MLB Pipeline’s rankings actually go all the way to 100, but we’re not worried about the last 27 of those because no Cubs prospects are listed there. The top 73, however, feature seven different players currently in the system at some level. While at least one will age out quickly if all goes according to plan, having the most prospects in the top 100 for the first time in 10 years is pretty cool.
The Orioles have six young players on the list, including No. 1 overall prospect Jackson Holliday, son of Matt. Younger brother Ethan is one of the top-rated prep players in the country and could be on this list following the 2025 draft, assuming he opts against playing college ball.
There’s not much to say about the individual Cubs players that hasn’t already been covered multiple times, so we’ll just stick to the basics for now. Pete Crow-Armstrong came in at No. 16, followed by Cade Horton at 26 and Owen Caissie at 47. That Caissie was not among Pipeline’s top 10 outfielders tells you something about how deep that particular positional group is in the minors.
It’s so deep that PCA is the eighth-ranked outfielder overall. Five of the top 10 prospects play in the grass and there are 15 ranked above Caissie.
The Cubs have several players all bunched up from there, with Michael Busch at No. 51, Matt Shaw at 54, Kevin Alcántara at 65, and James Triantos at 73. Triantos was just named the No. 3 second base prospect by Pipeline, but Shaw missed out on the shortstop category by two spots. Had he been shifted to the right positionally, Shaw would have been second behind Termarr Johnson (No. 44 overall) of the Pirates.
However, Shaw has been taking about 90% of his offseason reps at third and would also fall just behind Busch as the No. 8 prospect there. Interestingly enough, Busch is listed as simply an infielder — the highest-ranked of just three players given that amorphous designation — and is expected to slide over to first with the Cubs.
There’s not much more here to parse without being redundant, though I feel like it’s always worth noting the Cubs’ corner depth. With the middle infield locked up for a few more years, there’s very little room for both Shaw and Triantos to make it to Chicago. The outfield doesn’t offer any promise for either of them because of other players listed here and already in place with the big club, so the most likely solution is a trade. Maybe more than one.
Jed Hoyer still has moves to make this offseason after checking the items off of Tommy Hottovy‘s wish list — Shōta Imanaga, Yency Almonte, and Hector Neris — so now it’s time to find gifts for Dustin Kelly.