Cubs taking patient approach with top prospects

Cubs taking patient approach with top prospects

Cubs taking patient approach with top prospects

CHICAGO -- Yasiel Puig has sparked the Dodgers in his first week in the big leagues, batting .464 with four home runs in seven games. The Cuban outfielder totaled 229 Minor League at-bats before he was promoted. That quick leap to the big leagues doesn't happen often, and Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he didn't expect any of the Cubs' recent Draft picks or top prospects to make that kind of jump.

No. 1 prospect Javier Baez, Albert Almora (No. 2) and Jorge Soler (No. 3) are all playing in Class A ball, and Baez and Soler are with High Class A Daytona.

"I don't see any of them [making their debuts this year]," Sveum said Monday. "That's not what we're trying to do. They're here to develop and stay at their level and produce. We're still not getting huge production, so they have to develop before they get here. You just don't call people up because they're supposed to be prospects. There's still a way they have to produce and put numbers up and be consistent."

After Kris Bryant was selected No. 2 overall in the first round by the Cubs in the First-Year Player Draft, the third baseman said he was ready now for the big leagues. Sveum said Puig, 22, has an edge because of the top caliber of players in Cuba.

The Cubs hope that someday their top prospects can provide the same kind of impact Puig has.

"Those are the guys we're counting on and who the organization needs to come through when you do call them up," Sveum said. "Those are our best prospects, whether it's Baez or Soler or Almora. We're still talking about a couple years away. We're not talking about next year or any time this year. Those are the guys you have to have hit, otherwise, you're back to the drawing board."

Sveum has watched video of Soler, 21, who was batting .278 for Daytona with eight home runs, 12 doubles and 34 RBIs.

"The good thing I like about Soler is he's having quality at-bats for a guy who obviously is pretty young baseball-wise," Sveum said. "He's having a lot of quality at-bats and seeing pitches. Like I said in Spring Training, the poise he has on the field, for a guy who hasn't been out there much, is far and above what you expect at 20 years old. He's still learning."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.