Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Cubs by position - Shortstop

the Cubs are set at shortstop pretty much through 2015 or so with Starlin Castro and they have a couple of other decent prospects coming up through the farm also. Essentially, there are four shorstops in the organization. They are Castro, Darwin Barney, Hak-Ju Lee and Junior Lake.

Major League Level: Starlin Castro (age 20): Yeah, he's the best prospect to come up for the Cubs since Mark Prior. Contact making shorstop with a decent glove. I expect him to hit something like .320 with 12 HR and come close to winning a gold glove in 2012 which is the beginning of what I think will be a very happy time for all Cub fans.

AAA: Darwin Barney (age 24): Not great at anything with the bat but not terrible either. Has enough glove to play shortstop. At 25 in 2011, I see him as a perfect choice to replace Ryan Theriot and be the utility man on the team. He's playing for Sandberg right now and I bet Ryno likes him. Should never be a starter in the majors (except for a short term period) but he'd be fine as a bench player.

AA: Marwin Gonzalez (age 21): Well, he's young but he really can't hit and I'm not thrilled with his defensive numbers at shorstop in the minors. I think his upside is, well, Double A shortstop.

High A: Junior Lake (age 20): Lake is 20 so he also is young like Gonzalez. I don't know, even though Lake also has middling offensive numbers, he just seems like more of a prospect than Marwin Gonzalez. I see Lake is being an Alex Gonzalez (of the Blue Jays currently) type shortstop with OK power and very low batting average and OBP. He also could figure in the second base sweepstakes.

A: Hak-Ju Lee (age 19): Lee has tons of potential. He has a very flashy glove and a solid left handed bat. He makes ok contact and draws a decent number of walks. He is going start giving the Cubs a very difficult problem after the 2012 season. I think he has two more years in the minors before he starts knocking on the door of Wrigley Field.

SS: Arismendy Alcantara (age 18): I touched on him briefly in the 3b section. Alcantara has a great name but we really don't know much more about him. He's young, very small, a switch hitter and fast. That is all I know about him right now. I guess we'll have to wait until we see more from him in Peoria next year.

SS: Wes Darvil (age 18): Playing both shortstop and second base at Boise. He was a 5th round draft pick in 2009 and he has had just 196 plate appearances as a pro. I'm interested to see whom among Darvil and Alcantara, the Cubs feel is going to be the shortstop both this year in Boise and moving forward. Darvil is a left handed hitter. He's 6'2" and he has only one extra base hit as a pro. Kind of like D.J. LeMahieu, the Cubs appear to be hoping he will grow into his frame and start hitting for power.

Rookie: Elliot Soto (age 20): He's 20 years old and was a 15th round draft pick in this year's draft out of Carpentersville, IL and then Creighton. Given his age, which is old for rookie league, he is going to have to dominate and move fast if he wants to be a factor with the Cubs someday. He's also a candidate to be the starting shortstop at Peoria next year.

Conclusion: The Cubs are in very good shape at this position. Not only do they have Castro in the big leagues, but they have a ready made utility player in Barney along with another potential star in Lee. Add to that Lake, who I think could also make a decent player someday and the Cubs will not have to worry about adding a player at this positon for at least the next six (Castro) to potentially nine (Lee) years.

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