If you're having trouble keeping up with 120 Minor League teams and 3,000-plus players on those clubs, you've come to the right place. We're here to tell you which affiliate in each organization is most worthy of your attention.
The most stacked Minor League club is the Triple-A Durham Bulls, who feature the No. 1 prospect in baseball (Wander Franco) and several other prospects from the No. 1 farm system in the game, but there are plenty of other talented teams that bear watching as well. Most of them have their games available for viewing on MiLB.TV.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Double-A New Hampshire
Top 100 prospects Austin Martin (No. 17) and Jordan Groshans (No. 35) were the headliners here to start the season, and indeed, the pair of infielders have the offensive potential to impact any game in which they feature in the lineup. But it’s catcher and No. 7 Toronto prospect Gabriel Moreno who has really stolen the show in the Granite State. The 21-year-old backstop entered Thursday leading Double-A qualifiers with a .375 average and ranking fourth with a 1.032 OPS. It’s an exciting core of the lineup two stops away from Toronto.
Orioles: Double-A Bowie
As if having top prospect Adley Rutschman (No. 2 on the Top 100) wasn’t enough, the Baysox also had one of the top left-handed pitching prospects in the game in DL Hall (No. 56). Then they were joined by Grayson Rodriguez (No. 21), who has been lights out in two starts. Five of the Orioles’ Top 10 are now in Bowie, with No. 7 Mike Baumann a part of the staff with Rodriguez and Hall and No. 10 Terrin Vavra joining Rutschman in the lineup.
Rays: Triple-A Durham
As if this could be any other team. Top overall prospect Wander Franco has lived up to his billing as a 20-year-old at the Minors’ top level, while No. 39 Vidal Bruján has been one of the most electric players on any field by adding some power to his profile, alongside his plus-plus speed. No. 11 Rays prospect Josh Lowe (1.010 OPS) might be the most successful Bulls hitter thus far, and Joe Ryan, Brent Honeywell Jr. and Drew Strotman prove there is plenty pitching to go around as well. MLB Pipeline tabbed Durham as the most prospect-loaded roster entering 2021, and at 22-9 entering Thursday, Tampa Bay’s affiliate has somehow managed to meet that hype.
Red Sox: Triple-A Worcester Red Sox
Worcester is a brand-new team with a brand-new ballpark and the most exciting prospect in the Red Sox system, center fielder Jarren Duran, whose combination of speed, power and performance (.263/.372/.588) should land him in Fenway Park very soon. The WooSox also include a second Top 100 Prospect in middle infielder Jeter Downs and the pitching staff should receive a big boost once right-handers Tanner Houck and Connor Seabold return to full health.
Yankees: Low-A Tampa Tarpons
The Tarpons lead all Minor League teams in runs per game with 8.6 -- 1.5 more than their closest competition (the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds, an Orioles affiliate). Middle-infield prospects Anthony Volpe (.281/.413/.529), Josh Smith (.333/.480/.795) and Trevor Hauver (.304/.474/.569) and 2020 first-round catcher Austin Wells (.265/.393/.407) are all having big seasons. Smith (who has played just 11 games) and Hauver pace the Low-A Southeast with six homers each and the Tarpons occupy the top six spots on the league's RBI leaderboard, with Volpe, Wells and outfielder Pat DeMarco tied for first with 27 each.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Indians: Low-A Lynchburg Hillcats
The Indians' three best healthy pitching prospects (right-handers Daniel Espino, Josh Wolf, Lenny Torres) reside in Lynchburg. The system is overflowing with young infield prospects, including 19-year-olds Angel Martinez, Gabriel Rodriguez and Jhonkensy Noel on the Hillcats.
Royals: Double-A Northwest Arkansas
Any team that featured Bobby Witt Jr. in his first “full” season was going to be necessary viewing, and after some early bumps, MLB Pipeline’s No. 7 overall prospect looks like a Natural with 10 homers in 29 games (not counting the one where an umpire ruled he missed home plate). Nick Pratto has been an even more effective Double-A hitter, as he leads the level in OBP (.466) and OPS (1.176) and is tied with Witt with 10 homers of his own. Mix in pitchers Austin Cox, Alec Marsh and Jon Heasley as well as a catcher in MJ Melendez, and there is always a good chance someone will stand out for the Royals’ Double-A club.
Tigers: High-A West Michigan
There is only one place to see last year’s No. 1 overall pick. Spencer Torkelson is finding his footing comfortably at High-A and is hitting .333/.478/.722 with three homers in his last 10 games after being sidelined briefly by a hamstring issue. Fellow 2020 pick Dillon Dingler (seven homers, .957 OPS) is off to an even stronger and more consistent start to his first Minor League season, and Daniel Cabrera is holding his own in the outfield. While there was once an emphasis on arms in the Detroit pipeline, the Whitecaps are showing that bats are on their way to the Motor City as well.
