Keith Law’s Top 10 Cubs Prospects for 2014

ESPN’s Keith Law concluded his week-long look at the best prospects in the game Friday with his top 10 lists for each of the National League teams. Keith Law, as has been the case with nearly every Cubs prospects list, ranked Javier Baez at the best young player in the Cubs’ system followed by Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and C.J. Edwards.

Keith Law began his review of the Cubs’ system by saying, “The Cubs’ collection of offensive prospects is extremely impressive, with three  high-impact bats at the top of the system, followed by two guys who can contribute on both sides of the ball.”

On the pitching side, Law agrees that the system is “light on arms” and he pointed out only C.J. Edwards and Pierce Johnson “project as more than fifth starters, and neither looks like a potential ace of strong no. 2.”

Law likes the Cubs’ recent draft of Rob Zastryzny, Scott Fraizer, Tyler Skulina and Trey Masek and thinks Corey Black “is an interesting case.” Black is “built like a reliever” but throws two plus pitches and Law would like to see him start for a while before a possible move to the pen.

As for Arismendy Alcantara, he could replace Darwin Barney at second base at some point this season. And where Alcantara and Javier Baez end up playing in the big leagues could depend on how Starlin Castro is performing at the time.

The sleepers in the Cubs’ system going into the season according to Keith Law are Eloy Jimenez and Jeimer Candelario.

Keith Law’s Top 10 Cubs Prospects for 2014

2013 Ranking in Parenthesis – NR – Not Ranked, NA – Not Available
  1. Javier Baez, SS (1)
  2. Kris Bryant, 2B (NA)
  3. Jorge Soler, OF (3)
  4. Albert Almora, OF (2)
  5. C.J. Edwards, RHP (NA)
  6. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B (10)
  7. Pierce Johnson, RHP (8)
  8. Jeimer Candelario, 3B (5)
  9. Corey Black, RHP (NA)
  10. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP (4)

Keith Law’s partner on the ESPN Draft Blog, Chris Crawford, released his list of the top 14 Cubs prospects two weeks ago. Crawford thinks the Cubs’ top five consists of Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and C.J. Edwards. Crawford included Eloy Jimenez in his list and lefty Rob Zastryzny who is one of the young arms to keep an eye on during the upcoming season.

MLB Draft Insider’s Top 14 Cubs Prospects
  1. Javier Baez, SS
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. Jorge Soler, OF
  4. Albert Almora, OF
  5. C.J. Edwards, RHP
  6. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B
  7. Pierce Johnson, RHP
  8. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
  9. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
  10. Eloy Jimenez, OF
  11. Rob Zastryzny, LHP
  12. Dan Vogelbach, 1B
  13. Scott Frazier, RHP
  14. Neil Ramirez, RHP

Chris Crawford provided scouting grades on each player and possible ETA’s in his report.

Baseball America’s 2014 Prospect Handbook will provide an even deeper look at the Cubs’ system and the CCO will release our list of the top young Cubs during Spring Training. Here is a publication by publication breakdown of how the most respected names in the prospect game ranked the Cubs’ system prior to the 2014 season.

Baseball America
  1. Javier Baez, SS
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. C.J. Edwards, RHP
  4. Albert Almora, OF
  5. Jorge Soler, OF
  6. Pierce Johnson, RHP
  7. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B
  8. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
  9. Dan Vogelbach, 1B
  10. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP

Full Report: Baez and Bryant Top Baseball America’s List of Cubs Prospects for 2014

Baseball Prospectus
  1. Javier Baez, SS
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. Albert Almora, OF
  4. Jorge Soler, OF
  5. C.J. Edwards, RHP
  6. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B
  7. Pierce Johnson, RHP
  8. Dan Vogelbach, 1B
  9. Christian Villanueva, 3B
  10. Jeimer Candelario, 3B

BP’s Cubs Prospects on the Rise

  • Paul Blackburn, RHP
  • Mark Malave, C
  • Rob Zastryzny, LHP

Full Report: Baseball Prospectus Top 10 Cubs Prospects for 2014

Minor League Ball
  1. Javier Baez, SS
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. Albert Almora, OF
  4. Jorge Soler, OF
  5. C.J. Edwards, RHP
  6. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B
  7. Pierce Johnson, RHP
  8. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
  9. Dan Vogelbach, 1B
  10. Christian Villanueva, 3B
  11. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
  12. Mike Olt, 3B
  13. Neil Ramirez, RHP
  14. Matt Szczur, OF
  15. Josh Vitters, OF
  16. Kyle Hendricks, RHP
  17. Corey Black, RHP
  18. Rob Zastryzny, LHP
  19. Ivan Pineyro, RHP
  20. Paul Blackburn, RHP
  21. Kevin Encarnacion, OF

Full Report: Minor League Ball’s Top Cubs Prospects for 2014

FanGraphs
  1. Javier Baez, SS
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. Albert Almora, OF
  4. Jorge Soler, OF
  5. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B
  6. Pierce Johnson, RHP
  7. C.J. Edwards, RHP
  8. Dan Vogelbach, 1B
  9. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
  10. Kyle Hendricks, RHP
  11. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
  12. Christian Villanueva, 3B
  13. Duane Underwood, RHP
  14. Eloy Jimenez, OF
  15. Neil Ramirez, RHP

Full Report: FanGraphs Top 15 Cubs Prospects for 2014

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  • Zonk

    That is a very, very aggressive ranking for Corey Black out of Keith Law. Certainly he had a good 2nd half, but top 10? I think everyone else needs to see him start at AA first.

    Crawford ranked Scott Frazier very high as well

    The ESPN guys both seem to hate Dan Vogelbach.

    • WidespreadHisPanic

      Yeah I was sorta surprised Vogelbach was not on either ESPN writer’s list. I dont think that will be the case after this season.

      • daverj

        Probably true, but that will most likely be the case because Baez, Alcantara and Vizcaino will have graduated to the majors and not be on these lists.

    • daverj

      I see the “hate” for Vogelbach. Crawford had Vogelbach as #12. Law only did a Top 10. I see Vogelbach as belonging somewhere between 8 and 12ish among the Cubs prospects. Not much difference between ranking a guy 8 and 12 among the Cubs current group with a lot of depth.

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  • raymondrobertkoenig

    The Cubs have reached an agreement with Jason Hammel.

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