It took just two years for the Cubs to go from the basement of the National League Central to World Series champions. The foundation of that rebuild was a series of scouting and player-development successes that formed a young core, and the pipeline includes reinforcements.
To say the Cubs have had tremendous success taking hitters early in recent drafts is an understatement, though things haven’t worked out as well with the pitchers they’ve selected in that time. They’re hoping that tune changes with their most recent draft, having mostly eschewed high school pitchers in favor of college hurlers, whom they selected with 16 of their first 18 picks.
An active player on the international scene, the Cubs have six players on this list from parts abroad. And that’s after the notable subtraction of Venezuela-born Gleyber Torres, who would have topped this list if he hadn’t been shipped to the Yankees shortly before the trade deadline.
Here’s a brief intro to the series that explains how these lists are made and includes some thoughts about my personal approach to ranking prospects. We’re going in alphabetical order here in the NL Central, so the Cincinnati Reds are up next: