Power Ranking MLB Farm Systems at the End of the 2012 Regular Season
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With the 2012 minor league season in the books and Major League Baseball's regular season coming to a close tonight, there's no better time than now to take a look at how the future looks for every team in the league.
Sure, signing free agents and making trades is a great way for teams to improve in the here and now, but it's those teams who build from within that are more apt to find the long-term success that every franchise longs to have.
While teams with weaker farm systems certainly have plenty of work to do, a poor ranking doesn't mean that there's no talent in the system to be found, because there are future major league players in every farm system.
What it does mean is that compared to the teams at the top of the mountain, those teams have fewer choices—a smaller pool of players to choose from when the time comes to bring someone up from the minor leagues.
We'll look at each system, a handful of names that you should know (if you don't already know them), the highest level that they played at in 2012 and take a look at their cumulative stats.
For those players that have already seen time in the major leagues this season (but retain prospect eligibility*), we'll look at their numbers in the major leagues—not so much because it's a foretelling of future failure or success, but just as a point of comparison.
Because next year, when these players break camp with their respective teams, the results will be far different.
Enough rambling. Let's see which franchise has the deepest, most talented group of minor leaguers around.
*To be called a prospect, a player must not have accumulated 130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched or 30 relief appearances in the major leagues.
*All statistics (unless otherwise noted) per baseball-reference.com.
30. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Nick Maronde has been impressive at every level this season.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Whenever a player the caliber of Mike Trout graduates from your farm system to the big leagues, the system as a whole is going to take a hit.
When three of your 10 best prospects—Jean Segura, John Hellweg and Ariel Pena—are traded away to bolster the major league club, the system takes an even bigger step backwards.
Kole Calhoun, OF (MLB): 20 G, .190/.261/.238, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1-for-1 SB
Kaleb Cowart, 3B (High-A): 135 G, .276/.358/.452, 16 HR, 103 RBI, 90 R
C.J. Cron, 1B (High-A): 129 G .293/.327/.516, 27 HR, 123 RBI, 32 2B
Nick Maronde, LHP (MLB): 11 G, 0-0, 1.51 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 5.2 IP, 5 H, 6 K
A.J. Schugel, RHP (Double-A): 27 GS, 6-8, 2.89 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 140.1 IP, 117 H, 109 K
29. Chicago White Sox
Trayce Thompson, courtesy of milb.com.
White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has always been against spending money in the draft and that resulted in a rather barren farm system heading into the 2012 season.
The new draft cap put teams on an even playing field and that resulted in the White Sox having an influx of talent in this year's draft class, most notably first round picks Courtney Hawkins and Keon Barnum.
Keon Barnum, 1B (Rookie): 12 G, .279/.347/.512, 3 HR, 8 RBI
Courtney Hawkins, OF (High-A): 59 G .284/.324/.480, 8 HR, 33 RBI, 11-for-16 SB
Charlie Leesman, LHP (Triple-A): 26 GS, 12-10, 2.47 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 135 IP, 129 H, 103 K
Carlos Sanchez, 2B/3B (Triple-A): 133 G, .323/.378/.403, 1 HR, 56 RBI, 26-for-41 SB
Scott Snodgress, LHP (High-A): 27 GS, 7-3, 3.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 141 IP, 112 H, 128 K
Trayce Thompson, OF (Triple-A): 136 G, .253/.328/.482, 25 HR, 96 RBI, 24-for-24 SB
28. Cleveland Indians
Francisco Lindor in this year's Futures Game at the All-Star break.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Regrettable trades—like the one that sent four prospects to the Rockies for Ubaldo Jimenez—gutted the Indians farm system, but they do have a number of intriguing middle infielders that other teams would love to get their hands on.
Solid drafts in both 2011 and 2012 have helped to start re-stocking the farm.
Scott Barnes, LHP (MLB): 15 G, 0-0, 4.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 18 IP, 17 H,14 K
Francisco Lindor, SS (Single-A): 122 G, .257/.352/.355, 6 HR, 42 RBI, 27-for-39 SB
Tyler Naquin, OF (Low-A): 26 G, .270/.379/.380, 0 HR, 13 RBI, 22 R
Dorssys Paulino, SS (Low-A): 56 G .333/.380/.558, 7 HR, 38 RBI, 11-for-13 SB
Ronny Rodriguez, 2B/SS (High-A): 126 G, .264/.300/.452, 19 HR, 66 RBI, 7-for-14 SB
Tony Wolters, 2B/SS (High-A): 125 G, .260/.320/.404, 8 HR, 58 RBI, 5-for-14 SB
27. San Francisco Giants
Gary Brown is the best position prospect that the Giants have.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Before the new draft caps were instituted this year, the Giants typically would never go over what MLB suggested as a bonus for the slot they picked in, though they have had success finding gems in the later rounds, like current first baseman Brandon Belt, taken in the fifth round of the 2009 draft.
The team hasn't done a great job of signing international free agents and they rarely acquire prospects via trade, leaving the draft as their primary source of replenishing the system.
Gary Brown, OF (Double-A): 134 G, .279/.347/.385, 7 HR, 42 RBI, 33-for-51 SB
Kyle Crick, RHP (Single-A): 23 G (22 GS), 7-6, 2.51 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 111.1 IP, 75 H,128 K
Clayton Blackburn, RHP (Single-A): 22 GS, 8-4, 2.54 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 131.1 IP, 116 H,143 K
Joe Panik, SS (High-A): 130 G .297/.368/.402, 7 HR, 76 RBI, 10-for-14 SB
Chris Heston, RHP (Double-A): 25 GS, 9-8, 2.24 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 148.2 IP, 124 H,135 K
26. New York Mets
Big things are expected from Zack Wheeler at Citi Field, perhaps as early as next season.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
After years of ineptitude at the minor league level, things are looking up for the Mets. With Lucas Duda and Matt Harvey no longer eligible to be called prospects, the system takes a step back as they wait for some of their younger talent to take the next step forward in their development.
Wilmer Flores, 3B (Double-A): 130 G, .300/.349/.479, 18 HR, 75 RBI, 30 2B
Zack Wheeler, RHP (Triple-A): 25 GS, 12-8, 3.26 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 149 IP, 115 H,148 K
Michael Fulmer, RHP (Single-A): 21 GS, 7-6, 2.74 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 108.1 IP, 92 H,101 K
Brandon Nimmo, OF (Low-A): 69 G .248/.372/.406, 6 HR, 40 RBI, 41 R
Jeruys Familia, RHP (MLB): 8 G (1 GS), 0-0, 5.84 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 10 H,10 K
25. Detroit Tigers
Blocked by Miguel Cabrera at third base, Nick Castellanos is going to need to excel in the outfield if he wants to break into the big leagues with Detroit.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
After trading their top overall prospect, RHP Jacob Turner, and C Rob Brantly, another Top 10 prospect, to the Marlins in exchange for Anibal Sanchez, the Tigers system lacks the depth that it once had.
Nick Castellanos remains one of the best prospects in all of minor league baseball, but there's a significant drop in talent after him.
Nick Castellanos, 3B/OF (Double-A): 134 G, .320/.365/.451, 10 HR, 57 RBI, 32 2B
Casey Crosby, LHP (MLB): 3 GS, 1-1, 9.49 ERA, 2.11 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 15 H, 9 K
Danny Fields, OF (Double-A): 91 G, .266/.329/.357, 3 HR, 33 RBI, 23-for-31 SB
Avisail Garcia, OF (MLB): 22 G .326/.380/.326, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 7 R
Bruce Rondon, RHP (Triple-A): 52 G, 2-1, 1.53 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 53 IP, 32 H, 56 K, 29 SV
24. Philadelphia Phillies
Maikel Franco, courtesy of milb.com.
Under the guidance of Joe Jordan, the Orioles' former scouting director, the Phillies are getting back on track when it comes to developing players at all levels, not only in the lower levels.
Trading Hunter Pence to the Giants for a package that included Tommy Joseph injected some much needed talent into the upper levels of the system, though they still have work to do before they're ranked in the top half of farm systems around baseball.
