Bleacher Report's Updated Farm System Rankings at the Start of 2017

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2017

Bleacher Report's Updated Farm System Rankings at the Start of 2017

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    Shortstop Dansby Swanson headlines a deep and talented Atlanta Braves system.
    Shortstop Dansby Swanson headlines a deep and talented Atlanta Braves system.G Fiume/Getty Images

    We're still over a month away from pitchers and catchers making their way to sunny Arizona or Florida, and the hot stove has cooled considerably, so now seems like the perfect time for an updated look at how all 30 MLB farm system stack up.

    A handful of early offseason trades and a pair of winter meetings blockbusters have provided us with plenty of updating to be done since these rankings were last updated following the conclusion of the MiLB season.

    We'll likely update and tweak the rankings a few times before the start of the regular season, but the following will serve as a baseline for offseason prospect talks going forward.

    The following factors helped determine the rankings of players and teams:

    • Potential (Player): Potential trumps production a lot of the time, especially in the lower levels of the minors and with recent draft picks. Skill set and overall tools are often a better indication of what kind of player a guy will be in the future.
    • Talent (Player): As for guys in the higher levels of the minors who are close to breaking through at the big league level, production and current talent level are the determining factors, as these players are viewed as more complete products.
    • Overall Depth (Team): Having one or two elite prospects is great, but having a deep farm system from top to bottom is the way to build a sustainable contender. The overall depth and level of talent 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.

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

    • Tier 1: Prospects who have an elite skill set and legitimate All-Star potential. 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 who are still too raw to project any higher. Having one of these players ranked among your top 10 prospects is a good indication of a thin system.

    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 and the outlook of the farm system as a whole.

    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 (Previous: 30)

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    C Taylor Ward
    C Taylor WardMatt Brown/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. CF Jahmai Jones19imgA20202
    2. 1B Matt Thaiss21imgA+20192
    3. OF Brandon Marsh19imgRk20212
    4. C Taylor Ward23imgAA20182
    5. LHP Nate Smith25imgAAA20172
    6. RHP Alex Meyer27imgAAA20172
    7. SS Nonie Williams18imgRk20213
    8. RHP Keynan Middleton23imgAAA20173
    9. RHP Grayson Long22imgA+20193
    10. RHP Jaime Barria20imgA+20203


    Farm System Update

    The Los Angeles Angeles once again check in with the worst farm system in baseball.

    Toolsy outfielder Jahmai Jones takes over as the team's new No. 1 prospect after hitting .302 with an .801 OPS and 20 stolen bases last season. The 19-year-old has a chance to push his way into Tier 1 status if he can duplicate that performance in his full-season debut.

    Virginia slugger Matt Thaiss and Georgia high school outfielder Brandon Marsh were the team's top two picks last June. Thaiss will move as quickly as his bat allows, while Marsh figures to be something of a prospect but one that could be well worth the wait.

    It speaks to the lack of quality arms in the system that 25-year-old Nate Smith and 27-year-old Alex Meyer are the team's top two pitching prospects. Both could see time in the majors in 2017, though neither profiles as much more than a swingman.

    Reliever Keynan Middleton is the name to watch as far as 2017 impact is concerned. He was terrific over three levels last season after making the transition to the bullpen, posting a 3.41 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 12.0 K/9 to earn a spot on the 40-man roster.

29. Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous: 28)

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    LHP Anthony Banda
    LHP Anthony BandaBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. LHP Anthony Banda23imgAAA20172
    2. IF Dawel Lugo22imgAAA20182
    3. OF Socrates Brito24imgAAA20172
    4. RHP Taylor Clarke23imgAAA20172
    5. OF Anfernee Grier21imgA-20202
    6. IF Domingo Leyba21imgAA20182
    7. RHP Jon Duplantier22imgA20192
    8. SS Jasrado Chisholm18imgA-20203
    9. LHP Alex Young23imgAA20183
    10. RHP Jimmie Sherfy25imgAAA20173


    Farm System Update

    With Braden Shipley and Archie Bradley both exhausting their rookie eligibility last season, the Arizona Diamondbacks have a new top pitching prospect and No. 1 overall prospect in left-hander Anthony Banda.

    He may not have overpowering stuff, but he proved his low-minors success was for real with a terrific season split between Double-A and Triple-A, and he could get a long look for a rotation spot this spring.

    Dawel Lugo entered the 2016 season with 17 career home runs over four minor league seasons. He had doubled that total before the year was over, posting a .311/.339/.492 line and not missing a beat when he was promoted to Double-A. Originally a shortstop, his future now appears to be a third base and his bat should play.

    Outfielder Socrates Brito, starter Taylor Clarke and reliever Jimmie Sherfy should all see time with the big club during the upcoming season, while polished left-hander Alex Young is not far behind.

    However, none of those players—aside from Brito if all the pieces fall into placehave all that high of a ceiling, and the D-Backs system as a whole is sorely lacking in impact talent.

28. Kansas City Royals (Previous: 26)

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    LHP Matt Strahm
    LHP Matt StrahmEd Zurga/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. RHP Josh Staumont23imgAA20182
    2. 3B Hunter Dozier25imgAAA20172
    3. LHP Matt Strahm25imgMLB20172
    4. LHP Eric Skoglund24imgAAA20172
    5. OF Jorge Bonifacio23imgAAA20172
    6. C Chase Vallot20imgA+20192
    7. RHP Kyle Zimmer25imgAA20172
    8. RHP Scott Blewett20imgA+20193
    9. 1B/OF Ryan O'Hearn23imgAAA20173
    10. RHP Jake Junis24imgAAA20173


    Farm System Update

    You just can't teach a 102 mph fastball.

    Josh Staumont still has a lot of work to do in the control department, evidenced by his 104 walks in 123.1 innings last season, but if he can harness his electric stuff, the sky is the limit.

    "There's nobody we have that throws the ball as easy and as hard as he does," assistant general manager J.J. Picollo told Jeffrey Flanagan of "Even when he's throwing 98 it looks like he's just playing catch."

    Former first-round pick Hunter Dozier finally lived up to his lofty draft status with a breakout season in 2016, and he's ready to make an impact at the MLB level. Whether he's viewed as the heir to Mike Moustakas at third base or settles in at a corner outfield spot remains to be seen.

    Matt Strahm will get a crack at winning a rotation spot this spring after thriving in a relief role last season. The left-hander debuted on July 31 and posted a 1.23 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 12.3 K/9 with six holds in 21 appearances.

    All three of those players could push into the Tier 1 level with another step forward, but there's a steep drop-off behind them in the system.

27. Miami Marlins (Previous: 27)

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    LHP Jarlin Garcia
    LHP Jarlin GarciaBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. LHP Braxton Garrett19imgA-20201
    2. RHP Luis Castillo24imgAA20182
    3. RHP Tyler Kolek21imgA-20202
    4. 3B Brian Anderson23imgAA20182
    5. OF Thomas Jones19imgRk20212
    6. LHP Dillon Peters24imgAAA20172
    7. LHP Jarlin Garcia23imgAAA20172
    8. OF Isael Soto20imgA+20203
    9. OF Austin Dean23imgAA20183
    10. OF Stone Garrett21imgA20193


    Farm System Update

    The Miami Marlins system is propped up by left-hander Braxton Garrett, who was taken with the No. 7 overall pick last June and immediately slotted in the organization's No. 1 prospect spot.

    With a strong 6'3" frame and a polished three-pitch repertoire that is highlighted by a plus curveball, he could move quicker than most high school arms.

    That's good news considering Luis Castillo will still need to prove his breakout season in the lower levels of the minors was the real deal, while hard-throwing Tyler Kolek continues to recover from Tommy John surgery.

    Third baseman Brian Anderson is trending upward after hitting .273/.360/.506 with five home runs and 12 RBI in the Arizona Fall League.

    Lefty Dillon Peters stands just 5'9" and lacks elite velocity, but he's also a prospect on the rise after posting a 2.38 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 105 strikeouts in 128.2 innings between High-A and Double-A.

26. Detroit Tigers (Previous: 25)

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    OF Christin Stewart
    OF Christin StewartMark Cunningham/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. RHP Matt Manning18imgA20211
    2. OF Christin Stewart23imgAA20182
    3. RHP Beau Burrows20imgA+20202
    4. RHP Kyle Funkhouser22imgA20192
    5. RHP Joe Jimenez21imgAAA20172
    6. LHP Tyler Alexander22imgAA20192
    7. OF Michael Gerber24imgAAA20172
    8. 3B/OF JaCoby Jones24imgMLB20172
    9. OF Derek Hill21imgA+20203
    10. OF Jose Azocar20imgA+20203


    Farm System Update

    Just like the Miami Marlins system, the Detroit Tigers received a shot in the arm last June when they grabbed a talented high school arm that now slots in as their No. 1 prospect.

    Matt Manning is the classic hard-throwing, projectable right-hander that the Tigers have made a habit of targeting over the years, and the two-sport star could take off with his full attention now turned to the baseball diamond.

    Christin Stewart is right on the fringe of Tier 1 status after posting a .903 OPS with 30 home runs last season. His lack of other tools outside of his bat and a drop-off in production after a late promotion to Double-A hold him back for now, though.

    Kyle Funkhouser returned to Louisville for his senior season after going No. 35 overall in the 2015 draft and wound up slipping to the fourth round after an up-and-down spring. However, he finished his collegiate career strong and followed it up with an impressive pro debut so the Tigers may have walked away with one of the steals of the draft.

    Considering the lack of quality depth at the plate and on the mound in the system, they could use a draft steal here and there.

25. Baltimore Orioles (Previous: 29)

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    1B Trey Mancini
    1B Trey ManciniJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. C Chance Sisco21imgAAA20171
    2. RHP Cody Sedlock21imgA20192
    3. SS Ryan Mountcastle19imgA+20192
    4. 1B Trey Mancini24imgMLB20172
    5. LHP Keegan Akin21imgA20192
    6. LHP Chris Lee24imgAAA20172
    7. 3B Jomar Reyes19imgA+20192
    8. RHP Ofelky Peralta19imgA+20202
    9. OF D.J. Stewart22imgAA20183
    10. LHP Alex Wells19imgA20203


    Farm System Update

    The Baltimore Orioles climb a few spots thanks to catcher Chance Sisco jumping up to Tier 1 after he enjoyed a breakout season at the plate in 2016.

    There's still work to do defensively, and the team's decision to sign Welington Castillo means Sisco won't need to be rushed. He's right there alongside Francisco Mejia (CLE) and Jorge Alfaro (PHI) in the conversation for top overall catching prospect.

    The stalled development of Hunter Harvey drops him out of the top 10 for the time being as he'll need to prove he can get and stay healthy to reclaim his top prospect status.

    That leaves 2016 draft picks Cody Sedlock and Keegan Akin as the team's top pitching prospects, while 6'5" teenager Ofelky Peralta is one to watch if his secondary stuff comes around after he struck out 101 in 103.1 innings in his full-season debut.

    Big seasons from young slugger Jomar Reyes and on-base machine D.J. Stewart after fairly disappointing 2016 campaigns would be a nice boost to the system.

24. Texas Rangers (Previous: 22)

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    LHP Yohander Mendez
    LHP Yohander MendezOtto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. LHP Yohander Mendez21imgAAA20161
    2. OF Leody Taveras18imgA-20202
    3. RHP Ariel Jurado20imgAA20182
    4. 1B Ronald Guzman21imgAAA20172
    5. 2B Andy Ibanez23imgAA20172
    6. LHP Cole Ragans19imgA-20202
    7. RHP Alex Speas18imgA-20212
    8. IF Anderson Tejada18imgA20202
    9. LHP Brett Martin21imgA+20182
    10. IF/C Josh Morgan21imgAA20182


    Farm System Update

    With Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz and Dillon Tate shipped out at the trade deadline and Joey Gallo finally exhausting his rookie status, the upper tier of the Texas Rangers farm system has thinned considerably over the past year.

    Yohander Mendez was one of the breakout prospects of 2016, and he now takes over as the team's No. 1 prospect, though he could be pushed by teenager Leody Taveras.

    Mendez began the season at the High-A level and closed it out with two appearances out of the MLB bullpen, as he went 12-3 with a 2.19 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 113 strikeouts in 111 innings in the minors.

    As for Taveras, he landed a $2.1 million bonus as one of the top international prospects in the 2015 class and quickly lived up to the hype while making his way stateside in his pro debut. He has a long way to go, but the ceiling of a future All-Star.

    Ariel Jurado gives the team another quality pitching prospect, albeit one with little projection remaining in his 6'1", 180-pound frame. He has the highest floor in the system.

    Ronald Guzman and Andy Ibanez should both be ready for a crack at the majors down the stretch in 2017. Guzman could wind up being the long-term answer at first base, while Ibanez may wind up being trade bait given the crowded middle infield situation.

