javier baez aflThere’s a new top ten list to obsess over, and it comes courtesy of Baseball America, which today released its ranking of the top prospects in the Chicago Cubs’ system. The write-up includes info on the system at-large, the top players under 25 in the organization (tease: Starlin Castro does not appear at the top of the list), the best tools in the system, and the previous top prospects. You very much should read the piece.

Apropos of the Cubs’ presentation to season ticket holders, the list is stacked.

As for the Cubs’ top ten, it looks like this:

1. Javier Baez, ss

2. Kris Bryant, 3b

3. C.J. Edwards, rhp

4. Albert Almora, of

5. Jorge Soler, of

6. Pierce Johnson, rhp

7. Arismendy Alcantara, 2b/ss

8. Jeimer Candelario, 3b

9. Dan Vogelbach, 1b

10. Arodys Vizcaino, rhp

The composition is about the ten guys you’d expect to see (though it’s amazing that guys like Mike Olt, Paul Blackburn, Rob Zastryzny, Tyler Skulina, Kyle Hendricks, Christian Villanueva and more don’t make the list). But the order is pretty surprising.

The biggest surprise? It’s right there at number three, where pitching prospect C.J. Edwards breaks up The Big Four (who would definitely be called The Big Five, if we included pitching prospects in such things). That’s the order in which I’d have The Big Four, too, and I’d have Edwards right there at number five. Johnson would be next for me, followed by Alcantara. Candelario, Vogelbach, and Vizcaino would all be getting consideration for those final three spots, but I’m not sure how I’d place them, together with the many other guys who could be legit top ten types. This system is crazy deep right now (and also elite at the top (swoon)).

The truly amazing thing about Edwards’ placement as number three in the system? Almora and Soler are generally considered, at the worst, top 30 prospects in the game. Doesn’t that necessarily mean that BA also considers Edwards a top 30 prospect in all of baseball? So much for the Cubs not having elite pitching prospects, eh?



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