The duo formed by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer emphasized the importance of building a strong farm when they arrived. Two years later not only are the Cubs a consensus top-five team in terms of prospects, but an argument could be made to say they have the strongest minor league system in all of baseball.
With high-ceiling players like SS Javier Baez and OF Jorge Soler, polished prospects like 3B Kris Bryant and CF Albert Almora and several others that seem poised to have solid careers at the MLB level like shortstop Arismendy Alcantara, power-hitter Dan Vogelbach and 3B Christian Villanueva, the system is stacked in terms of impact bats. There aren’t many impact arms – a deficit the Cubs hope to address this year – but the presence of Pierce Johnson and C.J. Edwards give Chicago two arms that have great chances of reaching the Majors.
The latest prospect lists should confirm the strength of the Cubs’ system, and they could have as many as eight players listed on several Top 100 lists like Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus ones. Almora, Bryant and Baez are all among the 30 best players at the MiLB level, and guys like Soler and Mike Olt – if he regains the form he had prior to the eye injury – could easily be ranked in the Top 50.
It’s clear that not all prospects make it to The Show, but the chances are higher as the quantity of impact players grow with time. The Cubs have plenty of those, and while the first wave of talent should come sooner rather than later, the future does look bright for the Cubbies if things go according to the plan.