MLB Post-2020 Draft Farm System Ranking: #30-16

Now that the MLB draft is over with, and we’ve gone over how each team performed, it’s time to assess their collection of young talent as a whole. In a two-part series, we’ll be ranking every team’s farm system, based on the model I created to evaluate each of their prospects.

To rank each team’s farm system I took into account the overall depth of the system, as well as the quality, as both are critical to building a sustainable winner in the future. With the uncertainty of prospects, it’s important to have a lot of depth, as it’s more likely you’ll get adequate production from the collection of those players. At the same time, having one star player is likely more valuable than a collection of future role players.

Now, let’s rank each farm system, starting with the worst farm system and going through the 16th-best farm system.

#30: Boston Red Sox

dalbec
Photo Cred: Over The Monster

Depth Rank: 30th

Quality Rank: 28th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1 3B Bobby Dalbec (57.0263085)

#2: 1B Tristan Casas (54.90535375)

#3: RHP Bryan Mata (54.608125)

#4: 2B Jeter Downs (54.20393325)

#5: RHP Noah Song (53.26625)

#6: SS Matthew Lugo (50.645625)

#7: CF Gilberto Jimenez (47.0591)

Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom took over a very difficult situation when he was hired by the Red Sox this past offseason, and he certainly didn’t make matters any better with a very questionable draft. Simply put, there is zero depth in this farm system whatsoever, though the individual players themselves actually are enticing. Bobby Dalbec’s combination of elite power, plate discipline, and defense projects him to be an above-average third baseman, though Rafael Devers’ presence on the big-league roster complicates his future, while Tristan Casas also is a very powerful corner infielder to be excited about. Add in middle infielder Jeter Downs and his solid offensive profile, and the Red Sox have plenty of talent on their infield. The rest of the farm system, however, needs work. Bryan Mata and Noah Song each have a lot of talent, but between Mata’s reliever risk and Song’s naval commitment, neither can be completely trusted; Matthew Lugo and Gilberto Jimenez, meanwhile, are young projects who most refine their approach. An injection of athleticism and pitching talent is needed, and by drafting a corner player in Blaze Jordan and a limited player in Nick Yorke, Bloom definitely didn’t do that. With players like Xander Bogaerts, Devers, and Alex Verdugo on the major-league roster, as well as the luxury of being in a big market, Boston’s future isn’t grim. Yet, it’d be in much better shape if they had a significantly deeper farm system.

#29: New York Mets

franciscoalvarez
Photo Cred: Mets Insider Blog

Depth Rank: 28th

Quality Rank: 30th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: C Francisco Alvarez (58.02851)

#2: 3B Brett Baty (56.618465)

#3: RHP Matthew Allan (56.493125)

#4: CF Pete Crow-Armstrong (52.635775)

#5: RHP JT Ginn (52.561875)

#6: LHP David Peterson (51.988125)

#7: 3B Mark Vientos (50.6263485)

#8: LHP Thomas Szapucki (49.565625)

#9: RHP Franklyn Kilome (48.89161)

#10: SS Andres Gimenez (48.89161)

#11: SS Ronny Mauricio (48.77906275)

Due to general manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s win-now trades, in which he has traded prospects like Jared Kelenic, Simeon Woods-Richardson, and Justin Dunn, the Mets’ farm system is in a much worse place than it needed to be in. Overall, they don’t have a lot of soon-to-be big-league contributors, outside of lefties David Peterson and Thomas Szapucki, but they’ve added a lot of young talent through the draft. I’m not as in love with their past draft as others, since JT Ginn may end up being a reliever and Pete Crow-Armstrong is limited offensively, but Van Wagenen’s first draft was exceptional; Brett Baty (first round) has a tremendous offensive ceiling at third base, while Matthew Allan (third round) projects to have three plus pitches and be a future frontline starter. Ultimately, though, how you feel about the Mets’ farm system comes down to how you view their two 18-year-old prospects. Teenage catcher players are always risky, yet Francisco Alvarez projects as a tremendous all-around catcher, which should excite Mets fans. On the contrary, Ronny Mauricio is so unrefined as a hitter and may have to move to third base, so I don’t understand the hype with him, even with his raw power. Ideally, New York wouldn’t have so many boom-or-bust prospects in their organization. If all goes well, then they could be set up well, but expecting that to happen with their subpar player development track record feels foolish, so they should look to add some high-floor players to balance out their farm system.

