Jim Callis of Baseball America had his yearly rankings of the Chicago Cubs top 10 prospects. Nothing too shocking, but some interesting names are on the list: Here are his rankings of the Cubs top 10 prospects:
1) Javier Baez – SS
2) Albert Almora – OF
3) Jorge Soler – OF
4) Arodys Vizcaino – P
5) Brett Jackson – OF
6) Pierce Johnson – P
7) Dan Vogelbach – 1B
8) Jeimer Candelario – 3B
9) Kyuji Fujikawa – P
10) Arismendy Alcantara – SS
About the prospects:
1) Baez: Callis said he’s the best defensive infielder in the Cubs system. He does have range, but I guess he’s better than I thought. I heard of him making mistakes in the infield, but maybe not as much as I thought. Since he’s have great instincts in the field, that may require a move to 3B.
2) Almora: Callis said he’s the best hitter in the Cubs system batting for average. He was drafted 6th overall by the Cubs in last years draft. He’s expected to be the Cubs starting CF is years to come and does have great speed.
3) Soler: The Cubs signed him to a big deal in early July of last year. The deal was for 9 years at 30 million. We won’t see him at Wrigley this year, but next year is a great possibility. He has 5-tool potential if everything goes right.
4) Vizcaino: The Cubs acquired him at the trade deadline of this past year for veterans SP Paul Maholm and OF Reed Johnson. He’s recovering from Tommy John Surgery and if he comes back healthy, watch out for this kid. We’re expected to see him at Wrigley this year.
5) Jackson: We did see him at Wrigley this past year and didn’t go all well. He struck out way too many times and is a major concern. However, he did fix his approach and swing this off-season and is said to look a lot more polished now. We did see his great defense, though and we will keep seeing that.
6) Johnson: He’s the best pitcher in the Cubs organization, for now (not counting Vizcaino). I think if Dillon Maples comes back healthy, he could overtake Johnson as the best pitching prospect. He has the stuff to be a great pitcher, but he has to first stay healthy.
7) Vogelbach: Callis says he has the most power in the Cubs organization and that makes total sense. Just look at his body figure and you can tell blindly. However, I don’t think he’ll stay in the Cubs system. I think he’ll be traded for a big-time player to an AL team. Since he’s going to be a DH due to his body figure and his not great defense.
8) Candelari: He came out of no where last year and now there’s talk about seeing him at Wrigley in the near future as the 3B. He did have a great year and does look good, but let’s see if he can put up good back-to-back seasons.
9) Fujiwawa: He’s technically a rookie, but he’ll be in Wrigley next year as a relief pitcher. The Cubs signed him to a 2-year deal worth 9.5 million this off-season. He’s expected to be the set-up man next season, but WHEN Marmol is traded, he may move to the closer role.
10) Alcantara: To me, he’s the most surprise player on the lost. I follow the minors pretty closely, but I have never heard of him. It’s hard to be an IF in the Cubs system if everything goes right. They are just lo-jammed in middle IF, but it’s always good have depth.
Other news about players in the Cubs system: (not on the Cubs top prospects list)
*Best strike zone discipline: 2B Logan Watkins (we could see him at Wrigley next year.)
*Fastest baserumnmer/best athlete: OF Matt Szczur
Here’s Callis list and it looks pretty good. I just love the improvement since Epstein/Hoyer/Mcleod took over the regime.