MLB Post-2020 Draft Farm System Ranking: #15-1

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, it’s time to rank each farm system. I recently displayed the model’s findings on the 30th through 16th-best farm systems, and, today, we’ll go all the way to the top to find out who has the #1 farm system!

#15: St.Louis Cardinals

liberatorecards
Photo Cred: stltoday.com

Depth Rank: 16th

Quality Rank: 15th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: LHP Matthew Liberatore (57.94625)

#2: C Ivan Herrera (56.942708)

#3: 3B Nolan Gorman (56.554686)

#4: 3B Jordan Walker (54.6814075)

#5: COF Dylan Carlson (54.39997)

#6: LHP Zack Thompson (54.2075)

#7: COF Jhon Torres (54.1969065)

#8: RHP Markevian Hence (53.764375)

#9: RHP Masyn Winn (53.6775)

#10: LHP Genesis Cabrera (52.378125)

#11: CF Lane Thomas (52.100425)

#12: RHP Johan Oviedo (50.883125)

#13: C Andrew Knizner (49.988671)

#14: RHP Junior Fernandez (48.62375)

#15: CF Treijyn Fletcher (46.7993375)

As evidenced by the fact that four of their top-ten prospects have been acquired in 2020, the Cardinals have done a masterful job revamping their farm system. For instance, they drafted three high-upside prep prospects in power-hitting third baseman Jordan Walker, in addition to a couple of electric arms in Markevian “Think” Hence and Masyn Wynn. Given St.Louis’ track record in player development, I’m confident in those players maximizing their abilities, and the same goes for Nolan Gorman, Jhon Torres, Dylan Carlson, and Ivan Herrera, who have each demonstrated advanced offensive profiles at a young age. Furthermore, lefties Zack Thompson and Genesis Cabrera add to the organization’s pitching depth, and Lane Thomas is an elite defender in center field. Nevertheless, their clear top prospect, in my opinion, is someone they were able to acquire from the Rays- Matthew Liberatore. In 2018, the Arizona native was expected to be a top-five pick, but he fell out of the top 15, and it’s clear he’s being overlooked again. Yet, he’s an advanced pitcher with a complete pitch mix, led by a tremendous curveball, to go along with above-average command, and he’s also just 20-years-old- he still has room to grow. None of the Cardinals’ top-ten prospects are over the age of 22, yet all are either nearing their MLB debut, or all way ahead of their respective expected development curves. They’ll need to add more athleticism at some point, yet I can’t help but dream on what this team could look like in the future if these prospects reach their respective ceilings.

#14: Colorado Rockies

zacveen
Photo Cred: Forbes

Depth Rank: 12th

Quality Rank: 17th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: CF Zac Veen (59.8568375)

#2: LHP Ryan Rolison (55.951875)

#3: SS Brendan Rodgers (54.8760615)

#4: 2B Terrin Vavra (54.77544175)

#5: RHP Riley Pint (54.64375)

#6: CF Sam Hilliard (53.9084375)

#7: RHP Chris McMahon (53.895)

#8: CF Brenton Doyle (53.768425)

#9: 3B Ryan Vilade (53.162444)

#10: C Drew Romo (53.0106)

#11: 1B Michael Toglia (52.57906875)

#12: LHP Helcris Olivarez (52.093125)

#13: RHP Ashton Goudeau (50.93125)

#14: 3B Aaron Schunk (50.57240425)

#15: SS Julio Carreras (50.5500805)

#16: SS Adael Amador (49.677308)

#17: 3B/1B Colton Welker (49.271899)

There appears to be a perception that the Rockies have a very dark future ahead of them, yet their farm system would appear to indicate otherwise. Sure, until the draft, they lacked a true young star, and also needed much more talent at valuable spots (pitcher, catcher, shortstop, center field). However, the draft did come, and it rewarded them with a much-needed up-the-middle injection. Zac Veen was my highest-rated position player in the entire draft with his advanced approach, elite power, and athleticism, yet the Rockies were able to select him with the 9th overall pick, and he has to be seen as the face of their franchise for the future. Meanwhile, Chris McMahon will need to prove he can miss bats to succeed in Colorado, but he’s primarily a fastball-changeup pitcher, so he won’t be as affected by a lack of spin in the altitude as others; Drew Romo is a work-in-progress, though the 35th overall pick’s power potential and elite defense at catcher is intriguing. Plus, it’s not as though the system lacked depth prior to the draft. Players like Terrin Vavra, Sam Hilliard, and Brenton Doyle are all vastly underrated, and although the same cannot be said about Brendan Rodgers, he could be a very solid second baseman with excellent raw power. Heck, they’ve finally had some success developing a pitcher; Ryan Rolison has made great strides in terms of his command the effectiveness of his pitches. Sure, Colorado still possesses a lot of prospects who either have defensive limitations or issues with their offensive approaches. Yet, whether it was due to luck or not, they had a fantastic draft, and if they were to trade Nolan Arenado, or even Trevor Story at some point, they could have a boatload of talent to properly execute a quick rebuild.

