Cubs top list of MLB's 10 best farm systems
What makes an organization rank as one of the top farm systems in baseball? Simply put, it's a combination of quality and quantity. The MLBPipeline.com staff ranked the top 10 systems in the game by considering which organizations have an abundance of elite-level prospect talent as well as depth, in terms of future big leaguers up and down the system.
Prospect Points are determined by awarding a team 100 points for the No. 1 prospect on the Top 100 list, 99 points for No. 2 and so on, down to one point for No. 100. Points are then tallied by team.
1. Chicago Cubs
Cubs' Top 30 Prospects | Breakdown
Cubs in Top 100: 6 -- 3B Kris Bryant (No. 2), SS Addison Russell (No. 5), OF Jorge Soler (No. 23), RHP C.J. Edwards (No. 48), C/OF Kyle Schwarber (No. 50), OF Albert Almora (No. 58)
Prospect Points (MLB rank): 420 (2nd)
Even after sending Top 100 Prospects Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara to Wrigley Field last year, the Cubs still have an enviable collection of hitting talent, fronted by reigning Minor League home run king Bryant. He and Soler could be the top two rookies in baseball this year, and Russell and Schwarber could also be ready very soon. All those bats overshadow talented arms such as Edwards and right-handers Duane Underwood and Pierce Johnson.
2. Boston Red Sox
Red Sox's Top 30 Prospects | Breakdown
Red Sox in Top 100: 6 -- 2B Yoan Moncada (No. 9), C Blake Swihart (No. 19), LHP Henry Owens (No. 20), LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (No. 90), 3B Rafael Devers (No. 97), OF Manuel Margot (No. 100)
Prospect Points (MLB rank): 271 (5th) Include - Html: Team Top 30 Prospects schedule
Even before the Red Sox signed Moncada, their international program already had been productive, with the likes of Devers and Margot (and 2013 postseason hero Xander Bogaerts, who graduated to the big leagues last year). Boston's 2011 Draft class already has sent Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. to the Majors, and Swihart, Owens and right-hander Matt Barnes are right on their heels.
3. Minnesota Twins
Twins' Top 30 Prospects | Breakdown
Twins in Top 100: 6 -- OF Byron Buxton (No. 1), 3B Miguel Sano (No. 12), RHP Alex Meyer (No. 30), Jose Berrios (No. 33), SS Nick Gordon (No. 34), RHP Kohl Stewart (No. 37)
Prospect Points (MLB rank): 459 (1st)
Include - Html: 2015 Top 30 Prospects lists
Not only do the Twins have six players in the Top 100, all half-dozen of them are in the top 36. That gives them the highest Prospect Points total among all 30 organizations. One player alone does not a system make, but Byron Buxton's five tools certainly are a very good start. Add in one of the biggest power bats, a premium shortstop and three outstanding right-handers and the Twins' sextet matches up with any other organization's top six. Beyond the big six there are several more future big leaguers on their way up.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
Pirates' Top 30 Prospects | Breakdown
Pirates in Top 100: 7 -- RHP Tyler Glasnow (No. 13), RHP Jameson Taillon (No. 32), 1B Josh Bell (No. 35), OF Austin Meadows (No. 47), C Reese McGuire (No. 65), RHP Nick Kingham (No. 75), SS/2B Alen Hanson (No. 93)
Prospect Points (MLB rank): 347 (3rd)
No team in baseball has more players -- seven -- on the Top 100 Prospects list. There's talent on the mound, with Tyler Glasnow leading the way and Jameson Taillon about to come back, and at the plate, with impact hitters like Josh Bell and Austin Meadows on the way. That doesn't even count prospects who contributed to the Pirates' playoff push, like John Holdzkom and Andrew Lambo. Even as the Pirates compete for the postseason, they continue to try to ensure long-term success by keeping the system stocked.
5. New York Mets
Mets' Top 30 Prospects | Breakdown
Mets in Top 100: 5 -- RHP Noah Syndergaard (No. 11), C Kevin Plawecki (No. 64), LHP Steven Matz (No. 67), OF Brandon Nimmo (No. 73), OF Michael Conforto (No. 83)
Prospect Points (MLB rank): 207 (10th)
The Mets' pipeline has come a long way over the last few years. The R.A. Dickey trade certainly helped, netting current catcher Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, now considered to be one best pitching prospects in the game. Efforts in the Draft - picking higher because of poorer finishes didn't hurt - as well as stepping up international scouting have filled out one of the deeper systems in baseball. Breakout 2014 seasons from Steven Matz and Kevin Plawecki added a pair of Top 100 talents as well.
