The rankings week for ESPN’s Keith Law is upon us, and he’ll soon be dropping his top 100 prospect list, as well as team-specific rankings.
In reverse from many of the other prospecting outlets, Law starts his set of rankings with the overall farm system rankings, which just came out. The Chicago Cubs land in the number four spot, primarily on the strength of the Big Four offensive prospects. The system lacks big-time arms, Law cautions, which is something that surprises no one.
The Cubs are behind the top overall system, according to Law, which is the Astros, as well as the Twins and Pirates. Together, those four seem to be considered by most to be the top four in the game in some order, with the Red Sox – who came in at number five – right there as well. (The Cardinals, for what it’s worth, come in at number 12, though that is in large part due to some high profile graduations. They’re still, sadly, a young and talented organization. The Reds are at 16, and the Brewers are dead last.) If you want to read more about each system and/or see the full list, you’ll need to be an ESPN Insider.
For those keeping track at home, the Cubs are up a spot in Law’s eyes since last year, when he ranked them fifth. Given that they’ve since added Kris Bryant, Rob Zastryzny, C.J. Edwards, Mike Olt, Neil Ramirez, Corey Black, and Eloy Jimenez, among others, I would certainly hope the Cubs moved up. It’s funny to look back on that ranking and remember that, at the time, being viewed as the 5th best farm system in the game was something of a pleasant surprise. Now, being ranked fourth feels like damning with faint praise.
But that’s just us being silly.