Chicago Cubs' 2013 All-Prospect Team

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2013

Chicago Cubs' 2013 All-Prospect Team

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    This season, we've taken a weekly look at how the Cubs' top 10 prospects have performed each week, and while it's been another long season at the big league level, there is plenty of reason for excitement down on the farm.

    A high-upside draft class fronted by third baseman Kris Bryant and a handful of deals at the deadline have made what was already a vastly improved system that much better, and while 2014 may be another rebuilding year for the Cubs, they could make some real noise by 2015.

    With the minor league regular season over, now is a good time to look back and name the 2013 Chicago Cubs' all-prospect team. I've selected one position player at each position, five starting pitchers and one reliever to make up my all-prospect team.

     

    *Note: All prospect rankings courtesy of Baseball America Prospect Handbook.

Catcher: Willson Contreras (21 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats 

    LevelGBA/OBP/SLGH2B3BHRRBIRBBK
       A 86.248/.320/.4237711 511 46462666

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: No. 1 catcher
    Top 30 Ranking: NR

     

    Prospect Overview

    The Cubs' farm system is vastly improved, but the catcher position remains incredibly thin, as they will be relying on Welington Castillo to man the position for the foreseeable future after a solid first season as the everyday backstop. 

    One guy who could challenge for the job at some point is Willson Contreras, who was signed out of Venezuela as a 17-year-old back in 2009.

    He entered the season with just six career home runs in 647 at-bats, but he flashed some solid power this season while throwing out 36 of 122 would-be base stealers. His overall defensive game still needs some work and he's still a raw prospect, but there is plenty of potential there.

First Base: Dan Vogelbach (20 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats

    LevelGBA/OBP/SLGH2B3BHRRBIRBBK
         A 114.284/.364/.45012321 017 71555776
        A+ 17.280/.455/.440 14  2  0 2  5131613
      Totals 131.284/.375/.44913723 019 76687389

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: No. 1 first baseman
    Top 30 Ranking: No. 8 overall prospect

     

    Prospect Overview

    Raw power potential made Dan Vogelbach a second-round pick in the 2011 draft, and he flashed that power last season when he posted a 1.051 OPS with 21 doubles and 17 home runs in just 245 at-bats between Rookie League and Low-A.

    He opened the season in Single-A Kane County and continued to show the sort of pop that will be his ticket to a major league job if he can keep producing.

    He earned a call-up to High-A Daytona on August 13 and held his own over 17 games. He'll likely open next season in High-A but could move quickly if he continues to hit. The question now is where he fits into the Cubs' long-term plans with Anthony Rizzo entrenched at first base.

Second Base: Arismendy Alcantara (21 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats

    LevelGBA/OBP/SLGH2B3BHRRBIRBBK
      AA 133.271/.352/.45113426 415 696962125

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: No. 2 shortstop
    Top 30 Ranking: No. 10 overall prospect

     

    Prospect Overview

    A shortstop by trade entering the season, Arismendy Alcantara was shifted to second base, and he was perhaps the biggest surprise of any Cubs prospect in 2013.

    He flashed a terrific mix of power and speed and made himself known on the national stage with a big home run in the Futures Game. 

    With Darwin Barney's grasp on the everyday second base job loosening due to his anemic offense, Alcantara may get a long look there this coming spring and seems like a good bet to take over everyday duties at some point in 2014 as long as he continues to hit.

Third Base: Kris Bryant (21 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats

    LevelGBA/OBP/SLGH2B3BHRRBIRBBK
      RK 2 .167/.143/.333 1  1  0 0   2  0  0  1 
      A-18.354/.416/.69223 8 1 4 16 13  817
      A+16.333/.387/.71919 5 1 5 14  9 317
     Totals36.336/.390/.6884314 2 9 32 221135

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: NR
    Top 30 Ranking: NR

     

    Prospect Overview

    Though he played just 36 games after being selected with the No. 2 pick in the June draft, Kris Bryant edges out Christian Villanueva for the third base spot on this year's all-prospect team.

    He picked up right where he left off after a phenomenal season at the University of San Diego, where he hit .329/.493/.820 with an NCAA-high 31 home runs and 62 RBI in 62 games.

    His bat was good enough at Low-A Boise that he jumped over Kane County altogether and earned a promotion to High-A Daytona. Depending on how he performs in the Arizona Fall League, he could get a crack at Double-A to open next season, and he'll no doubt continue on the fast track as long as his bat continues to play. 

