Cubs prospect notes: 5 Cubs in top 100, BA hot sheet, Kaplan on Cubs prospect Jorge Soler

Cubs prospect notes: 5 Cubs in top 100, BA hot sheet, Kaplan on Cubs prospect Jorge Soler
Javier Baez's stock continues to take off
  • came up with it's post season top 100 list and 5 Cubs rank in the top 100: Javier Baez (24), Albert Almora (52), Brett Jackson (74), Arodys Vizcaino (76) and Jorge Soler (77).
  • They also ranked the Cubs individual top 20 here.
  • In an encouraging sign that the Cubs system performed well, Baseball America tallies up all of their weekly hot sheets and ranks the Cubs 9th out of all MLB teams in terms of placing players on the lists this season.  A quick look at some of the teams that rank ahead of them (Diamondbacks, Royals, Rangers, Red Sox) shows how the Cubs are beginning to creep upward in terms of how their farm system is perceived.  It's especially noteworthy since the Cubs didn't have a single individual player who made the top 25.  This was a group effort.
  • In case you missed it, here is CSN's David Kaplan's excellent video on Jorge Soler...

Filed under: News and Notes, prospects, Video


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    Looking at this Top 20 and forgetting the levels, I like the distribution of positions (minus Catchers). More SP than RP would be better but it is better than it has looked in a while:
    4 OF
    3 middle infielders (including Baez)
    3 corner infielders
    6 SPs
    4 RPs (including McNutt)

  • In reply to Louie101:

    Nice observation. Some good balance there.

  • Some of these prospects been on this list for the last three years......if a 100 guy for three years, shouldn't you be playing now?

    Jackson and a few others who are in the majors, should be taken off the list.

    Both Lee & Archer are future back up role players.....not starters as we once thought they could have been.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I was surprised to see Lee up there so high. Most think he can be a solid MLB SS, which is good, but he's ranked ahead of some higher ceiling guys.

    Archer looks brilliant at times. Sometimes he looks like he can be a good starter, other times he looks like a bullpen guy.

  • If someone's never been famous can they call themselves a has-been?

  • LOL...maybe not. Then again, you can be good at something and not be famous.

  • Next year sometime, we'll also have Jail Food (Paniagua) up in that national list ahead of most of the other Cubs.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Paniagua is a big sleeper, more of an unknown but agree he could make a huge leap if he performs well at higher levels. Looking forward to seeing him go after a full season after instructs, spring training, etc.

  • John,

    I was reading Keith law's blog recently. Since the Rangers are juggling the call-up with Profar & Andrus playing SS it was suggested by some to move Profar to 2B. His reply was "you could try him at second base it's just I always get a little worried about guys transitioning to second base because it's an injury-prone position ... so I wouldn't want to put Profar in harms way too much.".

    I wasn't aware of this being such an injury prone position. What/where can we find something to substantiate this? This might explain why the FO is reluctant to switch Castro/Barney (I know there's other reasons). Also might be something to think about before sliding Baez over.... things that make you go hmmm......

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    2Bs take a bit of a beating on the double play, more so than the SS because they don't face the runner until later in the play.

    I'm sure that is something that's being taken into consideration. Baez is more likely to have a longer career at 3B or the OF.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    No I get that, but do we have any statistical evidence that an injury is more likely for the 2B? Or, was this just Keith's opinion because it seems sensible given the 2B will at some point have their back to the runner?

  • If Baez can just provide average fielding and range at second, given his arm strength and offensive prowess, I have to believe he becomes a perennial MVP candidate. It also allows guys like Vitters, Lake, and Villanueva to focus on third base, and lets Barney and Watkins slide into very solid utility roles.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    The position value would be a huge boost for him. I still think he sticks at 3B and they figure out what to do with the other guys. You hope that one of Vitters, Lake, Villanueva, or Calendario turn into something useful.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I just can't help but feel like Vitters might be destined for an Allen Craig type utility role down the line. While I was one of the few who didn't want to give up on him over the last couple of years, I just think that Lake and Villanueva have brighter futures at this point.

    Of course, Vitters could go back down to Iowa to start 2013, make all the adjustments required, and come take the position by storm. From what I've seen of Vitters (which hasn't been much, and that's by design with this team now), his defense is better than advertised, and he could be an average defender at third with an above-average bat.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    Vitters would have a better chance of becoming an Allen Craig type if he played in St. Louis. The freaking Cardinals have a knack for having their players perform better than could have been expected. I'm sure McGwire helps them somehow.

