MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Cubs Prospect List Shows Major Youth Movement

Not to be outdone by the first half of Cubs Insider’s list, MLB Pipeline dropped their top 30 Cubs prospect list Monday morning. There were not a lot of surprises and most of these players haven’t played professionally in well over a year, but the rankings were informed largely by performances in instructs and by recent additions from the Yu Darvish trade.

Things look pretty standard at the top, where Brailyn Marquez is slotted in at No. 1 with Brennen Davis is right behind. Miguel Amaya fell in at third and that’s where the new blood starts to appear. Pipeline last updated their top Cubs list in December and all they really did was add the four prospects who came over from San Diego. This new iteration was a bit more intentional in its rankings.

I was expecting to see Cristian Hernandez in the top 10 and, lo and behold, there he was at four. That’s pretty lofty and we’ll see where he is after his debut season, most likely in the Arizona Rookie League. Rounding out the top 10 are Ed Howard, Kohl Franklin, Adbert Alzolay, Christopher Morel, Ryan Jensen, and Chase Strumpf.

As for for the Darvatini guys, Reggie Preciado kicked off the second 10, followed by Owen Caissie at 12.

The biggest mover from previous prospects is Yohendrick Pinango, who is all the way up to No. 14 after not making the list last fall. Cubs Insider discussed his ascension earlier this winter in the Prospect Stock Watch if you’d like to read more about him. Pinango is also a favorite of other experts and appeared in Keith Law’s top 10.

While we’ll get a better look at where these players stand later in the year, I still came away impressed by depth of young talent the Cubs have in the top 30. Of this group, 20 are age 22 and under. That’s an astounding turnaround for an organization that has had a college-heavy system over the past decade or so.

FanGraphs remains the only major publication left to publish a top Cubs prospect list, but they waited until the 2020 draft before dropping it last year. Will there be a similar delay this year? Who knows.

Our top 20 pitchers list will be out fairly soon so you can compare and contrast with what you see in Pipeline and other places. Then stick with us throughout the season because the CI crew is going to be able to bring you firsthand reports on a lot of these players once the minor league season gets underway.

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