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The Chicago Cubs All-Prospect Team 2.0

July 31st, 2015 at 10:01 AM
By Tim Duxbury

The Chicago Cubs “bright future” Seems to be upon us but that doesn’t mean that their farm system has been completely wiped out. Here is a look at what the Chicago Cubs’ all-prospect team looks like heading into the second half of the 2015 season.

Player

Org. Rank

MiLB Rank

MiLB Pos. Rank

Kyle Schwarber

#1

#7

#1

Gleyber Torres

#2

#36

#8

Billy McKinney

#3

#41

#10

CJ Edwards

#4

#66

N/A

Albert Almora

#6

N/A

N/A

Ian Happ

#7

N/A

N/A

Dan Vogelbach

#13

N/A

#7

Jeimer Candelario

#20

N/A

N/A

Christian Villanueva

#22

N/A

N/A

(Rankings per MLB.com)

Of the players listed above, all but Gleyber Torres, who is just 18-years-old, look to be within striking distance of the major leagues in the relatively near future, while Kyle Schwarber is already making waves in Chicago and it appears that CJ Edwards is not far behind!

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Cubs Still Prominent in Updated MiLB Prospect Rankings

July 30th, 2015 at 3:22 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Baseball has seen an incredible influx in young talent here in the first half of the 2015 season (Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Joc Pederson & Carlos Correa, to name a few) and seeing these kids in action has been incredibly exciting! However, what is now left in the minor leagues? Who will take their places as the game’s top prospects?

MLB.com has come out with their mid-season prospect rankings and though the names have changed, the Chicago Cubs are still very prevalent in the updated top-100:

1. Kyle Schwarber, C/OF – #7 Overall

Hulk has exploded on to the big league scene this year slashing .357/.446/.589 with three home runs and 11 RBI’s in just 19 games. His future behind the plate remains up in the air, as Joe Maddon not allowing him to catch for Jake Arrieta or Jon Lester, but the 22-year-old has been able to pick up at bats off the bench and in the outfield. Schwarber probably wasn’t part of the Cubs’ original plan for the 2015 stretch run but he’s play his way in and it doesn’t look like he’ll be headed back to Iowa any time soon.

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MiLB NEWS: Richard Accepts Assignment to Iowa, Dominates

July 30th, 2015 at 12:14 AM
By Tim Duxbury

You may remember Clayton Richard's impressive start for the Chicago Cubs on July fourth; it was his first big league outing in almost two years and it looked like the Cubs had finally found a viable fifth starter. Now, almost a month later, Richard has been knocked around to the tune of a 5.40 across 15.0 innings and designated for assignment. Unlike Edwin Jackson, Richard accepted a spot on the Iowa Cubs roster and made his first start this week and wasn't half bad! The 31-year-old scattered just four hits across seven shutout innings en route to his fifth AAA victory of the season. Richard is now 5-3 with 1.70 ERA in 11 starts between the Chicago Cubs' and Pittsburgh Pirates minor league affiliates.

It is unlikely that Richard will be back in the major leagues before September (baring injury to a current Cubs' starter) but the fact that he has chosen to stay with the organization provides significant depth to the Cubs' starting pitching corps. After giving up Edwin Jackson and Donn Roach earlier this month, the Cubs' organization was a bit slim on potential big league starters, particularly after back-to-back poor outings from Dallas Beeler. Richard is not, however, a viable option to help out the Cubs' ailing bullpen that recently lost Neil Ramirez and is currently in quite a funk. Ben Rowen has been called up for now but there is still a chance that the Cubs could acquire an arm via trade or promote, top-prospect, CJ Edwards, who has transitioned to the bullpen this season.

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Baez Dazzles in Return to AAA

July 29th, 2015 at 11:46 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Javier Baez was out of commission for more than a month before he began a rehab stint with the Chicago Cubs' rookie-league affiliate last week where he hit .417 with no strikeouts in four games. Baez returned to the Iowa Cubs lineup last night and promptly went 2-5 with two long balls.

It appears that Baez hasn't missed a beat after suffering a broken finger which could prove to be critical for the Chicago Cubs moving forward. Many around the organization predict that the 22-year-old will be in the major leagues before too long; be it with the Cubs or another big league club. Often times players struggle at the plate upon returning from finger, hand or wrist injuries because those areas are so critical to bat speed and control but Javier Baez appears to be a man on a mission. After a brutal rookie campaign in 2014 that saw him set prodigious marks with his strikeouts, Baez has looked like a different player in 2015.

Recently the infielder has been linked to trade talks with the San Diego Padres who are seeking help at the shortstop position and have available starting pitching. Starlin Castro has also been linked in talks with the Padres.

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CUBS NEWS: Ramirez Headed Back to DL

July 29th, 2015 at 11:21 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Chicago Cubs' reliever Neil Ramirez is headed back to the disabled list. After dealing with shoulder issues all season long, it is an abdominal injury that has the 26-year-old on the shelf this time around. Ramirez said he felt some pain after sneezing while warming up yesterday and it has been decided that he cannot push through it. News of Ramirez's injury could not come at a worse time with the Cubs' bullpen scuffling and very important series' against the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants coming up.

26-year-old RHP Ben Rowen will replace Ramirez on the Cubs' roster. Rowen has gone 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 46.2 innings (34 games) for the Cubs' and Baltimore Orioles AAA affiliates this season. Rowen's only previous major league experience came in 2014 with the Texas Rangers; he posted a 4.15 ERA in 8.2 innings (eight games) and finished four games.

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