After receiving numerous requests to compile all of my team-by-team top-10 lists into one large article, I have decided to do just that. I also find this format to be a great way to rank each team’s farm system and get caught up on offseason activity, whether it be the Yankees selling off their young assets or rising stars unexpectedly calling it quits in Oakland. This compilation also gives me a great template on which to base my upcoming off-season top-100 list.
Pitching wins championships, and the Rays are flush with talented arms who will provide strong rotation options for years to come, and a position player like Jennings can make all the difference in their lineup.
1. Desmond Jennings OF / 2. Jeremy Hellickson SP / 3. Wade Davis SP / 4. Matthew Moore SP / 5. Tim Beckham SS / 6. Reid Brignac SS / 7. Nick Barnese SP / 8. Jake McGee SP/RP / 9. Kyle Lobstein SP / 10. Cody Rogers OF
Texas is flush with high-potential pitching at various levels of the minor leagues, even though much of it is unproven. The track records of Feliz and Main make up for it, though. The system does lack bats beyond Smoak, which keeps it from the top spot.
1. Justin Smoak 1B / 2. Neftali Feliz SP/RP / 3. Martin Perez SP / 4. Robert Ross SP / 5. Kasey Kiker SP / 6. Michael Main SP / 7. Tanner Scheppers SP / 8. Max Ramirez C / 9. Wilfredo Boscan SP / 10. Wilmer Font SP
The graduation of Matt LaPorta hurts, but Cleveland has high-potential players, and most with track records, at the top of its system, and great depth throughout.
1. Carlos Santana C / 2. Hector Rondon SP / 3. Lonnie Chisenhall 3B / 4. Jason Knapp SP / 5. Alex White SP / 6. Michael Brantley OF / 7. Alexander Perez SP / 8. Nick Weglarz OF / 9. T.J. House SP / 10. Carlos Rivero SS
Atlanta boasts the best position prospect in baseball, loads of pitching talent in the low minors, and a few more quality hitters sprinkled throughout. Their overall depth is merely average, however, as there isn’t much of note beyond the top 15.
1. Jason Heyward OF / 2. Freddie Freeman 1B / 3. Julio Teheran SP / 4. Mike Minor SP / 5. Randall Delgado / 6. Zeke Spruill SP / 7. Arodys Vizcaino SP / 8. Craig Kimbrel RP / 9. Christian Bethancourt C / 10. Brett DeVall SP
The top of the Giants’ system is excellent with Bumgarner, Posey, and Wheeler, and they have a decent mix of hitters and pitchers beyond that. But their depth fades dramatically after the top 12 or so.
1. Madison Bumgarner SP / 2. Buster Posey C / 3. Zack Wheeler SP / 4. Thomas Joseph C/1B / 5. Thomas Neal OF / 6. Rafael Rodriguez OF / 7. Nick Noonan 2B / 8. Dan Runzler RP / 9. Ehire Adrianza SS / Brandon Crawford SS
The Royals combine high-potential impact players with strong depth, as I found it difficult to cut five others from their top-10 list. The only problem is that their potential stars are unproven at higher levels, knocking their ranking down a peg or two. With continued success, however, they could be at the very top of this list next year.
1. Mike Moustakas 3B / 2. Eric Hosmer 1B / 3. Danny Duffy SP / 4. Mike Montgomery SP / 5. Tim Melville SP / 6. Aaron Crow SP / 7. Wil Myers C / 8. Johnny Giavotella 2B / 9. John Lamb SP / 10. Chris Dwyer SP/RP
Anderson’s studly status took a hit in 2009, leaving the Red Sox without a star in the high minors. But their farm system is one of the deepest in baseball, diverse, and well-rounded, headed up by the likes of Kelly and Westmoreland, who provide tremendous promise in the low minors.
1. Lars Anderson 1B / 2. Casey Kelly SP / 3. Ryan Westmoreland OF / 4. Michael Bowden SP / 5. Stolmy Pimentel SP / 6. Ryan Kalish OF / 7. Junichi Tazawa SP / 8. Josh Reddick OF / 9. Reymond Fuentes OF / 10. Jose Iglesias SS
The Rockies have put together the type of starting pitching that makes me think “perennial contender.” They don’t have an impact bat, but there is some underrated depth, highlighted by the playmaking ability of Young.
