2017 Prospects: Chicago Cubs Top 10 Prospects

Last Year’s Cubs List

The State of the System: Flags fly forever, baby! (It’s not very strong at the top, but there’s a lot of interesting young upside plays further down the list)

The Top Ten

  1. OF Eloy Jimenez
  2. 2B/OF Ian Happ
  3. OF Albert Almora, Jr.
  4. RHP Trevor Clifton
  5. 3B Jeimer Candelario
  6. RHP Jose Albertos
  7. RHP Dylan Cease
  8. RHP Oscar De La Cruz
  9. OF Eddy Julio Martinez
  10. RHP Thomas Hatch

The Big Question: How might it all go wrong for the Cubs?

A popular technique in project management or consultation is the premortem. For those of you not as well-versed in behavioral economics—or at least those who have spent fewer hours of your life teching corporate conferences than I did—we’ll take a page out of Adam McKay’s book and let Richard Thaler sum it up:

“Assume we are at some time in the future when the plan has been implemented, and the outcome was a disaster. Write a brief history of that disaster.”

There has already been a whole lot of ink spilled on how the Cubs got to the point where they could fly a World Series pennant on Waveland Ave. Even here at BP we gushed about how well Theo Epstein and company’s plan worked.

So let’s let the air out of the party balloons briefly. The Cubs dealt some pretty premium prospects to the Yankees for a few months of Aroldis Chapman, but the system is still pretty healthy. At the top, one of the best prospects in baseball. And past that, some close-to-the-majors bats and high upside arms. There’s the spoils from a huge 2015 IFA class yet to even come stateside and begin to make their mark (more on them later). But if there is one thing you take away from composing prospect lists, it’s that there are oh so many ways it can go wrong (and people will remind you about all of them on Twitter three years from now).

So how might it go wrong from the Cubs 2017 Top Ten Prospects?

Editors Note: This piece is previewed here. To read the rest, head over to the main site.

Lead photo courtesy Mark J. Rebilas—USA Today Sports

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