Around this time every year, after the draft and the beginning of the short-season A and rookie leagues, many prospects begin to be promoted while others are displaced from their positions in the upper minors.
With the Boise Hawks beginning play and the rookie-level team based in Mesa soon to follow, the Cubs have begun signing draft picks, including second rounder Rob Zastryzny, who will force a roster spot somewhere in the organization. First round pick Kris Bryant has yet to sign.
In Daytona, top prospect Javier Baez got off to a slow start but has since brought his stat line all the way up to .277/.333/.541 and was one of few bright spots for the South Division of the FSL All-Star Game. Baez should be due to a promotion to AA Tennessee in the coming weeks, where teammate and fellow top prospect Jorge Soler will likely join him.
Daytona isn’t going to wait too long for some star power to replace their duo of young stars as Albert Almora has made the Midwest League look like Babe Ruth playing in your local little league, posting a .978 OPS in twenty-two games this season. First base – but more likely designated hitter – prospect Dan Vogelbach has found moderate success this season and could move up later in the season. Rock Shoulders would have to be another promotion candidate. Jeimer Candelario, much like Vogelbach, will likely have to wait. From the mound, Pierce Johnson may move up to the pitcher-friendly Florida State League in the near future as well.
Matt Szczur and Arismendy Alcantara could move up to AAA should a spot open up at the level, though moves in higher levels of the minors could come closer to or following the trade deadline. Brett Jackson seems unlikely to be promoted to the majors again any time soon.