The FanGraphs Top 100 Prospect List Just Dropped, Featuring Four Cubs Prospects

Our second to last of the major top 100 rankings for rankings season has arrived (unless I’m missing one, I think Prospects Live is the final major one).

It’s the new FanGraphs top 100 from Eric Longenhagen and Tess Taruskin, and it features four Chicago Cubs prospects making the cut.

As has been the story all rankings season, Pete Crow-Armstrong is way up there, and then it’s kind of a “who do you like best” among the Cubs’ many other borderline top-100 candidates:

14. OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, 60 FV

73. OF Kevin Alcántara, 50 FV

88. RHP Hayden Wesneski, 50 FV

100. SS Cristian Hernández, 50 FV

A whole lot of things jump out at me instantly …

  • That’s the high mark for PCA this rankings season, and a 60(!) FV? Wow. Granted, he is the last of the 60 FVs on the list, but still. That’s an incredibly high compliment – I mean, Crow-Armstrong is immediately behind Jordan Walker(!) and Francisco Alvarez(!) on the list. In case you needed context for just how highly FG is regarding him.
  • That’s one of the higher rankings for Alcántara that we’ve seen, and it’s possible it still looks oopsie low within just a couple months of the regular season kicking off. The 50s start at number 39, by the way (Kodai Senga), and they conclude at number 112. It’s a huge group of the “very good prospects,” and Alcántara is a little closer to the front than the back. It’s high praise for a guy who hasn’t played above Low-A. No question.
  • Speaking of high praise, the fact that Hernández snuck into the top-100 even coming off a non-breakout season in the ACL means that the scouts are still quite high on the former IFA bonus baby. Hernández is likely to get the tough assignment of Low-A Myrtle Beach at 19, and if he can take a step forward, he’ll fly up most top-100 lists. My guess is that, by the end of this season, Hernández is either on every top-100 list out there … or none of them.
  • Hey, finally some significant love for Wesneski, who was not seen as this caliber of prospect before the Cubs acquired him last year at the deadline for Scott Effross. But when you see a guy showing plus pitches in the big leagues and the ability to stick in the rotation, I think that should go a long way to boosting his prospect ranking. I think there are still justifiable questions about whether Wesneski’s non-slider pitches will step forward enough for him to be a mid-rotation starter, but I tend to think it’s possible enough that a 50 FV grade is also justifiable at this point. And if you are already at the Triple-A/MLB border and have a decent chance at mid-rotation upside in the big leagues, you’re a top-100 prospect in my book.
  • We’ve now seen a whopping eight individual prospects named on top-100 lists (the above four, plus Brennen Davis, Matt Mervis, Owen Caissie, and Jordan Wicks), with numerous others seen as awfully close (Cade Horton being the most frequently mentioned).

    That isn’t to say the Cubs have eight or nine “top-100 prospects” – you generally want to see a guy on at least a few of these lists before you’d give him that label – but it does underscore just how many prospects they have that are POSSIBLE top-100 prospects, even in the very near-term. These are all guys who’d be on MOST mid-season top-100 lists if they put together a great first few months of the season. That won’t happen, of course, and it’s also possible there will be graduations.

    The story generally remains the same as what we’ve seen since January: the Cubs’ system is appreciated for being very deep, but outside of Pete Crow-Armstrong, they do not yet have the kinds of big-time impact prospects who are going to get into that top-30 range. You’d love to see a couple guys break out this year into that range, of course.

    written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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