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

    TRACK RECORD: When the Cubs gave Marquez $600,000 in 2015, they did so with the idea that his fastball, which sat in the low 90s, had the potential to give hitters nightmares. They were right. Marquez hinted at his potential in an excellent 2018 season that ended with him ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Northwest League. He showed up even stronger in 2019, which ended in his first appearance on the Top 100 Prospects.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Marquez’s signature pitch is his fastball, which sits in the upper 90s and regularly reaches triple digits. He peaked at 102 mph, which he reached 24 times in 2019. Marquez pairs the fastball with a spike slider in the low 80s that, at its best, tunnels with his fastball and features short, late snap. He also throws a changeup in the 89-91 mph range that he can use to get swings and misses. The pitch needs more consistency to reach its projection as an average major league offering. The Cubs point to a two-year process Marquez went through to get his arms and legs to sync up during his delivery as one of the main drivers of his improved ability to throw quality strikes. They also worked to get his arm stroke back to the longer, smoother version he showed as an amateur instead of the shorter, choppier one it had morphed into. Once those elements were in place, he needed to learn how to sequence. Instead of using his velocity to blow fastballs by hitters, he needed to have the intuition and confidence to throw his offspeed pitches in appropriate counts. That process was part of the reason the Cubs kept Marquez at low Class A South Bend until Aug. 6. Even with his raised profile, there are still plenty of ways Marquez can continue to improve. Maintaining command will be a continual process, especially given his size and long levers. He needs to continue to refine his changeup, especially considering that it is thrown with similar velocity as his breaking ball.

    THE FUTURE: For an organization that has struggled mightily to develop pitchers, Marquez represents hope. If he can maintain his delivery and bring his offspeed pitches forward, he could fit as a franchise starter at the front of a rotation. If not, his elite velocity from the left side could lead him into a closer’s role. Either role would be an outcome befitting the organization’s No. 1 prospect. SCOUTING GRADES Fastball: 80. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 50. BA GRADE 60 Risk: High

  2. 2. Nico Hoerner | SS/2B
    Nico Hoerner
    Born: May 13, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Gabe Zappin.

    TRACK RECORD: During his career at Stanford and his summers in the Northwoods and Cape Cod leagues, Hoerner exhibited all the traits of a professional hitter. The Cubs were confident enough in Hoerner’s hitting track record that they drafted him 24th overall in 2018, then watched as he made it to low Class A after just 10 games. An elbow strain ended his regular season, but Hoerner sidelined him until the Arizona Fall League, where he shined. Hoerner spent his first full year at Double-A. He missed the bulk of the regular season with a broken hand, but once again shined later in the season, this time as a September callup.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Hoerner entered pro ball as an accomplished hitter, but he still had polish to add. The Cubs focused early in the season on adjusting Hoerner’s stance and approach to allow him to work the ball to the left-center field gap more often. The adjustments also allowed Hoerner to pull breaking balls in the air with more regularity. Those changes quickly took hold and made Hoerner into a more complete hitter and allowed him to put his best swing on more pitches. Defensively, he still has a chance to play shortstop, but he’s more likely to slide over to second base as his career moves along—especially considering Javier Baez has shortstop well in hand. He’s an average runner but his instincts amplify his pure speed.

    THE FUTURE: Hoerner fared well in his big league debut and could compete for a return engagement out of spring training. Hoerner should settle in as an offensive-minded infielder.

  3. 3. Brennen Davis | OF
    Brennen Davis
    Born: Nov 2, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 175
    Signed By: Steve McFarland.

    TRACK RECORD: Davis came to the Cubs a bit raw in terms of his baseball skills after splitting his high school career between the diamond and the basketball court. The athleticism that allowed him to excel on the hardwood also provided Davis with considerable baseball upside. The Cubs spent a secondround pick on him and used a $1.1 million bonus to sign him.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Davis was originally slated to start in extended spring training before moving to short-season for the summer. He outplayed expectations, however, and forced the Cubs to push him to low Class A South Bend. Davis performed well in the Midwest League, but his season was disjointed because of a pair of pitches that hit him in nearly the same spot on his right index finger. The second pitch broke the finger and ended his season. Before the injury, the Cubs moved Davis off the plate a bit to allow his long levers a better chance to get extended and create torque against more pitches. He took to the changes quickly, and the result was an excellent first exposure to pitchers outside Rookie-level ball. The Cubs expect Davis to add considerably more strength to his lithe frame, which should add more power.

    THE FUTURE: After a tantalizing glimpse of his tools becoming skills in 2019, Davis should get a chance to build on his success in 2020.

  4. 4. Miguel Amaya | C
    Miguel Amaya
    Born: Mar 9, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 185
    Signed By: Marino Encarnacion/Jose Serra/Alex Suarez/Louie Eljaua.

    TRACK RECORD: The Cubs thought enough of Amaya’s combination of defensive and offensive skills to give him a $1 million signing bonus out of Panama. He’s moved a level per year since signing, with full seasons at low Class A South Bend and high Class A Myrtle Beach in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Amaya has represented the Cubs at the Futures Game in each of the past two seasons as well.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Slowly but surely, Amaya is developing into the player the Cubs envisioned. He spent 2019 adjusting his approach to hit the ball in the air more often. The concept is a tough sell at Myrtle Beach, where flyballs don’t get rewarded as often as at other parks. Amaya’s 11 home runs fell one short of the career high he set in 2018, but he did so in 73 fewer at-bats. Notably, Amaya opened the season as the youngest position player in the Carolina League. He can get overaggressive and get himself out early in counts, which is another area he’ll work to improve. Amaya has work to do behind the plate, where he’s still a bit of crude receiver. He has the arm strength to produce pop times of just more than 2.0 seconds and caught 35 percent of attempted basestealers.

    THE FUTURE: After a full year at high Class A plus time in the Arizona Fall League, Amaya should move to Double-A Tennessee in 2020. He projects as a solid but not spectacular everyday catcher.

  5. 5. Chase Strumpf | 2B
    Chase Strumpf
    Born: Mar 8, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 191
    Signed By: Tom Myers.

    TRACK RECORD: Strumpf put together a stellar career at California’s prestigious JSerra HS, where he was teammates with 2017 No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis. His five home runs led the 2013 15U National Team, which had a roster with 2016 No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak, 2019 No. 3 overall pick Andrew Vaughn and 2017 first-rounder Nick Pratto. After high school, Strumpf put together three excellent seasons at UCLA, including an outstanding sophomore season in which he hit .363/.475/.633 with 12 home runs. His numbers were down a bit in 2019, but the Cubs were convicted enough by his bat to draft him in the second round. He ranked No. 6 among the short-season Northwest League’s Top 20 prospects.

    SCOUTING REPORT: After scoring big in 2018 with Nico Hoerner, a bat-first middle infielder from the Pac-12 Conference, the Cubs went back to that well again in 2019. In Strumpf, Cubs scouts saw a polished hitter with a solid approach and a grinder’s mentality both at the plate and in the field. He’s shown mostly doubles power as a pro, but the Cubs believe a few tweaks can help him start putting more balls over the fence. Specifically, they want him to back off the plate a little bit more and use his long arms to generate the torque his frame and strength will allow. They’d also like to see him be a little more aggressive later in counts, especially on pitches he can impact. Strumpf is a serviceable second baseman with strong hands and feet who can make routine plays but is not likely to wow anyone his glove. He has fringe-average arm strength.

    THE FUTURE: Given his pedigree, Strumpf should move to high Class A Myrtle Beach in 2020. He projects as a bat-first middle infielder.

  6. 6. Ed Howard | SS
    Ed Howard
    Born: Aug 6, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185

    Howard is the top prep shortstop in a light high school class at the position. Midwest area scouts should have good history with him considering he played alongside D-backs 2018 second-round pick Alek Thomas as an underclassman at Mount Carmel (Ill.) High. Howard wowed scouts as a junior in Perfect Game’s Jupiter WWBA tournament, showing high-level ability on both sides of the ball. While he has upside as a hitter, the most polished part of Howard’s game is his defense. He’s a no-doubt shortstop as a solid athlete with reliable hands and a strong, accurate throwing arm. He moves fluidly in the middle of the diamond and has the ability to throw from all angles with excellent body control and a solid internal clock. He’s the clear-cut top prep defender at the position and has the potential to be a plus defensive shortstop in the big leagues. The one critique in Howard's defensive game is scouts would like to see better foot speed. He’s a solid runner, but not a burner by any means. Teams have to project more on Howard’s offensive game, particularly after he didn't play any games this season due to the coronavirus pandemic. He shows good bat speed, some bat-to-ball skills and a lithe, 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame that has plenty of room to add muscle. Howard is more of a gap-to-gap, line-drive type hitter at present, and scouts want to see him refine his approach. Howard did a nice job progressing through last summer and showed he can make adjustments. Howard is committed to Oklahoma, but it’s rare for the top high school shortstop to not go in the first round. A team that buys his upside could take him in the middle or back half of the first round.

  7. 7. Cole Roederer | OF
    Cole Roederer
    Born: Sep 24, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 175
    Signed By: Tom Myers.

    TRACK RECORD: Improved strength and power in his draft season led Roederer to make a quick move up draft boards. Even after he separated his shoulder and pulled his hamstring, the Cubs were sold enough to draft Roederer in the second supplemental round and sign him for $1.2 million. He put together a solid pro debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he ranked as the league’s No. 7 prospect.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Roederer’s value is tied mostly to his bat, which showed in 2019 that it will need a bit more polish. Specifically, Roederer tried too hard to pull the ball with power rather than shooting line drives to all fields. In turn, his numbers suffered. Still, evaluators both inside and outside the system see the potential for a solid hitter. He has a quick, direct swing and a still head which should allow him to make plenty of solid contact if he can adjust his approach. Pitchers in the MWL learned to set up Roederer with high fastballs followed by offspeed pitches low in the zone. Now it’s on him to adjust. He’s a solid defender whose above-average speed and fringe-average arm should fit well in left field.

