baez almora solerToday, Baseball America joined the rankings services in releasing its top 100 prospects for the pre-2013 ranking season, and, once again, the Cubs fared pretty well. In the top 100, they placed four prospects – the big three, plus Arodys Vizcaino.

Javier Baez was the top-ranked Cubs prospect, coming in at number 16, one of his highest rankings this year. Albert Almora and Jorge Soler were at 33 and 34, respectively. And Arodys Vizcaino just cracked the list at number 83.

BA also ranked each prospect’s tools, if you’re inclined to get scout-y.

It’s another good showing for the Cubs’ best prospects, and a sign that they are pretty much universally appreciated. While the rankings, themselves, don’t grant the Cubs value, they do reinforce the idea that the farm system has built up nicely in the last couple years. That will provide value down the road in the form of a player on who reaches the Cubs and contributes for cheap, or in the form of a trade.

  • sclem21

    One non-Cubs comment on these ranks: Lance McCullers at #50?!?!

    Stros were widely commended for getting Correa under slot at 1-1 and then grabbing McCullers in the sandwich round but this is the first time I’ve seen him crack anyone’s top 100 (let alone top 50!) Seems like a significant chance to end up in the pen (though not when you see BA’s grades for him) so having him in front of Aaron SAnchez, Syndergaard, Guerreri, Stephenson seems awfully bold.

    Any other prospect junkies have a read on this?

    • cedlandrum

      I think sometimes recent draftees are often over rated. But it seems like he has a good fastball and curve. At only 18 there is plenty of time to develop a third pitch, so I don’t know if he is relegated to the pen at this point.

      • On the Farm

        Recent draftees get the benefit of never facing professional competition so they still have their high ceilings, once they start facing minor league hitters/pitchers the expectations can come down. Kind of commonly known, but I thought I should point it out.

    • DB Kyle

      I don’t think everyone commended the Astros for that. I still think it was a terrible move.

      • sclem21

        thank goodness I said widely instead of unanimously! phewwwwwwww *wipes brow*

        • DarthHater

          heh heh

    • JB88

      I’m pretty sure that Seedlings to Stars also had McCullers somewhere between 50 and 70 in their list of 115 prospects.

    • JulioZuleta

      I thought they were way high on a few guys. One was McCullers for sure. Nothing was super egregious, and you expect some head scratchers on these lists. The major one that stuck out to me was Billy Hamilton at #9 I believe ( is not working for me right not, probably a lot of traffic). Hamilton is just not well-rounded enought to justify a top 10. He doesn’t have a set position yet, hits for very little power, walks very little, and, while lightening fast, was caught stealing too often for his speed at High A/AA, suggesting average or below baserunning instincts. Maybe, maybe top 30. Not top 10, that’s bona fide elite prospect territory, and I don’t think he is that.

      • Edwin

        Hamilton is 20th.

        • JulioZuleta

          That’s right. He was 9 on the one the list from a couple of days ago (when the Cubs had 6 guys). Still had a few guys real high. You can tell BA and Law use very different criteria. Not sure which is better, but their lists are very different after the group at the top.

      • cedlandrum

        Billy Hamilton walked 86 times this year. Had a .410 OBP. Some of the other stuff you said is true, and he strikes out too much, but he has the requisite on base skills to be a really good major leaguer. He puts so much pressure on the defense because once he gets on base he is in scoring position. His number 2 hitter is going to be hitting with huge holes that is unless Dusty has him bunting all the time.

        • JulioZuleta

          That’s higher than I thought, much higher. Don’t know why I was so off on that one. Maybe I was thinking of the year before when he had a .340 OBP (not awful) with 133 K’s (awful). Man, 155 SBs is just unreal. Still, I’dtake most of the guys from 21-40 over him.

      • Spriggs

        I cannot agree with Hamilton not having base running instincts. I think he does. He is at times a little overdaring (is that a word?), but he will tone that down SOME I am sure. I wasn’t a believer until I saw him play in the AFL. They guy is just so explosive and can be a real game changer. Reminded me of Vince Coleman’s first year – in how he completely disrupted the defense. AND he is a great bunter from what I saw.

