Updated MLB Farm System Rankings After 2016 Trade Deadline Frenzy

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2016

Updated MLB Farm System Rankings After 2016 Trade Deadline Frenzy

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    Houston Astros top prospect Alex Bregman
    Houston Astros top prospect Alex BregmanMark Cunningham/Getty Images

    The MLB trade deadline has come and gone, and along with some notable veterans changing teams, there was also the usual bevy of prospect talent changing hands.

    With that in mind, what follows is an updated look at where all 30 farm systems rank, as well as an updated look at each team's top 10 prospects.

    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 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.

    This time around we've incorporated a tier system to help differentiate between the different levels of prospects talent. Here's a quick explanation: 

    • Tier 1: Prospects who have an elite skill set and legitimate All-Star potential. This is the cream of the crop.
    • 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 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.

    That's all capped off with a quick rundown of how the farm system changed at the trade deadline and a look ahead to the prospect most likely to make a significant impact at the MLB level in 2017.

    Let's get started.


    Note: Players on the big league roster who have not yet used up their rookie status (130 AB, 50 IP, 45 days on roster) were included as prospects.

30. Los Angeles Angels (Previous: 30)

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    LHP Nate Smith
    LHP Nate SmithMatt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. C Matt Thaiss21imgA20202
    2. CF Jahmai Jones19imgROK20212
    3. OF Brandon Marsh18img-20212
    4. C Taylor Ward22imgA+20192
    5. LHP Nate Smith24imgAAA20162
    6. RHP Jaime Barria20imgA20203
    7. SS Nonie Williams18imgROK20213
    8. RHP Victor Alcantara23imgAA20173
    9. RHP Grayson Long22imgA20193
    10. RHP Joe Gatto21imgA20193


    Farm System Update

    While the Los Angeles Angels did not have much in the way of trade chips at the deadline, they still managed to add a few useful pieces to their paper-thin farm system.

    They picked up former top prospect Alex Meyer, who ranked among Baseball America's top 100 prospects three straight years from 2012 to 2014, in a deal with the Twins. The big 6'9" right-hander should eventually be able to make an impact, even if his control problems (3.9 BB/9) limit him to relief work.

    Reliever Joe Smith was also flipped to the Chicago Cubs for right-hander Jesus Castillo. The 20-year-old has pitched to a 3.27 ERA and 1.182 WHIP with 38 strikeouts in 33 innings at the Low-A level. He's a ways from contributing, but there's legitimate projectability in his 6'2", 165-pound frame.


    2017 Impact Prospect: SP Nate Smith

    The Angels rotation is far from set looking ahead to the 2017 season.

    Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs and the recently acquired Ricky Nolasco figure to fill three of the slots, but the final two are wide open.

    Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Tim Lincecum are all free agents, Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano will be recovering from Tommy John surgery and Garrett Richards is dealing with a torn elbow ligament that he's hoping won't require surgery, but very well could.

    That should open the door for left-hander Nate Smith to get a long look next spring.

    Command is the best weapon in the 24-year-old's arsenal, and he boasts a plus changeup to go along with his low 90s fastball and a pair of passable breaking pitches. He doesn't have front-line upside, but Smith should be able to settle in as a useful No. 4 or 5 starter.

29. Baltimore Orioles (Previous: 29)

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    C Chance Sisco
    C Chance SiscoGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. C Chance Sisco21imgAA20172
    2. RHP Cody Sedlock21imgA-20192
    3. RHP Hunter Harvey21imgA+20172
    4. SS Ryan Mountcastle19imgA20192
    5. 3B Jomar Reyes19imgA+20192
    6. 1B Trey Mancini24imgAAA20172
    7. LHP Chris Lee23imgAA20172
    8. RHP Matthias Dietz20imgA-20203
    9. OF D.J. Stewart22imgA+20183
    10. LHP Keegan Akin21imgA-20193


    Farm System Update

    The Baltimore Orioles had a relatively quiet deadline, giving up a decent young catching prospect in Jonah Heim and Triple-A left-hander Ariel Miranda to acquire utility man Steve Pearce and starter Wade Miley, respectively.

    Catcher Chance Sisco has taken over as the team's top prospect, thriving as a 21-year-old at the Double-A level with a .315/.403/.404 line that includes 21 doubles. He doesn't have much pop, despite his home run in the Futures Game, but he has everyday backstop potential with a good hit tool and solid receiving skills.

    The system as a whole may be thin, but the team did a nice job adding a trio of quality arms in the draft when they took Cody Sedlock, Matthias Dietz and Keegan Akin. Sedlock and Akin are both high-floor college arms, while Dietz is a wild card after taking a big step forward with his stuff and dominating at the JUCO level.


    2017 Impact Prospect: 1B Trey Mancini

    The Orioles locked up Chris Davis with a seven-year, $161 million deal last winter, but another slugger will likely be headed elsewhere this coming offseason when Mark Trumbo hits free agency.

    Pedro Alvarez was also signed to a one-year deal, leaving the team in need of a power bat in the middle of the lineup and potentially a starting designated hitter.

    Trey Mancini should be a prime candidate to seize that spot, with little left to prove in the minors. The 24-year-old put together a breakout season last year and he's backed it up here in 2016 with a .299/.378/.500 line between Double-A and Triple-A that includes 20 doubles, 18 home runs and 55 RBI.

28. Miami Marlins (Previous: 26)

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    RHP Kendry Flores
    RHP Kendry FloresAssociated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. LHP Braxton Garrett18imgROK20201
    2. RHP Tyler Kolek20imgA20202
    3. LHP Jarlin Garcia23imgAA20172
    4. RHP Luis Castillo23imgA-20182
    5. OF Stone Garrett20imgA-20193
    6. OF Thomas Jones18imgROK20213
    7. OF Austin Dean22imgAA20173
    8. RHP Kendry Flores24imgAAA20163
    9. 3B Brian Anderson23imgAA20173
    10. RHP Austin Brice24imgAA20173


    Farm System Update

    The Miami Marlins already had one of the weaker farm systems in baseball leading up to the deadline and they slip even further down the rankings after giving up top position-player prospect Josh Naylor to acquire Andrew Cashner from the San Diego Padres.

    They also shipped out right-hander Luis Castillo in that trade, but he was returned in exchange for Colin Rea after Rea went down with an arm injury in his Marlins debut. The 23-year-old Castillo will be one to watch as he has the best arm in the system and could move quickly if things continue to click.

    With Naylor gone and right-hander Tyler Kolek still recovering from Tommy John surgery, No. 7 overall pick Braxton Garrett is the easy choice for top prospect honors. The left-hander is one of the most polished high school arms to come along in a while and he should move quickly toward his ceiling as a No. 2 starter.


    2017 Impact Prospect: SP Jarlin Garcia

    A Futures Game participant in 2015, Jarlin Garcia would likely be knocking on the door for a big league promotion if not for a triceps injury that has kept him sidelined since late May and limited him to just nine starts.

    The left-hander features a good four-pitch mix that he can throw for strikes, though he's still working on missing more bats with a 7.6 K/9 career strikeout rate.

    Provided he can put the arm issue behind him and finish this season strong, he should be in the mix for a rotation spot at some point early next season. He doesn't have front-line potential, but his control gives him a relatively high floor.

27. Detroit Tigers (Previous: 28)

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    RHP Joe Jimenez
    RHP Joe JimenezButch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. RHP Matt Manning18imgROK20211
    2. RHP Beau Burrows19imgA20202
    3. OF Christin Stewart22imgA+20182
    4. RHP Joe Jimenez21imgAAA20162
    5. OF Derek Hill20imgA20192
    6. RHP Kyle Funkhouser22imgA-20192
    7. SS JaCoby Jones24imgAAA20173
    8. LHP Tyler Alexander22imgA+20193
    9. OF Jose Azocar20imgA20203
    10. OF Michael Gerber24imgAA20173


    Farm System Update

    The Detroit Tigers opted to stand pat at the trade deadline, relying instead on the return of a number of key players from injury to bolster their chances of contending down the stretch.

