Here's where the Cubs' Top 30 prospects are starting the season

April 4th, 2024

With the Minor League season opening this week, here's where the Cubs' Top 30 prospects are projected to start:

1. Pete Crow-Armstrong (MLB No. 16), OF -- Iowa (Triple-A)
2. Cade Horton (MLB No. 25), RHP -- Tennessee (Double-A)
3. Owen Caissie (MLB No. 45), OF -- Iowa (Triple-A)
4. Matt Shaw (MLB No. 51), SS/2B -- Tennessee (Double-A)
5. Kevin Alcántara (MLB No. 61), OF -- Tennessee (Double-A)
6. James Triantos (MLB No. 69), 2B -- Tennessee (Double-A)
7. Moises Ballesteros, C/1B -- Tennessee (Double-A)
8. Jordan Wicks, LHP -- Chicago (MLB)
9. Jefferson Rojas, SS -- South Bend (High-A)
10. Ben Brown, RHP -- Iowa (Triple-A)
11. Alexander Canario, OF -- Iowa (Triple-A)
12. Fernando Cruz, SS -- Dominican Republic complex
13. Michael Arias, RHP -- Tennessee (Double-A)
14. Matt Mervis, 1B -- Iowa (Triple-A)
15. Luke Little, LHP -- Chicago (MLB)
16. Drew Gray, LHP -- South Bend (High-A)
17. B.J. Murray, 3B/1B -- Iowa (Triple-A)
18. Pedro Ramirez, 2B/3B -- South Bend (High-A)
19. Luis Vazquez, SS -- Iowa (Triple-A)
20. Haydn McGeary, 1B -- Tennessee (Double-A)
21. Derniche Valdez, SS -- Restricted list
22. Pablo Aliendo, C -- Tennessee (Double-A)
23. Cristian Hernandez, SS/2B -- Myrtle Beach (Single-A)
24. Alexis Hernandez, SS -- Myrtle Beach (Single-A)
25. Jaxon Wiggins, RHP -- Extended Spring Training
26. Brandon Birdsell, RHP -- Tennessee (Double-A)
27. Brody McCullough, RHP -- South Bend (High-A) -- injured list (knee surgery rehab)
28. Porter Hodge, RHP -- Tennessee (Double-A)
29. Josh Rivera, SS -- Tennessee (Double-A)
30. Kohl Franklin, RHP -- Tennessee (Double-A)

Team to watch
Double-A Tennessee is the only team in the Minors with four Top 100 Prospects: right-hander Cade Horton, infielder Matt Shaw, outfielder Kevin Alcántara and second baseman James Triantos. Catcher Moises Ballesteros also received consideration for the list. All told, 12 members of our Cubs Top 30 are opening the season with the Smokies.

Teams on MLB.TV and MiLB.TV
Iowa Cubs (Triple-A)
Tennessee Smokies (Double-A)
South Bend Cubs (High-A)
Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Single-A)

Players we could see in MLB in 2024
As part of MLB's list of bold prospect predictions, we surmised that outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, Horton and Shaw all would be starting for the Cubs in October as the franchise wins its first postseason series since 2017. Right-hander Ben Brown already has been summoned to Chicago to replace the injured Justin Steele in the rotation. While the Cubs have plenty of outfield options, Owen Caissie and Alexander Canario still could power their way to the Majors this summer. Righty Michael Arias could move quickly as a full-time reliever.

New faces
A cousin of former Cubs All-Star Starlin Castro, Dominican shortstop Fernando Cruz signed for $4 million in January and will make his pro debut in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. Right-hander Jaxon Wiggins had Tommy John surgery while in college at Arkansas in February 2023, went in the supplemental second round five months later and is nearly finished with his rehab.

On the shelf
Wiggins and right-hander Brody McCullough (offseason knee surgery) should be ready for game action with a Class A affiliate in May.