Baseball America Includes Seven Cubs in Top 100 Prospects List

Baseball America released its ranking of the top 100 prospects in baseball on Thursday night following the hour-long special on MLB Network where the top 50 were unveiled.

The Cubs placed two prospects in the top 10, five in the top 50 and seven players on Baseball America’s ranking of the best young players in the game.

Javier Baez and Kris Bryant cracked the top 10. Baez was ranked fifth while Bryant slipped into the top 10 at number eight. C.J. Edwards (28), Albert Almora (36), Jorge Soler (41), Pierce Johnson (87) and Arismendy Alcantara (100) round out the list of players in the Cubs’ system in Baseball America’s top 100.

The Cubs and Pirates both placed seven players in Baseball America’s top 100, tied for second behind the Red Sox (8) and ahead of the Astros (6) and Rangers (5).

PrintWhile the rankings from the various publications vary slightly, the general consensus, based on last year’s performances, is the Cubs have some of the best young talent in the game. These players are prospects, as Theo Epstein recently pointed out again, and should be considered just that until they are producing wins at the big league level.

Here’s a quick rundown on how the players who are considered to be the top young talent in the Cubs’ system were ranked by other publications.

Baseball Prospectus
  • Javier Baez (4)
  • Kris Bryant (17)
  • Albert Almora (25)
  • Jorge Soler (45)
  • C.J. Edwards (81)
  • Arismendy Alcantara (83)
  • Pierce Johnson (100)
Keith Law
  • Javier Baez (7)
  • Kris Bryant (15)
  • Jorge Soler (26)
  • Albert Almora (28)
  • C.J. Edwards (67)
  • Arismendy Alcantara (71)
FanGraphs
  • Javier Baez (4)
  • Kris Bryant (6)
  • Albert Almora (21)
  • Jorge Soler (49)
  • Arismendy Alcantara (52)
  • Pierce Johnson (77)
  • C.J. Edwards (78)

Jason McLeod discussed the Cubs’ system in detail recently on MLB Network Radio with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette. Click here to read the transcript of the interview.

The Cubs’ system received numerous accolades this winter with all of the pre-season rankings and lists. With Spring Training underway, the hard work has begun again to ensure the players continue to improve, move up the system and eventually turn all of the praise into wins.

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  • Zonk

    Interesting, lots of difference of opinion around CJ Edwards there, probably based on whether he can start (which BA clearly thinks), or whether he won’t.

    Fangraphs had a really good article today on 1B only prospect Ronald Guzman….but you can pretty much substitute “Dan Vogelbach” for Ronald’s name in this article.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/ronald-guzman-and-the-1b-only-quagmire/

    It’s exactly why Vogelbach is not on top-100 lists, and doesn’t deserve to be. When hitting is your only carry tool, you have to hit a ton…

    • Vivid_Reality

      The only difference being that Vogelbach crushed his first season at a relative age. His numbers are clearly more promising than Guzman. I’m not gonna sit here and say Vogelbach is the end all be all but his bat is fringy top 100.

      • Zonk

        True, but the point isn’t to compare the 2 players (though Guzman is younger). The point is that it’s really tough to make it as a 1B-only prospect. When your bat is your only carry tool, you have to really mash to make it.

        I can see Dan making it, but I can also see him ending up as another AAA slugger, a la LaHair, Brad Nelson, Hoffpauir, and countless others

  • Zonk

    Yeehaw! 7 Prospects in the BA Top 100!! It’s the most for us since 2002:

    2. Mark Prior

    6. Juan Cruz

    40. Hee Seop Choi

    45. David Kelton

    48. Bobby Hill

    68. Nic Jackson

    80. Carlos Zambrano

    ….yikes….well, we flipped Hil and Choi for A-Ram and D-Lee, so all was not lost

    • BigJonLilJon

      Kind of scares me… Since we’re putting all our eggs in the prospect building, I look at that list and get real scared. How many of those names worked out!!!!

    • Tom U

      Prior, Choi, and Kelton all had to deal with injuries that eventually ended their careers. Cruz was flipped to Atlanta for second baseman Richard Lewis, one of the most tragic stories of the Hendry era

      http://chicagocubsonline.com/community_blog/2010/08/seconds-from-stardom—the-tragic-tale-of-richard-lewis.php

      Only Hill and Jackson didn’t work out. Zambrano, well……

      One thing that the list illustrates was the lack of positional redundancy from that era. When a prospect didn’t work out, there was no one else in the system at their position.

      • Chris K.

        Zabrano may have been a loon, but I’d say he had a pretty good career.

        • Zonk

          Zambrano gave the Cubs over 30 WAR, including 4 straight seasons in the 5 WAR range. He was good; easy to forget since he did flame out so badly.

          BIggest miss on that list IMO was Cruz; he just didn’t have the command to be a TOR guy

    • Chris K.

      Nic Jackson?! Awesome blast from the past!

  • CerranoReadyNow

    I’m going on record to say the Cubs will make the postseason as a wild card this year. Call me what you want make fun of me whatever. I honestly believe they are better than what most people believe. Comment as you please.

    • The Dude Abides

      750 major leaguers, how many do we have in the top 150 (top 20%)?

    • Eugene Debs

      Cool story.

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