From 1-30, MLB Pipeline ranks each club's farm system

August 16th, 2023

Ranking farm systems -- comparing groups of a couple hundred prospects in 30 different organizations -- is, at best, a mostly subjective exercise, and at worst, all but impossible to do well.

Yet the teams that place near the top in MLB Pipeline's biannual rankings almost always parlay their prospects into big league success in the very near future. Going back to when we started evaluating organizational talent before the 2015 season, four of the first five No. 1 systems (Cubs pre-2015, Red Sox mid-2015, Dodgers pre-2016, Braves pre-2017) won World Series titles in four years or less.

The No. 1 systems that haven't attained championships have enjoyed prosperity, too. The Brewers (mid-2016) and the Rays (pre-2020 through pre-2021) reached four straight postseasons, while the White Sox (mid-2017) made back-to-back playoff appearances -- all firsts in franchise history.

The Padres (pre-2018 though mid-2019) advanced to the postseason twice in three years, tying for their second-best period. The Orioles (mid-2021 through mid-2023) currently have the best record in the American League and almost certainly will snap a six-season playoff drought.

Our rankings below are based on long-term Major League value, including factors such as potential impact talent, depth, proximity to the big leagues and balance between position players and pitchers, as well as ceilings and floors. The numbers in parentheses indicate where prospects sit on our Top 100 list.

1. Baltimore Orioles
2023 preseason rank: 1
2022 midseason rank: 1
2022 preseason rank: 1
2021 midseason rank: 1

Top 100 prospects: Jackson Holliday, SS/2B (No. 1); Colton Cowser, OF (No. 14); Heston Kjerstad, OF (No. 25); Coby Mayo, 3B/1B (No. 28); Samuel Basallo, C/1B (No. 50); Joey Ortiz, INF (No. 54)

This is the first time any organization has been in the top spot for five straight rankings, dating back to that 2021 midseason re-rank. Sure, Gunnar Henderson and Grayson Rodriguez have graduated off, but Holliday is an exciting No. 1 overall prospect and they’ve had several guys step up and perform well to jump up the Top 100 as well.

2. Pittsburgh Pirates
2023 preseason rank: 8
2022 midseason rank: 7
2022 preseason rank: 7
2021 midseason rank: 4

Top 100 prospects: Paul Skenes, RHP (No. 3); Termarr Johnson, 2B (No. 23); Endy Rodriguez, C/2B/OF (No. 42); Jared Jones, RHP (No. 74); Anthony Solometo, LHP (No. 89); Quinn Priester, RHP (No. 98)

Getting to pick No. 1 overall in the Draft will automatically give you a boost, and that’s certainly true when you get as special a player as Paul Skenes. Some of their pitchers have taken very nice steps forward this year and this remains one of the deeper systems in baseball with interesting bona fide prospects well beyond the Top 30.

3. Milwaukee Brewers
2023 preseason rank: 15
2022 midseason rank: 19
2022 preseason rank: 25
2021 midseason rank: 25

Top 100 prospects: Jackson Chourio, OF (No. 2); Sal Frelick, OF (No. 22); Jeferson Quero, C (No. 34); Jacob Misiorowski, RHP (No. 38); Tyler Black, 3B (No. 55)

This is the breakout system of the 2023 season. Chourio and Frelick were certainly notable Top 100 prospects, but they’ve now been joined by big jumpers Quero, Misiorowski and Black on that list. Quero and Misiorowski, in particular, have become Top 4 prospects at their respective positions, solidifying their statuses as Minor League names to know. Other nice steps forward by Robert Gasser, Carlos F. Rodriguez and Luis Lara have been supported further by a solid Draft class, including ACC all-time home-run king Brock Wilken and one of the steals of 2023 in sixth-rounder Cooper Pratt.

4. Chicago Cubs
2023 preseason rank: 12
2022 midseason rank: 10
2022 preseason rank: 18
2021 midseason rank: 18

Top 100 prospects: Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF (No. 12); Cade Horton, RHP (No. 30); Owen Caissie, OF (No. 68); Kevin Alcántara, OF (No. 76); Ben Brown, RHP (No. 91)

The Cubs' system is stronger than it has been since 2015 and much better equipped to produce pitching than it was eight years ago. Horton, Brown and Jordan Wicks are close to taking the mound at Wrigley Field, and Jackson Ferris will need more time but comes with a high ceiling. There's no shortage of position players on the way to Chicago, including the best defender (Crow-Armstrong) and power hitter (Caissie) in the Minors. Crow-Armstrong, Caissie, Alcántara and Brown all joined the organization via trades.

