We were pleasantly surprised today when Fangraphs, led by Eric Longenhagen and Tess Taruskin, published their new Cubs-specific prospect rankings. The publication includes 49 players, with 23 also getting mentioned as a sort of “honorable mention” section.

It’s a pretty incredible post, with every single one of the 72 players getting at least a sentence of analysis. But the new rankings weren’t your run-of-the-mill names. There were several guys thrown into the mix that you probably haven’t had the privilege of witnessing on a list yet.

Right off the bat, it’s great to see national publications equally as high on James Triantos as “the locals” are. The 2021 second round pick slots in at #4 on the list where he is highly praised for a skill that never goes out of style — making a lot of contact and doing so with authority.

Drew Gray and Zac Leigh are a couple of new names when it comes to prospect ranking, with neither guy cracking our list here at North Side Bound, but coming in at #17 and #21 respectively at Fangraphs. Gray is heralded for his already three potentially plus pitches as a teenager and Leigh should be trusted more for his small sample performance as a pro than during his time in college.

Scanning for guys that are rated much lower than the four of us NSB guys, you’ll find Kohl Franklin ranked #34, Kevin Made all the way down at #38, and Jordan Nwogu barely cracking the list at #45.

Made, in particular, receives pretty brutal remarks in the write-up thanks to what Longenhagen and Taruskin call a “horrendous year.” Interesting comments on a guy that improved mightily as the season wore on, to the point that he was the starting shortstop as a teenager in full-season ball.

You’ll notice the large number of players ranging in the 45-or-better range of the scouting scale and, as our guy FullCountTommy points out, that’s vastly improved since the last edition of Fangraph’s rankings.

I’d highly recommend giving the full article a read and, although it could take you all afternoon, it’s well-worth it. Plenty of good nuggets about guys we haven’t heard much about during an injury-plagued 2021 campaign.

Oh, and Brennen Davis was ranked #1, in case you had any questions.

Feature photo of Kevin Made by Rich Biesterfeld (@biest22)