    THE FUTURE: Roederer projects as a solid regular in the outfield. He should see high Class A Myrtle Beach in 2020 but might start back in the Midwest League.

  8. 8. Ryan Jensen | RHP
    Ryan Jensen
    Born: Nov 23, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 180
    Signed By: Gabe Zappin.

    TRACK RECORD: Jensen moved from the bullpen at Fresno State into the rotation in the middle of his sophomore year and saw mixed results. His stuff was plenty strong to thrive, but his scattershot command and control often counteracted his powerful pitch mix. Still, the Cubs were intrigued by Jensen’s raw tools and what they could become when paired with pro coaching. They were so strongly convinced, in fact, that they used their first-round pick in 2019 on Jensen and signed him to a $2 million bonus. He made six starts in the short-season Northwest League before shutting it down after throwing a career-high 100 innings at Fresno State.

    SCOUTING REPORT: The intrigue surrounding Jensen comes from his twoseam and four-seam fastballs. While plenty of pitchers have both of them in their repertoire, Jensen throws both pitches at the same velocity while keeping them as two distinct pitches. Both pitches average 96 mph, but the four-seamer features carrying life through the zone while the two-seamer shows power sink and armside run. He backs up the fastballs with a mid-80s slider with power break. His changeup is a distant fourth pitch and was seldom needed in college. The key will be honing Jensen’s mechanics to make them more repeatable and helping him control the length of the movement on his pitches. He showed fatigue toward the end of the season, but area scout Gabe Zappin and West Coast crosschecker Shane Farrell noted that Jensen held his stuff throughout his outings despite a smaller than normal frame from a power pitcher.

    THE FUTURE: After an offseason to recover, Jensen will likely move to one of the Cubs’ Class A levels to begin 2020. His upside is as a high-end power arm in the rotation but he could be a power reliever as well and use his fastballs and slider to wipe out hitters.

  9. 9. Ethan Hearn | C
    Ethan Hearn
    Born: Aug 31, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Alex McClure.

    TRACK RECORD: After plumbing the college ranks in the first five rounds, the Cubs made Hearn—a sturdily built catcher from Alabama—their first prep pick in 2019. He was a preseason first-team All-American entering the year, and then hit .482 with 11 doubles and 11 home runs in his draft year. He was the first high school catcher selected. The Cubs signed him for $950,000, the highest bonus for a sixth-rounder in the past two drafts, and assigned him to the Rookie-level Arizona League.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Hearn looks like a player built to mash, and that’s exactly what he does. He pairs a quick bat with strong hands, legs and forearms to generate above-average raw power from the left side. He has a power-over-hit profile and lived up to that rep by striking out at a 36.7-percent clip in his pro debut. The Cubs are working with Hearn to build more lift into his swing and prioritize hitting the ball deeper in the strike zone. Beyond his offensive skills, Hearn has the tools necessary to stay behind the plate. Baseball America ranked him as the second-best defensive catcher available in the high school ranks, and the Cubs see short-area quickness combined with plus arm strength that has allowed him to flash 1.9-second pop times.

    THE FUTURE: Hearn projects as a catcher with a blend of offensive and defensive gifts. He should begin his first full season as a pro in extended spring training before moving to short-season Eugene.

  10. 10. Riley Thompson | RHP
    Riley Thompson
    Born: Jul 9, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 205
    Signed By: Jacob Williams.

    TRACK RECORD: Thompson transitioned into the starting rotation in the middle of his sophomore year at Louisville after being used exclusively as a reliever in 2017 both in college and in a five-game stint in the Cape Cod League. He was a draft-eligible sophomore, and the Cubs selected him in the 11th round. He had Tommy John surgery in 2016 and was a 37th-round pick of the Reds out of high school and a 27th-round pick of the Yankees as a redshirt freshman. He had a successful first half-season as a pro with short-season Eugene, which included a run to the Northwest League Championship Series.

    SCOUTING REPORT: As a starter, Thompson has begun showing the makings of a true four-pitch mix. He starts with a fastball that averages 93 mph and touches around 96 mph while spinning at an above-average rate of 2,300 rpms. He pairs the fastball with a downer curveball that spins at better than 3,000 rpms and is thrown in the mid-80s. He’s made great strides with his changeup, which the Cubs rebuilt during their instructional league in January 2019. After running through a variety of grips, Thompson and the Cubs settled on a split-fingered, “Vulcan” grip. The new version of the pitch tunnels well off of his fastball and is easiest for him to command. He’s also shown the makings of a potentially average slider. Thompson finished his season in style with five perfect innings with 10 strikeouts in the decisive third game of South Bend’s Midwest League Championship Series win over Clinton.

    THE FUTURE: Thompson threw a career-high 94 innings in 2019 and will need to continue being built up to handle a starter’s workload. The next step is high Class A Myrtle Beach.

  11. 11. Cory Abbott | RHP
    Cory Abbott
    Born: Sep 20, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 220
    Signed By: Tom Myers.

