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.