Ranking All 30 MLB Farm Systems, Post-2017 MLB Draft

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2017

Ranking All 30 MLB Farm Systems, Post-2017 MLB Draft

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Now that we've had some time to digest last week's MLB draft, it's time for an updated look at how all 30 MLB farm systems stack up.

    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 player a guy will be in the future.
    • 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 these players are viewed as more complete products.
    • 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 were the biggest factors 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.

    We've incorporated a tier system to help differentiate between the different levels of talent. Here's a quick explanation: 

    • Tier 1: Prospects who have an elite skill set and legitimate All-Star potential. These are the guys that would receive consideration for a spot on a leaguewide top 100 prospect lists.
    • Tier 2: Prospects who have a good chance of becoming at least a contributor at the MLB level. This is where most prospects on the following list will fall.
    • Tier 3: Prospects who profile as fringe MLB contributors or young prospects who are still too raw to project any higher. Having one of these players ranked among your top 10 prospects is a good indication of a thin system.

    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.


    Note: Prospect rankings in parenthesis following "prospects on the rise" reflect where that player stood in Baseball America and MLB.com's preseason rankings.

30. Kansas City Royals (Previous: 29)

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    Eric Skoglund
    Eric SkoglundGregory Bull/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 1B Nick PrattoDRAFT2
    2. RHP Josh StaumontAAA2
    3. 3B Hunter DozierAAA2
    4. SS Nicky LopezA+2
    5. LHP Eric SkoglundMLB2
    6. OF Khalil LeeA2
    7. C Chase VallotA+2
    8. RHP Scott BlewettA+2
    9. 1B/OF Ryan O'HearnAAA2
    10. RHP Jake JunisMLB3

    Graduated: LHP Matt Strahm, OF Jorge Bonifacio


    Farm System Overview

    The Kansas City Royals grabbed perhaps the best pure hitter in the entire draft when they selected high school first baseman Nick Pratto at No. 14 overall and he immediately jumps to the top of a thin farm system.

    Flame thrower Josh Staumont has fanned 88 batters in 66.2 innings this season, but he's also issued 48 walks and run up a 6.21 ERA. He has all the tools to be an ace, but there's still a lot of work to do to reach his ceiling.

    Hunter Dozier, Eric Skoglund and Jake Junis have all seen time with the big league club this year, and more prospects figure to get a look in the second half following what could be a fire sale.


    Prospect on the Rise: SS Nicky Lopez (BA-16, MLB.com-24)

    A fifth-round pick out of Creighton last spring, Lopez hit .281 with an .821 OPS in rookie ball and he's picked up right where he left off in his full-season debut. The 22-year-old jumped straight to High-A Wilmington, where he's hitting .303/.382/.416 with 20 extra-base hits and more walks (34) than strikeouts (21) while showing enough glove to stick at shortstop.

29. Los Angeles Angels (Previous: 30)

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    Griffin Canning
    Griffin CanningKatie Meyers/UCLA Athletics

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. CF Jahmai JonesA2
    2. OF Jo AdellDRAFT2
    3. 1B Matt ThaissA+2
    4. RHP Griffin CanningDRAFT2
    5. OF Brandon MarshRk2
    6. LHP Nate SmithAAA2
    7. RHP Chris RodriguezRk2
    8. RHP Jaime BarriaAA2
    9. C Taylor WardA+2
    10. RHP Grayson LongAA3

    Graduated: RHP Alex Meyer


    Farm System Overview

    After grabbing the toolsiest player in the draft in high school outfielder Jo Adell at No. 9 overall, the Los Angeles Angels had to be thrilled when UCLA ace Griffin Canning was still on the board when they picked again at No. 47.

    Those two could easily be the team's top prospects at this time a year from now, and adding them to the system is enough to finally pull the team out of the bottom spot in these rankings.

    2016 top pick Matt Thaiss and 2015 second-round pick Jahmai Jones are also capable of climbing a notch to Tier 1 status, but they're not quite there yet, and the system as a whole remains among the thinnest in the league.