1. Christian Friedrich SP / 2. Jhoulys Chacin SP / 3. Tyler Matzek SP / 4. Eric Young 2B/OF / 5. Rex Brothers SP/RP / 6. Mike McKenry C / 7. Nolan Arenado 3B / 8. Wilin Rosario C / 9. Chris Balcom-Miller SP / 10. Tim Wheeler OF
Escobar and Lawrie provide the star power for a deep system. They feature some universally underrated position players in Gindl and Lucroy, and, while not possessing one standout at this point, feature a good amount of pitching depth.
1. Alcides Escobar SS / 2. Brett Lawrie 2B/3B/OF / 3. Caleb Gindl OF / 4. Jonathan Lucroy C / 5. Eric Arnett SP / 6. Zach Braddock RP/SP / 7. Angel Salome C / 8. Mark Rogers SP / 9. Wily Peralta SP/RP / 10. Jake Odorizzi SP
The Pirates have built up their system nicely in recent years, and they have to in their position. They have a good mix of pitching and hitting, a star at the top in Alvarez, and underrated depth. I feel like I could have put together a top-20 list comfortably. There is hope, Pittsburgh fans.
1. Pedro Alvarez 3B/1B / 2. Tim Alderson SP / 3. Tony Sanchez C / 4. Brad Lincoln SP / 5. Robbie Grossman OF / 6. Brett Lorin SP / 7. Jose Tabata OF / 8. Victor Black SP/RP / 9. Brooks Pounders SP / 10. Daniel McCutchen SP
Strasburg was a slam-dunk addition, and a breakout year from Norris and Espinosa helped, but the Nationals’ depth is weak. Yet, they may be just one more strong draft away from one of the best systems in baseball in terms quality and quantity. Owning the No. 1 pick helps.
1. Stephen Strasburg SP / 2. Derek Norris C / 3. Danny Espinosa SS / 4. Chris Marrero 1B / 5. Drew Storen RP/SP / 6. Ian Desmond SS/2B / 7. Eury Perez OF / 8. Destin Hood OF / 9. Michael Burgess OF / 10. Marcos Frias SP
San Diego’s top 10 is well-balanced with potential versus production, but the talent drops off soon after. Tate and Decker are an exciting duo who contrast each other well.
1. Donavan Tate OF / 2. Jaff Decker OF / 3. Simon Castro SP / 4. James Darnell 3B / 5. Edinson Rincon OF/3B / 6. Wynn Pelzer SP / 7. Logan Forsythe 3B/OF / 8. Rymer Liriano OF / 9. Aaron Poreda RP/SP / 10. Everett Williams OF
The A’s have some talented bats at various levels of the minors and strong overall depth, but the top-notch reinforcements for their starting rotation have thinned now that Anderson and Cahill are full-time big leagers.
1. Chris Carter 1B / 2. Grant Green SS / 3. Jemile Weeks 2B / 4. Michael Taylor OF / 5. Michael Ynoa SP / 6. Adrian Cardenas / 7. Max Stassi C / 8. Sean Doolittle OF / 9. Tyson Ross SP / 10. Josh Donaldson C
Highlighted by Matusz, the Orioles believe they have the young arms to regain their former glory. Impact bats would help in that quest, and that is where the system falls short now that Matt Wieters has graduated.
1. Brian Matusz SP / 2. Jake Arrieta SP / 3. Brandon Erbe SP / 4. Matt Hobgood SP / 5. Zach Britton SP / 6. Josh Bell 3B / 7. Xavier Avery OF / 8. Mychal Givens SS / 9. Brandon Snyder 1B / 10. Ryan Adams 2B
Montero is a standout who manages to cover up some of the organization’s shortcomings, and Banuelos is a promising young arm, but New York’s farm system is thinner than in recent years.
