Chicago Cubs Place Five Prospects in ZiPS Top 100, Including Kris Bryant at No. 1 (UPDATE)

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Chicago Cubs Place Five Prospects in ZiPS Top 100, Including Kris Bryant at No. 1 (UPDATE)

Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

cubs azl spring training logoIn addition to the magical lever-pulling and button-punching that Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projection system performs, it can be used to do something else fun: rank prospects by projected mean career WAR.

Those ZiPS 2015 prospect rankings are out today at ESPN, and you can think of them as another kind of top 100 prospect list (so far, we’ve seen Keith Law’s top 100 and MLB Pipeline’s top 100). In this one, the Cubs fare about as well as they have/are expected to in these things, placing five prospects in the top 100:

1. Kris Bryant
4. Addison Russell
19. Jorge Soler
55. Kyle Schwarber
57. Albert Almora

Those rankings are remarkably similar to MLB Pipeline’s list, which had each of Bryant, Russell, Soler, Schwarber, and Almora in roughly the same spot. The notable omission from that list, however, is C.J. Edwards (whom Law also omitted). He was 47 to MLB Pipeline’s crew, who were clearly less deterred by Edwards’ shoulder injury in 2014.

Szymborski is quick to remind folks of the limitations of algorithm-based rankings like this, but it’s also important to understand that they are entirely dispassionate and without human bias. It’s really interesting, then, to see how closely these prospects’ rankings match what the humans think about them.

Conclusion? Kris Bryant is the greatest player in history and Addison Russell is nipping at his heels. It will be incredible to watch them fight it out for MVP every single year (with several other Cubs players – and only Cubs players – factoring into the race). I presume Bryant will also win a couple Cy Young Awards.

UPDATE: Dan was kind enough to send a couple thoughts on Edwards:


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.