MLB: A Look Inside the Top 10 Farm Systems
It is essential to have a very strong farm system in baseball. Without a strong farm system, there will usually be a ton of depth problems within the organizations. That is the difference between the very good teams in baseball and the very bad teams in baseball.
Free agency is rarely a big thing in baseball and that is why it is very important to draft well. Who are the Top 10 farm systems in all of baseball?
10. Minnesota Twins
Minnesota has been very good over the past couple of years because of a very good farm system. Some of the key prospects in their farm system are shortstop Royce Lewis and outfielder Alex Kirilloff. They are both ranked in the Top 15 in the MLB.com prospect pool.
9. Detroit Tigers
Detroit has not made it to the playoffs since 2014. They have been in a rebuild mode ever since and their top three prospects are all pitchers. The Tigers have the potential to have a very strong 1,2,3 punch in the rotation one day. Right-handed pitcher Casey Mize is the second best prospect in baseball. Matt Manning and Franklin Perez are both right-handed pitchers and they are both ranked in the Top 100 prospects pool on MLB.com. Outfielder Isaac Paredes will be playing in the futures game as well. He is ranked 83rd in the Top 100 prospects and Paredes has the potential to be an everyday player at the next level.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers have one of the deepest prospect pools in all of baseball. Year in and year out, they always seem to produce at least one or two studs from the minor leagues. Catcher Will Smith and outfielder Alex Verdugo have already made an impact as rookies in the majors so far this season. Outfielder Joc Pederson, shortstop Corey Seager, and first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger are some other players on the roster that were homegrown by Los Angeles. The Dodgers still have some other prospects waiting in the system to make a name for themselves. They are catcher Keibert Ruiz, shortstop/second baseman Gavin Lux, and right-handed pitcher Dustin May. All three of those prospects are in the Top 100 on MLB.com and the Los Angeles Dodgers also have some legit prospects somewhere in the system as well.
7. Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds are going through a rebuilding phase right now. They have gotten high draft picks for the past several years and because of it, Cincinnati has taken advantage of it. Their top three prospects are all ranked within the top 45 of the MLB.com Top 100 prospects list. Outfielder Taylor Trammell, right-handed pitcher Hunter Greene, and third baseman Jonathan India are all projected to reach the majors within two years. The Reds are in contention to make it to the playoffs this season, but the odds are they a year or two away from being a playoff contender again. Third baseman/outfielder Nick Senzel has already made his impact with the Reds this season after graduating from the minor leagues.
6. Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays will be sellers at the trade deadline because they are one of the worst teams again this season. Toronto last made it to the playoffs as a wild card team in 2016, but they haven’t been very good ever since. The Blue Jays have one of the best, but surprising farm systems in all of baseball. Players like third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and second baseman Cavan Biggio have already made an impact with Toronto. Shortstop Bo Bichette is the eighth best prospect in all of baseball and he is projected to reach the majors sometime this season. Bichette started the season in Double-A with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Right-handed pitcher Nate Pearson is supposed to be a stud when he gets called to the majors and Pearson could very well be the ace of the future because they will most likely trade starting pitcher Marcus Stroman at the trade deadline.
5. Chicago White Sox
The White Sox are slowly but surely turning the corner. Chicago might be the team in Chicago in a couple of years. It will be interesting to see how these prospects develop. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez has had a nice rookie year after he was in the minor leagues over the past several years. They still have quite a bit of players waiting in the wings including outfielder Luis Robert, second baseman Nick Madrigal, and outfielder Blake Rutherford.
4. Houston Astros
The Astros were one of the worst teams in baseball at the beginning of this decade. Houston rebuilt this team from the ground up and because of it, they won the World Series for the first time in franchise history in 2017. The Houston Astros have had players like outfielder George Springer, second baseman Jose Altuve, third baseman Alex Bregman, and shortstop Carlos Correa come up through the minor leagues. They still have a ton of players that could make an immediate impact once they reach the major leagues. Outfielder Yordan Alvarez has made an impact this season and he started the year in the minors. Right-handed pitcher Forrest Whitley and outfielder Kyle Tucker are the best two prospects in the Houston farm system. They are both big-time players.
3. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have quietly built up a tremendous farm system. Tampa Bay missed the playoffs last season despite winning 90 games, but they are on their way to the postseason potentially for the first time since 2013. The Tampa Bay Rays play as a collective unit. They don’t have a true superstar on the roster and Tampa Bay may not have in the minor leagues either. What they do have is players who will get the job done on a night-to-night basis. However, shortstop Wander Franco is the best prospect in all of baseball. He is projected to reach the majors in 2021. Left-handed pitcher/designated hitter Brendan McKay is a two-way player that could be the next Shohei Ohtani.
The Braves have such a deep farm system that could trade some players away for a superstar like left-handed pitcher Madison Bumgarner at the trade deadline. Atlanta is one of the best teams in baseball because they have built up a strong farm system and the Atlanta Braves could be around for the next decade. The top prospect in Atlanta’s farm system is outfielder Cristian Pache. He is the 14th best prospect in all of baseball according to MLB.com
1. San Diego Padres
The Padres have the deepest farm system in baseball and they have a plethora of pitchers in it. That is why they are willing to trade for a front line starter so they could give up some of those prospects. San Diego has not reached the playoffs since 2006. Left-handed pitcher MacKenzie Gore has the potential to be a shutdown pitcher and he is the third-best prospect in all of baseball. Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was in the minors for the past couple of years and he has been one of San Diego’s better players this season.
Who do you feel has the best farm system in MLB? Leave a comment below.
Steal your way over to IroniqMedia for all of your MLB coverage.
Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.