1. Jesus Montero C/1B / 2. Manuel Banuelos SP / 3. Jairo Heredia SP / 4. Austin Romine C / 5. Kelvin De Leon OF / 6. Slade Heathcott OF / 7. D.J. Mitchell SP / 8. Zach McAllister SP / 9. Gary Sanchez C / 10. John Murphy C
The Angels lack a blue-chip prospect in the high minors, but they have tremendous depth, a well-rounded system, and players like Trout, Richards, and Martinez at the lower levels who have the potential to break out.
1. Hank Conger C / 2. Trevor Reckling SP / 3. Mike Trout OF / 4. Randal Grichuk OF / 5. Jordan Walden SP/RP / 6. Peter Bourjos OF / 7. Garrett Richards SP / 8. Chris Pettit OF / 9. Fabio Martinez SP / 10. Tyler Skaggs SP
Stanton and Morrison form a great and farm-system-saving middle-of-the-order duo, but is it just me or has Florida’s depth dried up? It would be difficult forming even a top-15 list with players that deserve it.
1. Mike Stanton OF / 2. Logan Morrison 1B / 3. Chad James SP / 4. Matt Dominguez 3B / 5. Kyle Skipworth C / 6. Ryan Tucker SP / 7. Jake Smolinski 3B/2B / 8. Brad Hand SP / 9. Isaac Galloway OF / 10. Gaby Sanchez 1B
Turner and Crosby form a good one-two pitching punch, and Sizemore has All-Star ability at second base, but Detroit’s farm system is one of the thinnest in baseball, even with the addition of Jackson and Schlereth.
1. Jacob Turner SP / 2. Scott Sizemore 2B / 3. Casey Crosby SP / 4. Alex Avila C / 5. Austin Jackson OF / 6. Ryan Strieby 1B/OF / 7. Andy Oliver SP/RP / 8. Daniel Schlereth RP / 9. Cody Satterwhite RP / 10. Wilkin Ramirez OF
The Mets’ ability to scout international talent has saved their farm system. They have a nice mix of talent from different places on the diamond, but very little depth beyond the top 10.
1. Jenrry Mejia SP / 2. Fernando Martinez OF / 3. Wilmer Flores SS / 4. Ike Davis 1B / 5. Reese Havens SS/3B/2B / 6. Jonathon Niese SP / 7. Jeurys Familia SP / 8. Ruben Tejada SS/2B / 9. Brad Holt SP/RP / 10. Josh Thole C
The Reds lack depth and one true standout, but they have a nice mix of near-ready players, like Alonso and Leake, and high-potential players, like Chapman and Mesoraco.
1. Yonder Alonso 1B / 2. Mike Leake SP / 3. Aroldis Chapman SP / 4. Juan Francisco 3B / 5. Travis Wood SP / 6. Todd Frazier OF / 7. Chris Heisey OF / 8. Matt Maloney SP / 9. Devin Mesoraco C / 10. Brad Boxberger SP/RP
The Astros don’t have much depth to speak of, but they are much improved overall from recent years. Lyles, Mier, and Castro together are a solid 1-2-3.
1. Jordan Lyles SP / 2. Jiovanni Mier SS / 3. Jason Castro C / 4. Sammy Gervacio RP / 5. Tanner Bushue SP / 6. Ross Seaton SP / 7. Jonathan Gaston OF / 8. Brad Dydalewicz SP / 9. Chia-Jen Lo RP / 10. Jay Austin OF
The Mariners have some strong middle-of-the-order bats that they can lean on, but their minor league pitching is in ruins and there is very little depth beyond the top 10.
1. Michael Saunders OF / 2. Carlos Triunfel 3B/SS / 3. Dustin Ackley OF / 4. Alex Liddi 3B / 5. Johermyn Chavez OF / 6. Rich Poythress 1B / 7. Mike Carp 1B / 8. Michael Pineda SP/RP / 9. Gabriel Noriega SS / 10. Nick Franklin SS
The Dodgers possess average overall depth and some promising young pitching. They lack a standout, but the likes of Lambo, Withrow, Martin, and Gordon have the ability to become that standout.
