MLB Power Rankings: Rating Every MLB Farm System

John RozumCorrespondent ISeptember 9, 2011

MLB Power Rankings: Rating Every MLB Farm System

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    It's the core beneath the product that ultimately can define how great a team is.

    In college football and basketball, it's recruiting; in the pros, a lot comes down to depth.

    Major League Baseball is no exception to the rule, other than it runs much deeper than any other sport.

    There are currently six different levels of baseball before the majors, and each franchise has at least that many (some have more than one farm team at the rookie league level).

    With that said, here is an all-encompassing ranking of each MLB organization's farm system.

    For a full list of 2011's Top 100 Prospects, click here.

30. Milwaukee Brewers

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Zero

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: Nine

    It is evident that the Brewers were building for the present, as there's not much left in their system after acquiring Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum.

    Milwaukee fans better hope the short-term future, including "the now," continues to dominate, because it's not going to last for more than five years.

29. Florida Marlins

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: One

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 14

    It's plain and simple: The Marlins just don't have the talent in their farm system.

    That's unfortunate, because with the Nats on the rise and the Phillies and Braves dominating, Florida will be on the back burner for a while.

28. Oakland Athletics

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Two

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 10

    The A's always seem like they're in a rebuilding state.

    It never appears that they get over that proverbial hump, so to speak.

    That said, they better pick it up because the Rangers and Angels aren't going anywhere, and the Mariners are improving.

27. Baltimore Orioles

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Two

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 14

    Last season the O's had a top-10 farm system.

    Now they're near the bottom.

    If they want any chance at contending in the AL East, it is imperative that they build wisely.

26. Chicago White Sox

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Two

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 14

    After Chris Sale, the White Sox don't have much in their system.

    At least, no one who's as established as Sale is at the minor league level.

    With Cleveland on the rise and Detroit rolling, the South Siders have a lot of ground to make up.

25. New York Mets

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Three

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 19

    The problem with the Mets is that they're simply not deep enough.

    Top prospects Matt Harvey and Wilmer Flores are beasts, but after that it's a major drop-off.

24. Houston Astros

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Two

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 15

    It's almost impossible for the 'Stros to not be making significant strides on the farm at this point.

    They have some high draft picks, and after trading away Hunter Pence, their minor leaguers better step up, and fast.

23. Chicago Cubs

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Two

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 17

    The problem with the Cubs system is that their best talent resides at the lower minor league levels.

    That means they're still a year or two away from really seeing some results in the majors.

    However, better to have something than nothing at all.

22. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Three 

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 12

    For the Dodgers, the problem lies within actual productivity.

    There's a lot of talent throughout their system, but for the most part, it just doesn't show on the field.

    Then again, it's no secret they've struggled again this season.

21. Detroit Tigers

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Three

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 11

    It's not so much that Detroit's system lacks talent; it's that it lacks experience.

    That is expected when you have a bunch of young talent.

    That being said, they'll quickly rise for 2012 and thereafter.

20. San Francisco Giants

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Two 

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 15

    Other than Brandon Belt, the Giants system takes a major 180-degree turn.

    As we can see, this has hurt them this season, as they currently are having trouble defending their NL West title, let alone the Fall Classic.

    If they want to keep pace with Philly, a lot of work needs to be done.

19. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Three

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 13

    As we saw by evidence of how Pittsburgh played until the All-Star break, the formula it has for working its farm system is a success.

    The Pirates, however, are still a step or two back, but after this season's success, they should make a solid jump in 2012.

18. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Three

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 15

    Despite being ranked in the bottom half, the D-Backs improved their system from a year ago.

    The offense has picked up, and rightfully so, because their lead on San Fran at this point is almost insurmountable (cut to Mets fans weeping from a few years ago).

17. St. Louis Cardinals

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Two

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 15

    After being ranked near the dead bottom in 2010, the Cardinals have built for the future with pitcher Shelby Miller, along with some solid talented depth behind him on the farm.

    With the Brewers not building long-term, St. Louis should be back atop the NL Central in no time.

16. Washington Nationals

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Four

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 16

    With Stephen Strasburg being the main attraction in Washington, Bryce Harper is about to steal the show himself.

    In addition to Harper, the Nats have other solid talent.

