MiLB.com started its in depth look at all 30 systems by ranking the organizations by the position player prospects down on the farm. Even with the promotions last season, the Cubs have one of the deepest groups of position players in baseball.
The Cubs checked in at No. 7 on MLB.com’s ranking of the position player prospects.
Sam Dykstra thinks the Rockies, Red Sox, Rangers, Astros, Twins and Phillies are the six organizations with a better group of position player prospects than the Cubs.
SS Gleyber Torres, C Willson Contreras, 2B/OF Ian Happ, OF Billy McKinney, OF Albert Almora Jr., OF Eloy Jimenez, 3B Jeimer Candelario and OF Eddy Julio Martinez are generally considered the top position players in the Cubs’ system. There are players such as INF/OF Chesny Young, OF Donnie Dewees, OF Darryl ‘D.J.’ Wilson, C Victor Caratini and OF Jeffery Baez that are also considered among the best young position players in the organization.
Dykstra pointed out there is more talent coming from the system behind the big four that played big roles in the success the Cubs had last season.
Gleyber Torres is among one of the most talented shortstop prospects in baseball. Willson Contreras became one of the top two catching prospects in the game after his breakout season. The Cubs think they can maximize Ian Happ’s value and ability by moving him to second base. And both Albert Almora Jr. and Billy McKinney are “fringe top-100 outfielders but should bring some excitement to Triple-A Iowa.”
This season could very well be the year the young pitchers in the system make the noise and start taking the headlines away from the position players.
There are several projectable pitchers in the lower levels that many in the game think are primed to take a huge step forward this season.
From a starting pitching standpoint, RHP Dylan Cease and RHP Duane Underwood Jr. are considered the top two pitching prospects in the system. Oscar De La Cruz is a big right hander to keep an eye on that should be the Opening Day starter for the South Bend Cubs. RHP Brad Markey is coming off an excellent year and the two lefties, Justin Steele and Carson Sands are primed for big years. If RHP Pierce Johnson can stay off the disabled list and on the mound, he has the stuff to get batters out in the majors.
And there’s RHP Ryan Williams, the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year, that received a late invite to big league Spring Training and could be the first pitcher drafted and developed under the current regime to get called up to The Show.
The focus for the Cubs this season is on the Major League team. There is still a ton of talent in the minor leagues that should be fun to watch take the next steps in the development path this 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
- Cubs Prospects Place High on Keith Law’s Positional Rankings