The Chicago Cubs' Top Prospects List at ESPN is Out, and it is DEEP

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The Chicago Cubs’ Top Prospects List at ESPN is Out, and it is DEEP

Chicago Cubs

Over at ESPN, Kiley McDaniel has dropped his team top prospect rankings for the National League, including the Chicago Cubs farm system and it’s just about as robust as it gets, complete with grades for 53 Cubs prospects, a relatively deep write-up, and added rankings for prospects who would be in his top 200. Definitely check it out if you’re able.

You can immediately tell by the sheer volume of names that the Cubs have one of the deeper systems (as expected), but the best thing is that the Cubs have a whopping nine prospects in his top 150. By contrast, the Cardinals have 6, the Pirates have 6, the Brewers have 4, and the Reds have 6. Those systems all have higher-ranked impact prospects, and that matters a whole lot. But I’m just saying: see, the Cubs really do have more “legit prospects” than most systems. It’s deep.

In fact, the system is so deep that 18 Cubs prospects show up with a 40+ grade or higher. There are 26 at 40 or better. And the 53 named prospects all come at 35+ or better (i.e., guys who could have a big league future even if they don’t break out). It just makes me happy when national folks see the system the same way we do: deep, deep, deep.

As we knew from his top 100, McDaniel is the high man on lefty Jordan Wicks, who is, for him, the second best prospect in the system behind Pete Crow-Armstrong, and ahead of Kevin Alcántara. Cristian Hernández still has the shine for him, and is ranked 4th, with Hayden Wesneski, Owen Caissie, and James Triantos following as the other 50 FV guys. Brennen Davis and Alexander Canario finish off the top 150 guys, each getting a 45+ FV grade. That is definitely going to be the lowest you’ll see Davis ranked unless he really struggles this year.

Among the things that stand out to me from the rankings and the write-up …

  • It’s amazing how differently folks can see some of these Cubs prospects, with a guy like Porter Hodge a mere 35+ to McDaniel, but I know for a fact he’s going to be a top ten prospect to some others. We talked about how high Keith Law was on Kevin Made, but the young shortstop is a mere 40 for McDaniel. Infielder Jose Escobar (who hit very well in the DSL at 17) has been talked about by no one that I’ve seen, but he shows up as a 40 for McDaniel.
  • I have a feeling McDaniel bucketed these pitchers together just outside the top 9 (the top 150 guys), and then ordered them: Horton, Brown, Kilian, Herz, Ferris. Interesting, reasonable order. I could see any of them taking a big step forward this year, though. (Hey, how about all of them?)
  • Daniel Palencia shows up in the top 20 and gets McDaniel’s nod as his “breakout pick” among the 40+ guys, so maybe I’m wrong about him flying under the radar. Maybe he’s going to get an appropriate amount of love in rankings season.
  • Interesting that shortstop Derniche Valdez already gets a 40 FV, straight out of his IFA signing.
  • Some guys I really like who showed up only in the 35+ group: Hodge, Adan Sanchez, Jeremiah Estrada, Zac Leigh, Luis Verdugo, Pablo Aliendo, Jordan Nwogu, Luke Little. There are a ton of other big names in that group, though these are the guys I think could have been 40s (or better, in Hodge’s case).

Tons more to dig into with the rankings here.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.