Jesse Biddle, LHP (High-A): 26 GS, 10-6, 3.22 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 142.2 IP, 129 H, 151 K
Maikel Franco, 3B (Single-A): 132 G .280/.336/.439, 14 HR, 84 RBI, 32 2B
Tommy Joseph, C (Double-A): 28 G, .250/.327/.420, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 8 2B
Ethan Martin, RHP (Double-A): 7 GS, 5-0, 3.18 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 39.2 IP, 29 H, 35 K
Trevor May, RHP (Double-A): 28 G, 10-13, 4.87 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 149.2 IP, 135 H, 151 K
23. Milwaukee Brewers
Hunter Morris could be the Brewers' long-term answer at first base, courtesy of milb.com.
The trade of Zack Greinke to the Angels gave the Brewers' minor league system a shot in the arm with the arrival of SS Jean Segura and RHPs Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena, even if Segura's time in the system was short.
They added three quality offensive prospects in the first round of this year's draft, answering the critics—at least temporarily—who bemoaned the fact that the system lacked any real exciting position players.
Clint Coulter, C (Rookie): 49 G .302/.439/.444, 5 HR, 33 RBI, 37 R
Johnny Hellweg, RHP (Double-A): 7 G (2 GS), 2-1, 2.70 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 20 IP, 15 H, 17 K
Taylor Jungmann, RHP (High-A): 26 GS, 11-6, 3.53 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 153 IP, 159 H, 99 K
Hunter Morris, 1B (Double-A): 136 G, .303/.357/.563, 28 HR, 113 RBI, 40 2B
Wily Peralta, RHP (MLB): 6 G (5 GS), 2-1, 2.48 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 29 IP, 24 H, 23 K
22. Los Angeles Dodgers
Zach Lee, courtesy of thechattanoogan.com.
Even after being one of the more active teams at the trade deadline, the Dodgers still have a handful of quality pitching talent in the system.
Signing Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig and adding quality bats in the first round of this year's draft in Corey Seager and Jesmuel Valentin, gives the system a much needed shot-in-the-arm of offensive talent.
Garrett Gould, RHP (High-A): 27 G (23 GS), 5-10, 5.75 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 130 IP, 140 H, 123 K
Zach Lee, RHP (Double-A): 25 GS, 6-6, 4.39 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 121 IP, 129 H, 103 K
Joe Pederson, OF (High-A): 110 G, .313/.396/.516, 18 HR, 70 RBI, 26-for-40 SB
Yasiel Puig, OF (High-A): 23 G .354/.442/.634, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 8-for-13 SB
Corey Seager, SS (Rookie): 46 G, .303/.383/.520, 8 HR, 33 RBI, 34
21. Washington Nationals
Anthony Rendon, courtesy of masnsports.com.
Washington's farm system took a step backwards with the trade for Gio Gonzalez. Coupled with Bryce Harper becoming a full-time major league player, the depth that the Nationals once had down on the farm is no longer there.
But talent still remains,albeit the news that 2012 first-round pick Lucas Giolito needs Tommy John surgery doesn't help things. (h/t LA Times)
Brian Goodwin, OF (Double-A): 100 G .280/.384/.469, 14 HR, 52 RBI, 18-for-25 SB
Nathan Karns, RHP (High-A): 24 G (18 GS), 11-4, 2.17 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 116 IP, 70 H, 128 K
Alex Meyer, RHP (High-A): 25 GS, 10-6, 2.86 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 129 IP, 97 H, 139 K
Anthony Rendon, 3B (Double-A): 43 G, .233/.363/.489, 6 HR, 12 RBI, 8 2B, 4 3B
Matthew Skole, 3B (High-A): 119 G, .291/.426/.559, 27 HR, 104 RBI, 11-for-11 SB
20. Baltimore Orioles
Dylan Bundy is poised to be the next great Orioles' ace.
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Baltimore's farm system takes a hit with the loss of Manny Machado, who has gone from minor league prospect to major league third baseman, but they still have some talent with high ceilings in the form of starter Dylan Bundy and infielder Jon Schoop.
