One of the Boston Red Sox's best guys to come up from the farm system said recently how great the system is. Indeed, Boston heads up this list of the top five farm systems in major league baseball this year. These are in no particular order, and feel free to argue with me. I chose each team based on its farm system's ability to provide strong talent for the team and players who serve as excellent bargaining chips for trades.
There's no denying the talent that has come out of the farm system this year—and the talent that has yet to come. Clay Buchholz, Micheal Bowden, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Jonathan Papelbon have all come out of this system in recent years, and there's plenty more where that came from.
The Texas Rangers have amazing prospects. Along with having some of the few great catching prospects, they have more talent then they know what to do with. Either the Rangers are going to get better in the next few years, or all the big boys (New York, Boston, Philly, etc.) are going to raid them. Either way, its money in the bank for the Rangers.
The Rays AAA Durham won its division this year and made a strong showing in the postseason. Not to mention almost the entire Rays roster is made up of farm system boys due to its relatively small budget. Rookie of the Year Evan Longoria is a great example of what they can produce. The next few years will show whether or not the Rays caught lightning in a bottle and got lucky one year, or if their farm-grown talent is good enough to compete in the AL East for many years.
While the past few years have been rough for the A's, their crop of young talent should be coming up to turn things around. They've traded around for some good prospects, and with some of the bigger trades they've made this year the combination of veteran presence and young talent should be a big help for Oakland.
The Giants have a ton of prospects coming up, making them consistently on the top of any farm system ranking list. Look for a lot of young talent to be coming up into the majors via San Francisco next season.
Didn't see your team? Disagree with my assessments? Feel free to add your comments, thoughts, and arguments!