This could start some debates. Which is half the fun, right?
Keith Law’s rankings week at ESPN continues today with his top 100 prospect list, a day after he crowned the Chicago Cubs as the top farm system in baseball. So, how many, then, did the Cubs place in the top 100? 5? 8? 10? ALL THE PROSPECTS?
Nope. Just four.
The first three come in just about where you’d expect them, with Kris Bryant the top prospect overall, and Addison Russell behind only Bryant, Byron Buxton, and Carlos Correa. Jorge Soler is at 14, which is fair, though some lists will probably have him a bit higher.
And then there’s a huge chasm with no mention of the Cubs until you reach number 90, with Kyle Schwarber. Given Law’s earlier comments on Schwarber probably not sticking behind the plate, you can understand why he’d be lower on Schwarber than some (he was also relatively low on Schwarber pre-draft). But 90 is a far cry from, for example, where Ben Badler said he’d have Schwarber (in his personal top 20).
Realistically, the Cubs probably have about eight players in the running to make top 100 lists this year, including those four, together with pitchers C.J. Edwards and Pierce Johnson, and outfielders Albert Amora and Billy McKinney. Individually, I can see why each of those four might not make a top 100 list, but I’m surprised that none of the four (or a surprise like Gleyber Torres or Duane Underwood) didn’t sneak on the list, especially given Law’s praise for the Cubs’ system.
I suspect that it’s just a matter of those guys being slightly outside of the top 100 … and there are a ton of them. The Cubs have high impact talent, and they’ve also got a lot of quality depth. So maybe there’s not much conflict here at all.
In any case, having three of the top 14 prospects, according to Law, is fantastic, especially with two of the four best.