    Prospect on the Rise: RHP Jesus Castillo (BA-23, MLB.com-NR)

    Signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011, Castillo joined the Angels in the 2016 deadline deal that sent reliever Joe Smith to the Chicago Cubs. His stuff doesn't turn heads, but the 21-year-old has thrown the ball well with a 3.23 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 60-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 61.1 innings this season to emerge as a potential back-of-the-rotation candidate down the line.

28. Miami Marlins (Previous: 27)

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    Brian Miller
    Brian MillerGerry Broome/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. LHP Braxton GarrettA-1
    2. LHP Trevor RogersDRAFT2
    3. 3B Brian AndersonAA2
    4. RHP Tyler KolekINJ2
    5. LHP Dillon PetersAA2
    6. 3B James NelsonA2
    7. OF Thomas JonesRk3
    8. RHP Edward CabreraRk3
    9. OF Isael SotoRk3
    10. OF Brian MillerDRAFT3

    Graduated: LHP Jarlin Garcia


    Farm System Overview

    The Miami Marlins added perhaps the most polished prep pitcher in last year's class when they took Braxton Garrett with the No. 7 pick. This year's top pick, Trevor Rogers, was selected based more on upside, but he's among the most projectable arms in the class and could eventually surpass Garrett for top prospect status.

    With a .781 OPS, 11 doubles and 10 home runs in Double-A, Brian Anderson continues to show the power and the glove to eventually slide into the everyday third base role.

    Rehabbing former No. 2 overall pick Tyler Kolek now looks like more of a lottery ticket than a future star, while left-hander Dillon Peters might be the most likely prospect in the system to still make an impact this season.


    Prospect on the Rise: 3B James Nelson (BA-18, MLB.com-10)

    Nelson was a 15th-round pick in 2015 and after a respectable showing in rookie ball last season, he's breaking out in a big way for Single-A Greensboro. The 19-year-old is hitting .325/.378/.490 with 22 extra-base hits in 230 plate appearances, and there's still plenty of physical projection remaining in his 6'2", 180-pound frame.

27. Detroit Tigers (Previous: 25)

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    Alex Faedo
    Alex FaedoBrynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Matt ManningRk1
    2. OF Christin StewartAA2
    3. RHP Beau BurrowsAA2
    4. RHP Alex FaedoDRAFT2
    5. RHP Kyle FunkhouserA+2
    6. OF Michael GerberAA2
    7. RHP Joe JimenezAAA2
    8. LHP Tyler AlexanderAA2
    9. RHP Gerson MorenoA+3
    10. OF Derek HillA3

    Graduated: None


    Farm System Overview

    The Detroit Tigers have one of the game's most projectable pitching prospects in 6'6" Matt Manning, but he's still a long way from making an impact at the big league level.

    Christin Stewart has the pop (.873 OPS, 16 HR) to make an impact at the next level, but there's enough swing-and-miss to his game and limited defensive skills to keep him from cracking Tier 1.

    Beau Burrows, Kyle Funkhouser and first-round pick Alex Faedo give the organization three legitimate future rotation candidates, and though he's been up-and-down the season, Joe Jimenez still looks like a closer in waiting.


    Prospect on the Rise: RHP Gerson Moreno (BA-NR, MLB.com-14)

    In a thin system, Moreno has quickly established himself as one of the team's most electric arms. The 21-year-old has a 70-grade fastball and solid slider, which have helped him pitch to a 2.22 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 12.6 K/9 over 22 relief appearances between High-A and Double-A.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous: 28)

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    Pavin Smith
    Pavin SmithCredit: Virginia Athletics

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 1B Pavin SmithDRAFT1
    2. RHP Taylor ClarkeAA2
    3. IF Domingo LeybaAAA2
    4. RHP Jon DuplantierA2
    5. OF Marcus WilsonA2
    6. IF Dawel LugoAA2
    7. LHP Anthony BandaAAA2
    8. RHP Jimmie SherfyAAA2
    9. SS Jasrado ChisholmA2
    10. OF Anfernee GrierA2

    Graduated: None


    Farm System Overview

    After a stellar junior season at Virginia that included more home runs (13) than strikeouts (12), Pavin Smith immediately jumps to the top of the Arizona Diamondbacks' prospects list after going No. 7 overall in the draft.

    Right-hander Taylor Clarke has gone 6-3 with a 2.92 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 76 strikeouts in 71 innings for Double-A Jackson, jumping a number of position-player prospects and emerging as the team's top young arm in the process.

