ESPN's interesting rankings of the Cubs' top prospects

ESPN's interesting rankings of the Cubs' top prospects
February 1, 2014, 2:45 pm
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Tony Andracki

Everybody has a different opinion on prospects.

It's part of the reason why they're called "prospects." There are no guarantees with young players. They're all just possibilities.

[RELATED: Prospect rankings provide more hope for the future]

Which is part of the allure.

In the spirit of prospect rankings early in 2014, ESPN Insider Keith Law released his Top 100 earlier this week and also ranked the MLB farm systems in order. He placed the Cubs fourth, behind only the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates. The Boston Red Sox were fifth and the St. Louis Cardinals were 12th.

[MORE: Seven Cubs prospects ranked in MLB.com's Top 100]

Law went in more depth Friday with each organization and unveiled his Top 14 prospects for each team. The Cubs' are as follows:

1. Javier Baez
2. Kris Bryant
3. Jorge Soler
4. Albert Almora
5. C.J. Edwards
6. Arismendy Alcantara
7. Pierce Johnson
8. Jeimer Candelario
9. Corey Black
10. Arodys Vizcaino
11. Rob Zastryzny
12. Eloy Jimenez
13. Scott Frazier
14. Tyler Skulina

There are a few interesting selections in there. Black, acquired from the Yankees in the Alfonso Soriano deal, is a surprising choice for the Top 10. Zastryzny, Frazier and Skulina were all 2013 draft choices behind Bryant. Law said he could see the trio growing into impact arms for the Cubs.

Jimenez, a 17-year-old outfielder out of the Dominican Republic, was the top international free agent last summer.

Notably absent from the list is Dan Vogelbach, considered by most other observers as one of the Cubs' top prospects.

[RELATED: Baez, Bryant headline Top 20 Cubs prospects rankings]

Law said Baez, Bryant and Soler all look like stars and he can see Alcantara having an impact at the big-league level replacing Darwin Barney at second base at some point.

Law also ranked Baez (7), Bryant (15), Soler (26), Almora (28), Edwards (67) and Alcantara (71) among the game's Top 100 prospects.