#28: Milwaukee Brewers

turang
Photo Cred: MiLB.com

Depth Rank: 27th

Quality Rank: 29th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grades)

#1: SS Brice Turang (55.4880083)

#2: CF Garrett Mitchell (54.1253375)

#3: SS Eduardo Garcia (54.0812325)

#4: COF Herbert Perez (53.98005)

#5: SS Freddie Zamora (53.75)

#6: LHP Aaron Ashby (52.123125)

#7: LHP Ethan Small (51.45375)

#8: CF Corey Ray (51.0602)

#9: LHP Antoine Kelly (51.0075)

#10: RHP Mark Lazar (49.99375)

#11: COF Tristen Lutz (49.892808)

#12: C Marco Feliciano (48.341163)

Similarly to the Mets and Red Sox, the Brewers have made win-now moves that have gutted their farm system, which was easily the worst at this time last year. However, four of their top five prospects have been acquired since then, which provides much-needed hope for the future. Both Eduardo Garcia and Herbert Perez were intriguing international signings last July, and each of them have relatively high floors. Then, there’s their past draft, which netted them a future everyday outfielder in Garrett Mitchell, as well as a very talented shortstop in Freddie Zamora. Mitchell, in particular, has some untapped power potential that could come via a swing change, and he and Brice Turang give Milwaukee some sort of up-the-middle foundation to build around. Unfortunately, this team is sorely lacking in pitching prospects. Ethan Small, Aaron Ashby, Mark Lazar, and Antoine Kelly all have stamina/durability concerns, and none of them project as anything more than back-end starters based on quality alone. Sure, the Brewers are able to get creative with using their pitchers, but that doesn’t preclude them from needing 1-2 frontline starters, and with their limited financial flexibility, they’ll need to rely on their farm system to produce cost-controlled contributors. Luckily, the depth is much better than it has previously been. However, they really need some more top-end talent, and unless it comes from an international signing, I don’t see how that’ll happen.

#27: Washington Nationals

kieboom
Photo Cred: NBC Sports

Depth Rank: 29th

Quality Rank: 25th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: RHP Jackson Rutledge (57.426875)

#2: SS Carter Kieboom (57.35802225)

#3: RHP Eddy Yean (55.90625)

#4: RHP Mason Denaburg (55.025625)

#5: RHP Cade Cavalli (54.845)

#6: RHP Andry Lara (54.76625)

#7: RHP Cole Henry (54.643125)

#8: RHP Wil Crowe (51.698125)

#9: LHP Matt Cronin (49.463125)

#10: 2B Luis Garcia (47.208914)

In Carter Kieboom, the Nationals have an infielder with tremendous offensive capabilities, even if he is more likely to be a third baseman or second baseman than a shortstop. However, outside of that, Washington literally possesses zero position players that project to be big-league contributors. Some may argue for Luis Garcia, but with his approach concerns, I don’t see him fitting that bill, making this a one-dimensional farm system. At the very least, though, that dimension is absolutely stacked. Jackson Rutledge, Eddy Yean, Mason Denaburg, Cade Cavalli, Andry Lara, and Cole Henry are all at different stages of their development, but they all project to be at least middle-of-the-rotation starters, even if most come with some stamina questions. Yet, with all the monetary investments the Nationals have made with their major-league pitching staff, I continue to wonder why they continue to have such a rigid approach to the prospect acquisition process. You can never fault a team from adding as much pitching depth as possible, but it’d be nice to see them add much more in the way of position player talent, especially since their lineup is not only top-heavy in the present, but also in the future.

