Full Top 30 Chicago Cubs Prospects Lists Out for BA and MLB Pipeline

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Full Top 30 Chicago Cubs Prospects Lists Out for BA and MLB Pipeline

Chicago Cubs

If you want to pore over a couple top 30 Chicago Cubs prospects lists today, you’re in luck. I will be spending a lot of time looking at these.

The new MLB Pipeline list just dropped, which you can pair with the Baseball America list, which was revealed in full last week:

Among the things I noticed …

  • 19 of the top 30 at MLB Pipeline are projected to arrive in the big leagues in 2023 or 2024. That’s a lot of near-term talent, which is not something we necessarily hear a whole lot about the Cubs’ system.
  • Both lists have the Cubs almost exactly balanced 50/50 on positional and pitching prospects. Nice to see.
  • There are noticeable disagreements here and there, but for the most part, you see a few tiers in the system where there is more agreement than disagreement. You’ve got the top three (Pete Crow-Armstrong, Kevin Alcántara, and Brennen Davis), of course, and then you’ve got a chunk, in different orders, that generally includes Cade Horton, Matt Mervis, Cristian Hernández, Ben Brown, Hayden Wesneski, and Jordan Wicks. Then you’ve got a big chunk where you’ll find the James Triantos and Owen Caissie and Alexander Canario and Jackson Ferris and Miguel Amaya and Daniel Palencia and Moises Ballesteros and D.J. Herz types. Beyond that, and even within that to some extent, you just see wildly different rankings, because these are all guys we know are legit prospects, but you’re gonna be picking your own flavor, to some extent.
  • Caleb Kilian fell all the way to 18 for Pipeline, but is hanging on, just barely, inside the top 10 at BA. Look at why Kilian fell, though, and think back on what we just learned about his knee injury last year: “Kilian seemed tentative while with Chicago and rarely looked comfortable in 2022, when he didn’t use his lower half well and leaked open in his delivery.” I’m not saying getting the knee right automatically fixes him completely, but I will say that the knee does seem to be managed now, and good lord did Kilian look good in his spring debut.
  • The opinions on Jordan Wicks sure do still seem to diverge wildly. We saw that Kiley McDaniel had Wicks as a near top 50 prospect in all of baseball, Pipeline has him as the 6th best prospect in the system, and BA has him 11th. I’m guessing the huge variance there probably comes from how much you do or do not buy the development of his breaking pitches last year. Those will probably be the difference between a mid-rotation big league starter and a back-end/fringe guy/innings-eater.
  • Always fun to see the guys at the back of these lists that you can tell each service was like, “We have to sneak this guy on.” For Pipeline, it’s lefty Drew Gray, righty Ryan Jensen, and righty Nazier Mulé; for BA, it’s righty Luis Devers, righty Cam Sanders, and catcher Pablo Aliendo. Both lists barely sneak in righties Kohl Franklin and Riley Thompson.
  • Righty Porter Hodge at 21/22 on these lists. I get it, completely, and there’s a lot of densely-packed talent above him, but those rankings are going to prove too low.
  • Fresh IFA signing Derniche Valdez, a shortstop from the DR, debuts all the way up at 19 for Pipeline. BA does not include him yet.

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.