ESPN’s Keith Law revealed his rankings for all 30 clubs and their Minor League systems, with the Chicago Cubs coming out on top for the second consecutive season. The article, which is available only to those with an ESPN Insider subscription, can be found here.
At least three of the Cubs’ top prospects are expected to be in the top 15-20 when MLB.com reveals their Top 100 Prospects list later this week. 2014 Smokies third baseman Kris Bryant could be as high as the No. 1 slot, while SS Addison Russell should be in the top ten and OF Jorge Soler the top 15 or 20. Possible 2015 Smokies C Kyle Schwarber also has a chance to break into the top 20, and is in that group according to some.
The Smokies have seen a large amount of talent over the past couple of years, seeing top prospects including Bryant, Russell and Soler, in addition to Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara, C.J. Edwards, Albert Almora and Pierce Johnson just to name a few. Several highly regarded Cubs prospects have a chance, along with Schwarber, to don a Smokies uniform this season such as Dan Vogelbach, who earlier this week was named the eighth-best first base prospect in baseball, and Billy McKinney, as well under-the-radar type prospects such as Bijan Rademacher.
Russell was also recognized by MLB.com on Wednesday as the third-best shortstop prospect in the game, behind only Houston’s Carlos Correa and Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor, and Almora could possibly be among the top 10 outfield prospects.
Tennessee’s Opening Day roster won’t be finalized until April, but based on Keith Law’s rankings, the Smokies should get their slice of the incredibly talented prospect pie that is the Chicago Cubs farm system.