The Cubs farm system is making history

The Cubs farm system is making history
July 21, 2014, 12:00 pm
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Tony Andracki

As the Cubs streak toward another last-place finish and possible 90-loss season, the saving grace has been the organization's farm system.

So this should come as good news to Cubs fans: the farm system is making history, according to Baseball America.

BA, one of the most prestigious outlets analyzing prospects, released their midseason Top 50 rankings earlier this month and had three Cubs in the Top 10 - Kris Bryant (2nd), Addison Russell (5) and Javier Baez (7).

[RELATED - Cubs begin Javier Baez Watch, hoping to see brighter future]

Midseason prospect rankings are different than preseason lists, but if the rankings were to hold up heading into 2015, they would be the highest-ranked trio from one team in BA history (the lists started in 1990).

Only one other team has ever earned three guys in the Top 10 - the Kansas City Royals in 2011 with Eric Hosmer (8), Mike Moustakas (9) and Wil Myers (10).

Since its inception in 1990, only five teams have ever earned two Top 5 prospects, the most recent coming in 2008 when the Braves had Tommy Hanson (3) and Jason Heyward (4).

What are the chances the Cubs' trio remains in the Top 10?

What is remarkable is that the Cubs could do better when the offseason rankings roll out. No draft pick from the 2014 draft is likely to crack the top five. It’s hard to see Bryant moving up much—there’s nowhere to go when you are already ranked No. 2, but Russell and Baez are both coming off of frustrating first halves of the minor league season. Russell missed most of the first half with a hamstring injury and Baez struggled with strikeouts. Russell’s injury didn’t really affect his ranking, but Baez’s contact problems did ding him a little. If he shows an ability to recognize pitches better and a better approach in the second half, he could climb a little in the Top 100 rankings.

The Cubs' young prospects have been making headlines over the last week, with a banner day Thursday and another big day Sunday as Baez collected three hits - and extended his hitting streak to 14 games - while Russell hit two homers and drove in six runs.

[RELATED - Was Thursday the biggest day in Theo's tenure with Cubs?]

"It seems two or three of these guys are having a huge game every night," Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said on the "Kap and Haugh" show on CSN Monday. "It's gotten to be a lot of fun to check the box scores."