Pete Crow-Armstrong – Pic via Des Moines Register

Farm System Rankings

The week of August 7 saw a lot of midseason top 100 prospect lists drop along with some team lists as those rankings incorporated recent draft picks. Things were busy again this week as those same publications also put out their farm system rankings. Let’s take a look at three of the major publications and where they ranked the Cubs in relation to all the other organizations.

FanGraphs has the Cubs the highest at number two. That is based on fantasy value of the Cubs top prospects and what helps elevate the Cubs all the way up to number two is their massive depth of talent. Lately, we are starting to see that talentt get all the way up into the top 100 on most major publications. That depth has turned those lists into a warehouse for the Cubs.

Over at MLB Pipeline, they placed the Cubs all the way up to four on their list. I was a little stunned by that because they had them in the mid teens in the spring. The big jump up 12 spots was as a result of having two top 30 prospects in Pete Crow Armstrong and Cade Horton. In addition, the Cubs now have five top 100 prospects at Pipeline with 2 to 3 others very close. Here is what they said:

The Cubs’ system is stronger than it has been since 2015 and much better equipped to produce pitching than it was eight years ago. Horton, Brown and Jordan Wicks are close to taking the mound at Wrigley Field, and Jackson Ferris will need more time but comes with a high ceiling. There’s no shortage of position players on the way to Chicago, including the best defender (Crow-Armstrong) and power hitter (Caissie) in the Minors. Crow-Armstrong, Caissie, Alcántara and Brown all joined the organization via trades.

Meanwhile, Baseball America put the Cubs in the six spot. With only 3 Cubs in their top 100 in PCA, Horton, and Matt Shaw, 

Coming Up to Chicago

Jordan Bastian of wrote an interesting article about the possibility of one Pete Crow Armstrong coming up to Chicago in the next month. Bastian talked with Jed Hoyer about that possibility and also discussed what Pete would bring to the table. Hoyer didn’t dismiss the idea, but he didn’t really dig into whether or not he thought he was ready to contribute at the major league level.

Stat of the Week #1

It’s been a good year in terms of wins and losses in the system. It looks like 3 of the 4 full season squads will be playing in the post season!

Skill Player Rankings

MLB Pipeline also talked this week about players who had certain tools that were better than everybody else. The Cubs, amazingly, had three players mentioned. First, PCA was named best defender, which is no shock. Ben Brown surprisingly was named as having the best curveball in all of minor league baseball. And a big shocker was that Owen Caissie garnered the plaudit of having the best power. Here is what Pipeline wrote.

The best prospect that the Cubs received in the Yu Darvish trade in December 2020, Caissie creates huge raw power with bat speed and leverage in his left-handed stroke. He’s doing a better job of turning on pitches and driving them in the air this summer, challenging for the Double-A Southern League triple crown while batting .293/.394/.554 with 21 homers in 95 games. His exit velocities are exceptional for a 20-year-old and would rank among the best in the Majors.

This week also marks the beginning of the end of the minor league season. On Tuesday, the Dominican, Arizona, and Florida leagues conclude their seasons and their playoffs. Brennan Davis did wind up playing in Arizona this week so he’ll probably be at a full season affiliate come Tuesday. That should be Myrtle Beach or South Bend. I don’t think he’s ready to head back to Iowa just quite yet. We also saw the debut of Michael Carico and nondrafted free agent Landon Ginn this week. Ginn wound up in Myrtle Beach by the weekend.

Stat of the Week #2

I love Luis Vazquez! He is one of my favorite prospects. It has taken a while, but has put it all together this year and the Cubs should be adding him to the 40-man rather than lose him to free agency. He’s still just 23.

Pics of the Week

Coming Up Next Week on NSB

There will be a DSL Recap today as I get ready for the season review next week. Today, though, is all about pitching in the DSL.

I will be back tomorrow with “The Breakdown” as I will look at the front runners for the season long awards. I’ll also take a look at the playoff hunt. Myrtle Beach and South Bend have just 18 games left while Tennessee is now less than a month. At some point, I will have two draft pick profiles of Grayson Moore and Ty Johnson. I’ll also have an initial grade for the draft class of 2022.

Jam of the Week

I really enjoy how Rick Beato breaks down songs and I have been listening to Tool quite a bit since school started. So, here is Rick dissecting why “Schism” by Tool is such a cool jam!