It's that magical time of year again where we look back at the recently completed minor league season and examine the state of the farm for Major League Baseball teams.
Even though all of the focus is, rightly so, on the pennant races going on across MLB, we should not forget about the youngsters who represent the future of the game. In due time, a lot of them will be playing key roles in the postseason chase.
Before we dive head first into ranking the top 10 systems, I first want to explain the process that is used.
Any player who will retain rookie eligibility for the 2014 MLB season is included. For instance, even though Boston's Xander Bogaerts is currently playing for the Red Sox, he won't accrue enough service time this year to lose eligibility and is factored into the team's ranking.
This is not just a look at the top players in a given system. Impact talent will certainly improve your rating, because they are the ones who will play a significant role in helping win a championship, but depth is also a key component.
If a team has two elite-level talents and not much else, it's hard to rank it high no matter how good the top is. I like to provide a clear overview of where each franchise stands right now.
With that said, here is our official ranking of the top 10 farm systems in baseball heading into the minor league offseason.
Note: All stats used courtesy of MiLB.com unless otherwise noted.