Shortstop: Javier Baez (20 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats

    LevelGBA/OBP/SLGH2B3BHRRBIRBBK
       A+  76 .274/.338/.535 82 19 417 575921 78 
       AA  54.294/.346/.638 64 15 020 543919 69
      Totals 130.284/.375/.44914634 4371119840147

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: No. 1 shortstop
    Top 30 Ranking: No. 1 overall prospect

     

    Prospect Overview

    A shoo-in for the Cubs' Minor League Player of the Year and a legitimate candidate for the award league-wide, Javier Baez has all the makings of a legitimate future superstar.

    With perhaps the best bat speed in all of the minor leagues, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2011 draft put on a show this season, and he actually hit better in Double-A after being promoted on July 6.

    His defense still needs some work, and his 40/147 BB/K ratio speaks to his over-aggressive approach at the plate, but he's not far off from making an impact in Chicago.

Left Field: Zeke DeVoss (23 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats

    LevelGBA/OBP/SLGH2B3BHRRBIRBBK
      A+ 117.246/.393/.35410217 5 6  51718095

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: No. 4 second baseman
    Top 30 Ranking: NR

     

    Prospect Overview

    Taken in the third round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Miami, Zeke DeVoss was a second baseman in college and throughout his minor league career heading into this season.

    However, after committing 28 errors in 2012, he moved to the outfield this season and split his time between left field and center field.

    His .246 average does not jump off the page, but the 80 walks and .393 on-base percentage certainly do, and he put up similar numbers last season when he hit .249/.382/.370. He also swiped 39 bases this season, and despite his low average, he looks like a potential table-setter atop the order moving forward.

Center Field: Albert Almora (19 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats

    LevelGBA/OBP/SLGH2B3BHRRBIRBBK
       A 61.329/.376/.4668217 4 3  23391730

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: No. 1 center fielder
    Top 30 Ranking: No. 2 overall prospect

     

    Prospect Overview

    The Cubs' first-round pick in 2012, taken with the No. 6 overall pick, Albert Almora projects as someone who will bring a little bit of everything to the field and be a leader in the clubhouse.

    A broken hamate in the spring resulted in a late start to his season, and a groin injury cut it short, but in between he flashed the pure hitting ability that made him so highly regarded entering the year.

    Provided he can avoid further injury and stay on the field, he should move quicker than most high school draft picks, as he's relatively polished. He should develop more power moving forward and could be a 20/20 guy who hits over .300 once he reaches Chicago.

Right Field: Jorge Soler (21 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats

    LevelGBA/OBP/SLGH2B3BHRRBIRBBK
      A+ 55.281/.343/.4675913 1 8  35382138

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: No. 1 right fielder
    Top 30 Ranking: No. 3 overall prospect

     

    Prospect Overview

    Jorge Soler signed a nine-year, $30 million deal last June after defecting from Cuba, and the Cubs are no doubt hoping he can follow in the footsteps of his fellow countryman Yasiel Puig once he finally reaches the big leagues.

    A bat-wielding incident earned him a suspension early in the season and showed he still has some growing up to do, and a shin injury ended his season in late-June, but he will look to make up for lost time in the Arizona Fall League.

    He's still a few years away, but the raw power is there and he could be a dangerous middle-of-the-order threat alongside Javier Baez and Kris Bryant for years to come once he reaches his full potential. The nine-year deal could wind up being an absolute steal.

Starting Pitcher: RHP Kyle Hendricks (23 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats

    LevelG/GSW-LERAWHIPBBKIP
       AA21/2110-31.851.05326101126.1
      AAA  6/6 3-12.481.075 8 27  40
     Totals27/2713-42.001.05834128166.1

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: No. 12 right-handed starting pitcher
    Top 30 Ranking: NR

     

    Prospect Overview

    Acquired from the Rangers along with Christian Villanueva for Ryan Dempster at the deadline in 2012, Kyle Hendricks entered the season well under the radar, even in a pitching-thin Cubs farm system.

    That didn't last long, though, as he absolutely dominated Double-A hitters through 21 starts before earning a call-up to Triple-A, where he looked equally sharp over six outings.

    The Dartmouth alum does not have overpowering stuff by any means, but he has proven he can get hitters out in the high minors, and while he'll likely open 2014 in the minors, he could be in the Cubs' rotation by midseason if he can duplicate his 2013 numbers.

