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Cubs prospects make midseason Top 100 lists from Baseball America, MLB Pipeline

Two major publications updated their top prospects lists this week.

Pete Crow-Armstrong
Pete Crow-Armstrong
Dylan Heuer

Two major publications, Baseball America and MLB Pipeline, both updated their Top 100 prospects lists to include recently-drafted players. And while the two lists are quite different, both lists include several Cubs prospects.

Both organizations agree that Orioles shortstop Jackson Holliday and Brewers outfielder Jackson Chourio are the number one and number two prospects in the game and in that order. Both also agree that the two players taken first and second in the recent MLB Draft, right-handed pitcher Paul Skenes of the Pirates and outfielder Dylan Crews of the Nationals, are the third- and fourth-best prospects in the game. However, Baseball America thinks Crews is third-best and MLB Pipeline believes Skenes is the third-ranked prospect.

The other big name to burst into the top ten is Padres’ catcher Ethan Salas, who is 17-years-old and already at High-A Fort Wayne. Baseball America ranks Salas sixth (behind Rays third baseman Junior Caminero) and MLB Pipeline ranks him fifth.

As far at the Cubs go, three prospects made Baseball America’s Top 100. (Subscription required.)

13. Pete Crow-Armstrong OF

18. Cade Horton RHP

90. Matt Shaw SS

MLB Pipeline’s list has more and different Cubs prospects on their list.

12. Pete Crow-Armstrong OF

30. Cade Horton RHP

69. Owen Caissie OF

77. Kevin Alcántara OF

92. Ben Brown RHP

As you can see, there’s a consensus on Crow-Armstrong, but the rest of the picks show a difference in opinion. However, it should be noted on these lists that someone ranked 80th may not really be much better regarded than someone ranked 110th. While there are clear differences near the top of the list (Horton would not be interchangeable with Chourio, for example), when you get closer to the bottom, the difference become much more a matter of individual preferences. Or in this case, group preferences.

Both organizations have also updated their top 30 Cubs prospects lists and while both publications think highly of the Cubs, you can see a real difference in opinion as to why.

Baseball America’s Top Ten Cubs prospects are: (subscription required)

  1. Crow-Armstrong
  2. Horton
  3. Shaw
  4. Miguel Amaya C
  5. Matt Mervis 1B
  6. Ben Brown RHP
  7. Jackson Ferris LHP
  8. Jordan Wicks LHP
  9. Caissie
  10. James Triantos INF

Whereas MLB Pipeline sees the Cubs Top Ten prospects as:

  1. Crow-Armstrong
  2. Horton
  3. Caissie
  4. Alcántara
  5. Brown
  6. Shaw
  7. Moises Ballesteros C
  8. Ferris
  9. Triantos
  10. Wicks

Amaya will fall off the Baseball America list when he gets 18 more plate appearances in the majors—so maybe a little over a week. MLB Pipeline has already removed Amaya from consideration. If you want to know who BA has at 11 (and who will presumably slide into the Top Ten shortly), it’s Alcántara.

Neither list should be considered “right” or “wrong.” It’s just that different organizations value different things differently. But the difference in the two lists should also be seen as a sign of the depth of the organization. Sure, there isn’t someone who is considered to be an almost sure-fire All-Star like Holliday, Chourio, Skenes and Crews — although even then, Jurickson Profar was once a consensus top prospect in the game before injuries derailed his route to stardom. But there are lots of players who could end up being quality major leaguers. And some of those Cubs might even end up as stars.