Here are the Cubs' 2023 Top 30 prospects
The Cubs farm system is stronger than it has been since it ranked as the best in the game in 2015 and was funneling players to Chicago who would snap a 108-year World Series championship drought the next season. It's not as deep as it was eight years ago, but there's plenty of prospect talent on hand to return the Cubs to contention in the near future.
Their two best prospects, outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong and Kevin Alcantara, came via the Javier Báez and Anthony Rizzo trades at the 2021 deadline when Chicago fully committed to rebuilding. It also landed three potential rotation pieces in exchange for relievers at the last two deadlines, turning Andrew Chafin, Scott Effross and David Robertson into Daniel Palencia, Hayden Wesneski and Ben Brown. Slugging outfielder Alexander Canario and another potential starter in Caleb Kilian were acquired for Kris Bryant in mid-2021.
Besides building up prospect capital in trades, the Cubs have grabbed three of their best pitching prospects in the last two Drafts. They were pleasantly surprised that Jordan Wicks dropped to them with the 21st overall pick in 2021 before orchestrating their own luck last July. They signed College World Series hero Cade Horton to a below-slot deal at No. 7, freeing up the money to steal Jackson Ferris in the second round.
Chicago's international program also has reeled in high-ceiling talents such as shortstops Cristian Hernandez and Derniche Valdez, though they're several years away from the Majors. Miguel Amaya could be the franchise's catcher of the near and long-term future if he can stay healthy.
Here's a look at the Cubs' top prospects:
- Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF (MLB No. 28)
- Kevin Alcantara, OF (MLB No. 87)
- Brennen Davis, OF (MLB No. 92)
- Cade Horton, RHP
- Hayden Wesneski, RHP
Complete Top 30 list »
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2022 preseason list to the 2023 preseason list:
Jump: Matt Mervis, 1B (2022: NR | 2023: 7)
Mervis went from nondrafted free agent out of Duke in 2020 to super slugger in 2022, batting .309/.379/.605 and leading the Minors with 78 extra-base hits, 310 total bases and 119 RBIs while advancing to Triple-A.
Fall: Brailyn Marquez, LHP (2022: 10 | 2023: NR)
The Cubs' top prospect just two years ago, Marquez hasn't pitched in a game since 2020 because of bouts with COVID and shoulder issues that led to surgery last June.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. This list only includes players among the Cubs’ Top 30 prospects. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 55 -- Pete Crow-Armstrong (Moises Ballesteros, Pedro Ramirez, James Triantos, Derniche Valdez)
Power: 60 -- Alexander Canario (Kevin Alcantara, Brennen Davis, Matt Mervis)
Run: 60 -- Pete Crow-Armstrong (Pedro Ramirez)
Arm: 65 -- Kevin Made
Defense: 80 -- Pete Crow-Armstrong
Fastball: 80 -- Daniel Palencia
Curveball: 60 -- Ben Brown
Slider: 65 -- Cade Horton
Changeup: 70 -- Jordan Wicks
Control: 55 -- Jordan Wicks (Hayden Wesneski)
How they were built
Draft: 15 | NDFA: 1 | International: 6 | Trade: 8
Breakdown by ETA
2023: 11 | 2024: 8 | 2025: 4 | 2026: 6 | 2028: 1
Breakdown by position
C: 2 | 1B: 1 | 2B: 2 | 3B: 1 | SS: 4 | OF: 5 | RHP: 11 | LHP: 4