ESPN’s Keith Law continues his week of prospecting goodness, today offering his top 100 prospect list – together with 10 who just missed the cut. As you probably expected, given yesterday’s news that he’d ranked the Cubs’ system as 5th best in all of baseball, Law has a number of Cubs on his list.
There are four Cubs in the top 100 (well, top 64, to be precise), and a fifth Cub made the “just missed” list. Javier Baez comes in at number 31, which is on the lower side of his ranking for most services this year, but it’s still quite high. Albert Almora is just behind Baez at 33, and Jorge Soler is at 42. As I predicted yesterday, Arodys Vizcaino also made the list, coming in at number 64.
And then there’s the guy who “just missed.” Is it Brett Jackson? Pierce Johnson? Juan Paniagua?
Nope. It’s Jeimer Candelario, whom Law describes thusly:
He’s an offensive third baseman with great rhythm at the plate and a smooth swing, showing just enough to make you think he can stay at third base. I’d just like to see the offensive skill set translate into a little more performance before buying in all the way, because the defense will never be a plus. If you squint, you might see a Pablo Sandoval future here.
Candelario, 19, has been a favorite among the younger group of prospects for a year and a half now, thanks in large part to his advanced discipline at the plate. He was already making some top ten lists for the organization, so you can’t really call this a huge surprise. Still, Law loves younger, high upside players, so it speaks well to Candelario’s breakout potential. Keep an eye on him in 2013.