The honors continue to come in for the Cubs farm system. Yesterday, John Sickels of minorleagueball.com released his Top 175 Prospects list (Now with 75 percent more than a Top 100 list for the same price!) and eight Cubs made the list, including three in the top ten and four in the top 20.
1. Kris Bryant 3B Grade A
5. Addison Russell SS Grade A
7. Jorge Soler OF Grade A
19. Kyle Schwarber C-OF Grade A-
52. C.J. Edwards RHP Grade B+
108. Albert Almora OF Grade B
126. Pierce Johnson RHP Grade B
135. Billy McKinney OF Grade B
Of the eight Cubs, four were first-round draft picks by the Cubs since Theo Epstein took over baseball operations, three (Russell, Edwards, McKinney) were acquired through trade and one, Soler, was an international free agent.
In addition, Sickels lists five more Cubs as "in the picture" meaning that he could have been ranked them in the Top 150-175 but he didn't, mostly because you can only list 175 players in a top 175 list. Those five players are (and not in any particular order):
Carson Sands LHP, Gleyber Torres SS, Jen-Ho Tseng RHP, Duane Underwood RHP, Dan Vogelbach 1B.
That's two second-round picks (Underwood, Vogelbach), one fourth-round pick (Sands) and two international free agents (Tseng, Torres).
You can go to Sickels' list to read how he makes up these lists. Also, it should be noted that Sickels is a "tough grader" as only 12 players receive an "A" grade. I'd recommend not getting too tied up in the letter grades, however. They mostly just differentiate different "tiers" of prospects more than they translate to what you got on your algebra test.
As I always say in these situations, there are no guarantees with prospects. But when a franchise has this many promising kids on the farm, it's highly unlikely that at least a few won't turn into impact major league players.
So take a look at the list and smile. The future isn't here yet, but you can see it from your front window.