    TRACK RECORD: Abbott’s draft stock took off after he watched a video of Mets ace Noah Syndergaard throwing his slider and began replicating the pitch. He threw a perfect game in 2017 at Loyola Marymount, then was selected by the Cubs in the second round. He mastered both Class A levels in his first full season as a pro, then rung up 166 strikeouts at Double-A in 2019. That figure ranked 11th in the minor leagues and tops among Cubs farmhands.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Abbott starts his arsenal with a fastball in the 89-93 mph range that can touch a few ticks higher when needed. The pitch is commanded well and has the characteristics to get swings and misses up in the zone. He backs it up with a hard curveball with 12-to-6 break that he uses to tunnel off of his fastball. He still uses the slider, which has the potential to be an above-average pitch with cutterish break, as a way to give hitters a look at something that breaks from east to west. His changeup is present but is a clear fourth pitch that needs further polish before it can project even as average. He’s made considerable improvements to his body, especially his lower half, and the Cubs are fans of the cerebral, competitive mentality he brings to the mound.

    THE FUTURE: After finding success in the Southern League, Abbott will move to the hitter’s Hades of the Pacific Coast League in 2020. He has the upside of a back-end starter.

  12. 12. Burl Carraway | LHP
    Burl Carraway
    Born: May 27, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 173

    The top college reliever in the class, Carraway has explosive stuff from the left side and, depending on the day, looks like he could be a late-inning reliever for an MLB club right now. A wiry athlete standing at 6-foot, 173 pounds, Carraway explodes off the rubber and uses his lower half extremely well, with a fast arm and crossfiring action in his delivery that adds to his deception. He pairs a fastball that’s regularly in the 96-98 mph range with spotty control, which makes it easy to see why hitters are always uncomfortable in the box against him. That’s especially true for lefties, who struck out in 33 of 64 (52.5 percent) plate appearances against Carraway in 2019. Carraway’s fastball has 70-grade potential if he can improve his control, which is below-average. He also has a knee-buckling curveball in the mid-70s with 1-to-7 shape and sharp biting action, which he also struggles to land consistently. Carraway gets away with below-average control now because he generates so many whiffs outside of the zone, but more advanced hitters will be able to stand in the box and take those pitches more easily. His career walk rate over 42 innings with DBU is 5.36, and while the bar is lower for reliever control, he’ll have to improve that for an MLB club to trust him in any sort of high-leverage role. The timing of his release point is inconsistent, and the violence and effort of his delivery likely don’t help in that regard, so perhaps teams could try and calm that down a tick at the next level to help him stay in the strike zone more frequently. Carraway comes with plenty of risk thanks to his control and the poor track record of college relievers, but he could be a quick mover to a big league pen with a step forward in his strike-throwing.

  13. 13. Adbert Alzolay | RHP
    Adbert Alzolay
    Born: Mar 1, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 179
    Signed By: Julio Figueroa/Hector Ortega.

    TRACK RECORD: Alzolay was a low-profile signing as a 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in 2012 but took huge strides forward at high Class A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee in 2017. After injuries blunted his progress in 2018, Alzolay recovered and made his big league debut on June 20, 2019.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Alzolay showed a three-pitch mix in 2019, fronted by a mid-90s fastball that can reach into the upper 90s as well. He backs it up with a high-70s curveball and a mid-80s changeup. He gets to his velocity from an effortful delivery, which sometimes leads to him overthrowing with command that will wander. He’s got a strong makeup and the work ethic that will allow him to correct those issues and add polish as he continues to develop. The raw pieces are there—now it’s a matter of learning how to best utilize what he has without trying to be something he’s not. The Cubs have quickened Alzolay’s delivery in the past to help him avoid overthinking on the mound.

    THE FUTURE: Alzolay will have a shot at a spot in the big league rotation in 2020. If he doesn’t make it there, he could go back to Triple-A Iowa for more seasoning or carve out a spot in the bullpen.

  14. 14. Tyson Miller | RHP
    Tyson Miller
    Born: Jul 29, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 215
    Signed By: Alex Lontayo.

    TRACK RECORD: When Miller was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft he became the highest- BA GRADE 50 Risk: High BA GRADE 45 Risk: Medium BA GRADE 50 Risk: High drafted player in California Baptist’s history, topping the 2014 seventh-round selection of Trevor Oaks. He put together a solid first three seasons in pro ball, including a 2018 season when he struck out 126 hitters. That total ranked third-best among Cubs minor leaguers. He continued that progress in 2019, when he blitzed the competition at Double-A Tennessee before running into trouble after a promotion to Triple-A Iowa.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Miller’s pitch mix and approach have changed as he’s moved through the system. In prior years he’d worked a sinker-slider combination, but he added or adjusted a changeup and curveball before the 2019 season and saw big results. The new repertoire allows him to work up in the zone with a low-90s fastball with riding action and follow it with a downer curveball to both sides of the plate. He still throws the slider, which functions as a short cutter and projects as a fringe-average pitch. The changeup, which he throws with a Vulcan-style grip that best fits his hands, also should be fringe-average with more development. He also needs to continue to work to keep his upper and lower halves in sync in his delivery.

