ESPN speaks highly of Cubs in future power rankings

ArodysVizcaino

(Photo by Stephen Green)

ESPN analysts Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Buster Olney recently ranked all 30 major league clubs in five separate categories to see how they fared in their 2014 Future Power Rankings. And their findings put the Cubs seventh-best on the list, largely due to the state of the farm system as well as the people in charge.

The rankings are designed to evaluate how an organization will fare over a five-year period. Organizations were ranked on a 1-30 scale (30 being the best in the category) on their major league roster, the quality of minor leaguers, the club’s financial state, the management—from the front office on down—and finally the mobility of the current state of finances and age with the payroll. These categories were weighted (majors and minors received full weight, finance and management received 2/3 and mobility was worth 1/3), and the formula produced a single score.

Here’s how the Cubs were scored on each of the five categories:

Majors: 3 (28th in MLB)
Minors: 27 (4th in MLB)
Finance: 21 (10th in MLB)
Management: 23 (8th in MLB)
Mobility: 20 (11th in MLB)

That total means they amassed 58.8 percent of the possible 110 points, good for the top 10 spot. Here are a few more tidbits from the article:

The Overview
The Cubs are poised to lose 90 games again, and there are growing questions about exactly when club ownership will start building a payroll worthy of a team of such financial power. But if you talk to execs around the National League, you can tell they are already worrying about this sleeping giant. With prospects like Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler on the horizon, the Cubs could soon have a powerful lineup. — Buster Olney

The Dilemma
The Cubs’ elite hitting prospects should begin to arrive this year and have them ready to compete by 2016. That gives club president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer two years to find a pitching staff worthy of those hitters. They tried to sign Masahiro Tanaka, but lost out to the Yankees, and don’t be surprised if they look to free agency again next winter when the likes of James Shields and Max Scherzer could be available. — Jim Bowden

Make-or-break year
Arodys Vizcaino appears to be back after two years lost due to arm injuries, including Tommy John surgery; once among the top starting pitching prospects in the minors, he’ll likely have to work his way back as a reliever given all the time he’s lost. — Keith Law

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