Seems like the name for this report changes every week during the off-season, but it amounts to the same thing. Our regular fall league coverage is due to resume next week, but as other sites’ prospect rankings have begun to come out, I’ve decided to take this time to compare the one published by WSD to these.
Among the lists we’ll be looking at are from J.P. Schwartz of Top Prospect Alert, John Arguello of Cubs Den, and of course my own. Cubs Den did their’s by position, with no complete listings yet, but we can piece it together a little bit.
The Top 5
Very similar listings here, as the same five prospects appear, but Schwartz placed Almora head of Soler, the only difference. I stand firm on the stance that Soler is currently the superior prospect, but Almora ahead of him certainly isn’t out of the question. In fact, Baseball America has hinted heavily that they will be placing Almora as the #2 prospect in the system. It is a matter of opinion at this point, but the fact that we have two prospects as good as them that are almost interchangeable is outstanding, especially when you consider that they are not even our top prospects, with Baeaz ranked ahead of them.
The Next 5
Still pretty similar listings here, and Villanueva ranks in 6th and Vitters in 9th on both listings. Pierce Johnson is higher rated by Schwartz, while WSD is more favorable to Vogelbach in the rankings, with the two combining for the 7th and 10th spots on each list. The major difference here, however, is the inclusion of Candelario on Scwartz’s list and Szczur on WSD’s. Szczur came into the year a top 100 hundred prospect according to Baseball America, and sat near the top of the farm system, behind only Jackson, Rizzo, and Baez. However, Szczur showed no development of any form of power whatsoever and fell off of the Florida State League Top 20 list from BA, the site that had previously been so high on him. Meanwhile, Candelario was an up-and-comer after playing in the Dominican Summer League, but he didn’t impress much either after his red-hot start. Schwartz drops Szczur all the way down to 18th, which I see as a bit drastic, yet I dropped Candelario all the way down to 19th. Both of us likely are a little too high on one and a bit too low on the other, and both still have good chances of becoming big league starters.
The Final 10
Beyond the top ten, the listings get really sketchy, with cases being made for several prospects due to the depth of the Cubs system. Yet only two players that appeared on Schwartz’s list did not appear on mine and vice versa. Schwartz was higher on Logan Watkins while Dae-Eun Rhee snuck in. On my part, I’ve bought into Torreyes a bit and Nicholas Struck similarly sneaked onto my list. There isn’t a solid case for one listing over the other at this depth, but it is a bit shocking the lists were this similar in this category given the vast depth in the range.