Cubs prospects continue to draw acclaim

Cubs prospects continue to draw acclaim
July 18, 2013, 10:15 am
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Tony Andracki

As the Cubs build their prospect pool in hopes of the next wave of talent arriving at Wrigley Field in the not-too-distant future, the rest of the baseball world is taking notice.

[RELATED: Starlin Castro adapting as Cubs wait on next wave of prospects]

With Kris Bryant and the Cubs coming to terms on a record-setting deal last week, the organization now has a No. 2 pick in the fold, joining the Big Three of Javier Baez, Albert Almora and Jorge Soler.

Throw in Arismendy Alcantara's breakout season and eye-popping performance at this week's Future's Game, and the Cubs have themselves a nice stable of positional prospects.

Major League Baseball is still kicking back on the last day of the All-Star break, creating a perfect down-time for two outlets to release their midseason top prospects lists.

[MORE: Cubs net three prospects on Baseball America's midseason Top 50 list] ranked the Top 75 prospects in the game today, and included four of the aforementioned Cubs on the list.

Baez came in at No. 14, with Almora 18th, Soler 23rd and Alcantara 57th.

Bryant was not on the list as MinorLeagueBall did not rank any 2013 draft picks. Had he been, the Cubs could have had four players in the Top 25.

ESPN's Keith Law released his midseason Top 50 Thursday as well (Insider only), and included the most recent MLB draft picks.

Bryant earned the top spot, rising to 15th in Law's rankings. Soler (20th), Almora (25th) and Baez (27th) filled out the rest of the Cubs on the list, while Alcantara earned an honorable mention.

[MORE: Like Mike Trout, Kris Bryant leaning on family for support]

It's interesting Law ranked Baez as the lowest of the Cubs' top four prospects, as most outlets have ranked the 20-year-old shortstop at the top of the Cubs' stable of young talent. But where he ranks among the franchise's top four prospects is really a moot point, considering he is still in the Top 30.

Baez recently joined Alcantara at Double-A Tennessee after the ninth overall pick of the 2011 draft put the baseball world on notice with his four-homer game earlier this season.

Alcantara has taken a huge step this year, earning national recognition and may be at Wrigley Field before too long. The 21-year-old Dominican native has spent the last five years in the Cubs organization, moving through the system at a steady pace.

[RELATED: Bryant brimming with confidence as Cubs introduce No. 2 pick]

He has played shortstop for most of his Cubs career, but is seeing a lot of time at second base in Double-A now that Baez has taken over at shortstop for the Smokies.

Alcantara is hitting .280/.354/.475 this season with 13 homers, 23 doubles, 22 steals and 38 walks compared to 85 strikeouts. He hit a monster home run into the upper deck in New York Sunday.