Here's the state of the O's farm system

November 11th, 2020

Don’t look now, but the O's organization is on the move.

At the big league level, the improvement was incremental, going from a .333 winning percentage over a full 2019 season (that netted the Orioles the No. 2 overall pick in the Draft) to a .417 percentage over 60 games in '20. But that gain came with the help of young talent called up from the growing farm system, and there’s much more to come.

This year’s Orioles were positively impacted by prospects Ryan Mountcastle and Dean Kremer, among others. In 2021, top prospect Adley Rutschman, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 Draft, could very well arrive, and he has the chance to be a generational impact player right out of the gate. Top pitching prospects Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall aren’t too far behind.

Overall, the system has more high-end talent than it has in years, with five players in the Top 100, with perhaps at least one more who could land on that list next year. It's also much deeper than it’s been in years thanks to the Draft and trades. That’s why the system has jumped to No. 13 on the 2019 midseason and '20 preseason farm system rankings, and Baltimore came in at No. 8 on our midseason rankings this year. There’s an up arrow here, and it should be fun to watch as the organization keeps growing.


2020 Midseason: 8 | Preseason: 13
2019 Midseason: 13 | Preseason: NR
2018 Midseason: NR | Preseason: NR
2017 Midseason: NR | Preseason: NR
2016 Midseason: NR | Preseason: NR
2015 Midseason: NR | Preseason: NR

Only the top 10 systems were ranked from 2015 to 2019 preseason; the top 15 systems were ranked 2019 midseason.


1. Adley Rutschman, C (No. 2 on Top 100)
2. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP (No. 31 on Top 100)
3. Heston Kjerstad, OF (No. 55 on Top 100)
4. DL Hall, LHP (No. 64 on Top 100)
5. Ryan Mountcastle, OF/1B (No. 90 on Top 100)


Draft: Heston Kjerstad, OF, 1st round (No. 3); Jordan Westburg, SS, CBA (No. 7); Hudson Haskin, OF, 2nd round (No. 14); Anthony Servideo, SS, 3rd round (No. 20); Coby Mayo, 3B, 4th round (No. 24); Carter Baumler, RHP, 5th round (No. 18) Complete Draft list »

Trade: Kevin Smith, LHP (No. 12); Terrin Vavra (No. 13); Tyler Nevin, 1B (No. 22); AJ Graffanino, SS (No. 30)

All six of the Orioles’ 2020 Draft picks have landed on the Top 30, with Kjerstad and Westburg, the team’s top two picks, hitting the top 10. Baltimore added Smith in the Miguel Castro deal with the Mets, while it got Vavra and Nevin from the Rockies in return for Mychal Givens.


Adley Rutschman, C: There are some really good options, starting with Ryan Mountcastle and Dean Kremer, who contributed in 2020, but here’s saying that the No. 1 overall pick in the '19 Draft makes it up fairly quickly, and if he’s there, it’s hard to pick anyone else.


Gunnar Henderson, SS: This might sound like a bit of reach, and perhaps it is, especially with top pitchers Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall likely still eligible. But every report on Henderson this past summer and fall was glowing, and there’s a chance he’d have leapfrogged some on the list had there been a 2020 season.

Best Tools

Hit: Adley Rutschman
Power: Adley Rutschman
Run: Mason Janvrin
Arm: Coby Mayo
Field: Joey Ortiz
Best athlete: Gunnar Henderson

Fastball: DL Hall
Curveball: Dean Kremer
Slider: Michael Baumann
Changeup: Grayson Rodriguez
Control: Alex Wells


Draft: 20
International: 2
Trade: 8

The top seven in the Top 30 all came to the Orioles via the Draft, with the top five all being former first-round selections. That group is highlighted, of course, by No. 1 overall pick Rutschman (2019) and No. 2 pick Kjerstad ('20). There are three prospects on the Top 30 from the Manny Machado blockbuster, with Kremer making it to the big leagues from that group with four trade acquisitions hitting the Top 30 this year. The O's were fairly absent on the international market for a long time, but keep an eye out for dividends coming from a new reinvestment in Latin America in the coming years.


C: 1
1B: 1
2B: 1
3B: 1
SS: 6
OF: 6
RHP: 7
LHP: 7

Starting with Hall near the top of the list, the Orioles have some serious left-handed pitching depth. The seven southpaws in the Top 30 is the second-highest total among all teams (Phillies, 9). There’s also good depth up the middle, with six shortstops. Two came from this year’s Draft and two more came in 2020 trades.