New minor league team rankings show stacked depth of the Cubs system

Updated rankings show the Chicago Cubs have a steady pipeline of young talent on the way, not just at one particular level of the minors.
Lily Smith/The Register / USA TODAY
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The last time the Chicago Cubs had a farm system ranked as high as it is today, it felt like all the impact talent hit the big leagues near the same time, leaving the minor league affiliates depleted shortly thereafter. Of course, it also helped the stars align and end a 108-year World Series title drought, so who's really complaining here?

This time around, though, it's a different story - and the latest minor league team rankings from MLB.com and Baseball America show as much. The former has the Tennesee Smokies ranked as the #2 MiLB team in the game, behind only the ridiculously loaded Norfolk Tides, the Triple-A team of the Baltimore Orioles, and the Iowa Cubs ranked 10th.

Cubs are stacking prospect depth at every level of the organization

Baseball America has the Smokies third and I-Cubs at nine, so it's a clear consensus that Chicago has built one of the greatest talent pipelines in the game today. Iowa, of course, is headlined by the likes of top prospect Pete-Crow Armstrong, Owen Caissie and Alexander Canario and Double-A Tennessee boasts Cade Horton, Matt Shaw and Kevin Alcantara.

What's most exciting though is there are several guys turning heads at each level outside of those found at the very top of prospect lists. The best-run organizations have that, and it feels like the first time in a while the Cubs find themselves in such a position.

We've already seen the benefits of having guys waiting in the wings in Ben Brown, one of the team's most highly-regarded pitching prospects, making the jump to the big leagues and playing a key role for Craig Counsell as the Cubs await the return of several key arms. That 'next man up' mentality that's permeating throughout the organization is, hopefully, a sign of good things to come for the foreseeable future.

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