Ranking baseball’s farm systems

1. Kansas City Royals. Kansas City has a plethora of top-end impact talent and loads of depth throughout. The best system in baseball and a reason to follow America’s pastime for long-suffering Royal fans.
1. Mike Moustakas / 3B
2. Eric Hosmer / 1B/OF
3. Mike Montgomery / SP
4. Wil Myers / C/OF/1B
5. Daniel Duffy / SP
6. John Lamb / SP
7. Jake Odorizzi / SP
8. Christian Colon / SS
9. Chris Dwyer / SP
10. Johnny Giavotella / 2B

2. Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa has the best one-two prospect punch around, high upside pitching, and stellar depth up and down the minor leagues. Alex Torres, Alex Cobb, and Enny Romero are the some of the pitching highlights beyond the top 10.
1. Desmond Jennings / OF
2. Jeremy Hellickson / SP
3. Jake McGee / SP/RP
4. Matthew Moore / SP/RP
5. Nick Barnese / SP
6. Chris Archer / SP
7. Justin O’Connor / C/3B/SS/2B
8. Alex Colome / SP/RP
9. Josh Sale / OF
10. Hak-Ju Lee / SS

3. Atlanta Braves. Atlanta has potential impact players lined up in their top six and oodles of supplemental low-level talent. Their development reputation has the baseball world wondering who their next set of hot shot prospects will be.
1. Julio Teheran / SP
2. Mike Minor / SP
3. Freddie Freeman / 1B
4. Randall Delgado / SP
5. Arodys Vizcaino / SP/RP
6. Craig Kimbrel / RP
7. J.J. Hoover / SP
8. Matt Lipka / SS
9. Christian Bethancourt / C
10. Andrelton Simmons / SS

4. Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto got good in a hurry. There isn’t a can’t-miss prospect in the bunch, but it’s a strong top 10, with the top five likely to appear in my top 100 prospects, and there is plenty of talent throughout the system that is waiting for recognition.
1. Brett Lawrie / 3B/2B/OF
2. Kyle Drabek / SP
3. Deck McGuire / SP
4. J.P. Arencibia / C
5. Chad Jenkins / SP
6. Travis D’Arnaud / C
7. Carlos Perez / C
8. Adieny Hechavarria / SS
9. Zach Stewart / RP/SP
10. David Cooper / 1B

5. San Diego Padres. The Adrian Gonzalez trade gave San Diego a lift, but they had an underrated farm system to begin with. They have a legitimately good top 20 with James Darnell, Adys Portillo, Matt Lollis, and Keyvius Sampson headlining the back end.
1. Casey Kelly / SP
2. Simon Castro / SP
3. Donavan Tate / OF
4. Jaff Decker / OF
5. Reymond Fuentes / OF
6. Anthony Rizzo / 1B
7. Edinson Rincon / 3B/OF
8. Drew Cumberland / SS/2B
9. Cory Luebke / SP
10. John Barbato / SP/RP

6. Minnesota Twins. Minnesota has a well-balanced system with some high upsiders comprising the top three and plenty of future big leaguers up and down their top 30. Minnesota always seems to have bottomless depth.
1. Kyle Gibson / SP
2. Miguel Sano / 3B/SS
3. Aaron Hicks / OF
4. Alex Wimmers / SP
5. Ben Revere / OF
6. Liam Hendriks / SP
7. Adrian Salcedo / SP
8. Max Kepler-Rozycki / OF
9. Oswaldo Arcia / OF
10. David Bromberg / SP

7. Seattle Mariners. Seattle has a severely underrated system. They have five guys who will fit in my top 100, even though I am in the minority when it comes to Triunfel and Chavez, and it wouldn’t be difficult to put together a respectable top 20 list, either.
1. Michael Pineda / SP
2. Nick Franklin / SS
3. Dustin Ackley / 2B
4. Carlos Triunfel / 3B/2B/SS
5. Johermyn Chavez / OF
6. Mauricio Robles / SP
7. Rich Poythress / 1B
8. James Jones / OF
9. Blake Beavan / SP
10. Alex Liddi / 3B/OF/1B

