Baseball Prospectus Ranks Cubs Farm System 12th in Baseball

Social Navigation

Baseball Prospectus Ranks Cubs Farm System 12th in Baseball

Chicago Cubs News

cubs azl spring training logo

Now that you’ve read, dissected and analyzed the Bleacher Nation Top 40 Prospects and are aware of where each of them is heading as the Minor League seasons kick off today, the next logical step is to see how the Cubs organization ranks among the rest of the MLB systems, as a whole.

Fortunately, the team at Baseball Prospectus has compiled a set of 2016 Organizational Prospect rankings, with each team listed 1-30 and separated into tiers of good-ness.

There are a total of ten individual tiers – not equally spaced – and they are used to show the relative interchangeability of the teams within them, as well as the marginal differences between teams with larger drop offs. The Chicago Cubs come in at 12th overall, among the fourth best tier. But before we get to their ranking and BP’s thoughts, let’s check in on the overall rankings.

The upper most tier consists of the Los Angeles Dodgers (who are frequently considered to have the best minor league organization in baseball), the Atlanta Braves and the Colorado Rockies. The Pittsburgh Pirates (6) are the first to appear from the NL Central, coming in the second tier, and are followed by the Milwaukee Brewers (10 – third tier), Chicago Cubs (12 – fourth tier), Cincinnati Reds (14 – fifth tier) and St. Louis Cardinals (19 – fifth tier).

You might be fairly surprised to see the Cardinal’s ranked so low (worst in the NL Central, bottom half of the league), but even the the BP crew admits that they tend to develop a useful Major League piece out of nowhere using “devil magic.”(Excuse me, but I believe it’s voodoo).

Moving back to the Cubs, who, despite graduating several uber prospects over the past year and a half, still manage to only just miss the top ten of organizational rankings. Here’s what the writers at BP had to say:

The Cubs took a tumble after graduating Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Jorge Soler, and Kyle Schwarber. All they got out of it was four key cogs on a 97-win playoff team. Ho-hum. Losing that class would cause most systems to fall far further than this, but the Cubs reloaded in the draft (Ian Happ), internationally (Eddy Julio Martinez), and got high-upside arm Dylan Cease back on the mound. Add in a breakout season from catching convert Willson Contreras, and things are still looking rosy on the farm.

Indeed, things are looking rosy, and it’s hard not to like what you see coming out of the Cubs organization. In addition to Cease, Happ and Contreras, the Cubs also have a series of top prospects knocking on the door of the Major Leagues. For example, all of Albert Almora, Jeimer Candelario, Ryan Williams, Pierce Johnson and Carl Edwards Jr. are at or above AA, this year, and each could help out at the Major League level in 2016.

The Cubs may not be the juggernaut of a farm system they used to be, but they are still a strong system – one that’s better than average to at least one major publication (and far higher to Keith Law (and far lower to BA)). There is still far more to take in from the BP article, so I encourage you to give it a look. Each individual organization has it’s own mini-write up, so there’s plenty in there to uncover. Check it out!


Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.