Adding former LSU star Kevin Gausman in the first round of this year's draft helps to address the lack of depth in the system and gives the Orioles another pitcher who potentially has "future ace" attached to his name.
Dylan Bundy, RHP (MLB): 2 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 K
Glynn Davis, OF (High-A): 123 G, .253/.345/.301, 0 HR, 29 RBI, 37-for-47 SB
Kevin Gausman, RHP (High-A): 5 GS, 0-1, 3.60 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 15 IP, 11 H, 13 K
Eduardo Rodriguez, RHP (Single-A): 22 GS, 5-7, 3.70 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 107 IP, 103 H, 73 K
Jonathan Schoop, IF (Double-A): 124 G .245/.324/.386, 14 HR, 56 RBI, 5-for-8 SB
19. Cincinnati Reds
Billy Hamilton makes Mike Trout look like he's standing still.
Michael Chang/Getty Images
Cincinnati unloaded a big chunk of top prospects this past winter when they traded for Mat Latos, but plenty of talent still remains down on the farm, led by speedster Billy Hamilton, arguably the most exciting player in the minor leagues to watch play.
Tony Cingrani, LHP (MLB): 2 G, 0-0, 2.08 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 4.1 IP, 2 H, 8 K
Daniel Corcino, RHP (Double-A): 26 G (25 GS), 8-8, 3.01 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 143.1 IP, 111 H, 126 K
Didi Gregorious, SS (Triple-A): 129 G .265/.324/.393, 7 HR, 54 RBI, 3-for-9 SB
Billy Hamilton, SS (Double-A): 132 G, .311/.410/.420, 2 HR, 45 RBI, 155-for-192 SB
Jesse Winkler, OF (Rookie): 62 G, .338/.443/.500, 5 HR, 35 RBI, 1-for-4 SB
18. Colorado Rockies
David Dahl, courtesy of kpextv.com.
Talent-wise, the Rockies have one of the more intriguing farm systems around.
The problem, however, is that many of their upper-level prospects seem to be running in place, not taking the next step in their development, though a number of players in the lower levels, including 2012 first round draft picks David Dahl (OF) and Eddie Butler (RHP) offer hope for the future.
Tyler Anderson, LHP (Single-A): 20 GS, 12-3, 2.47 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 120.1 IP, 102 H, 81 K
Eddie Butler, RHP (Rookie): 13 G (12 GS), 7-1, 2.13 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 67.2 IP, 59 H, 55 K
David Dahl, OF (Rookie): 67 G .379/.423/.625, 9 HR, 57 RBI, 12-for-19 SB
Kyle Parker, OF (High-A): 102 G, .308/.415/.562, 23 HR, 73 RBI, 86 R
Trevor Story, SS (Single-A): 122 G, .277/.367/.505, 18 HR, 63 RBI, 15-for-18 SB
17. Atlanta Braves
Julio Teheran struggled mightily in 2012.
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Questions about whether they'll be able to hit major league pitching swirl around virtually every Braves position player in the minor leagues, including catcher Christian Bethancourt.
While they have a number of intriguing pitchers in the system—including 2012 first round pick Lucas Sims—whether they project as future starters or middle relievers has yet to be determined.
Christian Bethancourt, C (Double-A): 71 G, .243/.275/.291, 2 HR, 26 RBI, 8-for-14 SB
Sean Gilmartin, LHP (Triple-A): 27 GS, 6-10, 3,84 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 157 IP, 152 H, 111 K
J.R. Graham, RHP (Double-A): 26 GS, 12-2, 2.80 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 148 IP, 123 H, 110 K
Lucas Sims, RHP (Rookie): 11 GS, 2-4, 3.71 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 34 IP, 28 H, 39 K
Julio Teheran, RHP (MLB): 1 GS, 0-0, 8.31 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 4.1 IP, 4 H, 5 K
16. Chicago Cubs
Cubs 2012 first round pick Albert Almora, courtesy of prospectnation.com.
Slowly but surely, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are building a winning organization in Chicago from the ground up.
While he won't appear on this list as he didn't play this season due to Tommy John surgery, acquiring Arodys Vizcaino from the Braves in the Reed Johnson/Paul Maholm trade could be one of the steals of the season.
