As we continue our look at the top prospects across the Chicago baseball landscape, we examine the Chicago Cubs 11th rated prospect, outfielder Donnie Dewees.
Donnie Dewees took a path less traveled, or less glamorous, on his way to professional baseball. The 23-year-old outfielder was undrafted out of high school, and suffered a broken wrist during his sophomore season at the University of North Florida.
The Chicago Cubs selected him with the 47th overall pick (second round) in the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft, after Dewees impressed mightily in the esteemed Cape Cod League in the summer of 2014. In his final college season in the spring of 2015 Dewees continued to build his draft stock when he led all of Division I in runs (88), hits (106), and slugging percentage (.749).
Dewees also posted a stellar .422 batting average in 2015, good for second best in all of Division I college baseball. His performance from the summer of 2014 to the spring of 2015 performance, was good enough for the Cubs to take him 47th overall, and sign him to a $1.7 million dollar signing bonus.
Dewees’ best attribute to this point is his speed, rated an impressive 60 on the 20/80 scale, giving him the ability to steal bases effectively and provides him with good range in the outfield. Through his first 195 games in the Cubs minor-league system Dewees has stolen 50 bases.
His worst attribute is definitely his below-average arm, that has the Cubs working on implementing a throwing program for him in an effort to increase his defensive ability in the outfield. Dewees was given an arm grade of 30 on the 20/80 scale by MLB Pipeline, a well below-average grade.
Dewees has a compact left-handed swing with a knack for creating line-drive contact, and profiles as a hitter who will hit for contact successfully. Potentially hitting anywhere between 10 to 15 home runs per season. Dewees has a solid feel for the strike zone, only striking out 141 times in his first 195 games within the Cubs farm system, while walking 53 times over that span.
Dewees began the 2016 season with the Cubs Single-A affiliate, the South Bend Cubs, appearing in 94 games. Dewees accumulated just three home runs, while driving in 54 runs, and swiping 17 stolen bases.
In 2016 with the Cubs A-Advanced affiliate the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Dewees appeared in 35 games, posting a .289 batting average, while hitting two home runs and driving in 19 runs. During his time in Myrtle Beach Dewees went a perfect 14 of 14 in the stolen base department.
Over his first 195 games, Dewees has recorded a .278 batting average to go along with 10 home runs, 39 doubles, 15 triples, and 103 RBI. Dewees has been successful in 50 of his 62 stolen base attempts. Dewees has played mostly left-field since being drafted by the Cubs, but will see significant time in center-field this season. Dewees is not expected to see the major-league roster until at least sometime in 2018, likely late in 2018 at this point.