Twins: Double-A Wichita
The Wind Surge got a lot more interesting when Twins top pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic was activated on June 5, returning from a back injury. He joins a pitching staff that’s been led by No. 14 prospect Josh Winder, who is third in the league in ERA and second in strikeouts. No. 15 prospect Cole Sands has also been effective on a staff that also includes No. 20 Chris Vallimont. No. 18 Jose Miranda currently leads the Double-A Central in RBI.
White Sox: Triple-A Charlotte Knights
Six of Chicago's top dozen prospects call Charlotte home: right-handers Jonathan Stiever and Zack Burdi, outfielders Blake Rutherford and Luis Gonzalez and corner infielders Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger. The best story is Burger, who has come back from a three-year layoff due to leg injuries and the coronavirus pandemic to bat .276/.327/.533 with six homers despite never having played above Low-A in the past.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Angels: Low-A Inland Empire
The Angels have a ton of premium athletic up-the-middle type talents in their system and a lot of that talent is in Inland Empire. It starts with the Nos. 5 and 6 prospects, Jeremiah Jackson and Kyren Paris, as double play partners, and includes No. 8 prospect D’Shawn Knowles in center field.
Astros: Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks
Shortstop/outfielder Pedro Leon signed for $4 million (the largest bonus in the 2020-21 international class) in January and is making his pro debut in Corpus Christi, where he's hitting .232/.348/.421. The Hooks also have the Astros' top healthy pitching prospect in right-hander Hunter Brown and a pair of sleeper catchers in Scott Manea and C.J. Stubbs.
A’s: Low-A Stockton
First-round pick Tyler Soderstrom (No. 87 on Top 100) was drafted as a high school bat with an advanced feel to hit and he’s lived up to that billing with a .303/.399/.492 line so far in Stockton. You can also check out exciting young shortstop Robert Puason (No. 6 on A’s Top 30), who is making his pro debut and is starting to get hot after a slow start.
Mariners: High-A Everett
Check them out now while red-hot Julio Rodríguez (No. 5 on Top 100) is still there, as the outfield phenom and his .344/.422/.625 line are likely to earn a trip to Double-A soon. Everett’s rotation is also a lot of fun to watch with Emerson Hancock (No. 25) and George Kirby (No. 77) both looking very much like future big league starters.
Rangers: Double-A Frisco RoughRiders
The RoughRiders boast the Rangers' best pitching prospect, right-hander Cole Winn, who sports a 2.87 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings and leads the Double-A Central with a .125 opponent average. The roster also includes several of the better prospects in the system, including righties Hans Crouse and Yerry Rodriguez, corner infielders Davis Wendzel and Sherten Apostel and outfielder Steele Walker. Outfielder Bubba Thompson looks much improved this season and Texas' top prospect, third baseman Josh Jung, should make his season debut in Frisco after recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot, perhaps as early as next week.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: Triple-A Gwinnett
While it’s too bad that Cristian Pache (No. 11) struggled in Atlanta, the good news is you can see Pache and fellow outfield phenom Drew Waters (No. 28) roam the outfield pastures together. Added bonus is getting to see big lefty Kyle Muller (No. 5 Braves prospect) missing bats on the mound.
Marlins: Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Pensacola has a pair of top-four picks from the last two Drafts in outfielder J.J. Bleday and right-hander Max Meyer. Nevertheless, it's a different outfielder (Peyton Burdick) who leads the Double-A South with 16 extra-base hits and another pitcher (Jake Eder) who tops the circuit in ERA (0.61) and the Minors in opponent average (.115).
Mets: High-A Brooklyn
Three Top 100 prospects in one place is a rare sight. The fact that Francisco Álvarez, Ronny Mauricio and Brett Baty are not only clumped together but performing to such a high standard is all the more reason to be optimistic about the Cyclones lineup. Baty, in particular, leads all High-A hitters with a .367 average and .468 OBP and places third with a 1.090 OPS. Mets fans might want to head to Coney Island to see all of Brooklyn’s Big Three while they’re still together.
Nationals: High-A Wilmington
Washington has its own Big Three in Cade Cavalli, Jackson Rutledge and Cole Henry, and the trio was grouped in the Blue Rocks rotation to begin the year. Rutledge is unfortunately out with right-shoulder discomfort, but the other two have had little issue taking to the High-A level. Cavalli leads all Minor League pitchers with 56 strikeouts through 33 2/3 innings, while Henry has been no slouch with 35 in 24 frames. No. 4 prospect Yasel Antuna has been off to a rough start at the plate, but the infielder has the offensive potential to buoy the Wilmington lineup as well. No. 10 Matt Cronin (1.46 ERA, 23 K’s in 12 1/3 innings) continues to thrive as a left-handed bullpen arm.
