Baseball Prospectus, it seems, saved the best team list for last, putting out the Chicago Cubs’ top prospect list last week (and Jason Parks said it was the most viewed team list in site history – Cubs fans are extremely into prospects right now for both good and somber reasons). Now the overall top 101 is out, and the Cubs are once again well-represented.
As it was with MLB.com’s top 100 list, which came out last week, the Cubs place seven prospects on the BP 101, and it’s a familiar group:
4. Javier Baez
17. Kris Bryant
25. Albert Almora
45. Jorge Soler
81. C.J. Edwards
83. Arismendy Alcantara
91. Pierce Johnson
Instant reaction: it’s not that dissimilar from the MLB.com list, which had the same seven prospects in the same order, save for the flip-flop of Edwards and Soler. The difference here, as it has been with Edwards and BP for some time, is that BP has never been as high on Edwards’ potential to be a front-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues. In BP’s estimation, Edwards has been lights out at the lower levels of the minors primarily because of his advanced stuff, which may not play up as well as he moves up the ladder. And then, of course, there’s the persistent question of durability, given Edwards’ extremely slight frame.
You’ll note that BP is as high on Baez as anyone (Parks recently mentioned that there’s an argument to be made that Baez should actually be first overall), but isn’t quite as high on Bryant and Almora as other services. Don’t get me wrong: 17 and 25 are still elite prospect rankings. I’m just greedy. (I also find it interesting that Almora is bunched together with fellow center field prospects Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Gregory Polanco, who appear immediately ahead of Almora, in that order. George Springer is a few spots ahead of Bradley.)
It’s very nice to see the consensus build on Johnson as a top 100 prospect, given the Cubs’ pitching needs. Given some past comments about the Cubs’ system, I think it’s fair to guess that their 8th ranked prospect, Dan Vogelbach, just missed the top 101.
For those counting, BP tallies eight Twins prospects, seven Pirates prospects, seven Rangers prospects, and seven Royals prospects on the list. The Red Sox have six, and the Cardinals have four. The Reds have three and the Brewers have none.