Chicago Cubs: Top 5 Talents in Spring Camp Who Won't Make 25-Man Roster

Eli GreenspanSenior Analyst IMarch 20, 2012

Chicago Cubs: Top 5 Talents in Spring Camp Who Won't Make 25-Man Roster

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    Despite the Cubs' woes, they still have shades of talent roaming through major and minor league camp. The new Cubs brass wanted to get a look at a lot of players, but they are figuring out quickly what the game plan is and what the best course of action is for everyone.

    Whether it be a first-round draft pick, or an emerging late-round pick from a few years back, there is never enough room for everyone. And sometimes the best move is shipping the player to the minors so he can see more time.

    It is a proven formula that has been tested time and time again.

    Let's explore the top 5 Cubs talents to miss out on making the 25-man roster.

5. Trey McNutt

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    McNutt is a hard-throwing pitcher who struggled mildly in 2011, but has a lot of potential for someone not on anyones radar when he was drafted.

    The pitching situation for the Cubs was in dire shape last season. They walked way more than they struck out, and the pitching was depleted as well.

    2012 would certainly be the year for McNutt to get a shot out of the bullpen or even be a dark horse for a rotation spot. He battled some injuries last year which may have slowed him down, but certainly has a chance to get a look in Chicago if he comes out swinging.

4. Matt Szczur

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    Szczur finished the 2011 season with a combined .293 average between Single-A and Double-A. He also had 10 home runs through 109 games. The Cubs outfield is especially crowded and it is too early for Szczur to be considered for a fourth outfielder spot with the club.

    He will likely be a starter in Double-A to start the year but there is no reason he won't be tested in Triple-A if things go well.

3. Josh Vitters

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    This may be a controversial choice but he also had a chance this spring to impress and it was not all there. Coming out of high school the kid needs some time to come into his own on a professional level.

    He's had plenty of time some would argue, but the fact is he is only 22 years old and has had success at each level.

    He needs to be a little more patient but he will enter another year at Double-A so this could be his year to emerge as the first round pick he was drafted as out of high school.

    He will likely join our already stacked Double-A squad.

2. Brett Jackson

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    Brett Jackson may be the most talented prospect in the Cubs organization. He's been raking the ball at every stop, but there is simply not a spot for him and sending him down is the only way to buy some time to work things out.

    The Cubs consider him a five-tool prospect, potentially taking over for Marlon Byrd or David DeJesus as early as this season.

1. Anthony Rizzo

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    Don't worry, I didn't forget.

    Some Cubs fans are still tiffed that Rizzo won't be the Cubs Opening Day first baseman, instead going to Triple-A to work on his swing and get aclimated to Midwest weather.

    Rizzo is the Cubs first baseman of the future, there is no denying that. He has outplayed Bryan LaHair this spring but LaHair has earned the spot after a 38 home run season, on top of 15 home runs in Winter League.

    His time will come.