By now, everyone knows that the Chicago Cubs are full of young talent. They have the No. 4 farm system in baseball and have at least one key prospect at every position, except catcher. Their first base prospect that fits that description is Dan Vogelbach.
Vogelbach, who is just 21 years old, has torn up minor league pitching so far from the left side of the plate. What really stands out about Vogelbach is his professional approach at the dish. That approach has paid dividends as a season ago he hit .284 with 19 home runs and 76 RBI across Class-A and High-A ball.
Perhaps more impressive is the fact that his on-base percentage a season ago was .375 across both levels of play. He has plate vision that most people just don’t have when they’re just 21 years old. So, what’s the problem with him?
Well, technically from a baseball standpoint, there isn’t anything wrong with him. However, from an organizational standpoint there is. He plays first base, which is where franchise cornerstone Anthony Rizzo plays. At 6-feet, 250 pounds, it’s not likely he will be moving to the outfield anytime soon.
Vogelbach was ranked as the No. 4 first base prospect for 2014, so obviously the Cubs still have value in him. However, the value that he provides will be in the form of a trade. Once the Cubs are ready to make a deal for top-caliber player (likely a pitcher), expect Vogelbach to be part of the deal.
Also, don’t expect the Cubs to play against Vogelbach much when and if he’s traded. Based on his size and skill set, it’s more than likely that he will be traded to an American League team, and being in the AL will ensure that Vogelbach can play both first base and designated hitter.
With all of the top prospects coming up through the Cubs organization, it’s strange to think that one will likely never play for the team. He will, however, likely be part of a deal that brings over a valuable piece to the big league puzzle.