Jordan Wicks picture by Todd Johnson

And just like that, prospect list season has come to a screeching halt. It all happened over 12 hour period. It began when MLB Pipeline published their top 30 list around 8:25 last night and then at 6 o’clock this morning Kylie McDaniel of ESPN put out his top Cubs prospect list to end the season. It won’t pick up again until just before and right after the draft.

McDaniel starts out his list the same as every other list this winter with Brennen Davis at the top. This officially makes Davis a unanimous selection as the Cubs top prospect by all the major publications this winter. But that’s where the similarities end, other than the names. And that seems to be the theme this year of almost every prospect list. The names are the same, but they are in varying orders. Some people view Owen Caissie very high while others did not even put James Triantos in their top 10. And several lists didn’t even include Reggie Preciado and DJ Herz, who is well thought of on the lists he made, he just didn’t make that many.

Back to ESPN’s list…

The strange thing about McDaniel’s list at ESPN is that it has a completely different order than Jim Callis’ list over at Pipeline. From the looks of it, McDaniel went all-in on the young kids. After Davis, Owen Caissie came in second followed by James Triantos, Cristian Hernandez, Pete Crow-Armstrong, Kevin Alcântara, and Reggie Preciado. That is more in line with my kind of thinking although I might have them in a different order.

Overall, McDaniel‘s list tends to fall more on the side of tools and skill sets than it does production at this point. That’s been the theme this winter as we’ve seen lists that value upside more while others are more conservative and look equally at production vs. talent and potential.

As a result of McDaniel and ESPN putting out this list, prospect list season is finally at a close. 

Throughout this winter I have been keeping track of the lists and assigning points for who is placed where. The top prospect gets 10 points, second gets 9, and so on. Here are the final results.

As we said before, Brennen Davis was unanimous. After that there were a bunch of guys all in the same area. Cristian Hernandez came in second with 53 followed by Kevin Alcantara with 49. Pete Crow-Armstrong was next with 46.5 while Owen Caissie had 46. James Triantos was next at 43.5 points and then there was a big drop off down to Jordan Wicks and Reggie Preciado, and finally Brailyn Marquez, who rounded out the top 10.

The list is a little strange because Baseball America still has Brailyn Marquez at number three on their list and that, in and of itself, was worth 8 prospect points. There were other prospects who appeared on the same number of lists as Marquez, but they were not ranked as high. 

In total, only Davis, Alcantara, and Owen Caissie were on every list. Caleb Kilian was on every list but North Side Bound’s, granted our list came out two weeks before his fall domination in the Arizona Fall League. Triantos finished sixth overall despite being left off of two lists at Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. 18 guys received top 10 placements. Six of those 18 only appeared on one list. So, it was mostly 12 players competing for 10 spots this year.

With the Cubs picking at the seven spot in each round of the MLB Draft this year, the Cubs should have the opportunity to draft four or five really good players who could be top 100 draft prospects this summer. That could also move the needle quite a bit when it comes to next year‘s list. Then again, there is a whole season of baseball to be played and we could see guys like Daniel Palencia, Kohl Franklin, Chase Strumpf, Jeremiah Estrada, and others force their way into a Top 10 list.

It is going to be a very fun minor league season.

Go check out our preseason extravaganza debut post from this morning where we predict who the statistical leaders in hitting will be this summer in the Cubs’ system.