2013 Organization Talent Rankings: Cardinals Rank No. 1
As a cap to our offseason prospect rankings, we line up the minor league talent in every organization from 1-30. Baseball America’s annual organization talent rankings reflect the total worth [...]
Which prospects will headline the 2014 Top 100 Prospects list? Which farm systems will have the most Top 100 Prospects next year? Who are the best prospects slated to play in the low Class A South Atlantic League this season?
Which prospects also received votes for the Top 100 list, and what were their highest rankings? Which players are poised to make the biggest leaps from within and outside the Top 100 a year from now? Why is Tigers third baseman/outfielder Nick Castellanos ranked so far ahead of Orioles middle infielder Jonathan Schoop?
Did BA Grades decrease from the 2012 to 2013 Prospect Handbooks? What should we make of Cubs third baseman Josh Vitters? Is Mets infielder Wilmer Flores comparable to Manny Machado?
Vogelbach Smashes Into Cubs’ Plans
Confidence should not be a problem for Dan Vogelbach as he heads toward his first full pro season. Vogelbach got his pro career off to an impressive start in two short-season stops a year ago, reinforcing comparisons to Prince Fielder and Billy Butler.
Cubs Excited About Landing Johnson
For Pierce Johnson, the minor elbow injury couldn't have come at a worse time. But the Cubs see Johnson's misfortune last spring as one of the best things to happen since Theo Epstein took charge.
Paniagua Signs With Cubs
Based on the sneak preview from last summer, the Cubs can't wait to see what Juan Carlos Paniagua can do in a full season. "Obviously, he's got a really big arm," said Jason McLeod, the Cubs' scouting and farm director.
Prospect Battles Lead To Some Tough Calls
One of my favorite tasks is putting together my personal Top 50 list for our annual Prospect Handbook. Doing so means that our signature book is nearing completion. And it also forces me to make tough calls stacking up similar prospects against one another. Here are some of the more difficult decisions from this year:
Cubs Take Hector Rondon In Rule 5
Hector Rondon's arm has never been a secret. The question about him has been his health, and the longer the Cubs watched him pitch for Caracas in the Venezuelan League, the more convinced they became that he put his elbow problems behind him.
Tony Zych Gets Closer To Home
It was a long year for righthander Tony Zych, but he was sure to feel good about it when he got home from the Arizona Fall League. Zych, 22, put himself on the map as a potential set-up reliever behind closer Carlos Marmol, and he could reach Wrigley Field at some point in 2013. That would be a huge event for his family, which is scattered all around the Chicago area.<br/>Zych was drafted in the fourth round out of Louisville in 2011 but played his high school ball at St. Rita High in Chicago, commuting 35 miles from his home in Monee.
Cubs Stocking Up On Pitching Prospects
Most of the progress made in the first year of the Theo Epstein/Jed Hoyer regime has involved adding and developing hitters, but know they need a lot more prospects as they try to build a competitive pitching staff. With that in mind, they have been aggressive at the start of the offseason.
Logan Watkins Takes A Big Step
Darwin Barney has proven himself as a big league second baseman after winning back-to-back NCAA titles at Oregon State. With an amateur pedigree that led only to Goddard (Kan.) High, Logan Watkins has had to make a name for himself climbing the ladder within the Cubs farm system.
Stephen Bruno Finds His Groove In Boise
Stephen Bruno had been a .300 hitter his whole life but was struggling when short-season Boise started their season. He was crowding the plate and jamming himself. That's when hitting coach Bill Buckner made a suggestion that turned around his season. "Do me a favor," Buckner told Bruno. "Move off the plate a little bit."
New Dynamic Duo For Cubs
Billy Williams and Ernie Banks spent 11 seasons hitting next to each other in the Cubs' lineup. Mark Grace and Sammy Sosa were together nine seasons. That's the kind of run that Theo Epstein and Co. are envisioning for the top prospects they added this season, outfielders Jorge Soler and Albert Almora.
Javier Baez Impresses At Plate And On Basepaths
Javier Baez made the most of a limited chance to flash his potential for the Cubs' new regime.
Cubs Working To Establish Pitching Pipeline
The Cubs didn't waste any time in taking steps toward Theo Epstein's No. 1 goal: developing a pitching pipeline reliable enough to supply a perennial contender.
Jackson, Vitters Called Up For Cubs
When Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters walked into Dodger Stadium on Aug. 5, they saw lots of familiar faces in the clubhouse. Joining the Cubs less than a week after a series of trade deadline deals, Jackson and Vitters arrived with Theo Epstein's youth movement in full bloom.
Anthony Rizzo Is In Big Leagues To Stay This Time
Anthony Rizzo isn't afraid to carry high expectations. That's a good thing because he just keeps raising them.