2016 Chicago Cubs Top 20 Prospects

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Pierce Johnson – Right Hand Pitcher – Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

6.) Pierce Johnson – Right Hand Pitcher

Date of Birth: 5/10/1991
Height/Weight: 6’3″/200
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: Drafted 1st Round in 2012 (43rd Overall)

Johnson, when healthy as the ability to be a front-end starter. Seemingly every year, an injury pops up that derails his development, but when on the mound Johnson has two legitimate pitches established. As he continues to craft his command, Johnson’s repertoire of pitches can certainly succeed at the next level.

His mechanics are solid, but what leaves Johnson vulnerable is his arm action. Instead of a clean transfer of rotation from the shoulder down through the forearm into pronation, Johnson cuts off his finish right after release, particularly on his breaking ball. As he continues to pound the strike zone, at worse case, Johnson’s pure stuff can translate to a long reliever role.

 

5.) Ian Happ – Outfielder

Date of Birth: 8/12/1994
Height/Weight: 6’0″/205
Bats/Throws: Switch/Right
Acquired: Drafted 1st Round in 2015 (9th Overall)

Happ was regarded as one of the top collegiate hitters in last year’s draft. He also ranked as the top position prospect in the Cape Cod League in each of his two summers in college. While he is a switch hitter, Happ’s better side is the left side of the plate. What makes him a successful hitter is his plate discipline, balance, and solid bat speed. As he develops, the power will come along with his speed.

In the outfield, Happ has a strong arm that could fit in any of the three spots. At the moment, he does project as a corner outfielder, but if he can become strong up the middle, Happ’s value and upside will only grow.

 

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