Baseball America: Chicago Cubs On the Top 100 List Through The Years

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2011

Baseball America: Chicago Cubs On the Top 100 List Through The Years

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    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Baseball America has been posting its top 100 prospects list since 1990, and they have become the leading authority on all things minor league baseball.

    Each season, fans pour over the most recent list, as they look on not only the future of their favorite team, but the future of baseball as a whole.

    So here is a look at the Chicago Cubs prospects on the list through the years. While some guys appeared just once then disappeared, other players made as many as five appearances on the list as they were the dreaded perennial prospect.

1990

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    Larry A. Woolis

    Prospects On List

    SP-Mike Harkey #14

    (36-36, 4.49 ERA, 94 ERA+, 316 Ks, 131 Games, 104 Starts)
    Harkey was the fourth pick in the 1987 Draft, and he started his Cubs career strong with a 12-6 rookie season that earned him a fifth place finish in NL Rookie of the Year voting. Not so great after that.

    2B-Ty Griffin #22
    Did Not Reach Majors
    The ninth pick in the 1988 Draft, Griffin hit 13 HR, 85 RBI, 24 SB in 1989 but did nothing to warrant a call-up after that and never made a big league appearance.

    OF-Earl Cunningham #44
    Did Not Reach Majors
    Cunningham was drafted out of high school with the eighth pick in the 1989 Draft, but never made it above Class-A and finished his nine-year minor league career with a .233 BA and 739 Ks in 2255 AB.

    C-Rick Wilkins #70
    (.244 BA, 81 HR, 275 RBI, 280 R, 720 Games)
    Wilkins spent four seasons as the Cubs primary catcher, and had a huge season in 1993 when he hit .303 BA, 30 HR, 73 RBI. Beyond that season he was a below average producer.

    LF-Derrick May #72
    (.271 BA, 52 HR, 310 RBI, 244 Runs, 797 Games)
    The ninth overall pick in the 1986 Draft, May was the Cubs starting left fielder for three seasons, with his best year coming in 1993 when he posted a line of .295 BA, 10 HR, 77 RBI.

1991

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    3B-Gary Scott #39
    (.160 BA, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 16 Runs, 67 Games)
    Scott was the Cubs opening day third baseman in 1991 and 1992, although he eventually became just another of the many Cubs third baseman to attempted to fix the revolving door at the position.

    SP-Lance Dickson #41
    (0-3, 7.24 ERA, 58 ERA+, 4 Ks, 3 Games, 3 Starts)
    Dickson was the Cubs first-round pick in the 1990 Draft, and he made his big league debut later that season at the age of 20. He never made it back to the majors, however, and was out of baseball by 1995.

    OF-Earl Cunningham #87
    Second Appearance on Top 100

1992

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    Prospects On List

    SP-Lance Dickson #23
    Second Appearance On Top 100

    3B-Pedro Castellano #42
    (.161 BA, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 13 Runs, 51 Games)
    Castellano never saw much big league action, but he has made a career for himself in Mexico, playing there since 2000 and hitting over .300 each season right up until last season, when he hit .336 BA, 10 HR, 66 RBI at the age of 40.

    SP-Ryan Hawblitzel #73
    (0-1, 6.00 ERA, 89 ERA, 7 Ks, 8 Games)
    Coming off of a 16-4 season in 1991 in which he made it as high as Class-AA, he enjoyed one more solid season in the Cubs system before being taken by the Rockies in the Expansion Draft.

    3B-Gary Scott #76
    Second Appearance On Top 100

    OF-Doug Glanville #93
    (.277 BA, 59 HR, 333 RBI, 553 Runs, 168 SB, 1115 Games)
    Glanville enjoyed a solid season and a half with the Cubs before being dealt to the Phillies for Mickey Morandini. He thrived in Philly, averaging 184 hits in four full seasons with the team. He made a return to the Cubs and helped their 2003 playoff run.

1993

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    Prospects On List

    RP-Jessie Hollins #41
    (0-0, 13.50 ERA, 29 ERA+, 0 Ks, 4 Games)
    Originally drafted as a starter out of high school in 1988, Hollins made the list following a move to the bullpen and a 25-save season in 1992. He made headlines in July of 2009 when his body was found floating in Lake Livingston after he was reported missing.

1994

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    Prospects On List

    OF-Brooks Kieschnick #44
    (.248 BA, 16 HR, 46 RBI, 34 Runs, 257 Games)
    Kieschnick was drafted by the Cubs with the tenth overall pick in the 1993 Draft after starring as an outfielder and pitcher at the University of Texas.