23. New York Mets (Previous: 20)

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    SS Amed Rosario
    SS Amed RosarioMark Cunningham/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. SS Amed Rosario21imgAA20181
    2. 1B Dominic Smith21imgAAA20171
    3. RHP Justin Dunn21imgA20192
    4. OF Desmond Lindsay19imgA20202
    5. SS Gavin Cecchini23imgAAA20172
    6. OF Brandon Nimmo23imgAAA20172
    7. LHP Thomas Szapucki20imgA20202
    8. RHP Robert Gsellman23imgAAA20172
    9. C Tomas Nido22imgAA20182
    10. SS Andres Gimenez18imgA-20213


    Farm System Update

    Amed Rosario has left little question he's the shortstop of the future for the New York Mets after hitting .324/.374/.459 with 42 extra-base hits and 19 stolen bases and actually seeing an uptick in his production following a promotion to Double-A.

    All signs point to him taking over the starting gig in 2018.

    Dominic Smith figures to join him as a staple in the Mets' infield, and he could arrive in the majors first after hitting .302 with an .824 OPS, 29 doubles and 14 home runs in a full season with Double-A Binghamton.

    The full-season debut of outfielder Desmond Lindsay will be among the most anticipated around the league after the 2015 second-round pick hit .303 with nearly as many walks (25) as strikeouts (31) and he has a chance to emerge as a true five-tool talent.

    Left-hander Thomas Szapucki and catcher Tomas Nido will be two prospects to watch after both exceeded expectations last season, and it will be interesting to see if right-hander Robert Gsellman can duplicate his MLB success as well.

22. Minnesota Twins (Previous: 14)

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    SS Nick Gordon
    SS Nick GordonBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. SS Nick Gordon21imgAA20181
    2. LHP Stephen Gonsalves22imgAA20171
    3. RHP Fernando Romero22imgA+20182
    4. LHP Tyler Jay22imgAA20182
    5. OF Alex Kirilloff19imgA20202
    6. RHP Kohl Stewart22imgAA20182
    7. LHP Adalberto Mejia23imgAAA20172
    8. 3B Travis Blankenhorn20imgA20202
    9. RHP J.T. Chargois26imgAAA20172
    10. SS Wander Javier18imgRk20213


    Farm System Update

    With Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios, Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco all graduating to the next level, the Minnesota Twins system slides into the bottom half of the organizational rankings.

    That's not to say there is not still quality young talent in the system, though, as shortstop Nick Gordon and left-hander Stephen Gonsalves are both top-50 caliber prospects.

    Gordon has all the tools to be an everyday shortstop, and his hit tool has developed better than most anticipated, while Gonsalves has arguably surpassed the aforementioned Berrios as the best young arm in the organization.

    The player to watch here is Fernando Romero.

    "It's possible Romero would be talked about now as one of the better pitching prospects of the game if he hadn't gotten hurt. But the talented right-hander needed Tommy John surgery after just three starts in 2014, missing the rest of that and the 2015 season," wrote's Prospect Watch.

    He returned to action last season to go 9-3 with a 1.89 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 90.1 innings between Single-A and High-A and he could be ready for a major breakout.

    Tyler Jay, Kohl Stewart and Adalberto Mejia all have relatively high floors and should be able to bolster the MLB staff in the relatively near future, while 2016 first-round pick Alex Kiriloff has the high ceiling to jump up to Tier 1 in short order.

21. Washington Nationals (Previous: 11)

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    C Pedro Severino
    C Pedro SeverinoMatt Hazlett/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. OF Victor Robles19imgA+20191
    2. RHP Erick Fedde23imgAA20171
    3. OF Juan Soto18imgA-20212
    4. SS Carter Kieboom19imgA20202
    5. RHP Austin Voth24imgAAA20172
    6. OF Andrew Stevenson22imgAA20182
    7. RHP Koda Glover23imgAAA20172
    8. 3B Sheldon Neuse22imgA20192
    9. C Pedro Severino23imgAAA20172
    10. RHP A.J. Cole24imgAAA20172


    Farm System Update

    The winter meetings deal to acquire Adam Eaton from the Chicago White Sox cost the Washington Nationals Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning, three players who would have easily cracked the organizational top 10.

    Flipping three of the top pitching prospects in the organizationincluding two of the top pitching prospects in all of baseballleaves an expected void as the team is now thin on quality young arms.

    Erick Fedde still has No. 3 starter upside, and Koda Glover has power stuff to close down the line, but there's no one close to the caliber of Giolito or Lopez.

    That said, there's a good chance outfielder Victor Robles would have claimed the No. 1 prospect spot even if Giolito and Lopez were still around.

    The 19-year-old possess the full toolbox, and it was all on display in his full-season debut. He posted a .798 OPS with 34 extra-base hits and 37 stolen bases while striking out just 77 times in 504 plate appearances and threw in 14 outfield assists for good measure.

    Pedro Severino might be the catcher of the future, and A.J. Cole could take off with a move to the bullpen, so those two will be worth keeping an eye on in 2017.

20. Seattle Mariners (Previous: 21)

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    OF Kyle Lewis
    OF Kyle LewisStephen Brashear/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. OF Tyler O'Neill21imgAA20171
    2. OF Kyle Lewis21imgA20191
    3. LHP Luiz Gohara20imgA+20192
    4. RHP Nick Neidert20imgA+20192
    5. OF Mitch Haniger26imgMLB20172
    6. RHP Max Povse23imgAA20182
    7. RHP Andrew Moore22imgAAA20172
    8. 1B Dan Vogelbach24imgMLB20162
    9. SS Drew Jackson23imgAA20182
    10. OF Brayan Hernandez19imgA-20212


    Farm System Update

    A potential future outfield of Tyler O'Neill, Kyle Lewis and Mitch Haniger should be cause for excitement among Seattle Mariners fans, especially considering the current state of the outfield.

    Haniger should get a crack at winning the starting left field job this spring after coming over from the Arizona Diamondbacks and experiencing an uptick in power last season, while O'Neill and Lewis both have legitimate All-Star upside.

    Dan Vogelbach will join Haniger in getting a chance to win an MLB job this spring, and he could form a nice platoon at first base with Danny Valencia.

    Luiz Gohara and Nick Neidert remain the top two pitching prospects in the organization, but they could soon be pushed by Max Povse.

    The towering 6'8" right-hander was acquired from the Braves in a rare prospect-for-prospect swap that sent outfielder Alex Jackson to Atlanta. He has some projection remaining, and if he can clean up his curveball, he has a chance to be a quality MLB starter.

19. San Francisco Giants (Previous: 24)

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    RHP Tyler Beede
    RHP Tyler BeedeRob Carr/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. IF Christian Arroyo21imgAA20181
    2. RHP Tyler Beede23imgAAA20171
    3. OF Bryan Reynolds21imgA+20192
    4. 1B Chris Shaw23imgAA20182
    5. LHP Ty Blach26imgAAA20172
    6. LHP Andrew Suarez24imgAAA20172
    7. OF Steven Duggar23imgAAA20182
    8. RHP Sam Coonrod24imgAA20182
    9. OF Heath Quinn21imgA20192
    10. RHP Joan Gregorio24imgAAA20172


    Farm System Update

    The San Francisco Giants did not have a first-round pick last June.

    That didn't stop them from walking away with two of the better college bats in the class, as Bryan Reynolds (No. 59 overall) and Heath Quinn (No. 95 overall) look to be two of the biggest steals of the draft.

    Reynolds could push his way into Tier 1 before the end of his first full season as a pro, while Quinn will need to prove he has the contact skills to tap into his plus power.

    The top two spots in the system still belong to Christian Arroyo and Tyler Beede for the time being, though.

    Arroyo followed up his breakout 2015 season with a somewhat disappointing encore, hitting .274 with a .689 OPS in Double-A, though a strained oblique played a role.

    He'll likely move to third base or a corner outfield spots with Brandon Crawford firmly entrenched at shortstop, and both positions are lacking a long-term answer.

    Meanwhile, Beede may never live up to the front-line potential he flashed at Vanderbilt as he continues to be plagued by inconsistent command, but he's ready for the next level after posting a 2.81 ERA with 135 strikeouts in 147.1 innings for Double-A Richmond.

18. St. Louis Cardinals (Previous: 18)

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    SP Alex Reyes
    SP Alex ReyesJon Durr/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. RHP Alex Reyes22imgMLB20171
    2. RHP Luke Weaver23imgAAA20171
    3. RHP Jack Flaherty21imgAA20182
    4. SS Delvin Perez18imgROK20182
    5. OF Harrison Bader22imgAAA20172
    6. RHP Sandy Alcantara21imgA+20192
    7. C Carson Kelly22imgAAA20172
    8. OF Magneuris Sierra20imgA+20192
    9. RHP Dakota Hudson22imgA+20192
    10. 3B Paul DeJong23imgAAA20182


    Farm System Update

    The St. Louis Cardinals have two of the game's best pitching prospects in Alex Reyes and Luke Weaver, both of whom got a taste of MLB action last season.

    Reyes might be the favorite for NL Rookie of the Year if he were guaranteed a spot in a somewhat crowded MLB rotation, though both could benefit from a little further seasoning in the minors.

    Then there's Delvin Perez, who fell into the Cardinals' laps at No. 23 overall last June. A presumptive top-five pick leading up to the draft, he saw his stock plummet after a positive PED test, but he remains a Gold Glove-caliber defender with plus speed and the offensive potential to be an All-Star at the shortstop position.

    Catcher Carson Kelly and outfielder Harrison Bader could both be in the majors by the second half of the upcoming season, with Kelly looking more and more like the catcher of the future after his bat finally caught up to his glove.

    If there's one name to watch in an organization that has had tremendous success developing hard-throwing international signees it's Sandy Alcantara.

    The 21-year-old struck out 153 batters in 122.2 innings last season thanks in large part to a fastball that touches 101 mph. He backs it with a decent changeup-curveball combination. It's simply a matter of refining his command, and he could quickly take over as the team's top pitching prospect once Reyes and Weaver graduate.

17. Toronto Blue Jays (Previous: 19)

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    SS Richard Urena
    SS Richard UrenaRonald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. RHP Sean Reid-Foley21imgAA20181
    2. 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.17imgA-20211
    3. OF Anthony Alford22imgAA20182
    4. SS Richard Urena20imgAA20182
    5. RHP Conner Greene21imgAA20182
    6. RHP Jon Harris23imgA+20182
    7. 1B Rowdy Tellez21imgAAA20172
    8. RHP T.J. Zeuch21imgA20192
    9. SS Bo Bichette18imgA-20202
    10. OF Harold Ramirez22imgAAA20172


    Farm System Update

    A disappointing season from Anthony Alford and the slow development of Richard Urena has opened the door for a pair of new headliners in the Toronto Blue Jays system.

    Sean Reid-Foley is now the clear top dog among the team's pitching prospects after going 10-5 with a 2.81 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 130 strikeouts in 115.1 innings between Single-A and High-A. He could join the league's upper echelon of pitching prospects if he duplicates that performance in Double-A.

    Then there's the precocious Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who made his U.S. debut last year and looked right at home as a 17-year-old in the Appalachian League, posting an .808 OPS with 23 extra-base hits in 276 plate appearances.

    Conner Greene still has a high ceiling, though his strikeout (7.8 to 6.1 K/9) and walk (2.7 to 4.4 BB/9) rates both trended significantly in the wrong direction last year.

    Slugger Rowdy Tellez often gets overlooked as a first-base-only prospect, but his bat continues to impress as he posted a .917 OPS with 23 home runs and 81 RBI in Double-A. He could see the majors in 2017 and the same goes for outfielder Harold Ramirez.

    Vlad Jr. may get the bulk of the attention, but another famous son in Bo Bichette turned heads with a .427/.451/.732 line that included nine doubles, four home runs and 32 RBI in 22 games after going No. 66 overall last June.

    Oh, and his bat flip game is real strong.

16. Boston Red Sox (Previous: 4)

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    OF Andrew Benintendi
    OF Andrew BenintendiJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. OF Andrew Benintendi22imgMLB20161
    2. 3B Rafael Devers20imgAA20181
    3. LHP Jason Groome18imgA20201
    4. 1B Sam Travis23imgAAA20172
    5. RHP Roniel Raudes18imgA+20202
    6. 3B Bobby Dalbec21imgA20192
    7. 1B Josh Ockimey21imgA+20192
    8. SS C.J. Chatham22imgA+20192
    9. LHP Brian Johnson26imgAAA20172
    10. 3B Michael Chavis21imgA+20193


    Farm System Update

    The Boston Red Sox undoubtedly improved with the winter meetings acquisition of Chris Sale, but the move didn't do their farm system any favors.

    Sale cost the No. 1 prospect in the league (Yoan Moncada), the top pitching prospect in their system (Michael Kopech) and a high-ceiling outfielder who would have cracked the organization's top 10 as well (Luis Alexander Basabe).

    That leaves the system somewhat depleted but by no means bereft of impact talent.

