The Chicago Pit Bulls minor league system ranks 5th in the Bull League, and the team appears poised to let some of their top prospects break into the major level now. And they look ready for it.
Topping the list of Pit Bulls prospects is 3B Jon Guillot, a 22-year-old from Brooklyn who has spent 5 years in rookie and A-level, but could make the leap this spring to the active roster.
If he does, a big reason will be his stellar performance last year at A-level Peoria, where he almost single-handedly took the team to playoff success, winning the Calf Cup. Guillot was also the conference playoff and Calf Cup final MVP, the regular season MVP, and 3B batting award winner.
He wasn’t the best hitter in the Calf League by any stretch, running his average only up to .279, but his slugging and OPS put him 3rd in the conference on the back of his conference-leading 11 home runs. He also topped the Mid-West Conference in RBIs (46), isolated power (.226), and extra-base hits (38), along with a tie for doubles with teammate Justin Kelly, the other top team prospect, with 22.
Guillot is ranked 7th out of Bull League prospects, and has both great defensive range and speed, along with solid power. A humble player who will expect to see the bench if he makes the cut, Guillot would nevertheless make for a solid 3B option at the top level, if current third baseman Joe Burch were moved to shortstop.
As mentioned, Justin Kelly was the other top prospect who, along with Guillot, also seems poised to break into the top level this spring. Kelly plays better in left field, but can also manage well in center, has blazing speed on the bases, and above-average power. His prospect ranking dipped to 24th lately, but he is still a solid option and complements Chicago’s outfield well, with power-hitters Mike Strang and Oscar Barajas making for a potentially lethal middle batting order.
Power pitcher Marco Martinez, a 24-year-old from the 2017 draft supplementary round, clocks a 99 mph fastball, and believes he is ready to break into the majors, though he is currently on the AA-level Anchorage Sky Chiefs roster. Martinez was set to play for the Brisbane Rebels before the Bull Oceanic League folded, and ended up in the free agent pool last season, where Chicago took him 27th overall.
Surprisingly, he was left out of the Bull Oceanic Winter League, where he may have helped the Tunis Freemen run down the Algiers Berbers, along with other fellow Chicago minor leaguers, like Carlos Lovato, or David Cisneros.
In short, Chicago’s prospects are good, and they have more depth than just these top three talents, which is why their minor league system ranks 5th. Three of the five teams finished 1st in their division, the AA, A and Short Season A teams, including a championship for A-level Peoria.
After last season’s lackluster 4th place finish, Chicago is out for blood and may have the talent to find a playoff berth this season, helped by the crop of major-level ready prospects.