2020, but ultimately opted for local shortstop Ed Howard. The Mets drafted him three picks later and signed him for $3.359 million to forgo a Vanderbilt commitment. Crow-Armstrong’s pro debut in 2021 was cut short after six games by a torn labrum in his right shoulder that required season-ending surgery. Despite the injury, the Cubs still acquired him at the trade deadline for Javier Baez and Trevor Williams.

    Scouting Report: Crow-Armstrong is slightly built but has innate instincts that help him play bigger than his size. He has a sweet lefthanded swing geared for contact, has few holes in his swing and controls the strike zone with a disciplined approach. He projects to be at least an average hitter and should grow into 10-15 home run power as he adds strength to his frame. Crow-Armstrong shines brightest on defense. He’s a confident, fluid defender in center field with plus speed, elite anticipation and graceful actions. His above-average arm keeps runners from taking extra bases and rounds out his plus-plus defensive ability.

    The Future: Crow-Armstrong has the skills to be a Gold Glove-winning center fielder who hits at the top or bottom of a lineup. He should have no trouble dealing with the spotlight—his parents, Ashley Crow and Matthew Armstrong, are both accomplished actors in L.A.

    Scouting Grades:Hit: 50. Power: 40. Speed: 60. Fielding: 70. Arm: 55.

  5. 5. Jordan Wicks | LHP
    Jordan Wicks
    Born: Sep 1, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 220
    Signed By: Ty Nichols.
    Minors: 0-0 | 5.14 ERA | 5 SO | 3 BB | 7 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Wicks led the Big 12 Conference in strikeouts last spring and set Kansas State’s single-season (118) and career (230) strikeout records despite playing only two full seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Cubs considered him a top-10 talent in the draft and were happily surprised he was available at No. 21, where they quickly selected him to make him the first Kansas State player ever drafted in the first round. Wicks signed for $3,132,300 and made his brief pro debut with four starts at Low-A Myrtle Beach.

    Scouting Report: Wicks is a polished lefthander who pounds the strike zone with five pitches. His four-seam fastball and two-seam fastball both sit 92-93 mph and touch 95, and they each play up with late movement and deception out of his slightly crossfire delivery. His four-seamer gets excellent carry through the zone with cut and ride and his two-seamer features late run. Wicks’ expertly mixes his secondary pitches, headlined by a plus-plus changeup that was the best in the 2021 draft class. It’s a tumbling pitch with late drop in the low-80s that he sells with his arm speed and gets early swings and misses. Wicks’ mid-80s slider has improved to become an above-average pitch and his upper-70s curveball is a usable offering. Wicks works quickly and fills up the strike zone with plus control. He is an outstanding teammate who is eager to learn.

    The Future: Wicks has weapons to get both righthanded and lefthanded hitters out and should move quickly up the minors. He projects to settle in as a No. 3 or 4 starter similar to Marco Gonzales.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 45. Slider: 55. Changeup: 70. Control: 60

  6. 6. 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: .345/.423/.588 | 5 HR | 5 SB | 119 AB

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Alcantara signed with the Yankees for $1 million during the 2018 international signing period and advanced out of the Dominican Summer League just nine games into his pro debut. He got off to a hot start during extended spring training and the beginning of the Florida Complex League season in 2021, leading the Cubs to acquire him with righthander Alexander Vizcaino for Anthony Rizzo at the trade deadline. Alcantara took off after joining the Cubs, posting a 1.024 OPS in the Arizona Complex League and becoming a scout favorite.

    Scouting Report: Alcantara is physically gifted with his long, lean 6-foot-6 frame, growing strength and impressive athleticism. He has a balanced, powerful swing and generates plenty of leverage with his long arms. The ball jumps off his bat in the air to all fields with little effort, and he has a chance to grow into plus power as he gets stronger. Alcantara’s swing gets long and will need to be shortened, but he’s receptive to coaching and has already shown the ability to adjust. He recognizes spin well for his age, stays balanced through his swing and uses the whole field, giving him a chance to be an average hitter. Alcantara is a plus runner who covers lots of ground in center field with his long strides. He has a chance to stay in center but may outgrow the position as he fills out. He has average arm strength.

    The Future: Alcantara’s raw tools give him as much upside as anyone in the Cubs system. How his swing develops will determine whether he reaches his all-star potential.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 55. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.

  7. 7. Caleb Kilian | RHP
    Caleb Kilian
    Born: Jun 2, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 180
    Signed By: Todd Thomas (Giants).
    Minors: 7-4 | 2.42 ERA | 112 SO | 13 BB | 101 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Kilian led Texas Tech to back-to-back College World Series appearances as a member of the Red Raiders starting rotation and finished third in school history with 23 career wins. The Giants drafted him in the eighth round in 2019 and signed him for $397,500. Kilian impressed in his pro debut after signing and, after missing the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, rose to Double-A in a breakout 2021 campaign. The Cubs acquired him with outfielder Alexander Canario at the trade deadline for Kris Bryant, and Kilian continued his ascent with a star turn in the Arizona Fall League after the season.

    Scouting Report: Kilian previously succeeded with average stuff and plus control, but his stuff has ticked up to enhance his future outlook. His fastball now sits 91-94 mph and touches 97-98 mph. He has maintained his advanced feel for pitching through his velocity bump and manipulates his fastball to alternately give it cut, sink or ride or depending on the hitter. Kilian primarily succeeds throwing different varieties of his fastball, but his curveball has improved to flash plus with good depth and he can mix in both an average cutter and changeup. Kilian locates his fastball on both edges of the plate and fills up the strike zone with all four of his pitches. He has a good feel for changing speeds and moving the ball around the strike zone.

    The Future: Kilian’s newfound velocity and advanced feel for pitching gives him a chance to be a mid-to-back of the rotation starter. He is in position to make his major league debut in 2022.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 55. Curveball: 55. Cutter: 50. Changeup: 50. Control: 60

  8. 8. Owen Caissie | OF
    Owen Caissie
    Born: Jul 8, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Burlington, Ont., 2020 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Chris Kemlo (Padres).
    Minors: .302/.434/.489 | 7 HR | 1 SB | 182 AB

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Caissie starred for the Canada’s junior national team and rose to prominence as a high school senior when he hit a home run off Double-A pitcher Conner Overton that hit the batter’s eye at the Blue Jays spring training stadium. The Padres drafted him 45th overall and signed him for $1.2 million, then traded him to the Cubs six months later as one of five players for Yu Darvish. Almost immediately, Caissie emerged as the best prospect in the Darvish trade. His power earned comparisons to Joey Gallo’s during extended spring training and he rampaged through the Arizona Complex League with a 1.074 OPS. He finished the year with a promotion to Low-A Myrtle Beach.

    Scouting Report: Caissie has the most power in the Cubs system and gets to it with remarkable ease. He has a compact, powerful lefthanded swing and keeps his barrel in the zone a long time. The ball jumps off his bat with his natural strength and leverage and frequently clears 400 feet to both his pull-side and the opposite field. He puts together quality at-bats, keeps a good direction in his swing and controls the strike zone enough to project to be an average hitter with 35-plus home run power. Caissie is less refined defensively. He’s a below-average right fielder who struggles with high fly balls and is short on game experience. He’s a good athlete and hard worker and should improve in time. He has above-average arm strength.

    The Future: Caissie checks all the boxes of a future middle-of-the-order run producer. His bat may allow him to rise quickly through the minors.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 65. Speed: 50. Fielding: 40. Arm: 55.

  9. 9. D.J. Herz | LHP
    D.J. Herz
    Born: Jan 4, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 175
    Signed By: Billy Swoope.
    Minors: 4-4 | 3.31 ERA | 131 SO | 44 BB | 82 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Herz played quarterback on the football team and guard on the basketball team in addition to being the ace lefthander at Terry Sanford (Fayetteville, N.C.) High. The Cubs identified Herz early as a draft target and selected him in the eighth round in 2019, signing him for an above-slot $500,000 bonus. Herz looked primed for a breakout during 2020 spring training before the coronavirus pandemic canceled the minor league season, but he carried it over into 2021. Herz led the organization with 131 strikeouts while spending time at both Class A levels and averaged 14.4 strikeouts per nine innings, third-highest in the minors among pitchers who threw at least 80 innings.

    Scouting Report: Herz is an athletic lefthander who continues to grow into more stuff every year. His fastball jumped from 88-91 to 92-95 mph and plays up with late carry and deception from his crossbody delivery. Hitters don’t see his fastball and are consistently late on it. Herz’s changeup has developed a borderline plus-plus pitch with “insane” drop the words of one evaluator, and his tight, vertical curveball is at least an average pitch that ties up righthanded batters. Herz has three swing-and-miss pitches, but his long arm action and cross-body finish make it difficult for him to control his arsenal. He averaged nearly five walks per nine, hit eight batters and threw 14 wild pitches. His arm action also raises concerns about future injuries.

    The Future: Herz has electric stuff but needs to improve his control to reach his mid-rotation potential. If he doesn’t, he could still be a shutdown lefthanded reliever.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 60. Curveball: 50. Changeup: 65. Control: 40

  10. 10. Yohendrick Pinango | OF
    Yohendrick Pinango
    Born: May 7, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 170
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2018.
    Signed By: Julio Figeuroa/Hector Ortega/Louie Eljaua.
    Minors: .276/.327/.373 | 5 HR | 8 SB | 421 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Pinango long stood out for his hitting ability as an amateur in Venezuela and signed with the Cubs for $400,000 in 2018. He lived up to the billing by leading the Dominican Summer League in hits in his pro debut and continued to star at instructional league in 2020. Pinango made his full-season debut in 2021 and hit .272 at offense-stifling Myrtle Beach before earning a promotion to High-A South Bend, where he hit .289. He had hitting streaks of 15 and 11 games during the season and finished the year with more multi-hit games (34) than hitless games (29).

    Scouting Report: The best pure hitter in the Cubs system, Pinango has a quick, lefthanded swing and elite contact skills for his age. He rarely swings and misses, keeps his barrel in the zone for a long time and sprays balls from line to line. He complements those contact skills with a patient approach and is a consensus future plus hitter. Pinango swings down on the ball and mostly hits it on the ground, making it unlikely he’ll ever elevate enough to be a home run-threat, but he makes hard contact and posts above-average exit velocities for his age. Pinango is physically mature already and projects to be a left fielder with his average speed and arm strength. He has advanced instincts and plays under control on both sides of the ball.

    The Future: Pinango’s hitting ability gives him a chance to be a starting corner outfielder even with his lack of home run power. He may see Double-A as a 20-year-old in 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 60. Power: 30. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50.

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