This came from BA's Jim Callis, saw the link on the MLBTraderumors site and figured it belonged in this thread. With the Cubs' recent trades, how high would first baseman Anthony Rizzo rank on the Cubs Top 10? Would righthander Zach Cates, outfielder Dave Sappelt and second baseman Ronald Torreyes all fall into the second 10?
When I listed my personal overall Top 50 in the 2012 Prospect Handbook
, I had Brett Jackson at No. 28, Javier Baez at No. 31 and Rizzo at No. 42, so that would put Rizzo third on an updated Cubs list. I like Rizzo's power potential and think he's the third-best first-base prospect in baseball (behind the Astros' Jonathan Singleton and the Padres' Yonder Alonso), but Jackson and Baez are up-the-middle players and Baez has the bat to be an impact player if he moves down the line.
None of Chicago's other acquisitions would crack the Top 10. There's depth in the farm system, so if I were updating the Cubs Top 30 I wrote for the Handbook, I'd put Torreyes, Cates and Sappelt (in that order) in the back half of that list. Torreyes is a career .364 hitter in the lower minors, but he's also 5-foot-7 and lacks a second standout tool, so he's really going to have to max out what he has to make it as a big league regular. Cates has a strong arm but is relatively new to pitching and has a lot of work to do, while Sappelt looks like a fourth outfielder who's overmatched in center field.
In our preliminary system rankings in the Handbook, we put Chicago at No. 14. When we release our final rankings this spring, the Cubs' moves will push them up a spot or two.
As for Volstad, I thought he was a nice pickup in the Carlos Zambrano trade. Chicago might have released Zambrano if it couldn't have traded him. Though the Cubs had to eat $15 million of Zambrano's $18 million salary for 2012, they got a young, durable starter. Volstad may not be more than a No. 4 starter because he doesn't miss enough bats, but he'll help Chicago more than Zambrano would have.