3 down, 1 to go. Of the 4 most known national prospect gurus, only Baseball America has yet to release it's Cubs top prospect list.
Sickels hasn't always been very high on the Cubs, and rightfully so, but this year his list gives cause for optimism. He rates Javier Baez as an "A" prospect, Soler and Almora as "B+" prospects, Vogelbach is a "B", and Vizcaino an admittedly conservative "B-" because of the injury. Seven other Cubs received a B-
Here is Sickel's own explanation of his grading system for those not familiar with him,
Grade A prospects are the elite. They have a reasonable chance of becoming stars or superstars. Almost all Grade A prospects develop into major league regulars, if injuries or other problems don't intervene. Note that is a major "if" in some cases.
Grade B prospects have a good chance to enjoy successful careers. Some will develop into stars, some will not. Most end up spending several years in the majors, at the very least in a marginal role.
Grade C prospects are the most common type. These are guys who have something positive going for them, but who may have a question mark or three, or who are just too far away from the majors to get an accurate feel for. A few Grade C guys, especially at the lower levels, do develop into stars. Some end up as role players or bench guys. Many don't make it at all.
Also note that there is diversity within each category. I'm a tough grader; Grade C+ is actually good praise, and some C+ prospects (especially at lower levels) turn out very well indeed.
Click here to see the rest of the list and grades.
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