(CBS) Talk about an embarrassment of riches of young talent for the Cubs.
After leading all levels of baseball with 43 homers in 2014 and being named the minor league player of the year, third baseman Kris Bryant isn’t even tabbed as the Cubs’ top prospect any longer. That honor has been bestowed upon star shortstop Addison Russell, according to Baseball Prospectus, which released new rankings Friday.
Here’s a look at Chicago’s top 10 prospects, according to Baseball Prospectus.
1. Addison Russell, SS
2. Kris Bryant, 3B
3. Jorge Soler, OF
4. Albert Almora, OF
5. Kyle Schwarber, C
6. Billy McKinney, OF
7. Pierce Johnson, RHP
8. Gleyber Torres, SS
9. Dan Vogelbach, 1B
10. Carson Sands, LHP
Both Russell and Bryant have long been considered top-10 prospects in all of baseball.
The 20-year-old Russell is renowned for his defense and hit tool and projects to have decent power for his position. He hit .295 with 13 homers and 45 RBIs in 68 games combined in the Oakland and Chicago farm systems in 2014. He dealt with injuries early in the year before coming to the Cubs in a trade that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s.
Russell finished the season at Double-A Tennessee. He could get a call-up to the Cubs in the second half of 2015.
“This young man is going to be a hitter of consequence in the big leagues,” a scout told 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine in September. “He has great bat speed and is a strong kid. His body may outgrow the shortstop position. He is only 20. For now, he can play shortstop and play it well.”
A notable omission from the Cubs’ top prospect list was right-hander C.J. Edwards, who dealt with shoulder injuries for much of 2014. He recently said he feels stronger after a quality short season in the Arizona Fall League.