In the farm system rankings we’ve seen so far from Baseball America and Keith Law, there was a bit of a theme for the Chicago Cubs’ system: it is way up from last year, the depth is really strong, the ready-made impact guys are almost entirely absent, thus it is middle-of-the-pack with a chance to climb further this year. All fair to me.
But, hey, if you want to be even bolder than that, it’s not like I won’t smile.
The latest farm rankings from Baseball Prospectus are MUCH higher on the Cubs’ system. Like, one of the best in the game higher.
— Baseball Prospectus (@baseballpro) February 8, 2022
You may recall that BP’s top 100 list – and just outside list – was much heavier on Cubs prospects than most other lists (Brennen Davis (27), Owen Caissie (67), Reggie Preciado (79), and James Triantos (101), with Kevin Alcantara and Pete Crow-Armstrong just outside). So I was tentatively expecting BP to be a little higher on the Cubs’ system than the rankings we’d seen recently from BA and Keith Law.
But 7th! Again with the wow. That’s a lofty ranking for a farm system that was, by all services, a bottom ten group just a year ago. We’ve talked all offseason about the improvements we’ve seen – both in talent coming in the door, and the development infrastructure – but I was thinking top 7-ish wouldn’t be reachable until the Cubs actually saw some of these youngsters show out in the first half of this season. I mean, heck, I was really excited to see the Cubs’ system landing middle of the pack for now!
We’ll see where things shake out at places like MLB Pipeline and FanGraphs. You’re never going to get “consensus” on a farm system, especially one as uniquely shaped as the Cubs’ is right now. It’s nice to see a prospecting site so high on the Cubs. It’s fun. I like it. But I do want to keep the heads square that, ultimately, all of these evaluations are saying the same thing: the Cubs have amassed a surprising amount of legitimate talent in a short period of time, but it is generally all so far away from the big leagues that the development from here has to be excellent to actually translate all that depth and talent into big league impact. It’s a long way to go. Great start, though, and you can’t deny the excitement percolating.