Albert Almora, OF (Low-A): 33 G, .321/.331/.434, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 27 R
Javier Baez, SS (High-A): 80 G, .294/.346/.543, 16 HR, 46 RBI, 24-for-29 SB
Pierce Johnson, RHP (Low-A): 6 GS, 0-0, 3.27 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 11 IP, 14 H, 14 K
Jorge Soler, OF (Single-A): 34 G, .299/.369/.463, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 12-for-13 SB
Matt Szczur, OF (Double-A): 113 G, .267/.360/.390, 4 HR, 40 RBI, 42-for-56 SB
15. Minnesota Twins
Miguel Sano, courtesy of projectprospect.com.
The Twins have a plethora of intriguing position players with high ceilings all over their farm system, but they lack the pitching prospects needed to make this a complete system, though they did begin to address that in this year's draft by adding J.O. Berrios and Luke Bard in the sandwich round.
Luke Bard, RHP (Rookie): 7 G (1 GS), 0-0, 3.86 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, 7 IP, 5 H, 7 K, 1 SV
J.O. Berrios, RHP (Rookie): 11 G (4 GS), 3-0, 1.17 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, 30.2 IP, 15 H, 49 K, 4 SV
Byron Buxton, OF (Rookie): 48 G, .248/.344/.448, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 11-for-14 SB
Eddie Rosario, 2B (Single-A): 100 G, .299/.347/.499, 13 HR, 74 RBI, 11-for-22 SB
Miguel Sano, 3B (Single-A): 129 G, .258/.373/.500, 28 HR, 100 RBI, 8-for-11 SB
14. New York Yankees
Gary Sanchez is the Yankees' catcher of the future. Courtesy of bleedingyankeesblue.com.
The "Killer B's" proved that the "B" stood for bust, and not the first letter in their last names in 2012, as both Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances took big steps in the wrong direction. With the news that Banuelos needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2013 season, things aren't looking any better. (h/t ESPN)
Things aren't all doom-and-gloom down on the farm for the Bronx Bombers, however. A number of prospects, including catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielder Mason Williams Jr., continue to progress, though they are both years away from making an impact in the big leagues.
Tyler Austin, OF (Double-A): 110 G, .322/.400/.559, 17 HR, 80 RBI, 23-for-25 SB
Dante Bichette Jr., 3B (Single-A): 122 G, .248/.322/.331, 3 HR, 46 RBI, 67 R
Gary Sanchez, C (High-A): 116 G, .290/.344/.485, 18 HR, 58 RBI, 15-for-19 SB
Nik Turley, LHP (Double-A): 24 G (22 GS), 10-5, 3.00 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 117 IP, 105 H, 117 K
Mason Williams Jr.,OF (High-A): 91 G, .298/.346/.474, 11 HR, 35 RBI, 20-for-33 SB
13. Oakland A's
Dan Straily will be a mainstay in the A's rotation in 2013.
Rick Yeatts/Getty Images
Between the trades of Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez this past winter and selecting a fantastic draft class in June, the A's continue to have a minor league system that is well-stocked at virtually every position.
Michael Choice, OF (Double-A): 91 G, .287/.356/.423, 10 HR, 58 RBI, 5-for-6 SB
A.J. Cole, RHP (High-A): 27 GS, 6-10, 3.70 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 133.2 IP, 138 H, 133 K
Brad Peacock, RHP (Triple-A): 28 G (25 GS), 12-9, 6.01 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 134.2 IP, 147 H, 139 K
Addison Russell, SS (Single-A): 55 G, .369/.432/.594, 7 HR, 45 RBI, 16-for-18 SB
Dan Straily, RHP (MLB): 7 GS, 4-2, 3.89 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 39.1 IP, 36 H, 32 K
12. Miami Marlins
Jose Hernandez has ace written all over him. Photo courtesy of tampabay.com.
While the team has struggled mightily on the major league level, they picked up quality prospects in both the Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez trades. Coupled with a solid foundation that already existed and a strong draft class in June, the Marlins minor league system is in good shape as we head into 2013.
Rob Brantly, C (MLB): 31 G, .290/.372/.460, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 8 2B
Jose Fernandez, RHP (High-A): 25 GS, 14-1, 1.75 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 134 IP, 89 H, 158 K
Marcell Ozuna, OF (High-A): 129 G, .266/.328/.476, 24 HR, 95 RBI, 8-for-11 SB
Jacob Turner, RHP (MLB): 7 GS, 1-4, 3.38 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 42.2 IP, 33 H, 29 K
Christian Yelich, OF (High-A): 107 G, .329/.402/.516, 12 HR, 48 RBI, 20-for-26 SB
11. Tampa Bay Rays
Should Tampa Bay trade James Shields this winter, Chris Archer could be the man who takes his place in the rotation.
J. Meric/Getty Images
Tampa still has young pitching coming out of it's ears, but the problem is that most of them are on the major league roster, including Matt Moore, leaving fewer major-league-ready prospects down on the farm.
Regardless, Tampa still has a talented farm system full of players with high ceilings, though many of them are still years away from making an impact in the major leagues.
Chris Archer, RHP (MLB): 6 G (4 GS), 1-3, 4.60 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 29.1 IP, 23 H, 36 K
Taylor Guerrieri, RHP (Low-A): 12GS, 1-2, 1.04 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 52 IP, 35 H, 45 K
Hak-Ju Lee, SS (Double-A): 116 G, .261/.336/.360, 4 HR, 37 RBI, 37-for-45 SB
Mikie Mahtook, OF (Double-A): 131 G, .277/.342/.415, 9 HR, 62 RBI, 23-for-32 SB
Blake Snell, LHP (Rookie): 11 GS, 5-1, 2.09 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 47.1 IP, 34 H, 53 K
10. Boston Red Sox
Meet the man who will replace Jacoby Ellsbury in center for the Red Sox, Jackie Bradley Jr. Photo courtesy of pressherald.com.
With Ryan Lavarnway and Will Middlebrooks having made the jump from prospects to big-league players in 2012, Boston lacks top prospects that can help the club improve next season.
But in 2014 and beyond, the Red Sox will have reinforcements coming at a rapid pace, one that's sure to bring the club back to contention as long as the prospects in question continue to makes strides in their development.
Thanks, Theo Epstein!
Xander Bogaerts, SS (Double-A):127 G, 303/.373/.523, 20 HR, 80 RBI, 37 2B
Matt Barnes, RHP (High-A): 25 GS, 7-5, 2.86 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 119.2 IP, 97 H, 133 K
Jackie Bradley Jr., OF (Double-A): 128 G, .315/.430/.482, 9 HR, 63 RBI, 24-for-33 SB
Garin Cecchini, 3B (Single-A): 118 G, .305/.394/.433, 4 HR, 62 RBI, 51-for-57 SB
Henry Owens, LHP (Single-A): 23 G (22 GS), 12-5, 4.87 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 101.1 IP, 100 H, 130 K
9. Texas Rangers
Jurickson Profar could push All-Star Elvis Andrus out of Texas this winter.
J. Meric/Getty Images
Texas has had a Top 10 farm system for quite some time, and that doesn't change at the end of the 2012 season, though a number of their top prospects have seen time in the majors this season and figure to call Arlington home starting in 2013.
The system is littered with players that have high ceilings, and the onus is on them and their coaching staffs to properly develop their skills for success at the next level.
Cody Buckel, RHP (Double-A): 26 G (23 GS), 10-8, 2.49 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 144.2 IP, 101 H, 145 K
Ronald Guzman, OF (Rookie): 52 G, .321/.374/.434, 1 HR, 33 RBI, 7-for-8 SB
Mike Olt, 3B (MLB): 16 G, .152/.250/.182, 0 HR, 5 RBI
Martin Perez, LHP (MLB): 12 G (6 GS), 1-4, 5.45 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 38 IP, 47 H, 25 K
Jurickson Profar, SS (MLB): 9 G, .176/.176/.471, 1 HR, 2 RBI
8. San Diego Padres
The next great Padres outfielder, Rymer Liriano.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
While many of their prospects continue to fly under the radar, Padres GM Josh Byrnes has done an outstanding job of stockpiling prospects in a hurry.
