1. Starlin Castro, SS – Castro is easily the top prospect in the system. He’s got offense and defense. I could see him being up by the end of the season.
2. Josh Vitters, 3B – While some are worried about Vitter’s struggled, but he’s still young and will bounce back. He doesn’t walk much, but he doesn’t strikeout much either.
3. Hak-Ju Lee, SS – Lee is probably as good as Castro, but he won’t be able to see much time at short if Castro establishes himself. He could easily make the switch to second. He’s fast and gets on base; he’d be the perfect lead off hitter.
4. Brett Jackson, OF – Jackson has performed very well at the low levels and has the tools to produce at the higher ones. His power is coming around and speed is better than advertised.
5. Andrew Cashner, P – Cashner has the opportunity to take the final bullpen spot with a strong spring. He’s got 2 strong pitches, but needs to work on his command and endurance to be a starter. I see him being a solid bullpen arm.
6. Jay Jackson, P – Like Cashner, he’s got 2 good pitches and needs to develop a third to be in the rotation. He does have the endurance though, so he’s got a solid opportunity to be a starter.
7. Chris Carpenter, P – Carpenter has the opportunity to be a solid pitcher, but there are serious questions about his health and command. He’s got the potential to be a mid-rotation starter.
8. Ryan Flaherty, 2B – He often gets overlooked because of Castro and Lee, but he projects to be a solid infielder. He’ll probably not get an opportunity to see the Cubs infield, but he should get something nice for them on the trade market.
9. Kyler Burke, OF – Burke has a little bit of everything as far as skills. He’s a little bit old for Single A last season, but if he can move quickly, he’ll have a solid career.
10. Esmailin Caridad, P – Caridad got a little major league exposure in the Cubs bullpen, which is where he’ll probably become a fixture.
Tags: 30 Teams in 30 Days, Baseball, Baseball Preview, Chicago Cubs, Starlin Castro