5. Cincinnati Reds
2023 preseason rank: 5
2022 midseason rank: 4
2022 preseason rank: 15
2021 midseason rank: 10

Top 100 prospects: Noelvi Marte, SS (No. 24); Rhett Lowder, RHP, (No. 44); Edwin Arroyo, SS (No. 61); Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 1B/3B (No. 72); Connor Phillips, RHP (No. 73)

The Reds hold steady here, making up for the graduation of Elly De La Cruz with a strong quintet of Top 100 guys and a deep system. The trades Cincinnati made last year at the Deadline continue to help, with Marte, Arroyo and Encarnacion-Strand all in their first full season with the big league club. Add in the best overall 2023 Draft class and they’re still one of the best in the game.

6. Los Angeles Dodgers
2023 preseason rank: 2
2022 midseason rank: 2
2022 preseason rank: 5
2021 midseason rank: 16

Top 100 prospects: Dalton Rushing, C/1B (No. 46); Michael Busch, 3B/2B (No. 47); Diego Cartaya, C (No. 60); Nick Frasso, RHP (No. 69); Gavin Stone, RHP (No. 84)

The Dodgers are nearing their 10th National League West title in the past 11 years, and they won 106 games the one season they came up short. A nonstop supply of prospects has fueled that success, and this year alone they've graduated Top 100 prospects Bobby Miller, Miguel Vargas and Emmet Sheehan, plus James Outman, to Los Angeles. There's another wave percolating in Triple-A (Busch, Stone, outfielder Andy Pages, right-handers Landon Knack, Ryan Pepiot and Kyle Hurt) and more talent coming behind them.

7. Tampa Bay Rays
2023 preseason rank: 6
2022 midseason rank: 8
2022 preseason rank: 3
2021 midseason rank: 6

Top 100 prospects: Junior Caminero, 3B/SS (No. 6); Carson Williams, SS (No. 19); Curtis Mead, 3B/2B (No. 36)

"Next man up" has always been the mantra in the Tampa Bay system. So while out went Taj Bradley (graduation) and Kyle Manzardo (trade), in came Caminero as one of the biggest breakout prospects of the 2023 Minor League campaign. Williams has also built on his reputation as a power-hitting, slick-fielding shortstop, while Mead’s 65-grade hit tool has earned him a spot in the Majors. The Rays continue to develop well throughout the system with 2022 first-rounder Xavier Isaac closing in on the Top 100 and complex-level acquisition Santiago Suarez jumping to Single-A in his age-18 season. It brings hope that big things are ahead for top ’23 picks like Brayden Taylor and Adrian Santana.

8. Washington Nationals
2023 preseason rank: 10
2022 midseason rank: 15
2022 preseason rank: 23
2021 midseason rank: 20

Top 100 prospects: Dylan Crews, OF (No. 4); James Wood, OF (No. 7); Brady House, 3B (No. 43)

Only one organization boasts two players in MLB Pipeline’s Top 7 overall rankings, and that’s Washington after it added Crews as the No. 2 pick in the Draft. Debating who’s better between the LSU star and current Double-A slugger Wood could be a fun debate in the capital for years to come. Additionally, House has looked healthy after a back issue limited him in 2022, and his slugging ways have carried him to Double-A at just 20. This is certainly a top-heavy system, and steps back from Elijah Green and Robert Hassell III keep it from reaching even loftier heights. But for an organization clearly in rebuild mode, the brighter days are starting to break through on the horizon in DC.

9. San Diego Padres
2023 preseason rank: 23
2022 midseason rank: 28
2022 preseason rank: 17
2021 midseason rank: 17

Top 100 prospects: Ethan Salas, C (No. 5); Jackson Merrill, SS (No. 9); Robby Snelling, LHP (No. 64); Dylan Lesko, RHP (No. 67); Samuel Zavala, OF (No. 100)

Reports of the downfall of the Padres' system have been greatly exaggerated after last year’s Juan Soto blockbuster. Signed in January, Salas has already become one of the five best prospects in baseball, while Merrill continues to hit everywhere and could factor into San Diego’s infield as early as next year. Snelling and Lesko -- both 2022 picks -- are early in their careers and look like potential future rotation pieces. Zavala has broken into the Top 100, and it doesn’t trail off after him with top performers Jairo Iriarte, Adam Mazur, Brandon Valenzuela, Nathan Martorella, Graham Pauley and Jakob Marsee closing in behind.

10. Texas Rangers
2023 preseason rank: 7
2022 midseason rank: 6
2022 preseason rank: 9
2021 midseason rank: 11

Top 100 prospects: Evan Carter, OF (No. 8); Wyatt Langford, OF (No. 13); Sebastian Walcott, SS (No. 66); Brock Porter, RHP (No. 97)

Free-agent spending helped the Rangers turn around their big league franchise; a deep system should help them sustain it. Carter and Langford should bolster the lineup by Opening Day 2025, if not earlier, and Walcott may have a higher ceiling than either of them. Texas may never have had a quartet of pitching prospects as talented as Porter and fellow right-handers Jack Leiter, Owen White and Kumar Rocker, all of whom have made the Top 100 Prospects list at one point.

11. New York Mets
2023 preseason rank: 11
2022 midseason rank: 14
2022 preseason rank: 20
2021 midseason rank: 22

Top 100 prospects: Luisangel Acuña, SS/2B (No. 40); Drew Gilbert, OF (No. 56); Jett Williams, SS/OF (No. 83); Ronny Mauricio, 2B/OF/SS (No. 92); Kevin Parada, C (No. 95)

New York famously added to its prospect core at this year’s Deadline, bringing in two Top 100 prospects in Acuña and Gilbert alongside other notable talents like Ryan Clifford, Marco Vargas and Justin Jarvis. Those trades certainly helped build out the Mets’ top-end talent and depth, but the organization still isn’t quite there in either department to break into the Top 10. The good news: many of the organization’s top names could see Queens soon with nine of the Top 17 already at Double-A or Triple-A.

12. Arizona Diamondbacks
2023 preseason rank: 3
2022 midseason rank: 5
2022 preseason rank: 4
2021 midseason rank: 9

Top 100 prospects: Jordan Lawlar, SS (No. 10); Druw Jones, OF (No. 35)

This is about as good a system can look while only having two Top 100 prospects. The D-backs may have graduated Corbin Carroll and Brandon Pfaadt, but there’s still a good amount of depth here, built up in part by this year’s Draft headlined by Stanford shortstop and 12th overall pick Tommy Troy. Deyvison De Los Santos and Ivan Melendez bring big power to the table, while Yu-Min Lin is one of the Minors’ most fascinating arms due to his impressive secondaries. The system could use more arms though, with Lin being the only Top 13 prospect making his living on the mound.

13. Detroit Tigers
2023 preseason rank: 25
2022 midseason rank: 22
2022 preseason rank: 10
2021 midseason rank: 7

Top 100 prospects: Max Clark, OF (No. 15); Colt Keith, 3B/2B (No. 26); Jackson Jobe, RHP (No. 58); Jace Jung, 2B (No. 71)

Having the third overall pick in a Draft with five big-time prospects is a good place to be, and the Tigers swung for the fences by taking high-upside prep outfielder Clark at that spot. Speaking of swinging for the fences, Keith has climbed the Top 100 ranks because of his prodigious power, and Jung has shown some decent pop himself in his first full season. The best news from the mound: Jobe continues to flash plus stuff despite missing some time with a back injury. While this isn’t a particularly deep group -- it falls off after the first 11 or so -- keep an eye on 37th overall pick Kevin McGonigle, who already shows an incredible approach at just 18.

14. San Francisco Giants
2023 preseason rank: 17
2022 midseason rank: 18
2022 preseason rank: 11
2021 midseason rank: 8

Top 100 prospects: Kyle Harrison, LHP (No. 20); Marco Luciano, SS (No. 27); Carson Whisenhunt, LHP (No. 75)

Harrison and Luciano continue to headline a system that has graduated Luis Matos, Casey Schmitt and Patrick Bailey to San Francisco this year. The Giants nevertheless moved up three spots in the rankings, in part because they added impact talents such as first baseman/right-hander Bryce Eldridge and shortstop Walker Martin from the Draft and outfielder Rayner Arias on the international market. Two mid-round picks from 2022 -- sixth-round right-hander Hayden Birdsong and eighth-round outfielder Wade Meckler -- quickly emerged as two of the best prospects in the organization.

15. Cleveland Guardians
2023 preseason rank: 4
2022 midseason rank: 3
2022 preseason rank: 12
2021 midseason rank: 13

Top 100 prospects: Brayan Rocchio, SS/2B (No. 51); Kyle Manzardo, 1B (No. 62); Daniel Espino, RHP (No. 85); Chase DeLauter, OF (No. 90)

The Guardians' drop in our rankings reflects the graduations to Cleveland of Top 100 prospects Gavin Williams, Bo Naylor and Tanner Bibee, as well as Logan Allen, Gabriel Arias and Will Brennan. Cleveland continues to acquire and develop contact hitters and pitchers, including drafting catcher Ralphy Velazquez and left-hander Alex Clemmey and trading for Manzardo in July. Espino's pure stuff rivals that of any pitching prospect in the game, and restoring him to full health after shoulder surgery would be huge.

16. Boston Red Sox
2023 preseason rank: 16
2022 midseason rank: 11
2022 preseason rank: 14
2021 midseason rank: 12

Top 100 prospects: Marcelo Mayer, SS (No. 11); Roman Anthony, OF (No. 37); Ceddanne Rafaela, OF/SS (No. 77); Kyle Teel, C (No. 87)

Hitters dominate Boston's system, with Mayer, Anthony, Rafaela and Teel on the Top 100 and outfielder Miguel Bleis and second baseman Nick Yorke falling just short. The Red Sox spent their first three picks in the 2023 Draft -- totaling $8.5 million -- on Teel and a pair of prep infielders in Nazzan Zanetello and Antonio Anderson. They're as thin as any organization in terms of pitching talent, though the international scouting department has helped by finding right-handers Wikelman Gonzalez, Luis Perales and Angel Bastardo.

17. Minnesota Twins
2023 preseason rank: 19
2022 midseason rank: 23
2022 preseason rank: 19
2021 midseason rank: 18

Top 100 prospects: Walker Jenkins, OF (No. 16); Brooks Lee, SS (No. 18); Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF (No. 52)

The Twins were the big winners of the first Draft lottery, jumping to No. 5 overall. That allowed them to take Jenkins, who was one of the elite top five in the class and could have been a No. 1 pick in any other year, giving them an exciting 1-2 combination with him and Lee, their 2022 first-round pick. Keep an eye on Rodriguez, who could bust out with a healthy 2024. The system was also buoyed by a very strong 2023 Draft class behind Jenkins.

18. Colorado Rockies
2023 preseason rank: 14
2022 midseason rank: 9
2022 preseason rank: 24
2021 midseason rank: 26

Top 100 prospects: Adael Amador, SS (No. 21); Yanquiel Fernandez, OF (No. 53); Chase Dollander, RHP (No. 63); Jordan Beck, OF (No. 88); Zac Veen, OF (No. 99)

As has been the case of late, the Rockies seem to be doing well in developing hitting, with Amador and Fernandez taking nice steps forward and guys from the Draft, like Beck, performing well. The arms? Not so much, as injuries and poor performances have hurt. The hope is the addition of Dollander as their first-round pick this year will help lift up the pitchers.

19. Seattle Mariners
2023 preseason rank: 24
2022 midseason rank: 24
2022 preseason rank: 2
2021 midseason rank: 2

Top 100 prospects: Cole Young, SS/2B (No. 39); Harry Ford, C (No. 41); Gabriel Gonzalez, OF (No. 70)

Seattle actually added prospect talent at the Deadline and is still competing for a playoff spot, which is a surprising combo. The Mariners have gone with young, exciting hitters in the first round for three years in a row, with Young and Ford in the Top 100. Could Colt Emerson, their first-round pick this year, be next? It wouldn’t shock us. It’s more bats than arms at the top after that slew of young pitchers made it to T-Mobile Park, and a strong overall class this year helps this system move up.