        • JulioZuleta

          I’ve only seen him a couple times on internet streamed games. I didn’t see any issues, but 37 CSs for a guy with 80 speed between A and AA (pitchers without good moves to first, C’s that aren’t developed) suggests some issue for sure. Maybe it’s overagression like you said. There’s definitely something to it. I know it’s still a good percentage, but it should be a lot higher. He was realtively old for A, and normal age for AA, and the fastest guy in the game at any level. Just a lot of basepath outs.

          I have to admit I’m a guy who hates nothing more than a CS, which probably explains SOME of my Ryan Theriot hatred.

          • Spriggs

            I’m with you on the CS thing. I didn’t know he got caught that much. Hard to even imagine. I was awed by the guy in the AFL and am now completely on board with all the hype. He may struggle at the plate, but he will be on base plenty.

            I saw him score from first on a clean single (he was of course running with the pitch) and beats out drag bunts everytime he tried…

            He’s a likeable guy as well!

            • JulioZuleta

              Good to know. Yeah, his speed is just unreal fast. I haven’t seen him as much as I would like. I’ve heard there is a visually noticeable difference between his speed and Campanas, which is crazy. I’m not sure if they keep a record for all time Inside the Park HR leaders, but I’m sure Hamilton will get more than his fair share.

              • Spriggs

                It will be interesting (and fun) to watch him play in the bigs. I think his speed over TC is clearly noticeable – to take nothing away from TC.

                I bet some of the 1900 – 1920 guys and their inside the park homer numbers are safe. I think I read that all 9 of Cobb’s were inside the park the year he won the Triple Crown!

                • TC

                  I was very confused as to why we were talking about my speed for a few seconds, especially because I am an exceptionally slow human being

  • Cubbie Blues

    I’m a little surprised by how many 80’s they handed out. They are in the Power, Fastball and speed categories.

    • sclem21

      I’ve seen 80 for Cole’s FB, Hamilton’s speed, Sano’s power, Rondon’s FB from multiple sources. I’ve heard Roman Quinn is the only one with speed anywhere near Hamilton’s so I guess that makes since. Only one that really surprises me is Buxton. Knew he was fast…didn’t think he was 80 fast…also he seems most likely of any of these to grow out of his 80 though he’ll remain a blazer.

  • Stevie B

    I’m a blazer!!! And I can run fast too!

  • calicubsfan007

    I haven’t really heard much on Vizcaino’s rehab. How far along is he?

  • Matty V

    I know I’m stating the obvious here, but it says a lot for the current Front Office that they acquired 3 of the 4 on this list in the last year. If they can duplicate the feat this coming year, the Cubs will have a fantastic farm system. These are the kinds of things that give me hope for the future.

  • Anthony Martini

    Four is a good start, but let’s look at our competition …..Cardinals have 6 !!

  • Mick

    OMG Doc, BA has Baez waayyyyy ahead of Lindor! There’s still one more seat on the bandwagon!

  • Tommy

    75 on defense for Almora. That’s impressive.

  • someday…2015?

    It’s going to be fun to compare the likes of Baez to Lindor, Soler to Puig, and Almora to Buxton. It may be just because I’m a Cub fan but I truely believe that Baez, Soler, and Almora will all become better then their “competition.”

    • THEOlogical

      Buxton grew up right down the street from me, so although I love Almora, I’m gonna have to go with Buxton. Let’s just call it a draw between those two.

      • Adventurecizin’ Justin

        THEOlogicial…how did I not come up with that name?! Good stuff!

  • Marc N.

    Finally Baez seeing time at 2B is more than just in my Imaginationland.

    “Manager Dale Sveum said Baez, who is in camp as a non-roster invitee, will play at shortstop and second base in spring training games.”

    Castro at SS and Baez at 2B = Winning.

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