I think it will be interesting to see if the Chicago Cubs can pull off a clean sweep this year when it comes to being named the top farm system in baseball.
No, the plaudits don’t give a team any extra wins in the 2015 standings, but they do reinforce the idea that what the Cubs have set about doing over the past three years – accumulating young talent and strengthening their system (in terms of players, as well as scouting and development) – has been a huge success.*
So far, ESPN’s Keith Law tabbed the Cubs as the top farm system in baseball (and suggested it wasn’t even close), and now two more have joined him: the Sporting News/Perfect Game, and Baseball America (via the BA Handbook). Very nice to see, and seems correct, given the Cubs’ large set of impact prospects in the upper minors, and then deep pool of high-upside talent in the lower minors.
After the Cubs graduate Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler (and maybe Addison Russell, too; and maybe some prospects used in midseason trades), though, it’ll be interesting to see how their ranking shakes out heading into next year. The Cubs will have another quality prospect coming in the form of the 9th overall pick this year, and the hope is that a number of those high-upside lower-level guys really break out.
*(Also, I’m not convinced that it doesn’t help in a tangible way, too, when other organizations are evaluating Cubs prospects for the purposes of trade. Yes, they all have their own internal mechanisms that are far more robust and particularized than the external rankings services. But, I’m just saying, these kinds of universal plaudits have to creep into the minds of others. Just a little bit. They’re only human.)