1. Andrew Lambo OF / 2. Chris Withrow SP / 3. Ethan Martin SP/RP / 4. Dee Gordon SS / 5. Aaron Miller SP / 6. Scott Elbert SP/RP / 7. Josh Lindblom RP/SP / 8. Garrett Gould SP / 9. Allen Webster SP / 10. Ivan DeJesus 2B/SS
The Cubs have invested well in the international market in recent years, and it shows in their much-improved depth. They lack a stud at the top, but Castro is on the cusp.
1. Starlin Castro SS / 2. Josh Vitters 3B / 3. Brett Jackson OF / 4. Jay Jackson SP / 5. Hak-Ju Lee SS / 6. Kyler Burke OF / 7. Andrew Cashner RP/SP / 8. Chris Archer SP / 9. Chris Carpenter SP/RP / 10. Ryan Flaherty 2B
Perhaps more so than any other team in baseball, Minnesota’s farm system is based on projection and tools. It’s a wait-and-see scenario, but the talent is there to pull it off.
1. Aaron Hicks OF / 2. Ben Revere OF / 3. Kyle Gibson SP / 4. Miguel Sano SS / 5. Adrian Salcedo SP / 6. Wilson Ramos C / 7. Angel Morales OF / 8. Joe Benson OF / 9. David Bromberg SP / 10. B.J. Hermsen SP
Miller and Lynn have good potential but much to prove, and St. Louis has a couple of major-league-ready players, but none that possess star ability. St. Louis is on shaky ground both in terms and quality and quantity beyond the top eight.
1. Shelby Miller SP / 2. Lance Lynn SP / 3. Jaime Garcia SP / 4. David Freese 3B / 5. Allen Craig OF / 6. Robert Stock C / 7. Anthony Ferrera SP / 8. Daryl Jones OF / 9. Pete Kozma SS / 10. Eduardo Sanchez RP
The Blue Jays were destined for dead-last on this list, and it took trading Roy Halladay to pull them out. Wallace and Drabek are great additions, but the system is still quite thin and in need of more work.
1. Brett Wallace 3B/1B / 2. Kyle Drabek SP / 3. Chad Jenkins SP / 4. Travis D’Arnaud C / 5. J.P. Arencibia C / 6. Tyler Pastornicky SS / 7. Zach Stewart RP/SP / 8. David Cooper 1B / 9. Henderson Alvarez SP / 10. Moises Sierra OF
Parker’s Tommy John surgery has crippled the system. In an attempt to resuscitate it the Diamondbacks had a stellar and deep 2009 draft, but each and every one of their draftees has a lot to prove before I raise the team out of the cellar.
1. Jarrod Parker SP / 2. Brandon Allen 1B / 3. Ryan Wheeler 1B / 4. Bobby Borchering 3B/1B / 5. David Nick 2B / 6. Mike Belfiore SP/RP / 7. Wade Miley SP / 8. Chris Owings SS/2B / 9. A.J. Pollock OF / 10. Marc Krauss OF
With the question marks surrounding Flowers’ ability to stay at catcher, the lack of top-of-the-rotation arms beyond Hudson, and dearth of overall depth, White Sox fans don’t have much to look forward to.
1. Tyler Flowers C/1B / 2. Dan Hudson SP / 3. Brent Morel 3B / 4. John Ely SP / 5. Jared Mitchell OF / 6. Jordan Danks OF / 7. Dayan Viciedo 3B / 8. David Holmberg SP / 9. Josh Phegley C / 10. John Shelby OF
Philadelphia’s farm system is on life support due to recent trades. Brown is overrated by many, and there is very little starting pitching and quality depth.
1. Domonic Brown OF / 2. Tyson Gillies OF / 3. Phillipe Aumont RP/SP / 4. Domingo Santana OF / 5. Anthony Gose OF / 6. Trevor May SP / 7. Antonio Bastardo SP/RP / 8. J.C. Ramirez SP / 9. Sebastian Valle C / 10. Vance Worley SP