Keith Law Ranks Cubs’ System Fifth Best in Baseball

ESPN’s Keith Law began his week long look at the prospects in the game by releasing his ranking of the farm systems on Monday … and the Cubs came in at number five on his list.

The Cubs system took positive steps forward over the past year and Law likes the additions that were made through the draft and international signings. Law pointed to the arms the Cubs have added, such as Juan Carlos Paniagua, as well as the pitchers that were selected in last June’s draft and the depth the Cubs added in outfield prospects as the reason for the improved ranking.

The Cubs jumped up 15 spots in Keith Law’s system rankings from a year ago. Last year, Law thought the Cubs had “an unfairly maligned system”, one that was not great but not as bad as some thought at the time.

The work that has been done throughout the organization has been recognized by the improved rankings they received from Keith Law, Baseball America and John Sickels. Baseball America ranked the Cubs as having the 13th best system in the game in their Prospect Handbook, while Sickels ranked the Cubs organization as the tenth best in the game. While it is nice seeing Keith Law rank the Cubs fifth, realistically, the system is probably somewhere between where Baseball America and Minor League Ball listed it.

Keith Law pointed out “the Cubs’ rebuilding process isn’t much further along that the Twins’ or the Astros’ in terms of time, but they spent extravagantly in the international market before the new CBA’s restrictions went into effect last summer.”

Law liked the addition of Jorge Soler and chose to not talk about the signing of Gerardo Concepcion. Law said the Cubs “scored big” in last year’s draft when they addressed the lack of starting pitching candidates.

Keith Law’s Ranking of the Farm Systems

Keith Law was surprised at “how few farm systems there were this year that had both impact and depth.” To no surprise, the St. Louis Cardinals topped Law’s list followed by the Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros. The Padres, who were Law’s top system a year ago, checked in right behind the Cubs at number six.

  1. St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Minnesota Twins
  3. Tampa Bay Rays
  4. Houston Astros
  5. Chicago Cubs
  6. San Diego Padres
  7. Pittsburgh Pirates
  8. Seattle Mariners
  9. Texas Rangers
  10. New York Yankees
  11. Kansas City Royals
  12. Cincinnati Reds
  13. Baltimore Orioles
  14. New York Mets
  15. Arizona Diamondbacks
  16. Miami Marlins
  17. Boston Red Sox
  18. Los Angeles Dodgers
  19. Cleveland Indians
  20. Atlanta Braves
  21. Washington Nationals
  22. Oakland Athletics
  23. Colorado Rockies
  24. Toronto Blue Jays
  25. Detroit Tigers
  26. San Francisco Giants
  27. Philadelphia Phillies
  28. Chicago White Sox
  29. Milwaukee Brewers
  30. Los Angeles Angels

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Cubs Prospect Rankings for 2013

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  • Tom U

    Keith Law confirms something that I have been saying, the system is not as bad as it seemed. The just wasn’t proper development nor promotion form the previous management.

    It’s nice to hear the current front office start to talk about players they didn’t acquire, such as Logan Watkins, Nick Struck, Zeke DeVoss, Javier Baez, Dillon Maples, Dan Vogelbach,and Austin Reed.

    • mutantbeast

      One thing about all of the above names-TheoJed might not have been the front office, but they all were drafted after Ricketts became the owner. Lets give Ricketts some credit for willing to spend to improve the farm, something the Trib wasn’t willing, or was unable, to do.

    • Dwalker

      There are so many things being done by the new FO for player development, its hard to really grasp the potential impact. For one thing, it seems every prospect had a training/development regime for the off season with followup from the team all winter this year.
      I gotta beleive management came in totally cold on what was in the system besides what their outside scouting had told them, its no surprise they weren’t hot on many of these guys.

  • Theboardrider

    Bravo front office, even though these rankings are opinions it’s a remarkable turn of events relative to where these opinions were last year, if nothing else.

  • Rational Logic

    Wow, looking at the link to the article from last year “…jumped 15 spots” reminds me why I put zero weight toward “season projections” – Buzz’s girlfriend! Woof!

  • mutantbeast

    While I agree TheoJed have improved the farm, #5 seems a bit high, only considering the lack of quality pitching in the upper minors, and the Pierce Johnsons, Duane Underwoods and Maples haven’t seen extensive action yet.

    • DWalker

      The point was made elsewhere that Law spends a good bit of time in Arizona so got to see some of those prospects early on and might be a lot more familier with them than other writers. I agree, #5 is high, but Law really liked what he saw.

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Does anyone here think that the Houston Astros have the #3 best MiL system in all of baseball?

    I didn’t think so.

    • Neil

      Actually, Luhnow has been praised for the job he has done in a short amount of time. Baseball America ranked them as ninth in the league. They are making positive steps forward and he is the one that built the Cardinals system.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yes, I know they have improved. I just wouldn’t expect anybody on this site to rate them at #3. I certainly don’t have them that high.

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