1995

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    OF-Brooks Kieschnick #82
    (2-2, 4.59 ERA, 95 ERA+, 67 Ks, 74 Games)
    More on Kieschnick, while he did not pan out as an outfielder with the Cubs, he eventually carved out a niche with the Brewers in the rare role of pinch hitter/relief pitcher, as his versatility proved valuable.

1996

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    SP-Kerry Wood #16
    (83-68, 62 Saves, 3.65 ERA, 118 ERA+, 1519 Ks, 381 Games, 178 Starts)
    Wood burst onto the scene in 1998, making history with a 20-strikeout performance and winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award. While injuries eventually took their toll, he has done a great job bouncing back as a reliever.

    OF-Brooks Kieschnick #47
    Third Appearance On Top 100

1997

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    David Seelig/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    SP-Kerry Wood #3
    Second Appearance On Top 100

    3B-Kevin Orie #42
    (.249 BA, 22 HR, 116 RBI, 117 Runs, 316 Games)
    Orie looked like he may be the answer to the never ending third base question, as he opened eyes with a .275 BA, 8 HR, 44 RBI rookie season that netted him some NL Rookie of the Year votes. He played just three more seasons after that, and his rookie season was by far his best.

    C-Pat Cline #72
    Did Not Reach Majors
    Drafted out of high school in the sixth round in 1993, Cline showed good power potential with 40 HR in his first three minor league seasons, but he was never able to make the next step and reach the majors.

1998

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    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    SP-Kerry Wood #4
    Third Appearance On Top 100
    Wood rejoined the team this off season, and despite not quite living up to the huge hype, he has always been a fan favorite and should help the bullpen greatly in 2011.

     

1999

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    CF-Corey Patterson #16
    (.253 BA, 112 HR, 395 RBI, 522 Runs, 205 SB, 1097 Games)
    Patterson received the dreaded "can't miss" label after the Cubs took him third overall out of high school in the 1998 Draft. He made his big league debut at age 20, and was the starting center fielder two years later. However, his penchant for swinging at everything anywhere near the plate hindered his development and eventually Cubs fans soured on Patterson and he was sent packing.

     

2000

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    CF-Corey Patterson #3
    Second Appearance On Top 100

    1B-Hee-Seop Choi #77
    (.240 BA, 40 HR, 120 RBI, 130 Runs, 363 Games)
    Choi, hailed for his power potential, came over from South Korea with a great deal of hype, but he was never able to produce when given the chance. However, he did net the Cubs Derrek Lee when he was dealt to the Marlins prior to the 2004 season.

2001

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    CF-Corey Patterson #2
    Third Appearance On Top 100

    SP-Juan Cruz #17
    (32-35, 4.15 ERA, 107 ERA+, 580 Ks, 348 Games, 38 Starts)
    Cruz was the victim of some bad Cubs teams during his time in Chicago, as he went 3-11 in his first full season with the team, despite posting a respectable 3.98 ERA. A move to the bullpen after he left the Cubs has allowed him to still be pitching today.

    1B-Hee-Seop Choi #22
    Second Appearance On Top 100

    SP-Ben Christensen #37
    Did Not Reach Majors
    The Cubs first round pick in 1999, Christensen's career derailed when he hit Anthony Molina with a warm-up pitch during a game in 1999 for some crazy reason, injuring his left eye and causing him some legal trouble among other things.

    SP-Carlos Zambrano #68
    (116-74, 3.50 ERA, 127 ERA+, 1441 Ks, 295 Games, 258 Starts)
    Despite his occasional craziness, Zambrano has been very good for the Cubs over the years, and after a strong final two months last season, he looks poised to return to ace for in 2011.

    SS-Luis Montanez #73
    (.223 BA, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 25 Runs, 93 Games)
    The third overall pick in the 2000 Draft, Montanez never made it to the majors with the Cubs, and he signed with the Orioles as a minor league free agent prior to the 2007 season, where he has seen limited big league action.

2002

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    SP-Mark Prior #2
    (42-29, 3.51 ERA, 124 ERA+, 757 Ks, 106 Games, 106 Starts)
    The Cubs were thrilled when the Twins passed on Prior and took Joe Mauer with the first pick in the 2001 Draft. One of the most dominant college pitchers in history, Prior made his debut the following season and the following season, helped the Cubs to the playoffs with an 18-6 season, as he looked to be the next great pitcher. However, arm problems struck, and struck, and struck some more, and he won just 18 more games over the next three season. He is still trying to comeback, after pitching in the Independent League last season.

