Top farm systems: Outfielders

July 1st, 2020

The Mariners haven't made the playoffs since 2001, when they tied a Major League record with 116 victories. Two of Seattle's best players were outfielders Ichiro Suzuki, who won the American League MVP and Rookie of the Year Awards, and Mike Cameron, who joined him as an All-Star and Gold Glover.

Though they're coming off a 94-loss season, the Mariners have a farm system that provides cause for optimism. Seattle's two best prospects are outfielders Jarred Kelenic and and Julio Rodriguez -- the types of talents an organization can build a contender around. They're the best outfield-prospect duo in the Minors and the main reason why the Mariners' system features more outfield talent than any other.

Below are our top 10 rankings of the systems with the best outfielders, with the top such prospect for each organization in parentheses. We compiled these with the assumption that all players selected in the 2020 Draft will sign pro contracts.

1. Mariners (Jarred Kelenic)
Outside of Rays shortstop Wander Franco, baseball's best prospect, no teenagers impressed more in 2019 than Kelenic, who had a 20-20 season while advancing to Double-A, and Rodriguez, who posted a .930 OPS while reaching high Class A at age 18. Jake Fraley just missed a 20-20 season of his own by one homer, and 2016 first-round pick Kyle Lewis went deep six times during a September callup. Zach DeLoach, this year's second-rounder, won the Cape Cod League batting title (.353) last summer and logged a 1.336 OPS in his brief junior season at Texas A&M.

2. Angels (Jo Adell)
The Angels' three best prospects are all outfielders, starting with Adell, who has some of the best all-around tools in the Minors. Brandon Marsh has similar tools with the exception of less power potential, and he was poised for a 2020 breakout before the coronavirus shutdown. Jordyn Adams, a 2018 first-rounder, is one of the fastest players in the Minors and was recruited as a wide receiver by college football programs. Trent Deveaux has similar speed, and D'Shawn Knowles, Alexander Ramirez and 2020 third-rounder David Calabrese also can wreak some havoc on the bases.

3. Marlins (JJ Bleday)
The Marlins invested three premium 2019 Draft picks in first-rounder Bleday, who topped NCAA Division I with 27 homers that spring while leading Vanderbilt to a national championship; supplemental first-rounder Kameron Misner, who had some of the best all-around tools in that year's college crop; and third-round revelation Peyton Burdick, whose strength and bat speed translated into a .949 OPS with 11 homers in his 69-game pro debut. Other Marlins to watch include sweet-swinging Jesús Sánchez (acquired from the Rays last July), exceptional athlete Monte Harrison (part of the Christian Yelich trade with the Brewers in January 2018), speedy Connor Scott (a 2018 first-rounder) and slugging Jerar Encarnacion (a $78,000 bargain from the Dominican Republic).

4. Braves (Cristian Pache)
Pache is regarded as the best defender in the Minors, and he also has well-above-average speed and plus raw power. A switch-hitter who's also loaded with tools, Drew Waters easily handled Double-A at age 20 last year. It's hard to imagine a future outfield more exciting than the Braves' trio of Ronald Acuña, Pache and Waters. Atlanta's two most recent third-rounders, Michael Harris and Jesse Franklin, offer power-speed combinations, while 2018 32nd-rounder Trey Harris impressed in the Arizona Fall League last offseason.

5. D-backs (Kristian Robinson)
The D-backs are the only club with three outfielders on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list: Robinson, Alek Thomas and Corbin Carroll. All three have a chance to stick in center field and offer a wide array of tools, with Robinson featuring the prodigious power potential, Thomas displaying the best hitting ability and Carroll possessing well above-average speed. Wilderd Patino isn't nearly as famous but could have plus power and speed once he's fully developed.

6. Giants (Heliot Ramos)
Ramos (2017) and Hunter Bishop (2019) were first-round picks with some of the best power/speed combos in their respective Draft classes. Alexander Canario, Luis Matos and Jairo Pomares have yet to reach full-season ball but all three recent international signees had huge 2019 seasons and could make a big splash when they do. Jaylin Davis homered 10 times in 27 Triple-A games and delivered his first big league blast after arriving as part of the Sam Dyson trade with the Twins last July.

7. Twins (Alex Kirilloff)
In Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach, the Twins have a pair of former first-round choices and current Top 100 Prospects who can hit for average and power and fit the right-field profile nicely. They also have a trio of interesting collegians from the Southeast in sluggers Brent Rooker and Matt Wallner plus advanced hitter Alerick Soularie. Akil Baddoo and Gilberto Celestino are hit-over-power center fielders who are still putting things together at the plate.

8. White Sox (Luis Robert)
The White Sox graduated Eloy Jiménez to the big leagues in 2019 and have another outfield cornerstone arriving this season in Robert. He's coming off a 2019 season in which he became the Minors' youngest 30-30 player in two decades, led them with 314 total bases and recorded the first 30-30-300 season since Jose Cardenal in 1961. Chicago has high hopes for Micker Adolfo, Luis Alexander Basabe, Luis González and Blake Rutherford, though they still need to prove they can provide consistent production.

9. Padres (Taylor Trammell)
The Padres have added several toolsy outfielders in the last 13 months. They gave a then-third-round-record $3 million bonus to Hudson Head in June 2019, then acquired Top 100 Prospect Taylor Trammell from the Reds as part of the three-team Trevor Bauer/Yasiel Puig trade a month later. In this year's Draft, they grabbed the best pure high school hitter (Robert Hassell) at No. 8 overall and a projectable Canadian prep slugger (Owen Caissie) in the second round. Keep an eye on Jeisson Rosario, part of San Diego's $78 million international spending spree in 2016.

10. Tigers (Riley Greene)
The No. 5 overall pick in the 2019 Draft, Greene hit his way from high school to low Class A in two months last summer and then was the talk of the Grapefruit League as a 19-year-old this spring. Daz Cameron (son of Mike) and Parker Meadows (brother of Austin) are center fielders with good bloodlines. Daniel Cabrera, a Competitive Balance Round B pick in June, was one of the better college bats in this year's Draft.