    Andrew Benintendi has to be the early favorite for AL Rookie of the Year honors after racing through the minors and hitting .295/.359/.476 with 11 doubles in 118 plate appearances with Boston.

    Rafael Devers and Jason Groome also check in as Tier 1 talents, while Sam Travis, Bobby Dalbec and Josh Ockimey give the system a trio of intriguing power bats.

    Roniel Raudes is the name to watch, though.

    The 18-year-old has a rare feel for pitching and advanced command of his three-pitch repertoire. Even if there's not a ton of projection left in his 6'1" frame, he has middle-of-the-rotation upside and won't turn 19 until later this month.

15. Tampa Bay Rays (Previous: 13)

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    RHP Chih-Wei Hu
    RHP Chih-Wei HuMark Cunningham/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. SS Willy Adames21imgAAA20171
    2. RHP Brent Honeywell21imgAA20181
    3. 1B/OF Jake Bauers21imgAAA20171
    4. 3B Joshua Lowe18imgA20212
    5. RHP Chih-Wei Hu23imgAAA20172
    6. 1B Casey Gillaspie23imgAAA20172
    7. OF Jesus Sanchez19imgA-20212
    8. RHP Jacob Faria23imgAAA20172
    9. OF Garrett Whitley19imgA20202
    10. RHP Jaime Schultz25imgAAA20172


    Farm System Update

    The Tampa Bay Rays acquired Drew Smyly and Nick Franklin in the deadline deal that sent ace David Price to the Detroit Tigers in 2014, but it's the development of the third player acquired in that tradeshortstop Willy Adamesthat will ultimately determine how they fared.

    Adames took a big step forward in a full season with Double-A Montgomery, hitting .274/.372/.430 and displaying significantly improved in-game power with 31 doubles and 11 home runs.

    A late-season promotion to put him in line for the everyday shortstop job in 2018 seems likely.

    Brent Honeywell looks to be the next in a long line of homegrown starters to be developed into part of the MLB rotation. The right-hander was 7-3 with a 2.34 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 117 strikeouts in 115.1 innings while reaching Double-A.

    Jake Bauers also earns Tier 1 status as he remains well ahead of the developmental curve. If he were a right-handed batter, he might get a crack at a roster spot out of camp, though he figures to arrive at some point in 2017 either way.

    Outfielder Jesus Sanchez is the name to watch here after he hit .329/.351/.549 with 10 doubles, eight triples and seven home runs in 226 plate appearances over a pair of rookie league stops.

    "If Sanchez’s bat plays at a full-season affiliate in 2017, I can see him making a case for top 100 consideration after that, yes," wrote Hudson Belinsky of Baseball America. "The reports on him are really exciting."

14. Chicago Cubs (Previous: 17)

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    OF Eloy Jimenez
    OF Eloy JimenezBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. OF Eloy Jimenez20imgA+20191
    2. RHP Dylan Cease21imgA20191
    3. 2B Ian Happ22imgAA20171
    4. RHP Oscar De La Cruz21imgA20192
    5. RHP Trevor Clifton21imgAA20182
    6. OF Mark Zagunis23imgAAA20172
    7. 3B Jeimer Candelario23imgAAA20172
    8. RHP Duane Underwood22imgAA20182
    9. OF Donnie Dewees23imgAA20182
    10. RHP Thomas Hatch22imgA20192


    Farm System Update

    It's a testament to the Chicago Cubs scouting and player development departments that they still rank in the upper half of the league in terms of farm system talent considering all the young players that have graduated to the majors in recent years.

    Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Javier Baez, Willson Contreras, Carl Edwards Jr. and Albert Almora Jr. have all moved on to the next level since the start of 2015, not to mention top prospect Gleyber Torres being traded to the New York Yankees last summer.

    And yet, they still have a trio of top-tier prospects, headlined by outfielder Eloy Jimenez, who finally turned potential into production with a breakout season in 2016.

    Meanwhile, pitching prospects Dylan Cease and Oscar De La Cruz both have incredibly high ceilings and could be ready to turn in breakout seasons if the organization lets out a bit more leash on those prized arms.

    Prospects like Mark Zagunis, Jeimer Candelario and Donnie Dewees are lacking a clear path to MLB playing time and closing in on being MLB ready, so they could wind up being trade chips a la Dan Vogelbach.

13. San Diego Padres (Previous: 12)

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    OF Hunter Renfroe
    OF Hunter RenfroeAndy Hayt/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. RHP Anderson Espinoza18imgA+20191
    2. OF Manuel Margot22imgMLB20171
    3. OF Hunter Renfroe24imgMLB20171
    4. LHP Adrian Morejon17imgRk20202
    5. RHP Cal Quantrill21imgA20192
    6. OF Michael Gettys21imgAA20192
    7. 1B Josh Naylor19imgA+20202
    8. LHP Eric Lauer21imgA20192
    9. 2B Luis Urias19imgAA20182
    10. LHP Logan Allen19imgA+20202


    Farm System Update

    The San Diego Padres have perhaps the youngest collection of top prospects in these rankings, with five teenagers earning a spot among their top 10 prospects.

    That includes right-hander Anderson Espinoza, the prize of the trade that sent Drew Pomeranz to the Boston Red Sox last summer.

    The 18-year-old has drawn comparisons to Pedro Martinez in the past, and he's well ahead of the development curve as he gets set for his second year of full-season ball.

    Cuban left-hander Adrian Morejon, who landed an $11 million bonus in July, possesses similarly intriguing upside on the mound. His four-pitch repertoire flashes plus across the board and includes a knuckleball that he works into sequence, something rarely seen at the pro level.

    As for prospects closer to making an impact in San Diego, outfielders Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe are both slated to break camp with starting jobs this coming season.

    Margot has the wheels to make an impact atop the lineup and defensively in center field, while Renfroe has the prototypical right fielder profile with big-time power and a rocket arm.

12. Oakland Athletics (Previous: 16)

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    SS Franklin Barreto
    SS Franklin BarretoMichael Zagaris/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. SS Franklin Barreto20imgAAA20171
    2. LHP A.J. Puk21imgA20191
    3. RHP Jharel Cotton24imgMLB20171
    4. RHP Grant Holmes20imgAA20181
    5. RHP Frankie Montas23imgAAA20172
    6. 3B Matt Chapman23imgAAA20172
    7. RHP Daniel Gossett24imgAAA20172
    8. 3B Renato Nunez22imgAAA20172
    9. RHP Daulton Jefferies21imgA20202
    10. OF Lazaro Armenteros17imgRk20213


    Farm System Update

    The blockbuster deal that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer landed the Oakland Athletics a trio of pitchers who now rank among the team's top five prospects.

    Jharel Cotton turned heads following that trade when he jumped into the MLB rotation and went 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in five starts.

    Finally healthy, Frankie Montas still has a chance to be the best of the bunch, and if his AFL showing is any indication (17.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 9 K), he's ready to make an impact at the highest level.

    Renato Nunez has also boosted his stock with a strong offseason showing, hitting .304/.389/.542 with 11 home runs and 35 RBI in 45 games in the Venezuelan Winter League.

    With Ryon Healy already reaching the majors and both Matt Chapman and Nunez knocking on the door, it will be interesting to see how the team deploys a trio of natural third basemen.

    The newcomer to the top prospect rankings is right-hander Daniel Gossett, who went 10-6 with a 2.69 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 151 strikeouts in 153.2 innings while climbing three levels to reach Triple-A.

11. Cleveland Indians (Previous: 15)

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    C Francisco Mejia
    C Francisco MejiaMark Cunningham/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospect

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. C Francisco Mejia21imgAA20181
    2. RHP Triston McKenzie19imgA+20201
    3. OF Bradley Zimmer24imgAAA20171
    4. 1B Bobby Bradley20imgAA20181
    5. LHP Brady Aiken20imgA20202
    6. SS Yu-Cheng Chang21imgAA20182
    7. 3B Nolan Jones18imgRk20212
    8. LHP Juan Hillman19imgA20212
    9. 3B Yandy Diaz25imgAAA20172
    10. OF Greg Allen22imgAA20182


    Farm System Update

    Even after shipping outfielder Clint Frazier and left-hander Justus Sheffield to the New York Yankees in the Andrew Miller deal, the Cleveland Indians still have a farm system that is knocking on the door for a spot inside the top 10.

    Francisco Mejia takes over as the club's top prospects after hitting .342/.382/.514 with 29 doubles, 11 home runs and 80 RBI while compiling a 50-game hitting streak along the way. He also possesses perhaps the strongest throwing arm of any catching prospect.

    Right-hander Triston McKenzie jumps up to the No. 2 spot after a dominant showing in short-season ball that carried over into a six-start stint in Single-A. All told, he finished 2016 with a 1.62 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and a 104-to-22 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 83.1 innings.

    Brady Aiken still has the upside that made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2014, and he could take a major step forward another year removed from Tommy John surgery.

    As for MLB impact, look out for Yandy Diaz, who has nothing left to prove in the minors after hitting .318/.408/.446 between Double-A and Triple-A.

10. Cincinnati Reds (Previous: 10)

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    LHP Amir Garrett
    LHP Amir GarrettSean M. Haffey/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. 3B Nick Senzel21imgA+20181
    2. LHP Amir Garrett24imgAAA20171
    3. OF Jesse Winker23imgAAA20171
    4. RHP Robert Stephenson23imgMLB20161
    5. OF Taylor Trammell19imgA20202
    6. RHP Vladimir Gutierrez21imgA20192
    7. RHP Tyler Mahle22imgAA20182
    8. OF T.J. Friedl21imgA+20182
    9. SS Alfredo Rodriguez22imgA20182
    10. C Tyler Stephenson20imgA20202


    Farm System Update

    Nick Senzel wasted little time making his mark as a pro after the Cincinnati Reds selected him No. 2 overall last June.

    After a 10-game stint in rookie ball, he made the jump straight to Single-A, hitting .329/.415/.567 with 23 doubles, seven home runs and 36 RBI in 251 plate appearances. It wouldn't be the least bit surprising to see him manning third base with the MLB club by the second half of 2018.

    Amir Garrett held opponents to a .192 average while striking out 132 batters in 144.2 innings as the former St. John's basketball player continues to make the transition from athlete to pitcher.

    Jesse Winker and Robert Stephenson were once the headliners in this system, but they've lost some of their luster while spinning their tires in the upper levels of the minors.

    Taylor Trammell was probably the best athlete in the 2016 draft as he turned down D-1 football offers to begin his pro baseball career and a .303/.374/.421 line with 24 steals in 61 games with certainly a promising start.

    Years from now, the T.J. Friedl story could be one we look back on as a key moment in the Reds' rebuild.

9. Colorado Rockies (Previous: 9)

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    RHP Jeff Hoffman
    RHP Jeff HoffmanJoe Mahoney/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. SS Brendan Rodgers20imgA+20191
    2. RHP Jeff Hoffman23imgMLB20171
    3. RHP Riley Pint19imgA20201
    4. OF Raimel Tapia22imgAAA20171
    5. RHP German Marquez21imgAAA20172
    6. LHP Kyle Freeland23imgAAA20172
    7. C Tom Murphy25imgMLB20172
    8. RHP Antonio Senzatela21imgAA20172
    9. 3B Ryan McMahon22imgAAA20172
    10. RHP Ryan Castellani20imgAA20182


    Farm System Update

    The Colorado Rockies have begun reaping the rewards of a farm system that has been ranked among the best in baseball for several years running.

    Jon Gray emerged as the team's best starter, and David Dahl hit .315/.359/.500 in 237 plate appearances to secure his spot as the starting left fielder.

    Catcher Tom Murphy, outfielder Raimel Tapia and starters Jeff Hoffman and German Marquez figure to be next to get a crack at establishing themselves at the MLB level, and both Murphy and Hoffman should break camp with the team this spring.

    The team did well to stock up on pitching talent in the June draft, scooping up the electric-armed Riley Pint at No. 4 overall and then adding college arms Robert Tyler and Ben Bowden with their next two picks.

    Ryan Castellani also quietly turned in a breakout season as the 2014 second-round pick pitched to a 3.81 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 142 strikeouts in 167.2 innings while flashing middle-of-the-rotation potential.

8. Philadelphia Phillies (Previous: 5)

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    SS J.P. Crawford
    SS J.P. CrawfordJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. SS J.P. Crawford21imgAAA20171
    2. OF Mickey Moniak18imgROK20201
    3. C Jorge Alfaro23imgAAA20171
    4. OF Nick Williams23imgAAA20171
    5. RHP Franklyn Kilome21imgA+20192
    6. OF Roman Quinn23imgMLB20172
    7. RHP Sixto Sanchez18imgA-20212
    8. 1B Rhys Hoskins23imgAAA20182
    9. RHP Ben Lively24imgAAA20172
    10. OF Dylan Cozens22imgAAA20172


    Farm System Update

    The Philadelphia Phillies drop a few spots after Tier 1 pitcher Jake Thompson used up his rookie eligibility down the stretch and adding more pitching talent to the system figures to be a focus as they continue the rebuilding process.

    They have some good young rotation options in the likes of Aaron Nola, Vincent Velasquez, Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher and Thompson, but the well has run a bit dry as far as minor league talent is concerned.

    Franklyn Kilome has legitimate front-line potential with a fastball that can reach the upper 90s and a good curveball, but he'll need to develop a viable third pitch to avoid winding up at the back of the bullpen.

    At the top of the system, shortstop J.P. Crawford stalled a bit in his development after most expected him to claim the starting shortstop job by midseason last year. He still has all the tools to be a franchise cornerstone, though.

    One way or another, Crawford will arrive in the majors in 2017, and he'll likely be joined by outfielders Nick Williams and Roman Quinn and catcher Jorge Alfaro as the youth movement kicks into full swing.

    It will be interesting to see if Rhys Hoskins (.943 OPS, 38 HR, 116 RBI) and Dylan Cozens (.941 OPS, 40 HR, 125 RBI) can come close to duplicating their huge 2016 numbers away from extremely hitter-friendly Reading.

7. Houston Astros (Previous: 6)

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    1B Yulieski Gurriel
    1B Yulieski GurrielG Fiume/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. RHP Francis Martes21imgAAA20171
    2. OF Kyle Tucker19imgA+20191
    3. RHP David Paulino22imgAAA20171
    4. RHP Franklin Perez19imgA+20201
    5. RHP Forrest Whitley19imgA-20201
    6. OF Ramon Laureano22imgAA20182
    7. 1B Yulieski Gurriel32imgMLB20172
    8. OF Derek Fisher23imgAAA20172
    9. OF Teoscar Hernandez24imgMLB20172
    10. OF Daz Cameron19imgA20202


    Farm System Update

    Even with Joe Musgrove exhausting his prospect status in September, the Houston Astros still have one of the best farm systems in the game.

    Francis Martes, David Paulino and 2016 first-round pick Forrest Whitley draw the bulk of the attention among the club's pitching prospects, but Franklin Perez could soon blow past all of them if his 2016 performance is any indication.

    Perez, 19, made the jump straight to full-season ball in his first year stateside and posted a 2.84 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and a 75-to-19 K/BB ratio over 66.2 innings. With a mid-90s fastball, terrific curveball and a ton of projection remaining in his 6'3", 197-pound frame, he might have the highest ceiling in the organization.

    While Kyle Tucker has separated himself from a talented pool of outfield prospects, unheralded Ramon Laureano is closing in on him after posting a .319/.428/.528 line that included 28 doubles and 15 home runs between High-A and Double-A.

    Yulieski Gurriel still qualifies as a "prospect" even though he'll turn 33 in June. He looks like the favorite to win the starting first base job as he enters the second year of a five-year, $47.5 million deal.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates (Previous: 7)

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    RHP Tyler Glasnow
    RHP Tyler GlasnowJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. RHP Tyler Glasnow23imgAAA20171
    2. OF Austin Meadows21imgAAA20171
    3. RHP Mitch Keller20imgA+20191
    4. 1B Josh Bell24imgMLB20171
    5. SS Kevin Newman23imgAA20181
    6. 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes19imgA20202
    7. 3B Will Craig21imgA+20192
    8. RHP Yeudy Garcia23imgAA20182
    9. LHP Steven Brault23imgMLB20172
    10. SS Cole Tucker20imgA+20192


    Farm System Update

    The Pittsburgh Pirates will be as reliant on prospect talent as anyone during the upcoming season.

    Josh Bell is set to take over as the starting first baseman, while both Tyler Glasnow and Steven Brault figure to make an impact in the starting rotation.

    That's to say nothing of Austin Meadows, who is waiting in the wings should the team find a taker for Andrew McCutchen. He struggled a bit with the jump from Double-A to Triple-A, but all signs point to him being ready for an MLB job at some point in 2017.

    The Pirates also boast two of the league's breakout prospects in right-hander Mitch Keller and shortstop Kevin Newman.

    Keller went 9-5 with a 2.35 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 138 strikeouts in 130.1 innings after being limited by injuries in his first two seasons in the organization.

    Newman, the No. 19 pick in the 2015 draft, hit .320/.389/.426 with 21 doubles while reaching Double-A in his second pro season.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers (Previous: 8)

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    1B Cody Bellinger
    1B Cody BellingerLisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. RHP Yadier Alvarez20imgA+20191
    2. RHP Jose De Leon24imgMLB20171
    3. 1B/OF Cody Bellinger21imgAAA20181
    4. OF Alex Verdugo20imgAAA20181
    5. 2B Willie Calhoun22imgAAA20171
    6. RHP Walker Buehler22imgA20192
    7. OF Yusniel Diaz20imgAA20192
    8. RHP Jordan Sheffield21imgA20192
    9. SS Gavin Lux19imgA20202
    10. RHP Brock Stewart25imgAAA20172


    Farm System Update

    The Los Angeles Dodgers have shown a willingness to include right-hander Jose De Leon in trade talks with the Minnesota Twins for Brian Dozier, but fellow righty Yadier Alvarez has been a non-starter, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

    It was a tough call as far as who would get the No. 1 spot here, and that wound up being the deciding factor.

    Alvarez landed a massive $16 million bonus as part of the Dodgers' international free-agent bonanza in 2015, and he did not disappoint in his debut, posting a 2.12 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with 81 strikeouts in 59.1 innings.

    With a fastball that touches 100, a biting slider and a developing changeup, he has the repertoire and his 6'3", 175-pound frame has room to mature.

    Cody Bellinger, Alex Verdugo and Willie Calhoun give the team a trio of loud offensive prospects, and all three could emerge as franchise staples by 2018. Calhoun still needs to find a position defensively, but his bat will play anywhere.

    Walker Buehler and Jordan Sheffield give the system a pair of Vanderbilt alums with solid upside and relatively high floors, while Yusniel Diaz was also part of the 2015 spending spree when he secured a $15.5 million bonus so there's obviously significant potential there as well.

4. Chicago White Sox (Previous: 23)

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    RHP Carson Fulmer
    RHP Carson FulmerRon Vesely/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornCurrent LevelETATier
    1. 2B Yoan Moncada21imgAAA20171
    2. RHP Lucas Giolito22imgAAA20171
    3. RHP Michael Kopech20imgAA20181
    4. RHP Reynaldo Lopez22imgAAA20171
    5. C Zack Collins21imgAA20181
    6. RHP Carson Fulmer23imgAAA20171
    7. RHP Zack Burdi21imgAAA20172
    8. RHP Alec Hansen22imgA+20192
    9. OF Luis Alexander Basabe20imgA+20192
    10. RHP Spencer Adams20imgAA20182


    Farm System Update

    It's not often you see a team jump from No. 23 to No. 4 in these farm system rankings, especially considering the last iteration was published at the conclusion of the 2016 MiLB season.

