Keith Law of ESPN.com and Scouts, Inc. released his annual prospect lists and organizational rankings earlier in the week, as well as his list of the Top 100 prospects in all of baseball.
Law was rather complimentary of the Cubs’ system in the wake of dealing two of the top prospects in the organization for Matt Garza. Law is a big fan of Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee and his ranking of both players in his top 100 proved the point.
Law ranked the Cubs’ system 20th in the game and said the Cubs were a top 10 system before the Garza deal. Law pointed out that the Cubs system is “loaded with high-floor players who have the potential to be above average or better big leaguers but aren’t there yet. Considering all the picks they’ve given up to sign free agents, it’s remarkable how strong the system still is after the giant trade with Tampa Bay.”
1. Trey McNutt, RHP
2. Brett Jackson, OF
3. Chris Carpenter, RHP
4. Josh Vitters, 3B
5. Jay Jackson, RHP
6. Hayden Simpson, RHP
7. Robinson Lopez, RHP
8. Brooks Raley, LHP
9. Reggie Golden, OF
10. Matt Szczur, OF
Trey McNutt checked in at number 66 in Law’s list of the top 100 prospects in the game, the only Cubs’ farm hand to crack the top 100. Law is very high on McNutt and feels he has a promising future. Law mentioned on XM Radio that McNutt could end up in the top 20 next year if he’s not already in the big leagues by the end of the 2011 season.
Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, Chris Carpenter and Jay Jackson were four of the 10 players that just missed Law’s list of the top 100 prospects. Jackson would have been number 101 if Law’s list went deeper.
According to Keith Law, Brett Jackson projects “as an average big leaguer at this point, solid across the board but lacking a plus tool.” Law thinks he will be a big leaguer at some point.
MLB.com ranked Brett Jackson the 46th best prospect in the game during their prospects show on the MLB Network last Tuesday.
Law saw Josh Vitters in the Arizona Fall League and he complimented Vitters’ defense (said it was the best he’d seen Vitters play third). Vitters still has the beautiful swing but still swings at every pitch he likes.
Chris Carpenter could be a starter or a reliever. Law pointed out the impressive AFL (Arizona Fall League) season Carpenter had as a reliever. Carpenter has a four-pitch mix with an above average slider. Carpenter could have an impact out of the pen this season according to the report.
Law was high on Jay Jackson before 2010. Jackson’s velocity dropped last season at the end of the summer … and that seemed to sour Law on Jackson’s future.
As for Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee, Archer checked in as the fourth best prospect in the Rays system and Lee came in at number five. As for the top 100, Archer made the list as the 40th best prospect in the game and Lee was ranked 49th.
It is always interesting to read the varying opinions on the same system. While some of the names might change, one constant this off-season has been the Cubs system might lack impact talent but they have several players that project to be successful big leaguers.
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