#13: San Francisco Giants

lucianoismysavior
Photo Cred: The Athletic

Depth Rank: 10th

Quality Rank: 19th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: SS Marco Luciano (61.057355)

#2: C Joey Bart (57.19125)

#3: C Patrick Bailey (55.838775)

#4: RHP Sean Hjelle (54.358125)

#5: 3B Luis Torribo (53.05591)

#6: COF Jaylin Davis (52.975018)

#7: CF Hunter Bishop (52.9125125)

#8: RHP Melvin Adon (52.64)

#9: LHP Seth Corry (52.101875)

#10: RHP Logan Webb (52.080625)

#11: CF Luis Matos (51.6440875)

#12: 2B/SS Will Wilson (51.3775)

#13: RHP Gregory Santos (50.895)

#14: COF Heliot Ramos (50.528)

#15: SS/2B Mauricio Dubon (50.3380945)

#16: LHP Nick Swiney (49.66875)

#17: CF Jairo Pomeres (48.676825)

#18: COF Alexander Canario (48.594673)

When Farhan Zaidi took over as the President of Baseball Operations for the Giants, he inherited an old roster and a thin farm system. However, between savvy moves and better developing the previous regime’s prospects, he has quickly transformed the organization’s farm system in terms of its depth. Marco Luciano is the clear star of their minor-league system, as he has borderline 80-grade power and advanced plate discipline, so regardless of his defensive position, he’ll be a star. Meanwhile, both Joey Bart and 2020 first-round pick Patrick Bailey project to be above-average catchers, so whether they play together on a timeshare or one of them is eventually traded, they have the luxury of being deep at the most talent-deficient position in the MLB. After that, though, San Francisco’s group of prospects takes a hit. Luis Torribo, Jaylin Davis, and Hunter Bishop, for instance, all have a lot of raw power, yet either are limited defensively or won’t get on base enough, and the same is true for Luis Matos and Heliot Ramos. In other words, they only have any some sort of certainty at catcher, and whatever position Luciano plays, as they have no players on the big-league team that’ll be a part of their next contending team. Furthermore, outside of Sean Hjelle, who is very difficult to hit with the extension he creates with his 6’11’ frame, the team lacks much in the way of pitching talent. Usually, you want a balanced farm system with players that’ll debut around the same time, yet the opposite is the case with the Giants. That definitely isn’t Zaidi’s fault, as he has done an excellent job in San Francisco, but it’ll take more strong drafts and international signing periods to give the organization enough reliable young talent to get out off what figures to be a painful rebuild; they don’t any obvious trade chips, which further complicates matters.

#12: Toronto Blue Jays

natepearson
Photo Cred: Sportsnet

Depth Rank: 22nd

Quality Rank: 4th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: RHP Nate Pearson (63.1175)

#2: CF/3B Austin Martin (58.4123375)

#3: RHP Alek Manoah (56.5375)

#4: C Alejandro Kirk (56.53695)

#5: RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (56.483125)

#6: 3B Jordan Groshans (55.5211)

#7: SS Orelvis Martinez (54.2723225)

#8: RHP Thomas Hatch (53.0175)

#9: SS Rikelvin de Castro (52.92321)

#10: RHP CJ Van Eyk (52.588125)

#11: C Gabriel Moreno (52.145271)

#12: LHP Anthony Kay (51.251875)

#13: 3B Miguel Hiraldo (47.95130075)

Since Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio have graduated from their prospect status, the Blue Jays no longer have the top-five farm system they once had, and with their lack of depth, they only figure to plummet down this list further. For now, though, they still rank 12th, and that’s due in large part to Nate Pearson. The 23-year-old has easily the best fastball in the minors, complements it with a plus slider-changeup combination, and suddenly also has above-average command. He’s the epitome of an ace, and is easily the best pitching prospect in the minors. He should be complemented in the future with Alec Manoah and Simeon Woods Richardson, who each offer a lot of intrigue and should settle in as #2/#3 starting pitchers. Considering their lack of established pitching talent, that’s very encouraging, as their position player core is already in place. The aforementioned trio isn’t all they have, however; Austin Martin has elite on-base skills and defensive versatility, and was an absolute steal with the 5th overall pick in this past draft, Alejandro Kirk is an advanced hitter for a catcher, while Jordan Groshans and Orelvis Martinez have 60-grade power. Sure, the talent after those players evaporates, which isn’t ideal, but as long as they continue to nail the draft, they’re in a good spot. I’m very excited about their future, as the amount of young star talent they have is tough to match.

#11: Detroit Tigers

caseymize
Photo Cred: Bless You Boys

Depth Rank: 14th

Quality Rank: 12th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: RHP Casey Mize (59.20125)

#2: 1B Spencer Torkelson (58.7852)

#3: RHP Matt Manning (58.385)

#4: RHP Franklin Perez (55.3425)

#5: LHP Tarik Skubal (54.21625)

#6: COF Daniel Cabrera (53.8235)

#7: C Dillon Dingler (53.52605)

#8: LHP Joey Wentz (53.395625)

#9: 3B Issac Paredes (53.1015655)

#10: RHP Alex Faedo (53.03125)

#11: SS Wenceel Perez (53.019435)

#12: COF Riley Greene (52.335512)

#13: 3B Nick Quintana (52.257666)

#14: CF Parker Meadows (51.9021)

#15: CF Daz Cameron (51.521275)

Through 2017, the Tigers were committed to competing for a World Series title, yet were left with nothing to show for it, including a barren collection of young talent. However, being bad isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as with the #1 pick in 2018 and 2020, they not only have added their top-two prospects in Casey Mize and Spencer Torkelson, but they also have had a lot of draft capital, which has allowed them to bring in players like Daniel Cabrera, Dillon Dingler, and Parker Meadows. Now, Mize’s injury problems and Torkelson’s lack of positional value are concerns, but both are such skilled players, so they should be the anchors of their respective units. However, it’s safe to say the group that Mize will lead is much stronger than the lineup that Torkelson will hit in the middle of the order of. Matt Manning was once a top-ten pick as an athletic project, but he now projects as a potential ace with how well he has developed, and Franklin Perez, Tarik Skubal, Joey Wentz, and Alex Faedo all could be successful big-league pitchers as well. Therefore, if Cabrera, Dingler, Isaac Paredes, and 2019 first-round pick Riley Greene can live up to their potential, then this organization could be in good hands, though they still severely lack impact up-the-middle talent. In other words, they’re well-built in every area besides the most important one, which is what is really holding them back right now. Luckily for them, they should be picking extremely high in the draft for at least a couple more years.

#10: Baltimore Orioles

rutschman
Photo Cred: Camden Chat

Depth Rank: 11th

Quality Rank: 14th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: C Adley Rutschman (63.736092)

#2: RHP Grayson Rodriguez (57.786875)

#3: LHP DL Hall (54.68125)

#4: RHP Dean Kremer (54.17125)

#5: RHP Michael Bauman (54.01625)

#6: LHP Zac Lowther (53.826875)

#7: COF Heston Kjerstad (53.3265)

#8: 3B Gunnar Henderson (53.1102375)

#9: CF Ryan McKenna (52.7191625)

#10: LHP Keegan Akin (52.715625)

#11: SS Anthony Servideo (52.688755)

#12: COF Yusniel Diaz (52.1204585)

#13: COF/3B Coby Mayo (50.2486)

#14: COF Kyle Stowers (50.0466215)

#15: SS Adam Hall (49.1026025)

#16: SS Jordan Westburg (48.9028225)

#17: CF Austin Hays (48.0325125)

#18: COF Ryan Mountcastle (43.9225085)

Speaking of farm systems that once had very little talent but have benefitted from the draft, I’m not sure any team is relying on a prospect more than the Orioles, who selected Adley Rutschman with the 1st overall in 2019. The Oregon State product has the ability to hit for power and get on base at an elite level while also being a borderline 70-grade defender at catcher, and he may very well have the best career of any prospect in the entire minor leagues. Furthermore, although Baltimore is generally seen as an organization that lacks pitching, the amount of depth they have in that regard is impressive, with Grayson Rodriguez clearly standing out as the most likely to be more than a middle-of-the-rotation starter. Therefore, they had built a clear foundation heading into the 2020 draft, and appeared primed to jump put these rankings even further. If anything, though, their future outlook took a hit, in my opinion. Heston Kjerstad has some raw power, but with his approach issues and defensive limitations, he was more of a late-first-round pick, yet Baltimore picked him second overall to save bonus money. However, instead of splashing on a premier player, their only 40+ future value prospects from Fangraphs were Jordan Westburg, a shortstop with approach issues, Anthony Servideo, a solid starting shortstop that they didn’t need to save funds for, and power prep bat Coby Mayo, who is a major work-in-progress and has severe limitations. With their lack of premier position player prospects, a player like Austin Martin could’ve been huge to complement Rutschman, and Zac Veen would’ve also given them another future star. Instead, though, it’s Rutschman, some pitchers, and then a mix of limited corner players, so this farm system definitely feels incomplete. Rutschman helps vault them into the tenth spot of these rankings, yet I can’t help but wonder how much higher they’d rank if they didn’t completely overthink their 2020 draft strategy.

#9: Miami Marlins

maxmeyerfish
Photo Cred: Forbes

Depth Rank: 6th

Quality Rank: 11th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: RHP Max Meyer (60.224375)

#2: RHP Sixto Sanchez (59.3425)

#3: RHP Edward Cabrera (57.489375)

#4: CF Kameron Misner (56.79635)

#5: COF JJ Bleday (56.3490185)

#6: RHP Nick Neidert (53.664375)

#7: LHP Braxton Garrett (53.313125)

#8: LHP Trevor Rogers (53.2425)

#9: LHP Dax Fulton (53.079375)

#10: RHP Kyle Nicolas (52.91375)

#11: CF Monte Harrison (52.4707875)

#12: CF Connor Scott (52.21425)

#13: COF Peyton Burdick (51.691735)

#14: RHP Jorge Guzman (50.963125)

#15: CF Victor Mesa Jr. (50.8441625)

#16: SS Nasim Nunez (50.09926025)

#17: 3B Osiris Johnson (49.7177885)

#18: COF Diowill Burgos (48.2916935)

#19: COF Jesus Sanchez (48.2916935)

#20: 1B Lewin Diaz (47.72640125)

#21: COF Jerar Encarnacion (47.31139)

#22: SS Jazz Chisholm (47.1228)

After a new ownership group took over following the 2017 season, the Marlins decided to tear it down, trading their entire starting outfield (Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, and Giancarlo Stanton), but none of the prospects they acquired from those trades rank in the top ten of their system. Instead, it’s been their recent drafts, as well as the trade of catcher JT Realmuto, that have really transformed this farm system. Prior to this past draft, the main piece from the Realmuto trade, Sixto Sanchez, was their clear top prospect, as he has an elite fastball-changeup combination, and combines that with plus command. Sure, you’d like if he’d miss more bats than he currently is, but the tools are clearly there. However, the bulk of their talent has come from the past two drafts. They utilized their first two picks in 2019 on outfielders JJ Bleday and Kameron Misner, and both project as everyday, all-around players. Then, in this past draft, they went all-in on pitching, drafting my top-rated player in Max Meyer, as well as two high-octane arms in Dax Fulton and Kyle Nicolas. Add in three pitchers with above-average command in Braxton Garrett, Nick Neidert, and Trevor Rogers, as well as a potential frontline starter in Edward Cabrera, and they have as much pitching depth as any other organization. Unfortunately, though, this organization has struggled to develop soon of their boom-or-bust players, such as Lewis Brinson, and they’ve continued to go after high-upside/unrefined players by trading for Jazz Chisholm, Lewin Diaz, and Jesus Sanchez. In the end, this ranking of the Marlins is pretty much in line with consensus belief. It may come due to a different reason, as I’m far lower on some of their position players than others, but with the amount of pitching depth they have, they’re in a good spot. Now, they’ll have to prove to adept at developing these talented players.

#8: Pittsburgh Pirates

kebryanhayes
Photo Cred: Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette

Depth Rank: 9th

Quality Rank: 6th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes (57.32583825)

#2: 2B Nick Gonzales (57.265675)

#3: RHP Tahnaj Thomas (56.7)

#4: RHP Mitch Keller (56.610625)

#5: RHP Quinn Priester (56.45875)

#6: RHP Brennan Malone (56.45875)

#7: CF Travis Swaggerty (55.6475125)

#8: RHP Carmen Mlodzinski (54.514375)

#9: SS Liover Peguero (53.61188225)

#10: 1B Mason Martin (53.58059)

#11: RHP Cody Bolton (53.5775)

#12: SS Oneil Cruz (53.5201275)

#13: CF Jared Oliva (53.3025125)

#14: RHP Santiago Florez (52.07)

#15: CF Sammy Siani (51.3506)

#16: SS Ji-Hwan Bae (51.33272775)

#17: COF Rodolfo Nolasco (49.928)

#18: RHP Nick Mears (48.36875)

#19: 2B Rodolfo Castro (47.81454925)

#20: COF Cal Mitchell (43.210355)

Between trading for Chris Archer and trading away Gerrit Cole, the previous regime in Pittsburgh, led by Neil Huntington, made a lot of questionable moves, and their sinker-reliant strategy for pitchers led to their developments being stunted. However, the talent was in place, and with Ben Cherington taking over as general manager, they’ll be developed by a much more analytically-driven player development staff. That’ll help third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes and center fielder Travis Swaggerty, who each possess great defensive abilities and solid on-base skills, but hit too many ground balls, as well as pitchers with clear strikeout ability, such as Mitch Keller, Quinn Priester, Tahnaj Thomas, and Cody Bolton; we’ll see if 6’7″ Oneil Cruz also can complement his 80-grade power with a more refined skill set. Meanwhile, it also helps that Cherington has acquired four of the team’s top-ten prospects since taking over. His trade of Starling Marte to the Diamondbacks, which landed the team two young players in high-upside pitcher Brennan Malone and shortstop Liover Peguero, was absolutely fantastic- both of those players should one day be big-league contributors. Then, there’s this past draft. Sure, Zac Veen would’ve made this farm system even better, but Nick Gonzales has the chance to be one of the best-hitting second baseman in the MLB, and Carmen Mlodzinski has shown flashes of brilliance at times. Once upon a time, the Pirates appeared to have a very gloomy future ahead. That all changes with Cherington at the helm, as he’ll have the young pitching and position player talent to get this team back to being competitive in short time.

#7: Texas Rangers

apostel
Photo Cred: The Dallas Morning News

Depth Rank: 3rd

Quality Rank: 10th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: 3B Sherten Apostel (58.83460925)

#2: RHP Yerry Rodriguez (56.38125)

#3: COF Heriberto Hernandez (56.082532)

#4: SS Maximo Acosta (55.9386525)

#5: RHP Tyler Phillips (55.888125)

#6: RHP Hans Crouse (55.71875)

#7: RHP Cole Winn (55.4675)

#8: 3B Davis Wendzel (54.0507875)

#9: SS Anderson Tejada (54.03486075)

#10: RHP Owen White (54.00375)

#11: RHP Ronny Henriquez (53.195)

#12: 2B Nick Solak (52.683815)

#13: CF Steele Walker (52.577325)

#14: 2B Justin Foscue (52.419)

#15: SS Jonathan Ornelas (52.27975775)

#16: 3B Josh Jung (52.13775175)

#17: CF Keithron Moss (51.8944)

#18: LHP Joe Palumbo (51.355375)

#19: COF Bayron Lora (51.1239)

#20: CF Leody Taveras (51.0739375)

#21: C Sam Huff (50.382267)

#22: RHP AJ Alexy (49.3375)

#23: RHP Demarcus Evans (48.3475)

#24: RHP Ricky Vanasco (46.86)

#25: SS Osleivis Basabe (45.385617)

In my opinion, no organization has a more underrated farm system than the Rangers. Sure, they don’t have a “big-name” prospect, but what they are filled with young players at valuable positions, and have as much overall depth as any other system. Immediately, I’m drawn to their pitching, as Yerry Rodriguez and Tyler Phillips are extremely underrated pitchers with great command, while Hans Crouse, Cole Winn, Owen White, and Ronny Henriquez all have strong pitching arsenals. Not all of them will likely pan out, but to say that you have seven pitchers who could be in a starting rotation is impressive, and certainly gives the organization a lot of stability in that regard. Meanwhile, they also have some ascending position player prospects. Sherten Apostel, Heriberto Hernandez, and Maximo Acosta all stand out with advanced approaches at the plate, but the top-two players also complement that trait with excellent raw power. Meanwhile, players like Anderson Tejada, Davis Wendzel, Steele Walker, and Nick Solak all offer various levels of intrigue, and there are other high-upside prospects that the team doesn’t even have to depend upon. If there is one criticism I have about the Rangers, it’s that they’ve become too conservative in the draft; Josh Jung and Justin Foscue were reaches as top-14 picks in each of the two past drafts. Even then, though, both of those players should be big-league contributors in some capacity, and were high-level college performers. Pitching depth, youth, a combination of high floors and high ceilings; Texas has it all in their farm system. For some reason, this is seen as a bottom-ten group, yet there is no way I can get on board with that. Don’t be surprised when this team bursts onto the scene in a few years and gets back to winning AL West titles.

#6: Arizona Diamondbacks

perdomo
Photo Cred: Chicago Tribune

Depth Rank: 8th

Quality Rank: 5th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: SS Geraldo Perdomo (61.7898795)

#2: LHP Blake Walston (57.56375)

#3: RHP Bryce Jarvis (55.815)

#4: RHP JB Bukauskas (55.483925)

#5: CF Kristian Robinson (55.483925)

#6: CF Corbin Carroll (54.9081)

#7: CF Alek Thomas (54.8474375)

#8: RHP Luis Frias (54.555)

#9: RHP Matt Tabor (54.4325)

#10: RHP Drew Jameson (54.4325)

#11: RHP Levi Kelly (53.6)

#12: SS Blaze Alexander (53.52387075)

#13: RHP Slade Cecconi (53.503125)

#14: C Daulton Varsho (53.374401)

#15: RHP Justin Martinez (52.894375)

#16: RHP Corbin Martin (52.89875)

#17: RHP Jon Duplantier (52.894375)

#18: 2B Andy Young (51.4966335)

#19: CF Wilderd Patino (50.6391875)

#20: 1B Seth Beer (48.78698)

In my opinion, winning organizations are built with up-the-middle players, and it’s clear that Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen agrees; the team’s top-19 prospects all play a valuable position. It’s not the most top-heavy system, but their emphasis on  up-the-middle talent definitely fascinates me. For example, they have three high-end center field prospects in Kristian Robinson, Alek Thomas, and Corbin Carroll, and all offer various skill sets. Robinson possesses the most upside with tremendous raw power, while Carroll and Thomas are more on-base/defense prototypes, and hopefully, the three of them can team together to fill out a very athletic outfield trio in the future- they’re all 19-years-old or younger. Meanwhile, they also have a great mix of pitchers. JB Bukauskas, Luis Frias, Drey Jameson, Slade Cecconi, Corbin Martin, and Jon Duplantier all have some relief risk, but they also have wipeout “stuff” and continue to be developed as future starting pitchers. Those stamina issues may be a problem if Arizona was completely relying on them, yet with true starting pitchers in Blake Walston, Bryce Jarvis, and Matt Tabor, they aren’t lacking on high-floor pitchers either. However, their next star player is their obvious top prospect, at least in my eyes: Geraldo Perdomo. Still just 18-years-old, Perdomo is a switch-hitter who has one of the most advanced hitting approaches in the minors, and he also has the chance to be a gold-glove defender at shortstop. That’s quite the combination, and I expect him to rapidly move through the minors, and settle in as at least 5-WAR shortstop- that’s not an exaggeration. As you can see, this organization is well-off in important areas, and that’s before mentioning their current plethora of major-league talent: second baseman Ketel Marte, catcher Carson Kelly, starting pitchers Zac Gallen and Luke Weaver. It won’t be easy to compete in a very competitive NL West, but as long as Hazen continues to trust his up-the-middle approach, then they’ll be just fine.

#5: New York Yankees

luismedina
Photo Cred: MLB Prospect Portal

Depth Rank: 4th

Quality Rank: 8th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: RHP Luis Medina (59.028125)

#2: CF Jasson Dominguez (58.300925)

#3: RHP Luis Gil (56.07125)

#4: RHP Yoendrys Gomez (55.885)

#5: RHP Deivi Garcia (55.66)

#6: 2B Maikel Escotto (55.2336535)

#7: C Anthony Seigler (55.18469)

#8: SS Oswald Peraza (54.17633725)

#9: RHP Roansy Contreras (53.898125)

#10: CF Kevin Alcantara (53.8511)

#11: COF Canaan Smith (53.5921415)

#12: SS Alexander Vargas (53.50514975)

#13: RHP Alexander Vizcaino (53.205625)

#14: CF Estevan Florial (53.171375)

#15: CF Antonio Cabello (52.596575)

#16: SS Anthony Volpe (52.28069475)

#17: RHP Clarke Schmidt (52.144375)

#18: RHP Albert Abreu (52.0925)

#19: CF Everson Pereira (52.0265125)

#20: 1B/C Austin Wells (52.0265125)

#21: RHP Miguel Yajure (51.8575)

#22: C Antonio Gomez (51.687775)

#23: 2B Ezequiel Duran (48.848675)

#24: 2B Oswaldo Cabrera (47.013504)

Being the general manager of the Yankees means having an abundance of resources, and Brian Cashman has used those to build an international powerhouse. Notably, all seven of New York’s top-seven prospects, as well as ten of their top-11, have been signed as amateur international free agents, and this system is filled with talented young players that have been signed recently. With those players, it’s clear that the Yankees have a type: pitchers with electric fastballs and position players with raw power. Luis Medina, Luis Gil, and Deivi Garcia all have wipeout stuff, and even their “pitchability” arms – Yoendrys Gomez, Roansy Contreras, Miguel Yajure – have seen their overall pitching arsenals progress in recent years. New York does a great job developing fastball-centric pitchers, and even if most of those pitching prospects fail, they only need 1-2 of them to be successful- they’re the Yankees, after all. Additionally, Jasson Dominguez has been compared to Mike Trout and Mickey Mantle as a 17-year-old, Maikel Escotto, Kevin Alcantara, and Estevan Florial have tons of raw power, and Oswald Peraza and Alexander Vargas are advanced defenders. Heck, even some of their non-international prospects, mainly catcher Anthony Seigler and corner outfielder Canaan Smith, would be top-five prospects in a lot of farm systems. The Yankees legitimately have nine potential impact pitchers in addition to a lot of high-upside up-the-middle-players, and best off, there isn’t any pressure for them to succeed- they have plenty of time to develop and they aren’t in desperate need of cost-controlled talent. It’s an enviable position to be in as an organization, and I really commend Cashman for consistently focusing on keeping the minor-league pipeline in good shape.

#4: Cleveland Indians

nolanjones
Photo Cred: The News-Herald

Depth Rank: 2nd

Quality Rank: 9th

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: 3B Nolan Jones (64.6510985)

#2: RHP Daniel Espino (57.709375)

#3: CF George Valera (55.386175)

#4: 2B/COF Aaron Bracho (55.28000325)

#5: RHP Carlos Vargas (54.976875)

#6: RHP Triston McKenzie (54.095)

#7: RHP Lenny Torres (53.83375)

#8: RHP Luis Oviedo (53.83125)

#9: RHP Ethan Hankins (53.771875)

#10: SS Junior Sanquintin (53.72955)

#11: LHP Logan Allen (53.720625)

#12: SS Carson Tucker (53.06955)

#13: C Bo Naylor (52.927704)

#14: RHP Tanner Burns (52.89125)

#15: RHP James Karinchak (52.863125)

#16: SS Angel Martinez (52.614532)

#17: LHP Logan Allen (52.365)

#18: LHP Sam Hentges (50.85875)

#19: RHP Emmanuel Clase (50.504375)

#20: CF Petey Halpin (50.10775)

#21: SS Brayan Rocchio (49.9669045)

#22: COF Daniel Johnson (49.8987715)

#23: LHP Scott Moss (48.98875)

#24: 3B Gabriel Rodriguez (48.406032)

#25: SS Tyler Freeman (44.3793265)

#26: SS Jose Tena (43.0171995)

The Indians, unlike the Yankees, don’t have a lot of resources, and shouldn’t be able to consistently compete. However, thanks to a very smart front office, they not only are built to win now, but also in the future. This organization is known to be a pitching factory with their ability to improve pitching prospects’ velocity, so it isn’t shocking that they are deep in that area. 2019 first-round pick Daniel Espino stands out above the rest with an exceptional fastball-breaking ball combination, and he’s completed well by Carlos Vargas, Triston McKenzie, Lenny Torres, Luis Oviedo, and Ethan Hankins, although all of them come with some sort of reliever risk. Additionally, the two Logan Allens, as well as Tanner Burns, are polished arms who could see an uptick in the quality of their pitches, and they have two of the best reliever prospects in James Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase. Plus, they’ve clearly placed on emphasis on acquiring up-the-middle players with bat-to-ball skills, so between Aaron Branco, Junior Sanquintin, Bo Naylor, Carson Tucker, and Angel Martinez, they’re built in the areas. Yet, none of those prospects are truly elite prospects. Luckily for them, Nolan Jones fits that bill. He may not be seen as one of the top prospects in the sport, but my model indicates that he should be. His pitch selection is a true “80” on the 20-80 scale, he has fringe 70-grade power from the left side, so he should be one of the best offensive third basemen in the MLB. He gives them a star to build around in the post-Francisco Lindor era, and between their deep staple of prospects and a potential return for Lindor in a trade, you can make a case they’ll be better even without their star shortstop. That speaks to the fabulous job that this front office has done accumulating and developing young talent, which is so critical for a small-market organization.

#3: Los Angeles Dodgers

lux
Photo Cred: NBC Los Angeles

Depth Rank: 7th

Quality Rank: 1st

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: 2B Gavin Lux (66.67111825)

#2: RHP Dustin May (60.541875)

#3: SS Jacob Amaya (59.1393845)

#4: 2B Michael Busch (57.0829225)

#5: RHP Josiah Gray (56.41625)

#6: RHP Brusdar Graterol (56.35625)

#7: RHP Tony Gonsolin (56.27625)

#8: RHP Clayton Beeter (54.48)

#9: CF Andy Pages (54.353925)

#10: 3B Miguel Vargas (53.826354)

#11: RHP Bobby Miller (53.793125)

#12: LHP Robinson Ortiz (53.3)

#13: RHP Ryan Pepiot (53.1725)

#14: CF Luis Rodriguez (53.06975)

#15: C Diego Cartaya (52.453695)

#16: RHP Geraldo Carrillo (51.5325)

#17: 3B Kody Hoese (51.40185)

#18: RHP Michael Grove (51.060625)

#19: C Keibert Ruiz (49.119307)

#20: 3B Alex De Jesus (48.97218075)

#21: RHP Andre Jackson (48.361875)

Even more so than the Yankees, the Dodgers are just unfair. In my opinion, they clearly have the best roster in the MLB and have one of the largest budgets, yet because they have an exceptional front office, they also have a high-quality farm system. My model indicates that right now, Gavin Lux is the best prospect in the sport, as he has fringe 70-grade on-base skills and power, which is simply absurd; he also plays above-average defense at an up-the-middle position. Speaking of elite on-base skills, that’s what Jacob Amaya and Michael Busch possess, so both are underrated prospects that could develop into All-Star talents. Heck, we haven’t even gotten to Andy Pages, Miguel Vargas, Luis Rodriguez, and Diego Cartaya, who are all 20-years-old or younger, and are progressing faster than anticipated. Then, there’s their extensive amount of pitching depth. Dustin May is the clear headliner with an exceptional fastball, projectable frame, a knack for spinning a baseball, and advanced command, but he is far from their only quality pitching prospect. Josiah Gray should develop into a middle-of-the-rotation starter, and after him, they have a lot of pitchers capable of filling a 120-inning type of role for them; Brusdar Graterol, Clayton Beeter, Tony Gonsolin, Bobby Miller, Robinson Ortiz, Geraldo Carrillo, and Ryan Pepoit all have strikeout ability, and Los Angeles will be able to compensate for their one main issue- a lack of elite stamina. The Dodgers don’t have as deep of a farm system as the Indians or Rangers, but based on star talent, they may rank #1. The best part about this all? They don’t even need all of these prospects to step in and immediately contribute, and since their roster is so well-rounded, they won’t have to trade any of them away in win-now-oriented trades.

#2: Tampa Bay Rays

wanderfranco
Photo Cred: DRaysBay

Depth Rank: 5th

Quality Rank: 2nd

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: SS Wander Franco (65.212989)

#2: LHP Brendan McKay (57.758125)

#3: RHP Shane Baz (57.059375)

#4: 2B Vidal Brujan (56.903139)

#5: RHP Nick Bitsko (56.82)

#6: SS Taylor Walls (56.2157685)

#7: RHP Joe Ryan (55.031875)

#8: CF Josh Lowe (54.6505875)

#9: RHP Seth Johnson (54.37)

#10: SS Abiezel Ramirez (54.02540898)

#11: 3B Kevin Padlo (53.879435)

#12: RHP Brent Honeywell (53.77875)

#13: LHP Shane McClanahan (53.725375)

#14: RHP JJ Goss (53.3925)

#15: SS Alejandro Pie (51.38797)

#16: 2B Tyler Frank (51.111)

#17: SS Greg Jones (51.0257065)

#18: COF/1B/3B Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (50.7266485)

#19: RHP Peter Fairbanks (50.57875)

#20: CF Randy Arozarena (50.33975)

#21: 2B/SS Xavier Edwards (48.966098)

#22: C Ronaldo Hernandez (46.626087)

#23: CF Nick Schnell (45.4827625)

We may be teetering between large markets and small markets, but what practically all of the organizations in the top ten have in common is that they have terrific front offices. Not team fits that bill more than the Rays, who are able to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox despite having the smallest budget in the MLB. In order to do so, Tampa must constantly churn out cost-controlled talent, and somehow, that never seems to be an issue for them. In my opinion, that may have something to do with their reliance on up-the-middle athletes and high-upside pitchers. Brendan McKay, Shane Baz, Nick Bitsko, Joe Ryan, and Seth Johnson headline their deep group of pitchers, and even if Brent Honeywell, Shane McClanahan, and JJ Goss aren’t “sure things”, they all are very talented; even Peter Fairbanks will provide value for them as a cheap reliever. As Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, and the team’s established pitching talent get more expensive, those pitchers will be vital for their future well-being, and given their ability to develop pitching, they’re in a very good spot. However, what makes this farm system stand out from previous years is how many talented athletes that they have. Vidal Brujan and Taylor Walls are near-big-league ready middle infielders with elite on-base skills and defense, and after them, Josh Lowe, Abiezel Ramirez, and Kevin Padlo should develop into everyday players. That’d be fine in it of itself, but for an organization that can’t sign high-end free agents, you can argue they’ve never had a superstar like Wander Franco. Still just 19-years-old, Franco is already nearing his MLB debut, which is due to his elite plate discipline, tremendous contact skills, excellent raw power, and above-average defense at shortstop. He’s the complete package and is as close to a lock to be an MVP-caliber player as any other prospect in recent memory, and I’m so excited to see what the next era of Rays baseball will look like with him. My guess? More of the same- consistent playoff berths despite a payroll that is close to a quarter of the Yankees’.

#1: San Diego Padres

mackenziegore
Photo Cred: CBS Sports

Depth Rank: 1st

Quality Rank: 3rd

TOP PROSPECTS (w/Overall Grade)

#1: LHP MacKenzie Gore (60)

#2: RHP Luis Patino (59.05875)

#3: C Luis Campusano (58.164081)

#4: CF Jeisson Rosario (56.5929125)

#5: COF Taylor Trammell (54.910778)

#6: RHP Cole Wilcox (55.24875)

#7: SS/RHP Jake Cronenworth (54.85584475)

#8: RHP Justin Lange (54.480625)

#9: LHP Adrian Morejon (54.226875)

#10: CF Robert Hassell (54.08275)

#11: LHP Ryan Weathers (53.65375)

#12: SS CJ Abrams (53.5873465)

#13: C Blake Hunt (53.065055)

#14: SS Yeisson Santana (52.80287225)

#15: CF Hudson Head (52.6572375)

#16: COF Junior Perez (52.6432565)

#17: RHP Anderson Espinoza (52.63125)

#18: LHP Joey Cantillo (52.445625)

#19: COF Tirso Ornellas (52.4215315)

#20: RHP Michel Baez (51.755625)

#21: SS Tucupita Marcano (51.189429)

#22: 3B Reginald Precidado (50.325354)

#23: RHP Andres Munoz (50.28125)

#24: RHP Reggie Lawson (49.850625)

#25: 3B Hudson Potts (47.45728175)

#26: SS Gabriel Arias (46.308733)

Unlike the other teams in the top five, the Padres haven’t maintained a strong farm system while having a strong big-league roster. Rather, their deep minor-league pipeline is a result of their recent rebuilding efforts, and if all goes well, they’ll be graduating from this phase as their prospects become major-league contributors. With Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, and Joey Lucchesi already on in their rotation, San Diego isn’t in a great need for young pitchers, yet they have two elite ones in MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patino. Both have well-above-average three-pitch mixes with plus command, and honestly, I think they’ll take over as the rotation’s frontline starters over the team’s established pitchers. Heck, even Cole Wilcox, Justin Lange, Adrian Morejon, and Ryan Weathers would be the top pitching prospect for some farm systems, and they have some other “lottery ticket’ options in Anderson Espinoza, Michel Baez, Reggie Lawson, and high-leverage reliever Andres Munoz. Then, there are their position player prospects, and as you’d expect, most of them are up-the-middle athletes. The duo of Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia hasn’t panned out as hoped, but luckily for the Padres, they’ll soon have stability behind the plate with catcher Luis Campusano, who has a complete offensive profile. Additionally, Jeisson Rosario, Taylor Trammell, Jake Cronenworth, and Robert Hassell all have strong on-base ability, and further down the road, CJ Abrams, Yeisson Santana, Blake Hunt, Hudson Head, and Junior Perez all have intriguing tools. It’s very difficult to match this farm system in both quality and depth, so despite general manager AJ Preller’s poor free-agent decisions, you have to give him credit for acquiring so much young talent. It remains to be seen if they can keep up with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks in the NL West, but they certainly have the pieces in place to do so.

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