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baez almora solerI have a fairly complex conundrum.

Sometime in the near future I will need to re-rank the Bleacher Nation Top 40 to take into account the 2013 draft picks as well as some of the breakout performances we have seen already see this system. And while some of the decisions are easy (moving Arismendy Alcantara up, for example), one decision is proving to be very difficult.

How do I rank that top four?

In the original Top 40 they were listed Soler, Baez, Almora based in no small part on experience (Bryant, of course, was not yet connected to the Cubs at all). If I stick with the experience angle as the tie breaker the order would probably be Soler, Bryant, Baez, and Almora.

But that means I’m ranking baseball’s best offensive shortstop prospect [Brett: Xander Bogaerts might fight you on that one] and the organization’s leader in home runs third. I’m not so sure about that.

On the other hand, I could let positional value be the tie breaker. That would make the order Baez, Bryant, Almora, Soler. Of the four, though, Soler is still probably the safest bet to reach the majors and have an impact there. Why would I rank the highest floor the lowest when their ceilings are so close?

And then we have the talk from scouts and analysts of Bryant having 80 power to go with a 60 hit, or of Almora showing five true plus tools with the potential to be moved up the system in a hurry. Those are very good arguments for listing either of those No 1 over all.

I’m tempted to rank all four in a tie, but I feel like that would be cheating.

This is a genuine puzzle and so far I have not figured out a good way to cut through it.

It is a fun problem to have, though; I hope to be in predicaments like this every time I rank the prospects. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing at all.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The Cubs rallied late, including three run outbursts in the seventh and eighth, to tie the game, but ultimately lost 9-8 in twelve innings.
Tennessee – It was a close one, but the Smokies lost it 3-2.
Daytona – Daytona played well on both sides of the game in this 5-1 win.
Kane County – The Cougars also enjoyed a good game as they walked away with a 4-1 win.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Dave Sappelt doubled and homered to lead the Cubs’ offense. Steve Clevenger also doubled, but that was the extent of extra base hits.
  • [Iowa] Logan Watkins singled and walked twice as the lead off man.
  • [Iowa] While the offense was climbing back into the game, Hisanori Takahashi was pitching 3.2 hitless innings of relief.
  • [Tennessee] The Smokies did not have a lot of offense in this one. Rubi Silva‘s two hit performance was the only multi-hit game, and his double was the only extra base hit.
  • [Tennessee] Alberto Cabrera struck out seven over seven innings and allowed just two runs on two hits (one of which was a home run).
  • [Daytona] Five of Daytona’s ten hits were doubles. Dustin Geiger, Zeke DeVoss, Ben Carhart, Chadd Krist, and Tim Saunders each collected one of the doubles.
  • [Daytona] Yao-Lin Wang pitched the first four innings, and even though he walked three, he did strike out four.
  • [Daytona] The Cub pitchers had some trouble with walks in this game, except for Kyler Burke and Frank Del Valle. Del Valle, in particular, excelled by striking out both batters he faced.
  • [Kane County] Albert Almora came a home run short of the cycle with this 3 for 4 performance.
  • [Kane County] The only non-Almora extra base hit came from Rock Shoulders, a double.
  • [Kane County] Tayler Scott pitched a very effective game. Over 7.2 innings he gave up just one run on two hits. The three walks are a blemish and the two strikeouts are lower than we might like, but all in all it was a very good outing.

Other News

  • The Tennessee Smokies’ online auction in support of the Oklahoma City Red Cross is still going, and with three days to go the bidding is light on many items. A Fergie Jenkins baseball is on the list for $50, less than one signed by Darwin Barney and only $10 more than one signed by Blake Lalli. The Anthony Rizzo bat has been bid up a bit, but the Ernie Banks edition has just the one bid on it at the time of this writing. It’s a good promotion in support of a good cause. Be sure to check it out while the bidding remains open.
  • fromthemitten

    I would rank Almora first since he seems to have the most belly fire out of the four.

    • DarthHater

      I dare you to say that to Soler when he’s got a bat in his hands. ;-)

  • Die hard

    Kids Trout and Harper have lots of Bellyfire too and fueled their success so far

    • DarthHater

      I’m sure those other five tools were of minor importance compared to the bellyfire tool.

      • Die hard

        Castro ?

        • DarthHater

          Right, because apart from bellyfire, Castro is clearly as good as Trout and Harper.

          • Die hard

            Well… According to Jeb Bush today Castro more fertile … Maybe he meant Bellyfire?

    • King Jeff

      The Cubs just have to start getting their prospects to take this.
      [img]http://www.snakeestate.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail2/250×250/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/f/o/food_t-rex-fire-belly-toad-dust.jpg[/img]

      • King Jeff

        [img]http://www.snakeestate.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail2/250×250/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/f/o/food_t-rex-fire-belly-toad-dust.jpg[/img]

        • King Jeff

          Ok, clearly I need the Darth tutorial.

          • DarthHater

            You have to use the Dark Side of the Force…

        • DarthHater

          You’re welcome:

          [img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7390/9045703106_b36c7f7d5d_o.jpg[/img]

  • Die hard

    I have a baseball signed by Herb Score a couple of years after he had to give up the game somewhere in the basement .. Wonder what that’s worth?… He was lights out until he was lights out

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