I haven't broken down all the drafts, but over the last 5-7 years I doubt few if any clubs have drafted better than the Cubs, especially in terms of number of legitimate prospects
The farm hasn't really been a major, major issue. It's development that's historically been piss poor.Q: Phil Drinka from Chicago IL asks:
How deep does the farm system go as far as actual major league prospects? I have heard 60 or so, but that seems impossibly high. Also, where would their 30th best prospect rate on one of the weaker minor league systems such as the Cardinals?
A: Jim Callis: I know I seriously looked at 45 guys for the Top 30, while with other organizations I was trying to scramble to find 30 names. Sixty doesn't seem an unreasonable number to me. No. 30 was Jon Leicester, a high-ceilinghigh-risk guy, so he's not the best guy to use as a comparison. No. 29 was Russ Rohlicek, who could have been a No. 20 guy on some bad organizations.
Last edited by cubsbullsbears2; 12-03-2012 at 12:23 AM.
A few years ago, yeah, it was ranked 8th pre-Garza, but it got value from having a bounty of low-ceiling players with a good chance of making the majors and producing at least some value at the ML level. Guys like Flaherty and Colvin. But if you look at Sickels's top 20 from that year, I'd say it was decidedly less enthusiastic than this year's model, both at the top and depth-wise.
At the top of the list, 2013 sports grades of A (borderline A-), B+, B+, B (borderline B+) compared to 2010's B+, B+ (borderline B), B, B. For the 2013 crop, he throws out comps to Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, and Prince Fielder while getting almost a bit geeked out talking about these guys, where in 2010 he called Castro an overhyped prospect and really didn't have anything enthusiastically positive to say about any of them. You just get the impression he thinks more highly of the impact talent at the top of the system now than he did then, and with more conviction.
Then depth-wise, while the 2010 system had depth of high floor players in the top ten, the 2013 system is just plain deeper in quality. He lists 9 C+ grade prospects outside the top-20 this year, where in 2010 he couldn't even fill out the top-20 without including some C prospects.
The system in 2010 was a good value system, and I suppose it's fitting that much of it turned into Garza and Rizzo for the ML team and role players for other teams. But while it had solid value, it wasn't a system anyone was getting excited about. I think you have to go back to the early 2000's Prior/Patterson era for the last time the Cubs had a system this good in the same way.
A guy writing about impact talent in the next few seasons will say the Cubs are lacking. A guy writing about overall potential impact talent will say the Cubs are pretty solid.
Not true at all. Vitters was still Mr. Potential 70/70, Castro had just graduated, Lee was the new it boy, Archer was breaking out...There was an even younger Castillo, well liked even then...Cashner was one of the more well liked pitching prospects in baseball...McNutt was at his peak prospect hype...Szczur was still on the table and shinier...Flaherty, LeMahieu, Colvin, and friends all helped make the system deeper.A few years ago, yeah, it was ranked 8th pre-Garza, but it got value from having a bounty of low-ceiling players with a good chance of making the majors and producing at least some value at the ML level. Guys like Flaherty and Colvin.
What Sickels wrote about Vitters in 2010: "Borderline B. A very tough player to grade. I really hate the low walk rate, but the strikeout rate is also low and he's still very young at age 20. I'll cut him some slack as a result."
Cutting him some slack for his age is hardly the level of enthusiasm he seems to have for Baez, Almora, Soler, and Vogelbach this year.
Szczur was still listed under "others" in 2011, Castillo was a C grade coming in at 20th, he'd already slated Cashner for the pen in 2010, and I think the fact that he included a list of nine more C+ prospects outside the top-20 in 2013 when there were C prospects in the top-20 in 2010 and 2011 speaks for the relative depth.
McNutt has tumbled sooo far down that list. In fact, Sickels had him #5 as of July 27th and now has him at #23 #shithappens
I think there's a little revisionist history when comparing ceilings to how the last crop turned out. Of course the new crop will seem more exciting when you are talking about their ceilings. The sober reality will hit in a few years.