Bonus Cubs Prospects: Nos. 21-25
Another day, another Top 20 Prospects list from MLBPipeline.com. To go with today’s Cubs Top 20, as I’ve done with all the lists I’ve written, I give you five additional prospects and one deep sleeper:
21. Duane Underwood, rhp. After signing for $1.05 million as a 2012 second-round pick, he didn’t exactly endear himself to the Cubs by arriving in less-than-optimal shape last season. But Underwood still has one of the livest arms in the system, reaching 96 mph as a still-projectable 19-year-old, and flashes some promising curveballs and changeups.
22. Rob Zastryzny, lhp. He really knows how to pitch off his fastball, which he can run anywhere from 86-95 mph while commanding it in all four quadrants of the strike zone. A $1.1 million second-rounder from the 2013 Draft, Zastryzny has a reliable changeup but must demonstrate better consistency with his curveball.
23. Dillon Maples, rhp. Considered one of the more unsignable top talents in the 2011 Draft, he was set to play baseball and kick for the football team at North Carolina before the Cubs gave him a $2.5 million bonus in the 14th round. Elbow issues in 2012 and general inconsistency have slowed his development, but Maples showed a 93-97 mph fastball and a power curveball late last summer at short-season Boise.
24. Zac Rosscup, lhp. The most anonymous of the eight players involved in the trade that sent Matt Garza from the Rays to the Cubs in January 2011, Rosscup has progressed from a 28th-round Draft afterthought to a big leaguer. He’s a magician with his fastball, which usually sits in the high 80s yet is allergic to bats. He averaged 14.6 strikeouts per nine innings in the Minors last year and gave up just one run in 10 appearances with Chicago.
25. Alberto Cabrera, rhp. He has bounced between starting and relieving and has been inconsistent in both roles, yet it’s easy to dream on his arm. Cabrera can throw a mid-90s fastball and a wipeout slider, but he’s still trying to figure out command.
My favorite deep sleeper: Daniel Lockhart, 2b/3b. He’s the son of ex-big leaguer Keith Lockhart, who also was the scout who signed him to a $395,000 deal as a 10th-rounder in the 2011 Draft. The Cubs see Daniel as a solid hitter, runner and defender who could become a quicker version of Adam Kennedy.