After sending five prospects to the Rays in exchange for Matt Garza this past January, the Cubs tumbled from 8th to 16th in Baseball America's recently released 2011 Organizational Talent Rankings, while the Rays surged to #2 behind the Royals.
Given that the Cubs are also in the middle of the pack with regard to the expectations for this year's big league team (Vegas over/under for Cubs wins: 82.5), it's disappointing to learn that Baseball America doesn't have the highest of hopes for the team's future, either, at least in terms of the prospects in their own system. Before the Cubs can rebuild their pro team, it looks like they may have to do a bit of rebuilding at the lower levels.
But to be fair, they are still 16th, which puts them ahead of all of their NL Central foes other than the Reds (6th). The Cardinals (24th) and Brewers (30th) can't be ecstatic about their latest rankings.
With the departure of pitcher Chris Archer, outfielder Brett Jackson ranks as the Cubs' top prospect. Pitcher Trey McNutt, third baseman Josh Vitters, pitcher Chris Carpenter and outfielder Matt Szczur round out the top five.
Hat tip: MLB Trade Rumors