    That leaves their fairly thin farm system unchanged since the draft, but they actually move up a spot thanks to the Miami Marlins falling behind them.

    Signing first-round pick Matt Manning away from a strong college commitment gives the organization a clear headliner atop the system and they may wind up walking away with the steal of the draft after taking Kyle Funkhouser in the fifth round.

    Outfielder Christin Stewart is also worth keeping an eye on as someone who could potentially jump up to tier one status. He's posted a .928 OPS with 22 doubles and 23 home runs in High-A and could be ready for a promotion to Double-A.


    2017 Impact Prospect: RP Joe Jimenez

    The Tigers have long been in search of quality bullpen pieces and they look to have a good one coming up through the ranks in Joe Jimenez.

    An undrafted free-agent signing in 2013, Jimenez has been nothing short of dominant over three minor league levels this year, pitching to a 1.31 ERA and 0.798 WHIP while striking out 64 batters in 41.1 innings and recording 23 saves.

    Expect him to step into a setup role next year with an eye on replacing incumbent closer Francisco Rodriguez when he hits free agency the following offseason.

26. San Francisco Giants (Previous: 22)

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    SS Christian Arroyo
    SS Christian ArroyoMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. SS Christian Arroyo21imgAA20171
    2. RHP Tyler Beede23imgAA20172
    3. 1B Chris Shaw22imgAA20182
    4. OF Bryan Reynolds21imgA-20192
    5. C Aramis Garcia23imgA+20182
    6. RHP Sam Coonrod23imgAA20182
    7. LHP Andrew Suarez23imgAA20183
    8. OF Heath Quinn21imgA-20193
    9. RHP Joan Gregorio24imgAAA20173
    10. OF Steven Duggar22imgAA20183


    Farm System Update

    The San Francisco Giants were aggressive in filling their biggest areas of need at the deadline, picking up infielder Eduardo Nunez, starter Matt Moore and reliever Will Smith.

    Nunez cost them left-handed starter Adalberto Mejia, who would have been in the running for a place inside the top 10. Moore cost them, among others, promising young shortstop Lucius Fox, who would have cracked the top five.

    However, the costly trade was the package they sent to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Smith. Along with surrendering former top prospect Andrew Susac, they also gave up their No. 1-ranked prospect in right-hander Phil Bickford.

    Evaluators were split on whether he possessed legitimate front-line potential, but there was no question Bickford was the best arm in the system. Losing him, along with Mejia and Fox, is more than enough to push the Giants down several spots.


    2017 Impact Prospect: SP Tyler Beede

    The addition of Moore gives the Giants a controllable starter and locks up a fourth spot in the rotation for 2017 and beyond, but the team still figures to have an opening at the back of the staff.

    Jake Peavy is a free agent at season's end and Matt Cain remains a major wild card going forward, which could open the door for Tyler Beede to seize his spot on the staff.

    The No. 14 pick in the 2014 draft, Beede has gone 6-6 with a 3.26 ERA, 1.326 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 107.2 innings while posting a career-best 2.9 BB/9 walk rate in Double-A. His floor continues to rise as he refines his command and there is still legitimate No. 2 starter upside if everything falls into place.

25. Kansas City Royals (Previous: 27)

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    SS Raul A. Mondesi
    SS Raul A. MondesiDenny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. SS Raul A. Mondesi21imgMLB20161
    2. 3B Hunter Dozier24imgAAA20172
    3. C Chase Vallot19imgA20192
    4. LHP Matt Strahm24imgMLB20162
    5. 1B/OF Ryan O'Hearn23imgAA20172
    6. OF Jorge Bonifacio23imgAAA20162
    7. RHP Kyle Zimmer24imgAA20172
    8. RHP Scott Blewett20imgA20193
    9. RHP Ashe Russell19imgA-20203
    10. RHP Jake Junis23imgAA20173


    Farm System Update

    The Kansas City Royals didn't add anything to the farm system after standing pat at the deadline, but they climb two spots nonetheless with the Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants slipping below them.

    The emergence of third baseman Hunter Dozier this season gives the team another prospect on the fringe of reaching tier one status. He's hit .306/.378/.550 with 32 doubles and 21 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A and will take over top prospect honors if Raul. A. Mondesi expends his rookie eligibility before the season is over.

    Young arms like Scott Blewett, Ashe Russell, Nolan Watson, Foster Griffin and a handful of others are all capable of stepping up to tier two status if things come together. 


    2017 Impact Prospect: SS Raul A. Mondesi

    There's a chance Raul A. Mondesi could push incumbent Alcides Escobar for the starting shortstop gig as soon as next season. If not, he'll almost certainly supplant him in 2018.

    "Long term, folks believe they’ll let Alcides Escobar go and be replaced by top prospect Raul Mondesi," wrote Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball.

    Escobar carries a reasonable $6.5 million team option for next year, but with a disappointing .254/.281/.307 line the Royals could look to unload him this coming offseason if they do in fact think Mondesi is ready.

24. Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous: 23)

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    RHP Braden Shipley
    RHP Braden ShipleyBenny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. RHP Braden Shipley24imgMLB20161
    2. LHP Anthony Banda22imgAAA20172
    3. OF Anfernee Grier20imgA-20202
    4. LHP Alex Young22imgA+20182
    5. OF Socrates Brito23imgMLB20162
    6. RHP Vicente Campos24imgAA20172
    7. SS Dawel Lugo21imgAA20182
    8. RHP Taylor Clarke23imgAA20182
    9. IF Domingo Leyba20imgAA20183
    10. C/OF Peter O'Brien26imgAAA20163


    Farm System Update

    Considering the market for quality relievers, even those of the rental variety, the Arizona Diamondbacks landed a somewhat disappointing return from the Boston Red Sox for closer Brad Ziegler.

    While shortstop Luis Alejandro Basabe and outfielder Jose Almonte both have some upside, neither checks in among the organization's top 30 prospects at the moment.

    However, they made up for it by acquiring right-hander Vicente Campos from the New York Yankees in exchange for setup man Tyler Clippard.

    Campos, 24, has gone 10-3 with a 3.07 ERA, 1.183 WHIP and 109 strikeouts in 126 innings in the upper levels of the minors. He's already at a career high for innings, but with a solid 6'3", 230-pound frame he has a chance to be a workhorse and a quality middle-of-the-rotation arm.


    2017 Impact Prospect: SP Braden Shipley

    With Archie Bradley exhausting his rookie eligibility and Aaron Blair traded to the Atlanta Braves during the offseason, right-hander Braden Shipley is all that remains of what was once a promising trio of arms headlining the Diamondbacks system.

    Shipley has a chance to be the best of the bunch with a good three-pitch mix and superior athleticism at the pitcher position.

    He has two starts under his belt since being promoted to the majors and he'll get a long look down the stretch as he tries to position himself to be part of the 2017 rotation from the onset.

23. Chicago White Sox (Previous: 20)

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    RHP Carson Fulmer
    RHP Carson FulmerJoe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. RHP Carson Fulmer22imgMLB20161
    2. C Zack Collins21imgA+20181
    3. RHP Spencer Adams20imgAA20182
    4. RHP Zack Burdi21imgAA20172
    5. RHP Alec Hansen21imgROK20192
    6. OF Charlie Tilson23imgAAA20163
    7. 3B Trey Michalczewski21imgAA20173
    8. OF Adam Engel24imgAAA20173
    9. RHP Jordan Stephens23imgA+20183
    10. OF Jameson Fisher22imgROK20183


    Farm System Update

    Much to the chagrin of the fanbase, the Chicago White Sox made only one significant move at the trade deadline, flipping reliever Zach Duke to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for outfielder Charlie Tilson.

    The speedy Tilson possess a solid hit tool and a good glove in center field, and he was brought right up to the big league club after posting a .282/.345/.407 line with 28 extra-base hits and 15 stolen bases in Triple-A.

    He picked up a hit in his first MLB at-bat, but suffered a torn hamstring later in the game that will sideline him the remainder of the season.

    "I can't even imagine," White Sox manager Robin Ventura told reporters, via Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. "This is a dream. He gets called up, gets a hit in his first at-bat and after that it all gets taken away from you for a while. It's tough. All the guys on the team, as much as you want to put it out of your mind, you feel for the kid."


    2017 Impact Prospect: RP Carson Fulmer

    His max-effort delivery and inconsistent command led many to peg Vanderbilt ace Carson Fulmer as a future reliever heading into the 2015 draft and he wound up slipping to the White Sox at No. 8 overall.

    After being used as a starter during his time in the minors, he was called up as a bullpen reinforcement last month and he's struggled so far in six appearances.

    Despite that, Fulmer still has all the makings of a future closer, with a bulldog mentality on the mound and a devastating fastball-curveball combination. There's a chance current closer David Robertson could be moved in August or in the offseason and that would open up a key setup role for Fulmer next year ahead of Nate Jones.

22. New York Mets (Previous: 19)

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    SS Amed Rosario
    SS Amed RosarioGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. SS Amed Rosario20imgAA20171
    2. 1B Dominic Smith21imgAA20171
    3. SS Gavin Cecchini22imgAAA20162
    4. OF Brandon Nimmo23imgAAA20162
    5. RHP Justin Dunn20imgA-20192
    6. OF Desmond Lindsay19imgA-20202
    7. LHP Thomas Szapucki20imgA-20192
    8. OF Wuilmer Becerra21imgA+20182
    9. LHP Anthony Kay21img-20192
    10. SS Andres Gimenez17imgROK20213


    Farm System Update

    Dilson Herrera was technically no longer a prospect after exhausting his rookie eligibility last year, so losing him in the Jay Bruce deal does not impact the team's ranking here. However, the New York Mets still slip a few spots as a result of others moving ahead of them.

    Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith give the team a pair of elite-level prospects who are quickly making their way toward the majors, while the team added some much-needed high-end pitching in the draft in Justin Dunn and Anthony Kay after graduating their top arms in recent years.

    Thomas Szapucki has turned some heads with a 0.44 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 41.1 innings in short-season ball, while international shortstop prospect Andres Gimenez is hitting .353/.467/.551 in the Dominican Summer League after signing for a $1.2 million bonus last year.


    2017 Impact Prospect: SS Gavin Cecchini

    Rosario looks like the future at shortstop for the Mets, but it might be Gavin Cecchini who gets the first crack at replacing Asdrubal Cabrera, who signed a two-year, $18.5 million deal last offseason.

    Cecchini, who got off to a somewhat slow start after going No. 12 overall in the 2012 draft, turned in a breakout season last year and he's positioning himself for a late-season promotion with a strong Triple-A performance.

    He's hitting .308/.385/.429 with 19 doubles, five home runs and 41 RBI, posting nearly as many walks (40) as strikeouts (41). With gap power and a solid glove, he could get a look as a utility man over the final two months.

21. Seattle Mariners (Previous: 24)

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    1B D.J. Peterson
    1B D.J. PetersonMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. OF Tyler O'Neill21imgAA20171
    2. OF Kyle Lewis21imgA-20191
    3. RHP Nick Neidert19imgA20192
    4. LHP Luiz Gohara20imgA20182
    6. OF Alex Jackson20imgA20192
    5. SS Drew Jackson23imgA+20182
    7. 1B Dan Vogelbach23imgAAA20162
    8. RHP Andrew Moore22imgAA20182
    9. 1B D.J. Peterson24imgAAA20162
    10. 3B Joe Rizzo18imgROK20193


    Farm System Update

    The Seattle Mariners were not active sellers at the deadline, but they did a nice job flipping some movable parts in Mike Montgomery, Wade Miley and Joaquin Benoit.

    Miley landed them a solid organizational arm in Ariel Miranda, who will join the MLB rotation, at least for the time being, while the Montgomery trade netted them a pair of prospects from the Chicago Cubs in Dan Vogelbach and Paul Blackburn.

    Vogelbach has a .296/.406/.513 line with 19 doubles, 18 home runs and 73 RBI in Triple-A and he looks like an obvious replacement for Adam Lind as the left-handed side of the first base platoon.

    Blackburn, 22, has middle-of-the-rotation upside and could push his way into the top 10 if he continues to pitch well at the Double-A level.


    2017 Impact Prospect: 1B Dan Vogelbach

    Dan Vogelbach might be an upgrade over incumbent Adam Lind right now, joining Dae-Ho Lee in the first base platoon.

    With Lind in the final year of his contract and the Mariners on the fringe of contention, don't be surprised if the veteran is moved in an August waiver deal. That would open the door for Vogelbach to show what he can do down the stretch.

    The 6'0", 250-pound Vogelbach will be limited to first base and DH duties and it will be up to his bat to carry him to regular playing time at the MLB level.

20. Cleveland Indians (Previous: 16)

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    RHP Mike Clevinger
    RHP Mike ClevingerKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospect

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. OF Bradley Zimmer23imgAAA20171
    2. C Francisco Mejia20imgA+20181
    3. 1B Bobby Bradley20imgA+20191
    4. RHP Triston McKenzie19imgA-20192
    5. LHP Brady Aiken19imgROK20182
    6. 3B Nolan Jones18imgROK20202
    7. RHP Mike Clevinger25imgAAA20162
    8. SS Yu-Cheng Chang20imgA+20182
    9. LHP Rob Kaminsky21imgAA20172
    10. 3B Yandy Diaz24imgAAA20173


    Farm System Update

    The Cleveland Indians gave up a good deal to land bullpen ace Andrew Miler from the New York Yankees, including a pair of tier one guys in Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield.

    Parting with Frazier hurts, but the team has another quality outfield prospect in Bradley Zimmer, and Tyler Naquin has been a pleasant surprise as well in his rookie season.

    Sheffield was the top arm in the system, but they are still loaded with high-ceiling pitchers in the lower levels of the minors, headlined by Triston McKenzie, Brady Aiken and Juan Hillman.

    Catcher Francisco Mejia carries a .347/.377/.518 line into play on Friday and he's riding an impressive 44-game hitting streak.


    2017 Impact Prospect: UT Yandy Diaz

    Right-hander Mike Clevinger is probably the most MLB-ready prospect in the Indians system, but there's no clear place for him unless someone in the rotation goes down with an injury or winds up traded.

    Instead, we'll point to the versatile Yandy Diaz as the prospect most likely to make his presence felt during the 2017 season.

    Diaz has a great hit tool and he's posted a .330/.424/.462 line with nearly as many walks (60) as strikeouts (69) between Double-A and Triple-A.

    Assuming Jose Ramirez serves as the team's primary third baseman going forward, Diaz could thrive in that same super-utility role next season.

19. Toronto Blue Jays (Previous: 25)

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    1B Rowdy Tellez
    1B Rowdy TellezMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. RHP Sean Reid-Foley20imgA+20171
    2. SS Richard Urena20imgA+20181
    3. OF Anthony Alford22imgA+20182
    4. OF Harold Ramirez21imgAA20182
    5. RHP Jon Harris22imgA+20182
    6. C Reese McGuire21imgAA20182
    7. 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.17imgROK20212
    8. 1B Rowdy Tellez21imgAA20172
    9. RHP Conner Greene21imgAA20172
    10. RHP T.J. Zeuch21imgA-20192


    Farm System Update

    The Toronto Blue Jays, who have consistently gutted the farm system in recent years, actually added some quality minor league talent this time around.

    In one of the stranger deals of the deadline, veteran starter Francisco Liriano was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates along with a pair of highly regarded prospects in Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez, in exchange for right-hander Drew Hutchison.

    The Blue Jays' ability to absorb Liriano's hefty salary allowed them to also add two top-10 guys to the system, and they got top value for the team control Hutchison still possesses.

    McGuire is a polished defensive catcher with a chance to be an everyday guy if his hit tool continues to progress, while Ramirez is hitting .311/.360/.407 with 26 extra-base hits at the Double-A level.


    2017 Impact Prospect: 1B Rowdy Tellez

    The Blue Jays will have some big decision to make this offseason with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion both headed for free agency.

    Rowdy Tellez looks like an obvious replacement for Encarnacion as the primary DH and middle-of-the-order bat with big-time power.

    The brawny 6'4", 220-pound slugger has shown a better overall hit tool than expected and his impressive raw power is showing up more and more in games. He has a .294/.384/.488 line with 19 doubles and 13 home runs in Double-A and should be ready to make an impact in 2017.

18. St. Louis Cardinals (Previous: 18)

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    C Carson Kelly
    C Carson KellyButch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. RHP Alex Reyes21imgAAA20161
    2. RHP Luke Weaver22imgAA20171
    3. RHP Jack Flaherty20imgA+20182
    4. OF Harrison Bader22imgAAA20172
    5. SS Delvin Perez17imgROK20182
    6. SS Edmundo Sosa20imgA+20192
    7. OF Magneuris Sierra20imgA20182
    8. RHP Junior Fernandez19imgA+20202
    9. RHP Sandy Alcantara20imgA20192
    10. C Carson Kelly22imgAAA20172


    Farm System Update

    The St. Louis Cardinals gave up a fringe top-10 prospect in outfielder Charlie Tilson to acquire lefty reliever Zach Duke from the Chicago White Sox, and that was the extent of their deadline wheeling and dealing.

    Alex Reyes is one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball and his presence in the system often causes Luke Weaver to go overlooked. He's an elite-level prospect in his own right, though, evidenced by his 1.40 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 77 innings for Double-A Springfield.

    Meanwhile, outfielder Harrison Bader has been one of the breakout prospects of 2016 with a .283/.351/.467 line between Double-A and Triple-A after going in the third round of last year's draft.


    2017 Impact Prospect: SP Alex Reyes

    Zach Duke may not have been the most exciting addition to the bullpen at the deadline, but the Cardinals figure to be getting more relief help at some point once they finally decide to promote flamethrower Alex Reyes.

    The 21-year-old touched 101 with his fastball during the Futures Game and he's once again looked like a man among boys with 85 strikeouts in 59.1 innings for Triple-A Memphis.

    Similar to the way the Cardinals eased Carlos Martinez into the mix, Reyes could spend all of next season in the bullpen as well as a high-leverage reliever. 

    However, if the clubs opts to decline their $12 million option on Jaime Garcia this coming winter, he could be vying for a rotation spot.

17. Texas Rangers (Previous: 14)

14 of 30

    3B Joey Gallo
    3B Joey GalloMatthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. 3B/OF Joey Gallo22imgMLB20161
    2. LHP Yohander Mendez21imgAA20181
    3. 1B Ronald Guzman21imgAA20182
    4. RHP Ariel Jurado20imgAA20182
    5. 2B Andy Ibanez23imgAA20172
    6. OF Leody Taveras17imgROK20212
    7. LHP Cole Ragans18img-20202
    8. OF Ryan Cordell24imgAA20172
    9. LHP Brett Martin21imgA20182
    10. OF Jairo Beras21imgA+20182


    Farm System Update

    The Texas Rangers cashed in more prospects chips at the deadline, just a year after pulling off a blockbuster deal to acquire Cole Hamels from the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz were sent to the Milwaukee Brewers in the Jonathan Lucroy trade and Dillon Tate went to the New York Yankees in the Carlos Beltran deal, leaving the system weakened but by no means tapped out.

    Pulling off the Lucroy deal without including slugger Joey Gallo was a huge bonus, and the emergence of left-hander Yohander Mendez as a tier one guy makes losing Ortiz a little easier to swallow.

    The continued progression of high-ceiling international prospects like Ariel Jurado, Andy Ibanez and Jairo Beras could easily propel the Rangers back toward having a top-10 farm system in the near future.


    2017 Impact Prospect: 3B Joey Gallo

    Joey Gallo still has a lot of work to do cutting down his strikeouts and making more consistent contact, but there's really not much left for him to prove at the minor league level.

    He currently boasts a .943 OPS with 20 home runs in 308 plate appearances for Triple-A Round Rock, albeit with a 31.2 percent strikeout rate.

    With Mitch Moreland headed for free agency in the offseason and Prince Fielder once again lost for the year to neck surgery, Gallo should have a relatively clear path to regular playing time in 2017.

16. Chicago Cubs (Previous: 11)

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    OF Eloy Jimenez
    OF Eloy JimenezJake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. OF Eloy Jimenez19imgA20191
    2. 2B Ian Happ21imgAA20171
    3. RHP Dylan Cease20imgA-20182
    4. 3B Jeimer Candelario22imgAAA20162
    5. RHP Oscar De La Cruz21imgA20182
    6. OF Mark Zagunis23imgAAA20172
    7. RHP Trevor Clifton21imgA+20182
    8. OF Eddy Martinez21imgA20182
    9. RHP Carl Edwards Jr.24imgMLB20162
    10. RHP Duane Underwood22imgAA20172


    Farm System Update

    The Chicago Cubs have graduated a ton of high-end talent from their farm system in recent years, so it's not surprising to see them slip down to the middle of the pack.

    However, even after giving up No. 1 overall prospect Gleyber Torres and slugger Dan Vogelbach along with a handful of other prospects at the deadline, they still have plenty of exciting young talent down on the farm.

    Eloy Jimenez headlines that group, as he's finally living up to his billing as the No. 1 international prospect in the 2013 crop. He's hitting a robust .343/.380/.544 with 35 doubles, 12 home runs and 72 RBI as a 19-year-old in Single-A.

    Cuban standout Eddy Martinez is another Single-A prospect to keep an eye on, as he's posted a .764 OPS with 20 doubles, nine home runs and 60 RBI. The 21-year-old signed with the Cubs for $3 million last October after a $2.5 million deal with the San Francisco Giants fell through.


    2017 Impact Prospect: RP Carl Edwards Jr.

    Prior to adding Aroldis Chapman at the trade deadline, hard-throwing Carl Edwards Jr. had quietly worked his way into a key late-inning role in the Cubs bullpen.

    In 16 appearances with the big club, he's posted a 1.59 ERA and allowed just six hits and five walks while striking out 23 in 17 innings of work.

    Those are dominant numbers, and assuming Chapman walks in free agency, Edwards Jr. should once again find himself as one of the team's most important relievers in 2017.

