If ranking Jose Ceda the Cubs #4 prospect wasn’t enough evidence, Jim Callis and Baseball America have yet again stated that they are high on hard throwing reliever in their latest edition of Ask Baseball America.

Callis is asked which players could move up the top 100 lists the most…

My leading candidates to make a significant surge from the bottom half of the Top 100 are Athletics righthander Fautino de los Santos (No. 60), Pirates third baseman Neil Walker (No. 61), Marlins righthander Brett Sinkbeil (No. 68), Rangers catcher Taylor Teagarden (No. 80), Angels righthander Jordan Walden (No. 81) and Phillies lefthander Joe Savery (No. 90). And going off the board with prospects who couldn’t make the Top 100, I’ll take Diamondbacks outfielder Gerardo Parra, Cubs righthander Jose Ceda, Pirates righty Brad Lincoln (I picked him last year, right before he needed Tommy John surgery), Orioles third baseman Bill Rowell, Braves lefty Cole Rohrbough, Braves righty Julio Teheran and Red Sox outfielder Josh Reddick.

Ceda is also mentioned again in another question regarding the Cubs possible interest in Brandon Inge…

But if the Cubs do want Inge, they’re loaded with catchers who might interest the Tigers. Projected starter Geovany Soto and 2007 supplemental first-round pick Josh Donaldson aren’t going anywhere, but that still leaves Welington Castillo, Steve Clevenger and Carlos Perez as possibilities. Likewise, Chicago wouldn’t part with Jose Ceda, but they have a number of relief prospects, including Billy Petrick, Alex Maestri and Jose Ascanio.

Ceda has already had quite an interesting spring, getting invited to camp with the big club for the first time and then subsequently getting hit quite hard. Hopefully, the experience will serve as a benchmark for Ceda going into a season where the Cubs’ brass expect improvement.

Going into the season, there have been multiple reports that say that Ceda will actually begin the season in the starting rotation, likely with the Tennessee Smokies. Doing so will allow Ceda to work on his secondary pitches, instead of relying on his dynamite fastball, exclusively.

As a result, don’t be surprised if Ceda’s numbers suffer a bit early in the season. It will be important for the organization to communicate with Ceda in regards to his goals in expanding his arsenal of pitches, while not being discouraged by any struggles that might occur.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. 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. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail