Stock Up, Stock Down for Chicago Cubs' Top 10 Prospects for Week 5

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2013

Stock Up, Stock Down for Chicago Cubs' Top 10 Prospects for Week 5

0 of 10

    A 2-5 week dropped the Chicago Cubs to No. 29 in this week's MLB power rankings, as they are now 11-20 on the season.

    There have been some bright spots, as Anthony Rizzo has flashed good power and the trio of Travis Wood, Jeff Samardzija and Carlos Villanueva have been terrific in the rotation, but it's going to be another long season on the North Side.

    With eyes in Chicago on the future of the team, here is a look at how the team's top 10 prospects fared this past week.

     

    Top prospects according to Baseball America.

    *No. 2 prospect Albert Almora and No. 11 prospect Juan Carlos Paniagua will start their seasons in Short-Season Class-A Boise on June 17, so until then they won't be included.

    *No. 4 prospect Arodys Vizcaino is recovering from Tommy John surgery, and will not be included until he returns.

    *No. 9 prospect RP Kyuji Fujikawa was not included since he is currently playing at the major league level.

No. 14 Prospect: CF Matt Szczur, Double-A Tennessee

1 of 10

    2013 Stats

    .259/.333/.352, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 20 R, 9 SB

     

    Player Summary

    Still relatively raw as a baseball player, Matt Szczur split his time between the diamond and the gridiron while he was at Villanova.

    He reached Double-A for the first time last season, posting a .750 OPS and swiping 42 bases on the season, and he will likely spend a full season in Double-A this year.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    4-for-26, 1 SB

     

    Stock

    Down

No. 13 Prospect: SP Alberto Cabrera, Double-A Tennessee

2 of 10

    2013 Stats

    6 GS, 3-1, 3.31 ERA, 13 BB, 34 K, 35.1 IP

     

    Player Summary

    Cabrera likely could have earned a spot in the Cubs' bullpen this spring after making 25 appearances in Chicago last year, but the team opted to stretch him out and give him a look as a starter instead.

    He has a solid three-pitch repertoire with a mid-90s fastball, plus slider and developing changeup, and he has improved his walk and strikeout rates steadily throughout his career, so the potential is certainly there for him to make an impact as a starter.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    1 GS, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 BB, 8 K, 6 IP

     

    Stock 

    Up

No. 12 Prospect: 3B Christian Villanueva, Double-A Tennessee

3 of 10

    2013 Stats

    .202/.275/.303, 7 2B, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 10 R

     

    Player Summary

    The No. 100 prospect on the Baseball America preseason top 100 entering last season, Villanueva was acquired from the Rangers last July in the Ryan Dempster deal.

    He had a .780 OPS and 14 home runs in High-A last season, and while he has struggled so far in his first taste of Double-A, the 22-year-old could get a late-season look at third base in Chicago if he can pick up his production.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    3-for-23, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R

     

    Stock

    Down

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

4 of 10

    2013 Stats

    .236/.303/.373, 3 2B, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 13 R, 12 SB

     

    Player Summary

    Another player seeing Double-A action for the first time this season, Arismendy Alcantara has already come a long way since being signed as a 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic.

    He's been brought along slowly, advancing one level each season, and he hit .302 with seven home runs and 25 steals at High-A last season.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    3-for-22, 1 2B

     

    Stock

    Down

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

5 of 10

    2013 Stats

    .232/.362/.316, 8 2B, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 16 R

     

    Player Summary

    Despite a relatively raw skill set, 19-year-old Jeimer Candelario has displayed a great eye at the plate since signing out of the Dominican Republic three years ago.

    He has a .389 on-base percentage in 622 minor league at-bats, and that gives him a ton of offensive upside as he continues to develop. A move to second base may be in the cards long-term, but for now he's still a work in progress.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    4-for-21, 2 2B, 1 RBI

     

    Stock

    Even

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

6 of 10

    2013 Stats

    .301/.370/.466, 2 2B, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 13 R

     

    Player Summary

    Concerns remain about his 6'0", 250-pound frame, but Dan Vogelbach has done nothing but hit since the Cubs took him in the second round of the 2011 draft.

    He hit 17 home runs with a 1.051 OPS in 245 at-bats last season, and after a big week last week, his numbers are equally impressive in the early going this year. He could wind up being a trade chip with Anthony Rizzo slotted at first base long-term.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    9-for-27, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 4 R

     

    Stock

    Up

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

7 of 10

    2013 Stats

    5 GS, 1-1, 2.92 ERA, 7 BB, 25 K, 24.2 IP

     

    Player Summary

    The Cubs took Pierce Johnson with the No. 43 pick last June, and after a rocky first start this season, he has been terrific in his last four outings with just three earned runs allowed and 21 strikeouts in 22.1 innings of work.

    He may not have the ceiling of a staff ace, but he is as safe a bet as any pitcher in the organization to wind up being a solid big league starter.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    1 GS, 0-0, 1.35 ERA, 1 BB, 4 K, 6.2 IP

     

    Stock

    Up

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

8 of 10

    2013 Stats

    .219/.315/.406, 2 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, 3 SB

     

    Player Summary

    Many expected Brett Jackson to already be patrolling center field for the Cubs on an everyday basis by this point in his career, but his inability to cut down his strikeouts has held him back.

    He's whiffed 24 times in 64 at-bats so far this season, and all told last year between Chicago and Triple-A, he struck out a whopping 217 times in 527 at-bats.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    1-for-8, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 5 K

     

    Stock

    Down

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

9 of 10

    2013 Stats

    .256/.356/.436, 5 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 14 R

     

    Player Summary

    Signed to a nine-year, $30 million deal after defecting from Cuba last June, Jorge Soler certainly looks the part of a future superstar.

    After a red-hot start to the season, he was hit with a five-game suspension for wielding a bat in a confrontation with the other team's dugout, and he has cooled down considerably since.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    4-for-20, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R

     

    Stock

    Down

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

10 of 10

    2013 Stats

    .246/.286/.474, 7 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 18 R

     

    Player Summary

    The No. 16 prospect in all of baseball entering the season according to Baseball AmericaJavier Baez has all of the offensive tools to be a star in Chicago.

    After a terrific week two weeks ago, he struggled a bit last week, and that will likely be how things go this season as the 20-year-old continues to refine his skills.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    3-for-19, 1 2B, 5 RBI, 2 R

     

    Stock

    Down