These 4 farm systems made the big jumps in our rankings

March 28th, 2023

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Following our Top 100 Prospects list and organization Top 30s, MLB Pipeline concluded its preseason rankings last week by analyzing all of the farm systems. That means it's time for me to make my annual joke about how one team thinks we evaluated them perfectly and the other 29 believe we have underestimated them -- except it's not really a joke. 

We rate the systems twice a year, and the Orioles just came in No. 1 for the fourth straight time. Since we started these rankings in 2015, the 2018-19 Padres are the only other organization to claim the top spot four times in a row. Baltimore's run is even more impressive considering that it graduated Adley Rutschman to the big leagues last summer and still remained atop the throne.

I thought it might be instructive to look at the four systems that moved up at least 10 spots since this time a year ago:

Reds (15 to 5): Cincinnati graduated its top two prospects (Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo), yet still climbed into the top five. The Reds landed two Top 100 Prospects (Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo) in the Luis Castillo trade with the Mariners in July and two more solid guys (Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strande) in the Tyler Mahle deal with the Twins in August. Elly de la Cruz developing into perhaps the most electrifying athlete in the Minors helped, as did adding one of the best young hitters in the 2022 Draft (Cam Collier).

Nationals (23 to 10): It hurt to part with Juan Soto last August, but part of the price the Padres paid was Washington's two best prospects (James Wood, Robert Hassell) and its top healthy pitching prospect (Jarlin Susana). The Nats' next-best prospect (Elijah Green) and next-best healthy mound prospect (Jake Bennett) came out of the Draft.

Rockies (24 to 14): Two things keyed Colorado's surge. Shortstops Ezequiel Tovar and Adael Amador blossomed into Top 100 prospects, and the Rockies owned three of the top 38 picks in the Draft (Gabriel Hughes, Sterlin Thompson, Jordan Beck).

Brewers (25 to 15): The biggest news in Milwaukee's system was Jackson Chourio becoming the game's breakout prospect of the year and Sal Frelick emerging as the best pure hitter on the Top 100. The Brewers' most notable newcomer was second-rounder Jacob Misiorowski, whose ceiling stands out more than first-rounder Eric Brown's floor.