The Chicago Cubs already had one of the most impressive collections of talent in their Minor League system heading into the 2014 season. As the calendar gets set to turn to August, they've gotten even better.
The Cubs placed eight players -- more than any other organization -- on the updated MLB.com Top 100 Prospects list released Sunday night, which also welcomed 11 players from the 2014 First-Year Player Draft into its ranks.
Third baseman Kris Bryant, the second overall pick in the 2013 Draft, leads Chicago's contingent. On the strength of a 2014 season in which he has batted .339/.435/.680 in 103 games between Double-A and Triple-A, Bryant leapfrogged his teammate Javier Baez to take over as the Cubs' top rated prospect. Baez checks in at No. 6 in the Top 100, followed one spot later by fellow shortstop Addison Russell, acquired by the Cubs this month from the Athletics.
Along with Bryant, Baez and Russell, the Cubs also count Arismendy Alcantara, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, C.J. Edwards and Kyle Schwarber among the Top 100. Chicago's 520 "prospect points" -- adding up the inverse value of the player's placing in the Top 100 rankings (100 points for No. 1, 99 points for No. 2, etc.) -- are the most of any organization.
The designation of top prospect in the game still belongs to Minnesota outfielder Byron Buxton, who has battled through a wrist injury, but is now healthy and seeing regular action for Class A Advanced Fort Myers. Buxton and Twins' third-base prospect Miguel Sano, out for the season following Tommy John surgery, lead a Minnesota class that checks in with 459 prospect points, second-most in the game.
Texas prospect Joey Gallo's stock has risen nearly as powerfully as one of his legendary home runs. The Minor Leagues' long ball leader stands as the ninth-best overall prospect in the game -- after starting the year at No. 92 -- and the top player for the Rangers.
Like Gallo, Dodgers prospect Julio Urias was a Futures Game participant who made headlines in the showcase event this month, and also like Gallo, Urias made a big leap in the Top 100. The 17-year-old left-hander moved from No. 64 to No. 18 overall and up to No. 2 in the Dodgers system.
Top Washington prospect Lucas Giolito also rocketed up the rankings, checking in just outside the Top 10. Giolito, the top Nationals prospect and No. 11 overall, has posted a 6-2 record and a 2.34 ERA in 16 starts for Class A Hagerstown this season, striking out 88 batters in 77 innings and walking just 25.
Headlining the eight additions to the list from the Draft class of 2014 was this year's No. 3 selection, Carlos Rodon, who is MLB.com's No. 23 prospect and No. 1 for the White Sox. Chicago has started the North Carolina State product in the Arizona League after signing him to the largest bonus in franchise history last month.
Of the 30 Major League clubs, 28 claim at least one Top 100 prospect with only the Tigers and Rays not placing a player on the list.