Since you should be spending time with family instead of looking at blogs, I’m just going to throw some brief morsels at you and then I’m off to enjoy the day. It’s the first day in about a week that I haven’t been on the DL with a stomach bug, so I’m thrilled. Happy Thanksgiving.

Prospect Lists
A couple of sites released top prospect lists for the Cubs, so I thought I would share them with you. I’ll be doing something a little different this spring, by listing the prospects I’m most interested in this season. They may not all be the top guys in the system, but they’re guys I’m following for various reasons. In the meantime, here are the lists I mentioned.

Baseball America’s Top 10 List
1. Josh Vitters, 3b
2. Geovany Soto, c/1b
3. Tyler Colvin, of
4. Jose Ceda, RHP
5. Sean Gallagher, RHP
6. Donald Veal, LHP
7. Josh Donaldson, C
8. Jeff Samardzija, RHP
9. Tony Thomas, 2b
10. Kevin Hart, RHP

Baseball America’s Best Tools
Best Hitter for Average – Tony Thomas
Best Power Hitter – Josh Vitters
Best Strike-Zone Discipline – Sam Fuld
Fastest Baserunner – Leon Johnson
Best Athlete – Tyler Colvin
Best Fastball – Jose Ceda
Best Curveball – Casey Lambert
Best Slider – Alessandro Maestri
Best Changeup – James Russell
Best Control – Mark Holliman
Best Defensive Catcher – Welington Castillo
Best Defensive Infielder – Josh Lansford
Best Infield Arm – Josh Lansford
Best Defensive Outfielder – Sam Fuld
Best Outfield Arm – Kyler Burke

John Sickels of Top 20
1. Josh Vitters, 3B, Grade B+ (tough call, see commentary below)
2. Geovany Soto, C, Grade B+ (tough call, see commentary below)
3. Sean Gallagher, RHP, Grade B
4. Eric Patterson, 2B-OF, Grade B (I dropped him from B+ due to defense)
5. Tyler Colvin, OF, Grade B
6. Josh Donaldson, C, Grade B
7. Donald Veal, LHP, Grade B-
8. Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Grade B-
9. Jose Ceda, RHP, Grade B-
10. Tony Thomas, 2B, Grade B-
11. Billy Petrick, RHP, Grade C+
12. Sam Fuld, OF, Grade C+
13. Jake Fox, C-1B, Grade C+
14. Allesandro Maestri, RHP, Grade C+
15. Steve Clevenger, C, Grade C+
16. Mitch Atkins, RHP, Grade C
17. Mark Holliman, RHP, Grade C
18. Matt Craig, 3B, Grade C
19. Larry Suarez, RHP, Grade C
20. Ryan Acosta, RHP, Grade C

Sources: Baseball America / Minor League Ball

Hot Stove Notes
Kerry Wood may end up signing elsewhere. I’ve heard the Brewers and the Red Sox both mentioned of late, though I’m not sure either team would offer him a starting spot. If he’s going to stay in the pen, why not stay somewhere he has already said he loves, which is Chicago?

Jason Kendall signed with the Brewers for one year with a vesting option for 2009. You can bet the Cubs will offer Kendall arbitration, considering he’ll have to decline. At that point, the Cubs will receive a “special pick” at the end of the 1st round of the draft, but before the 2nd round as compensation for Kendall being listed as a type B free agent.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail