Cubs Top Prospects 2012: Trio Of Cubs Prospects Land In Keith Law's Top 50

The Chicago Cubs, having called up their top prospect in Anthony Rizzo, continue to build their farm system through the draft and international free agency.

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Albert Almora Update: Cubs Prospect Promoted To Boise

The Chicago Cubs have been aggressive in moving up their top prospects this year, and they continued that trend on Tuesday night, moving 2012 first-round pick Albert Almora up to Short Season A-Ball in Boise. Almora has spent his short pro career to-date in the Arizona Fall League, but Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have decided to continue to challenge him this year.

In Arizona, Almora has hit .347, with one homer, five steals and five doubles. His recent play has been impressive enough, according to Epstein:

"He's done a real nice job the last week to 10 days," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. "He's really been driving the ball all over the field lately, and we think he's pretty advanced for 18, so it's a good time to move him."

(via ESPN Chicago)

Almora joins Brett Jackson, Jorge Soler, Josh Vitters and Dan Vogelbach as Cubs prospects who have been promoted in recent weeks.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, head over to Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more comprehensive MLB prospect and draft coverage, visit Minor League Ball. And for more news and notes from around the league, check out Baseball Nation.

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Cubs Top Prospects 2012: Jorge Soler Promoted To Class A Peoria

As was expected on Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs announced on Thursday the promotion of OF Jorge Soler to the Peoria Chiefs in Class A Midwest League.

Soler, 20, signed with the Chicago Cubs after fleeing communist Cuba last winter. The young outfielder signed with the Cubs under no little fanfare, rocketing to the top of the organization's prospects list. In his 14 games in Rookie League, Soler hit 2 home runs with a .717 OPS.

The average age for hitters in the Midwest League in 2012 is 21.5 years old, meaning Soler will be younger than most of the players in the league. If he can perform well in Class A, he could be in line of another promotion early in the 2013 season.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, head over to Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more comprehensive MLB prospect and draft coverage, visit Minor League Ball. And for more news and notes from around the league, check out Baseball Nation.

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Chicago Cubs Could Promote Jorge Soler From Arizona Rookie League Soon

The Chicago Cubs are happy with the progress that Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler has made so far in the U.S., and it has them considering a promotion from the Arizona Rookie League, as Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago reports. Soler has only played 13 games with the AZL Cubs, but the club is hoping he can move somewhat quickly.

Over 50 at-bats so far, Soler has hit .260 with two homers and 10 RBI, plus he's 8-for-8 on stolen bases attempts. Jason McLeod, Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development, discussed how Soler has done well in adjusting to playing in the United States given his youth and relative inexperience playing in competitive professional leagues.

While McLeod wouldn't clarify where Soler might be promoted, Padilla speculates that it would likely be to short-season Single-A Boise, although he could eventually finish the season with Single-A Peoria if things continue to go well.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, head over to Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more comprehensive MLB prospect and draft coverage, visit Minor League Ball. And for more news and notes from around the league, check out Baseball Nation.

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Cubs Top Prospects 2012: Baez, Soler, Almora All Land In Baseball America's Updated Top 50

The Chicago Cubs landed three prospects- shortstop Javier Baez, right fielder Jorge Soler and center fielder Albert Almora- on the updated version of Baseball America's top 50 prospect list, as BA's Jim Callis wrote on Monday when the list was released.

On the updated list, Baez comes in as the No. 25 prospect in the game, while Almora slots in at No. 38 and Soler is ranked No. 44. Only players that were eligible as prospects before this season were ranked on the list, but drafted players and recent signees like Soler were slotted in between those rankings to designate where they might be placed.

Among recent draftees, only Minnesota's Byron Buxton, Houston's Carlos Correa, Seattle's Mike Zunino, Baltimore's Kevin Gausman, San Diego's Max Fried and Kansas City's Kyle Zimmer were ranked higher than Almora. Those six players consist of the five guys drafted before Almora and Fried, the player drafted after him.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, head over toCubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more comprehensive MLB prospect and draft coverage, visit Minor League Ball. And for more news and notes from around the league, check out Baseball Nation.

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Cubs Top Prospects 2012: Jorge Soler To Make Pro Debut On Thursday

Chicago Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler will make his professional debut with the organization's Arizona League affiliate on Thursday, as Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago reports. The Cubs officially signed the young Cuban outfielder to a nine-year, $30 million on June 30, after which he reported to the team's minor league facility in Arizona.

After spending some time working out with the organization in Mesa, Ariz., it appears that Soler will finally get into live game action on Thursday. When he was signed, the team didn't specify a timetable for his development, but the 20-year-old will presumably need a good deal of seasoning in the minor leagues.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Soler is expected to play right field going forward, but he'll be filling the designated hitter role in his pro debut on Thursday. The AZL Cubs, who currently have the league's top record at 17-5, will be facing the Mariners' AZL affiliate.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, head over toCubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more comprehensive MLB prospect and draft coverage, visit Minor League Ball. And for more news and notes from around the league, check out Baseball Nation.

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Cubs Top Prospects 2012: Keith Law Ranks Albert Almora, Jorge Soler In Top 50

ESPN's top prospect analyst, Keith Law, has released his latest Top 50 Prospects ratings -- and among the prospect are three newly-acquired members of the Chicago Cubs.

Law ranks SS Javier Baez, the Cubs' first round pick in the 2011 Amateur Draft, at No. 35, saying his power and speed have impressed, though his lack of patience may be problem. He also rates OF Albert Almora, the Cubs' first 2012 draft pick, at No. 47, saying Almora should be able to hit and defend at the big league level.

He also dropped OF Jorge Soler into the No. 50 spot. The Cubs acquired Soler as an international free agent out of Cuba, and the young outfielder remains a high-ceiling wild card for the north side:

50. Jorge Soler, OF, Chicago Cubs (age 20)
Current level: TBD
Preseason ranking: N/A

The toolsy outfielder should make his pro debut next week, at which point we'll start to see how polished he is, or isn't, as a hitter.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, head over to Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more comprehensive MLB prospect and draft coverage, visit Minor League Ball. And for more news and notes from around the league, check out Baseball Nation.

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Cubs Top Prospects 2012: OF Brett Jackson Ranked No. 87 By Marc Hulet

Analyst Marc Hulet of FanGraphs.com has released the first segment of his latest rendition of Top 100 Prospects -- and the prospect maven has OF Brett Jackson stuck at No. 87:

87. Brett Jackson, OF, Chicago NL: The list of prospect analysts that think Jackson is going to be a star at the big league level continues to dwindle. He should still be a decent regular but strikeouts continue to be an issue. He’s struck out 122 times in 82 games and has walked just 34 times. Jackson continues to tease with his power potential (.233 ISO) and speed (10 triples, 20 steals in 24 attempts). (Value Static)

Jackson has played 82 games at the Triple-A level in 2012 and now owns 12 homer and 20 steals. But the 23-year-old also has struck out in over a third of his plate appearances (33.8%) and walked in less than a tenth (9.4%).

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, head over to Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more comprehensive MLB prospect and draft coverage, visit Minor League Ball. And for more news and notes from around the league, check out Baseball Nation.

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2012 MLB Prospects: Keith Law Rates The Cubs Early Selections Highly

The Chicago Cubs have wrapped up their first-ever draft with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer at the helm, and now the gurus have begun weighing in on the front office's haul. According to prospect expert Keith Law, the Cubs made some prudent selections early in the 2012 MLB Draft:

Chicago Cubs Summary: Strong first few picks for the Cubs, leading with Albert Almora (1), a high-floor high school center fielder who still has star potential because of his bat and mature approach at the plate. Pierce Johnson (1A) might have been a first-rounder if he hadn't been felled by a forearm strain this spring; I worry about it becoming a recurring issue because of torque generated at the end of his delivery, but the stuff and results are first-round worthy, with No. 2 starter ceiling if he holds up.


Related: Should MLB Draft Coverage Allow For Failure?

The Cubs also selected a few mid-draft prospects who could blossom into something more impressive with a little time:

Josh Conway (4) was probably a top-50 pick before blowing out his elbow in May. Trey Lang (6) was an oddly used JC reliever and first baseman, a 6-3, 225-pound right-hander who can work at 90-94 but whose slider comes and goes.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, head over to Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more comprehensive MLB prospect and draft coverage, visit Minor League Ball. And for more news and notes from around the league, check out Baseball Nation.

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