After placing in the top five each of the past two seasons, the Cubs dropped to 20th in the 2016 edition of Baseball America’s organization talent rankings.
The obvious reason for Chicago’s slide is because its minor-league system graduated a ton of talent last season, including Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell.
The Cubs rank last among all NL Central teams on the list, but it’s not like the cupboard is completely bare.
Keith Law’s “Top 100 prospects,” which came out this week, lists six Cubs players – including shortstop Gleyber Torres at No. 15.
Torres is still a few years away from the majors and may find himself blocked by Russell when he’s ready, but what he did as the Midwest League’s second-youngest regular in 2015 marks him as a potential superstar in his own right.
Aside from Torres, whose hand-eye coordination Law compared to Derek Jeter’s, catcher Willson Contreras (27) and second baseman Ian Happ (47) also rank among Law’s top 50.
Compared to Baseball America, Law has a much more optimistic view of the Cubs’ farm system, ranking it fourth behind only Atlanta, Los Angeles and Minnesota.