FanGraphs Top 15 Cubs Prospects for 2014

The off-season look at the prospects in the Cubs; system continues today with FanGraphs ranking of the top young players in the Cubs organization.

FanGraphs pointed out the Cubs’ system “is strong although somewhat top heavy” and the “top 10 list starts to taper off after no. 8.” FanGraphs thinks the overall depth in the system is “above average” and the Cubs “feature one of the most enviable one-through-four group of prospects in the game.”

Javier Baez topped FanGraphs look at the Cubs’ system for the third year in a row with Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Arismendy Alcantara rounding out the top five.

FanGraphs is a little higher on Pierce Johnson than C.J. Edwards and Kyle Hendricks cracked the top 10, and rightfully so. Hendricks has the make-up and the stuff to be a successful big league pitcher, he just doesn’t light up a radar gun or feature an out-pitch and that keeps him off most prospect lists.

Most believe the Cubs have seven to eight of the top 100 prospects in the game in their system. The positive publicity the Cubs have received down on the farm is more than welcome. The Cubs front office and development staff now have the task of turning the prospects into productive big league baseball players.

FanGraphs Top 15 Cubs Prospects for 2014

2013 Ranking in Parenthesis – NR – Not Ranked, NA – Not Available
  1. Javier Baez, SS (1)
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B (NA)
  3. Albert Almora, OF (2)
  4. Jorge Soler, OF (3)
  5. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B/SS (NR)
  6. Pierce Johnson, RHP (NR)
  7. C.J. Edwards, RHP (NA)
  8. Dan Vogelbach, 1B/DH (5)
  9. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP (6)
  10. Kyle Hendricks, RHP (NR)
  11. Jeimer Candelario, 3B (12)
  12. Christian Villanueva, 3B (9)
  13. Duane Underwood, RHP (14)
  14. Eloy Jimenez, OF (NA)
  15. Neil Ramirez, RHP (NA)

FanGraphs’ Full Report on the Cubs Top 15 Prospects

Cubs 2014 Prospect Rankings

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Notice where Mike Olt came in on that list.

    • Tony_Hall

      At the beginning of the comments, Marc was asked about Olt.

      “What about 3B Mike Olt?
      Isn’t he a top 10 prospect?”

      Marc Hulet’s answer
      “Partially, it speaks to the depth in the system but I also have serious concerns over his hit tool.”

      Hard to hit what you can’t see.

      Jason Parks tweeted YES to this question from a Brewer fan “Cubs 10th prospect > Brewers #1”

      The Cubs system is deep.

      Other postion players not mentioned:
      Amaya, Contreras, Bruno, Darvish, Torres, Penalver, Szczur, Hanneman, Silva, Martin, Dunston, Ha, Jackson, Vitters, Andreoli, Devoss, the other Baez, Encarnacion, Golden

      Other pitchers not mentioned:
      Blackburn, Cabrera, Zastryzny, Maples, Black, Pineyro, Skulina, Wells, Beeler, Loosen, Rivera, Paniagua

      Many of these would make Top 10/15/20 lists with many teams. The scary part, I bet others can come up with more names that I missed that could deserve consideration for these Top ranked lists.

      • texcubnut

        You are right, Tony. I would like to add Dustin Geiger and Rock Shoulders not to mention those in spring training that may not make the 25 man roster such as Justin Grimm or Jake Arrietta. Factor in this years high draft picks and next years (probably) high draft picks and you have a healthy A+ system for years and years to come. We can then cherry pick trades and free agents that are beneficial to us.
        I am very optimistic about our team’s future even though these ARE the worst of times.

      • cubtex

        As mentioned above the Cubs top 10 list is “top heavy” after 8 there is a considerable drop off. I like the top 3. All 1st round picks over the last 3 years. Looking at the pitchers re-enforces the need to draft a pitcher in this years draft. If Vizcaino(a kid who hasn’t pitched in 2 years and is still not 100%) and Hendricks(who Callis calls a non-prospect) are in the top 10 and 2 of the better pitchers in the system…that says it all.

        • Tony_Hall

          Now why do you use the word considerable, when above, as you reference says.”starts to taper off”.

          FanGraphs pointed out the Cubs’ system “is strong although somewhat top heavy” and the “top 10 list starts to taper off after no. 8.” FanGraphs thinks the overall depth in the system is “above average” and the Cubs “feature one of the most enviable one-through-four group of prospects in the game.”

          Above average overall depth. Yes it is top heavy, there are a ton of Top prospects on the list.

  • Ripsnorter1

    It has been two years since Arodys Vizcaino,
    has pitched, and he ranks #9.

    • Tony_Hall

      He is that good! Electric stuff and still only 23.

    • cubtex

      proof on how weak the pitching is in the system

      • Tony_Hall

        LOL, as if any of these lists are absolute proof of anything. Especially Fangraphs.

  • Tony_Hall

    I love all of these lists, but I can usually find a tidbit or two, that makes me realize, that all of us regular readers (notice I didn’t say posters) know more about the Cubs system then these guys, due to the daily reports from Neil and Tom about the system and all of the posters who bring info to each other.

    In Alcantara’s report, under the year ahead, they say he will likely open at AAA and is currently stuck behind Castro and Baez at SS.


