cubs azl spring training logoThe Chicago Cubs’ overall farm system ranking this year has been something of a roller coaster, from the nadir of Baseball America (20th) to the almost unnerving peak of Keith Law (4th). Given how many impact prospects the Cubs graduated in the past year, a ranking in the top five of baseball was hard to grasp. Then again, given how many exciting prospects remain in the Cubs’ extraordinarily deep system, a ranking in the bottom 10 or 11 was hard to accept.

So, how about a near happy medium: 14th.

That’s where MiLB.com’s new farm system rankings place the Chicago Cubs, and it’s hard to say that’s unreasonable.



I’d probably have them a notch or two higher, but that’s (1) picking nits, and (2) coming from someone who is infinitely more familiar with the Cubs’ system than any other in baseball (let alone all 29 other systems).

Of the Cubs’ system, MiLB.com has this to say:

What’s scary is that Chicago still has bona fide top-100 prospects in Gleyber Torres, Willson Contreras, Ian Happ, Albert Almora and Billy McKinney. Right-handers Duane Underwood and Dylan Cease also got spots on various top-100 lists as well. Is there a future Kris Bryant, Addison Russell or Kyle Schwarber in that group? Probably not, although Torres has plenty of potential as a teenager and Contreras could be of Major League service this season behind the plate.



From where I sit, the Cubs are among the organizations well positioned to jump up in the rankings next year, despite the fact that they won’t pick in this year’s draft until the third round and will be in the IFA penalty box starting in July. That’s because so much of the farm system’s potential impact talent is relatively young, and hasn’t yet fully broken out. That’s not to say it’s a lock that any will break out, but I like the chances that some will.

You can see the rankings for yourself here, and you’ll note that the rebuilding Reds and Brewers fall in a couple spots ahead of the Cubs, with the Pirates a few spots ahead of that (8th). The Cardinals bring up the rear in the NL Central at 18th.




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