15. Tampa Bay Rays (Previous: 17)

16 of 30

    1B Jake Bauers
    1B Jake BauersMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. SS Willy Adames20imgAA20171
    2. RHP Brent Honeywell21imgAA20171
    3. 1B Jake Bauers20imgAA20172
    4. 3B Joshua Lowe18imgROK20212
    5. RHP Jacob Faria23imgAAA20172
    6. SS Lucius Fox19imgA20192
    7. OF Garrett Whitley19imgA-20202
    8. RHP Chih-Wei Hu22imgAA20172
    9. RHP Ryne Stanek25imgAAA20172
    10. 1B Casey Gillaspie23imgAA20172


    Farm System Update

    Even with Blake Snell exhausting his rookie eligibility, the Tampa Bay Rays still move up a couple spots in these rankings thanks to a busy trade deadline.

    Flipping starter Matt Moore to the San Francisco Giants brought them third baseman Matt Duffy along with a top-10 prospect in shortstop Lucius Fox and a quality right-hander arm with upside in Michael Santos.

    Fox, 19, has all the physical tools necessary to stay at shortstop long term and his hit tool profiles as a plus once he catches up to how aggressively he's been pushed so far.

    They also added some quality depth to the system by acquiring catcher Jonah Heim from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Steve Pearce and outfielder Nathan Lukes and right-hander Jhonleider Salinas from the Cleveland Indians for Brandon Guyer. 


    2017 Impact Prospect: RP Ryne Stanek

    Since making the move to the bullpen in early June, Ryne Stanek has posted a 1.50 ERA, 0.867 WHIP and 9.3 K/9 in 14 appearances, while holding opponents to a .160 batting average.

    Inconsistent command was an issue during his time as a starter, but moving into a relief role has allowed his stuff to play up as his mid-90s fastball now touches triple digits and his slider has become even more of a weapon as an out-pitch.

    The Rays are constantly shuffling through bullpen options and it would not be the least bit surprising to see them move All-Star closer Alex Colome during the offseason. Regardless of what role he fills, expect to see Stanek as a key piece of the relief corps in 2017.

14. Minnesota Twins (Previous: 10)

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    RHP Jose Berrios
    RHP Jose BerriosRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. RHP Jose Berrios22imgAAA20161
    2. LHP Tyler Jay22imgAA20171
    3. SS Nick Gordon20imgA+20181
    4. LHP Stephen Gonsalves22imgAA20172
    5. RHP Kohl Stewart21imgAA20172
    6. OF Alex Kirilloff18imgROK20202
    7. SS Jorge Polanco23imgMLB20162
    8. RHP J.T. Chargois25imgAAA20162
    9. C Ben Rortvedt18imgROK20212
    10. RHP Fernando Romero21imgA+20182


    Farm System Update

    In a somewhat odd swap of MLB starters and minor league pitching prospects at this year's deadline, the Minnesota Twins sent Ricky Nolasco and Alex Meyer to the Los Angeles Angels for Hector Santiago and Alan Busenitz.

    Command issues have caused Meyer to fall short of his top-prospect billing, while Busenitz has seen his stuff play up significantly since moving to the bullpen at the Triple-A level.

    At the start of the season, the smart money would have been on Jose Berrios using up his rookie eligibility and establishing himself as part of the MLB rotation by this point in the year.

    Instead, he's struggled to a 8.57 ERA in five starts. He was recently promoted again and he'll no doubt get a long look down the stretch.


    2017 Impact Prospect: RP J.T. Chargois

    Berrios is still more than capable of not only establishing himself as part of the rotation but as the ace of the Twins staff as early as next season, so he has to be considered here.

    However, we'll instead turn our attention to flame-throwing reliever J.T. Chargois.

    With the health of Glen Perkins up in the air and current closer Brandon Kintzler nothing more than a short-term solution, it's not out of the realm of possibility to think Chargois could be the Twins closer in 2017.

    After missing two full seasons to Tommy John surgery, he returned strong in 2015 and he's been even better this year with a 1.18 ERA, 1.007 WHIP and 10.6 K/9 to go along with 16 saves.

    Perhaps most important of all, he's lowered his walk rate from 4.7 BB/9 to 2.6 BB/9.

13. Oakland Athletics (Previous: 15)

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    SS Franklin Barreto
    SS Franklin BarretoKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. SS Franklin Barreto20imgAA20171
    2. LHP A.J. Puk21imgA-20181
    3. RHP Grant Holmes20imgA+20181
    4. 3B/OF Ryon Healy24imgMLB20162
    5. 3B Matt Chapman23imgAA20172
    6. RHP Dakota Chalmers19imgA-20192
    7. 3B Renato Nunez22imgAAA20172
    8. SS Richie Martin21imgA+20182
    9. OF Lazaro Armenteros17img-20212
    10. SS Yairo Munoz21imgAA20182


    Farm System Update

    The Oakland Athletics did well to get a good return for Rich Hill and Josh Reddick at the deadline, despite the fact that both players had missed significant time to injury and Hill was in fact still on the shelf with a blister problem.

    That deal brought back a package of Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas and Jharel Cotton from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    Holmes was the big prize there, and while he's undersized at 6'1", he has a durable frame and all the makings of a quality middle-of-the-rotation starter going forward.

    Montas and Cotton both profile as relievers long term, but they both have electric arms and Montas has the stuff to be the closer of the future. He can dial his fastball up to triple digits and he pairs it with a plus slider.

    The team also signed Cuban standout Lazaro Armenteros for a $3 million bonus since these rankings were last updated, giving them another top-10 talent with huge upside.


    2017 Impact Prospect: 3B Ryon Healy

    For the past several years, it looked like it would be a battle between Matt Chapman and Renato Nunez to be the A's third baseman of the future.

    However, a breakout season from Ryon Healy has put him squarely in that conversation as well.

    Healy was the first to reach the majors after posting a .326/.382/.558 line that included 28 doubles and 14 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A.

    He could eventually wind up moving across the diamond to first base, but his bat is what will carry him and he'll have a chance to fill a significant role in 2017 if he finishes the season strong.

12. San Diego Padres (Previous: 21)

19 of 30

    OF Hunter Renfroe
    OF Hunter RenfroeMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. RHP Anderson Espinoza18imgA20191
    2. OF Hunter Renfroe24imgAAA20161
    3. OF Manuel Margot21imgAAA20171
    4. LHP Adrian Morejon17img-20202
    5. 1B Josh Naylor19imgA20192
    6. RHP Cal Quantrill21imgROK20192
    7. 2B Luis Urias19imgA+20182
    8. SS Javier Guerra20imgA+20182
    9. OF Michael Gettys20imgA+20182
    10. LHP Eric Lauer21imgA-20192


    Farm System Update

    After gutting the farm system to try to build a winner in 2015 and then failing to recoup much in the way of prospect talent at the deadline last year, the San Diego Padres began the season in the No. 25 spot in these rankings.

    Now, after a successful June draft, a busy international signing period and a productive trade deadline, the Padres system once again looks like a strength and they're challenging for a spot in the top 10.

    Flipping All-Star Drew Pomeranz brought them a new No. 1 prospect in right-hander Anderson Espinoza, who has as high a ceiling as any pitching prospect in the game. They also added slugger Josh Naylor from the Miami Marlins in exchange for Andrew Cashner.

    The name to watch here is Adrian Morejon, who was signed to a huge $11 million bonus out of Cuba.

    "Morejon has shown premier polish, poise and instincts on the mound...some evaluators believe Morejon could eventually be a No. 1 or No. 2 starter in the big leagues if he continues to develop at a normal pace," wrote MLB.com's Prospect Watch.


    2017 Impact Prospect: RF Hunter Renfroe

    Unloading Matt Kemp on the Atlanta Braves opens a clear path for Hunter Renfroe to take over as the team's everyday right fielder in 2017.

    Renfroe is putting together a huge season for Triple-A El Paso, hitting .319/.346/.585 with 31 doubles, 26 home runs and 90 RBI.

    There's still a good deal of swing-and-miss to his game, but he has legitimate 30-homer pop and he'll also be a weapon on defense thanks to one of the strongest throwing arms of any outfield prospect.

    Manuel Margot could join him in the Padres outfield next year as well.

11. Cincinnati Reds (Previous: 9)

20 of 30

    LHP Amir Garrett
    LHP Amir GarrettGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. LHP Amir Garrett24imgAAA20171
    2. 3B Nick Senzel21imgA20181
    3. OF Jesse Winker22imgAAA20161
    4. RHP Robert Stephenson23imgAAA20161
    5. LHP Cody Reed23imgMLB20161
    6. OF Taylor Trammell18imgROK20202
    7. RHP Tyler Mahle21imgAA20182
    8. C Tyler Stephenson19imgA20202
    9. SS Alfredo Rodriguez22imgROK20182
    10. C Chris Okey21imgA20192


    Farm System Update

    While trading Jay Bruce to the New York Mets brought a pair of quality pieces back to the Cincinnati Reds, they didn't add anyone to their top-10 prospect list.

    Second baseman Dilson Herrera has some nice offensive upside but he used up his rookie eligibility in 2015, while left-hander Max Wotell is a fringe top-20 prospect in the organization but far from cracking the top 10 at this point.

    The Reds also added Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez in July with a $7 million bonus. He has a solid hit tool and all the skills necessary to remain at shortstop, so he'll be one to watch going forward.

    No. 2 overall pick Nick Senzel is off to a nice start with a .967 OPS and 14 extra-base hits in 30 games for Single-A Dayton. Left-hander Amir Garrett still gets the top spot in the organizational rankings, though, as he continues to push toward his front-line ceiling. 


    2017 Impact Prospect: LF Jesse Winker

    The emergence of Adam Duvall allowed the Reds to be patient with Jesse Winker, who many expected to take over as the team's everyday left fielder early in the season.

    That being said, now that Bruce has been traded, there's a fairly clear path for Winker to get a long look down the stretch as the potential everyday left fielder in 2017.

    With a smooth left-handed stroke and one of the best hit tools in the minors, Winker has a chance to be a perennial .300 hitter with good on-base skills and 20-homer pop once his power starts to show up more in games.

    He should get the call soon.

10. Washington Nationals (Previous: 12)

21 of 30

    RHP Lucas Giolito
    RHP Lucas GiolitoBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. RHP Lucas Giolito22imgAAA20161
    2. SS Trea Turner23imgMLB20161
    3. OF Victor Robles19imgA+20191
    4. RHP Reynaldo Lopez22imgAAA20161
    5. RHP Erick Fedde23imgA+20181
    6. 3B Carter Kieboom18imgROK20202
    7. OF Juan Soto17imgROK20212
    8. RHP Austin Voth24imgAAA20172
    9. OF Andrew Stevenson22imgAA20182
    10. RHP Dane Dunning21imgA-20192


    Farm System Update

    While the Washington Nationals farm system continues to be propped up by the one-two punch of Lucas Gioltio and Trea Turner, there's plenty of high-end talent coming up behind once those two exhaust their rookie eligibility.

    Outfielder Victor Robles might have the highest ceiling of any position-player prospect not named Yoan Moncada. He's still a ways off as a 19-year-old playing at the High-A level, but he's a five-tool talent and a potential 30-30 threat once he does arrive.

    The team managed to pick up All-Star closer Mark Melancon at the deadline without sacrificing any of their top-tier prospects.

    Combine that with the continued progression of some of their lower-level prospects, most notably 17-year-old outfielder Juan Sotowho is hitting .330/.372/.538 in the rookie league after signing a $1.5 million bonus last springand the Nationals push their way into the top 10.


    2017 Impact Prospect: SP Lucas Giolito

    With 77 at-bats already under his belt, there's a good chance Trea Turner will blow past rookie eligibility limits before the 2016 season is over, so we'll go with Lucas Giolito as the biggest impact prospect of 2017.

    Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer aren't going anywhere, Tanner Roark (11-6, 3.02 ERA, 143.0 IP) has pitched well this year and Joe Ross (7-4, 3.49 ERA, 95.1 IP) still has huge upside, but one way or another the Nationals will find a way to work Giolito into the rotation next season.

    Perhaps trading Gio Gonzalez, who has a pair of $12 million team options remaining on his deal after this season, will be something the team considers this winter.

9. Colorado Rockies (Previous: 6)

22 of 30

    OF David Dahl
    OF David DahlEvan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. SS Brendan Rodgers19imgA20181
    2. OF David Dahl22imgMLB20161
    3. RHP Riley Pint18imgROK20201
    4. RHP Jeff Hoffman23imgAAA20161
    5. OF Raimel Tapia22imgAA20171
    6. 3B Ryan McMahon21imgAA20172
    7. LHP Kyle Freeland23imgAAA20172
    8. RHP German Marquez21imgAA20172
    9. C Tom Murphy25imgAAA20162
    10. RHP Peter Lambert19imgA20182


    Farm System Update

    Despite a quiet trade deadline, the Colorado Rockies maintain a spot inside the top 10 with one of the deepest systems in baseball, headlined by some elite bats.

    Last year's top pick Brendan Rodgers has put up an .805 OPS with 25 doubles, 14 home runs and 55 RBI for Single-A Asheville, showing off the tremendous bat speed and plus raw power that made him such a highly regarded draft prospect.

    Meanwhile, David Dahl has arrived in the majors with a bang, going 14-for-36 with one double and two home runs in his first nine games. Could his emergence lead to a trade of Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon during the upcoming offseason?


    2017 Impact Prospect: C Tom Murphy

    Top pitching prospect Jeff Hoffman has a chance to crack the rotation at some point next year, but we'll go with catcher Tom Murphy as the choice here.

    The 25-year-old is hitting .311/.342/.649 with 19 doubles, 15 home runs and 47 RBI for Triple-A Albuquerque and he's improved his receiving to the point that he should have no problem sticking behind the plate.

    Led by the platoon of Nick Hundley and Tony Wolters, the catcher position has produced a .245/.325/.386 line with seven home runs and 54 RBI for the Rockies so far this year.

    With veteran Hundley set to hit free agency in the offseason, all signs point to Murphy getting every chance to win the starting gig in 2017.

8. Pittsburgh Pirates (Previous: 4)

23 of 30

    1B Josh Bell
    1B Josh BellCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. RHP Tyler Glasnow22imgMLB20161
    2. OF Austin Meadows21imgAAA20171
    3. RHP Jameson Taillon24imgMLB20161
    4. 1B Josh Bell23imgAAA20161
    5. SS Kevin Newman23imgAA20181
    6. SP Mitch Keller20imgA20182
    7. 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes19imgA20202
    8. RHP Chad Kuhl23imgAAA20162
    9. 3B Will Craig21imgA-20192
    10. SS Cole Tucker20imgA+20192


    Farm System Update

    Despite the head-scratching move to send a pair of top prospects along with Francisco Liriano to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Drew Hutchison, the Pittsburgh Pirates still have a top-10 farm system.

    That deal allowed the Pirates to rid themselves of Liriano's $13.7 million salary for next year and brought a controllable young arm with upside in Hutchison, but it cost them catcher Reese McGuire and outfielder Harold Ramirez.

    Both players would have cracked the organizational top 10, but the Pirates system is still loaded.

    It's gotten a boost from breakout performances by right-hander Mitch Keller and shortstop Kevin Newman, who have both established themselves as tier one guys.

    It's worth nothing, Jameson Taillon is just four innings from exceeding rookie-eligibility limits, at which point left-hander Steven Brault will move onto the above list.


    2017 Impact Prospect: 1B Josh Bell

    With Jameson Taillon set to exit the prospect ranks and Tyler Glasnow still in need of further polish, we'll go with Josh Bell as the Pirates impact prospect for 2017.

    Bell saw a brief cameo with the big league club earlier this year, singling in his first at-bat and then crushing a pinch-hit grand slam in his second before heading back to the minors.

    The 23-year-old doesn't have much left to prove there, as he's hitting .311/.398/.495 with 21 doubles, 13 home runs and 55 RBI for Triple-A Indianapolis.

    With John Jaso and David Freese both on one-year deals and Sean Rodriguez still best served as a utility man, there will be no one standing in his way for the everyday first base job next season.

7. Philadelphia Phillies (Previous: 5)

24 of 30

    SS J.P. Crawford
    SS J.P. CrawfordReinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. SS J.P. Crawford21imgAAA20161
    2. OF Mickey Moniak18imgROK20201
    3. RHP Jake Thompson22imgAAA20161
    4. C Jorge Alfaro23imgAA20171
    5. OF Nick Williams22imgAAA20161
    6. OF Cornelius Randolph19imgA20202
    7. OF Dylan Cozens22imgAA20172
    8. RHP Franklyn Kilome21imgA20192
    9. OF Roman Quinn23imgAA20172
    10. C Andrew Knapp24imgAAA20162


    Farm System Update

    The Philadelphia Phillies failed to find an acceptable return package for starter Jeremy Hellickson, so he's likely headed for a qualifying offer in the offseason, which at the very least will net the team an extra first-round pick.

    With other teams climbing up the rankings, the Phillies fall a couple spots. But they still have a deep farm system that will play a key role in their rebuilding efforts.

    J.P. Crawford, Jake Thompson, Nick Williams and Andrew Knapp could all be called up at some point in the days and weeks to come and Dylan Cozens might make the jump as well as he continues to rake in Double-A with a .962 OPS, 31 doubles and 30 home runs.

    No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak has made a smooth transition to life as a pro ballplayer, hitting .327/.396/.459 with eight extra-base hits and seven stolen bases in 26 rookie league games.


    2017 Impact Prospect: SS J.P. Crawford

    Most expected J.P. Crawford to supplant Freddy Galvis as the Phillies' everyday shortstop by midseason, but a slow start in Triple-A has delayed his arrival in the majors.

    That being said, Crawford remains one of the game's elite prospects and his brief struggles in Triple-A are likely nothing more than a bump in the road to stardom.

    He'll almost certainly get a look down the stretch. With a .290/.377/.411 line since July 1, don't be surprised if he makes a splash and solidifies his place on the Opening Day roster.

6. Los Angeles Dodgers (Previous: 2)

25 of 30

    LHP Julio Urias
    LHP Julio UriasBrad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. LHP Julio Urias19imgMLB20161
    2. RHP Jose De Leon23imgAAA20171
    3. 1B/OF Cody Bellinger21imgAA20181
    4. OF Alex Verdugo20imgAA20181
    5. 2B Willie Calhoun21imgAA20171
    6. RHP Yadier Alvarez20imgA20192
    7. OF Yusniel Diaz19imgA+20202
    8. SS Gavin Lux18imgROK20202
    9. RHP Jordan Sheffield21imgA20182
    10. C Will Smith21imgA+20192


    Farm System Update

    Despite trading away the trio of Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas and Jharel Cotton at the deadline and graduating both Corey Seager and Trayce Thompson since the start of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers still boast an elite farm system.

    Cody Bellinger and Alex Verdugo have made a seamless jump to the Double-A level this year and Willie Calhoun is enjoying a breakout season with an .801 OPS, 20 doubles and 22 home runs. Those three have all made the jump to tier one status, helping ease the aforementioned losses.

    Yadier Alvarez and Yusniel Diaz landed $16 million and $15.5 million bonuses last year, respectively, with the Dodgers paying a matching tax penalty for going over their bonus pool. The early returns have been promising for both players, who have tier one potential as well.

    Graduating Julio Urias will be an obvious blow to this system's standing, as he's currently just 6.2 innings away from reaching the 50-inning limit.


    2017 Impact Prospect: SP Jose De Leon

    Assuming Urias is no longer considered a prospect by the time the 2016 season wraps up, we'll go with another highly regarded pitching prospect in Jose De Leon as most likely to make a significant impact next year.

    The 23-year-old took a huge step forward last season when he led all of minor league baseball with 12.8 K/9 and reached the Double-A level for the first time.

    He's made the jump to Triple-A this year and continued to impress with a 3.83 ERA, 1.142 WHIP and 66 strikeouts in 51.2 innings.

    A rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Scott Kazmir, Urias and De Leon could very well be how the Dodgers close out the 2017 season. 

5. Boston Red Sox (Previous: 3)

26 of 30

    2B Yoan Moncada
    2B Yoan MoncadaGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. 2B Yoan Moncada21imgAA20171
    2. OF Andrew Benintendi22imgMLB20171
    3. 3B Rafael Devers19imgA+20181
    4. RHP Michael Kopech20imgA+20181
    5. LHP Jason Groome17img-20201
    6. OF Luis Alexander Basabe19imgA20202
    7. SS Mauricio Dubon22imgAA20182
    8. 3B Michael Chavis20imgA20192
    9. 1B Sam Travis22imgAAA20172
    10. RHP Roniel Raudes18imgA20192


    Farm System Update

    Despite giving up top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza, a deal that could haunt the Boston Red Sox for years to come if he delivers on his ridiculous potential, the team still has a top-five farm system.

    Yoan Moncada is in the conversation for the title of top prospect in all of baseball and he's had no problem living up to the hype that came with the Red Sox shelling out $63 million to sign him.

    He's hitting .301/.407/.520 with 30 doubles, 12 home runs and 44 stolen bases between High-A and Double-A and he very clearly stood out as an elite talent at the Futures Game.

    Not to be outdone, Andrew Benintendi showed enough to make the jump straight from Double-A to the majors and Michael Kopech continues to turn heads with a triple-digits fastball as a starter.


    2017 Impact Prospect: LF Andrew Benintendi

    For as good as the Red Sox offense has been this season, they've gotten a very mediocre .257/.322/.393 line from the left field position.

    That was reason enough for them to promote last year's top pick Andrew Benintendi. Assuming he doesn't surpass the 130 at-bat mark before the season is over, he's an easy choice to be the impact prospect of 2017.

    The Golden Spikes winner in 2015 after a standout junior season at Arkansas, Benintendi was hitting .312/.378/.532 with 31 doubles, 12 triples, nine home runs and 16 stolen bases when he was promoted earlier this week.

    An outfield of Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Benintendi looks awfully strong for the Red Sox in 2017 and beyond.

4. Atlanta Braves (Previous: 1)

27 of 30

    SS Dansby Swanson
    SS Dansby SwansonKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. SS Dansby Swanson22imgAA20171
    2. SS Ozzie Albies19imgAA20171
    3. LHP Sean Newcomb23imgAA20171
    4. RHP Ian Anderson18imgROK20201
    5. LHP Kolby Allard18imgA20201
    6. RHP Mike Soroka19imgA20192
    7. LHP Joey Wentz18imgROK20202
    8. RHP Touki Toussaint20imgA20192
    9. LHP Kyle Muller18imgROK20202
    10. SS Kevin Maitan16img-20212


    Farm System Update

    The Atlanta Braves didn't add any significant prospect talent at the trade deadline, but they did sign No. 1-ranked international prospect Kevin Maitan to a $4.25 million bonus in June.

