There's a glaring Cubs omission on the new Fangraphs Top 100

Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago Cubs
Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago Cubs / David Banks/GettyImages

We've got a new set of preseason prospect rankings, this time courtesy of the team over at Fangraphs. It brings a ton of optimism as far as the Cubs are concerned, too, with four prospects among the top 100.

Chicago's top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong leads the group at #14, while Kevin Alcantara (73), Hayden Wesneski (88) and Cristian Hernandez (100) check in on the back half of the rankings. Seeing Crow-Armstrong headlining Cubs prospects is hardly a surprise, but the fact that a former top talent in the organization, Brennen Davis, is completely absent from Fangraphs' rankings is, frankly, very surprising.

We all know the story. Davis, the team's second-round pick back in 2018, missed a ton of time in 2022 with a back injury that required surgery - and even when he was on the field, he looked lost, batting just .180/.299/.298. One lost season shouldn't kill the hype surrounding the 23-year-old outfielder, but his staying on the field and getting back to what he's capable of will be something everyone who follows the organization will be keeping an eye on in 2023.

Cubs prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong breaks Fangraphs' top 15

Regardless of what happens between the Cubs and All-Star Gold Glover Ian Happ in extension talks this spring, the future of the Chicago outfield looks bright - even with the questions surrounding Davis. Crow-Armstrong turned heads in his first full season of professional ball last year, showcasing his elite defense in center and making strides at the plate, as well.

Alcantara, at least among casual fans, hasn't gotten the same attention just yet, but is a name worth knowing. With true five-tool potential, he drew comps to a young Andrew McCutchen in the 2023 Baseball Prospectus guide. He has questions, most of which relate to his 6-6 frame and how long his swing can be at times, but the raw tools are there. He's still at least two years away from a big league debut, and 2023 will be a key year in his development.

Anyone who's a regular reader here knows I'm a big Wesneski guy. In my mind, he's got the inside track on the fifth starter spot this spring and has the potential to be a young innings-eater for years to come. He's really learned how to mix his pitches well, going to his sinker and slider regularly and to great effect in his taste of MLB action last year, and seems likely to get the chance to build upon that success again this season.

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Last, but certainly not least, Hernandez rounds out Fangraphs' Top 100. Like Alcantara, this kid is as toolsy and athletic as they come, but the swing-and-miss in his game is concerning. There's no questioning the power he has, but whether or not he can shorten his stroke and cut back on the strikeouts will ultimately determine his ceiling and future in Chicago.