Chicago Cubs: Time to start restocking the farm system cupboard
The Chicago Cubs were without a pick in the first or second round of last year’s First-Year Player Draft due to the signings of Jason Heyward and John Lackey. This year the Cubs get two–and need to keep the prospect train rolling.
The success of the Chicago Cubs farm system and its ability to push talent to the majors has been paramount. Granted, it took several years of losing to build the successful system. And while the Cubs are winning, it’s a slower process to restock it. In June, the Cubs will have two first round picks–No. 27 and 30 (the second as compensation for losing Dexter Fowler) –to restock the cupboard.
With 40 rounds, it’s not as if the Cubs haven’t had picks to do just that. But it’s been their success with their first round picks that’s led to the success of the organization. From Javier Baez and Albert Almora to Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber–the Cubs are either extremely lucky or very good at their scouting and development. With Jason McLeod, I think I’d go with the latter of the two.
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With the new CBA in place for next year, there will be a few changes to the draft starting next year. According to Mark Polishuk on MLBTR, players who received qualifying offers before won’t be eligible to receive one again. Therefore, signings won’t have a potential pick tied to it will tie qualifying free agents to the luxury tax, international draft pools and revenue-sharing systems.
Last year, the Cubs put a focus on pitching, selecting 27 pitchers out 38 possible picks. As the pitching within the farm system has caught up, which route will the Cubs go with their 2017 draft? With a roster that is relatively set at the Major League level, the Cubs can look to address several needs with this draft.
Next: Bullpen better than last year?
As for the current system, we’ll be working our way through the top prospects of the system over the next few weeks. If you missed the first one on Eloy Jimenez, you can find it here. We’ll also have Ian Happ, Mark Zagunis and Dylan Cease in the coming days.