Last night, Baseball America unveiled its top 100 prospect list, and, as many were expecting thanks to a low farm system ranking (about which, more later), the Chicago Cubs didn’t fare too well:
41. Gleyber Torres, SS
67. Willson Contreras, C
87. Ian Happ, 2B/OF
If there were going to be just three, those are the three you’d expect to see. Moreover, they are each very roughly in the areas of the top 100 where we’ve come to expect them (Keith Law’s particularly affection for that trio notwithstanding).
That is all to say, I don’t think BA is totally out on an island with its ranking of these three prospects.
The big difference, then, with these rankings and the set we’ve seen from MLB Pipeline, BP, and Keith Law, is that each of those rankings had an additional three Cubs prospects sliding into the second half of the top 100.
BA and its sources are clearly not as high on outfielders Albert Almora and Billy McKinney, each of whom made the other lists. Duane Underwood, Eddy Julio Martinez, and Dylan Cease also made at least one of the other lists, but do not show up on the BA list. I can definitely understand that, given that each of that trio is almost entirely upside, without much of a track record yet, especially in anything but the lower minors (at most).Almora and McKinney seem, to me, to be top 100 types, but it’s not like I know every prospect in the game, or speak regularly to sources all around the league about prospects. That’s BA’s job, and, historically, they do it well.
In the end, I take this as a nice plaudit for Torres, Contreras, and Happ, and we’ll just have to see how the season plays out for the rest of the Cubs’ prospects. We know that they have a ton of legitimate breakout candidates.