Rounding out a rankings week at ESPN, Keith Law has posted his individual team top ten lists, with a fair bit of discussion of each (including suggestions on where other notable prospects would have ranked 11 through 20). You can see them all at his blog if you’ve got ESPN Insider.
Since the Cubs article is premium, I won’t give you too much except to note a few interesting things.
Wow, Torres! As each Cubs top prospect list has come out, it seems there is more and more affection for the 18-year-old shortstop who had a blowout professional debut in 2014, and Law has Gleyber Torres as the 5th best prospect in the Cubs’ system. It’s also a surprise to see Duane Underwood ranked as the Cubs’ top pitching prospect, though Law did tease that in his farm system rankings.
Law is just about the highest we’ve seen on Jen-Ho Tseng, who comes in at 10, which is interesting given Law’s general preference for high upside over lower risk/lower ceiling types. I still really like Tseng to reach the big leagues, but I’m just not sure whether his stuff will play as well once he’s facing more advanced hitters.
In his piece, Law indicates that he likes a number of the Cubs’ lower-level pitching prospects in the 11 to 20 range, including all four of the Cubs’ early-round pitching selections last year (Justin Steele, Dylan Cease, Carson Sands, and Jake Stinnett). As you can tell from the fact that he’s not in the top 10, Law is not high on Pierce Johnson (whom I recall he didn’t like coming out of the draft back in 2012).
All in all, it’s a very interesting read – as are many of the other top tens that are rolling out today – and it underscores that, behind the Cubs’ obvious impact hitting talent at the top, there’s a lot of really interesting pitching depth that could break out this year.
If you missed any of the previous top Cubs lists this rankings season, you can see the discussion of BA’s list here, BP’s list here, Minor League Ball’s list here, FanGraphs’ list here, and regularly-updating MLB.com list here.