The Chicago Cubs are in full swing on their rebuilding efforts, and their young players are, without a doubt, the most prized assets the organization has.
The Cubs have several young pieces that are considered building blocks like Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo along with top-rated prospects like Javier Baez, Albert Almora and Kris Bryant that are slated to make an impact as soon as they arrive to the big leagues.
But the rebuilding process doesn’t end there. While there are several prospects at the lower levels and some that could be eligible in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft, the Cubs made the right move protecting two less-heralded youngsters like Arismendy Alcantara and Dallas Beeler.
Alcantara was considered to be a lock to be protected ahead of the upcoming draft as he established himself as a Top 5 prospect due to his combination of power and speed, but Beeler was a pleasant surprise. The right-hander has potential to be a solid pitcher in the bigs, and he had a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League where he even started the Championship game.
It remains to be seen whether Beeler will be a starter or a reliever down the road, and he still needs to replicate his AFL success in Double-A Tennessee next year. He will try to keep refining his already solid array of pitches that features a two-seam fastball, a slider and a split-finger that he uses as a change-up.
The protection of both Alcantara and Beeler means they were added to the 40-man roster looking towards the 2014 season. It’s a nice move made by the Cubs as they lack impact talent on the mound, and if Beeler continues to improve he could end up being a solid back-of-the-rotation starter for years to come.