MLB Pipeline unveiled its ranking of the top 100 prospects in the game Sunday night and the Cubs placed eight players in the top 100, the most of any organization in baseball … Cubs (8), Pirates (7), Red Sox (6), Astros (6), Twins (6), Rockies (5), Rangers (5), Mets (5), Diamondbacks (5), Royals (5), Padres (4) and Blue Jays (4).
Kris Bryant (4), Javier Baez (6) and Addison Russell (7) cracked the top 10 with Arismendy Alcantara (37) and Albert Almora (41) making the top 50. Jorge Soler (54), C.J. Edwards (60) and Kyle Schwarber (79) made it in the top 100.
MLB.com ranked Byron Buxton (Twins), Oscar Tavares (Cardinals) and Carlos Correa (Astros) the top three prospects in baseball.
MLB Pipeline also updated its rankings of the top 10 players by position, and seven players from the Cubs system made the cut on the position lists.
Kris Bryant was ranked as the best third base prospect in the game. Bryant is working on a daily basis on becoming a better defender at third base. Questions remain if he will stick at third base or eventually move to the outfield. The Cubs see Bryant as a third baseman right now and recently said there were not any plans to move him to the outfield in the near future.
Arismendy Alcantara fell in behind the Red Sox Mookie Betts as the second best, second baseman prospect. Like Betts, Alcantara is playing a lot of outfield and centerfield could be where Alcantara sees a majority of his time with the Cubs over the last two months of the season. Alcantara is a very good second baseman and has a lot of experience at shortstop. Add the position flexibility in with the fact he is a switch-hitter with speed and he could end up a big piece of the Cubs puzzle moving forward.
Albert Almora was ranked as the sixth best outfield prospect in baseball. And many think his defense is advanced enough that he could play centerfield in the big leagues right now. Almora was recently promoted to Double-A Tennessee after making the right adjustments at the plate with High-A Daytona. Almora and the phrase Gold Glove caliber defense have been thrown around from the day he was drafted and he has backed it up the early praise in the field.
Dan Vogelbach made MLB Pipeline’s list of the top first base prospects in the game. Vogelbach checked in at No. 6 on the top 10 list. Vogelbach is blocked at the big league level, but continues to hit with the Daytona Cubs.
Kyle Schwarber was ranked as the sixth best catching prospect in the game and has spent time behind the plate since signing with the Cubs. Schwarber has played 40 games in the Cubs system between Boise, Kane County and Daytona and 13 of those games have been behind the plate. Schwarber has played left field 17 times and served as his team’s designated hitter in 10 games. When Schwarber was drafted, the Cubs reportedly saw him more as an outfielder due to the fact his bat would move him through the system quicker. Reports have suggested that Schwarber is a better backstop than was first thought and the front office faces a decision this winter on which position he will focus on moving forward.
To no surprise Javier Baez and Addison Russell were ranked as the third and fourth best shortstop prospects in the game. And both could end up at different positions with the Cubs in the big leagues. Javier Baez has received a lot of playing time at second base over the last two weeks (11 games) and that is where he could make his big league debut if the Cubs call him up this season. Addison Russell is a very good shortstop but he could outgrow the position and move to the hot corner if he does.