Chicago Cubs: Five storylines to watch in the 2020s

David Ross, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer / Chicago Cubs (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Ross, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer / Chicago Cubs (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Will the farm system continue to produce?

A big reason why the Chicago Cubs had a run of success in the 2010s was that they were able to develop and graduate several key players from their farm system. Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, and Willson Contreras are among those the team developed, while they traded for players such as Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Hendricks while they were still in the minor leagues.

For a good portion of the decade, the Cubs had a farm system that ranked among the top in Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, the farm system has not produced much talent in recent years, and right now it ranks among MLB’s worst. If the Cubs are going to build on the success they had in the second half of the 2010s and keep winning in the 2020s, the farm system is going to have to produce more.

There are several players worth watching right now. Nico Hoerner came up to the big leagues late in 2019 and had some brief success, but it will be interesting to see how he does in 2020 and beyond and whether he will fit in as the team’s everyday second baseman. Catcher Miguel Amaya, pitcher Brailyn Marquez, and outfielders Brennen Davis and Cole Roederer are among those who are still a ways away from the majors but who could be key pieces for the Cubs in the coming years.

The Cubs face a big challenge in the near future: staying competitive at the major league level while rebuilding a farm system that has been depleted both by players graduating to the majors and through the trades of players such as Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, and Gleyber Torres. Will they be up to the challenge?