20. Chicago White Sox
2023 preseason rank: 26
2022 midseason rank: 26
2022 preseason rank: 30
2021 midseason rank: 30

Top 100 prospects: Colson Montgomery, SS (No. 17); Noah Schultz, LHP (No. 65); Edgar Quero, C (No. 86)

Chicago's system fell from No. 1 in mid-2017 to No. 30 by mid-2021 and sat at or near the bottom of our rankings until adding more prospect talent this July than perhaps any organization. Montgomery and Schultz have two of the highest ceilings in the Minors, and depth filled in behind them when 10 of the White Sox 20 best prospects joined them last month, starting with shortstop Jacob Gonzalez, right-handers Grant Taylor and Seth Keener and outfielder George Wolkow as part of a deep and productive Draft. They embraced their need to rebuild by trading veterans for prospects such as Quero, left-hander Jake Eder and righty Nick Nastrini.

21. New York Yankees
2023 preseason rank: 13
2022 midseason rank: 12
2022 preseason rank: 13
2021 midseason rank: 19

Top 100 prospects: Spencer Jones, OF (No. 78); Jasson Domínguez, OF (No. 79); Everson Pereira, OF (No. 80)

The Yankees have had difficulty finding healthy and productive outfielders this season, though that should change in the near future with Jones, Domínguez and Pereira on the way. While those hitters hog most of the headlines in the system, New York quietly does a fine job of finding pitchers in the middle rounds of the Draft and upgrading them. That group includes Chase Hampton, who's pushing for the Top 100 a year after signing as a sixth-rounder, as well as Will Warren, Richard Fitts and Brock Selvidge.

22. St. Louis Cardinals
2023 preseason rank: 9
2022 midseason rank: 13
2022 preseason rank: 16
2021 midseason rank: 21

Top 100 prospects:  Masyn Winn, SS (No. 32); Tink Hence, RHP (No. 45)

Jordan Walker and Alec Burleson graduated off the preseason Top 100, Gordon Graceffo fell off with more mundane results at Triple-A Memphis and while Winn and Hence have maintained their places as promising pieces of St. Louis’ future, the Cardinals haven’t quite replaced what they lost in terms of top-end talent. First-rounder Chase Davis could reach those heights as he brings his CarGo-style swing to the pros, and St. Louis certainly addressed depth with the additions of Tekoah Roby, Sem Robberse, Thomas Saggese and others at the Deadline.

23. Philadelphia Phillies
2023 preseason rank: 21
2022 midseason rank: 25
2022 preseason rank: 26
2021 midseason rank: 27

Top 100 prospects: Andrew Painter, RHP (No. 29); Mick Abel (No. 49); Justin Crawford, OF (No. 82); Aidan Miller, 3B (No. 96)

On the surface, there are some great additions here, with two new Top 100 guys in Crawford -- their first-rounder in 2022 -- and Miller, their second straight high school hitter first-round pick. That comes on the heels of two straight high school arms, but they come with some questions now due to Painter’s Tommy John surgery and Abel’s command issues. There are some exciting young players at lower levels, and if they take steps forward, the Phillies could make a nice leap up this list.

24. Miami Marlins
2023 preseason rank: 18
2022 midseason rank: 16
2022 preseason rank: 6
2021 midseason rank: 3

Top 100 prospects: Noble Meyer, RHP (No. 59)

The Marlins have promoted or traded most of the prospects who contributed to them ranking among the game's top systems two years ago, with Edward Cabrera, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Braxton Garrett and Eury Pérez contributing to their surprising Wild Card run this summer. To help their chances, they dealt left-hander Jake Eder and middle infielder Marco Vargas to add Jake Burger and David Robertson, respectively, and moving those prospects could come back to haunt them. Miami has had much more success developing pitchers than hitters and stocked up on more arms by landing the two best high school hurlers (Meyer, Thomas White) in the 2023 Draft.