    They much deeper than most think. The Braves and Phils better keep D.C. on their radar.

15. Cleveland Indians

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Four

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 12

    The Tribe took a pretty tough hit to their system when they traded for Ubaldo Jimenez and Kosuke Fukudome.

    However, the talent still resides, but the question is how long the Indians are building for.

14. Seattle Mariners

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Three

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 11

    Arguably the two best minor leaguers from 2010 (Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda) made their mark on Seattle in 2011.

    The scary part is Seattle is only going forward, while Oakland remains stagnant.

    Moving up the food chain is always a good thing.

13. Boston Red Sox

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Two

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 17

    As evidenced by the Red Sox continuing to be World Series contenders year in and year out, their farm system plays a big role in keeping prospects prepared for the bigs at any time.

    Although most of their talent isn't ridiculous like a Bryce Harper, it's all good enough to keep Boston rolling for years to come.

12. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Three

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 11

    This season the call-ups for the Angels have produced, but not yet quite enough, as the Rangers still hold a slight edge on the AL West.

    With Texas being deeper in the farm, Los Angeles' next wave needs to keep rolling if they want to surpass the Rangers once called up.

11. Cincinnati Reds

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Four

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: Seven

    Whether critics want to admit it or not, the 2010 Reds were no fluke.

    They just happened to have a few players overachieve, and some prospects performed above their potential.

    Which will allow them to once again be contenders in 2012.

10. Minnesota Twins

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Four 

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 10

    The problem in Minnesota at the big league level this season was injuries.

    Combine that with some talent that earned their experience, and the Twins will be better in 2012 at all levels.

9. San Diego Padres

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Three 

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 11

    Dealing Adrian Gonzalez to Boston significantly improved San Diego's already solid farm system.

    Now, all Padre fans must do is be patient, because success is very, very close.

8. Colorado Rockies

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Three 

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 17

    In trading ace Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland, the Rockies have enhanced their system almost like the Padres have.

    With guys like Wilin Rosario and Tyler Matzek leading the way, Colorado will be much improved for 2012.

7. Toronto Blue Jays

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Four

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 18

    The 2012 season could be the year for Toronto to fully compete with Boston and New York in the AL East.

    Its best talent resides at the higher system levels, and there were those that earned a call-up in 2011.

    Once 2012 rolls around, don't be surprised to see the Blue Jays keeping pace.

6. Tampa Bay Rays

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Seven 

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 18

    Trading away Matt Garza earned the Rays some sick talent, but it wouldn't have been an issue anyway, as Tampa has, yet again, another great farm system.

    If there's one small-market team that can contend in the AL East, it's Tampa Bay.

5. Texas Rangers

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Three

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 16

    If there's anything that keeps the Rangers rolling, it's their farm system.

    They have made some solid moves this season as well, but they run so deep that there's no way anyone else can contend with them in the AL West.

4. Atlanta Braves

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Six

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 14

    The Braves must be getting some recruiting tips from SEC football personnel in Georgia because the Bulldogs always have a top-notch recruiting class when it comes to college football, and the Braves always have a sweet farm system.

    Atlanta must be finding ways to transition those recruiting tips into drafting/trading, because it always seems to be near the top.

3. Philadelphia Phillies

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Four

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 19

    It's amazing what the Phillies have been able to accomplish at the minor league level, while also closing the deals they have in the majors.

    It does help having the second-largest payroll, so it's a safe bet that they'll be around for quite some time.

2. New York Yankees

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Six

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 12

    Having the only payroll of over $200 million, it's almost irrelevant to have a solid farm system, because you could just trade for those players once they perform at the major league level anyway.

    Oh wait, the Yankees do do that. However, in addition to that, New York has a solid system through and through right now.

    Therefore, it's reasonable to suspect that once the Yankees' vets retire, all they'll have to do is reload, as opposed to opening the checkbook.

1. Kansas City Royals

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    No. of 2011 Top 100 Prospects: Nine

    No. of 2011 Minor League All-Stars: 15

    Royals fans better hope that sick talent gets to the majors real soon, because winning hasn't occurred there from baseball in a while.

    They definitely have the best farm system, so let's hope for the K.C. faithful that it works out despite having MLB's lowest payroll.

    Be sure to check out John on Bleacher Report.

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