By Todd Johnson
Welcome to Cubs Central’s preview of its yearly positional breakdown of the Cubs minor-league system. A lot has changed in the last year. The Cubs traded away their top prospect, Gleyber Torres, and Rashad Crawford to acquire closer Aroldis Chapman. First baseman Dan Vogelbach and pitcher Paul Blackburn were traded for what would arguably be the Cubs’ best relief pitcher in the World Series in lefty Mike Montgomery. Those three prospects were a small price to pay for a World Series trophy.
Combined with not having a first and second round pick in the draft, the Cubs system is a little down from a year ago. Don’t be surprised to see it ranked in the mid-to-late teens by many publications and websites. The Cubs still have a lot of talent. However. it is still rather young and it is still in need of development. They are not quite elite yet. They have depth and redundancy at every position but there is still a lot of work to do across the board. From catcher to second base to third base to the outfield and the mound, the Cubs are brimming with talent in need of seasoning.
The problem is, outside of pitching, there are only a few spots for these prospects to make it to Chicago. The entire infield is blocked for the next five seasons as well as two outfield spots for now. The good thing about this is it going to give those prospects currently in the low minors time to develop over those five years. There could be a rare case of a prospect who could take the job of an MLB player.
On the other hand, some of these prospects will be used as trading chips to bring in a starting pitcher or two over the next two years.
Each position will be ranked based on future talent and current skills. Some position rankings will write themselves while you will be surprised by a few others.
Starting on Friday, the series begins its weekly Friday trek for the next eight weeks. Catchers will be up first with 1B on deck.
Have a happy Thanksgiving!