SB Nation's John Sickels Thursday posted his Top 75 Prospects Mid-Season Update and, as you might have expected due to the recent upgrading of the Cubs' system, four Cubs minor leaguers appear in the list. Here are the rankings of the four Cubs and what Sickels says about them:
14. Javier Baez (previously 18)
Combination of huge power, youth, with poor plate discipline makes him a dangerous player, to pitchers and analysts.
18. Albert Almora (previously 44)
Could need work with the strike zone at higher levels, but overall he's been excellent.
23. Jorge Soler (previously 25)
OK, so he's not Yasiel Puig. He's still really good. Just needs health.
57. Arismendy Alcantara (not previously ranked)
High-ceiling C+ pre-season who "needed to be watched closely." I think this is a real breakout.
Alcantara, of course, got a lot of attention for his home run in the Futures Game last Sunday (though, I might note, Jae-Hoon Ha homered in the 2012 Futures Game, and off a much better pitching prospect, Gerrit Cole).
Is it likely that all four of these players will become superstars, or even perennial All-Stars? Of course not, but it does seem likely that they will all become at least decent everyday players in the major leagues, and that's something the Cubs system has not produced in many years.
We all have to be patient for a couple more years, I guess. I suppose I have to keep reminding myself of that.