8. Los Angeles Angels. The Angels have a lot of high-upside arms to keep things interesting, and having Trout at the top of the list is a great asset. But the No. 1 reason they rank No. 8 is because of their overall depth, which is among Kansas City, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota as the top four deepest systems in baseball.
1. Mike Trout / OF
2. Hank Conger / C
3. Garrett Richards / SP
4. Jean Segura / 2B/SS
5. Kaleb Cowart / 3B
6. Fabio Martinez / SP
7. Tyler Chatwood / SP/RP
8. Alexi Amarista / 2B
9. Mark Trumbo / 1B/OF
10. Cam Bedrosian / SP

9. Cleveland Indians. Cleveland lacks a superstar-level talent, but the team does have four guys who will slot into my top 100 and a good amount of depth, even though they aren’t as deep as some are making them out to be.
1. Alex White / SP
2. Lonnie Chisenhall / 3B
3. Jason Knapp / SP/RP
4. Drew Pomeranz / SP
5. Jason Kipnis / 2B/OF
6. Nick Weglarz / OF
7. Chun-Hsiu Chen / C
8. LeVon Washington / OF
9. T.J. House / SP
10. Hector Rondon / SP/RP

10. Colorado Rockies. Colorado has a great one-two pitching punch and brought together an underrated 2010 draft. They have solid depth throughout and a number of guys poised for breakout seasons.
1. Christian Friedrich / SP
2. Tyler Matzek / SP
3. Wilin Rosario / C
4. Nolan Arenado / 3B
5. Chad Bettis / SP/RP
6. Peter Tago / SP
7. Juan Nicasio / SP
8. Kyle Parker / OF
9. Rex Brothers / RP
10. Albert Campos / SP

11. Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati has a potential superstar at the top, but appear to have only six guys who will fit in my top 200, and the depth really seems to run out after the top 15.
1. Aroldis Chapman / SP/RP
2. Devin Mesoraco / C
3. Yasmani Grandal / C
4. Yonder Alonso / 1B/OF
5. Yorman Rodriguez / OF
6. Billy Hamilton / 2B/SS
7. Kyle Lotzkar / SP/RP
8. Cody Puckett / 2B
9. Todd Frazier / OF/3B/1B
10. Juan Francisco / 3B

12. Philadelphia Phillies. Philadelphia’s system looks light years better than it did last year thanks to the emergence of Singleton and their top three pitchers. But the talent falls off a bit after the top five and really tails off after the top 15.
1. Domonic Brown / OF
2. Jonathan Singleton / OF/1B
3. Jarred Cosart / SP
4. Trevor May / SP
5. Brody Colvin / SP
6. Vance Worley / SP
7. Sebastian Valle / C
8. J.C. Ramirez / SP
9. Jesse Biddle / SP
10. Domingo Santana / OF

13. Texas Rangers. The Texas prospect trough has dried up considerably since last year, yet there is talent enough for a solid top 20 list and plenty of time for their young arms and Profar to shine.
1. Martin Perez / SP
2. Tanner Scheppers / RP/SP
3. Jurickson Profar / SS
4. Robert Erlin / SP
5. Robbie Ross / SP
6. Neil Ramirez / SP
7. Kellin Deglan / C
8. Jake Skole / OF
9. Michael Olt / 3B
10. Luis Sardinas / SS

14. New York Yankees. I’m not as high on Betances and Brackman as others are, but Montero is the top prospect in baseball and capable of lifting any farm system. They had a weak 2010 draft, meaning the talent really drops off after the top 15.
1. Jesus Montero / C/OF/1B
2. Manuel Banuelos / SP
3. Dellin Betances / SP/RP
4. Gary Sanchez / C
5. Andrew Brackman / SP/RP
6. Austin Romine / C
7. Cito Culver / SS
8. Brandon Laird / OF/3B
9. Adam Warren / SP
10. Slade Heathcott / OF