One of the deepest farm systems around, the Padres are well equipped to go from pretenders to contenders in the next few seasons, especially with a new ownership group that actually cares about baseball in place.
Max Fried, LHP (Rookie): 10 G (9 GS), 0-1, 3.57 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 17.2 IP, 14 H, 17 K
Jedd Gyorko, 2B/3B (Triple-A): 126 G, 311/.373/.547, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 80 R
Austin Hedges, C (Single-A): 96 G, .279/.334/.451, 10 HR, 56 RBI, 14-for-23 SB
Casey Kelly, RHP (MLB): 6 GS, 2-3, 6.21 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, 29 IP, 39 H, 26 K
Rymer Liriano, OF (Double-A): 127 G, .280/.350/.417, 8 HR, 61 RBI, 32-for-40 SB
7. Houston Astros
Jonathan Singleton is ready to man first base in Houston now.
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
After trading off their veterans and drafting wisely the past few years, the Astros find themselves with an excellent farm system that includes depth and high ceiling players at nearly every position.
With the addition of first overall pick Carlos Correa in this June's draft, the Astros system got even better than it already was.
Carlos Correa, SS (Rookie): 50 G, .258/.305/.400, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 6-for-7 SB
Jarred Cosart, RHP (Triple-A): 21 G (20 GS), 6-7, 3.30 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 114.2 IP, 109 H, 92 K
Delino DeShields Jr., 2B (High-A): 135 G, 287/.389/.428, 12 HR, 61 RBI, 101-for-120 SB
Jonathan Singleton, 1B (Double-A): 131 G, .284/.396/.497, 21 HR, 79 RBI, 94 R
George Springer, OF (Double-A): 128 G, .302/.383/.526, 24 HR, 87 RBI, 32-for-40 SB
6. Kansas City Royals
Kansas City can't keep Wil Myers down on the farm any longer. He's too good.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
While the first wave of Royals' prospects has reached the big leagues in the past few seasons, highlighted by Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, there's another wave coming—and they might be better.
Kansas City lacks a pitcher who screams "future ace" at you, but they have a number of quality arms that should be able to help the team sooner, rather than later.
Jorge Bonafacio, OF (Single-A): 105 G, .282/.336/.432, 10 HR, 61 RBI, 6-for-9 SB
Wil Myers, OF (Triple-A): 134 G, .314/.387/.600, 37 HR, 109 RBI, 6-for-9 SB
Jake Odorizzi, RHP (MLB): 2 GS, 0-1, 4.91 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 7.1 IP, 8 H, 4 K
Bubba Starling, OF (Rookie): 53 G, 275/.371/.485, 10 HR, 33 RBI, 10-for-11 SB
Kyle Zimmer, RHP (Rookie): 9 GS, 3-3, 2.04 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 39.2 IP, 39 H, 42 K
5. Pittsburgh Pirates
Gerrit Cole is as untouchable a prospect as there is in the game.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Whether it's front-of-the-rotation arms or position players with multiple tools that you are looking for, the Pirates farm system has something for everyone.
With a number of players considered to be among the most exciting prospects in the game, the future in Pittsburgh is looking up after yet another late-season collapse.
Josh Bell, OF (Single-A): 15 G, .274/.288/.403, 1 HR, 11 RBI
Gerrit Cole, RHP (Triple-A): 26 GS, 9-7, 2.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 132 IP, 113 H, 136 K
Allen Hanson, SS (Single-A): 124 G, 309/.381/.528, 16 HR, 62 RBI, 35-for-54 SB
Luis Heredia, RHP (Low-A): 14 GS, 4-2, 2.71 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 66.1 IP, 53 H, 40 K
Jameson Taillon, RHP (Double-A): 26 GS, 9-8, 3.55 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 142 IP, 120 H, 116 K
4. Toronto Blue Jays
Travis d'Arnaud's face will be behind the mask for the plethora of quality pitchers moving through the Blue Jays' system when they reach Toronto.
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When it comes to stockpiling prospects and building a farm system, few do it as well as Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos.
