The following is an excerpt from this week's Pipeline Podcast, in which Tim McMaster, Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis discuss the top farm systems and draft a team full of players from the Top 10 positional lists. To listen to the show in its entirety, visit the MLB Pipeline Podcast
The following is an excerpt from this week's Pipeline Podcast, in which Tim McMaster, Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis discuss the top farm systems and draft a team full of players from the Top 10 positional lists. To listen to the show in its entirety, visit the MLB Pipeline Podcast page.
Tim McMaster: So the Braves are obviously in the discussion for best Minor League systems. They're not alone, there's other teams that can boast that and whose fanbases are proud of what's coming up for sure. So let's get into that.
You have the Braves, and you have the White Sox and everything they've done. It seems like the Padres are coming quick. Jim, what would you say are your top three systems right now?
Jim Callis: Well those are the three teams that have more Top 100 prospects than anybody. They have more prospect points, which is not the most scientific method, but you give 100 points to the No. 1 prospect and so on down to No. 100. Those three teams have the most prospect points, and again that doesn't necessarily mean you have the best farm system. But I always play around with it a little bit, and I still think those are the top three farm systems right now.
We'll find out Jonathan's answer in a second, but I think the Padres are the best farm system in baseball. I think they have the deepest farm system in baseball with an unbelievable amount of talent. There aren't too many teams who have a better hitter-pitcher prospect combination than Fernando Tatis Jr. and MacKenzie Gore. They also have Luis Urias, who you could argue is as good as anyone in the Minor Leagues in terms of hitting ability, and then you have a ton more pitching behind those guys like Cal Quantrill and Michel Baez and Adrian Morejon and Logan Allen. I feel like I'm forgetting another Padres' pitcher who's really good.
I would give the Padres a slight edge. I would go Padres at No. 1, White Sox at No. 2 and Braves at No. 3 -- but it's all very close.
Jonathan Mayo: @JimCallisMLB, Braves fans …
Callis: Hey! I'm just giving my honest opinion.
Mayo: One of the things we have to do when we actually do dig into the Top 10 farm systems is go beyond the Top 100. It's depth of farm system, and the Padres are very deep. I do the Braves' Top 30, so sometimes familiarity, you know. It's a fun list to put together because there are more than 30 players worth writing about, and that's always a good sign. So off the top of my head, I could see the Padres being No. 1 without question, with the Braves No. 2 and the White Sox at No. 3. You're splitting hairs at a certain point, because when you have three systems that are really good and they all have top-level guys who are really good, then it's just going to be 'Well, I like these guys at Nos. 25-30 a little better.'
It's such a subjective process. But you could throw three teams into a hat and say, 'This is going to be the order of the top three farm systems,' and I wouldn't vehemently disagree with it.
Callis: And it really doesn't matter. We care and we try to get the rankings right, but those are your three elite farm systems. Whether we rank you first, second or third, if I'm a fan of any of those teams -- or I work for one of those teams -- the future is very, very bright.
Drafting a prospect team from the Top 10 Position lists
McMaster: Well the biggest decision whenever we do these serpentine drafts is who has the first pick, and then who gets to pick at Nos. 2 and 3. So I ripped up some paper and we did the 'pull the short straw' game. Jonathan, you pulled the longer piece of paper, which means you had the choice, and you're going with picks No. 2 and 3.
So Jim, you have the first pick in the 2018 Top 10 Positional List serpentine draft. Just to explain what we're doing, we're filling out a roster of first base, second base, third base, shortstop and catcher, one outfielder, a right-handed pitcher and a left-handed pitcher. You don't have to go through those in any order. Jim has the first pick …
First base: Ryan McMahon
Second base: Scott Kingery
Third base: Vlad Guerrero Jr.
Shortstop: Fernando Tatis Jr.
Catcher: Francisco Mejia
Outfielder: Ronald Acuna
RHP: Forrest Whitley
LHP: Jesus Luzardo
First base: Brendan McKay
Second base: Luis Urias
Third base: Nick Senzel
Shortstop: Gleyber Torres
Catcher: Keibert Ruiz
Outfielder: Eloy Jimenez
RHP Shohei Ohtani
LHP MacKenzie Gore