Outfielder Brett Jackson is considered by many to be the Cubs' top prospect.

Baseball America released their annual farm system rankings today, and the Cubs came in at 14th. Last year, Baseball America ranked the Cubs' farm system two spots lower, at 16th.

14th is about what I would've guessed at the moment for the Cubs, but there's no doubt the farm system is going to continue to improve a ton with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod, and the rest of the Cubs' new front office superteam running the show. Heck, if they sign highly touted Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler - as they're considered the favorites to once he becomes a free agent -, you might as well move them up another spot or two in these rankings.

The main issue with the Cubs' farm system right now is without question their lack of starting pitching talent. There's not one guy you look at right now in the system and think, "He's going to be a front-of-the-rotation starter." If a couple starting pitchers can break out this year, expect the farm system to be ranked in the top 10 in Baseball America's 2013 rankings.

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A Week Later, The MLB the Show Cubs Commercial Still Sucks

Posted by Michael Castillo | 3/17/2012 01:07:00 PM

Last week, Matt posted the infamous MLB The Show commercial that's done an awfully good job at simulating what it would be like if the Cubs were to actually win the World Series. In that time, I've watched the video quite a few times and have really began to question exactly how I feel about it, because let's be honest, as beautiful as it may be, it's probably the hard video any of us have had to watch. But in a case like that, does beauty and realism warrant bliss? I'm not too sure.

First, let's back things up a bit and get some back story on my perspective. As a kid that grew up with the voice of Harry Caray and Steve Stone, and ditched many sunny summer afternoons for some Rey Sanchez at bats on WGN, I've always been a helpless romantic when it comes to the Cubs. But having said that, most of us are. While most kids played tag and sold lemonade to strangers, there I was, drawing World Series ticket designs with a couple of crayons when I was six. As I got older and more refined (I'll leave my transition from crayons to MS Paint for another post), the dream of the World Series never changed, and rightfully so.

In 2006, I was on YouTube trying to learn about the Premier League after the 2006 World Cup, and I stumbled across the most amazing video I had ever seen. It was a montage of sorts of the 1999 Champions League Final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich, that included play-by-play on top of Sigur Ros and Coldplay songs. Sure, it sounds cheesy now, but if you saw it you wouldn't think so. Well, maybe.

I watched the video for months straight and relived the moment of United becoming European Champions over and over and over again, even though I proclaimed myself to be a Chelsea fan, because there was something magic about the video. The music just fit perfectly, and Clive Tyldesley's antics were incredible. "A basecamp for the last final assault," has been a part my vernacular ever since, and rightfully so. You just can't write a line like that.

So after watching the video hundreds of times, and probably sometime after the Cubs embarrassed the hell out of me in 2008, the video was removed the YouTube. I tell you, a part of me died.

Why was it so hard? Because when I watched the video I didn't think about Ole Solskjaer winning the Champions League, I always pictured Aramis Ramirez putting a ball in the basket and the Cubs walking off as World Series Champions. I would listen to Coldplay's "Fix You", internally avoid the 40-Year-Old Virgin script, and fantasize about some grown men in giant ball of humanity on the Wrigley infield. But alas, the video was gone. I searched many times for the producers of the film, Hammond Films, and never found anything.

The dream was gone and the visualization was fading along with the Cubs' performance in 2009 and 2010.

Or so I thought. About a year ago, for the hell of it, I searched for the video on YouTube and found it. I watched it again, smiling the whole time, and feeling like the cheesy bastard you're envisioning while reading this. There were even other comments on the video saying how happy they were that the video was back. It was awesome.

Again, I envisioned the Cubs defying the odds and doing the unthinkable. Starlin Castro was the hero this time, as clearly my imagination resigned to the notion that Aramis just wasn't cut out for the job anymore.

I downloaded the video now to prevent YouTube from killing it once again, and I still watch it from time to time in iTunes, imagining Wrigley Field instead of the Camp Nou. But earlier this month when the MLB the Show commercial came out, instead of swooning over the uncanny resemblance to my envisions, I couldn't help but feel nothing but petty angst and disappointment.

I know it looked and felt real and that's what it was supposed to do, but it was too real. Too fucking real. It didn't make me happy like Coldplay and Sigur Ros. It didn't make me more excited for the season and fire me up for a lineup headlined by Bryan LaHair. It didn't make me want to win the World Series even. All it did was exploit the notion that it will never happen, showing that this fictitious account of it is the closest we're going to get. At least with my imagination, I was able to

Plus, the asshole's tear at the end was really a lame touch.

Oh, and YouTube deleted that video again. Sorry.


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This is the latest commercial for 'MLB 12: The Show"... just saw it on ESPN 2:


My reaction: Same as that guy's.

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