For this edition of the Minor League Report, the last before the draft that begins on Thursday, WSD will revise its Top 13 Prospects List without any new additions, simply re-ordering, based on success so far this season and projection as a teaser for the full new top prospects list that will be available shortly following the draft.
The Cubs have the second overall pick in the upcoming draft and one of their primary targets, Jonathan Gray, just tested positive for a banned substance, adderall, and it is expected to either not affect his draft stock or significantly help it as Houston may be even more inclined to take him when he cannot demand the same kind of signing bonus as he could have before. That would likely leave the Cubs with Stanford righty Mark Appel, who was expected to go number one last season before falling all the way to Pittsburgh at number eight and not signing at all.
SS Javier Baez (Previous: 1)
OF Jorge Soler (Previous: 2)
OF Albert Almora (Previous: 3)
SP Pierce Johnson (Previous: 8)
1B Dan Vogelbach (Previous: 6)
SS Arismendy Alcantara (Previous: 12)
3B Jeimer Candelario (Previous: 7)
SP Arodys Vizcaino (Previous: 4)
OF Brett Jackson (Previous: 5)
3B Christian Villanueva (Previous: 9)
RHP Duane Underwood (Previous: 11)
RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua (Previous: 10)
3B Josh Vitters (Previous: 13)
Baez and Soler have both had their ups and downs, whether it be a prolonged slump or a rage-induced suspension, but have both shown many encouraging signs as well, solidifying their positions atop the rankings. Almora missed significant time to begin the season and only recently reported to Kane County while Johnson has been very successful on the mound since a rough Opening Day performance. Vogelbach continues to show the power bat, and Candelario is still getting by. Alcantara has shown his offensive potential while struggling defensively with errors, much like Baez. Vizcaino and Paniagua have yet to throw a pitch in 2013, and neither Jackson nor Vitters has put up an undeniable case to show that they are still the prospects they once were. Villanueva may be turning a corner and Underwood is still in extended spring training.
Some of these players will no longer find themselves in the top thirteen after others have taken steps forward and emerged as solid prospects, not to mention the influx of talent that should come in from the draft pushing some off the list. Who should go and who will stay? The more that go will mean the better the draft was.