With the 2011 minor league season complete we check in on the progress of each of the Chicago Cubs preseason Top 15 prospects as ranked by our prospect ranker J.P. Schwartz The post season grading report was done by the publisher of Top Prospect Alert, not Mr. Schwartz, and reflects only the 2011 season and not future upside or downside of the individual prospect. Our 2012 preseason rankings will be published in the coming months.
#1 Brett Jackson GRADE A-
Jackson batted a combined .274 with 23 Doubles, 5 Triples, 20 Home Runs and 58RBI’s between the Double-A Tennessee Smokies and the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. He also added 21 stolen bases. Jackson walked 73 times and struck out 138 times in 115 games.
#2 Trey McNutt GRADE D+
McNutt went 5-6 with a 4.55ERA in 95 innings for Double-A Tennessee. He walked 39 and struck out 65. Opposing batters hit .319 against McNutt on the season. His ERA was over two runs higher than in 2010 and opponents batted 102 points better off him compared with a year ago.
#3 Josh Vitters GRADE B
Vitters batted .283 with 28 Doubles, 2 Triples, 14 Home Runs and 81 RBI’s for Double-A Tennessee. He struck out just 54 times in 129 games.
#4 Chris Carpenter GRADE C
Carpenter went 2-4 with 5.91ERA in 42.2 innings at Triple-A Iowa. He walked 27 and struck out 34 batters. Opponents hit .269 against Carpenter this season. In 10 big league appearances with the Cubs through September 7th, Carpenter went 0-0 with a 2.79ERA in 9.2 innings. He walked 7, struck out 8, and big league hitters batted .316 against him.
#5 Hayden Simpson GRADE D
Simpson went a combined 1-10 with a 6.27ERA between the Rookie League AZL Cubs and the Low-A Peoria Chiefs. He walked 38 and struck out 57 in 79 innings. Opposing hitters batted .317 off Simpson. He was demoted to the AZL Cubs after struggling in Low-A in the first half, and actually put up worse numbers in the Arizona League, going 0-4 with a 8.15ERA and allowing opposing batters to hit at a .356 clip.
#6 Matt Szczur GRADE B+
Szczur batted a combined .293 with 22 Doubles, 3 Triples, 10 Home Runs, and 46 RBI’s between Low-A Peoria and the High-A Daytona Cubs. He struck out just 48 times while drawing 24 walks in 109 games. He also stole 24 bases on the season.
#7 Rafael Dolis GRADE B
Dolis converted to a reliever this year and went 8-5 with 17 saves and a 3.32ERA for Double-A Tennessee. He walked 35 and struck out 48 in 72.2 innings of work. Opposing batters hit just .227 off Dolis this season.
#8 Michael Burgess GRADE C-
Burgess batted .225 with 24 Doubles, 1 Triple, 20 Home Runs and 68 RBI’s for High-A Daytona. The .225 batting average was the lowest of Burgess’ three full seasons in High-A.
#9 Reggie Golden GRADE C+
Golden batted .242 with 10 Doubles, 5 Triples, 7 Home Runs, and 39RBI’s for the Short-A Boise Hawks. He walked 28 times and struck out 68 times in 64 games.
#10 A.J. Morris DID NOT PLAY
Morris did not make an appearance in 2011 as he recovers from off season shoulder surgery.
#11 D.J. LeMahieu GRADE A-
LeMahieu batted a combined .319 with 22 Doubles, 3 Triples, 5 Home Runs, and 50 RBI’s between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. Through September 7th LeMahieu batted .275 with a Double and 2 RBI’s in 40 big league at bats with the Cubs.
#12 Ryan Flaherty GRADE B-
Flaherty batted a combined .280 with 31 Doubles, 3 Triples, 19 Home Runs and 88 RBI’s between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. After batting .305 with Tennessee in 83 games, Flaherty was promoted to Iowa where he hit just .237 in the final 49 games of the 2011 season.
#13 Jay Jackson GRADE C-
Jackson went 8-14 with a 5.35ERA at Triple-A Iowa. He walked 46 batters and struck out 97 in 146.2 innings of work. Opposing batters hit .305 off Jackson on the year.
#14 Ben Wells GRADE C+
Wells went 4-4 with a 4.66ERA in 77.1 innings at Short-A Boise. He walked 19 and struck out 53. Opposing hitters batted .265 off Wells on the season.
#15 Austin Reed GRADE C-
Reed went 2-7 with a 6.08ERA for Short-A Boise. He walked 25 and struck out 36 in 63.2 innings of work. Opposing batters hit .320 off Reed in 2011.