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Chicago Cubs top 10 prospects after the deadline

A few players got shipped out, so I’m updating my list.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Last month I did a list of whom I thought were the top ten prospects in the Cubs system after the All-Star break. It wasn’t easy, as my number one and number two choices, Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, had both just been sent off to the White Sox for Jose Quintana.

Since then, two more of the players I had on my list have left as well. Shortstop Isaac Paredes was second on my list and third baseman Jeimer Candelario was eighth. Both are now playing in the Tigers system in exchange for Justin Wilson and Alex Avila.

So here’s a quick update of the top ten list along with some notes of how they’ve done over the past month.

  1. RHP Adbert Alzolay

If anything, Alzolay has only increased his stock over the past month. I expect to see him on several Top 100 lists in the offseason, so you shouldn’t need to worry that the Cubs will get shut out of those offseason specials on the MLB Network.

2. C Victor Caratini

Caratini went down to Iowa with the acquisition of Avila and he continues to feast on Pacific Coast League pitching. Of course, it’s his defense, not his offense, that needs to improve for him to be a major league regular.

3. OF Mark Zagunis

I’m still a Zagunis fan and he had a terrific July, hitting .301 with a .370 OBP. The power he needs to be a major league regular has been absent lately as he’s only had two home runs since June 20. One was yesterday, however.

4. LHP Brenden Little

Little has made two starts with Eugene and neither one went very well. That’s a small sample size, but Little will drop on this list if he doesn’t start having some good starts before the end of the season.

5. RHP Thomas Hatch

Hatch hasn’t had the best results in his starts over the past month, but the underlying numbers and his stuff have remained the same. I like his future better now than I did when he was drafted in the third round last summer.

6. SS Aramis Ademan

Ademan jumps from an honorable mention last month to number 6 this month. He’s been promoted to South Bend since then and while he hasn’t been setting the world on fire there, he hasn’t looked overmatched either.

7. RHP Jose Albertos

After not looking very good in July, Albertos turned in a great start the one night this season I was off. So his struggles were almost certainly my fault. I’ll be sure to tune in on the next time he starts so I can see if he’s cleaned up some of the inconsistencies I was seeing earlier.

8. LHP Justin Steele

I’m worried because the Cubs put Steele on the disabled list today after he left his last start after only 2.1 innings. But that they waited a week to put Steele on the DL after that abbreviated start, so I’m hopeful that it won’t turn out to be a big deal. But Steele has been a solid pitcher all season and he leads the Carolina League in ERA. Left-handers who can start are valuable, even if they don’t have top-of-the-rotation upside.

9. OF Eddy Martinez

A strong July and first part of August puts Martinez back on the list. He’s only hitting .245 with a .296 OBP this year, but he has 14 home runs and the Carolina League is a tough place to hit. He’s been much better recently and he has the tools to be a good defensive right fielder.

10. RHP Dillon Maples

OK, I give in. Maples hasn’t been terrific in Iowa, but he’s been solid and he’s been 3 for 3 in save chances. Maples still throws 95 mph and the cutter he’s added this season has made all the difference. He’s strictly a reliever, but he’s got the stuff to be a closer one day.

Others: Jason Vosler was ranked tenth on my list last month and then hasn’t hit a home run since. If Vosler isn’t hitting for power, he’s not a major leaguer. Alex Lange made his minor league debut and threw two perfect innings. He has a good chance to be a top ten prospect at the end of the season. Oscar De La Cruz still hasn’t pitched since May 25. The more batters Jen-Ho Tseng keeps retiring, the harder it becomes to dismiss his major league chances, even though I do think he’s destined for the bullpen. After a poor start to the season for the second year in a row, outfielder D.J. Wilson is having a much better second half.