Another day, another new take on the second best prospect in the Chicago Cubs system behind Brennen Davis. So far, the honor has been most often bestowed upon Cristian Hernandez, Pete Crow-Armstrong, and Kevin Alcantara. But in Kiley McDaniel’s latest reveal at ESPN, Owen Caissie takes home the crown.
1. Brennen Davis, CF, 60 FV (28th in Top 100)
2. Owen Caissie, LF, 50 FV (114)
3. James Triantos, 2B, 50 FV (115)
4. Cristian Hernandez, SS, 45+ FV
5. Pete Crow-Armstrong, CF, 45+ FV
6. Kevin Alcantara, CF, 45+ FV
7. Reggie Preciado, 3B, 45+ FV
8. Ed Howard, SS, 45 FV
9. Caleb Kilian, RHP, 45 FV
10. Jordan Wicks, LHP, 45 FV
In case you missed it, Caissie got into the Cubs Cactus League action yesterday, finishing 2-4 with a double and a pair of strikeouts.
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) March 22, 2022
McDaniel actually ranks all the Cubs prospects above a Future Value of 40 (what he calls “quality depth”), and just as we’ve been discussing all offseason, the Cubs actually rank FOURTH in MLB with 18 prospects at a 40+ Future Value or higher (you can see all of them ranked here at ESPN). That’s a really nice compliment, especially considering the Cubs overall organizational ranking (21st) and the fact that they landed just one prospect in this top-100, Brennen Davis, and it’s about as low of a ranking as he’s gotten (No. 28). Only the Pirates have more “quality depth” than the Cubs do in the National League.
But if you think for a second that McDaniel isn’t goo-goo about the Cubs system, you should take a look at his writeup at ESPN. Running down the list of non-top-100 prospects (so Caissie down), McDaniel has almost nothing but glowing reviews and expectations of improvement for each player above.
Just a taste …
• Caissie has “massive raw power”
• Hernandez was the “best in his international signing class, with a chance for above-average hit/power tools and to stick at shortstop”
• Crow-Armstrong “could be on the verge of jumping to a 50 FV this season”
• Alcantara “is a 6-foot-4 premium fit in center field. He’s only 19, but if everything clicks, he could be a superstar.”
• Kilian “is sneakily the best pitching prospect in the system”
I’m trying not to share too much, because the article is premium content at ESPN+, but it really is as glowing a review of the Cubs system as I’ve seen, and that coming from someone who ranks the Cubs system among the bottom ten organizations in baseball (it’s all about the average distance away from the majors, I gather).
Another trend I’m noticing: With Brennen Davis firmly at the top, it seems the Cubs have built a consensus top-7 prospects, in a variety of arrangements. You almost always see Caissie, Triantos, Hernandez, Crow-Armstrong, Alcantara, and Preciado following Davis in some order, but then it feels like there’s a meaningful gap before what comes next.
But even so, it’s not like Ed Howard, Caleb Kilian, Jordan Wicks, D.J. Herz (No. 11), Miguel Amaya (No. 12), Brailyn Márquez (No. 17), or Ryan Jensen (No. 18), to name just some, don’t have much to offer. This system is just legitimately so deep and exciting. I can’t wait to see who emerges.