Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

cubs azl spring training logoWhen we get into farm system rankings season, typically near the start of the next season, the Chicago Cubs will probably fare reasonably well. Although they graduated their core, impact prospects last year, there’s still a very strong group on the farm.

But, for now, the Cubs find themselves near the middle of the pack as far as minor league system rankings are concerned. Statistically speaking, that is.

At the end of the season, FanGraphs’ Tony Blengino ranked all 30 team’s farm systems in a way different than most. Blengino focuses on organizational depth and takes a purely statistical slant on evaluating players and systems. For more on his methodology and full organizational rankings, I strongly encourage you to read his FanGraphs piece here.

The Rays are Blengino’s top-ranked farm system, while the Astros, Rangers, Indians and Red Sox round out the top five. The Marlins are the lowest-rated farm system by Blengino’s standards, with the Giants, Orioles, Angels and White Sox rounding out the bottom five.

So, where do the Cubs rank? Twelfth.

As expected, the Cubs farm is being carried by the bats. Blengino ranks Cubs hitters fifth, with only the Astros (1), Indians (2), Rays (3) and Phillies (4) ranking ahead of the Cubs.

Unfortunately for the Cubs’ minor league system, the pitching ranks on the other end of the spectrum, sliding in at 24th. The only teams with lower rated organizational pitching are the Orioles (30), Padres (29), Marlins (28), Pirates (27), Mets (26) and Giants (25).

This seems to make sense considering how the organization has been able to find, develop and send quality hitters to The Show, but hasn’t yet accomplished the same with its pitchers.

Per Blengino’s rankings, the division-rival Brewers made the biggest leap as the organization climbed all the way to 11th after being ranked 23rd in position player depth and 28th in pitching two years ago.

And that makes their minor league system the best among National League Central teams with the Cubs (12), Reds (15), Pirates (16) and Cardinals (19) rounding out the rest of the division.

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