Stock Up, Stock Down for Chicago Cubs' Top 10 Prospects for Week 17

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2013

Stock Up, Stock Down for Chicago Cubs' Top 10 Prospects for Week 17

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    Up until this point in the year, the weekly Cubs prospect stock watch has been based off of the team's top prospects entering the season according to the Baseball America Prospect Handbook.

    However, following the team's trade of Matt Garza to the Rangers and with MLB.com recently updating its top 20 prospects for each team, I've opted to use its list of prospects moving forward.

    So here is an updated look at the Cubs' top prospects and how they performed over the past week of minor league action.

     

    *No. 3 prospect RF Jorge Soler (fractured left shin) is currently sidelined and will not be included until he's active. He was hitting .281/.343/.467 with eight homers and 35 RBI at the time of the injury.

    *No. 6 prospect SP Arodys Vizcaino (recovering from Tommy John surgery) is currently sidelined and will not be included until he's active.

    *No. 9 prospect OF Junior Lake was recently called up to the majors, so he will no longer be included here. He was hitting .295/.341/.462 with four home runs and 18 RBI at the time of the call-up.

    *No. 13 prospect CF Brett Jackson (strained quad) is currently sidelined and will not be included until he's active. He was hitting .223/.300/.367 with six home runs and 23 RBI at the time of the injury.

No. 14 Prospect: 3B Christian Villanueva, Double-A Tennessee

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    2013 Stats

    .264/.316/.459, 26 2B, 2 3B, 14 HR, 50 RBI, 43 R

     

    Overview

    With the selection of Kris Bryant in the June draft and the recent acquisition of Mike Olt, the path to playing time long-term has become a cloudy one for Christian Villanueva.

    Still, the 22-year-old has some solid offensive potential, with 42 extra-base hits on the season. He was ranked as the No. 100 prospect in all of baseball last season, according to Baseball America, and that potential remains.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    10-for-25, 2 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 6 R

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 12 Prospect: SP C.J. Edwards, High-A Daytona

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    2013 Stats

    18 GS, 8-2, 1.83 ERA, 34 BB, 122 K, 93.1 IP at Low-A Hickory

    1 GS, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 BB, 8 K, 5 IP at High-A Daytona

     

    Overview

    Taken all the way back in the 48th round of the 2011 draft, right-hander C.J. Edwards was one of the three players acquired from the Rangers in the Matt Garza trade.

    His stock has risen this season as much as any pitcher in minor league baseball. While he's still just 21 years old and likely at last a couple years away, he has the potential to be a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    1 GS, 5 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 8 K, ND

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 11 Prospect: 1B Dan Vogelbach, Low-A Kane County

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    2013 Stats

    .291/.365/.457, 19 2B, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 45 R

     

    Overview 

    It's power potential that made Dan Vogelbach a second-round pick in 2011, and after posting a 1.051 OPS with 21 home runs and 17 doubles in 245 at-bats last season, he's continued to impress this year in full-season ball.

    His future in Chicago remains a question with Anthony Rizzo entrenched at first base long-term, but as long as he continues to hit, he'll find a role, whether it's as a trade chip or with Rizzo moving to the outfield down the road.

     

    Last Week's Stats

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

     

    Stock

    Even

No. 10 Prospect: CF Matt Szczur, Double-A Tennessee

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    2013 Stats

    .280/.349/.368, 20 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 38 RBI, 55 R, 20 SB

     

    Overview

    Now in his fourth pro season and his first full season at the Double-A level, Matt Szczur has come a long way since being drafted as a raw athlete and two-sport star out of Villanova in the fifth round of the 2010 draft.

    He doesn't have much in the way of power, but he could wind up being a solid table-setter with plus speed long-term. He's on the 40-man roster, so there's a chance he gets a September call-up, especially if David DeJesus or Nate Schierholtz is dealt.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    5-for-26, 1 RBI, 3 R

     

    Stock

    Down

No. 8 Prospect: SS Arismendy Alcantara, Double-A Tennessee

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    2013 Stats

    .268/.341/.453, 28 2B, 2 3B, 13 HR, 51 RBI, 51 R, 23 SB

     

    Overview

    Arismendy Alcantara has raised his stock within the Cubs' organization perhaps more than any prospect this season. Now, it looks as though he could be a key cog in the team's future plans.