    THE FUTURE: Miller was hit hard at Triple-A and figures to return there in 2020. He projects as a backend starter.

  15. 15. Kohl Franklin | RHP
    Kohl Franklin
    Born: Sep 9, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 190
    Signed By: Ty Nichols.

    TRACK RECORD: Franklin is the nephew of Ryan Franklin, who pitched for 12 seasons in the big leagues. Kohl missed much of his draft year at Owasso (Okla.) HS with a broken foot, but the Cubs believed enough in his projectability to draft him in the sixth round and sign him away from his commitment to Oklahoma for $540,000.

    SCOUTING REPORT: The projectability the Cubs saw from Franklin started to take hold in 2019. After throwing his fastball 88-92 mph in high school, Franklin now sits in the low 90s and bumped as high as 97 in his first full season. Besides his natural growth, Franklin found the extra velocity by learning to use his legs more in his delivery. His 80-84 mph changeup projects as a solid-average offering because of its fade and the conviction with which Franklin throws the pitch. His mid-70s curveball is the key to his development. He wasn’t allowed to throw the pitch until his senior year in high school, and the Cubs have toyed with the pitch to optimize it for his delivery. They settled on a spike grip and watched as the pitch gained four to five more inches of depth as a result.

    THE FUTURE: Franklin finished the year at low Class A South Bend and is likely to return to the level in 2020. His next step is refining his command and throwing more quality strikes. Franklin has the ceiling of a No. 4 starter.

  16. 16. Chris Clarke | RHP
    Chris Clarke
    Born: May 13, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'7" Wt.: 212
    Signed By: Tom Myers.

    TRACK RECORD: After beginning the year as Southern California’s setup man, Clarke moved into the closer’s role because of an injury to the team’s regular ninth-inning option. He had Tommy John surgery in high school and scouts connected it to a drop-off in his stuff when he pitched back-to-back days. The Cubs saw starter traits in his pitch mix, took him in the fourth round and set him into the rotation at short-season Eugene for his first taste of pro ball.

    SCOUTING REPORT: After being primarily a fastball-curveball reliever in the second half of his college career, Clarke began throwing a five-pitch mix as a starter in pro ball. He works with two fastballs—fourseam and sinker—in the low-to-mid 90s. He pairs them with a powerful spike curveball that was among the best collegiate curveballs available in the draft class and with a hard-darting slider with cutter-type break. He also has a changeup with deep fade action as well. Clarke throws all his pitches with a smooth, repeatable delivery that belies his massive, 6-foot-7 frame. BA GRADE 50 Risk: Very High BA GRADE 50 Risk: Very High

    THE FUTURE: Clarke should move to low Class A South Bend in 2020 and has the makings of a back-end rotation piece with powerful stuff that could also fit well in the late innings if necessary.

  17. 17. Michael McAvene | RHP
    Michael McAvene
    Born: Aug 24, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 210
    Signed By: Jacob Williams.

    TRACK RECORD: McAvene made five starts as a freshman at Louisville before having Tommy John surgery. After a shortened sophomore season spent kicking off the rust, McAvene reemerged as a force out of the Cardinals’ pen in 2019 and showed enough to convince the Cubs to spend $500,000 on him in the third round. He moved back into the rotation with short-season Eugene and struck out 20 in 12.2 innings.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Unsurprisingly for someone with a reliever’s history, McAvene has a high-effort delivery with a bit of a head whack at the end. The Cubs believe they can smooth it out, though, and that McAvene has enough athleticism to repeat his mechanics for multiple trips though a lineup. He starts his arsenal with an upper-90s fastball that draws a high percentage of in-zone swings and misses. He pairs it with a sharp, angry slider that he uses to wipe hitters out. He has a changeup as well but hasn’t needed to use it much because of the success of his two best pitches.

    THE FUTURE: Much as they did with fellow Louisville alum Riley Thompson in 2019, the Cubs will move McAvene to low Class A South Bend in 2020 and continue developing him as a starter. Like 2019 fourthrounder Chris Clarke, the Cubs believe they can turn a college reliever into a big league rotation piece.

  18. 18. Koen Moreno | RHP
    Koen Moreno
    Born: Aug 1, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 170

    Moreno is one of the more athletic pitchers in the prep class and he also participated in basketball and track at Panther Creek High in Cary, N.C. A 6-foot-2, 170-pound righthander committed to East Carolina, Moreno doesn’t have a ton of innings on his arm and scouts were impressed with the consistent steps forward he made last summer. At East Coast Pro, Moreno threw a fastball in the 87-93 mph range and ticked up to 94 at the Future Stars Series during the fall. He has exceptional feel to naturally spin a breaking ball, but the pitch needs continued refinement to become a plus offering. It shows solid depth and three-quarter shape in the 73-78 mph range, but it’s hittable when he leaves it up and only flashes sharp biting action. Moreno also showed feel for an 81-85 mph changeup that he throws with good arm speed and had swing-and-miss qualities with average or better potential in the future. Moreno is a projection arm in the true sense of the definition, with plenty of room remaining on a lean frame, athleticism that should allow him to make big strides in the future and an innate feel for spinning a baseball. Scouts didn’t see him pitch much at all this spring with a shortened 2020 season, but he was a candidate to take a step forward stuff-wise. It wouldn’t be surprising for a team to bet on his upside now in the 3-5 round range—if he makes it to East Carolina he could easily become a top-three round talent.

  19. 19. Jordan Nwogu | OF
    Jordan Nwogu
    Born: Mar 10, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 235

    A straight-A student in high school, Nwogu had Division I offers as a defensive end/linebacker, but he opted to go to Michigan on an academic scholarship to study computer engineering and play baseball. Nwogu earned a starting role midway through his freshman season and has been Michigan’s leadoff hitter for the past two years. Nwogu still looks like a football player (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) and he has plus-plus raw power and plus speed. Scouts are not all that excited about his funky swing—he gets good weight transfer and has plenty of bat speed, but it’s a very top-hand heavy swing. So far, funky or not, it has been extremely effective. He is a career .334/.430/.545 hitter for the Wolverines and his ability to control the strike zone has improved dramatically over his collegiate career. Nwogu’s defense was rough as a freshman, but he has steadily improved. He likely ends up in left field thanks to his below-average arm. That’s where he’s mainly played for Michigan, but the Wolverines started to play him in center field this year.

  20. 20. Edmond Americaan | OF
    Edmond Americaan
    Born: Mar 26, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 170
    Signed By: Tom Clark.

    TRACK RECORD: The Cubs bet big in 2018 that they could turn Americaan’s intriguing set of tools into skills that would get him to the big leagues. Americaan spent two seasons at Chipola (Fla.) JC before the Cubs selected him in the 35th round of the 2018 draft and signed him for a round-high $208,950. He BA GRADE 50 Risk: Very High BA GRADE 50 Risk: Very High BA GRADE 50 Risk: Very High opened 2019 with low Class A South Bend and finished the year at short-season Eugene, where he showed well enough to rank No. 15 among the Northwest League’s Top 20 prospects.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Americaan’s game is based on tools and projection. He’s wiry strong with above-average bat speed that allows him to generate modest power to all fields. The Cubs backed him off the plate a touch before the season in an effort to get his barrel to more pitches more often while still letting his swing’s natural arc put him in a position to pull breaking balls. He has a chance to stick in center field depending on the way his body develops. If he continues to be a wiry player, his plus speed and instincts will allow him to stay at the position. If not, his plus arm could help him play right field.

    THE FUTURE: If Americaan shows hittability going forward, he could be an everyday player. If not, he fits into a fourth outfielder’s role. He’ll give low Class A another try in 2020.

  21. 21. Pedro Martinez | 2B/SS
    Pedro Martinez
    Born: Jan 28, 2001
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 165
    Signed By: Hector Ortega/Louie Eljaua/Julio Figueroa.

    TRACK RECORD: The Cubs liked Martinez for his bat-to-ball skills as well as his strong baseball instincts. He put together strong performances in both complex leagues before moving to short-season Eugene in the middle of the summer. He ranked No. 18 and No. 19, respectively, among the Arizona League and Northwest League’s Top 20 prospect lists.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Martinez is one of the more advanced in a group of young, gifted middle infielders in the Cubs’ system. Scouts inside and outside the organization saw strong hittability from both sides of the plate for Martinez, who more than held his own as a teenager in the short-season Northwest League. He’s not the most powerful hitter at present, but with further strength gains and continued strike zone discipline he could reach double-digit home run totals once he makes the big leagues. Martinez alternated between shortstop and second base in his first full season as a pro and scouts see a plus defender at second base as he moves up the ladder. The Cubs still believe he can stick at shortstop, though, thanks to smooth hands, footwork and an above-average arm.

    THE FUTURE: After ending the season in Eugene, Martinez could move up to full-season ball with low Class A South Bend to begin 2020. He has a future as a middle infielder with value on both sides of the ball.

  22. 22. Christopher Morel | 3B
    Christopher Morel
    Born: Jun 24, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 140
    Signed By: Jose Estevez/Gian Guzman/Jose Serra.

    TRACK RECORD: The older brother of fellow Cubs farmhand Rafael Morel, Christopher was signed for $800,000 but had his pro debut delayed by injury. He’s struggled to put together solid numbers until this past season at low Class A South Bend. Once again, though, his progress was cut off by injuries. In this case, he hurt his knee while going for a foul ball with low Class A South Bend. He compounded the injury by trying to play through the pain and was limited to 73 games before shutting it down for the year.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Despite the lack of numbers, Morel’s tools are still there. He’s got a free-swinging approach at the plate that he’ll need to temper if he’s to reach his ceiling. When he does connect, however, the impact potential is obvious. He can get to plus velocity and scalds balls to all sectors with what the Cubs believe is potential double-plus power. They also believe he has a chance to be an average hitter, but there’s a long way to go to get to that ceiling. Morel is a rangy, twitchy defender at third base who could play shortstop if needed. His power potential and strong arm play better at third base, though, and his range at the position would help him at shortstop as well. He’s a smart, instinctive runner with above-average speed.

