I must admit that I listen to sports radio from time to time, and when discussion of the Cubs' "plan" is broached, many times a caller(usually an older fella...sorry for the ageism) will complain about prospects being just that...prospects. Invariably saying something like this: "We seen it before, Corey Patterson, Felix Pie(pronounce Pie, like the Pie you eat), Gary Scott, Angel Goosman" (like how I inserted the poor pronounciation, grammar and spelling)
The problem is, the logic of the caller(and many posters on this site) is flawed...we haven't seen this before. Sure we have seen Cubs' prospects before, but with everything in our mostly awesome society...prospect evaluation has advanced to a state that has never been approached before. Prospect evaluation has improved in scope, analysis, availability, volume and every other synonym I didn't use. Baseball America has been ranking the top 100 prospects since 1983...there are now at least 5 prospect services as respected as BA...and even BA has improved immensly in their accuracy. Here is the history of BA's top 100(notice how much they have improved)
So when old-timers compare this current crop to the Gary Scotts' and Ty Griffins' of the world, it's not a fair comparison. Fangraphs, Keith Law's Top 100, etc...did not exist, there was not near the analysis nor consensus of that analysis there is today.
Will all of the Cubs prospects make it?
Has their ever been a time in history where high prospect rankings likely portend success as they do today?
Therefore the excitement is tangible, and no, it's not like anything we have ever seen before.