MLB.com’s Top 21 Cubs Prospects for 2013

The week long look at the Cubs farm system continued Wednesday when Jonathan Mayo and MLB.com published their rankings of the top prospects in the National League Central.

As expected Javier Baez topped MLB.com’s Cubs list with Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, Brett Jackson and Arodys Vizcaino rounding out the top five. Seven of the 21 prospects were not in the organization last year and seven pitchers made the list.

The Cubs have made improvements to their system and the work turned in by Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod and Tim Wilken has been reflected in the positive press the organization has received off-season.

The Cubs have added potential impact players and power pitchers to the system but a majority of the players have not completed a full year of pro ball. The upcoming season will be a very important one down on the farm.

MLB.com’s Top 21 Cubs Prospects for 2013

  1. Javier Baez, SS
  2. Albert Almora, OF
  3. Jorge Soler, OF
  4. Brett Jackson, OF
  5. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
  6. Dillon Maples, RHP
  7. Pierce Johnson, RHP
  8. Christian Villanueva, 3B
  9. Junior Lake, IF/OF
  10. Matt Szczur, OF
  11. Dan Vogelbach, 1B
  12. Jae-Hoon Ha, OF
  13. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
  14. Josh Vitters, 3B
  15. Robert Whitenack, RHP
  16. Duane Underwood, RHP
  17. Paul Blackburn, RHP
  18. Gioskar Amaya, 2B
  19. Alberto Cabrera, RHP
  20. Trey Martin, OF
  21. Arismendy Alcantara, SS

MLB.com sees right-handed pitcher Matt Loosen as one of the players in the Cubs system that is “under the radar.” Jason McLeod likes what he has seen in the 6-foot-2, 205-pound right-hander. Loosen spent all of 2012 with the D-Cubs after making two starts in Double-A in 2011. Loosen posted an 11-5 record in 23 starts with a 4.07 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Loosen stuck out 110 batters, walked 46 and gave up 83 hits in 112 2/3 innings.

MLB.com predicted that Javier Baez will be the Cubs’ minor league hitter of the year and Pierce Johnson could be the Cubs’ minor league pitcher of the year. Johnson has a big arm and a huge ceiling.

Cubs Prospect Rankings for 2013

The top three prospects in the Cubs system are widely considered among the top 50 in the game and while they have garnered most of the attention, it should be noted that the system as a whole took steps forward last year. The improved rankings from Baseball America (13), Keith Law (5) and Minor League Ball (10) reflect the talent that has been added over the past two years … now the trick for the Cubs is to turn projected talent into Major Leaguers.

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