ESPN’s Keith Law announced the bottom half of his Top 100 prospects list (Insider subscription required) today and two Cubs, shortstop Aramis Ademan and and right-handed pitcher Albert Alzolay, both made his list.
Ademan was ranked at number 78 and Alzolay was number 84.
In his write-up of Ademan, Law praises his “sneaky strength” and believes that he’s capable of hitting 20 home runs a season after he matures and fills out his still-slight frame. He does worry that he’ll lose speed (which he calls “solid-average” at the moment) and have to move to second base as he adds muscle. But that still leaves him, in Law’s estimation, as a plus hitter at second with average defense for the position.
On Alzolay, Law notes what many of us have said about the right-hander: Alzolay wasn’t even on his radar a year ago. He praises Alzolay’s fastball command and calls his curve “plus” (that’s above-average in scout-speak) that can finish off hitters. On the matter of Alzolay’s changeup, Law admits that it’s inconsistent but thinks it can be at least an average pitch if he can master it. That adds up to an “above-average” starter in Law’s eyes.
Law does have one worry about Alzolay and that is his size. At only 6’1”, he worries that Alzolay doesn’t get enough downward movement on his pitches and he also worries about his durability. But while Alzolay may be a bit homer-prone because of his size, Law thinks that because Alzolay is so good at limiting baserunners it won’t be a big problem. And if Alzolay can’t withstand the rigors of starting, Law thinks he can be a “dominant reliever.”
Law releases the top half of his 100 prospects tomorrow, but I’m going to assume that no Cubs are going to make that list. It’s a safe assumption.
The news on the prospect front isn’t all good, however, Baseball America also released their top 100 prospects today and for the first time in the history of their list, which dates back to 1990, no Cubs are on it. I’m sure BA will mention that Ademan and Alzolay received consideration at least
Braves prospect Ronald Acuna was the top prospect. Former Cubs farmhands Eloy Jimenez and Gleyber Torres ranked fourth and sixth, respectively, according to BA.