Chicago CubsDownload App

Stock Up, Stock Down for Chicago Cubs' Top 10 Prospects for Week 1

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2016

Stock Up, Stock Down for Chicago Cubs' Top 10 Prospects for Week 1

1 of 11

    It will likely be another long season in Chicago in 2013, as the rebuilding Cubs continue reshaping their franchise from the ground up.

    While the big league club will likely struggle, the farm system has improved significantly over the past year, as they have a handful of prospects who look like future impact players.

    It's still very early, but after one week of play, here is where the stock of the team's top 10 prospects is trending, up or down.

     

    Top 10 prospects according to Baseball America.

    *Cubs No. 9 prospect RP Kyuji Fujikawa was not included since he is currently 32 and playing at the major league level. The No. 11 prospect according to the Prospect Handbook is Juan Carlos Paniagua, so he was included in his place.

No. 11: SP Juan Carlos Paniagua, Short-Season Class-A Boise

2 of 11

    2013 Stats

    Has not played.

     

    Player Summary

    Originally signed by the Diamondbacks back in 2009, and then by the Yankees in 2011, Juan Carlos Paniagua twice had his contract terminated by the MLB on the grounds of fraudulent documents.

    He finally landed in the states for good when the Cubs signed him to a $1.5 million deal last August, and he made two appearances in the Rookie League, allowing no hits and striking out four in 3.2 innings of work.

    His fastball sits in the mid-90s and can be dialed up into the triple digits, and he has an average changeup that should improve. He'll get a look as a starter, but his future likely lies in the bullpen where he can rely more heavily on his fastball.

     

    Stock

    Hold

No. 10: SS Arismendy Alcantara, Double-A Tennessee

3 of 11

    2013 Stats

    4-for-19, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 1 SB

     

    Player Summary

    Signed out of the Dominican Republic back in 2008, Arismendy Alcantara has always had an impressive package of tools. Last season, he finally started to turn that raw ability into production. 

    In a full season at High-A Daytona last year, he hit .302/.339/.447 with seven home runs and 25 steals before a broken foot ended his season prematurely.

    Where he fits into the Cubs' long-term plans remains to be seen, but if he continues to progress and build off of last year, he has the potential to be an impact big leaguer.

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 8: 3B Jeimer Candelario, Low-A Kane County

4 of 11

    2013 Stats

    5-for-19, 1 2B, 4 R

     

    Player Summary

    Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., but signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2010, Jeimer Candelario had a solid season in Low-A Boise as a 20-year-old last year.

    He hit .281/.345/.396 with six home runs and 47 RBI in 278 at-bats, and he has an advanced approach at the plate for his age.

    Whether he is able to stick at third base remains to be seen, as he may have to shift across the diamond to first, but his offensive tools should mean a bright future.

     

    Stock

    Even

No. 7: 1B Dan Vogelbach, Low-A Kane County

5 of 11

    2013 Stats

    6-for-20, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI

     

    Player Summary

    A large human being at 6'0" and 250 pounds, Dan Vogelbach has some of the best raw power in all of minor league baseball, but he also has solid plate discipline.

    He hit .322/.410/.641 with 17 home runs and 62 RBI in 61 games last season while reaching Low-A, and he opens the season at that level this year.

    Keeping his weight in check will be key, and he won't be able to play anywhere but first base, which may pose a problem with Anthony Rizzo entrenched at the position, but there is no ignoring Vogelbach's bat.

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 6: SP Pierce Johnson, Low-A Kane County

6 of 11

    2013 Stats

    1 GS, 2.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

     

    Player Summary

    A supplemental-round pick taken with the No. 43 overall pick last June, Pierce Johnson went 4-6 with a 2.53 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 99.2 innings in his final season at Missouri State in 2012.

    He's a power pitcher with a mid-90s fastball and a power curve, and while he doesn't have the highest ceiling, his floor is relatively high and he should wind up being a solid middle-of-the-rotation guy.

    He opens the season in Low-A, but he could move quickly, and at this point, he's perhaps the top arm in a Cubs system that is incredibly thin on starting pitching.

     

    Stock

    Down

No. 5: CF Brett Jackson, Triple-A Iowa

7 of 11

    2013 Stats

    3-for-17, 2 R, 6 K

     

    Player Summary

    The Cubs' first-round pick in 2009, Brett Jackson has been one of the team's top prospects from the day he signed with a great mix of power and speed.

    After putting up an .869 OPS with 20 home runs and 21 steals in 2011 between Double-A and Triple-A, it appeared as though he was knocking on the door.

    However, he hit just .256 last season and struck out 158 times in 407 at-bats in Triple-A. The strikeouts continued to pile up following a major league call-up, as he fanned 59 times in 120 at-bats, and at this point, he has to make more consistent contact if he hopes to be a big league regular.

     

    Stock

    Down

No. 4: RP Arodys Vizcaino, 60-Day Disabled List

8 of 11

    2013 Stats

    Has not played.

     

    Player Summary

    A top prospect in the Braves' pitching-rich organization, Arodys Vizcaino joined the Cubs at the deadline last year in the deal that sent Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to Atlanta.

    After battling elbow problems early on in his career, the right-hander missed all of last season with Tommy John surgery, and he's currently in the process of working his way back from that.

    With a fastball that hits the high 90s and a plus curveball, he has fantastic stuff, but it remains to be seen if his future lies in the rotation or bullpen.

     

    Stock

    Hold

No. 3: RF Jorge Soler, High-A Daytona

9 of 11

    2013 Stats

    7-for-16, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R

     

    Player Summary

    A highly regarded Cuban defector, Jorge Soler signed a nine-year, $30 million deal with the Cubs last June and immediately became one of the system's top prospects.

    He was solid in a 34-game audition last year, hitting .299/.369/.463 with five home runs and 12 steals, and he opens his first full pro season in High-A.

    His raw power is his best tool, and he profiles as a legitimate middle-of-the-order slugger with 30-plus home run power. Once things start to click, he could move quickly given the impact he should be able to make with his bat.

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 2: CF Albert Almora, Short-Season Class-A Boise

10 of 11

    2013 Stats

    Has not played.

     

    Player Summary

    The team's top pick in last June's draft, selected sixth overall, the Cubs were thrilled that Albert Almora slipped to them.

    He is as polished as any high school bat in the past several years, and he should do a little bit of everything once he reaches the big leagues.

    His work ethic and intangibles make him the sort of player who could be a leader in the clubhouse. Fans will have to wait a bit to see him this season as a broken hamate bone in his wrist has him shelved to open the season.

     

    Stock

    Hold

No. 1: SS Javier Baez, High-A Daytona

11 of 11

    2013 Stats

    3-for-16, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R

     

    Player Summary

    The Cubs took Javier Baez with the No. 9 pick in the 2011 draft, and he entered the season ranked as the No. 16 prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America.

    In his first taste of full-season ball last year, he hit .294/.346/.543 with 16 home runs and 24 RBI in just 293 at-bats.

    He has perhaps the best bat speed of any prospect in the game, and while he may eventually wind up at third base with Starlin Castro entrenched at shortstop, he figures to be as big a piece as anyone in the team's rebuild.

     

    Stock

    Even

     

    Joel Reuter is a National MLB Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report.


Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices