MLB Farm System Rankings: Pre-2016 Spring Training Edition

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2016

MLB Farm System Rankings: Pre-2016 Spring Training Edition

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    Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford
    Phillies shortstop J.P. CrawfordBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    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.

30. Los Angeles Angels

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    Taylor Ward
    Taylor WardChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. RHP Victor Alcantara 22imgAA2017
    2. C Taylor Ward22imgA+2018
    3. RHP Joe Gatto 20imgA2018
    4. LHP Nate Smith24imgAAA2016
    5. OF Jahmai Jones18imgA2019
    6. RHP Jake Jewell22imgA+2018
    7. 3B Kyle Kubitza 25imgAAA2016
    8. 3B Kaleb Cowart 23imgAAA2016
    9. RHP Grayson Long21imgA2018
    10. OF Chad Hinshaw 25imgAAA2017


    The Los Angeles Angels were already ticketed for a spot near the bottom of these rankings when the offseason began, and the decision to trade pitching prospects Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis to the Atlanta Braves for shortstop Andrelton Simmons cemented their No. 30 ranking.

    Victor Alcantara earns the top prospect nod more on plus stuff and big potential than actual production, as he pitched to a 5.62 ERA at the High-A level last year.

    Catcher Taylor Ward was the team's top selection in June, and it may not be long before he seizes the No. 1 spot in the organization. A plus defender, his long-term offensive potential remains a question mark, but a .348/.457/.438 line in 201 at-bats after signing was a nice start to silencing those concerns.

    As for a prospect who could make an impact this coming year, keep an eye on left-hander Nate Smith, who went 10-8 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.257 WHIP in the upper levels of the minors. His ceiling is at the back of the rotation, but he could be ready soon.

29. Miami Marlins

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    Kendry Flores
    Kendry FloresRonald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. RHP Tyler Kolek 20imgA2018
    2. 1B Josh Naylor 18imgA-2019
    3. LHP Jarlin Garcia23imgAA2017
    4. RHP Kendry Flores24imgAAA2016
    5. OF Stone Garrett20imgA2019
    6. LHP Brett Lilek 22imgA2018
    7. OF Austin Dean22imgAA2017
    8. 3B Brian Anderson22imgAA2017
    9. OF Isael Soto19imgA2019
    10. 2B Avery Romero22imgAA2017


    Tyler Kolek entered his first full pro season with no shortage of hype after being taken No. 2 overall in the 2014 draft, but the returns were not pretty as he posted a 4.56 ERA and 1.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 108.2 innings in Single-A.

    All the tools are there for him to be a workhorse ace down the line, but first he needs to rein in his control to get the most out of his plus stuff.

    Slugger Josh Naylor joins him atop the organizational rankings after being selected No. 12 overall in June, and it's his plus-plus raw power that has a chance to make him an impact run producer.

    Outfielder Stone Garrett entered last season well off the top-prospect radar, but a .933 OPS with 18 doubles and 11 home runs in 222 at-bats for Low-A Batavia makes him the fastest-rising prospect in the organization.

28. Detroit Tigers

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    Beau Burrows
    Beau BurrowsLenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. RHP Michael Fulmer22imgAAA2016
    2. RHP Beau Burrows19imgA2019
    3. OF Christin Stewart22imgA+2018
    4. SS JaCoby Jones23imgAA2017
    5. OF Derek Hill20imgA+2018
    6. RHP Spencer Turnbull 23imgA+2018
    7. LHP Kevin Ziomek 23imgAA2017
    8. RHP Joe Jimenez21imgA+2017
    9. OF Mike Gerber23imgA+2018
    10. OF Steven Moya 24imgAAA2016


    The Detroit Tigers did well to bolster their farm system at the trade deadline, acquiring Michael Fulmer from the New York Mets in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes, and JaCoby Jones from the Pittsburgh Pirates for Joakim Soria.

    Those two new additions to the farmalong with 2015 draft picks Beau Burrows (No. 22) and Christin Stewart (No. 34)leave them with a system on the rise, albeit still one near the bottom of the heap.

    Fulmer should reach the majors at some point this year, and he might be the first man up if a starter goes down with an injury after he went 10-3 with a 2.24 ERA and 1.075 WHIP between High-A and Double-A.

    Outfielder Mike Gerberwho was a 15th-round pick in 2014, hit .292/.355/.468 with 31 doubles, 10 triples, 13 home runs and 16 steals in his full-season debut for Single-A West Michigan. He could climb to the top of these rankings with another season like that.

27. Baltimore Orioles

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    Mychal Givens
    Mychal GivensOrlin Wagner/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. RHP Hunter Harvey21imgA+2017
    2. RHP Dylan Bundy23imgMLB2016
    3. 3B Jomar Reyes18imgA+2019
    4. C Chance Sisco20imgAA2017
    5. RHP Mychal Givens25imgMLB2016
    6. SS Ryan Mountcastle19imgA2019
    7. OF Hyun Soo Kim28imgMLB2016
    8. 1B Trey Mancini23imgAAA2017
    9. OF D.J. Stewart22imgA+2018
    10. 1B Christian Walker24imgAAA2016


    Deciding where to rank the Baltimore Orioles depends heavily on whether you believe Hunter Harvey and Dylan Bundy can finally stay healthy and begin to tap into their vast potential on the mound.

    According to Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun, both young right-handers took place in a team minicamp last month and left the team feeling good about their standing entering the 2016 season.

    Just behind those two is third baseman Jomar Reyes. He missed time last year with a broken hamate bone but still hit .278/.334/.440 with 36 extra-base hits in 335 plate appearances as an 18-year-old in Single-A.

    On the older end of the spectrum, Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim and reliever Mychal Givens are both expected to break camp as part of the 25-man roster. Kim is slated to be the team's starting right fielder and leadoff hitter, while Givens could emerge as a key setup arm.

26. Seattle Mariners

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    Alex Jackson
    Alex JacksonElaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. OF Alex Jackson20imgA2018
    2. RHP Edwin Diaz 21imgAAA2017
    3. OF Tyler O'Neill20imgAA2017
    4. LHP Luiz Gohara 19imgA2018
    5. SS Drew Jackson22imgA2018
    6. OF Boog Powell23imgAAA2016
    7. RHP Nick Neidert 19imgA2019
    8. 1B D.J. Peterson24imgAAA2016
    9. LHP Ryan Yarbrough 24imgAA2017
    10. OF Luis Liberato 20imgA+2019


    Big things were expected from Alex Jackson after the Seattle Mariners made him the No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 draft, as most viewed him as the best high school bat in the class.

    His first full season in the organization did not go well, though, as he finished with a .207/.318/.365 line and a 30.2 percent strikeout rate, via FanGraphs, between Single-A and Low-A. There's still plenty of time for him to reach his potential as a middle-of-the-order difference-maker.

    Pitchers Edwin Diaz and Luiz Gohara are both well ahead of the developmental curve for their age, but both still have work to do if they are going to establish themselves as starters at the MLB level.

    Shortstop Drew Jackson—the younger brother of former Chicago Cubs first-round pick Brett Jackson—was taken in the fifth round last June out of Stanford. He went on to hit .358/.432/.447 with 15 extra-base hits and 47 stolen bases in 59 games for Low-A Everett, and he could challenge for the top spot with a follow-up performance.

25. San Diego Padres

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    Colin Rea
    Colin ReaLenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. OF Manuel Margot21imgAA2017
    2. SS Javier Guerra20imgA+2018
    3. OF Hunter Renfroe24imgAAA2016
    4. SS Ruddy Giron19imgA+2019
    5. SS Jose Rondon21imgAA2017
    6. RHP Colin Rea25imgMLB2016
    7. OF Travis Jankowski24imgAAA2016
    8. LHP Logan Allen18imgA-2020
    9. RHP Austin Smith19imgA-2020
    10. OF Michael Gettys20imgA2018



    After gutting the minor league ranks last offseason in an effort to build a contender, the San Diego Padres did some damage control this offseason when they traded closer Craig Kimbrel to the Boston Red Sox for a package of prospects.

    Included in that deal were outfielder Manuel Margot, shortstop Javier Guerra and left-hander Logan Allen, who all now rank among the team's top 10 prospects.

    Right-hander Colin Rea and outfielder Travis Jankowski both enjoyed breakout performances last season, capping things off with a promotion to the majors. They'll probably be back in Triple-A to start the year, but both are capable of making an impact in 2016.

    Ruddy Giron hit .285/.335/.407 with 25 extra-base hits and 15 stolen bases as an 18-year-old in Single-A last season, and while his future as a shortstop is a question, his bat could carry him up the prospect ranks.

24. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Braden Shipley
    Braden ShipleyBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. RHP Archie Bradley23imgAAA2016
    2. RHP Braden Shipley 23imgAAA2016
    3. IF Brandon Drury 23imgAAA2016
    4. RHP Yoan Lopez23imgAA2016
    5. LHP Alex Young22imgA2018
    6. OF Socrates Brito 23imgMLB2018
    7. RHP Wei-Chieh Huang22imgA+2018
    8. C/OF Peter O'Brien25imgAAA2016
    9. OF Marcus Wilson19imgA2018
    10. IF Domingo Leyba 20imgA+2018


    Trading away the likes of Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair and Isan Diaz cost the Arizona Diamondbacks several spots in these rankings this offseason, but adding Shelby Miller and Jean Segura undoubtedly makes them a better team in the short term.

    After briefly being occupied by the aforementioned 2015 No. 1 pick Swanson, the title of top prospect goes back to whichever right-hander you prefer between Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley, and both could see time in the majors in 2016.

    Just behind them is infielder Brandon Drury, who hit .303/.344/.412 with 40 doubles between Double-A and Triple-A. He doesn't have a clear path to playing time in the majors, but he'll be knocking on the door.

    The continued development of right-hander Yoan Lopez, who signed for an $8.25 million bonus after defecting from Cuba, will be interesting to watch after an up-and-down debut.

23. Chicago White Sox

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    Tim Anderson
    Tim AndersonMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. SS Tim Anderson22imgAAA2016
    2. RHP Carson Fulmer22imgA+2017
    3. RHP Spencer Adams19imgA+2018
    4. 3B Trey Michalczewski 20imgAA2017
    6. OF Micker Adolfo19imgROK2019
    5. RHP Tyler Danish21imgAAA2016
    7. LHP Jordan Guerrero21imgAA2017
    8. OF Jacob May24imgAAA2017
    9. OF Adam Engel 24imgAA2017
    10. 1B Corey Zangari 18imgA2020


    Tim Anderson has put together a .301/.343/.429 line in parts of three minor league seasons since the Chicago White Sox made him the No. 17 overall pick in 2013. His defense is still a work-in-progress, but after a strong 2015 performance at the plate in Double-A (.312/.350/.429), his bat will carry him to debuting soon.

    The decision to trade Frankie Montas, Trayce Thompson and Micah Johnson to acquire Todd Frazier cost the White Sox three top prospects, but there is still plenty of talent in a farm system on the rise.

    Carson Fulmer gets top billing among the pitchers after dominating at Vanderbilt and going No. 8 overall in June. A max-effort delivery still raises questions about whether he'll stick as a starter, but he should make an impact regardless of what role he lands in.

    As good as Fulmer is expected to be, fellow right-hander Spencer Adams is not far behind after he went 12-5 with a 2.99 ERA and 1.237 WHIP in 129.1 innings between High-A and Single-A as a 19-year-old.

22. Kansas City Royals

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    Kyle Zimmer
    Kyle ZimmerChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. SS Raul A. Mondesi 20imgAA2016
    2. RHP Kyle Zimmer 24imgAAA2016
    3. RHP Ashe Russell19imgA2019
    4. OF Bubba Starling23imgAA2017
    5. RHP Miguel Almonte 22imgAAA2016
    6. RHP Nolan Watson19imgROK2019
    7. RHP Scott Blewett 19imgA+2018
    8. C Chase Vallot 19imgA+2019
    9. SS Marten Gasparini 18imgA2019
    10. LHP Foster Griffin20imgA+2018



    It's taken longer than expected and there have been plenty of bumps along the way, but right-hander Kyle Zimmer and outfielder Bubba Starling finally appear to be on track as two of the Kansas City Royals' top prospects.

    Zimmer has endured an injury-plagued pro career since going No. 5 overall in the 2012 draft, while former two-sport star Starling struggled turning raw tools into production following his selection as the No. 5 pick in the 2011 draft.

    Now Zimmer is finally healthy and ready to potentially make an impact at the MLB level, while Starling posted a .785 OPS with 23 doubles and 12 home runs last year while reaching Double-A for the first time.

    All of that said, it's still the slick-fielding Raul A. Mondesi who ranks as the team's top prospect. The organization has promoted him aggressively, and his offensive game has lagged behind as a result. But all the tools are there for him to be a solid everyday shortstop.

21. San Francisco Giants

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    Christian Arroyo
    Christian ArroyoMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. SS Christian Arroyo20imgAA2017
    2. RHP Tyler Beede 22imgAA2016
    3. RHP Phil Bickford 20imgA2018
    4. SS Lucius Fox18imgA-2019
    5. 1B Christopher Shaw22imgA+2018
    6. RHP Samuel Coonrod 23imgA+2017
    7. C Aramis Garcia23imgA+2018
    8. OF Jarrett Parker27imgMLB2016
    9. RHP Clayton Blackburn23imgAAA2016
    10. SS Jalen Miller19imgROK2019


    The San Francisco Giants continue to get unexpected contributions from the farm system, as Matt Duffy, Chris Heston, Kelby Tomlinson, Hunter Strickland and Josh Osich all made a positive impact as rookies last season. 

    This time around, it could be outfielder Jarrett Parker, who slugged six home runs in a 49 at-bat cup of coffee in September, or right-hander Clayton Blackburn, who went 10-4 with a 2.85 ERA and 1.293 WHIP in 123 innings in Triple-A.

    Meanwhile, shortstop Christian Arroyo has ascended to the top of the organizational rankings after hitting .304/.344/.459 with 39 extra-base hits in a full-season in High-A.

    Tyler Beede has a chance to be the next front-line starter developed by the Giants, but he hasn't been as polished as hoped. He still has work to do to refine his secondary stuff before potentially making the leap to the majors.

20. Toronto Blue Jays

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    Rowdy Tellez
    Rowdy TellezMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. OF Anthony Alford21imgAA2018
    2. RHP Conner Greene20imgAA2017
    3. RHP Sean Reid-Foley20imgAA2018
    4. OF Vladimir Guerrero Jr.16imgROK2020
    5. SS Richard Urena 19imgA+2018
    6. RHP Jonathan Harris22imgA2018
    7. C Max Pentecost22imgA+2019
    8. 1B Rowdy Tellez 20imgA+2018
    9. OF D.J. Davis21imgA+2018
    10. RHP Justin Maese 19imgROK2019


    A standout football player at Southern Mississippi, outfielder Anthony Alford only recently committed to baseball full-time, but he has already made tremendous strides on the diamond.

    Last season, he hit .298/.398/.421 with 36 extra-base hits and 27 stolen bases while posting a 13.8 percent walk rate that demonstrated a real plan of attack at the plate beyond his impressive raw tools.

    The team has traded off a number of high-ceiling pitching prospects in recent years, but it still has three really good ones in Conner Greene, Sean Reid-Foley and Jonathan Harris.

    Greene should be the first to arrive in Toronto and could be a late-season promotion in 2016. He went 12-7 with a 3.54 ERA and 1.322 WHIP while reaching Double-A in his full-season debut.

19. Oakland Athletics

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    Sean Manaea
    Sean ManaeaMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. SS Franklin Barreto 19imgAA2017
    2. LHP Sean Manaea 24imgAAA2016
    3. 1B Matt Olson21imgAAA2016
    4. 3B Matt Chapman22imgAA2017
    5. SS Richie Martin21imgA2018
    6. SS Chad Pinder 23imgAAA2016
    7. 3B Renato Nunez21imgAAA2016
    8. RHP Casey Meisner 20imgAA2017
    9. SS Yairo Munoz21imgA+2018
    10. RHP Dakota Chalmers19imgA2019


    The recent decision to trade catching prospect Jacob Nottingham to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Khris Davis cost the Oakland Athletics a few spots here, but there is still plenty of talent down on the farm.

    Shortstop Franklin Barreto is the cream of the crop, and he's still capable of making the Josh Donaldson trade significantly less lopsided down the road. Playing the entire season at the age of 19, he hit .302/.333/.500 with 22 doubles and 13 home runs in High-A, and there's little question whether he'll stick at shortstop defensively.

    Sean Manaea was in the running to be the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft before a hip injury caused him to slide to the Kansas City Royals at No. 34. Back healthy, he's started to show why he was so highly regarded, and the A's acquired him last July in the Ben Zobrist deal.

    As for a prospect who could make an unexpected contribution in 2016, infielder Chad Pinder is worth keeping an eye on after he hit .317/.361/.486 with 32 doubles, 15 home runs and 86 RBI in Double-A last year.

18. St. Louis Cardinals

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    Tim Cooney
    Tim CooneyJasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. RHP Alex Reyes21imgAA2017
    2. RHP Jack Flaherty 20imgA+2018
    3. RHP Luke Weaver22imgAA2017
    4. OF Magneuris Sierra19imgA2018
    5. SS Edmundo Sosa19imgA2019
    6. LHP Tim Cooney 25imgAAA2016
    7. LHP Marco Gonzales24imgAAA2016
    8. OF Nick Plummer 19imgA-2019
    9. OF Charlie Tilson 23imgAAA2016
    10. RHP Junior Fernandez18imgA-2020


    A 50-game suspension for a second positive marijuana test will keep right-hander Alex Reyes on the sidelines to start the 2016 season, but the future is still incredibly bright for one of the game's truly elite pitching prospects.

    He was 5-7 with a 2.49 ERA, 1.174 WHIP and 13.4 strikeouts per nine in 101.1 innings last year, and he didn't miss a beat when he was promoted to Double-A for eight starts to close out the season.

    Jack Flaherty (9-3, 2.84 ERA, 1.295 WHIP, 9.2 K/9 in Single-A) and Luke Weaver (8-5, 1.62 ERA, 1.111 WHIP, 7.5 K/9 in High-A) are both former first-round picks coming off terrific seasons, and they join Reyes to give the organization a trio of terrific young arms.

    International signings Magneuris Sierra and Edmundo Sosaas well as 2015 first-round selection Nick Plummerare all still short of their 20th birthdays, so there is plenty of high-ceiling talent in the lower levels of the minors as well.

17. New York Mets

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    Steven Matz
    Steven MatzBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. LHP Steven Matz 24imgMLB2016
    2. 1B Dominic Smith20imgAA2018
    3. SS Amed Rosario20imgAA2017
    4. SS Gavin Cecchini 22imgAAA2016
    5. OF Brandon Nimmo 22imgAAA2016
    6. RHP Marcos Molina20imgAA2018
    7. OF Desmond Lindsay19imgA2019
    8. OF Wuilmer Becerra 21imgA+2018
    9. SS Luis Carpio 18imgA-2019
    10. SS Milton Ramos20imgA2019


    It's almost silly to still call Steven Matz a prospect, but with just 35.2 MLB regular-season innings under his belt, his rookie eligibility is still intact. He'll likely begin the year as the team's No. 5 starter, and with Zack Wheeler slated for a midseason return he'll have plenty of motivation to perform.

    First-base prospects don't always get a ton of attention, but Dominic Smith is one to watch. He may not have prototypical power for the position, but his smooth left-handed stroke should produce plenty of doubles and a plus average.

    Behind those two marquee names, the organization is loaded with quality talent at the shortstop position. The re-emergence of 2012 first-round pick Gavin Cecchini as a top prospect only added to that bumper crop, as he hit .317/.377/.442 with 37 extra-base hits in Double-A.

    Outfielder Wuilmer Becerra, who was essentially a throw-in as part of the R.A. Dickey trade that also landed the team Noah Syndergaard and Travis d'Arnaud, has quietly turned into a solid prospect in his own right.

16. New York Yankees

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    Aaron Judge
    Aaron JudgeMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. OF Aaron Judge23imgAAA2016
    2. SS Jorge Mateo20imgA+2018
    3. C Gary Sanchez23imgAAA2016
    4. RHP James Kaprielian21imgA+2018
    5. RHP Domingo Acevedo21imgA2019
    6. 2B Rob Refsnyder24imgAAA2016
    7. OF Dustin Fowler21imgA+2017
    8. SS Wilkerman Garcia17imgA-2019
    9. RHP Drew Finley19imgA2019
    10. SS Tyler Wade21imgAA2018


    The New York Yankees have put an emphasis on developing their in-house talent in recent years, and while the trade to acquire Aroldis Chapman cost them four prospects, they managed to retain all of their top-level talent.

    The order of the top three here is really a matter of preference.

    Outfielder Aaron Judge brings tremendous raw power and an advanced approach, shortstop Jorge Mateo has elite speed and good hit tools to back it up, and catcher Gary Sanchez finally appears ready to make an impact in the majors after posting an .815 OPS with 23 doubles and 18 home runs in the high minors last year.

    Drew Finley could be a pop-up guy in 2016 after he posted a 41/19 K/BB ratio in 32 innings in the Appalachian League after being taken in the third round in June.

15. Washington Nationals

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    Trea Turner
    Trea TurnerTommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. RHP Lucas Giolito 21imgAA2016
    2. SS Trea Turner22imgAAA2016
    3. OF Victor Robles18imgA2019
    4. RHP Erick Fedde 22imgA+2018
    5. RHP Reynaldo Lopez22imgAA2017
    6. IF Wilmer Difo 23imgAA2016
    7. RHP A.J. Cole24imgAAA2016
    8. RHP Austin Voth 23imgAAA2016
    9. OF Andrew Stevenson21imgA+2018
    10. 3B Anderson Franco18imgA2020


    Few minor league systems can boast a better one-two prospect punch than the Washington Nationals with Lucas Giolito and Trea Turner, but their system is not as deep as it's been in years past.

    Giolito and Turner both figure to arrive in the majors for good at some point in 2016, at which time outfielder Victor Robles will deservedly take over the top spot.

    The 18-year-old hit .352/.445/.507 with 20 extra-base hits and 24 stolen bases in 261 plate appearances last year, and he continued to dominate after a midseason bump to Low-A Auburn. He's still incredibly raw, but his potential is off the charts.

    There is quality talent in the Nationals organization, but this is still a farm system that will slip down these rankings considerably once those top two talents officially establish themselves in the majors and exhaust their rookie eligibility.

14. Tampa Bay Rays

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    Blake Snell
    Blake SnellBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. LHP Blake Snell23imgAAA2016
    2. SS Willy Adames20imgAA2018
    3. RHP Brent Honeywell20imgAA2017
    4. RHP Taylor Guerrieri23imgAA2017
    5. OF Garrett Whitley18imgA-2019
    6. 1B Jake Bauers20imgAA2017
    7. SS Daniel Robertson21imgAAA2016
    8. RHP Jacob Faria22imgAAA2017
    9. 1B Casey Gillaspie23imgA+2016
    10. C Justin O'Conner23imgAAA2016


    The Tampa Bay Rays have an impressive track record of churning out quality starting pitching talent, and 2015 Minor League Player of the Year Blake Snell should be the next homegrown arm to join the rotation.

    The left-hander was nothing short of dominant last year, going 15-4 with a 1.41 ERA, 1.022 WHIP and 10.9 K/9 over three levels to reach Triple-A.

    He's by no means the only quality arm in the organization, as Brent Honeywell (9-6, 3.18 ERA, 1.051 WHIP, 8.9 K/9 in Single-A/High-A) was also one of the best performers of 2015, and Taylor Guerrieri (5-3, 1.85 ERA, 1.077 WHIP, 8.3 K/9 in High-A/Double-A) still has plenty of potential as well.

    Jake Bauers reached Double-A as a 19-year-old last year, hitting .272/.342/.418 over two levels with 32 doubles, 11 home runs and 74 RBI, and he could wind up being an important part of last offseason's blockbuster Wil Myers trade.

13. Cincinnati Reds

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    Jesse Winker
    Jesse WinkerMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. OF Jesse Winker22imgAAA2016
    2. RHP Robert Stephenson22imgAAA2016
    3. 2B Jose Peraza 21imgAAA2016
    4. LHP Amir Garrett23imgAA2017
    5. LHP Cody Reed22imgAAA2018
    6. C Tyler Stephenson19imgA2019
    7. RHP Keury Mella22imgAA2017
    8. SS Alex Blandino 23imgAA2017
    9. RHP Nick Travieso 22imgAA2017
    10. 3B Eric Jagielo 23imgAAA2017


    The Cincinnati Reds may not have a future superstar among their prospect ranks, but they boast one of the deepest systems in the league thanks to their recent rebuilding efforts.

    Jesse Winker is one of the best pure hitters in the minors and should take over the everyday left field job at some point in 2016, speedy Jose Peraza appears to be the heir apparent to Brandon Phillips at second base, and hard-throwing Robert Stephenson could push for a rotation spot in the near future.

    However, the prospect to watch is left-hander Amir Garrett, who has taken off since committing to baseball full-time after also playing basketball at St. John's. He's still a little rough around the edges but has legitimate ace potential.

    He didn't quite crack the top 10, but right-hander Rookie Davis, who was acquired from the New York Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman trade, is another prospect worth monitoring. The 22-year-old went 8-7 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.209 WHIP and 129 strikeouts in 130.2 innings while reaching Double-A.

12. Cleveland Indians

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    Clint Frazier
    Clint FrazierMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. OF Bradley Zimmer23imgAA2016
    2. OF Clint Frazier21imgAA2017
    3. 1B Bobby Bradley19imgA+2019
    4. LHP Rob Kaminsky21imgAA2017
    5. LHP Justus Sheffield19imgA+2018
    6. LHP Brady Aiken19imgROK2018
    7. C Francisco Mejia20imgA+2018
    8. RHP Mike Clevinger25imgAAA2019
    9. RHP Triston McKenzie18imgA2019
    10. OF Tyler Naquin24imgAAA2016


    The Cleveland Indians used three consecutive first-round selections on outfielders from 2012 to 2014, taking Tyler Naquin, Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer.

    Frazier has the highest ceiling with big-time raw power, and Zimmer is a polished bat with a high floor, but Naquin shouldn't be lost in the shuffle. He hit .300/.381/.446 with 35 extra-base hits last year, and a strong spring could win him the center field job.

    Slugger Bobby Bradley is another potential source of offense down the road, as he led the Midwest League with 27 home runs while hitting .269/.361/.529.

    All of that said, pitching depth is still the strength of the organization. If Brady Aiken can regain his pre-injury form, they'll climb at least a few spots in these rankings, and Justus Sheffield and Triston McKenzie are also capable of taking off with another year of pro experience.

11. Texas Rangers

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    Nomar Mazara
    Nomar MazaraElsa/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. OF Nomar Mazara 20imgAAA2016
    2. OF Lewis Brinson 21imgAAA2016
    3. 3B/OF Joey Gallo22imgAAA2016
    4. RHP Dillon Tate21imgA2017
    5. RHP Luis Ortiz20imgA+2018
    6. LHP Yohander Mendez21imgA+2018
    7. OF Eric Jenkins19imgA2019
    8. RHP Ariel Jurado 20imgA+2019
    9. 3B Josh Morgan20imgA+2019
    10. RHP Michael Matuella 21imgA-2018


    The addition of Cole Hamels to the starting rotation cost the Texas Rangers top prospects Nick Williams, Jake Thompson and Jorge Alfaro, yet they still have enough quality prospect talent to challenge for a spot in the top 10 in these rankings.

    Outfielders Lewis Brinson (.332/.403/.601, 31 2B, 20 HR, 18 SB) and Nomar Mazara (.296/.366/.443, 26 2B, 14 HR) both reached Triple-A to cap off impressive all-around performances last year, and they could both arrive in Texas at some point in 2016.

    Joey Gallo continued to flash his 80-grade power, but he also struck out at a staggering 39.4 percent clip, struggles which were by no means limited to his time in the majors. Until he proves he can make consistent contact, he looks more like the next Rob Deer than a superstar in the making.

    The bats in this organization get all the attention, but Dillon Tate, Luis Ortiz and Yohander Mendez are quality pitching prospects in their own right, and Ariel Jurado came out of nowhere to go 12-1 with a 2.45 ERA, 1.051 WHIP and 8.6 K/9 in Single-A last year.

10. Chicago Cubs

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    Carl Edwards Jr.
    Carl Edwards Jr.John Minchillo/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. SS Gleyber Torres19imgA+2018
    2. C Willson Contreras23imgAAA2017
    3. RHP Duane Underwood21imgAA2017
    4. OF Ian Happ 21imgA+2017
    5. OF Billy McKinney21imgAA2017
    6. RHP Carl Edwards Jr.24imgAAA2016
    7. RHP Dylan Cease20imgA-2018
    8. OF Albert Almora 21imgAAA2017
    9. OF Eloy Jimenez19imgA2018
    10. 3B Jeimer Candelario 22imgAA2017


    Graduating Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler and Javier Baez means the Chicago Cubs are no longer challenging for the title of top farm system in baseball—but they are far from tapped out.

    Shortstop Gleyber Torres was one of the breakout prospects of 2015 when he hit .293/.353/.386 with 32 extra-base knocks and 22 stolen bases as the youngest player in the Midwest League.

    Meanwhile, catcher Willson Contreras won the Southern League batting title with a .333/.413/.478 line that included 34 doubles and eight home runs. That's made him most major outlets' top catching prospect in baseball.

    It's the depth of this system that earns it a spot in the top 10, though, as Oscar De La Cruz, Pierce Johnson, Eddy Martinez, Bryan Hudson, Justin Steele, Jen-Ho Tseng and Dan Vogelbach would crack the top 10 for almost any other organization.

9. Milwaukee Brewers

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    Orlando Arcia
    Orlando ArciaBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. SS Orlando Arcia 21imgAAA2016
    2. OF Brett Phillips21imgAA2017
    3. RHP Jorge Lopez23imgAAA2016
    4. OF Trent Clark19imgA2019
    5. C Jacob Nottingham20imgAA2017
    6. LHP Josh Hader 21imgAAA2016
    7. IF Isan Diaz 19imgA2019
    8. SS Gilbert Lara18imgROK2019
    9. RHP Devin Williams21imgA+2018
    10. OF Clint Coulter 22imgAA2017


    Already a farm system on the rise, the Milwaukee Brewers added catcher Jacob Nottingham and infielder Isan Diaz in recent trades that sent Khris Davis to the Oakland Athletics and Jean Segura to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    The decision to trade Segura is immediately tied to the emergence of Orlando Arcia as one of the top prospects in baseball, as he batted .307/.347/.453 with 52 extra-base hits and 25 stolen bases in Double-A last year. He'll start the year in the minors, according to's Adam McCalvy, but won't be there for long.

    Center fielder Brett Phillips could also play his way to the majors at some point in 2016 after batting .309/.374/.527 with 64 extra-base hits and 17 stolen bases last season. He was the key piece acquired from Houston in the Carlos Gomez trade.

    This is another system that gets high marks for its overall depth, with Tyrone Taylor, Kodi Medeiros, Zach Davies, Monte Harrison, Demi Orimoloye and Jake Gatewood also receiving consideration for the top 10.

8. Philadelphia Phillies

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    J.P. Crawford
    J.P. CrawfordBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. SS J.P. Crawford21imgAAA2016
    2. OF Nick Williams22imgAAA2016
    3. RHP Jake Thompson22imgAAA2016
    4. OF Cornelius Randolph18imgA2019
    5. RHP Mark Appel 24imgAAA2016
    6. C Andrew Knapp24imgAA2017
    7. C/1B Jorge Alfaro 22imgAAA2016
    8. RHP Franklyn Kilome 20imgA2019
    9. OF Roman Quinn22imgAAA2016
    10. RHP Ricardo Pinto22imgA+2018


    Aaron Nola and Maikel Franco have already arrived as cornerstone pieces of the Philadelphia Phillies rebuilding efforts, and plenty more prospects figure to join them this coming year.

    J.P. Crawford is the marquee name in the system and checks all of the boxes for a long-term shortstop and perennial All-Star at the position, as he could very easily emerge as the face of the franchise.

    Outfielder Nick Williams, right-hander Jake Thompson and catcher Jorge Alfaro were acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Cole Hamels deal, and all three are also knocking on the door, along with former No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel and speedy outfielder Roman Quinn.

    One name that goes somewhat overlooked in the system is catcher Andrew Knapp, but he flashed serious offensive potential last year with a .308/.385/.491 line between High-A and Double-A that included 35 doubles, 13 home runs and 84 RBI.

7. Colorado Rockies

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    Jon Gray
    Jon GrayRichard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. SS Brendan Rodgers19imgA2019
    2. RHP Jon Gray24imgMLB2016
    3. RHP Jeff Hoffman23imgAA2017
    4. 3B Ryan McMahon21imgAA2017
    5. OF David Dahl 21imgAAA2017
    6. SS Trevor Story23imgAAA2016
    7. LHP Kyle Freeland22imgA+2017
    8. C Tom Murphy24imgMLB2016
    9. RHP Antonio Senzatela 21imgAA2017
    10. 2B Forrest Wall20imgA+2017


    Brendan Rodgers was the third shortstop taken in the 2015 draft (also the third overall pick), but he has a chance to be the best of the bunch with a huge offensive ceiling and the defensive tools to stick at the position. He's more polished than most prep bats, so he could move quickly.

    Pitching remains the big X-factor for the Colorado Rockies, though, who have a pair of burly right-handers in Jon Gray and Jeff Hoffman with the potential to emerge as rotation anchors in the not-too-distant future.

    Nolan Arenado figures to have third base locked up for the foreseeable future, and that could turn Ryan McMahon into a very valuable trade chip. The 21-year-old hit .300/.372/.520 with 43 doubles and 18 home runs in High-A last year, and his glove has also drawn comparison to the three-time Gold Glove-winning Arenado.

    Outfielder Raimel Tapia and catcher Dom Nunez were both strong contenders for a spot in the top 10, and one of them will fill the void once Gray exhausts his rookie eligibility shortly after the season starts.

6. Houston Astros

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    Alex Bregman
    Alex BregmanDavid J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. SS Alex Bregman 21imgAA2017
    2. 1B A.J. Reed22imgAAA2017
    3. RHP Francis Martes 20imgAA2017
    4. OF Kyle Tucker19imgA2018
    5. OF Daz Cameron19imgA-2018
    6. RHP Joe Musgrove 23imgAA2017
    7. RHP Michael Feliz 22imgAA2016
    8. OF Derek Fisher22imgAA2017
    9. 3B J.D. Davis22imgAA2017
    10. 2B Tony Kemp24imgAAA2016


    Between Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers and Preston Tucker graduating to the majors and Brett Phillips, Mark Appel, Vincent Velasquez, Jacob Nottingham, Josh Hader and Domingo Santana all being traded, there has been a ton of turnover in the Houston Astros farm system in the past year.

    That said, it's still one of the best in the league.

    Adding Alex Bregman (No. 2), Kyle Tucker (No. 5) and Daz Cameron (No. 37) in the draft last June went a long way in restocking the system, and a breakout season from Francis Martes on the mound also gave them another top prospect.

    First baseman A.J. Reed was the star of the system once Correa got the call-up, though, hitting .340/.432/.612 with 30 doubles, 34 home runs and 127 RBI between High-A and Double-A. He'll get a long look this spring, as Jon Singleton has done nothing to establish himself at first base moving forward.

5. Minnesota Twins

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    Jose Berrios
    Jose BerriosTommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. CF Byron Buxton 22imgMLB2016
    2. RHP Jose Berrios 21imgAAA2016
    3. OF Max Kepler23imgAAA2016
    4. SS Nick Gordon20imgA+2018
    5. LHP Tyler Jay21imgAA2017
    6. 1B/DH Byung Ho Park29imgMLB2016
    7. SS Jorge Polanco 22imgAAA2016
    8. LHP Stephen Gonsalves 21imgAA2017
    9. RHP Kohl Stewart21imgAA2017
    10. OF Adam Brett Walker24imgAAA2017


    A .305/.367/.500 line with 30 extra-base hits and 22 stolen bases in 72 games in the minors earned Byron Buxton a promotion to the majors last season, but injuries once again derailed things once he arrived.

    The Minnesota Twins' decision to trade Aaron Hicks in the offseason gives Buxton a clear path to the everyday center field job to start the season, and if he can finally stay healthy, he could start to show what all the fuss has been about.

    As high as Buxton's ceiling is, don't be surprised if it's right-hander Jose Berrios who makes a bigger impact in 2016 after he went 14-5 with a 2.87 ERA, 1.046 WHIP and 175 strikeouts in 166.1 innings in Double- and Triple-A. He could be the team's best pitcher by season's end.

    Korean slugger Byung Ho Park isn't a traditional prospect at 29 years old, but it's impossible to ignore the 1.150 OPS he posted last season in the Korean Baseball Organization to go along with 35 doubles, 53 home runs and 146 RBI.

    Flame-throwing reliever Nick Burdi will be the first to climb into the rankings once Buxton and Park use up their rookie eligibility. 

4. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Austin Meadows
    Austin MeadowsMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. RHP Tyler Glasnow22imgAAA2016
    2. OF Austin Meadows20imgAA2017
    3. 1B Josh Bell23imgAAA2016
    4. RHP Jameson Taillon24imgAAA2016
    5. OF Harold Ramirez21imgAA2017
    6. C Reese McGuire20imgAA2017
    7. SS Cole Tucker19imgA+2019
    8. 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes19imgA-2019
    9. 2B Alen Hanson23imgMLB2016
    10. C Elias Diaz25imgAAA2016


    The Pittsburgh Pirates farm system has churned out Andrew McCutchen, Gerrit Cole, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Jordy Mercer, Tony Watson and Jared Hughes in recent years, and the pipeline is looking as strong as ever.

    Towering (6'8") right-hander Tyler Glasnow has dominated every level in the minors with a 2.07 ERA, 1.059 WHIP and 501 strikeouts in 383.1 career innings. He'll get a long look this spring.

    The same goes for first baseman Josh Bell, who has yet to fully tap into his power potential but nonetheless climbed the ladder with a .317/.393/.446 line between Double-A and Triple-A last year.

    Outfielders Austin Meadows and Harold Ramirez don't have a clear path to a big league job, but both have star potential and, if nothing else, could become significant trade chips down the road.

    The X-factor here is a healthy Jameson Taillon, as he has been sidelined the past two seasons but was once ranked as high as the No. 11 prospect in baseball by Baseball America and is still just 24 years old.

3. Boston Red Sox

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    Yoan Moncada
    Yoan MoncadaBrynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. 2B Yoan Moncada 20imgA+2017
    2. RHP Anderson Espinoza17imgA2019
    3. 3B Rafael Devers 19imgA+2018
    4. OF Andrew Benintendi 21imgA+2017
    5. RHP Michael Kopech 19imgA+2018
    6. LHP Brian Johnson25imgAAA2016
    7. OF Luis Alexander Basabe 19imgA-2018
    8. 1B Sam Travis22imgAAA2017
    9. 3B Michael Chavis 20imgA+2018
    10. SS Deven Marrero 25imgAAA2016


    It cost the Boston Red Sox a $31.5 million bonus to sign Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada, an investment that came with a $31.5 million tax penalty, so it's fair to assume they think he has a chance to be a big part of their future success.

    He began his stateside career in Single-A Greenville, hitting .278/.380/.438 with 30 extra-base hits and 49 stolen bases in 52 attempts and could take off in his second year in the organization. Shooting through the system to a September call-up is not out of the question.

    While Moncada is the headliner, right-hander Anderson Espinoza is an equally important part of the team's future, and it should tell you something about his potential when a Pedro Martinez comparison is by no means off-base.

    2015 Golden Spikes winner Andrew Benintendi didn't miss a beat making the jump from the University of Arkansas to Single-A, and he'll move as quickly as his bat allows.

    There is no shortage of potential breakout stars in the organization, but Michael Kopech is a name worth monitoring. He has legitimate front-line stuff and looked at home as a 19-year-old in Single-A last year (2.63 ERA, 1.231 WHIP, 9.7 K/9).

2. Atlanta Braves

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    Dansby Swanson
    Dansby SwansonBruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETA
    1. SS Dansby Swanson22imgA2018
    2. LHP Sean Newcomb22imgAA2017
    3. SS Ozhaino Albies19imgA+2018
    4. 3B/OF Hector Olivera30imgMLB2016
    5. RHP Aaron Blair23imgAAA2016
    6. LHP Kolby Allard18imgROK2019
    7. RHP Touki Toussaint19imgA2018
    8. 3B Austin Riley18imgROK2019
    9. OF Mallex Smith22imgAAA2016
    10. RHP Tyrell Jenkins23img</