baez almora solerThe annual Baseball America Handbook came out this week, and it is chock-full of prospect-y goodness. I won’t share too many particulars, since it is something you should buy if you want more deets. Among those details, including the Chicago Cubs’ system being ranked 13th in baseball (eh, lower, but still the right range), is the Cubs’ top 31 prospects.

  1. Javier Baez, SS
  2. Albert Almora, OF
  3. Jorge Soler, OF
  4. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
  5. Brett Jackson, OF
  6. Pierce Johnson, RHP
  7. Dan Vogelbach, 1B
  8. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
  9. Kyuji Fujikawa, RHP
  10. Arismendy Alcantara, SS
  11. Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP
  12. Christian Villanueva, 3B
  13. Alberto Cabrera, RHP
  14. Matt Szczur, OF
  15. Junior Lake, SS/3B
  16. Paul Blackburn, RHP
  17. Duane Underwood, RHP
  18. Dillon Maples, RHP
  19. Logan Watkins, 2B/SS/OF
  20. Marco Hernandez, SS
  21. Gioskar Amaya, 2B
  22. Tony Zych, RHP
  23. Robert Whitenack, RHP
  24. Trey McNutt, RHP
  25. Josh Vitters, 3B
  26. Barret Loux, RHP
  27. Matt Loosen, RHP
  28. Lendy Castillo, RHP
  29. Marcus Hatley, RHP
  30. Trey Martin, OF
  31. Reggie Golden, OF

The Handbook has much, much more detail on each of those prospects, as well as various best tools/skills in the system. So, yeah, check out the Handbook if you want more.

For now, just looking at the list, it’s interesting to see how BA tends to be higher on the Cubs’ more advanced prospects, which is probably understandable. We’ve already seen BA’s Top Ten list for the Cubs, and many of the surprising omissions from that list show up in the 11 to 15 range on this one.

A number of prospects are grouped together with similar types. Blackburn, Underwood and Maples are all young pitching prospects that haven’t had a chance to show much yet, but who have nice upside potential. Zych and McNutt are power relief prospects (I’m making that assumption on McNutt at this point). Loux, Loosen, and Castillo are fringy, older starting prospects who have a chance to establish themselves as legit back-end starter types this year (assuming Castillo remains in the organization after being DFA’d this weekend).

In the top 12, there are just four pitchers – one of whom is Kyuji Fujikawa, who kind of doesn’t count. But in the subsequent 19, there are 11 pitchers. Sounds about right. And not a lefty among them, I should add.



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