Top farm systems: Right-handed pitchers

July 7th, 2020

The time has come to put a wrap on our series taking a closer look at how all 30 farm systems stack up when ranked by position. We’ve already looked at left-handed pitchers, middle infielders, corner infielders and catchers, leaving us with just right-handers left to tackle.

Below are our top 10 rankings of the systems with the best right-handed pitchers, with the top such prospect for each organization in parentheses. We're operating under the assumption that all players selected in the 2020 Draft will sign pro contracts.

1. Dodgers (Dustin May)
The Dodgers are the only team with a trio of right-handers on the Top 100, led by May, who comes in at No. 23 on our Top 100 list after a strong big league debut last year. Josiah Gray (No. 67) and Brusdar Graterol (No. 83) were both acquired via trade, with Gray winning Dodgers Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors in 2019 after coming from the Reds, and Graterol joining the organization this past February. The organization has more right-handed talent beyond that, with Tony Gonsolin coming in at No. 6 on their Top 30, leading the next tier. The rich got richer in the 2020 Draft, with the Dodgers adding first-round pick Bobby Miller, No. 26 on our Draft Top 200, and Clayton Beeter, who ranked No. 51, along with two other righties.

2. Marlins (Sixto Sanchez)
The Marlins already had two of the most electric right-handed arms in the Minors with Sanchez, our No. 22 prospect, and underrated Edward Cabrera, who comes in at No. 85. Then they added Max Meyer with the No. 3 overall pick in the Draft, the Minnesota right-hander who was ranked No. 9 on our Draft Top 200. They’ve also got Nick Neidert coming off of a strong Arizona Fall League at No. 10 on their Top 30 and added three more right-handed pitchers in the Draft.

3. Tigers (Casey Mize)
A look at the Tigers’ 60-man player pool tells you all you need to know about why they are ranked this high. Both the team’s No. 1 prospect (and 2018 No. 1 overall pick) Casey Mize, the top right-handed pitching prospect in the game at No. 7 on the Top 100, and Matt Manning, No. 2 on the team list, No. 24 on the Top 100 and No. 7 on that Top 10 RHP list, are on that roster. So are Alex Faedo, No. 9 on the Tigers’ Top 30, No. 12 prospect Franklin Perez, No. 13 Beau Burrows and No. 15 Bryan Garcia.

4. Blue Jays (Nate Pearson)
Nate Pearson is No. 2 on the Top 10 RHP list and No. 8 overall, just one spot after Mize, thanks to his 80-grade fastball and plus slider (not to mention his above-average changeup and ability to command all of it). Simeon Woods Richardson, acquired from the Mets last year, is at No. 98 overall currently, but could make a big move up prospect lists. In addition to 2019 first-round pick Alek Manoah, the team’s No. 4 prospect, and No. 9 prospect Adam Kloffenstein, the Blue Jays will add three right-handers from our Draft Top 200 this year: CJ Van Eyk (No. 39 on that list), Nick Frasso (No. 98) and Trent Palmer (No. 114).

5. Mariners (Emerson Hancock)
The Mariners’ focus on pitching at the top of the Draft the past few years has allowed them to vault to No. 5 on our rankings. Hancock, the No. 4 prospect on the Draft Top 200 who was taken No. 6 overall by the M’s, is the latest of three straight college right-handers taken in the first round. Logan Gilbert, No. 38 on the Top 100 and No. 2 on Seattle’s Top 30, was the team’s top pick in 2018 (No. 14 overall), and in 2019, they nabbed George Kirby at No. 20 and he’s at No. 100 overall. All three are on the Mariners’ 60-man player pool, as are No. 7 prospect Justin Dunn and No. 14 Juan Then.

6. Pirates (Mitch Keller)
Keller, No. 39 on the Top 100 and the club’s top prospect, nearly graduated off of lists last year and is expected to be a part of the big league rotation once the 2020 season begins. Behind Keller, the Pirates have a pair of exciting right-handers from the 2019 Draft in Quinn Priester, the club’s first-round pick and No. 4 prospect, and Brennan Malone, the No. 7 prospect acquired from the D-backs in the Starling Marte trade, in the top 10. Cody Bolton rounds out that top 10, and they even have a high upside right-hander in Tahnaj Thomas at No. 13. The crop gets even deeper with three righties who were in the top 100 of our Draft Top 200 list this year: Carmen Mlodzinski at No. 21, No. 55 Jared Jones and No. 70 Nick Garcia.

7. Padres (Luis Patiño)
Anyone who saw Patiño’s electric performance in last year’s Futures Game would want to put the Padres on this list because of the No. 27 overall prospect (and No. 8 on the Top 10 RHP list) alone. The Padres already had No. 7 prospect Michel Baez and then they went out and added a pair of top Draft prospects this year in Cole Wilcox, our No. 23 Draft prospect, and No. 57 Justin Lange.

8. Rays (Nick Bitsko)
Bitsko was one of the most interesting -- and hard to place -- prospects in the 2020 Draft class because he had reclassified last fall and wasn’t seen this spring because of the pandemic. His pure stuff and size made him one of the top arms in the Draft, and the Rays gave him an over-slot $3 million bonus to add him to a system that already has No. 90 prospect Shane Baz and No. 91 Brent Honeywell. The Rays’ No. 8 prospect Joe Ryan didn’t miss our Top 100 by much and 2019 draftee JJ Goss at No. 12 gives the system some exciting depth.

9. Braves (Ian Anderson)
Anderson, the club’s top pitching prospect at No. 3 on the Braves’ Top 30, is in Atlanta's 60-man player pool, as is No. 4 prospect Kyle Wright, who should definitely contribute to the big league staff once the season starts. Both are firmly in the Top 100, at No. 37 and 52, respectively. Bryse Wilson and Huascar Ynoa, the team’s No. 6 and 11 prospects, are also in the player pool, and No. 13 prospect Freddy Tarnok is an under-the-radar prospect worth tracking.

10. Astros (Forrest Whitley)
Whitley is the team’s top prospect, coming in at No. 19 on the Top 100 and No. 3 on the Top 10 RHP list. He’s just about ready to contribute to the big league club, coming off of a strong AFL showing, though the Astros’ staff is loaded. There’s some interesting depth behind Whitley, with seven right-handers in the club’s top 15 alone, which is what puts them on this list more than any other elite-level talent. That crop is led by No. 2 prospect Jose Urquidy. And while the Astros only had four Draft picks this past June, they got a high upside arm in Alex Santos II, ranked No. 56 on the Draft Top 200, and No. 133 prospect Ty Brown, a reliever from Vanderbilt who could move quickly.