Since coming to the Chicago Cubs via the Javier Baez trade with the New York Mets back at the 2021 trade deadline, outfield prospect and former first-rounder Pete Crow-Armstrong has continued to make strides in his development.
At the start of 2023 season, he was pretty much universally viewed as a top 50 prospect in the game - and early indications are he's poised to head into 2024 with even more hype as a consensus top 20 talent. In fact, Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report has Crow-Armstrong as the game's #12 prospect - and he's joined by Chicago's top pitching prospect Cade Horton, who checks in at #15 on this list.
Cubs farm system headlined by Pete Crow-Armstrong, Cade Horton
Crow-Armstrong got a brief taste of big league action toward the end of the season, struggling at the plate - but he's still widely expected to get a crack at the starting center field job this spring - that is, unless Chicago adds a more proven option between now and next month. That could allow him to get some more seasoning at Triple-A Iowa, where he has just 34 games under his belt to this point.
An elite defender and baserunner, Crow-Armstrong has come a lot way with the bat since coming to the Cubs and, while he's probably never going to bring home a Silver Slugger, he has the tools to be a perennial All-Star.
As for Horton, he's silenced any and all who questioned the Cubs' decision to take him with the seventh overall pick back in 2022, dominating at pretty much every level to this point. In 2023, split between A, High A and Double A ball, the right-hander averaged nearly 12 punchouts per nine, working to a 2.65 ERA in 88 1/3 innings of work.
Horton is probably the Cubs' only untouchable pitching prospect at this point, given his ceiling and how he's performed in his still-budding professional career. Again, he could also play a role for the big league team at some point in 2024, but this year is all about seeing him maintain what he did in his first full professional campaign over a much larger body of work.