Phillies: Low-A Clearwater
The headliner is 2020 first-rounder Mick Abel (No. 62), who is clearly on a strict workload limit but has struck out 12.3 per nine so far in his brief pro career. Clearwater has three more Phillies top 10 prospects on the roster: infielders Luis Garcia and Casey Martin and outfielder Luis Rojas.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: Double-A Biloxi
Milwaukee has done a decent job of spreading its prospect talent around the system, but two of the organization’s biggest names can be found down by the Gulf of Mexico. No. 2 Brice Turang started his age-21 season at Double-A and has been an above-average hitter there with a .294/.356/.395 line and 113 wRC+ through 29 games. No. 4 Ethan Small has already been the starting pitcher in Biloxi’s May 15 no-hitter, and his 40.0 percent K rate is sixth-best among qualified Double-A arms. If it’s team success you’re after, check out Triple-A Nashville -- owners of a 22-9 record.
Cardinals: Double-A Springfield
The Cards sent a pair of 21-year-old Top 100 prospects to Double-A to start 2021, and both Nolan Gorman (No. 31) and Ivan Herrera (No. 85) are doing more than treading water two stops away from St. Louis. Gorman – he of the incredible raw power – has hit three of his five homers in his last 11 games and has produced a .413/.460/.630 line in that stretch as he warms up. Herrera has put up a .410 OBP and 131 wRC+ in 30 games, showing good plate discipline for a backstop his age at such a high level. The pitching leaves something to be desired in Springfield, but these two big bats make the Cardinals worth following.
Cubs: Double-A Tennessee Smokies
Left-hander Brailyn Marquez is still building up arm strength in extended spring training, but once he's ready, the Smokies will have all three of the Cubs' Top 100 Prospects with him, outfielder Brennen Davis and catcher Miguel Amaya. Third baseman Christopher Morel and second baseman Chase Strumpf give Tennessee two more of Chicago's better position prospects.
Pirates: High-A Greensboro
Top pitching prospect Quinn Priester (No. 40) is enough of a draw, but he’s joined by 2020 first-rounder Nick Gonzales (No. 32) and shortstop Liover Peguero, the team’s No. 5 prospect who could be a Top 100 guy soon. Tahnaj Thomas (No. 7) and 2020 draftee Carmen Mlodzinski (No. 11) provide some exciting pitching depth.
Reds: Double-A Chattanooga
You’re going to want to check them out more than once because Chattanooga has one of the best 1-2 starting pitcher combinations in all of Minor League Baseball: Nick Lodolo (No. 46) and Hunter Greene (No. 57). The duo is a combined 6-0 with a 1.75 ERA and 12.9 K/9 rate. The Lookouts have a third Top 100 player in Jose Barrero (formerly known as Jose Garcia, he changed his last name to honor his late mother), who is off to a .316/.387/.531 start.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: Double-A Amarillo
The Sod Poodles claim four of Arizona’s Top 10 prospects, and it’s a well-rounded group with two position players (Geraldo Perdomo, Alek Thomas) and two pitchers (Luis Frias, Levi Kelly). Results have been a mixed bag so far with Thomas (.274/.361/.481) the lone standout from a performance standpoint, but all four are still growing into the Double-A level. Perdomo’s early ascent to the Majors, in particular, is a sign of how much Arizona values this group as they build toward the top rung on the ladder.
Dodgers: Double-A Tulsa Drillers
The Drillers have compiled the fourth-best ERA (3.18) in the Minors, with right-handers Ryan Pepiot, Gerardo Carrillo and Andre Jackson headlining a prospect-studded pitching staff. The infield is loaded as well with second baseman Michael Busch, third baseman Kody Hoese and shortstop Jacob Amaya.
Padres: Triple-A El Paso
There were a lot of high hopes hung on MacKenzie Gore, Luis Campusano and Tucupita Marcano – three of San Diego’s top five prospects – entering 2021, and none of the three would likely tell you things have gone precisely to plan early on. That said, their continued development and proximity to the Majors demand close following as the Padres build a World Series contender. Gore, in particular, has struggled with command in his first taste of Triple-A, but the stuff of a strong Major League starter remains in place. San Diego might rely on some current Chihuahuas to get over the hump at last in the NL West.
Giants: Low-A San Jose Giants
San Jose can roll out a lineup with eight Giants Top 30 prospects, including a pair of wondrously talented 19-year-olds in shortstop Marco Luciano (.270/.339/.522, six homers) and outfielder Luis Matos (.294/.331/.462, eight steals). Another teenager, left-hander Kyle Harrison, has lots of upside to go with a 2.78 ERA and 39 strikeouts in his first 22 2/3 pro innings, while right-hander Carson Ragsdale leads the Low-A West with 54 whiffs in 29 frames in his pro debut.
Rockies: Low-A Fresno
The Grizzlies were tied for the best record in the Low-A West heading into Thursday’s action and No. 1 prospect Zac Veen hasn’t even gotten hot yet, though he does lead the league with 18 steals. Rockies No. 10 prospect, and fellow 2020 draftee, Drew Romo is off to a nice start, and there are seven other members of Colorado’s Top 30 on this roster.