The latest midseason top 100 prospect update is out, and it looks a lot like the others we’ve seen so far. Which means there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that Brennen Davis is a consensus top 15/20 prospect in baseball, as MLB Pipeline has vaulted him all the way up to number 14 on their new list. Davis was 61 in the preseason rankings. He celebrated by homering last night, probably:
That one is not coming back.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 19, 2021
Davis, 21, is up to a .272/.396/.530 line at Double-A Tennessee, good for a 155 wRC+, which leads the Double-A South by 11 points. No one within 20 spots of him is even as young as 22. Yes, what he’s doing is special, and being a consensus top 20 prospect is quite deserved.
Ah, but I mentioned there was bad news. That’s because the only other Cubs prospect in the top 100 is Brailyn Marquez, all the way down at number 95. It’s an understandable slip for a guy who basically hasn’t pitched in two years, and I suspect most other top 100s won’t feature him at all. We’ll need to see how he looks coming off a strained shoulder, and whether he can translate his unique delivery to a starting role at the higher level of the minors. You just don’t see too many guys with his delivery and his body stick as starting pitchers, and it’ll be up to him to demonstrate that he can repeat that delivery through 5+ inning outings without completely losing control or sacrificing stuff/velocity. But since he’s been out this year, he’s had no such chance to demonstrate it. Thus, a fall in the rankings.
The related bad news is that no other Cubs prospects made the top 100. There are a number of borderline guys, but all are either injured or on the very young, very high-risk side of things. All in that group – it’s basically every top ten Cubs prospect – will simply have to show more, healthily and at a higher level, before they’ll be seriously considered for top 100 lists. It’s not a reason to lose optimism on what has happened to the farm system this year – I’m very excited – but it’s just a reminder that you actually have to translate all that youthful potential into better and better production as the prospects climb the latter. That’s what the final month is for, and then offseason ball, and then the 2022 season. It’s a long process, but the bones are most definitely there.