Contreras is the Cubs’ #2 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, while Baseball America rates him as the second-best catching prospect in all of baseball. His stock has been rising fast after an impressive 2015 season at Double-A Tennessee, when he batted .333 with eight home runs and 75 runs batted in, along with 57 walks. This spring, Contreras was 5-for-14 with two runs scored.
He’s also earned high marks for his defense. Click here to see him pick off Chase Utley at first base on March 12 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Contreras has the skills to stay behind the plate and be a solid major league catcher. He will start the year at Triple-A Iowa.
Candelario wasn’t on as many radars at the beginning of spring training. He is the Cubs’ #7 prospect and was rated as the 11th-best third base prospect by Baseball America. Further, he started the spring far down on the Cubs’ infield depth chart, as their major league infield is already set, including Kris Bryant at third.
But Candelario got a lot of playing time this spring and made the most of it, going 11-for-31 with two home runs. Click here to see him hit an RBI double in a March 15 game against the San Diego Padres. Candelario will start the season at Double-A.
With all the great players the Cubs have brought up to the major leagues over the past couple of years, it’s great to see their farm system continue to produce talent. Both Contreras and Candelario will start the season in the minors and, barring injuries, likely won’t play much of a role with the 2016 big league squad. But both of them sure made an impression in Arizona this spring. There’s a good chance we will see both of them starring at Wrigley Field someday.