In a year like no other, this is going to be a prospect list like no other.Maybe the most popular thing I do on this site is to publish my annual rankings of the Top 20 prospects.It something that I really work on all season long and generally get started on just before Christmastime. My rankings were usually based on what Ie seen during Minor League games, mostly on video but a few in person. I would then adjust my personal observations by those of the national prospect writers and by the scuttlebutt that I pick up from people around the minor league affiliates https://www.ccfanstore.com/Rowan_Wick_Jersey-92. Of course, this year was like no other. First of all, I was laid off from this site in March, meaning that it wasn my job anymore to pay attention to these things. So rather than spend all of 2020 thinking about the Cubs minor leagues, I was planning to spend the 2020 season doing other things. As it turned out, the pandemic meant that there weren any minor league games at all for me to not pay attention to. Some players were invited to the alternate site camp in South Bend, but those sites were closed not just to the press and public but even to scouts from other teams. So the only information we got out of South Bend was information the Cubs chose to share. Most of the players, however, were on their own. They had to find their own ways to keep in playing shape and they had to work with their coaches over video calls. Every minor league prospect who wasn invited to the alternate site is now a year older and has missed one year of development. A few got into instructional league games in the fall or winter league games in the Caribbean. How this will affect them is unclear. I assume that some will be badly hurt by this lost year of development. I guessing some will pick up the game as if they never left. But it beats me to try and guess which players will fall into which category. These prospect lists are always a lot of guesswork. But this year, there is a whole lot more guesswork than usual. That bothers me and it has made this year list a whole lot more difficult to write than normal.My personal rankings have biases and I generally give xtra credit to players closer to the majors. I value upside a lot because you win titles with stars, not competent role players. But Ie seen too many players with remendous upside flame out in High-A to think that toolsy outfielder in rookie ball who hasn hit yet is a solid bet to fix the hole in his swing and become a major league All-Star. Also, while you don win a title with competent role players, a lot of teams have lost titles for the lack of them. I don pretend that my list is ever perfect, but it a good introduction and a forum for the readers to debate the players. I think it has value.Each day I going to list five players who I think are among the top 20 Cubs minor league prospects. Today I going to start with five players whom I didn rank but whom I think are top prospects anyway. They aren necessarily the 21st through 25th-best prospects, but they are ones that I considered for the top 20 and thought you should hear about anyway. Eligible players are those have not exceeded their rookie eligibility of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched. The only player from last year list that lost prospect eligibility is Nico Hoerner. I could have also included RHP Michael McAvene here, but since I don have anything to say that I didn say last year, you can just read that entry instead. I would correct the typo on his name if I could do it all over again. You can also read my writeup from last season on catcher Ethan Hearn, who would go in this area but whom I have little new to say about other than what I wrote last year https://www.ccfanstore.com/Leon_Durham_Jersey-77. He got knocked out of the Top 20 primarily by the players acquired in the Yu Darvish trade, but I also a little more worried about the number of times he struck out in rookie ball in 2019 than I was last year. That just an evolution of my thinking and a feeling that he needed those reps in 2020 more than other players did. I still really like his defensive potential.Cristian Hernandez.SS. DOB: 12/13/2003.175. B:R T:R. International Free Agent , Dominican Republic. Hernandez is more like one of the Cubs top 10 prospects than one of the top 30. I including him here because even though wee known he was going to be a Cub for almost a year, he only officially been a Cub for about three weeks. That he just turned 17, that Ie never seen him play outside of edited video and that no one else seems to be including him in their Cubs prospects lists caused me to chicken out of ranking him seventh or something rather just writing about him right here. Al wrote up a story on Hernandez when he signed last month for a Cubs-record $3 million bonus. He got long arms that he able to move through the hitting zone quickly, at least according to the videos Ie seen. His swing is also fairly level and he been praised for his ability to make contact Nick Martini Jersey, which should lead to an ability to hit for a high average. It clear that he skinny right now but that frame should be able to add a lot of muscle and thus, a lot more power. How his body develops will probably dictate whether or not he stays at shortstop. Right now, Hernandez is pretty quick with sure hands a strong arm which should make him a solid to plus defender at shortstop or third base https://www.ccfanstore.com/Gray_Fenter_Jersey-117. MLB Pipeline listed Hernandez as the sixth-best international prospect this past signing season. Baseball America ranked him as the fifth-best with a note that they could make a case that he was number one in terms of overall potential. MLB Pipeline compared Hernandez to Alex Rodriguez and Manny Machado, which seems overblown to me since Machado was in the majors at 19 and Rodriguez at 18. I be shocked if Hernandez blew through the minors that quickly.Hernandez says he models his game after his favorite player, Javier Baez, and El Mago certainly seems like an achievable goal for Hernandez if everything breaks right for him. Here some video of Hernandez. Keegan Thompson. Instead, he took an academic scholarship to study computer engineering at the University of Michigan and walked on to the baseball team. He became a three-year starter for the Wolverines and was a key player on the 2019 team that went all the way to the finals before losing to Vanderbilt.As you can tell from the above description, Nwogu is a terrific athlete and a very bright young man. He has terrific power and good bat speed. He also been praised for his ability to recognize the strike zone. Swinging a bat doesn seem to come naturally to him, however, and the biggest knock on his game coming into the 2020 draft was an odd swing where he seems to try to hit off his back foot. The Cubs have been re-tooling that swing since the draft and they think theye got it to a good place, or at least a better place. Nwogu has terrific speed on the basepaths although he didn get the best jumps in the outfield at Michigan, which limited the defensive usefulness of that speed. His throwing arm is also improved, but he still probably limited to left field except in emergencies. Nwogu returned to Michigan this past fall and finished up his computer engineering degree. Academic intelligence doesn always translate to baseball intelligence , but Nwogu seems to have both.His ability to learn will be a big factor in turning those prodigious tools into production. If everything clicks https://www.ccfanstore.com/Kris_Bryant_Jersey-71, he a middle-of-the-order slugging left fielder.Here some video of Nwogu hitting at Michigan where you can see his funky swing. But stay around for the double he hits and his speed on the bases. For comparison https://www.ccfanstore.com/Anthony_Rizzo_Jersey-21, here some video of him hitting in instructs.