15. Washington Nationals. Washington’s system goes downhill quickly after the top 10, and the pitching is thin and unproven, but Espinosa, Norris, and the crown jewel, Harper, make this system shine.
1. Bryce Harper / OF
2. Danny Espinosa / 2B/SS
3. Derek Norris / C
4. A.J. Cole / SP
5. Wilson Ramos / C
6. J.P. Ramirez / OF
7. Corey Brown / OF
8. Eury Perez / OF
9. Sammy Solis / SP
10. Chris Marrero / 1B

16. Pittsburgh Pirates. Pittsburgh’s best asset is the amount of high-upside pitching they possess. They have a strong top eight and then drop off, and it would be difficult finding guys to slot into the final few slots of a top-20 list. They seemed to have had more overall depth last year.
1. Jameson Taillon / SP
2. Tony Sanchez / C
3. Stetson Allie / SP
4. Rudy Owens / SP
5. Luis Heredia / SP
6. Jeff Locke / SP
7. Andrew Lambo / OF
8. Robbie Grossman / OF
9. Justin Wilson / SP/RP
10. Chase D’Arnaud / SS

17. St. Louis Cardinals. Miller is a great young man to have at the top, but the talent dips after the top five and takes a bigger dip after the top 15 or so. It’s a decent system, but there is a lot of work to be done.
1. Shelby Miller / SP
2. Zack Cox / 3B/2B
3. Carlos Matias / SP
4. Oscar Taveras / OF
5. Tyrell Jenkins / SP
6. Eduardo Sanchez / RP
7. Lance Lynn / SP
8. Matt Carpenter / 3B
9. Deryk Hooker / SP/RP
10. Seth Blair / SP/RP

18. Boston Red Sox. The Adrian Gonzalez trade hurts the top of Boston’s system, but they have good depth. A top-20 list would be an easy task. The lack of a standout prospect hurts their ranking.
1. Kolbrin Vitek / 3B/2B/OF
2. Lars Anderson / 1B
3. Jose Iglesias / SS
4. Bryce Brentz / OF
5. Anthony Ranaudo / SP/RP
6. Oscar Tejeda / 2B
7. Stolmy Pimentel / SP
8. Chris Balcom-Miller / SP
9. Drake Britton / SP
10. Josh Reddick / OF

19. Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are more talented than this ranking suggests, but they had a disappointing 2010 from a numbers standpoint. Like Boston, they have good depth but lack a standout prospect.
1. Dee Gordon / SS
2. Rubby De La Rosa/ SP/RP
3. Zach Lee / SP
4. Aaron Miller / SP/RP
5. Chris Withrow / SP
6. Kenley Jansen / RP
7. Allen Webster / SP
8. Jerry Sands / 1B/OF
9. Scott Elbert / RP/SP
10. Garrett Gould / SP

20. Arizona Diamondbacks. If Parker picks up where he left off, this system will get a considerable boost. It looks like they will have nine guys in my top 200 list, and I could comfortably put together a respectable top 20 for this system. It’s the lack of top-100 talent that hinders this group.
1. Jarrod Parker / SP
2. Tyler Skaggs / SP
3. Wade Miley / SP
4. Bobby Borchering / 3B/1B
5. Pat Corbin / SP
6. Matt Davidson / 3B/OF/1B
7. Charles Brewer / SP
8. Chris Owings / SS/2B
9. Marc Krauss / OF
10. A.J. Pollock / OF

21. Oakland Athletics. Helping Oakland’s case is their top four, all top 100 prospects. Just about everything beyond that is hurting this team. They may have the weakest pitching in all of minor league baseball.
1. Michael Choice / OF
2. Grant Green / SS
3. Chris Carter / 1B/OF
4. Jemile Weeks / 2B
5. Ian Krol / SP
6. Max Stassi / C
7. Josh Donaldson / C
8. Adrian Cardenas / 2B
9. Michael Taylor / OF
10. Eric Sogard / 2B

22. Detroit Tigers. Turner is a great talent to have at the top, and their top five rounds out nicely, but the rest of this system leaves a lot to be desired.
1. Jacob Turner / SP
2. Andrew Oliver / SP
3. Nick Castellanos / 3B
4. Charles Furbush / SP
5. Casey Crosby / SP/RP
6. Daniel Schlereth / RP
7. Brayan Villarreal / SP/RP
8. Daniel Fields / OF
9. Adam Wilk / SP/RP
10. Francisco Martinez / 3B

23. Houston Astros. Lyles is a respectable No. 1 who heads up a respectable top nine. After the first nine, this system falls off a cliff. I find it hard to justify a top-15 list for this group.
1. Jordan Lyles / SP
2. Jiovanni Mier / SS
3. Delino DeShields / 2B/OF
4. Mike Foltynewicz / SP
5. Tanner Bushue / SP
6. Jonathan Villar / SS/3B/2B
7. Jimmy Paredes / 2B
8. Austin Wates / OF
9. J.D. Martinez / OF
10. Jay Austin / OF

24. New York Mets. The Mets have a good amount of high-upside talent on their side and a strong No. 1 to lean on, but I was disappointed with their 2010 draft, and they only have one player in my top 100.
1. Wilmer Flores / 3B/SS
2. Reese Havens / 2B/3B/SS
3. Aderlin Rodriguez / 3B
4. Matt Harvey / RP/SP
5. Brad Emaus / 2B/3B/OF
6. Cesar Puello / OF
7. Cory Vaughn / OF
8. Jeurys Familia / SP/RP
9. Dillon Gee / SP
10. Kirk Nieuwenhuis / OF

25. Chicago Cubs. I’m not as high on Brett Jackson and McNutt as most are. The Cubs’ system is built on the reputation of those two right now. This system sees a talent dip after the top seven, but a decent top 15 could be pieced together thanks to some high-upside arms in the lower levels.
1. Brett Jackson / OF
2. Trey McNutt / SP
3. Jay Jackson / SP/RP
4. Hayden Simpson / SP
5. Josh Vitters / 3B
6. Michael Burgess / OF
7. Chris Carpenter / RP/SP
8. DJ LeMahieu / 2B
9. Reggie Golden / OF
10. Austin Reed / SP/RP

26. San Francisco Giants. It appears that only Wheeler will fit in my top 100, and, yes, that does account for Belt, who I am far from sold on. It also appears that San Francisco only has three players who will appear in my top 200, despite having some low-level depth to work with.
1. Zack Wheeler / SP
2. Brandon Belt / 1B
3. Gary Brown / OF
4. Eric Surkamp / SP
5. Jorge Bucardo / RP/SP
6. Thomas Joseph / C/1B
7. Ehire Adrianza / SS
8. Rafael Rodriguez / OF
9. Thomas Neal / OF
10. Francisco Peguero / OF

27. Baltimore Orioles. With Baltimore you have Machado, Britton, and everyone else. I could scrape together a top 15, but this team doesn’t deserve much more than that at this point.
1. Manny Machado / 3B/SS
2. Zach Britton / SP
3. Matt Hobgood / SP
4. Xavier Avery / OF
5. Ryan Adams / 2B
6. Joe Mahoney / 1B
7. Mychal Givens / SS/3B/2B
8. Ryan Berry / SP/RP
9. Brandon Erbe / RP/SP
10. LJ Hoes / 2B