#26: Chicago Cubs

marquez
Photo Cred: NBC Sports

Depth Rank: 25th

Quality Rank: 24th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: LHP Brailyn Marquez (57.55875)

#2: C Miguel Amaya (57.336862)

#3: SS Ed Howard (55.0712325)

#4: RHP Kohl Franklin (54.9075)

#5: RHP Adbert Alzolay (54.1375)

#6: RHP Ryan Jensen (53.469375)

#7: 2B Chase Strumpf (53.4)

#8: CF Brennen Davis (52.4466)

#9: RHP Cory Abbot (52.113125)

#10: 2B Nico Hoerner (49.4063665)

#11: COF Cole Roederer (49.2154885)

#12: LHP Burl Carraway (48.11375)

#13: 3B Christopher Moral (45.93716325)

Nico Hoerner is the Cubs’ consensus top prospect, yet he barely cracks the top-ten for them with my model. His defensive versatility intrigues me, but he also doesn’t have a great approach at the plate and is going to rely on a lot of batted ball luck, which isn’t ideal- he lacks a “plus” tool. However, we can all agree on the promise of Miguel Amaya, a true all-around catcher, and shortstop Ed Howard, their 2020 first-round pick with the potential to be a five-tool shortstop; both of them project as above-average regulars, if not more. Heck, even going down further, Chase Strumpf is a better offensive producer than Hoerner, while Brennen Davis is an excellent athlete with top-notch raw power. In the end, though, Chicago’s strength regarding their farm system comes from their pitching depth. Brailyn Marquez has made subtle improvements with his command to complement his 80-grade fastball, while Kohl Franklin, Adbert Alzolay, and Ryan Jensen all offer various levels of intrigue. Now, only Franklin comes without reliever risk, which means that there’s a lot of uncertainty with this farm system as a whole. Still, if Marquez and one of Alzolay or Jensen can be effective starting pitchers, then they should be in good shape, so that isn’t what concerns me about the Cubs moving forward. What does concern me is their lack of ready-to-contribute position players, and as their core gets more expensive, that may be an issue. I’m expecting them to have to take a step back and go into a mini-rebuild, but as they’ve gotten better at acquiring exciting young prospects, they’re much better equipped to undergo that new phase than they were a few years ago, when they were still caught up in an “all-in” mindset.

#25: Philadelphia Phillies

spencerhoward
Photo Cred: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Depth Rank: 21st

Quality Rank: 26th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: RHP Spencer Howard (57.61375)

#2: RHP Mick Abel (56.958125)

#3: 3B Alec Bohm (55.586474)

#4: RHP Francisco Morales (54.0375)

#5: SS Bryson Stott (53.97927975)

#6: RHP Adonis Medina (53.388125)

#7: C Rafael Marchan (52.311622)

#8: SS Luis Garcia (52.00884)

#9: SS Casey Martin (50.6253)

#10: SS Kendall Simmons (50.4742405)

#11: RHP Mauricio Llovera (49.41375)

#12: CF Johan Rojas (46.3062625)

#13: CF Mickey Moniak (45.73725)

#14: Simon Muzziotti (44.761575)

After they drafted Mick Abel with the 15th overall picks, the Phillies have two potential frontline starters in him and Spencer Howard, while Francisco Morales and Adonis Medina also have big-league likelihood. Howard, in particular, may be in Philadelphia’s rotation whenever play resumes, and checks all the boxes from a tools and production standpoint; Alec Bohm fits that bill as well, though his defensive limitations aren’t ideal with Rhys Hoskins already locked in as their first baseman. So, why do the Phillies rank so low on this list? Unfortunately, the quality of the farm system really ends after those players. After lower ceiling players like Rafael Marchan and Luis Garcia, Philadelphia possesses a lot of interesting athletes, but none of them are very talented when it comes to baseball-specific qualities, which is far from ideal. A lack of proper drafting and development has really hurt this farm system, and that can be seen on the major-league roster as well- Hoskins and Aaron Nola are the only foundational players that they were able to draft and develop. Perhaps a new draft strategy, as indicated with the Abel pick, can help them moving forward. Yet, at the moment, this organization appears to be stuck in no man’s land.

#24: Los Angeles Angels

reiddetmersangels
Photo Cred: Halos Heaven

Depth Rank: 18th

Quality Rank: 27th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: LHP Reid Detmers (56.291875)

#2: CF Brandon Marsh (55.878425)

#3: COF Jo Adell (54.750758)

#4: SS Arol Vera (54.71955)

#5: CF Jordyn Adams (53.4056125)

#6: SS Karen Paris (53.304005)

#7: RHP/CF William Holmes (52.736875)

#8: LHP Patrick Sandoval (52.71875)

#9: RHP Chris Rodriguez (52.34)

#10: RHP Jose Soriano (50.3575)

#11: CF Trent Deveaux (50.1672)

#12: CF D’Shawn Knowles (50.146775)

#13: 3B Jeremiah Jackson (50.001226)

#14: 2B Jahmai Jones (49.33595)

#15: LHP Hector Yan (48.9975)

#16: COF Alexander Ramirez (48.7325)

The Angels were rumored to be thinking about punting the draft, so, naturally, they acquired a new top prospect in Reid Detmers, who was an elite producer at Louisville and should move quickly as a future middle-of-the-rotation starter for them. Outside of him, this organization has very little in the way of pitching prospects, so that was a huge acquisition for them- it’s not like they have any exciting young established pitchers to be excited about either. After that, Los Angeles’ system consists of a lot of high-upside athletes. Jo Adell is seen as a top-five prospect in all of baseball, but he has yet to demonstrates quality on-base skills to me, and it’s looking more and more likely that he ends up as a corner outfielder. In my eyes, Brandon Marsh has exceeded him as a prospect, as he’ll stick in center field, and is simply a more refined and better all-around player. Those two are likely to be in the majors soon, and then comes Arol Vera, Jordyn Adams, and Kyren Paris, who can best be described as “projects”, but all have legitimate tools and defensive value that make them worth keeping a very close eye on. Surprisingly, this isn’t a farm system that lacks in depth, especially when it comes to athletes and pitchers with high-octane pitching arsenals. However, I’m only confident in the top two being above-average major-league contributors, and only the top 6 entice me in some capacity. Maybe the Angels can develop these “projects” so they can reach their ceiling. However, at the moment, it’s hard to get a real grasp as to if these prospects will pan out.

#23: Atlanta Braves

kylewright
Photo Cred: Talking Chop

Depth Rank: 20th

Quality Rank: 23rd

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: RHP Kyle Wright (56.150625)

#2: RHP Ian Anderson (55.7075)

#3: C Shea Langeliers (55.636325)

#4: LHP Tucker Davidson (55.14125)

#5: RHP Bryse Wilson (54.695)

#6: LHP Jared Shuster (53.66125)

#7: LHP Kyle Muller (53.431875)

#8: CF Christian Pache (52.2678)

#9: SS Braden Shewmake (51.956312)

#10: RHP Jasseel De La Cruz (51.60125)

#11: C William Contreras (50.789195)

#12: COF Michael Harris (50.0712465)

#13: C Alex Jackson (49.103483)

#14: CF Drew Waters (47.784)

Finding a farm system ranking of the Braves that doesn’t have Christian Pache and Drew Waters as their top-two prospects, as well as one that doesn’t have them as a top-ten farm system, is very difficult. Yet, my model is uniquely equipped to analyze how players are developing in stable and valuable areas, and both prospects come with clear red flags. For Pache, it’s just a lack of upside, as he has yet to prove that he can be an impact offensive producer, making him project like Victor Robles as a glove-first center fielder. Waters, on the other hand, has arguably the worst approach in the minors, and I have little belief that he’ll develop into a big-league contributor. Therefore, outside of Shea Langeliers, this farm system is all about the pitching. This organization spent top-five picks on both Kyle Wright and Ian Anderson, and I expect success careers from both of them. Outside of them, Tucker Davidson, Bryce Wilson, 2020 first-round pick Jared Shuster, and Kyle Muller give them adequate pitching depth, especially when you take into account what they already have at the major-league level. Unlike the division-rival Phillies, Atlanta’s bottom-ten farm system isn’t something to overly fret about. They have established young players at very important areas and a lot of financial flexibility to guide them to success, even if an overly conservative strategy may limit their overall productiveness in the draft.

#22: Cincinnati Reds

stephenson
Photo Cred: RedsMinorLeagues

Depth Rank: 23rd

Quality Rank: 20th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: RHP Hunter Greene (58.9487)

#2: C Tyler Stephenson (57.131262)

#3: LHP Nick Lodolo (56.801875)

#4: 3B Jonathan India (55.2114575)

#5: RHP Lyon Richardson (53.940625)

#6: RHP Tony Santillan (53.4425)

#7: RHP Christian Roa (52.8825)

#8: COF Austin Hendrick (52.5295)

#9: CF Stuart Fairchild (51.646675)

#10: SS Jose Garcia (50.89619275)

#11: 3B Tyler Callihan (49.64130575)

#12: CF Michael Siani (49.2170125)

#13: COF/3B Rece Hinds (48.2311)

The Reds have made it an emphasis to become much more competitive, but, unfortunately, it’s come at the cost of their farm system’s well-being. They traded away two premier prospects in Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray in a trade with the Dodgers for Alex Wood and Yasiel Puig, and then also traded away young outfielder Taylor Trammell in a three-team trade to acquire Trevor Bauer. As a result, although Cincinnati isn’t barren with young talent, they have a much thinner minor-league system than they’ve had in the past. Driveline Baseball founder Kyle Boddy was hired by the organization, and I’m expecting them to be better at developing pitchers as a result. That’s certainly notable given the intriguing pitchers that they have, though Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo are the obvious standout options. Greene was the second overall pick in 2017, and still has a three-pitch mix with an 80-grade fastball and excellent command, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy, while Lodolo doesn’t have a 60-grade offering to rely upon. However, both still have very promising futures, and the Reds have to hope the same can be true about their top position player prospects. I’m a huge fan of Tyler Stephenson, as he’s an all-around catcher who has untapped power potential, and Jonathan India has enticing on-base skills to be an everyday third baseman. Yet, that’s about it, as Austin Hendrick is a major work-in-progress, and it’s a shame that they couldn’t better maximize on the 12th overall pick. As long as Greene stays healthy, the Reds should have an exciting young rotation, and players like Nick Senzel and Eugenio Suarez give them some sort of established talent. They really blew an opportunity to have the pieces to be a sustainable contender, however, and there is currently too much volatility with their farm system.

#21: Oakland A’s

luzardo
Photo Cred: Athletics Nation

Depth Rank: 24th

Quality Rank: 18th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: LHP Jesus Luzardo (59.27375)

#2: C Sean Murphy (57.245155)

#3; LHP AJ Puk (57.19125)

#4: C Tyler Soderstrom (56.24365)

#5: SS Robert Pauson (54.8712325)

#6: SS Logan Davidson (53.50805)

#7: C Austin Allen (51.84222)

#8: RHP Daulton Jefferies (51.79375)

#9: RHP James Kaprielian (50.18625)

#10: CF Brayan Buelvas (50.124325)

#11: 3B Sheldon Neuse (49.98785)

#12: CF Austin Beck (46.5945125)

#13: SS Nick Allen (46.2294795)

When play resumes, the top-three prospects in the A’s’ system will graduate, which will likely cause them to fall to the bottom of the rankings; Austin Allen, Daulton Jefferies, and James Kaprielian all will likely play in the majors soon as well. Therefore, Oakland’s farm system is going to be defined by three recent acquisitions, who were all brought in on savvy moves by the organization. Logan Davidson’s plate discipline, power, and defense give him everyday potential at shortstop, while Robert Pauson was a huge international signing that could be a five-tool player if his on-base skills are refined- the A’s have plenty of depth at a very important spot. However, the cream of the crop is easily Tyler Soderstrom. The Turlock native may not stick at catcher, but his combination of on-base ability and raw power give him the capabilities to be a high-end third baseman, and I wouldn’t discount his ability to be able to catch. To get that type of prospect with the 26th overall pick was incredible, as they constantly are in need of cost-controlled star players. For the moment, though, the top-three players are considered prospects, and they’re who the A’s will be building around. If not for some minor durability concerns, Jesus Luzardo could rank as the most talented left-handed pitching prospect in the draft, and AJ Puk comes close to matching him in terms of pure stuff. Those two should headline a rotation that already has some young talent in it, and they’ll be caught by Sean Murphy, who is arguably the best defensive catching prospect. If you’re looking for depth, then this farm system definitely isn’t for you. On the other hand, Oakland has an intriguing mix of ready-made big-league contributors with high-upside youngsters, which is a nice combination of high upsides and high floor. Hopefully, they can add much-needed quantity to go with the quality at the top.

#20: Minnesota Twins

jhoanduran
Photo Cred: Twins Daily

Depth Rank: 17th

Quality Rank: 22nd

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: RHP Jhoan Duran (59.43375)

#2: RHP Jordan Balazovic (55.60875)

#3: C Ryan Jeffers (55.50417725)

#4: COF Matt Wallner (55.497778)

#5: COF Trevor Larnach (55.4167665)

#6: SS Royce Lewis (53.4899275)

#7: RHP Matt Canterino (52.74125)

#8: 1B Aaron Sabato (51.8748275)

#9: CF Misael Urbina (51.4681625)

#10: CF Gilberto Celestino (51.3641)

#11: 3B/SS Keoni Cavaco (50.57935)

#12: SS Wander Javier (50.24738025)

#13: LHP Lewis Thorpe (50.17875)

#14: 2B Jose Miranda (48.2846165)

#15: 1B/COF Alex Kirilloff (48.065705)

Similarly to the Braves, I’m slightly lower on the Twins’ farm system than most, and it really comes down to how I view their consensus top prospects, Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff. Let’s start with Lewis. The 2017 first-overall pick is an athletic marvel with tons of raw power, and has showed flashes at the Arizona Fall League. At the same time, his production in the minors hasn’t been encouraging, and it comes down to him needing to refine his approach. The same is true with Kiriloff, except for that he is an extremely limited defensively, and doesn’t have the power that Lewis has. I don’t understand the hype with him whatsoever, though he fits a theme for Minnesota- defensively-limited corner players. Matt Wallner, Trevor Larnach, and Aaron Sabato each have a lot of offensive upside, yet are immobile and forced to a corner spot. That’s fine if you’re trying to win a home run derby, though it’d be ideal for Minnesota to add more up-the-middle-talent, as the upside with this system is minimal. On the bright side, catcher Ryan Jeffers and pitcher Jordan Balazovic are high-floor options at valuable spots, and the system benefits tremendously from Jhoan Duran. Acquired from the Diamondbacks in 2018 as part of the Eduardo Escobar trade, the 22-year-old has a 70-grade fastball, 55-grade breaking ball, and 60-grade changeup, and has developed much faster than anticipated. He’s a frontline starter, and is the one prospect in this system I can see becoming a star. That likely won’t change anytime soon, as they’ll constantly be picking near the end of the draft, so they’ll need to shift their acquisition approach to better optimize their situation. I don’t know why they’re consistently fascinated with limited players at non-valuable positions, but it could be something that comes back to bite them down the road, especially if that admiration continues.

