Way too early MLB power rankings: Cubs have a lot to prove early on

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
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Patrick Wisdom, Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

MLB Power Rankings: Cubs check in at #18 heading into spring training

  • 19: Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 18: Chicago Cubs
  • 17: Texas Rangers
  • 16: Milwaukee Brewers
  • 15: Los Angeles Angels

Finally, we get to the Cubs - who come in just ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks who, despite being on the upswing, play in the powerhose National League West and a tick behind the free-wheeling Texas Rangers, who followed up their Marcus Semien, Corey Seager and Jon Gray signings from a year ago with a Jacob deGrom signing this winter.

Chicago, like I said, has a ton of potential. The team's young arms, headlined by Justin Steele and Hayden Wesneski, could form a potent combo in the rotation. All the offseason additions - ranging from Swanson and Bellinger to Taillon, Tucker Barnhart and Trey Mancini - should help not only in elevating the on-field product, but should play huge roles in the clubhouse, as well.

But for the Cubs to leapfrog Milwaukee and St. Louis in the Central, they'll need Kyle Hendricks to sort himself out, Bellinger to at least trend back closer to being what he once was and for other guys to sttep up and provide some pop in the lineup. The pieces are there and Chicago could very well be a dark horse playoff contender, but for them to climb higher on this list, they'll have to start strong come April.