    SP-Juan Cruz #6
    Second Appearance On Top 100

    1B-Hee-Seop Choi #40
    Third Appearance On Top 100

    3B-David Kelton #45
    (.136 BA, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 Runs, 18 Games)
    Drafted out of high school in the second round of the 1998 Draft, Kelton racked up 115 HR in eight minor league seasons with the Cubs, but he struck out a lot and never got much of a chance in the big leagues.

    2B-Bobby Hill #48
    (.262 BA, 6 HR, 58 RBI, 67 Runs, 249 Games)
    Hill was looked at as the future starting second baseman after being taken in the second round of the 2000 Draft, but he was unimpressive in his 2002 audition. On a positive note, he was eventually dealt for Aramis Ramirez. Gotta love the Pirates.

    OF-Nic Jackson #68
    Did Not Reach Majors
    Jackson put himself on the prospect map with a .296 BA, 19 HR, 85 RBI, 24 SB season at Class-A in 2001 at just 20 years old. However, injuries struck and he was never able to carry that success on to higher levels.

    SP-Carlos Zambrano #80
    Second Appearance On Top 100

2003

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    1B-Hee Seop Choi #22
    Fourth Appearance On Top 100

    SP-Angel Guzman #47
    (3-10, 4.82 ERA, 95 ERA+, 143 Ks, 88 Games, 14 Starts)
    Guzman's fast track to the majors was side tracked time and again by arm problems. He finally made an impact in 2009 when he posted a 2.95 ERA in 55 games as the team's setup man, but again missed all of 2010 with arm troubles.

    SP-Andy Sisco #53
    (3-9, 5.18 ERA, 88 ERA+, 141 Ks, 151 Games, 0 Starts)
    The 6-10 flame throwing Sisco seemed to have all the potential to be a big time strikeout pitcher in the majors after being taken in the second round of the 2001 Draft. However, he was claimed by the Royals in the Rule 5 Draft in 2004 before he appeared for the Cubs.

    CF-Felix Pie #72
    (.255 BA, 17 HR, 90 RBI, 112 Runs, 17 SB, 313 Games)
    With the bitter disappointment of Corey Patterson in the past, the Cubs had another can't miss prospect in Pie, as they looked to give the young outfielder all the time he needed to develop. Nonetheless, he still never panned out despite several chances.

    OF-Nic Jackson #100
    Second Appearance On Top 100

     

2004

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    SP-Angel Guzman #26
    Second Appearance On Top 100

    SP-Justin Jones #56
    Did Not Reach Majors
    Jones, a second round pick in 2002, cracked the list as an 18-year old after posting a 2.28 ERA in 16 starts at Class-A. However, pitching all the way up until 2009, he never made it above Class-AA.

    OF-Ryan Harvey #65
    Did Not Reach Majors
    The Cubs first round pick in 2003, taken sixth overall, is now a member of the Rockies organization. Still just 25 years old, he played at Class-AA last season, and there is still a chance he makes a big league appearance, albeit slim.

    SP-Andy Sisco #77
    Second Appearance On Top 100

    CF-Felix Pie #85
    Second Appearance On Top 100

    SP-Bobby Brownlie #92
    Did Not Reach Majors
    Brownlie, the 21st overall pick in the 2002 Draft, fell off the prospect map after a disastrous 3-14, 6.33 ERA season in 2006 between Class-AA and AAA. He last pitched in the Independent League in 2009.

2005

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    Larry A. Woolis

    Prospects On List

    1B-Brian Dopirak #21
    Did Not Reach Majors
    Dopirak exploded onto the scene with a .307 BA, 39 HR, 120 RBI season in 2004 at the age of 20. However, he came back to earth after that, but never reached the majors. Last with the Blue Jays, he posted a respectable .274 BA, 11 HR, 53 RBI season last year at Class-AAA, and still just 26 he could see big league action some time soon.

    CF-Felix Pie #31
    Third Appearance On Top 100

    OF-Ryan Harvey #66
    Second Appearance On Top 100

    SP-Angel Guzman #88
    Third Appearance On Top 100

2006

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    CF-Felix Pie #27
    Fourth Appearance On Top 100

    SP-Mark Pawelek #85
    Did Not Reach Majors
    The Cubs first round pick in 2005 out of high school, Pawelek spent just three seasons in the Cubs organization and last pitched in the Independent League last season, struggling to a 12.46 ERA in three starts.

