Team to watch
The Cubs have the game's top farm system and distributed that talent fairly evenly throughout their four full-season affiliates. The Triple-A Iowa Cubs stand out the most with the sheer star power of third baseman Kris Bryant (No. 2 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list) and shortstop Addison Russell (No. 5), both of whom could play major roles in the big leagues this year. The same is true of slugging middle infielder Javier Baez, who lost his prospect status last summer.
Teams on MiLB.TV
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
South Bend Cubs
Right-hander Dylan Cease was pushing to go in the first round of the 2014 Draft before he injured his elbow. He had Tommy John surgery shortly after signing for $1.5 million in the sixth round, and already is throwing off a mound in preparation to make his pro debut this summer in Rookie ball.
On the shelf
Right-hander Pierce Johnson, one of the Cubs' best and most advanced pitching prospects, will open the year in extended spring training while recovering from a minor back injury. He missed the start of last season with hamstring issues.
Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.