Toronto has had one of the deepest farm systems in the game for years and even as they promote players to the major leagues, there's another talented player behind them waiting to take their place.
Travis d'Arnaud, C (Triple-A): 67 G, .333/.380/.595, 16 HR, 52 RBI
Jake Marisnick, OF (Double-A): 120 G, 249/.321/.399, 8 HR, 50 RBI, 24-for-33 SB
Justin Nicolino, LHP (Single-A): 28 G (22 GS), 10-4, 2.46 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 123.1 IP, 112 H, 119 K
Aaron Sanchez, RHP (Single-A): 25 G (18 GS), 8-5, 2.49 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 90.1 IP, 64 H, 97 K
Noah Syndergaard, RHP (Single-A): 27 G (19 GS), 8-5, 2.60 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 103.2 IP, 81 H, 122 K
3. St. Louis Cardinals
Oscar Taveras is truly an All-World talent.
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Already chock full of talent at the major league level, the Cardinals have one of the deepest and most talented farm systems around, headlined by outfielder Oscar Taveras, arguably the best prospect in all of baseball.
Carlos Martinez, RHP (Double-A): 22 G (21 GS), 6-5, 2.93 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 104.1 IP, 91 H, 92 K
Shelby Miller, RHP (MLB): 5 G, 1-0, 2.35 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 7.2 IP, 8 H, 9 K
Trevor Rosenthal, RHP (MLB): 19 G, 0-2, 2.78 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 22.2 IP, 14 H, 25 K
Oscar Taveras, OF (Double-A): 124 G, .321/.380/.572, 23 HR, 94 RBI, 10-for-11 SB
Kolten Wong, 2B (Double-A): 126 G, 287/.348/.485, 9 HR, 52 RBI, 21-for-32 SB
2. Arizona Diamondbacks
Don't let his MLB stats fool you—Trevor Bauer is an ace.
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One of three teams who has the pitching prospects to contend with Toronto, the Diamondbacks farm system is absolutely loaded with talent; talent that we've already seen glimpses of in 2012 and will see full-force in 2013.
Consider this: Arizona traded three prospects to acquire Trevor Cahill this past winter, a package that included Jarrod Parker, their first round pick in the 2007 draft and arguably their best pitching prospect, yet here they are, ranked No. 2 overall.
That tells you how ridiculously deep and talented their minor league system is.
Trevor Bauer, RHP (MLB): 4 GS, 1-2, 6.06 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 14 H, 17 K
Archie Bradley, RHP (Single-A): 27 GS, 12-6, 3.84 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 136 IP, 87 H, 152 K
Matt Davidson, 3B (Double-A): 135 G, .261/.367/.469, 23 HR, 76 RBI, 81 R
Adam Eaton, OF (MLB): 22 G, 259/.382/.412, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 19 R
Tyler Skaggs, LHP (MLB): 6 GS, 1-3, 5.83 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 29.1 IP, 30 H, 21K
1. Seattle Mariners
Taijuan Walker is a much more impressive pitcher than his 2012 numbers would lead you to believe.
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They have three potential aces in the system, just like the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks do.
But the Mariners have a future All-Star catcher, a future All-Star middle infielder and a plethora of prospects who project to be, in the worst-case scenario, only serviceable major league players.
Their time atop this list won't last long, however, which is good news for Mariners fans—the vast majority of their best prospects, including 2012 first round pick Mike Zunino, figure to be playing in Seattle within the next 30 months.
Nick Franklin, 2B/SS (Triple-A): 121 G, .278/.347/.453, 11 HR, 55 RBI, 12-for-16 SB
Danny Hultzen, LHP (Triple-A): 25 GS, 9-7, 3.05 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 124 IP, 87 H, 136 K
James Paxton, LHP (Double-A): 21 GS, 9-4, 3.05 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 106.1 IP, 96 H, 110 K
Taijuan Walker, RHP (Double-A): 25 GS, 7-10, 4.69 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 126.2 IP, 124 H, 118 K
Mike Zunino, C (Double-A): 44 G, .360/.447/.689, 13 HR, 43 RBI, 35 R