    SS-Ronny Cedeno #94
    (.240 BA, 23 HR, 126 RBI, 138 Runs, 434 Games)
    Signed as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela, Cedeno was the Cubs everyday shortstop in 2006, when he hit .245 BA, 6 HR, 41 RBI. He has the talent to be a major leaguer, but is best suited as a backup. He last played for the Pirates in 2009.

2007

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    CF-Felix Pie #49
    Fifth Appearance On Top 100

    SP-Donald Veal #52
    (1-0, 7.16 ERA, 59 ERA+, 16 Ks, 19 Games, 0 Starts)
    The Cubs second round pick in 2005, Veal popped onto the list after a 11-5, 2.16 ERA season but never reached the majors with the Cubs. He was taken by the Pirates in the Rule 5 Draft in 2008 where he made his big league debut. He re-signed with the team in the off season.

    SP-Jeff Samardzija #80
    (4-5, 5.95 ERA, 76 ERA+, 55 Ks, 53 Games, 5 Starts)
    Samardzija, who starred as a receiver at Notre Dame, was given a huge contract to assure he didn't jump ship and go to the NFL. He was great as a reliever in 2008, but he has bounced between Class-AAA and the majors the past few seasons, as the team tries to decide if he is a starter or reliever.

2008

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    RF-Kosuke Fukudome #30
    (.259 BA, 34 HR, 156 RBI, 203 Runs 426 Games)
    Signed to a four-year, $48 million contract out of Japan, Fukudome has struggled to make the transition to the American game, and it looks as though he has officially lost his starting job to Tyler Colvin, and will serve as the team's fourth outfielder in 2011.

    3B-Josh Vitters #43
    Did Not Reach Majors
    Vitters, the third overall pick in the 2007 Draft, and the first high schooler taken, has failed to live up to expectations thus far. However, he has usually been among the youngest players at every level, and could be in store for a breakout year in his first full season at Class-AA.

    C-Geovanny Soto #47
    (.264 BA, 37 HR, 143 RBI, 106 Runs, 273 Games)
    After making the most of a September call-up in 2007, and serving as the team's starting catcher during their 2007 playoff run, Soto opened the 2008 season as the Cubs starting catcher and won the NL Rookie of the Year with a .285 BA, 23 HR, 86 RBI season, as he started the All-Star game.

    RF-Tyler Colvin #75
    (.251 BA, 20 HR, 58 RBI, 61 Runs, 141 Games)
    Colvin forced his way onto the big league roster last season, and then forced his way into the starting lineup with his impressive play. He will open 2011 as the team's starting right fielder, and he has a bright future.

    SP-Sean Gallagher #82
    (10-10, 5.64 ERA, 76 ERA+, 165 Ks, 91 Games, 23 Starts)
    Gallagher showed some potential with the Cubs in 2008, and he was the central figure in the deal that brought Rich Harden to the Cubs. Still just 25, he could get a shot at the Pirates rotation this coming spring.

2009

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    3B-Josh Vitters #51
    Second Appearance On Top 100

    SP-Jeff Samardzija #79
    Second Appearance On Top 100

2010

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Prospects On List

    SS-Starlin Castro #16
    (.300 BA, 3 HR, 41 RBI, 53 Runs, 10 SB, 125 Games)
    Castro is the future of the Cubs, and as much as the Cubs wanted to give him ample time to develop, he forced their hand with a .376 average in 26 games at Class-AA. The sky is the limit for Castro, and he could be a perennial All-Star.

    3B-Josh Vitters #70
    Second Appearance On Top 100

    CF-Brett Jackson #74
    Did Not Reach Majors
    Jackson is the future center fielder for the Cubs once Marlon Byrd's contract is up, and he is among the best athletes in the Cubs system. His combination of power and speed should translate well to the next level, and his development will be fun to watch.

    RP-Andrew Cashner #95
    (2-6, 4.80 ERA, 91 ERA+, 50 Ks, 53 Games, 0 Starts)
    Cashner, the top reliever in the 2008 Draft, has bounced between the rotation and bullpen in the minors, but his future looks to be in the bullpen. He was fantastic in a setup role last season, and he has the stuff to close at the big league level at some point.

    SP-Jay Jackson #98
    Did Not Reach Majors
    Jackson went 11-8 in 32 appearances, including 25 starts, at Class-AAA last season. He was moved to the bullpen late in the year, as the team may be looking to him for help in the bullpen in 2011. He'll be just 23 this coming season, and could have a bright future.