According to the Cubs official website, Albert Almora has passed his physical and the Cubs and Scott Boras have put the finishing touches on his contract, which was reportedly for $3.9M. The Cubs top pick in the 2012 draft will report to Mesa, the Cubs Arizona Rookie League affiliate. You can get updates on his play right here in our Minor League Recaps, a daily source of in-depth info on Cubs prospects, including scouting info and statistical updates.
In other prospect news, Baseball America called Anthony Rizzo the Cubs best midseason minor league player (no suprise there). The also named Arismendy Alcantara as the player who took the biggest leap forward and Ronald Torreyes as the biggest disappointment so far. Alcantara has always been on the Cubs radar, we first mentioned him on April 6th as someone to watch, but back then I didn't expect him to get this good this quickly. I mentioned him as a good utility infield prospect, but 3 months later, Alcantara looks like he can become more than that. Alcantara is a switch-hitting shortstop with equal proficiency from both sides of the plate. He's a line drive hitter with surprising pop for someone with his build (listed as 5'10", 160 lbs). He has slugged .453 in the Florida State League, considered to be a strong pitcher's league because of the bigger ballparks. Alcantara adds good speed, stealing 24 bases in 28 attempts and has the athleticism to play the middle infield, which greatly increases his value. Whether Alcantara can remain at short depends on whether he can fix the mechanics on this throws, which have led to a whopping 35 errors so far this season. He also needs to work on his plate discipline, as he's walked at just a 5.1% rate this season, though he does have 6 walks in his last 5 games. He has likely surpassed Ronald Torreyes for now on the Cubs prospect list. Torreyes got off to a horrific start, but has hit .304/.380/.473 since the end of May, so there is still hope for a strong second half.