We’ve entered the prospecting offseason, a period which lasts from about November until mid-January, during which a number of publications will release their “Top X-number of Cubs Prospects for 2012.” We’ve already seen an updated post-season top prospects list from MLB.com, as well as a number of league-specific lists from Baseball America.

Now we’ve got a top ten list from Baseball Prospectus, which ranks the Cubs’ top ten thusly:

1. OF Albert Almora

2. SS Javier Baez

3. OF Jorge Soler

4. RHP Arodys Vizcaino

5. 1B Dan Vogelbach

6. OF Brett Jackson

7. RHP Pierce Johnson

8. RHP Duane Underwood

9. 3B Christian Villanueva

10. RHP Dillon Maples

Immediate reactions: Almora over Baez at the top is a mild surprise, and suggests that BP is extremely high on Almora (because everyone is high on Baez right now). Vogelbach ahead of Jackson and Johnson is also a mild surprise, but folks seem to be coming around to the idea that Vogelbach’s bat is just that good (even if he’s a true 1B/DH-only type). I’m surprised to see Underwood and Maples make the list over, for example, Juan Carlos Paniagua. His lack of professional experience would seem to be the reason … but those two don’t have much professional experience yet, either. All in all, I’m encouraged to see at least four pitchers on the list.

In the subscription portion of the article, BP mentions that Paniagua, Marco Hernandez, and Jeimer Candelario are considered prospects “on the rise,” while┬áTony Zych, Trey McNutt, and Junior Lake are listed as the most likely to make an impact in 2013 (the former two, presumably, because they’re strict bullpenners at this point, and the latter because he’s already on the 40-man, and it’s time to show something). Overall, BP is complimentary of the Cubs’ system, both because of its impact talent at the top, and overall depth of talent.





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