Why the Chicago Cubs have the best farm system in the MLB
If everything goes as planned. And nothing has gone right for the Cubs in an extremely long time.
But, there is always hope. And for the Cubs, their hope is in their farm system.
Now, one might argue that the Twins have the best system, having Byron Buxton (the number 1 ranked prospect in baseball) and Miguel Sano (power-hitting 3rd baseman) at their disposal, but both are injury prone, as shown through the injuries they have both suffered this season. Others may say that the Houston Astros have a better system than the Cubs, with their recent 1st pick drafts. However, their only long-term prospect as of right now seems to be shortstop Carlos Correa, who hit .325 in 62 games of Single-A ball, before a fractured fibula ended his season. Mark Appel, the number 1 selection of the 2013 draft, had a poor season in Single-A ball, with a 9.74 ERA in 12 starts; he subsequently dropped to the 44th ranked prospect in baseball.
The Cubs have three prospects ranked in the top 10 of MLB's official prospect watch rankings (http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2014/#list=prospects): Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Addison Russell. Kris Bryant was the 2nd overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft (behind Mark Appel), and he did not disappoint, slugging 40 homers in 125 games in the minors, splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A. Bryant is known for his power, but also has a strong defensive core, led by his powerful arm. Cub fans will not have to wait long for Bryant to make his MLB debut, as it may come as soon as next year.
One prospect that Cub fans do not have to wait for to make his MLB debut is Javier Baez. Currently slotted in the starting second baseman role, Baez has massive power for a middle infielder; through 14 games total in the majors, he has already slugged 5 home runs, and has sturdy defense required in the infield.
Addison Russell is in a bit of a logjam right now. Currently in the minors, he would be a coveted prospect on any other team in the majors. Alas, the Cubs have two solid players manning the middle infield positions, in Starlin Castro and Javier Baez. Unless something occurs to either player, Russell with either have to switch positions, most likely to third, or be traded to a team that will utilize his talents. He is a proven 5-tool player who has spent the year in the minors, although he could receive a call up in September when teams enlarge their rosters.
The Cubbies have an abundance of future talent in these three players; however, there are many other players in their farm system who could prove to be equally as useful to the Cubs as the top three prospects. Albert Almora and Jorge Soler are outfielders who have immense talent and potential. Along with Kris Bryant, these three players could be the face of the Cubs outfield within the next three years. Corey Black, C.J. Edwards and Arodys Vizcaino are three of the top pitching prospects in the Cubs organization, whom fans are excited to watch on the big league level. All three possess unique skill sets that will assist them in making it to the majors, and succeeding there.
With the cream of the crop of talent, the Cubs future looks bright. It will take a few more years of suffering for Cub fans, as the team is a cellar-dweller yet again this season. With the development of some key players, the Cubs will be able to look at the playoffs within a couple of years, and maybe, just maybe, reach that coveted championship.