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In addition to offering a top ten list of Chicago Cubs prospects, Baseball America also offers a comprehensive evaluation of the system, which I would encourage you to read. Among the highlights, of course, is the top ten list, itself:

1. Chris Archer, rhp

2. Brett Jackson, of

3. Trey McNutt, rhp

4. Hak-Ju Lee, ss

5. Josh Vitters, 3b

6. Chris Carpenter, rhp

7. Matt Szczur, of

8. Hayden Simpson, rhp

9. Rafael Dolis, rhp

10. Brandon Guyer, of

There is a little more variation in this list than the previous ones we’ve seen, at least outside of the top four – Josh Vitters remains relatively high, Rafael Dolis is much higher here than on other lists, and Matt Szczur makes a tantalizing appearance (I say tantalizing because, recall, he has not yet committed to playing baseball).

BA also goes through the most important tools a player can have, and lists the top player for that tool in the system:

Best Hitter for Average: D.J. LeMahieu

Best Power Hitter: Brett Jackson

Best Strike-Zone Discipline: Matt Cerda

Fastest Baserunner: Matt Szczur

Best Athlete: Matt Szczur

Best Fastball: Chris Archer

Best Curveball: Trey McNutt

Best Slider: Chris Archer

Best Changeup: Chris Rusin

Best Control: Chris Rusin

Best Defensive Catcher: Robinson Chirinos

Best Defensive Infielder: Darwin Barney

Best Infield Arm: Junior Lake

Best Defensive Outfielder: Brandon Guyer

Best Outfield Arm: Kyler Burke

In case you were wondering whether Chris Rusin was included because the Cubs are trying to dominate the name “Chris” in the minors like they dominate the name “Carlos” in the Majors, nah. He’s a legitimate prospect, but one you don’t hear much about. Drafted out of Kentucky in 2009, Rusin was a four-year starter in college, who has accelerated rapidly through the Cubs’ system – reaching AA Tennessee already – as you would hope for a 23 year old with such extensive college experience. He sports a 3.09 ERA in his minor league career with a 1.13 WHIP. That “Best Control” bit comes from the fact that he’s walked just 31 batters in 146 minor league innings.

BA, like most rankings, thinks highly of the Cubs’ system, overall. But, like most rankings, they don’t see the Cubs are particularly top-heavy – just very, very deep with very, very good (but not eye-popping) talent. They quote one ML scout who said that the system has the most future Major Leaguers out of any system in baseball. Yes, you’d love to have obvious superstars, but that’s a heck of a good sign right there.

  • umpirejim

    Funny but being a Cub Faithful for over 50 years I’ve heard this all before. Do you ever hear of the Cubs bringing up a can’t miss player like R.Howard ,Utley or Crawford. Nope! This organization needs a complete overhaul ! From Hendry on down.

    • Raymond Robert Koenig

      Agreed.

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