The latest rankings of the Cubs' farm system is out and it confirms what we already knew: there is a wide difference of opinion as to how much talent remains in the Cubs system after the promotions of last season. The latest rankings come from milb.com's Sam Dykstra, who believes that the Cubs have a firmly middle-of-the-pack farm system, ranking them at number 14.
Just to review, earlier in the offseason there was quite a disagreement between ESPN.com's Keith Law, who ranked the Cubs as the 4th best system in the majors (Insider only), and Baseball America, who ranked them 20th. This new rankings appears to split the difference, slotting them in at number 14.
In Dykstra's ranking of the Cubs, he notes, as everyone does, that any dropping in the Cubs ranking is a good thing because it's the result of several rookies having a major impact on the major league level. Dykstra points out that there is still a lot of talent left in the Cubs system, but adds this caveat:
Is there a future Kris Bryant, Addison Russell or Kyle Schwarber in that group? Probably not, although Torres has plenty of potential as a teenager and Contreras could be of Major League service this season behind the plate.
Mostly, these rankings come as a result of how high a ceiling these people think players like Gleyber Torres, Willson Contreras and a few others have. No one doubts that the Cubs still have a lot of depth in the farm system. If you think, like Law, that several Cubs prospects have a chance to be impact players in the majors, then you're going to rank the Cubs system highly. If you think their ceiling is more likely just solid regulars, then you're going to put the Cubs closer to the bottom. If you're unsure or can see both arguments, then you're most likely to split the difference like Dykstra did here.
In any case, there are a lot of reasons to tune into the Cubs minor league system this upcoming season. If anything, to see which one of these positions turns out to be the most correct.