    THE FUTURE: Morel has moved slowly so far. The Cubs could choose to accelerate his timetable by sending him to high Class A Myrtle Beach and hoping the warmer early-season weather helps him get off to a quick start.

  23. 23. Angel Ortiz | RHP
    Angel Ortiz
    Born: Oct 3, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 180

    TRACK RECORD: After a strong showing at the 15U World Cup in Japan, Gallardo positioned himself as the second-best pitching prospect available on the 2018 international market, just behind Cuban righty Osiel Rodriguez. He put together a big showing at MLB’s international showcase in 2018, then signed with the Cubs. He spent most of his first season as a pro at the Cubs’ complex in Mesa, Ariz. in extended spring training and the Rookie-level Arizona League before making two starts at short-season Eugene.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Evaluators inside and outside the organization have Gallardo pegged as a high-floor guy who shows a strong present feel to pitch. He starts his mix with a fastball that averaged 91 mph during the season and topped out at 94. Gallardo backed up the fastball with a downer curveball that he could spot to both sides of the plate as well as a changeup that is in the early stages of its development. To reach his ceiling, He needs to add strength. The Cubs believe he will do that because of a strong work ethic in the weight room. Beyond that, he needs to add power to his curveball and continue bringing his changeup forward.

    THE FUTURE: Gallardo has the makings of a back-end type of starter with a chance for a little bit more depending on the way his body develops. He will pitch all season as an 18-year-old and is likely to start his second season in extended spring training.

  24. 24. Kevin Made | SS
    Kevin Made
    Born: Sep 2, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 160
    Drafted: Dominican Republic, 2019.
    Signed By: Louie Eljaua/Jose Serra/Gian Guzman.

    TRACK RECORD: Made was one of the Cubs’ three big-time international signings during the 2019-20 period along with catchers Ronnier Quintero and Brayan Altuve. Like Quintero, Made trained in the Dominican Republic with Jaime Ramos. He signed for $1.5 million

    SCOUTING REPORT: Made’s ceiling is based on quite a bit of remaining projection on his athletic, highwaisted frame. He’s put on roughly 15 pounds since the Cubs first laid eyes on him, and the club expects further strength gains as he matures. Despite the subpar strike-zone discipline one might expect from a 16-year-old, Made already makes plenty of contact. He’s used his wiry frame and sneaky strength to generate surprising power for someone his size. Unlike some of the other middle infielders the Cubs have lurking in the lower minors, Made’s build looks more like the classic shortstop. He’s got smooth hands, sound footwork and a strong internal clock and arm strength that allow him to make plays in the hole and on the run. He maintains his accuracy while throwing from multiple angles.

    THE FUTURE: The 2020 season will be Made’s first official test as a pro. He’ll begin the year in extended spring training before a likely move to the Rookie-level Arizona League. BA GRADE 50 Risk: Very High BA GRADE 50 Risk: Extreme

  25. 25. Ronnier Quintero | C
    Ronnier Quintero
    Born: Nov 13, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 175
    Drafted: Venezuela, 2019.
    Signed By: Jose Serra/Gian Guzman/Louie Eljaua.

    TRACK RECORD: Quintero caught the Cubs’ eye early because of his easy power from the left side. He was one of the team’s three major signings during the 2019-20 period—along with shortstop Kevin Made and late-addition catcher Brayan Altuve.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Despite not playing in an official game, Quintero has already opened eyes with his new organization. He was one of the stars of the team’s Dominican instructional league program, posting exit velocities that ranked among the best of the entire camp. He gets to his power through a combination of strength and a swing with natural lift. Quintero has shown an ability to drive balls the opposite way as well. He turns on high-velocity fastballs and can recognize spin as well. Quintero’s got a potential plus arm behind the plate and could become an average defender with further refinement, especially when it comes to receiving pitches.

    THE FUTURE: Quintero’s first official season as a pro will be in 2020, and he should begin in extended spring training. He projects as an offensive-minded catcher.

  26. 26. Rafael Morel | SS
    Rafael Morel
    Born: Nov 22, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 165
    Drafted: Dominican Republic, 2018.
    Signed By: Alejandro Peña/Gian Guzman/Jose Serra/Louie Eljaua.

    TRACK RECORD: The Cubs inked Morel—whose brother, Christopher, is also a Cubs farmhand—to an $850,000 deal in 2018 on the strength of a combination of athleticism and bat-to-ball skills. He showed off both traits in his stellar pro debut in the Dominican Summer League. His father was a basketball player in the Dominican Republic, which helps to explain some of Rafael’s athleticism.

    SCOUTING REPORT: At the plate, Morel showed the expected hittability during his first taste of pro ball. He put forth a strikeout rate of just 14.2 percent while walking at a 9.7 percent clip and showing enough power that 25 of his 65 hits went for extra bases. In the field, Morel’s fast-twitch ability and plus speed will allow him to play shortstop, but he might be better suited for center field in the long run. He’s got a plus arm and shows solid instincts for the game.

