Keith Law's Top Cubs Prospects and Discussion

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Keith Law’s Top Cubs Prospects and Discussion

Chicago Cubs

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Following up his Top 100 MLB Prospects list, Keith Law has just released his individual team top ten lists, with a fair bit of discussion of each (including additional info on the guys that just missed the top 100, guys that have lost value, organizational sleepers and much more), plus several prospects who are just outside the top ten.

Since the Cubs article is premium, I can’t give you too much besides a few interesting bits and then my own discussion.

You already know who the Cubs top six prospects are, because of the top 100, but you’ll be happy to know that Eddy Julio Martinez lands smack dab at number 7. Moreover, Law adds that Martinez “just missed” the top 100, which aligns interestingly with Baseball Prospectus, which has Martinez falling in at 97. Not unlike the Cubs’ uniquely vertical potential back in 2015, I think that Martinez has a big year ahead of him. Having originally been as highly touted as anyone, his stock fell a bit once the final details of his contract were announced (he was much cheaper than expected). Still, the only consistent thing we’ve heard about Martinez is that no one knows what the Cubs have in him. So few eyes have seen him play, he is a true wild card with plenty of boom or bust potential in 2016.

Oscar De La Cruz just misses Law’s Cubs top ten, but continues to draw praise from around baseball. Law calls him a sleeper, and expects that he could finish the season as the second best pitching prospect in the Cubs system, after Dylan Cease. De La Cruz needs to tighten up his off-speed stuff, but has excellent control and command of his fastball that sits 92-95 MPH. De La Cruz will start out at Low-A South Bend in 2016.

Law is a bit lower on the potential starting futures of Pierce Johnson and Carl Edwards Jr., but believes the latter could ultimately be an impact reliever as soon as this season. While we always hoped Edwards would defy the odds and stick as a starter, it was always a less likely outcome. Still, he can have a very big impact and productive career as a Cubs reliever and that would be just swell.

One more pitcher to mention, who falls outside Law’s top ten, but who doesn’t get a ton of attention in these kinds of rankings: righty Brad Markey. If you missed his impressive 2015 season (especially considering his draft situation), you can check out more on him here. Overslot 2015 draft D.J. Wilson also comes in for a bit of discussion, and he’s definitely going to be a player to watch this year.

All in all, Law’s take is a very interesting read and there is so much more in there to check out. I really agree with the order of his rankings, and I see it as close to mine as any list yet. Law is a bit higher on the Cubs system than anyone else (having ranked them the fourth best system in baseball), but that shouldn’t affect the relative order of the top 10.

The Cubs system isn’t what it used to be, but very few system have ever been what the Cubs were in 2014-2015. For now, they still have some impact talent at the top and as much depth as any organization in baseball.

If you missed any of the previous top Cubs lists this rankings season, you can see the discussion of Minor League Ball’s list here, Baseball America’s list here, and FanGraphs’ list here.

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami