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cubs azl spring training logoHappy Friday, friends. Some Cubs prospect notes to get you to the weekend …

  • Keith Law ranks the top impact prospects for 2015, and the two names at the very top: Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler. They are essentially Law’s early 1 and 1A picks for NL Rookie of the Year, too. I think that’s pretty fair, if you’re guessing right now, though there always seems to be a rookie or two that pop up out of nowhere. Plus, you never know what happens with injuries … ok, I guess talking about 2015 ROY awards is kind of silly. But I dig silly.
  • Shortly after they released their top 100, Baseball America’s John Manuel, Ben Badler, and Matt Eddy held a prospects chat that might be worth a look. Among the comments: (1) Manuel is very high on Jorge Soler, but don’t ignore the final couple weeks of the season where it looked like pitchers were figuring him out – he’ll have to adjust; (2) Kyle Schwarber’s bat is going to be too good to wait for him to develop at catcher, according to Manuel (his promotion schedule will probably tell us everything we need to know, as Luke has said – if Schwarber gets bumped to AAA Iowa midseason, it could be a sign that the bat is just too darn good to wait for the additional year or two that his catching skills may need); (3) Eddy says that C.J. Edwards’ fastball control/life combo is really rare, and that’s why BA remains so high on him (don’t ever sleep on the importance of a guy having an exceptionally strong fastball (movement or velocity or both) when it comes to prospecting, because it can carry the day); and (4) Badler says Bryant’s feel and approach is superior to someone like Chris Davis when he debuted (suggesting it won’t take Bryant as long to adjust as Davis did).
  • Speaking of that BA top 100, there’s a look at how it could go wrong for each of the top 10, and a discussion of why you shouldn’t worry. Even when trying, they don’t seem too worried about Bryant and Russell.
  • Cubs pitching prospect C.J. Edwards is writing for ESPN this Spring, and you can read his first entry here. One lesson? If you find Edwards on Playstation live, don’t talk to him about baseball. The guy is trying to relax.
  • Speaking of Edwards:

  • Sounds like it’s a fingernail issue, which is hopefully not serious or particularly time-consuming.
  • Too much good stuff from Jason McLeod on MLBN Radio (transcript here at the CCO) to even narrow it down to just a few bits. The best is either the gushing about Addison Russell, or the scouts from other organizations who are just now seeing Kyle Schwarber catching after his work last year and told McLeod they can’t believe how he looks. I can’t wait to see some Schwarber catching action in MiLB.tv this year. (Among the nerdy sentences thrown around here, that’s up there.)
  • Sahadev Sharma’s fifth installment in his Vine Line series on Cubs prospects offers up some deep sleepers, so to speak, with write-ups on Jeffrey Baez, Charcer Burks, Victor Caratini, Trevor Clifton, and Kevonte Mitchell. That might be a perfect list for those types of low-level, under-the-radar, good-upside prospects.

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