    It may take a move to second base for him to get a chance at everyday at-bats in the near future, and he struggled through a rough week this past week, but all in all, it's been a terrific season for the 21-year-old Dominican native.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    2-for-28, 2 2B, 5 RBI

     

    Stock

    Down

No. 7 Prospect: SP Pierce Johnson, High-A Daytona

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    2013 Stats

    13 GS, 5-5, 3.10 ERA, 22 BB, 74 K, 69.2 IP at Low-A Kane County

    5 GS, 3-1, 2.33 ERA, 10 BB, 21 K, 27 IP at High-A Daytona (Promoted on June 20)

     

    Overview

    The Cubs selected right-hander Pierce Johnson with the No. 43 overall pick in last year's draft. He's moved quickly this season and looks as though he could make a big league impact by 2015.

    After an 11-day layoff between starts, he was terrific once again in his last outing, and it looks as though he'll open the 2014 season in Double-A. As the team continues to stockpile pitching talent, Johnson remains the top active pitching prospect in the organization.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    1 GS, 5 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K, W

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 5 Prospect: 3B Mike Olt, Triple-A Iowa

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    2013 Stats

    .333/.333/.750, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R at Double-A Frisco

    .213/.317/.422, 15 2B, 11 HR, 32 RBI, 37 R at Triple-A Round Rock

    .105/.190/.105, 0 2B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 R at Triple-A Iowa

     

    Overview

    The key piece acquired in the Matt Garza trade, slugger Mike Olt posted a .977 OPS with 28 home runs and 82 RBI in Double-A last season before making his big league debut with the Rangers down the stretch.

    The 24-year-old has put up less-than-impressive numbers so far this season, though part of it may be the result of some vision issues he was battling early on in the season. Still, he remains a potential impact slugger with great on-base skills, and he should get a call-up to Chicago before the season is over as he looks to secure his spot as the starting third baseman next year.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    2-for-19, 2 R

     

    Stock

    Down

No. 4 Prospect: 3B Kris Bryant, Short-Season Boise

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    2013 Stats

    .167/.143/.333, 1 2B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 R at AZL Cubs

    .174/.231/.478, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R at Short-Season Boise

     

    Overview

    The top college bat in this year's draft, Kris Bryant was selected with the No. 2 overall pick, with the Cubs passing on right-hander Jonathan Gray to take the slugger out of the University of San Diego.

    In 62 college games this season, he hit .329/.493/.820 and drove in 62 runs with 13 doubles and three triples, along with an NCAA-best 31 home runs, 10 more than anyone else. With a 6'5" and 215-pound frame, he has the look of a middle-of-the-order slugger long-term.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    4-for-23, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R

     

    Stock 

    Up

No. 2 Prospect: CF Albert Almora, Low-A Kane County

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    2013 Stats

    .333/.379/.482, 17 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 38 R

     

    Overview

    Ranked as the No. 16 prospect in the game in Baseball America's Midseason Top 50 list, Albert Almora remains an incredibly advanced prospect given the fact that he's still just 19 years old.

    He should provide a little bit of everything once he reaches Chicago, as he is a solid defender capable of hitting .300 and putting up 20/20 seasons once his power develops. If he continues on his current path, he could be in Chicago by 2015.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    9-for-25, 4 2B, 2 R

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 1 Prospect: SS Javier Baez, Double-A Tennessee

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    2013 Stats

    .274/.338/.535, 19 2B, 4 3B, 17 HR, 57 RBI, 59 R, 12 SB at High-A

    .232/.284/.634, 3 2B, 0 3B, 10 HR, 19 RBI, 13 R at Double-A (Promoted on July 6)

     

    Overview

    It has been a terrific season for 20-year-old Javier Baez to this point, as the top prospect has cemented his place as a future star and middle-of-the-order threat.

    Ranked as the No. 10 prospect in baseball in Baseball America's Midseason Top 50 list, he is vying for a September call-up and the chance at an everyday job at some point next season. He launched six home runs last week and has 10 home runs in 82 at-bats since being called up to Double-A.

     

    Last Week's Stats

    8-for-31, 1 2B, 6 HR, 11 RBI, 7 R

     

    Stock

    Up