5 former top prospects for the Cubs who have fallen from grace

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The Chicago Cubs currently boast the 12th-best farm system in the league according to MLB's pre-season rankings. This is the best position the system has been in since 2015 when it was first in baseball thanks to top prospects like Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, and Gleyber Torres in the pipeline. In the time between these two prospect-rich eras of Cubs history, there have been many duds that were once thought to become difference-makers at the big league level. Here are five former top prospects in the Cubs system who fell from grace and did not live up to their expectations.

1. Brailyn Marquez

Dominican Left-handed pitcher Brailyn Marquez was first signed by the Cubs as an international free agent in 2015 when he was 16 years old. Once as high as no. 1 on the Cubs' top prospect list, to say Marquez hasn't lived up to his hype is a wild understatement. For one thing, the guy hasn't appeared in a game since 2020 due to myocarditis brought on by COVID infections and a shoulder surgery that has shelved him since June.

At the height of his minor league climb, Marquez was expected to break a concerning streak of the Cubs being unable to fully develop a big league pitcher. The last time the Cubs system churned out a prominent pitcher was Jeff Samardzija, who debuted way back in 2008. Luckily the Cubs pitching infrastructure has passed Marquez by, and there are many other candidates on the way who can buck the trend. There is still time for the young southpaw to salvage his baseball career though, as the Cubs resigned Marquez to a minor league deal. Still young at 24 years old, and with a fastball that touches triple digits and sweeping breaking stuff to go along, there is still time for Marquez to mount a comeback.