     

Starting Pitcher: RHP C.J. Edwards (22 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats

    LevelG/GSW-LERAWHIPBBKIP
    A (TEX)18/18 8-21.831.02934122 93.1
       A+  6/6 0-01.960.913 7 33  23
     Totals24/24 8-21.861.00641155116.1

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: No. 4 right-handed starting pitcher (TEX)
    Top 30 Ranking: No. 14 overall prospect (TEX)

     

    Prospect Overview

    A 48th-round pick by the Rangers in the 2011 draft, C.J. Edwards impressed in his first pro season last year when he went 5-3 with a 1.48 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 67 innings of work.

    The right-hander was part of the package the Cubs acquired from Texas in the Matt Garza deal, and he was bumped up to the High-A level after joining the organization.

    He's undersized at 6'2" and just 155 pounds, and his long-term future may be in the back end of the bullpen, but there is no ignoring the success he's had in his brief pro career to this point.

     

Starting Pitcher: RHP Pierce Johnson (22 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats

    LevelG/GSW-LERAWHIPBBKIP
       A13/13 5-53.101.29222 74 69.2
      A+ 10/8 6-12.221.27421 50 48.2
    Totals23/2111-62.741.28543124118.1

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: No. 2 right-handed starting pitcher
    Top 30 Ranking: No. 6 overall prospect

     

    Prospect Overview

    The No. 43 pick in the 2012 draft, Pierce Johnson entered the season as the Cubs' top active pitching prospect with Arodys Vizcaino on the shelf following Tommy John surgery.

    The right-hander was the first in a line of high-floor college arms the team has acquired in the past two years, and after putting up solid numbers at Kane County, he was promoted to High-A Daytona.

    He pitched even better at Daytona, and he could open next season in Double-A as a result. He profiles more as a No. 3 starter-type than an ace-caliber arm, but he should continue to move quickly and could be part of the rotation by 2015.

Starting Pitcher: RHP Alberto Cabrera (24 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats

    LevelG/GSW-LERAWHIPBBKIP
      AA18/18 9-33.201.25139107112.2
     AAA 15/0 1-37.081.86912 19 20.1
    Totals33/1810-63.791.34651126 133

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: No. 2 right-handed relief pitcher
    Top 30 Ranking: No. 13 overall prospect

     

    Prospect Overview

    After posting a 3.11 ERA and 12.1 K/9 over 31 relief appearances in 2012, Alberto Cabrera joined the Cubs' bullpen down the stretch and made 25 appearances with a 5.40 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 21.2 innings.

    The team sent him down to Double-A to stretch him out as a starter, and he went 9-3 with a 3.20 ERA in 18 starts before being promoted to Triple-A.

    He returned to the bullpen after being promoted and struggled to a 7.08 ERA in 15 appearances, but he still earned a September call-up. Whether his future is as a starter or reliever remains to be seen, but he has a live arm and could play a key role one way or another down the line.

Starting Pitcher: Ben Wells (20 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats

    LevelG/GSW-LERAWHIPBBKIP
      A+23/21 9-63.281.2114069112.1

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: No. 16 right-handed starting pitcher
    Top 30 Ranking: NR

     

    Prospect Overview

    The Cubs took Ben Wells in the seventh round out of Bryant High School in Arkansas back in 2010, and he went an uninspired 4-4 with a 4.66 ERA and 1.319 WHIP at Low-A Boise in his pro debut in 2011.

    The right-hander pitched just 45 innings last season, going 3-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 12 games (eight starts) for Single-A Peoria, but his 9.8 H/9 mark and 1.364 WHIP were still less than impressive.

    He's taken a step forward at High-A Daytona this season, dropping his WHIP to 1.211 and his H/9 to 7.7, as the 20-year-old is ahead of the developmental curve at this point and could continue to rise the prospect rankings moving forward.

     

Relief Pitcher: LHP Zach Rosscup (25 Years Old)

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    2013 Stats

    LevelG/GSW-LERAWHIPBBKIP
      AA 37/0 2-12.491.154196643.1
     AAA  9/0 0-10.001.435 617 7.2
    Totals 46/0 2-22.121.1962583 51

     

    Preseason Prospect Ranking

    Position Ranking: NR
    Top 30 Ranking: NR

     

    Prospect Overview

    A 28th-round pick by the Rays in the 2009 draft, Zach Rosscup was a throw-in during the trade that saw the Cubs acquire Matt Garza prior to the 2011 season.

    Arm injuries limited Rosscup to just 26 appearances in his first two seasons in the Cubs organization and effectively moved him to the bullpen full-time, where he has thrived this year.

    After racking up 83 strikeouts in 51 innings of work between Double-A and Triple-A, he earned a September call-up, and a strong final month could earn him a bullpen spot in 2014.