    They also managed to sign all three of Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz and Kyle Muller, giving them three of the top-10 prep arms from the 2016 draft class and further bolstering a system that is absolutely loaded with pitching talent.

    Somewhat lost in all the new additions to the system in the past year has been the emergence of 2015 first-round pick Mike Soroka, who has posted a 3.17 ERA, 1.184 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 110.2 innings in Single-A.

    He has a chance to be an important part of the team's long-term plans as a middle-of-the-rotation workhorse and should move faster than some of the team's other top pitching prospects.


    2017 Impact Prospect: SS Dansby Swanson

    Once the Erick Aybar era mercifully comes to an end at the conclusion of the 2016 season, there will be nothing standing between Dansby Swanson and the starting shortstop job in Atlanta.

    The team could opt to sign a stopgap veteran in the offseason to help ease him into the role, but it would be a shock if Swanson is not the team's everyday shortstop by the second half next year.

    The No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Swanson has already reached Double-A and he's hitting .271/.354/.432 with 38 extra-base hits on the year while continuing to show a great all-around feel for the game.

    He'll be just one more terrific young shortstop in a league that is overflowing with them at the moment.

3. Houston Astros (Previous: 8)

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    SS/3B Alex Bregman
    SS/3B Alex BregmanThomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. SS/3B Alex Bregman22imgMLB20161
    2. RHP Francis Martes20imgAA20171
    3. 1B A.J. Reed23imgAAA20161
    4. OF Kyle Tucker19imgA20191
    5. RHP David Paulino22imgAA20171
    6. RHP Forrest Whitley18imgROK20201
    7. RHP Joe Musgrove23imgMLB20161
    8. OF Derek Fisher22imgAA20172
    9. OF Daz Cameron19imgA20192
    10. RHP Albert Abreu20imgA20192


    Farm System Update

    The Houston Astros didn't pick up any significant prospects at the deadline, but they did acquire a projectable right-hander in Lupe Chavez and an intriguing bat in Cuban defector Yordan Alvarez, who the Dodgers signed to a $2 million bonus in June.

    Instead, their climb up these rankings is largely due to the continued progression of guys like Francis Martes, David Paulino, Joe Musgrove and Albert Abreu, as well as the breakout of Alex Bregman as arguably the top prospect in all of baseball.

    Bregman is off to a rough 1-for-32 start since being called up to Houston, but he has all the makings of a perennial All-Star.

    The name to watch here is the aforementioned Abreu, who has held hitters to a .190 average and struck out 93 hitters in 81 innings in Single-A. His command still needs work, but he has huge upside.


    2017 Impact Prospect: SP Joe Musgrove

    If Alex Bregman continues to see even semiregular at-bats over the final two months he'll wind up surpassing the 130 at-bat mark and using up his prospect eligibility, so instead we'll go with Joe Musgrove as the impact prospect of 2017.

    Musgrove made his MLB debut on Tuesday in relief of Lance McCullers and he allowed just one hit while striking out eight in 4.1 scoreless innings.

    He'll get a crack at starting now that McCullers has landed on the disabled list. In the process he'll be auditioning for a potential rotation spot next year. With Scott Feldman traded and Doug Fister signed to a one-year deal, there's a clear opening.

    Musgrove was 7-4 with a 2.74 ERA, 1.043 WHIP and 87 strikeouts in 85.1 innings between Double-A and Triple-A before being promoted, and he has some of the best command of any pitching prospect with just 10 walks on the year and a 1.1 BB/9 rate for his career.

2. Milwaukee Brewers (Previous: 7)

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    LHP Josh Hader
    LHP Josh HaderGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. SS Orlando Arcia22imgAAA20161
    2. CF Lewis Brinson22imgAA20171
    3. LHP Josh Hader22imgAAA20161
    4. OF Corey Ray21imgA+20181
    5. RHP Phil Bickford21imgA+20181
    6. RHP Luis Ortiz20imgAA20181
    7. OF Brett Phillips22imgAA20171
    8. IF Isan Diaz20imgA20182
    9. OF Trent Clark19imgA20192
    10. SS Gilbert Lara18imgROK20192


    Farm System Update

    Already a farm system on the rise thanks to an aggressive rebuilding strategy from the front office that began last summer with the trade of Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to the Houston Astros, the Milwaukee Brewers added a wealth of talent at this year's deadline.

    Trading Jonathan Lucroy, Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith brought back a trio of tier one prospects in outfielder Lewis Brinson and right-handers Phil Bickford and Luis Ortiz.

    Brinson has struggled a bit this season but he has legitimate 30-30 upside and the tools to stick in center field.

    Bickford has a higher ceiling than Ortiz, but Ortiz is a more polished pitcher and a safe bet to join the rotation in the near future.

    Finding a way to move Ryan Braun in August or during the offseason would bring even more prospect talent into the already rich system.


    2017 Impact Prospect: SS Orlando Arcia

    Were it not for the surprise performance of Jonathan Villar this year, the Brewers likely would have promoted Orlando Arcia a long time ago.

    His .267/.320/.403 line in Triple-A doesn't exactly jump off the page, but with a plus-plus glove and an advanced hit tool he's more than ready to make the leap to the majors.

    He finally got the call earlier this week, debuting Tuesday with an 0-for-4 performance.

    It will be interesting to see what the team does with the 25-year-old Villar, who is hitting .297/.379/.434 and leading the NL with 40 steals.

    Whether he's traded or permanently moved to third base, the shortstop job belongs to Villar in 2017.

1. New York Yankees (Previous: 13)

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    OF Aaron Judge
    OF Aaron JudgeSteve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. OF Clint Frazier21imgAAA20171
    2. SS Jorge Mateo21imgA+20181
    3. SS Gleyber Torres19imgA+20181
    4. OF Aaron Judge24imgAAA20161
    5. OF Blake Rutherford19imgROK20201
    6. C Gary Sanchez23imgMLB20161
    7. LHP Justus Sheffield20imgA+20181
    8. 3B Miguel Andujar21imgAA20182
    9. RHP Domingo Acevedo22imgA+20192
    10. RHP James Kaprielian22imgA+20182


    Farm System Update

    This is not East Cast bias. It's not overreacting to the events of the trade deadline. It's not pandering to one of the biggest markets in the sport and it's not buying into the hype. It's none of that.

    This is simply a matter of the New York Yankees legitimately boasting the best farm system in baseball.

    The decision to sell off the trio of Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran brought a wealth of high-end talent, led by tier one guys Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres and Justus Sheffield.

    Frazier has huge offensive upside, despite some swing-and-miss to his game, while Torres has the tools to be a high-average everyday shortstop and Sheffield immediately becomes the organization's top pitching prospect.

    Somewhat lost in the shuffle has been the emergence of third baseman Miguel Andujar, who is hitting .281/.336/.426 with 18 doubles, 11 home runs and 70 RBI between High-A and Double-A.  He's struck out just 50 times in 437 plate appearances and his raw power is showing up more and more in games.


    2017 Impact Prospect: OF Aaron Judge

    The decision to trade Carlos Beltran will give Aaron Judge a nice chance to audition for the everyday right field job, and the 2017 season has been circled as his likely arrival date since the Yankees signed Beltran to a three-year deal prior to the 2014 season.

    The hulking 6'7" slugger is hitting .264/.357/.472 with 18 doubles, 16 home runs and 54 RBI in Triple-A and it's fair to assume the best is yet to come as he continues to tap into his immense raw power.

    Expect Judge to be called up soon and thrust into the everyday role, setting him up to break camp with the team next spring.


    All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. Contract information comes courtesy of Spotrac. Any prospect ranking referenced from an outside source refers to MLB.com's Prospect Watch.


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