ETA: Opening Day 2015
MLB Prospect Ranking: 1
It's no secret that the Cubs' future man at the "hot corner" has been on a tear this season. In fact, he's been on a tear ever since he became a professional baseball player. He started last season by dominating the lower levels of the minor leagues. He proceeded to win the MVP of the Arizona Fall League, the league with some of the best up-and-coming prospects in all of baseball. All he did to follow that up this season is work his way through Double-A and Triple-A while slugging 32 home runs and driving in 82 runs, both of which are tops in all of minor league baseball.
It appears that Bryant will remain at third base when he reaches the major leagues as the team recently moved fellow top prospect Javier Baez to second base. Previously, it was thought that perhaps Bryant would move to a corner outfield spot with Baez taking over at third base. Now, it seems that Bryant will be staying at his natural position.
Theo Epstein and the Cubs' front office has repeatedly said they won't call Bryant up to the major leagues this season and seems like that's a safe bet. This front office hasn't rushed any top prospects and they haven't wavered from statements they've made publicly. The most likely scenario is that Bryant ends up as the team's Opening Day starter at third base in 2015.
2. SS Addison Russell
ETA: Early 2015
MLB Prospect Ranking: 4
The key piece to the Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel trade, Russell is the best prospect that will switch teams this season. He opened the season as the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball and hasn't done much to stifle people's hopes for him. While he tore his hamstring early on in the season, he's back on track and could be in Chicago by early next season.
3. SS Javier Baez
ETA: August, 2014
MLB Prospect Ranking: 7
Baez could be headed to Chicago in the near future. He was moved to second base coming out of the all-star break, which could be indicative of a call-up very soon. The team moved OF Junior Lake to the outfield in preparation for the big league call up last season and played him just six games there before promoting him. If history does in fact repeat itself, Baez could be on the Cubs before the trade deadline.
4. 2B Arismendy Alcantara
ETA: Already Arrived
MLB Prospect Ranking: 29
Alcantara is both the Cubs most underrated prospect and hottest prospect. Every year for five seasons, Alcantara trudged his way through one level of minor league baseball. He always showed promise, but injuries kept him from taking that next step in his development. That was until last season.
Given the fact he's spent time in the outfield in the minor leagues, it's likely he will move there as soon as top prospect Javier Baez gets the call up. In the next few weeks, Javier Baez could be the team's starting second baseman with Alcantara manning centerfield for the remaining of the year.
5. OF Albert Almora
ETA: Opening Day 2016
MLB Prospect Ranking: 34
Almora was the Cubs' first round pick in 2012, going sixth overall. Taken out of high school, Almora is highly touted as a multiple tool player and natural born leader. He still has some lumps to take in the minor leagues before reaching Chicago, but he's gotten hot as of late. Should he continue on that track, he could be in Chicago by midseason 2015. At the latest, Almora seems destined to be the Cubs' everyday center fielder by Opening Day 2016.