Over at Fangraphs, Dan Farnsworth has compiled an impressive breakdown of the top prospects in the Cubs farm system that you'll want to check out. In it, you'll find that despite producing one of the best rookie crops in recent years in 2015, the Cubs farm system is still impressive, with no fewer than 10 players that Farnsworth projects out to be major league regulars or better.
In addition, Dave Cameron writes up an organizational overview before Farnsworth gives his breakdown of the Cubs prospects. In it, you'll find words to warm your heart in these cold winter months.
[N]o team is in a better position for the present or future than the Cubs. If they’re not the best team in baseball, they’re very close to it, and they’ve built a juggernaut around a young core that is the envy of the game. With multiple franchise players still not yet in their prime and a supporting cast of high-quality veterans, it’s hard to find any real flaws with this team. . . .The Cubs have rebuilt their organization about as well as a club can be built from the ground up, and with their additions this winter, they’re poised to be a dominant force for the foreseeable future.
As far as the list itself goes, you'll find many of the usual names that we've been talking about around here for months, although perhaps not quite in the same order as you are used to. Farnsworth admits he's much more interested in how a prospect's tools play in-game over their raw talent, and that knocks down some players who are rough around the edges like Willson Contreras and Eloy Jimenez. To be fair, Farnsworth still likes these guys and thinks they could end up as productive major leaguers. He just likes other players more.
On the other hand, players with more refined tools are ranked a little higher. Dan Vogelbach gets high marks here and Farnsworth suggests that Vogy could be dealt to an American League team in July. (Thus earning him an honorary BCB membership.) Farnsworth is also a fan of Billy McKinney, a player that I (and other evaluators) worry will end up as a "tweener." (Not enough bat for a corner, not enough glove for center field.) It's good to see a guy like Chesny Young get some love, even slapping a Marco Scutaro comp on him as a best-case scenario. One guest evaluation by Carson Cistulli gives his favorite "fringe" prospect as Jason Vosler, which would be awesome if it works out.
Gleyber Torres is still the number one prospect on Farnsworth's list, as it's hard to find too much wrong with him. He's not likely to hit for a lot of power, I suppose. Ian Happ checks in at number two and it's good to see a favorite of mine, Duane Underwood, ranked as the top pitcher in the organization.
So take a look over at the rundown of Fangraphs top prospects in the Cubs system. Even though the present on the North Side looks pretty awesome right now, the future is still pretty bright all around too.