1/30 Cubs place 3 in top 100 prospects
The Cubs had three players included in MLB.com’s top 100 prospects, revealed Tuesday night on MLB Network. The trio includes Javier Baez (ranked No. 16), and outfielders Albert Almora (No. 39) and Jorge Soler (No. 42). The annual ranking of baseball’s biggest and brightest young talent is assembled by MLB.com’s Draft and prospect expert Jonathan Mayo, who compiles input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players’ skill sets, upsides, closeness to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. The list only includes players with rookie status in 2013.
Baez, 20, batted .333 with 12 home runs, 10 doubles and 33 RBIs in 57 games at Class A Peoria, then hit .188 when promoted to Class A Daytona. Almora, 18, the Cubs’ top pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, played for the Arizona Rookie League team and also Class A Boise last season, and combined to bat .321. Soler, who turns 21 on Feb. 25, played in the Rookie League and then Peoria last season, hitting a combined .299 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in 34 games. The Cuban outfielder signed a nine-year, $30 million contract with the Cubs last June. He made Wrigley Field look small in September when he took batting practice with the Cubs, hitting five home runs, including two that cleared the left field bleachers.
— Carrie Muskat