View From The Bleachers

June 6, 2012

Top 20 Prospects Update

Filed under: Featured,Minor League — Norm @ 12:00 pm

The strategy in this years MLB draft appears to have been, not surprisingly, to stock up on pitching. After selecting center fielder Albert Almora with the sixth overall pick on Monday the Cubs drafted seven pitchers in a row. Most of these picks were of the “high ceiling” variety, and with the signing deadline being about a month sooner (July 13th this year) we’ll get to see some of these guys in action and get a first impression. How many of them will fall into VFTB’s Top 20 prospects next year? Based on the state of the Farm System, it may be quite a few. Here is how the Top 20 of 2012 are performing to date:

As I said a few weeks ago, ugly. Theo/Jed/Jason really only have one way to go here.

I highlighted both Anthony Rizzo and Ben Wells as they would be my choice for the current best hitting and pitching prospects in the system.

Keep your eye on the Peoria box scores as Javier Baez is showing the bat speed and power that got him drafted #8 overall last year. He’s also showing some immaturity. He ignored the coach’s take sign, swinging at a 3-0 pitch in a blowout, and earned a pitch to the ribs on the next throw. He was benched to start the next game but had to come in as an injury replacement and homered on the first pitch he saw over the batters eye in center…at least 420 feet out.

There is nothing really new to say about any of the other guys, so I included a couple of hitters and a couple of pitchers that weren’t ranked in the Top 20 that I find interesting this season.

  • Michael Burgess because of his drastic reduction in strikeouts. Last year he had 111 K’s in 495 plate appearances. This year, he’s on pace for 67 in the same about of PA.
  • I’m partial to players who are young for their league. Arismendy Alcantara is one of the youngest players in the Florida State league at 20 years old, but is showing he can hold his own offensively. The 301/327/442 line doesn’t do him justice; the league average is only 255/324/373.
  • I’m also partial to strikeout pitchers. Eric Jokisch put up a career best 8.6 K/9 before being promoted. He was an 11th round pick in 2010 and might be the first Cub draft pick to reach the majors.
  • Jose Rosario is inching his way up the system. He’s been with the organization since 2008, is playing in his first full season league, and already has a career high in innings pitched. Slow and steady!
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  • Terobb0

    Great piece! Thanks for the update on the farm, but where would the draft picks rank? Based on the first paragraph that’s what I thought I was getting.

  • Jedi

    Any truth to the rumor that Vogelbach ate Baez so he cold move up to No. 3?

  • Noah_I

    Vogelbach would also have had to eat his batting ability.  The big man has unfortunately really struggled at extended spring training (unless something significant has changed in the last week or two).  While he was reported to be a guy with an advanced hitting approach last year, I’ve seen several reports that say his only tool might be power.  You have to be such a good hitter to even be an average first baseman in the Majors, Vogelbach probably wouldn’t even make my Top 20 if we re-voted right now.  But, if he has an impressive performance in either rookie ball or short season (I don’t know where he’s going), he could end up back in the Top 10. 

  • Norm Bothwell

    I think I’d currently go:
    Soler :)

    with perhaps Pierce Johnson sliding into the back 10.
    Might have one or two others in the Top 20

  • bonesinis

    Getting Soler would make this draft one of the best in a long time. Without Soler it is still a very strong draft. Conception, Almora, Soler and a bunch of new pitchers is an amazing influx of talent in a system that was devoid of it.

  • Noah_I

    It’s too early too make any real determinations about Concepcion, but he’s been pretty disappointing thus far.  He’s allowed a ton of hits and way too many walks, including walking more than he’s struck out.  He wouldn’t make my Top 20 prospects on the team at this point, although he does have plenty of time to turn that around.

  • Noah_I

    One big benefit of them moving the draft signing date to July 13: we’ll have a much better idea of what the players look like this offseason than we ever did when the signing date was in June.  It wouldn’t be a surprise if Almora spent all of August in Boise.

  • jswanson

    I’m with you on the rankings Norm…and will be very excited if the Soler thing pans out.  

  • Chuck

    At this point all the draftees are more likely to be a bust than even a utility guy in the bigs.

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