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodgers' Top 30 Prospects | Breakdown
Dodgers in Top 100: 4 -- SS Corey Seager (No. 7), LHP Julio Urias (No. 8), OF Joc Pederson (No. 14), RHP Grant Holmes (No. 96)
Prospect Points (MLB rank): 279 (4th)
The Dodgers can't match the depth of the other farm systems on this list, but they do have three of the very best prospects in the game. Seager won the Minor League batting title last year, while Urias dominated high Class A at age 17 and Pederson had the Triple-A Pacific Coast League's first 30-30 season since 1934. Holmes and outfielder Alex Verdugo, Los Angeles' top two picks in the 2014 Draft, had very promising debuts.
7. Texas Rangers
Rangers' Top 30 Prospects | Breakdown
Rangers in Top 100: 5 -- 3B Joey Gallo (No. 10), C/1B Jorge Alfaro (No. 46), OF Nomar Mazara (No. 55), RHP Jake Thompson (No. 84), RHP Alex Gonzalez (No. 98)
Prospect Points (MLB rank): 212 (7th)
No organization has more high-risk, high-reward prospects than the Rangers, who have the most powerful prospect in baseball (Gallo), the most tooled-up catcher (Alfaro) and a bevy of gifted outfielders (led by Mazara and Lewis Brinson) and middle infielders (headlined by Travis Demeritte and Josh Morgan). Their top pitchers are the products of premium Draft picks (Gonzalez, Luke Jackson, Luis Ortiz) or recent trades (Thompson, Anthony Ranaudo).
8. Houston Astros
Astros' Top 30 Prospects | Breakdown
Astros in Top 100: 4 -- SS Carlos Correa (No. 3), RHP Mark Appel (No. 31), OF Domingo Santana (No. 72), RHP Vincent Velasquez (No. 87)
Prospect Points (MLB rank): 211 (8th)
After outfielder George Springer and first baseman Jonathan Singleton graduated to the Major Leagues in 2014, the next wave of homegrown talent is building in the Astros' farm system. Shortstop Carlos Correa and right-hander Mark Appel, the top picks in the 2012 and 2013 First-Year Player Drafts, continue to highlight the Astros' top prospects list. And while trades and graduations have cut into the Astros' depth somewhat, there is still plenty of talent to be found in the organization, especially in the upper levels of the Minor Leagues.
9. Atlanta Braves
Braves' Top 30 Prospects | Breakdown
Braves in Top 100: 4 -- 2B Jose Peraza (No. 39), RHP Mike Foltynewicz (No. 79), Christian Bethancourt (No. 94), RHP Lucas Sims (No. 95)
Prospect Points (MLB rank): 101 (24th)
When John Hart took over as the Braves' president of baseball operations last fall, one of his aims was to improve a depleted farm system. He did just that during a busy offseason that also saw him retool the Major League roster. The Braves don't have a prospect ranked in the first third of MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, so they don't rank highly in Prospect Points. But they have stockpiled an impressive array of high-ceiling pitchers and have built depth throughout the system.
10. Toronto Blue Jays
Jays' Top 30 Prospects | Breakdown
Jays in the Top 100: 4 -- LHP Daniel Norris (No. 18), OF Dalton Pompey (No. 44), RHP Aaron Sanchez (No. 45), RHP Jeff Hoffman (No. 88)
Prospect Points (MLB rank): 243 (9th)
Going into the 2014 season, a series of trades had left the Blue Jays' farm system thinner at the upper levels of the Minor Leagues than it had been in years past. It wouldn't stay down for long, however. Left-hander Daniel Norris and center fielder Dalton Pompey delivered breakout seasons, and the Blue Jays injected high-end talent into the system in the 2014 First Year Player Draft, when they had two of the first 11 picks. Entering the 2015 season, they once again have elite talent and enviable depth in their system.