    THE FUTURE: After spending all summer in the DSL, Morel’s next step is the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he’ll continue working toward his ceiling as a top-of-the-order hitter with more than a hint of impact power once he’s done developing.

  27. 27. Yohendrick Pinango | OF
    Yohendrick Pinango
    Born: May 7, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 170
    Drafted: Venezuela, 2018.
    Signed By: Julio Figueroa/Hector Ortega/Louie Eljaua.

    TRACK RECORD: The Cubs were drawn to Pinango because of his bat-to-ball skills and advanced knowledge of the strike zone for an amateur. Pinango trained with Jose Montero as an amateur and signed with the Cubs as part of their 2018-19 signing class. He tore up the Dominican Summer League in his professional debut and finished fourth in the league with a .358 average.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Pinango still shows the same hitter’s tool set that earned him a shot as a pro and had more walks (27) than strikeouts (20) in his first season. Now, the Cubs would like to see him add some power to his game. His contact-oriented swing doesn’t have much lift, which means the raw power he shows in batting practice doesn’t translate to games. Pinango also has more of an opposite-field approach, and the Cubs would like to see him pull more balls with authority. He’s a plus runner and will stay in center field for now but is likely to move to a corner as he matures. To profile there, he’ll need to add the power the Cubs already want to see.

    THE FUTURE: After a strong turn in the DSL, Pinango should make his stateside debut in 2020 in the Rookie-level Arizona League. He has the ceiling of a corner outfielder with modest impact ability. BA GRADE 50 Risk: Extreme BA GRADE 50 Risk: Extreme BA GRADE 50 Risk: Extreme

  28. 28. Fabian Pertuz | SS
    Fabian Pertuz
    Born: Sep 1, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 156
    Signed By: Manny Esquivia/Louie Eljaua/Hector Ortega.

    TRACK RECORD: With fellow middle infielders Reivaj Garcia and Luis Verdugo in the Rookie-level Arizona League, Pertuz stayed back and made his debut in 2018 in the Dominican Summer League. He showed hitting and on-base skills and tied for sixth in the league with 36 stolen bases.

    SCOUTING REPORT: In the AZL, Pertuz’s game changed a bit. He became more aggressive at the plate and started trying to tap into his raw power more often. The result was a dip in on-base percentage and a slight uptick in slugging percentage from his 2018 debut. He’s got a simple, low-maintenance swing, impressive bat speed, strong hands to generate power and has shown the ability to turn on high-quality fastballs and do damage. Pertuz has average range and an above-average arm that could help him stick at shortstop, but the Cubs believe his offensive ability will allow him to move to either second or third base while still profiling at shortstop. He’s a fringe-average runner.

    THE FUTURE: After a strong turn in the AZL, Pertuz should be ready to move to low Class A South Bend. He has the skills to profile as an offensive, middle-diamond player.

  29. 29. Brayan Altuve | C
    Brayan Altuve
    Born: Jan 22, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 160
    Drafted: Venezuela, 2019.
    Signed By: Hector Ortega/Manuel Pestana/Louie Eljaua.

    TRACK RECORD: Altuve was the third of the Cubs three premier international signings in the 2019 cycle, joining fellow catcher Ronnier Quintero and shortstop Kevin Made. Altuve, who trained in Venezuela with Carlos Azocar, was lauded for his mix of athleticism and tools.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Altuve’s athleticism jumps off the page, and not just for a catcher. He turned in plus run times in the 60-yard dash, although he’s likely to see his speed wane as he gets older and catching takes its toll. Altuve has plus bat speed and can impact the ball thanks to a combination of strength and a swing with natural lift. Like most younger players, Altuve will overswing and has a bit of a pull-heavy approach. He has a solid-average arm behind the plate, and the athletic ability to become a solid blocker and receiver.

    THE FUTURE: After signing late, Altuve should spend his first pro season in the Dominican Summer League. He has the ceiling of an everyday catcher.

  30. 30. Justin Steele | LHP
    Justin Steele
    Born: Jul 11, 1995
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 205
    Signed By: J.P. Davis.

    TRACK RECORD: Steele showed steady production through his climb up the ladder until Tommy John surgery in 2017 kept him out until the middle of 2018. The injuries that plagued Steele in 2019 were less severe but limited him to just 38.2 innings at Double-A Tennessee.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Despite the injuries, Steele brings an intriguing mix from the left side. He starts his repertoire with a low-to-mid 90s fastball that has touched as high as 97 mph. The pitch shows riding life up in the zone. His best offering is a potentially plus curveball in the 76-80 mph range as well as a seldomused changeup. The Cubs are working to add a sinker to his arsenal, and he’s shown a mid-80s slider.

    THE FUTURE: Steele showed premium stuff in spurts, but 2019 was a lost year. The Cubs will try to get him back on track in 2020, when he’ll work toward his ceiling as a back-end rotation option. BA GRADE 50 Risk: Extreme BA GRADE 50 Risk: Extreme BA GRADE 45 Risk: High

View Players 11-30

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