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)

16 of 30

    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)

17 of 30

    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 Dewees23