It may still be freezing in some parts of the country, but spring training is officially here, as pitchers and catchers are set to begin reporting in sunny Arizona and Florida.
Before the preseason officially begins, it's time to roll out our farm-system rankings for the upcoming year, complete with a look at the top 10 prospects within each organization.
These rankings have been updated and tweaked a few times during the offseason, but the following can now be considered our official 2016 preseason rankings.
The following factors helped determine the rankings of players and teams:
- Potential (Player): Potential trumps production a lot of the time, especially in the lower levels of the minors and with recent draft picks. Skill set and overall tools are often a better indication of what kind of future a player has.
- Talent (Player): As for guys in the higher levels of the minors who are close to breaking through at the big league level, production and current talent level are the determining factors, as they are viewed as a more complete product.
- Overall Depth (Team): Having one or two elite prospects is great, but having a deep farm system from top to bottom is the way to build a sustainable contender. The overall depth and level of talent was the biggest factor in ranking each team.
- High-End Talent (Team): That being said, there is a difference between a prospect who has a chance of making an impact at the big league level and a prospect who could be a star. Elite prospects served as a tiebreaker of sorts when two teams were close in the rankings.
Along with an updated list of the top 10 prospects for each team, you'll also find some general analysis on each team's top prospects, recent draft picks and the outlook of the farm system as a whole.
We've also included a look at where each top prospect was born to help give a look at which teams have been most successful in building up their farm system on the international market.
A player must not have passed the rookie-eligibility limits (130 AB, 50 IP, 45 days on roster) to be eligible for inclusion in these rankings.