The Cubs are trying to thread a needle this winter to remain competitive in 2021 with an eye on their future and long-term success.

Baseball America is giving Cubs fans an idea what that future could look like. 

Monday, BA released its Cubs top 10 prospects list for 2021, accompanied by a projected 2024 lineup (with a designated hitter) and starting rotation. The group includes current Cubs, with some noticeable names absent.

Lineup

C: Miguel Amaya 

1B: Anthony Rizzo 

2B: Nico Hoerner 

3B: David Bote 

SS: Ed Howard (2020 first-round pick)

LF: Cole Roederer (2018 second-round pick)

CF: Ian Happ 

RF: Brennen Davis (2018 second-round pick)

DH: Victor Caratini 

Rotation

1. Kyle Hendricks 

2. Brailyn Marquez

3. Adbert Alzolay 

4. Kohl Franklin (2018 sixth-round pick)

5. Alec Mills

Closer: Ryan Jensen (2019 first-round pick)

RELATED: Matt Dorey is optimistic about Cubs’ homegrown pitching depth

Yu Darvish, Craig Kimbrel, Willson Contreras, Kris Bryant, Javy Báez and Jason Heyward are not listed. Some of those six obviously could still be Cubs come 2024, but their contract statuses are one explanation for their exclusions. 

Báez and Bryant are under club control through 2021 and Contreras through 2022. Kimbrel is signed through 2021 (with a 2022 vesting option), and Darvish and Heyward through 2023. Rizzo, however, is included and only under contract through 2021, as are Happ and Caratini — both of whom are arbitration-eligible through '23.

 

Amaya, Howard, Davis, Marquez, Alzolay, Franklin and Jensen each are on BA's newest list of the Cubs’ top 10 prospects. 

Alzolay and Marquez have already made their big league debuts, and we may see many more Cubs top prospects graduate to the big leagues in the near future.

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