    Domingo Leyba, Dawel Lugo and Jasrado Chisholm all offer intriguing upside on the left side of the infield, while former Rice standout Jon Duplantier has been lights-out in Single-A with a 1.24 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 72.2 innings.


    Prospect on the Rise: OF Marcus Wilson (BA-22, MLB.com-21)

    Wilson went No. 69 overall in the 2014 draft on the strength of his impressive physical tools and appealing upside. Despite showing good plate discipline, he posted a mediocre .252 average and .740 OPS in his full-season debut last year. The 20-year-old has turned a corner this year, though, hitting .308/.404/.518 with 22 extra-base hits, nine stolen bases and a 13.1 percent walk rate at the Single-A level.

25. San Francisco Giants (Previous: 21)

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    Christian Arroyo
    Christian ArroyoEzra Shaw/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. IF Christian ArroyoAAA1
    2. RHP Tyler BeedeAAA1
    3. OF Bryan ReynoldsA+2
    4. OF Heath QuinnA+2
    5. OF Heliot RamosDRAFT2
    6. LHP Andrew SuarezAAA2
    7. OF Steven DuggarAAA2
    8. 1B Chris ShawAAA2
    9. RHP Joan GregorioAAA2
    10. SS Ryan HowardA+2

    Graduated: LHP Ty Blach


    Farm System Overview

    The San Francisco Giants have two top-tier prospects in infielder Christian Arroyo and right-hander Tyler Beede, and both figure to fill significant roles by next season.

    The rest of the farm system is largely made up of high-floor former collegiate players and low-level prospects with a lot to prove. Outfielder Bryan Reynolds could potentially make the jump to Tier 1 status after slipping to the second round last spring, and this year's top pick Heliot Ramos has significant offensive upside.

    The system as a whole remains among the thinnest in baseball, though. In the midst of a disastrous season at the big league level, they'll likely be looking to add more prospect talent as sellers at the deadline.


    Prospect on the Rise: SS Ryan Howard (BA-NR, MLB.com-NR)

    A fifth-round pick in 2016 after starring at the University of Missouri, Howard is hitting .325/.354/.411 with eight doubles and five home runs for High-A San Jose. He's spent the bulk of his time on the left side of the infield as a pro but could fit best as an offensive-minded second baseman.

24. Texas Rangers (Previous: 23)

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    Yohander Mendez
    Yohander MendezTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Leody TaverasA1
    2. LHP Yohander MendezAA1
    3. RHP Ariel JuradoAA2
    4. 1B Ronald GuzmanAAA2
    5. OF Bubba ThompsonDRAFT2
    6. 2B Andy IbanezAA2
    7. LHP Cole RagansA-2
    8. IF Anderson TejadaA2
    9. RHP Alex SpeasA-2
    10. SS Chris SeiseDRAFT2

    Graduated: None


    Farm System Overview

    Blockbuster deals to land Cole Hamels and Jonathan Lucroy the past two summers have taken a considerable bite out of the Texas Rangers farm system.

    They still have one elite-level prospect in precocious outfielder Leody Taveras and another Tier 1 guy in left-hander Yohander Mendez, but they'll need some of their high-ceiling guys at the lower levels to take a step forward if they hope to climb in these rankings.

    First-round pick Bubba Thompson brings more baseball polish than most two-sport standouts from the prep ranks and he could really take off with his full attention now on the baseball diamond.


    Prospect on the Rise: 1B/OF Yanio Perez (BA-27, MLB.com-15)

    The 6'2", 205-pound Perez signed for a $1.1 million bonus out of Cuba last September and he figures to move quickly. The 21-year-old is hitting .319/.386/.502 with nine doubles and nine home runs and has already received a promotion to High-A Down East. If he continues to impress against higher-level competition, he could climb into the top 10 by our next update.