28. Chicago White Sox. Sale is the only player keeping this system afloat. Escobar should fit into my top 200. Flowers might. You could make a case that this is the thinnest system in baseball.
1. Chris Sale / SP/RP
2. Eduardo Escobar / SS
3. Tyler Flowers / C/1B/OF
4. Brent Morel / 3B
5. Jared Mitchell / OF
6. Andre Rienzo / SP/RP
7. Addison Reed / SP/RP
8. Josh Phegley / C
9. Brandon Short / OF
10. Jacob Petricka / RP/SP

29. Milwaukee Brewers. Milwaukee will have no one in my top 100 after off-season trades pillaged their finer pieces, but they still have some depth that could surprise. I could piece together a top 20 thanks to some mildly intriguing low-level talent.
1. Mark Rogers / SP/RP
2. Caleb Gindl / OF
3. Kyle Heckathorn / SP
4. Wily Peralta / SP
5. Cody Scarpetta / SP/RP
6. Kentrail Davis / OF
7. Amaury Rivas / SP
8. Cutter Dykstra / 3B/2B/OF
9. Scooter Gennett / 2B
10. Logan Schafer / OF

30. Florida Marlins. James is the only one who has a shot at my top 100 list, and there is little left beyond their top 10. Milwaukee’s superior low-end talent solidifies Florida’s spot as the worst system in baseball.
1. Chad James / SP
2. Brad Hand / SP
3. Matt Dominguez / 3B
4. Kyle Skipworth / C
5. Osvaldo Martinez / 2B/SS
6. Marcell Ozuna / OF
7. Rob Rasmussen / SP/RP
8. Christian Yelich / OF/1B
9. Jhan Marinez / RP
10. Tom Koehler / SP

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Comments

  1. obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

    Wow, going out on a limb there and saying that Belt is not all that. 

    Most prospect analysts really love the guy, Law #17, Piliere #20, Callis #40, Manuel #26, Lingo #22, Mayo #26.  Most felt he was among the top 1B prospects.  And many did not include Zach Wheeler in their Top list, though some did. 

    I would love to hear why you think Wheeler is as good as you think and why you think Belt is not as good as everyone else thinks.

    And I realize that this is all opinion, frankly, I worry that Belt is not as good as everyone says he is, given his unheralded beginnings, and I really like Wheeler and yet many have left him off their Top list, so I really want to know your reasons for this ranking.  Thanks.

  2. Jackson said...

    Also would love an explanation on Belt, I’ve only heard great things from anyone that’s had anything to say about him.

  3. David said...

    This isn’t a ranking of the top systems, but rather a ranking of the talent currently in the system.  San Diego trading Gonzalez, or Washington drafting Harper #1 moves those teams upwards.

    Is there any way you can rank organizations based on their ability to draft lesser regarded talent and develop them beyond their expectation?  Maybe at least an off the top of your head ranking if it’s too much research?

  4. E said...

    It appears that only Wheeler will appear in my top 100, and, yes, that does apparently account for Belt’s non-appearance, who it appears I am far from sold on. It also appears that San Francisco only has three players who will appear in my top 200 appearances, despite having some appearing low-level depth to apparently work with.

    NEEDED MOAR APPEAR.

    Fixed.

  5. Scott said...

    Freddie Freeman
    Craig Kimbrel
    Mike Minor
    Arodys Vizcaino
    Randall Delgado

    Groomed and ready for big league action. Need I say more.

  6. Scott said...

    Oh yeah, my bad, I left out Jonny Venters.

    Anyway point is the Braves know how to bring players up through their system to the big leagues. Heck, they’ve traded away more minor league talent then most teams have produced. You don’t win 14 division titles in a row by mistake.

  7. Shawn Nelson said...

    How about you do a little research before ranking Brewer prospects. Cutter Dykstra was traded a LONG time ago for Morgan and should never have been even CONSIDERED a top ten prospect. POgers #1??? Are you kidding me? when did you make this list 8 months ago? Peralta should be # 1(Providing you don’t consider the 2011 draft.) Gennett should be # 2 and you dont even mention Taylor Green??  Cripes it’s like you just randomly picked names out of the Baseball America prospect book!!

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