    McLeod has come out and stated that Alcanatara will be the 2B at Iowa. He was the 2B in Tennessee when Baez was there. But it gets better, in the career outlook, he states that “Alcantara could eventually help send the under-performing Castro packing”. Once again, the author is viewing him as a SS moving forward, yet the Cubs have moved him to 2B.

    It doesn’t change the rankings, but I love how we have better reports and info on the Cubs prospects.

    It is still entertaining to read.

    • JasonPen

      For some reason, I fear it won’t be Castro who is sent packing… I think it’ll be Baez in a deal for a top end SP (maybe Price) With the hype around Baez, them keeping him at SS, and the fact that we have several top end 3B prospects, there really isn’t another option. They can’t trade Castro; his trade value is too low and he has a team friendly contract. Also, throw in the fact that Baez is a Hendry acquisition…

      • Tony_Hall

        I don’t buy into the Hendry acquistion idea with a talent like Baez (I see it on medium and lower level talents) I see Baez at 3B with Castro at SS and Alcantara at 2B when it all settles. Bryant will be in RF. But that is what is good about this, even if they were to trade Baez for pitching, they have more ways to fill in the positions. They don’t need every top prospect to make it, because they all won’t.

        Castro is too good to trade when his value is down. I don’t think Castro is going anywhere.

        • JasonPen

          The Hendry/Baez thing was just the last reason of many, not the only reason. Also, I do believe Bryant eventually plays in the OF, but like I said above, they have many talented players at 3B. I guess I’m just an optimist regarding the future of Mike Olt.
          I just fear trading a few of these top guys for a player like Price, unless a long term extension is included in with the deal for a SP ( if or when it happens).

          • Tony_Hall

            These are all good things when we have too many talented players at a position.

            I just don’t see them making a run at Price.

          • cubtex

            trading for Price now makes as much sense as trying to sign Tanaka. This team is at least 2 years away. Look at the roster and what is coming. Baez won’t be brought up til mid season the earliest. Bryant will more than likely stay in the minors all year, Almora minors, Soler needs a lot of work. 2015 they will probably break camp with Baez,Bryant starting the season. Almora and Soler could be mid season call ups in 2015. You can see how this FO operates. More AAAA players in 2015 so they can bring up the kids like Almora and Soler at anytime.

          • JasonPen

            I wasn’t making the argument on whether or not it made sense, just saying that I think Baez is the odd man out. Im Only saying that because he has the highest trade value at the moment. If the Cubs want to compete by 2015, they need to add an ace. Whether that’s Price or someone else is yet to be seen, but I do think that they will have to trade Baez to make that happen.

            Edit: and it wouldn’t have to happen tomorrow, but maybe mid-season or winter meetings next off season.

          • cubtex

            Well they have time. They don’t need to do anything this year. They can see how things play out this year. If Castro comes this year guns blazing and Baez tears up AAA…then you have more options.

          • mutantbeast

            Sorry, but I dont trade an everyday plus plus power hitter for a after30 pitcher, even if its David Price. Someone like Tanaka or Kershaw, who are still relatively young, fine. Otherwise, I keep the stud hitter. Id rather see Baez succeed in Chicago rather than Tampa.

        • Eugene Debs

          Getting rid of Baez would be a very very bad move.

        • Brp921

          I agree, I’ve always thought Baez would end up at third, but with Villanueve at second. It’s nice to see the Cubs have multible options.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      and Eloy is ranked 14th…based on what?? Did he get his drivers license yet? Ranking are harmless fun…and a diversion from having to think about the mlb roster for this year.

      • Tony_Hall

        That is the fun part about these lists. Some will include young guys like Eloy. But when you are 6′ 4″ 200 lbs at 16 and

        the reports are like this, I can understand being added in to a list.

        “”Sitting next to [Jimenez], I’m like, ‘This guy is really strong for 16 years old,'” Iapoce said. “Their swings are clean and short and direct to the ball. They’re very balanced in their setup and their swing”

  • Tony_Hall

    Baseball Prospectus combined their positional rankings and came out with their Top 101 Prospects for 2014.

    Keep in mind this is a snapshot in time, Parks has already expressed regrets of not ranking Baez #1.

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  • jtrain23

    I see several posts questioning what the Cubs will do to resolve this logjam at some positions. I am more focused on the fact that too much potential and talent can never be considered a problem, no matter what position they play. These guys are all tremendous athletes that play middle infield positions. They could easily be moved to third base or the outfield if need be.

    The only certainty that you have with prospective players is that they will certainly not all reach their potential. Therefore, I say play these guys at multiple positions coming through the system and determine what positions they would be capable of playing at the big league level. Then when we reach the point of contention, you can use the “extra” guys as trade bait for pieces you need to complete the puzzle.

  • mutantbeast

    Lets get the NL to adopt the DH. Then we have an excuse to keep Vogelbomb, and thus help balance out our future lineup. Wouldnt it be great if Baez, Rizzo, Soler , Bryant and Vogelbomb all end up as 30 HR plus hitters?

    • paulcatanese

      Agree about the DH, but IMO Soler would be the last to make it. He has too many things to get right, the rest, for sure would like to see them up under you’re scenario.

  • cubtex

    Not a saber guy but many on here are. Not showing any love for the 2014 Cubs. Predicted to be the worst team in baseball. 67-95. A one game improvement.. we will have another top prospect added again after this year…So…..We got that going for us.

    • GaryLeeT

      Just wait until the Cubs are finished with their off-season moves, then this Clay Davenport character will have egg all over his face.