Chicago Cubs Place Three Prospects Inside the Top 50 of the Latest Top 100 List
For the third time this rankings season, the Chicago Cubs have placed three of their outfield prospects – Pete Crow-Armstrong, Brennen Davis, and Kevin Alcántara – in a fresh, pre-2023 top 100 list. That sounds about right.
But for the first time, those three outfield prospects aren’t just in the top 100, they’re in the top 50.
Keith Law’s preseason top 100 prospects list is out today at The Athletic, and PCA (26), Alcántara (29), and Davis (50) all land inside the top 50. No other Cubs prospects make the list.
Law, as you can see, is much higher on Alcántara and Davis than most lists, while having Crow-Armstrong in the same range he’s been landing in for all the other lists. With Davis, Law is still buying the athleticism and the swing, so if he can stay healthy this year, there’s no reason to knock him way down the list after 2022’s mostly lost season.
As for Alcántara, Law sees the sky-high potential:
In 2022, he moved to full-season ball at 19, hitting .273/.360/.451 for Myrtle Beach, historically a bad place for power hitters, finishing eighth in the Carolina League in slugging and 16th in OBP. (He hit .306/.368/.508 on the road, which would have led the league in slugging and put him 10th in OBP.) Alcántara has loose hands and a great swing with a strong first move toward the ball, after which he lets his legs do some of the work. He already recognizes spin well for his age and drives the ball to the opposite field, while he’s a plus runner who could stay in center even though he’s likely to add another 20-25 pounds of muscle. He carries some risk, as he’s 6-6 and has long levers, striking out 24.8 percent of the time last year. If he can hold that down, though, he could be a top-5 prospect in baseball in a year or two, a potential superstar with plus-plus power and speed in a solid or better center fielder.
When prospect folks discuss which Cubs prospect has the chance to explode into one of those true superstar 20/21-year-olds, that’s why Alcántara is a frequent answer. He has that kind of upside, which not many in the system do. I think seeing him this year at High-A South Bend is going to tell us a lot about whether he could really be that guy, or if he’ll still have work to do on the strikeout rate and the body as he fills out.
That said, three of the other NL Central teams has a guy like that right now – Jordan Walker (Cardinals), Jackson Chourio (Brewers), Elly De La Cruz (Reds) – and the Pirates have a loaded system otherwise. I really, really like the Chicago Cubs’ farm system right now, but it’s important to keep perspective: relative to the rest of the division, the Cubs’ system isn’t particularly special at the moment. They need some more big-time scouting and player development wins this year.