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baez almora solerLate in the 2012 season, MLB.com and Jonathan Mayo put together team top 20 prospect lists, which have now been updated – it is prospect ranking season, after all.

The Cubs’ top 20 prospects, per MLB.com as of today, are:

1.) Javier Baez
2.) Albert Almora
3.) Jorge Soler
4.) Brett Jackson
5.) Arodys Vizcaino
6.) Dillon Maples
7.) Pierce Johnson
8.) Christian Villanueva
9.) Junior Lake
10.) Matt Szczur
11.) Dan Vogelbach
12.) Jae-Hoon Ha
13.) Jeimer Candelario
14.) Josh Vitters
15.) Robert Whitenack
16.) Duane Underwood
17.) Paul Blackburn
18.) Gioskar Amaya
19.) Alberto Cabrera
20.) Trey Martin

You can see a short write-up on each prospect in the MLB.com piece.

Among the changes from the list back in September, Dillon Maples rockets up several spots, which could speak to the way scouts perceived his health and effectiveness in post-season instructional ball. We’ll see how he looks in 2013.

Jae-Hoon Ha leaps up from off the list to number 12, and Pierce Johnson moves up a couple spots as well. Trey McNutt was number 7 back in September, but now he’s off the list altogether. Ben Wells (formerly number 14) also falls off the list, as does Tony Zych (18). The latter is a surprise, because I’ve heard only glowing things about him since September. Yes, he’s “just” a relief prospect, but he’s a good one.

The MLB.com list comes together with a companion article, which discusses the state of the farm system and explains some of the re-jiggering of the list. It also offers a sleep prospect – pitcher Matt Loosen, whom Luke profiled last year – as well as a predicted hitter of the year (Baez) and pitcher of the year (Johnson).

  • TampaCubsFan

    I got Christian’s autograph last year on the official ball of the “Florida State League” at a Dyatona Cubs game, maybe one day it might be worth a lot of money…LOL!!!!

    “Third baseman Christian Villanueva, acquired in the Ryan Dempster trade with Texas, is an intriguing player at No. 8. The right-handed hitter has shown some pop at the plate, hitting 14 homers last season between the Class A Advanced affiliates of the Rangers and Cubs. But he really shines with the glove, with McLeod calling him a “lockdown defender” at the hot corner. – mlb.com”

  • Cubbie83

    Brett, Would the cubs be willing to move Christian Villanueva to 2nd base? With his bat and glove he might be ideal for 2nd base. And an upgrade over Barney, I’m not a fan of a 260 hitter but I do appreciate his glove work. I prefer we trade Barney and see what we have in Junior Lake at 2b.

  • praying the cubs get ready to win

    With Vogelbach having a nice bat for 1B or DH, could he along with One of the 3B prospects we have such at Vilanueva bring us an upgrade at 3rd, someone that would be a nicer upgrade? Or Barney and Vogelbach bringing us an upgrade at 2B?

    Just want to get people’s thoughts , because I see Rizzo blocking Vogelbach a nice player unless Rizzo gets injured.

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