25. Toronto Blue Jays
2023 preseason rank: 25
2022 midseason rank: 20
2022 preseason rank: 21
2021 midseason rank: 14

Top 100 prospects: Ricky Tiedemann, LHP (No. 33); Orelvis Martinez, SS/3B (No. 93)

It was meant to be the year of the left-hander in the Jays' system, but both Tiedemann and 2022 first-rounder Brandon Barriera have battled injuries. On the more optimistic side, Martinez turned a corner at Double-A by finally cutting down on his strikeout issues while still showing plus power, and he has thusly returned to the Top 100. Sticking to the infield, prep shortstop Arjun Nimmala could look like a late-first-round steal, while Leo Jimenez’s hit tool has thrust him back into the No. 6 spot. In the end, this looks like the system of a contending Major League team -- one willing to trade prospects when needed and one without a large bonus Draft pool.

26. Oakland Athletics
2023 preseason rank: 22
2022 midseason rank: 17
2022 preseason rank: 22
2021 midseason rank: 28

Top 100 prospects: Tyler Soderstrom (No. 48); Jacob Wilson, SS (No. 81); Zack Gelof, 2B (No. 94)

The young guys keep getting chances in the big leagues, with Soderstrom and Gelof quite possibly on the road to graduation before the year is out. Wilson should be a quick-to-the-big-leagues type and they’ve added some nice talent via the 2023 Draft behind him, with prepsters Myles Naylor, Steven Echavarria and Cole Miller standing out. The depth the A's added via the rebuilding trades haven’t moved the needle that much, with pitching talent getting backed up with injuries.

27. Atlanta Braves
2023 preseason rank: 30
2022 midseason rank: 27
2022 preseason rank: 27
2021 midseason rank: 23

Top 100 prospects: AJ Smith-Shawver, RHP (No. 57)

Smith-Shawver’s race to the big leagues gives the system a nice shot in the arm, though they still get help in Atlanta from the farm and find guys to trade to bring in help as they continue to win in the NL East. They went college heavy in the 2023 Draft, which should help in terms of players moving faster to provide more fodder sooner rather than later.

28. Los Angeles Angels
2023 preseason rank: 28
2022 midseason rank: 30
2022 preseason rank: 28
2021 midseason rank: 24

Top 100 prospects: Logan O’Hoppe, C (No. 31)

If O’Hoppe hadn’t gotten hurt, the Angels would be without a Top 100 guy. They continue to be the organization that pushes Draft guys to the big leagues the fastest, with Zach Neto the best success story. Nolan Schanuel, this year’s first-round pick, is already in Double-A, and shouldn’t take long to join Neto. Even if the system doesn’t have highly ranked guys, they do get big league producers, important since its is a little thin overall.

29. Kansas City Royals
2023 preseason rank: 29
2022 midseason rank: 21
2022 preseason rank: 8
2021 midseason rank: 5

Top 100 prospects: None

Kansas City is still coming down off the heights of the era when Bobby Witt Jr., MJ Melendez and Vinnie Pasquantino dominated the system, and after 2022 first-rounder Gavin Cross’ game hasn’t yet translated to his first full season, the organization is without a Top 100 prospect again. First-rounder Blake Mitchell has the potential to join the list with above-average power and a cannon of an arm, while the pitching group is showing some improvement, headed by Ben Kudrna, Frank Mozzicato and Chandler Champlain. But for an organization that prides itself on homegrown talent, there needs to be more positive momentum to supplement Witt & Co. at the top level.

30. Houston Astros
2023 preseason rank: 27
2022 midseason rank: 30
2022 preseason rank: 29
2021 midseason rank: 29

Top 100 prospects: None

Since we expanded our system rankings to all 30 clubs before the 2020 season, we've never rated the Astros higher than 27th. Yet they've extended their streak of playoff appearances to a franchise-record six, winning a pair of pennants and a World Series, and produced three players who received Rookie of the Year votes (Cristian Javier, Luis Garcia, Jeremy Peña) and three more who may this year (Hunter Brown, Yainer Diaz, J.P. France). They traded their two best prospects (outfielders Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford) in the Justin Verlander homecoming in July, yet the strength of their system remains outfielders (Jacob Melton, Luis Baez and Co.) and underrated arms (starting with Spencer Arrighetti).