The Cubs’ farm system was front and center on Monday as several of the top players in the system were ranked among the best prospects at their position in the game.
John Sickels released his 2013 Baseball Farm System Rankings on Monday afternoon … and the Cubs system made a significant jump from a year ago. Sickels ranked the Cubs as the tenth best system in baseball, up ten spots in just one year, and Sickels pointed out how quickly the system has improved.
It takes time to turn an unhealthy organization into a healthy organization that is able to develop Major League talent. The Cubs’ system took several steps forward last season but still has a lot of room for improvement, especially in the pitching department. With that said, it is good to see actual prospects in the organization that can be projected as big league ballplayers.
Minor League Ball
John Sickels was complimentary of the Cubs system but thinks the organization lacks pitching. Sickels called Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Dan Vogelbach a “very impressive quartet” and “there is depth beyond them.”
The Cubs system lacks pitching prospects that can be projected to the top of a rotation. There are a several very good arms and if they can take the proper steps in their development this season, the Cubs system will continue to rise in the rankings.
The Cubs’ front office had their hands in building three of the top 10 systems in the game according to Minor League Ball … the Padres (6), Red Sox (9) and Cubs (10).
Jonathan Mayo has been releasing his lists of the top prospects by position in the game over the last week. Mayo’s ranking of the top 100 prospects in the game will be released on Tuesday with the top 50 unveiled during an hour long special on the MLB Network (8:00pm CST).
Javier Baez moved up five spots and came in as the third best shortstop prospect in the game. Baez is also one of four position player prospects to have a future overall grade of 7 on the 2-8 scouting scale (also referred to as 20-80 scouting scale).
Dan Vogelbach cracked Mayo’s list of the top 10 first basemen in the game. Mayo ranked Vogelbach eighth and said, “He has as much raw pop as anyone in the Minors at this position and can hit the ball out to all fields. Vogelbach has an advanced approach that has allowed him to get on base and hit for average.” Vogelbach moved up two spots from last year’s list that was topped by Anthony Rizzo.
As for the outfield, the Cubs first round pick from last June’s draft, Albert Almora, made Mayo’s list as the ninth best outfield prospect in the game. Almora “has the offensive skills to be an above-average hitter, and he can drive the ball to all fields.”
Updated 6:46am CST – Jorge Soler barely missed landing in the top 10, Soler was ranked as the 11th best outfield prospect in the game.
Brett Jackson fell off Mayo’s list after being ranked as the sixth best outfield prospect in 2011 and fifth best a year ago.
Last year the Cubs had three players ranked among the top 100 prospects in the game … Brett Jackson (33), Anthony Rizzo (37) and Javier Baez (62). It will be interesting to see how many make the cut this year.
MLB.com is scheduled to release their list of the top 20 prospects in the Cubs’ system on February 6.