Chicago Cubs: A look back at the team Theo Epstein took over

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs: Ready to build a system that lasts a generation

Every Cubs fan who grew up in the Hendry era knew that the farm system was not nearly as big of a priority as it was after Epstein took over. Sure you had big prospects, but often they fizzled out and the farm was a whole was not overly stacked. In 2011 it was certainly not a top farm.

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Now there were some disagreements over how good the system going into 2011 actually was. Baseball America ranked them 16th while Fangraphs ranked the Cubs 25th. The team’s top prospect at this point? Outfielder Brett Jackson.

This, of course, came after Hendry traded Chris Archer to Tampa Bay in the Matt Garza deal. Other notable names included Andrew Cashner, Matt Szczur, Josh Vitters, DJ LaMahieu and Trey McNutt.

But let us not forget 2011 was the year Javier Baez was drafted, but he had a long way to go to the Majors. That ended up being Jim Hendry’s best move.

Overall the farm had a few names to it, but not nearly enough to build a sustainable core. Many of these guys did not end up panning out as hoped. At least Cashner got the Cubs Anthony Rizzo after Epstein took over. Even with Baez in the system, that team would have needed the big support cast around him and the organization just did not have it.