After half a season on minor league play, it's time to update the Cubs top ten prospect rankings. This list is my rankings, based on what I've seen, heard and read on the internet. If it stinks, that's my fault.
To be eligible for this list, you have to be in the minor leagues during the All-Star break. So Albert Almora Jr. and Willson Contreras are not eligible. Also, no 2016 draftees or international signings are eligible, although I don't think that would be a problem this year.
Keep this list handy during trade rumor season.
The first four were pretty easy. After that, it became more difficult.
1. Gleyber Torres, SS
Notes: Since April, he's been everything we could have hoped for. He's even starting to show a little power. His defensive value keeps him in the top spot.
2. Eloy Jimenez, OF
Notes: Very impressive first season in full-season ball and an impressive showing at the Futures Game. His .332 average is a little BABIP-fueled, but he hits the ball so hard he should continue to have a solid batting average, if not that high.
3. Ian Happ, 2B
Notes: After half a season, I'm convinced he can stick at second base. I can see him ending up like Neil Walker with better speed.
4. Dylan Cease, RHP
Notes: Cubs are still limiting his innings, but he's hitting 100 on radar guns with some regularity. A long ways away, but he could be that elusive TOR starter the team is looking for. Health is the main concern, but the Cubs seem to be handling him correctly.
5. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
Notes: Also had a miserable April, but has been outstanding since promotion to his promotion to Iowa. Both his bad April and his great June were mostly luck. He has been showing much improved plate discipline over the past two seasons. I'm still not sure if he can stick at third base.
6. Dan Vogelbach, DH
Notes: I really struggled with this one. We all know his limitations, but Vogelbach can hit and he's starting to tap into the plus power that we always knew was there. Principal Park is actually cutting into his HR totals, which makes his midseason 15 home runs that much more impressive.
7. Trevor Clifton, RHP
Notes: After Cease, the pitching news in the minors has mostly been bad news, but Clifton is one of the few who has taken a step forward. If he can learn to throw his curve with more consistency, he could be a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher. His fastball should mean he has at least a major league future in a bullpen.
8. Eddy Martinez, OF
Notes: This ranking will either be too low or too high at the end of the season. Martinez got off to a poor start, which I'm attributing to his long layoff from playing organized ball. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. He's been much better over the past month. He appears to project out as a plus defensive right fielder.
9. Bryan Hudson, LHP
Notes: Definitely all projection right now and when I saw him pitch, he had trouble throwing strikes. But his curveball projects out to be plus-plus and his fastball sits around 93 mph. At 6'8", he's a dominating presence on the mound.
10. Victor Caratini, C
Notes: Caratini still needs to work on his defense, but that's moving in the right direction. At bat, Caratini shows good plate discipline and he should be able to hit for a solid average in the majors. He'll need to start turning all those doubles into a few more home runs if he wants to be more than a backup.