    Then again, it's not often that you see a team acquire four top-100 prospects—including arguably the top position-player prospect and pitching prospect in the game—in the span of 48 hours.

    The Chicago White Sox are finally in full-blown rebuild mode after shipping out Chris Sale and Adam Eaton for a king's ransom in prospect talent.

    It's easy to dream on a future rotation of Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, Reynaldo Lopez, Carson Fulmer and Carlos Rodon, with flame-thrower Zack Burdi anchoring the bullpen.

    Don't count out Alec Hansen, either, as someone with legitimate front-line upside.

    A candidate to go No. 1 overall at the start of his junior season, Hansen turned in a disappointing spring and slipped to the second round. He finished his collegiate career strong, though, and then posted a 1.32 ERA with 81 strikeouts in 54.2 innings in his pro debut.

    First-round selection Zack Collins also impressed in his pro debut, and the White Sox picked up another 2016 first rounder in Dane Dunning as part of their haul from the Washington Nationals as well.

3. Milwaukee Brewers (Previous: 3)

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    LHP Josh Hader
    LHP Josh HaderBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. CF Lewis Brinson22imgAAA20171
    2. LHP Josh Hader22imgAAA20171
    3. OF Corey Ray22imgA+20191
    4. IF Isan Diaz20imgA+20191
    5. RHP Luis Ortiz21imgAA20181
    6. RHP Phil Bickford21imgAA20181
    7. OF Brett Phillips22imgAA20171
    8. SS Mauricio Dubon22imgAA20182
    9. RHP Brandon Woodruff23imgAAA20172
    10. OF Trent Clark20imgA20202


    Farm System Update

    The Milwaukee Brewers farm system has been drastically improved since the start of the 2014 season, and a number of their top-tier prospects are on the cusp of making an impact the MLB level.

    Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz and Phil Bickford all joined the organization in 2016 deadline deals, while Corey Ray was the team's top draft pick out of Louisville.

    Add to that infielder Mauricio Dubon, who was acquired in the deal that sent Tyler Thornburg to the Boston Red Sox during the winter meetings, and the Brew Crew has added an impressive amount of high-end prospect talent in the last six months alone.

    That being said, it's the breakout performances of Isan Diaz and Brandon Woodruff that may have been the most exciting development of the past year.

    Diaz continued to rake with an .827 OPS, 34 doubles and 20 home runs at the Single-A level, proving his impressive 2015 showing was the real deal.

    Meanwhile, Woodruff went 14-9 with a 2.68 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 173 strikeouts in 158.0 innings as the big 6'4" right-hander and former 11th-round pick established himself as a legitimate rotation candidate.

2. Atlanta Braves (Previous: 2)

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    SS Dansby Swanson
    SS Dansby SwansonScott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. SS Dansby Swanson22imgMLB20171
    2. SS Ozzie Albies19imgAA20171
    3. LHP Kolby Allard19imgA+20201
    4. RHP Mike Soroka19imgA+20191
    5. RHP Ian Anderson18imgA20201
    6. LHP Sean Newcomb23imgAAA20171
    7. LHP Max Fried22imgA+20181
    8. OF Ronald Acuna19imgA20192
    9. SS Kevin Maitan16imgRk20212
    10. RHP Patrick Weigel22imgAA20182


    Farm System Update

    It's almost worth calling the Atlanta Braves team "1A" in these rankings, as they could very well have 10 or 11 prospects who fit the Tier 1 bill by the end of the upcoming season.

    For the time being, we'll take a wait-and-see approach with outfielder Ronald Acuna and shortstop Kevin Maitan, but both are supremely talented and just scratching the surface of their potential.

    Kolby Allard and Mike Soroka have established themselves as the top dogs in a system that is absolutely loaded with high-ceiling pitching talent.

    Along with the six pitchers listed above, guys like Touki Toussaint, Joey Wentz, Kyle Muller and Lucas Sims would earn a spot inside the top 10 with almost any other team.

    Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies headlined the position-player talent, and those two could emerge as one of the best young double play combinations in baseball as early as next season.

    It's also worth mentioning here the excluded position players as Travis Demeritte, Alex Jackson, Austin Riley and Rio Ruiz all have significant upside as well.

    They might not have the same collection of top-tier talent as the No. 1 team in these rankings, but I have no qualms saying the Braves have the deepest farm system in baseball.

1. New York Yankees (Previous: 1)

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    OF Aaron Judge
    OF Aaron JudgeG Fiume/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeBornProjected LevelETATier
    1. SS Gleyber Torres20imgAA20181
    2. OF Clint Frazier22imgAAA20171
    3. OF Blake Rutherford19imgA20201
    4. LHP Justus Sheffield20imgAA20181
    5. RHP James Kaprielian22imgAA20181
    6. OF Aaron Judge24imgMLB20171
    7. IF Jorge Mateo21imgAA20181
    8. RHP Chance Adams22imgAAA20171
    9. RHP Albert Abreu21imgA+20192
    10. RHP Domingo Acevedo22imgA+20192


    Farm System Update

    The emergence of Gleyber Torres during the Arizona Fall League cemented the New York Yankees place at No. 1 on this list, otherwise, the Atlanta Braves might have unseated them.

    Torres hit a ridiculous .403/.513/.645 with more walks (14) than strikeouts (8) to claim AFL MVP honors and, he just turned 20 years old last month.

    If there was any question who the better middle infield prospect was between Torres and incumbent Jorge Mateo at the time of the Aroldis Chapman trade, they've vanished.

    Justus Sheffield still takes top billing among the team's pitching prospect, but a strong late-season return from elbow issues and an impressive showing in the AFL has James Kaprielian nipping at his heels.

    While Aaron Judge has some work to do on his approach after striking out a dizzying 42 times in 95 plate appearances in the majors last season, he still qualifies as a Tier 1 prospect thanks to his huge power potential.

    There's a lot to like about a future outfield of Judge, Clint Frazier and Blake Rutherford.

    All eyes will be on Chance Adams at the start of 2017 as he looks to prove his insane 2016 numbers (13-1, 2.33 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, .169 BAA, 144 K, 127.1 IP) were the real deal and that he's capable of sticking as a starter long term.


    All stats courtesy of, unless otherwise noted.


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