Cubs 2007 Prospect Power Rankings: Vol. 1

Last year, our Prospect Power Rankings were a smash hit in many a clubhouse and front office around the Cubs' system. With over a week now gone by in minor league play, we bring them back for a second season.

(Editor's Note: Just like last season, these rankings are based solely on statistical performances and have zero to do with age and with which player is considered the "top" or "best" prospect overall.)

1. Micah Hoffpauir: 1B, Iowa (Triple-A)

Hoffpauir has always been a good run-producer for most of the teams he's played on and early this season has been no different. His 21 RBIs through 12 games lead the Pacific Coast League, and he's been getting it done all-around with a plus- .400 average since the beginning of last week. The left-handed bat has hit safely in eight straight games and has four homers.

2. Felix Pie: OF, Iowa

The Cubs' top prospect has thus far done everything expected of him upon entering his second season in Triple-A. He began 2007 with an eight-game hitting streak and entered the week third in the Pacific Coast League with a .438 average. That average was also best in the Cubs system entering the week. Even more encouraging is his .543 on-base percentage, brought on by nine walks through his first 32 at-bats.

3. Carlos Marmol: SP, Iowa

In two starts, the right-hander has racked up 16 strikeouts while walking only two. He's allowed two runs for a 1.93 ERA. Perhaps the only downside is that Marmol has thrown only 9 1/3 innings combined in his first two outings due to pitch count purposes.

4. Tyler Colvin: OF, Daytona (Class High-A)

Having made the jump straight from Low-A short-season ball to High-A, last year's first-round pick batted .364 with three multi-hit games and five extra base hits in his first seven appearances with Daytona.

5. Billy Muldowney: SP, Peoria (Mid-A)

The eighth-round pick from a year ago has given up 13 hits through his first 11 innings, but he leads the farm system with 17 strikeouts. He has walked only two.

6. Mitch Atkins: SP, Daytona

Atkins was doomed in his last start largely as the result of poor defense. He gave up six runs, but only one was earned. Through 10-plus innings, he has yielded just six hits for a .162 average against and 2.61 ERA.

7. Matt Matulia: SS, Daytona

A resident of nearby Eustis, Fla., Matulia like Colvin has also made the jump from Low-A short-season ball to High-A without any hitches so far. Through 10 games, he's batting .361 with five two-hit performances and has reached base in all but one game.

8. Jake Fox: C/OF, Tennessee (Double-A)

Fox's .296 average is helped by a 4-for-5, five-RBI performance against Jacksonville in which he cracked two homers and two doubles. Minus that game, he is batting just a buck eighty-one.

9. Sean Gallagher: SP, Tennessee

The right-hander hasn't had his best stuff thus far, but he's managed a 3.38 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in two starts. He has walked two in 10-plus innings and has held opponents to a .211 average agaisnt.

10. Robinson Chirinos: INF, Daytona

Chirinos is back in High-A following an up-and-down year at Peoria, where he led the team with 30 doubles despite batting just .242. This season, he's drawn a walk in five of his first eight games to make up an even .500 on-base percentage. Four of his six hits have gone for doubles.

Honorable Mentions

Mark Holliman: The right-hander and third-round pick from 2005, who made his professional debut in Class High-A a season ago, tossed six shutout innings in his first Double-A start while notching seven strikeouts.

Jeff Samardzija: "The Shark" has allowed 10 hits in as many innings, but he has a respectable 2.70 ERA through his first two starts.

Scott Moore: Moore has more RBIs than hits thus far with nine batted in (second on the team) as part of a 6-for-35 (.171) showing at Triple-A through his first 12 games.

Matt Craig: The third baseman hasn't done anything spectacular so far, but he's brought his overly solid hitting from Daytona to Double-A with a .308 average and three multi-hit games.

Adalberto Mendez: This early into the season, we always like to give props to at least one reliever and Mendez gets the honor. Despite his four walks, he has struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings while allowing only two hits.

(Statistics updated through April 16.)

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