Once again, I have to note the spoiling that occurred with the Chicago Cubs landing seven prospects on each of the top 100 (or 101) lists from Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com. Now, when Keith Law says the Cubs have only the fourth best system, and only six Cubs prospects belong on the top 100, I’m all, “why does Keith Law hate the Cubs’ system?!”
Perspective, Brett. Six prospects on the top 100 is fantastic. Ease up.
Today, Keith Law released his top 100 prospect list for 2014, and the six Cubs that made the cut are …
7. Javier Baez
15. Kris Bryant
26. Jorge Soler
28. Albert Almora
67. C.J. Edwards
71. Arismendy Alcantara
The guy missing is pitcher Pierce Johnson, who was 100 to MLB.com and 91 to BP. So, he’s right there on the cusp, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he “just missed” for Law (who has always been down on Johnson’s arm action and injury risk).
The obvious surprise on the list is Jorge Soler, two spots ahead of Albert Almora, and about 20+ spots higher than he’ll be on most other lists (he’s 45 to BP, and 49 to MLB.com). Clearly, Law remains very high on Soler, who climbed 16 spots from where he was a year ago. A small slice on what Law had to say about Soler:
He returned to action in the Arizona Fall League, looking rusty but physically imposing, with a good 15-20 pounds of added muscle since I’d seen him the previous summer in rookie ball. Soler has outstanding hand speed and acceleration at the plate, with big-time power when he concentrates on staying back and letting his hips work to add leverage to his swing; he does have a tendency to cut across the ball rather than finishing toward the middle of the field, which reduces his power. His plan at the plate has been better than anticipated, and he’s going to be above-average to plus in right field.
In past experience, Law seems to be a guy who trusts his own eyes more than some others, so it’s not hard to see why Law remains high on Soler. The young man looks like a stud when you see him. I’m not saying that’s the sole reason Law is higher on Soler than most, but it’s worth noting.
The other interesting bit is that, of the five top shortstop prospects in the game right now – Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Addison Russell, and Xander Bogaerts (that doesn’t even include graduated youngster Jurickson Profar – so stacked right now) – Law puts Baez last. He’s still ranked seventh overall, so it’s not like Law isn’t plenty high on him. But this is the first, and probably only, list that will have Baez last among that group.
If you want to see Law’s full list and comments, you’ll have to subscribe to ESPN Insider.