Spring Training is underway, which means we are getting very close to the end of prospect list season. MLB Pipeline should be releasing its top 30 Cubs soon, along with rankings from FanGraphs and John Sickels of The Athletic. Today is all about Keith Law’s top 100 list ($) which is significant because it’s his first for The Athletic since departing ESPN late last year.
The top of Law’s rankings don’t vary significantly from most of the other prospect lists we’ve seen, but things shift quite a bit as you get a little further into it. More specifically, the cerebral prospect expert listed only two Cubs farmhands among his top 100 names. Because it is a subscription piece, we can only reveal a few things about which Cubs made the list.
Law went high upside with his list, giving nods to only Brennen Davis and Brailyn Marquez. He placed them in the 50’s and the 80’s, respectively, which is roughly where we’ve seen them elsewhere. Davis was ranked relatively highly due to his athleticism and powerful swing, while Marquez’s ability to light up radar guns at 102 mph has among the top arms.
I would not call it shocking, but Nico Hoerner — a top 40-50 prospect according to the rest of the industry — not making the cut is a bit of a head-scratcher. Miguel Amaya’s bat lags behind his defense a bit at this stage and we’ve seen him at or near the bottom of some other top 100’s, so no surprise there. That could change this season, as Amaya could terrorize the more pitcher-friendly Southern League in 2020.
Law wrote that he plans to produce more content soon on prospects who just missed the top 100, but even more interesting is his tease of a top 20 list for each organization. He only used to do a top 10 for ESPN, sometimes with extra nuggets you couldn’t find elsewhere.
Despite placing fewer prospects on Law’s list, it remains evident that the Cubs’ system has turned a corner and is on the way up. This list still is a bit disappointing because you’re left wanting to see a little more, but it’s a good jumping-off point as baseball gets started in earnest once again.