23. Baltimore Orioles (Previous: 26)

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    Chance Sisco
    Chance SiscoChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. C Chance SiscoAAA1
    2. SS Ryan MountcastleA+1
    3. LHP D.L. HallDRAFT1
    4. RHP Cody SedlockA+2
    5. OF Austin HaysA+2
    6. LHP Tanner ScottAA2
    7. LHP Keegan AkinA+2
    8. 3B Jomar ReyesA+3
    9. LHP Alex WellsA3
    10. LHP Chris LeeAAA3

    Graduated: 1B Trey Mancini


    Farm System Overview

    The Baltimore Orioles have their catcher of the future in Chance Sisco and he could be ready to take over that role as soon as next season. His bat has always been ahead of his glove, but the 22-year-old has improved enough behind the plate to profile as an everyday guy.

    Meanwhile, Ryan Mountcastle has turned heads at the plate this spring with a .313/.343/.545 line for High-A Frederick that includes 24 doubles and 12 home runs. The 20-year-old former first-round pick is still a work in progress at shortstop, and a move to left field is still a very real possibility, but it's looking more and more like his bat will play.

    The O's got one of the biggest steals in this year's draft when D.L. Hall fell to them at No. 21 overall and he immediately becomes the team's top pitching prospect. He gives the system three top-tier prospects, but in terms of depth, it remains as thin as any in the league.


    Prospect on the Rise: LHP Alex Wells (BA-25, MLB.com-17)

    A 6'1", 190-pound southpaw out of Australia with limited projectability and middling stuff, Wells simply knows how to pitch. After a stellar debut last season, he's gone 4-4 with a 2.96 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and a 53-to-6 K/BB over 70 innings with Single-A Delmarva. His ceiling is as a back-of-the-rotation starter, but his pitchability makes him a safe bet to reach that.

22. Seattle Mariners (Previous: 24)

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    Tyler O'Neill
    Tyler O'NeillRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Kyle LewisA+1
    2. OF Tyler O'NeillAAA1
    3. 1B Evan WhiteDRAFT1
    4. RHP Nick NeidertA+2
    5. RHP Andrew MooreAAA2
    6. RHP Sam CarlsonDRAFT2
    7. RHP Max PovseAA2
    8. OF Braden BishopA+2
    9. 1B Dan VogelbachAAA2
    10. OF Brayan HernandezA-2

    Graduated: OF Mitch Haniger, RP Dan Altavilla


    Farm System Overview

    Outfielders Kyle Lewis and Tyler O'Neill remain the headliners in the Seattle Mariners system, though Lewis is still settling in after suffering a torn ACL in his pro debut and O'Neill has taken a step back after a breakout 2016 campaign.

    Top pick Evan White doesn't have the prototypical first baseman profile with more hit tool than power and the glove to also play center field, but he knows how to hit and should move quickly. Right-hander Sam Carlson was also a great find at No. 55 overall as he offers one of the highest ceilings among this year's prep arms.

    Nick Neidert, Andrew Moore and Max Povse are all potential rotation candidates, and Dan Vogelbach can still develop into at least a platoon option at first base, though he's failed to nail down the job that was expected to be his so far this year.


    Prospect on the Rise: OF Chuck Taylor (BA-NR, MLB.com-NR)

    A minor league Rule 5 pick, Taylor has quickly emerged as an intriguing prospect after coming over from the Diamondbacks during the offseason. The 23-year-old is hitting .316/.409/.469 with 22 extra-base hits and six stolen bases for Double-A Arkansas on the year.

21. Boston Red Sox (Previous: 18)

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    Rafael Devers
    Rafael DeversTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 3B Rafael DeversAA1
    2. LHP Jay GroomeA1
    3. 3B Michael ChavisA+1
    4. 1B Sam TravisAAA2
    5. 1B Josh OckimeyA+2
    6. RHP Roniel RaudesA+2
    7. RHP Tanner HouckDRAFT2
    8. LHP Brian JohnsonAAA2
    9. RHP Alex ScherffDRAFT2
    10. 3B Bobby DalbecA2

    Graduated: LF Andrew Benintendi


    Farm System Overview

    After trading away Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech during the offseason to acquire Chris Sale, slugger Rafael Devers is now the unquestioned top prospect in the Boston Red Sox system. The 20-year-old has a .932 OPS with 17 doubles and 14 home runs for Double-A Portland and he could be the answer to a glaring hole at third base before the season is over.

