His was the last top 100 list and, since it was very light on top Cubs prospects relative to other lists, you could have hazarded a guess that Keith Law would also be the low man on the Cubs’ farm system on the whole.
Sure enough, while most rankings have the Cubs’ system continuing to climb into the 16 to 22 range, Law still has them in the bottom three organizations:
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) March 2, 2020
As you’d expect accompanying such a low ranking, Law is down on the Cubs’ drafts of recent years, and even still that group outpaces what the Cubs have managed internationally. The IFA criticism sure seems fair when you look at how few top international prospects are percolating up the Cubs’ top 30 lists – in fact, we probably haven’t criticized that area enough, and it was almost certainly a huge part of the farm org overhaul the last two years.
Yes, there are some guys “who could pop in 2020,” but if that sounds familiar, it’s because we say it every year (as Law, himself, notes). I can’t argue with Law’s rationale for having the Cubs’ system so low, though I think he’s a little too down on the Cubs’ top four prospects, and the pitching depth is coming along. That is to say, I think the rankings that have them much closer to 20 are more reasonable than ones that have them closer to 30 … but we’re kinda picking nits. The point remains: the Cubs have to actually get some of this talent to actually pop.
We’ll probably get an even better sense of the specific ways in which Law is down on the Cubs when their top 20 prospect list comes out later this week.
Only the Nationals and Brewers come in lower than the Cubs – neither is a huge surprise – and the Cardinals top the NL Central all the way up at number nine. Read his full farm write-ups here at The Athletic.