The league’s website MLB.com is set to release their Top 100 list of prospects for 2013 tomorrow. In the mean time, they have been compiling Top 10 prospect lists by position. On Friday I posted about Javier Baez making the honor roll for the shortstop position. Yesterday, the Top 10 list for first basemen was released and Cubs prospect Dan Vogelbach has made his way up to the eighth spot. The 2012 list featured two Cubs, with Vogelbach rounding out the list at tenth and current starting first baseman Anthony Rizzo featuring at the top.
Feb 21, 2012; Peoria, AZ, USA; A detailed view of a major league baseball during the Seattle Mariners full team workout during spring training at the Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Rizzo no longer being a prospect may be one reason why Vogelbach has inched his way up the short list, but considering that Vogelbach has been able to remain on this list deserves some credit. A second round pick by the Cubs in 2011, the left handed slugger possess raw power while also being able to hit for average. Sound familiar? The same could be said of Rizzo as he was making his way through the minors with the Red Sox, Padres, and early last year with the Cubs.
It took Rizzo four years before getting his MLB debut and his fifth season in pro ball to hold down a starting job. If Vogelbach can make the same progress, he would be in line to make his Major League arrival in 2016. However, if Rizzo is able to reach his potential and cement himself at first in Wrigley Field, Vogelbach’s debut is most likely to come in a uniform not featuring the Cubs blue pinstripes. Vogelbach has had weight issues coming out of high school, and with Rizzo blocking first base, it would be hard to see Vogelbach being able to find another position on the field. Prospects that can hit while looking for another position typically get shuffled into the outfield, but as fans saw with Bryan LaHair, it is not as easy a transition as one would think for a professional athlete.
Regardless, the Cubs front office will be rooting for Vogelbach to continue his progress, as the prospect would in turn be increasing his trade value. Considering that Theo Epstein and Company gave up promising pitcher Andrew Cashner for Rizzo, flipping Vogelbach sometime in the next couple of seasons would help the North Siders fill other needs on the roster. Such a trade could come as early as this coming 2013 season, with veterans such as Carlos Marmol, Matt Garza, and Alfonso Soriano on the trading block.