If you’d like a really fun read today, check out Baseball America’s AAA top tools list, which is full of interesting prospect bits from around baseball.
On the Pacific Coast League list (that’s where the Iowa Cubs play), there are Chicago Cubs prospects aplenty:
- Best Power Prospect: Javier Baez (I bet that was a tough call, even against his own teammates)
- Best Control: Kyle Hendricks
- Best Reliever: Blake Parker
- Best Defensive Second Baseman: Arismendy Alcantara (I knew he looked special over there)
- Best Infield Arm: Javier Baez
- Best Defensive Outfielder: Matt Szczur (enough to put together a big league bench career?)
- And, saving the most interesting for last … Best Defensive Third Baseman: Kris Bryant
On that last one, BA has been high on Bryant’s defense for a little while now, while other sources suggest he is not showing signs of a future home at the position. That’s a really striking disparity in opinions, and it makes you wonder which side might be taking things a bit too far. In any case, your hope that Bryant could sustain a big league career at third base despite his size increases a bit.
Of course, the other question is whether the Cubs would, long-term be better suited having rocket-armed Javier Baez at third base and “best defender” Arismendy Alcantara at second. I ask that, partly tongue-in-cheek, because of the list, but it does make you wonder.
One final thought: it’s fun to see how many of those guys are now with the big club.
And then on the Southern League list (that’s where the Tennessee Smokies play), there are quite a few of the same names:
- Best Batting Prospect: Kris Bryant
- Best Power Prospect: Kris Bryant
- Best Infield Arm: Kris Bryant
- Best Outfield Arm: Jorge Soler
- Most Exciting Player: Kris Bryant
They should probably have just called it the “Kris Bryant is Awesome, and Here Are Some Other Guys With Tools” list.