Baseball America Updates Cubs’ Top 10 Prospects


The goal for President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer this off-season was to begin to lay the foundation of stream of talent going from the minor league system to the major league team. The inner-workings of this process called for Epstein and Hoyer to improve the talent in the minor league system, as that would in turn, improve the talent on the major league roster. Epstein’s and Hoyer’s work this off-season has been on display with the Cubs’ additions of first base prospect Anthony Rizzo, second baseman Ronald Torreyes, outfielder Dave Sappelt, and pitcher Zach Cates. The Cubs’ minor league system would be in line for another improvement if the Cubs sign any one of three Cuban prospects they are pursuing in outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler, and starting pitcher Geraldo Concepcion.

Until these prospects take the field, the only way the Cubs’ farm system can be objectively judge is by Baseball America’s rankings. Prior to the Cubs additions this off-season, Baseball American ranked the top ten prospects in the Cubs’ farm system.

They were as follows:

  1. Outfielder Brett Jackson
  2. Shortstop Javier Baez
  3. Outfielder Matt Szczur
  4. Pitcher Trey McNutt
  5. Pitcher Dillon Maples
  6. Catcher Welington Castillo
  7. Pitcher Rafael Dolis
  8. Shortstop Junior Lake
  9. Third Baseman Josh Vitters
  10. First Baseman Dan Vogelbach

These rankings were before the Cubs’ made any additions to their farm system. With Rizzo now in the picture, Baseball America has updated their list of the Cubs’ top ten prospects.

  1. Jackson
  2. Baez
  3. First Baseman Anthony Rizzo
  4. Szczur
  5. McNutt
  6. Maples
  7. Castillo
  8. Dolis
  9. Lake
  10. Vitters

The addition of Rizzo did not bring sweeping changes to the Cubs’ top ten the list. Though, it did push every prospect beyond the #3 spot down one position. As I mentioned above, if the Cubs add Cespedes, Soler, and/or Concepcion, that will likely bring drastic changes to the Cubs’ top ten list. Some Cubs’ fans have questioned why Baez is rated higher than Rizzo; and it would appear that Rizzo is victim of his position in that case. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus believe one reason could be because it is much easier for Baez to succeed as a National League shortstop than it is for Rizzo to succeed as a National League first baseman. Nonetheless, Jackson, Baez, and Rizzo provide the Cubs with a bright long-term future.