Keith Law’s week long look at the top prospects in the game concluded Thursday with his list of best young players at each position.
Keith Law ranked the Cubs as the fourth best farm system in the game. And he included six players from the Cubs’ organization in his top 100 prospects list, and OF Eddy Julio Martinez just missed his comprehensive ranking.
SS Gleyber Torres (15), C Willson Contreras (27), 2B/OF Ian Happ (47), OF Billy McKinney (69), OF Albert Almora Jr. (88) and RHP Dylan Cease (91) were included in Law’s top 100 prospects.
Keith Law’s Top Cubs prospects for 2016 (with 2015 ranking in parenthesis): SS Gleyber Torres (5), C Willson Contreras (NR), 2B/OF Ian Happ (NA), OF Billy McKinney (6), OF Albert Almora Jr. (7), RHP Dylan Cease (NR), OF Eddy Julio Martinez (NA), RHP Duane Underwood Jr. (8), OF Eloy Jimenez (NR), 3B Jeimer Candelario (NR), RHP Oscar De La Cruz (NR), LHP Justin Steele (NR), RHP Carl Edwards Jr. (9), OF Darryl ‘D.J.’ Wilson (NA), RHP Pierce Johnson (NR), RHP Jen-Ho Tseng (10), RHP Brad Markey (NR), LHP Bryan Hudson (NA), LHP Carson Sands (NR), OF Mark Zagunis (NR) and OF Donnie Dewees (NA)
Five players from the Cubs’ system were included in Law’s positional rankings.
Keith Law agreed with Jim Callis and ranked Willson Contreras as the No. 1 catching prospect in baseball ahead of the Yankees’ Gary Sanchez. Baseball America thought Sanchez should be ahead of Contreras in its catcher ranking.
Ian Happ checked in at No. 2 on Law’s list of the top second basemen just behind Red Sox mega-prospect Yoan Moncada. Happ is making the full-time transition to second base. The Cubs think the switch-hitter can handle the move even though it might slow his progress down through the system
Gleyber Torres is the 15th best prospect in the game according to Keith Law and the sixth best shortstop in what is an incredibly loaded position. Torres is coming off an excellent season as an 18-year old playing full-season ball for the first time in the Midwest League. Torres is expected to begin the season with High-A Myrtle Beach.
Jeimer Candelario went from a question mark back to a legitimate prospect last season. Candelario struggled in 2014 and was demoted when Kris Bryant was promoted to Triple-A Iowa. Candelario bounced back last year and excelled at Double-A Tennessee before creating more buzz in the Arizona Fall League. Candelario was ranked as the ninth best third base prospect. At just 22 years old, the future is very bright for the switch hitting third sacker, even if he’s moved to the outfield.
And RHP Carl Edwards Jr. made Law’s list of the top 10 relief pitchers. Law ranked Edwards Jr. as the fifth best bullpen prospect. Edwards Jr. made the unexpected switch from starter to reliever last season and is expected to stay in that role moving forward with the Cubs. Edwards Jr. will be stretched out in Spring Training so he can pitch multiple innings out of Iowa’s pen, then possibly the Cubs’ bullpen at some point during the season.
2016 Cubs Prospect Rankings and Reports
- Baseball America’s Top 10 Cubs Prospects for 2016 [includes scouting reports]
- FanGraphs Top Cubs Prospects List for 2016
- Minor League Ball’s Top Cubs Prospects for 2016
- Baseball Prospectus’ Top 101 Includes Six Cubs Prospects
- Six Cubs Prospects Land in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 List for 2016
- Baseball America’s Top 31 Cubs Prospects for 2016
- Cubs System Ranked No. 20 in Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook
- Cubs System Lands at No. 4 on Keith Law’s Organizational Rankings
- Keith Law’s Top 100 Prospects Includes Six Cubs, Gleyber Torres Checks in at No. 15
- Three Cubs Prospects Ranked in Baseball America’s Top 100
- Cubs Eddy Julio Martinez Just Missed Keith Law’s Top 100 Prospect List
- Keith Law’s Top 10 Cubs Prospects for 2016
- Baseball America Considers Willson Contreras Second Best Catching Prospect in the Game