2012 Fish Watch: Chicago Cubs Final Update


The first thing you need to know about The Fish Watch is that it’s not a list of sleepers. It is instead a list of players at various points in their respective minor league journeys that for one reason or another have piqued my interest enough that I am watching their development more closely than the bulk of prospects out there. To read more about this project, check out the introduction and master list.

Obviously since the season is over and some teams have had two updates, some have only had one and the NL West teams have had zero coverage thus far, this project did not work out as I had planned on many levels. Undeterred I’m going to sally forth and finish off this round of updates and call it good. Next season if I attempt this again I’m going to have to make some major changes to the structure, plan and concept of this series.

Feel free to check out the category archive to read previous installments of the series.

Chicago Cubs (S2S 2012 Cubs Team Prospect List)

3B – Jeimer Candelario (18) – Signed out of the Dominican Republic as a NDFA October 2010

2011 – DSL Cubs (Rk): 0.337/.443/.478, 16 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 4 SB, 50 BB and 42 SO in 305 PA
2012 – Boise (A-): 0.281/.345/.396, 14 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 2 SB, 26 BB and 55 SO in 310 PA

The Cubs 18-year old 3B prospect made his U.S. debut this season and picked up where he left off in the DSL by hitting 0.339/.391/.576 in 15 June games. He tailed off a bit during July but still hit 0.269/.342/.337 for the month and followed that up with a similar line during August. All in all it was an extremely successful season for Candelario and it should help push him up the various prospect lists that come out this offseason. The belief is that he will develop at least average power as he matures and while that tool didn’t exactly shine through this season, he did flash the potential he has to be a plus hitter. Candelario’s approach also held up well against more advanced competition finishing the year with 8.4% walk and 17.7% strikeout rates. For 2013 he should wind up with Peoria to start the year and figures to be one of the youngest players in the Midwest League if that scenario plays out.

OF –Reggie Golden (20) – Cubs 2010 2nd Round Pick

2011 – Boise (A-): 0.242/.332/.420, 22 XBH, 5 SB, 28 BB and 68 SO in 265 PA
2012 – Peoria (A): 0.192/.250/.192, 0 XBH, 1 SB, 1 BB and 9 SO in 28 PA

Golden tore his ACL in his 7th game of the season – on April 12th – and was placed on the DL shortly after. He eventually had surgery to repair the damage and as a result his 2012 season was over before it really got started. He’s still young, but the injury leaves him with just 75 games of professional experience on his resume since signing. Given how raw he was when he signed, losing a year of development time is definitely a blow to his standing as a prospect. Golden still has a very high ceiling but he has a long road ahead of him if he intends to reach it.

RHP – Ben Wells (20) – Cubs 2010 7th Round Pick

2011 – Boise (A-): 4.66 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 83 H, 19 BB and 53 SO in 77.1 IP
2012 – Peoria (A): 3.27 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 48 H, 12 BB, and 36 SO in 44.0 IP plus 1 scoreless inning with the AZL Cubs

Wells was putting together a fine season for the Chiefs but ran into some problems with his pitching elbow and missed almost three months of the season. He was shut down 2.0 innings into his start on June 4th and was on the shelf until he made an 1.0 inning appearance in the Arizona League on August 22nd. Six days later he was back with the Chiefs and made two starts that encompassed 4.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB and 1 SO. On top of the elbow strain, he also missed nearly two weeks of action at the beginning of May due to some blister problems. There were reports out there that Wells underwent Tommy John surgery in June, but I find that highly unlikely since he returned to game action at the end of the year. He clearly returned rusty, fought his control and may not be out of the woods with regard to his elbow, but he now has the offseason to devote to rest and rehab. He was making a case to be considered the Cubs best pitching prospect before he got hurt and even if he has another setback he just turned 20 years old two days ago.


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