    2016 top pick Jay Groome has a high ceiling, but a lot of work to do to reach it. Adding Tanner Houck and Alex Scherff in this year's draft helps restock a pitching crop that had grown increasingly thin.

    Josh Ockimey has backed up his breakout 2016 season with more of the same at High-A Salem, while Roniel Raudes is pitching alongside him as a 19-year-old and looking more and more like a potential Tier 1 candidate if he continues to get the most out of his stuff.


    Prospect on the Rise: 3B Michael Chavis (BA-11, MLB.com-11)

    The No. 26 pick in the 2014 draft, Chavis turned in back-to-back clunkers at the plate in 2015 (.223 BA, .682 OPS) and 2016 (.237 BA, .684 OPS), leaving his prospect status somewhat in question. He's turned a corner this season, hitting .318/.388/.641 with 17 doubles and 17 home runs, finally showing enough hit tool to tap into his considerable raw power.

20. New York Mets (Previous: 20)

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    Amed Rosario
    Amed RosarioCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. SS Amed RosarioAAA1
    2. 1B Dominic SmithAAA1
    3. LHP Thomas SzapuckiA1
    4. RHP Justin DunnA+1
    5. SS Gavin CecchiniMLB2
    6. LHP David PetersonDRAFT2
    7. OF Desmond LindsayA2
    8. SS Andres GimenezA2
    9. C Tomas NidoAA2
    10. RHP Jordan HumphreysA2

    Graduated: SP Robert Gsellman


    Farm System Overview

    The New York Mets have one of the game's elite prospects in shortstop Amed Rosario, and all signs point to him taking over as the everyday guy at the big league level next season. That said, the 21-year-old is probably ready nowhe's hitting .325/.368/.479 with 26 extra-base hits in Triple-A while continuing to show potential plus-plus defense.

    First baseman Dominic Smith could also slide into an MLB gig next season, while infielder Gavin Cecchini is filling a spot on the big league bench and his future might be as a super-utility guy.

    Thomas Szapucki and last year's first-round pick, Justin Dunn, are joined by this year's No. 20 overall selection, David Peterson, as the top arms in the system, though there are also some lower-level guys making noise and this organization does know how to develop on the pitching side.


    Prospect on the Rise: RHP Jordan Humphreys (BA-NR, MLB.com-NR)

    One of those lower-level arms is Humphreys, who has gone 10-1 with a 1.42 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, .168 opponents' batting average and an 80-to-9 K/BB in 69.2 innings. The 21-year-old led the Appalachian League in strikeouts with 76 in 69.1 innings after going in the 18th round of last year's draft and he looks ready for higher-level competition.

19. Minnesota Twins (Previous: 19)

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    Brent Rooker
    Brent RookerRogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. SS Nick GordonAA1
    2. SS/CF Royce LewisDRAFT1
    3. LHP Stephen GonsalvesAA1
    4. RHP Fernando RomeroAA1
    5. LHP Tyler JayAA2
    6. OF Alex KirilloffINJ2
    8. RHP Blayne EnlowDRAFT2
    7. LHP Adalberto MejiaMLB2
    9. RHP Kohl StewartAA2
    10. OF Brent RookerDRAFT2

    Graduated: None


    Farm System Overview

    Nick Gordon still holds the top spot in the Minnesota Twins system for the time being, but No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis has the five-tool potential to quickly unseat him.

    That said, Gordon has picked up his offensive game with a .315/.376/.504 line and 33 extra-base hits for Double-A Chattanooga and he still looks like the shortstop of the future.

    Stephen Gonsalves and Fernando Romero both have front-line starter upside and could push for a spot in the rotation next season, while a return to the bullpen could put Tyler Jay in Minnesota before 2017 is over. Adding Blayne Enlow and Brent Rooker with their second and third picks this year left the Twins with one of the best hauls in the draft.


    Prospect on the Rise: SS Jermaine Palacios (BA-NR, MLB.com-NR)

    Palacios fell off the prospect radar after hitting .222/.276/.287 in 288 plate appearances for Single-A Cedar Rapids last year. Back for a second go-around this season, he's looked like a different player with a .322/.362/.549 line that includes 13 doubles and 11 home runs. The 20-year-old is still young enough that repeating a level isn't the end of the world.

18. Colorado Rockies (Previous: 8)

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