Baseball America has released its annual Prospect Handbook, and, if you’re a prospect hound, you should strongly consider a purchase. (No, this is not an advertisement – I just think they do good work.)

In it, you can find scouting reports on the top Cubs prospects, as well as the top prospects for the other 29 teams. It also has a list of the top 30 (number 31 comes in a supplement) Chicago Cubs prospects:

1. Brett Jackson, OF

2. Javier Baez, SS

3. Matt Szczur, OF

4. Trey McNutt, RHP

5. Dillon Maples, RHP

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Rafael Dolis, RHP

8. Junior Lake, SS

9. Josh Vitters, 3B

10. Dan Vogelbach, 1B

11. Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP

12. Dallas Beeler, RHP

13. Chris Carpenter, RHP

14. Zeke DeVoss, 2B

15. Tony Zych, RHP

16. Marco Hernandez, SS/2B

17. Reggie Golden, OF

18. Jae-Hoon Ha, OF

19. Robert Whitenack, RHP

20. Jeimer Candelario, 3B

21. Steve Clevenger, C

22. Jose Rosario, RHP

23. Logan Watkins, 2B/SS/OF

24. Jeff Beliveau, LHP

25. Ben Wells, RHP

26. Marcus Hatley, RHP

27. Casey Weathers, RHP

28. Taiwan Easterling, OF

29. Hayden Simpson, RHP

30. Shawon Dunston, Jr., OF

31. Pin-Chieh Chen, OF

The fact that a number of notable omissions jump out – pitchers Chris Rusin, Nick Struck, Aaron Kurcz and Larry Suarez, and infielder Gioskar Amaya among them (and that’s without giving it more than a few moments’ thought – only underscores what you’ve heard about the system for months: it’s deep. Deep, deep, deep.



Obviously the handbook offers quite a bit more on those players, so, again, if you want to know more, you should head to a bookstore.

You’re probably also noticing several very obvious omissions. Namely: the dudes the Cubs picked up this Winter in the Sean Marshall and Andrew Cashner trades. First baseman Anthony Rizzo and pitcher Zach Cates bookended the Padres’ rankings, coming in at number 1 and number 31. The Padres’ system is one of the best in baseball, and is deeper even than the Cubs’, so Cates would easily crack the Cubs’ list, probably coming somewhere around 20. Rizzo would slot into the Cubs’ top three.

And then there are second baseman Ronald Torreyes and outfielder David Sappelt, who ranked 13th and 16th, respectively. It’s a fair bet that they’d be near the same range in the Cubs’ system (though opinions on Torreyes varying wildly, with some publications putting him in the top 100 overall prospects).



Overall, the Cubs’ system comes in at 14th in baseball, but that was prior to the above-noted additions, which Jim Callis has said would probably move the Cubs up a spot or two.


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