#19: Houston Astros

whitley
Photo Cred: CBS Sports

Depth Rank: 15th

Quality Rank: 21st

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: RHP Forrest Whitley (57.015625)

#2: RHP Jose Urquidy (55.73625)

#3: RHP Angel Macuare (55.73)

#4: RHP Brandon Bielak (54.92875)

#5: RHP Hunter Brown (54.224375)

#6: RHP Enoli Parades (54.0125)

#7: RHP Jairo Solis (53.7275)

#8: C Korey Lee (53.317082)

#9: 3B Abraham Toro (53.28958)

#10: 3B Freudis Nova (52.79850675)

#11: RHP Jose Alberto Rivera (52.316875)

#12: RHP Bryan Abreu (52.305)

#13: RHP Tyler Ivey (52.01375)

#14: RHP Cristian Javier (50.8025)

#15: SS Jeremy Pena (50.1000375)

In need of pitching depth? Look no further than the Astros, who have at least ten pitchers that my model projects to pitch in the majors in the future. Even after a down season, Forrest Whitley still has three plus pitches; Jose Urquidy, Enoli Parades, and Brandon Bielak are three ready arms, while Angel Macuare, Hunter Brown, and Jairo Solis have loads of potential. However, having all that pitching depth comes at a cost, and for Houston, it’s their lack of position player talent. With Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Kyle Tucker, and others present on the big-league roster, it’s not like Houston is currently in need of those types of players. At the same time, Springer is in the last year of his contract, Correa isn’t far behind, and the Astros won’t be able to keep all of their young core. That puts them at a greater need for cost-controlled position players, but due to the draft picks stripped away from them due to the sign-stealing scandal, that’ll be very difficult. This system lacks much top-end talent, and due to their penalties, the depth will shrink soon as well. In other words, this figures to be the highest that they will rank on this list for some time.

#18: Chicago White Sox

vaughn
Photo Cred: SouthSide Showdown

Depth Rank: 26th

Quality Rank: 7th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: 1B Andrew Vaughn (58.3665125)

#2: C/1B Zack Collins (57.5765725)

#3: RHP Michael Kopech (57.308125)

#4: LHP Garrett Crochet (56.988125)

#5: RHP Jared Kelley (56.8)

#6: 2B Nick Madrigal (56.5214245)

#7: RHP Jonathan Stiever (55.421875)

#8: C Yermin Mercedes (53.742536)

#9: RHP Dane Dunning (52.68625)

#10: CF Luis Robert (52.636875)

#11: RHP Codi Heuer (49.271875)

#12: COF Micker Adolfo (49.239623)

If farm systems were ranked just on star talent, the White Sox would slot it near the top of the list. Unfortunately for them, though, maintaining depth is a critical part of having a strong farm system, and they have failed to do that- they have really struggled to develop prospects. On the bright side, they have at least seven prospects that should be considered top-100 prospects leaguewide. This past draft brought in two high-upside arms in Garrett Crochet and Jared Kelley, and combined with Michael Kopech, Jonathan Stiever, and even Dane Dunning, the White Sox have a lot of high-octane pitchers, albeit with various red flags. As for their position players, Chicago was leaned on safer college players in the draft, which has worked out for them. Andrew Vaughn (3rd overall 2019) could serious produced .400 on-base percentages consistently, Zack Collins (10th overall 2016) offers similar potential, and second baseman Nick Madrigal has elite contact skills and defense. Then, there is Luis Robert. Listed at 6’2″ and 185 pounds with loads of raw power and athleticism, the 22-year-old Cuban outfielder is seen by a generational prospect by most scouts, and recently signed a contract extension with the team. However, most of his production in the minors relied on batted-ball luck, as his plate discipline numbers were atrocious; if his approach was poor in the minors, how is that going to fare at the big-league level? The upside with him is tremendous, but overall, most of the organization’s reliable prospects are either risky pitchers or corner players, making this a thin, and somewhat strange farm system.

#17: Seattle Mariners

College Baseball Preview
Photo Cred: Seattle PI

Depth Rank: 17th

Quality Rank: 16th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: RHP Emerson Hancock (59.465625)

#2: RHP George Kirby (57.808125)

#3: RHP Logan Gilbert (56.546875)

#4: C Cal Raleigh (55.634839)

#5: SS Noelvi Marte (55.37955)

#6: CF Jarred Kelenic (54.566)

#7: COF Julio Rodriguez (53.112752)

#8: LHP Justus Sheffield (52.30375)

#9: LHP Brandon Williamson (52.0275)

#10: RHP Juan Then (51.875625)

#11: RHP Justin Dunn (51.761875)

#12: 1B Evan White (50.25743)

#13: COF Kyle Lewis (50.070048)

#14: RHP Sam Delaplane (48.11375)

#15: RHP Wyatt Mills (47.996875)

Most of the optimism regarding the Mariners’ future comes from their top-two outfield prospects, as Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez are considered the faces of their rebuild. Even though my model doesn’t love Kelenic right now, I do believe he’ll emerge as an All-Star center fielder. Rodriguez, on the other hand, leaves a bit to be desired in pitch selection and is limited defensively, though he has a lot of raw power and is only 19-years-old. Rather, the identify of this organization moving forward has to be with their future starting rotation. They’ve drafted a pitcher in the first round in each of the past three drafts, and each time, have gotten tremendous value. In 2018, it was Logan Gilbert, who has had excellent production in the minors. In 2019, George Kirby was his pick, and not only does he have 70-grade command, but he also has experienced a velocity uptick since joining them. The icing on the cake, though, was Emerson Hancock, who the team drafted with the 6th overall pick in this past draft. The Georgia righty was in the conversation to be the #1 overall pick at the beginning of his junior season, but he started out slow, and didn’t have a chance to prove himself due to the COVID-19 shutdown- he has three 60-grade pitches and above-average command. In my opinion, Seattle has three polished pitchers that’ll be capable of being the ace of their pitching staff, and when you add in some of their other pitching prospects, they’re well-off in that regard. Therefore, if Kelenic and Rodriguez progress the way others believe they will, and Cal Raleigh and Noelvi Marte continue to develop at their respective up-the-middle positions, then this organization will be in a great place and will rank much higher on this list. Still, that’s all speculative at the moment, so Seattle is still at least a couple year away from being able to combat their long playoff drought

#16: Kansas City Royals

wittjr
Photo Cred: Prospects1500

Depth Rank: 19th

Quality Rank: 13th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: SS Bobby Witt Jr. (58.310773)

#2: LHP Asa Lacy (58.304375)

#3: LHP Daniel Lynch (56.31)

#4: RHP Jackson Kowar (55.205)

#5: LHP Austin Cox (55.004375)

#6: RHP Brady Singer (54.719375)

#7: CF Erick Pena (54.7108375)

#8: LHP Kris Bubic (53.81625)

#9: CF Khalil Lee (53.092025)

#10: RHP Carlos Hernandez (52.51625)

#11: SS Nick Loftin (52.314005)

#12: C MJ Melendez (51.644917)

#13: CF Kyle Isbel (50.476)

#14: COF Seuly Matias (46.393068)

Just a few years ago, the Royals had easily the worst farm system in the MLB, and thus has had to undergo a long rebuild. They’re still in the beginning stages of that phase, but through the draft, they’ve drastically improved their collection of young talent. The standout player here is Bobby Witt Jr., who was the second overall pick in the 2019 draft, and has exceptional raw power and defense at a very valuable position (shortstop). Meanwhile, Erick Pena and Khalil Lee could also be everyday outfielders, but the real strength of this farm system is their pitching. Jackson Kowar, Austin Cox, Brady Singer, and Kris Bubic all are safe middle-of-the-rotation options, so what this team really needed was an ace. That’s where the development of Daniel Lynch, as well as the selection of Asa Lacy come into play, as both lefties have a knack for missing bats, and should front Kansas City’s rotation. Now, a player like Austin Martin or Zac Veen would’ve been better picks than Lacy, as not only does my model see them as better players, but they also would give them a high-end position player to complement Witt Jr.- the combination of Witt Jr. and Veen, for instance, would’ve been so much fun to watch in the future. Still, having a surplus of pitching depth is critical for a rebuilding team to build a future contender, so the Royals have that working for them as they hope to become more competitive soon.

 

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