  • Well, I was more referring to use and positions than actual offensive ability, but, yes. St. Louis can develop players for everything but shortstop.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    That would be a nice development. I think he'll go back to Iowa next year and see if maybe he can continue to improve his approach and defense. He's still pretty young.

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    Why isn't Villanueva in the Cubs top-20 prospects? The MLB list is very strange, and I bet BA's will be way different.

    I never liked MLB's prospect rankings; the photos are nice, but I don't think they are very on-target

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I like BA's lists better. Definitely some things I would change as well.

  • Vogelbomb just keeps hitting home runs and hitting for average and keeps getting ignored even in a talent deficient team though I wouldn't mind seeing that Boise team move up together as a unit and win at each level

  • In reply to Cueil:

    Its difficult to justify ranking a DH highly, especially in a non-DH league. Defensively, a scout told John his range is one step and a dive, so at this stage he can't be considered a 1st baseman at the ML level.

    I can't recall a DH prospect (that even sounds strange) ever being traded for a someone worthwhile, so I'm not even sure if he's worth getting excited about, even as a trade chip. The only way I see him playing for the Cubs is if he gets called up from AAA as an injury replacement, then if he tears it up with the bat all he'll be is better trade bait when Rizzo returns.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I think scouts are starting to warm to him some. At first, he was considered a one tool (power) player and it was plus-plus. Thats obviously the jaw dropper, but they didn't expect his 2nd tool (avg) which is also plus. The kid walks a ton too so I think he can maintain those two plus tools. He gets a lot of discount & crap over his non athletic body type. But really, the kid has worked his butt off. He's worked with a trainer/nutritionist (his brother) and shed 40lbs since he was drafted. He's a lot quicker than people give him credit for. Who's to say he can't continue to develop? He may develop into a legit 1B, he may not. Either way, he's an interesting prospect to watch in the minors as he develops. He reminds me somewhat of Billy Butler (another FL kid I've watched throughout HS). He doesn't have Billy's arm, but he is quicker on the bases....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Really? He lost 40 lbs. WOW! I like him even more now. He seems to be very serious to do whatever it takes to get better. You have got to like guys like that.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I know all that stuff about Vogelbach. I hope I'm wrong about him, because I like the kid. If he can continue to lose weight and keep his power while doing so, if he can continue to hit the better pitching beyond Boise, if he can develop his defense to at least near Rizzo's, if Rizzo doesn't fade or get hurt and replaced with a better long term 1B, if Vogelbach stays healthy, if we don't draft or otherwise acquire another 1B with greater ability than Vogelbach....If he does all that I'll be his biggest fan on the west coast, and I'll continue backing him as he progresses thru the minors. He faces very long odds. I had a buddy in high school who hit about .475 his senior year and was drafted by the Rangers, had a very good first year in the minors and then met a girl who he fell in love with and ended up quitting baseball for so he could get a better job. Stuff happens to kids.

    Being a Cub fan all my life, I'm a deep down fatalist, so I just don't see all that stuff breaking for V.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I agree with you. He is in the low levels of the farm system, but he did have a very good 1st year as a pro. He lost 40 lbs and hit well at rookie and short season levels. He had good power, average and OBP results. Definitely he is still has a long ways to go, but if he continues putting in the effort there is a decent chance he makes it. I am guessing he still has 3 years to put in the minors. I for one am just going to enjoy the ride.

  • In reply to John57:

    Me too. I'm not going to wring my hands yet about what happens with Vogelbach. For right now I can't wait to see him mash next year live and in person.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Lots of "If's"... lol I know he's a long shot, crap almost all of them are. But he's doing the right things and I think "If" he keeps that up, that they will stop discounting his defense. Because., from what I've seen of him, he's really not a one step and dive 1B.

    Here's a link for a HS scouting report on him. The Cardinals uniform will make you cringe a bit, but it gives you a glimpse into the kids personality.

    I'm definitely rooting for him. Though I know that "if' he develops and reaches his ceiling, the Cubs are still likely to trade him (most likely to an AL team) because we do have an awful lot of depth at 1B. The only way he sees significant time at 1B @ Wrigley is if a few others are traded/injured/crash and burn, etc...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I agree wholeheartedly.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    In a creative way, you pretty much nailed it why young 1B prospects don't make a lot of lists. Too much is dependent on that bat. There is no other way for them to make it in the big leagues. If Vogelbach's hitting becomes less than great as he moves up, his chances decrease dramatically.

    That said, he's about as good a power hitter as there is in the minors right now, so fingers crossed.

  • In reply to Cueil:

    Love Vogelgach! Great hitter, even greater power potential. The pattern is that prospect gurus rarely rank a 1B only type highly when they're at the lower levels.

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