Kiley McDaniel, National Baseball Analyst for Scout.com, released his ranking of the top 100 prospects in the game. McDaniel is very high on Albert Almora and thinks he is the top prospect in the Cubs’ system
McDaniel ranked Albert Almora as the eighth best prospect in the game. Kris Bryant (10), Javier Baez (13), C.J. Edwards (44), Jorge Soler (53), Dan Vogelbach (80), Pierce Johnson (85) and Arismendy Alcantara (88) made McDaniel’s list of the top prospects in the game.
McDaniel defended his ranking of Albert Almora in the top ten and said, “When pressed, almost every scout conceded he’s a high-probability, quick-moving guy that conservatively has a ceiling of .280 with 15 homers and plus defense. Almora may not have the flashy tools of other prospects ranked this high, but those projected numbers are close to what Carlos Gomez did this year, posting an eight-win season.”
As for where the Cubs’ prospects stack up against the other players at their position, McDaniel ranked Kris Bryant as the top third base prospect. Albert Almora came in fourth and Jorge Soler ranked tenth among the outfielders. Javier Baez is fourth on McDaniel’s list of the top shortstops and Arismendy Alcantara ended up at number 15. Dan Vogelbach was ranked third out of three first basemen that made McDaniel’s top 100. C.J. Edwards checked in at number 27 while Pierce Johnson made the pitcher’s list at number 43.
Javier Baez was ranked as the second best shortstop prospect in the game behind the Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts and ahead of Carlos Correa of the Astros. Baez will be in big league camp for the second straight spring before he starts the season as Iowa’s shortstop.
Javier Baez is expected to see time at second and third base, as well as shortstop, in the spring before he is sent down to minor league camp to prepare for the season.
Minor League News and Notes
The Cubs see big things for Dan Vogelbach according to a report from Comcast SportsNet. And if the National League adopts the DH in the next couple of years, as Tony Andracki points out, the Cubs could have a candidate for that position.
Zak Blair is on his way back from Tommy John surgery.
The Cubs’ Rookie Development Program is underway with several of the top prospects in the system in Chicago for the week. Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, C.J. Edwards, Mike Olt, Arismendy Alcantara, Kyle Hendricks, Pierce Johnson, Eric Jokisch, Neil Ramirez, Rubi Silva, Armando Rivero, Arodys Vizcaino and Christian Villanueva are participating in the program.
The Cubs released OF Garrett Schlecht.