otter pumpkinFor as long as I can remember, I’ve loved Halloween. The pumpkins, the costumes, the candy … and the scares and the pranks. That there headline would be the prank of the day. Happy Halloween, chums. Boo.

  • Baseball America has kinda-sorta ranked the Cubs’ farm system as the fifth best in baseball. If that sounds a little low, and if you’re wondering why I say kinda-sorta, it’s because I can’t quite tell if this is their true organizational ranking, or if it’s a particularized one focused solely on near-term impact (I’m pretty sure it’s just the latter). They’ve employed a system whereby players closer to the bigs – by minor league level – provide more points for their farm system, so that’s why the Cubs are getting dinged (for example, Arismendy Alcantara is considerably more valuable in this system than Kris Bryant, even though the latter is arguably closer to reaching the big leagues, and is a much higher impact prospect). The Cubs are tied with the Royals for 5th, falling behind the Rangers, Padres, Astros, and Red Sox, in ascending order. In some ways, the ranking might be encouraging: even when weighted heavily toward AAA and AA, where the Cubs’ talent is not concentrated, the Cubs still land in the top five.
  • For his part, by the way, Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus says the Cubs’ system will be top three, at a minimum, and might be the top in baseball.
  • He’d never acknowledge it himself, so Jon Heyman does it for him: Theo Epstein played a huge part in this year’s Boston championship.
  • In AFL action yesterday, the Mesa Solar Sox won again, and Dallas Beeler chipped in with four scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked none, and struck out one. Wes Darvill represented the positional contingent in the game, going 1-5.
  • Unless I’ve missed it, Armando Rivero hasn’t appeared in an AFL game in about a week. He wasn’t pitching all that well of late.
  • The complex relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic could soon have an impact on international free agency, as well as young prospects from the DR who’ve already been signed. That impact is a little unclear (the issue relates to children of Haitian immigrants into the DR who might have trouble getting proper documentation to travel into the United States), but it’s something to keep an eye on.
  • Eric

    No fair, you didn’t give us a choice between trick or treat. You just went straight for the trick…

  • TheRiot2

    At least Brett didn’t charge for his trick.Happy Halloween to all BN followers and any ghoul trolls,lol.The two best sites to get all things Cubs,Bleacher Nation and Cubs Den. Thank you Brett and John for all you do.

  • TonyP

    :-/ I gasped so loud someone came over to my office to see what what was going on….. Don’t do that again please Brett….

  • Robbo

    Dude, don’t scare me like that with that headline. I about fell off my chair.

  • CardFan

    ..and here I was thinking you were moving to the ‘Lou and embracing the “evil empire”.

    Never too late, Ace…

  • Noah_I

    I’d say this: it’s clear that the Theo is trying to emulate the Red Sox here. From the ’07 championship team on he built a consistent winner based upon a solid, home grown base, and then adding in free agents to fill holes. He’d let players who he thought he could replace and would be overpaid in free agency leave, for the most part. Johnny Damon is the best example of that, of letting a very good player leave because someone else was willing to pay him as thought he were a great player. If you notice, when everything fell apart was when he deviated from that and brought in a bunch of big name free agents.

    Look at the guys that the Red Sox brought in this year, though, particularly Napoli and Victorino. These guys were both a tier above what the Cubs have brought in, but were clearly second tier, not first tier free agents. While you can’t get the second tier free agents super cheap, you can usually get them for a lot fewer years than the top guys.

    • X the Cubs Fan

      I think ownership is why brought in those big namers, but I agree.

  • Tony_S

    I just discovered this site this season, and have come to love it.

    I think I just peed a little.

    You’re an ass, Brett.

    Hat tip, Sir, nicely done.

  • RoscoeVillageFan

    So glad you were joking Brett. I’ve been on the site awhile and feel like it gets better and better. keep up the good work!

  • themusicbox

    One guy has a near heartattack, another peed himself, i prairy dogged a little… more of a shart really…. oops…

  • BWA

    Brett, you are now on my shit list!

  • Bill

    That was not cool!! My heart just dropped!! Happy Halloween to you and the fam.

  • Ivy Walls

    Question? If suddenly Szczur, Bryant, Alcantara and Baez appear in AAA along with Loosen, Castillo, Hendricks, Ramirez and Jokisch and begin to dominate AAA, than what will BA say, whereby Soler, Almora, Vogelbach, Darvell along with Black, Edwards, Pineryo, Johnson and Wang are dominating AA, what will they say?

    • Cubbie Blues

      To answer your first question, yes, that is a question. On your second question, my guess is they would say our Farm system is looking really good. But, that’s just my guess. /s

    • ssckelley

      Hopefully then they would have the Cubs ranked higher. On the other hand I am hoping to see a few graduate to the major league team next season as well.

  • Ed

    You got me on that one Brett. I thought finally wised up and fired Carrie Muskat and replaced her with you.

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