According to Baseball America’s ranking of the 30 MLB farm systems the Cubs come in at No.18.
Author John Manuel sums up Chicago this way: Much better than at this point last year, led by SS Starlin Castro.
Two NL Central foes landed in the bottom five, and to my surprise St. Louis is one of them. Here’s a breakdown of the Central Division that I’ve pasted together from the article.
- 7. Brewers: Alcides Escobar (still barely eligible), ’09 draft pitchers keep Milwaukee strong.
- 10. Pirates: Impressive depth behind top prospects Pedro Alvarez, Tony Sanchez.
- 18. Cubs: as posted above.
- 23. Reds: Hard to fathom Rolen deal, which cost power arms, and handling of top prospect IF/OF Todd Frazier’s position.
- 29. Cardinals: Ranked eighth last spring, St. Louis traded away both star power and depth in 2009 in acquiring Matt Holliday and Mark DeRosa. What’s left is a bunch of role players and 2009 first-rounder Shelby Miller, a promising right-hander but a prep pitcher who has yet to play a full season.
- 30. Astros: Houston has added solid talent in its last two first-rounders, catcher Jason Castro (2008) and Jiovanni Mier (2009), as well as ’08 supplemental pick Jordan Lyles, a promising right-hander. But the Astros’ system is full of holes — it hasn’t produced a team with a winning record since 2007.