Updated Farm System Rankings After 2017 Trade-Deadline Frenzy

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2017

Updated Farm System Rankings After 2017 Trade-Deadline Frenzy

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Now that we've had time to digest all the July trade action, it's time for an updated look at how all 30 MLB farm systems stack up.

    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.
    • 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 were the biggest factors in ranking each team.
    • High-End Talent (Team): 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.

    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. These are the guys who would receive consideration for a spot on a leaguewide top 100 prospect lists.
    • 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 is a good indication of a thin system.

    A player must not have passed the rookie-eligibility limits (130 AB, 50 IP, 45 days on roster) to be included in these rankings. For reference, here's a look at our previous update.

30. Los Angeles Angels (Previous: 29)

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    Matt Thaiss
    Matt ThaissChris Carlson/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. CF Jahmai JonesA+2
    2. OF Jo AdellROK2
    3. RHP Jaime BarriaAA2
    4. RHP Griffin CanningROK2
    5. 1B Matt ThaissAA2
    6. OF Brandon MarshROK2
    7. RHP Chris RodriguezROK3
    8. RHP Grayson LongAA3
    9. LHP Nate SmithAAA3
    10. C Taylor WardAA3

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    The Los Angeles Angels were short on moveable parts as the deadline arrived and only wound up making one trade—sending reliever David Hernandez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for 20-year-old right-hander Luis Madero.

    He doesn't crack the team's top 10 prospects, but the Venezuelan-born sinkerballer provides intriguing upside in a system lacking in that department.

    Continued progress from recent draft picks Jo Adell, Griffin Canning, Matt Thaiss and Brandon Marsh would make the top of this system look a lot better, but either way, it's sorely lacking in overall depth and talent.

29. Kansas City Royals (Previous: 30)

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    Eric Skoglund
    Eric SkoglundOrlin Wagner/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 1B Nick PrattoROK2
    2. RHP Josh StaumontAA2
    3. OF Khalil LeeA2
    4. 3B Hunter DozierAAA2
    5. LHP Foster GriffinAA2
    6. LHP Eric SkoglundAAA2
    7. SS Nicky LopezAA2
    8. C M.J. MelendezROK2
    9. RHP Scott BlewettA+3
    10. RHP Jake JunisAAA3

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    The additions of Nick Pratto and M.J. Melendez and the emergence of Khalil Lee gives the Kansas City Royals a handful of intriguing prospects, but the stalled progression of flame-thrower Josh Staumont (6.41 ERA, 7.6 BB/9) and an injury-plagued season by Hunter Dozier hurts.

    Lee, a third-round pick last season who was a two-way standout in high school, has posted a .747 OPS with 16 doubles, 13 home runs and 18 stolen bases while making the jump to full-season ball.

    The decision to push for one more playoff run with the current core as opposed to selling off upcoming free agents Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Jason Vargas cost the Royals a golden opportunity to bolster the system. It's hard to argue with the move, though, given that they currently hold a wild-card spot.

28. Miami Marlins (Previous: 28)

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    Trevor Rogers
    Trevor RogersJulio Cortez/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. LHP Braxton GarrettINJ1
    2. LHP Trevor RogersROK2
    3. 3B Brian AndersonAAA2
    4. LHP Dillon PetersAA2
    5. RHP Tyler KolekROK2
    6. 3B James NelsonA2
    7. RHP Merandy GonzalezA+2
    8. OF Brian MillerA2
    9. OF Brayan HernandezA-2
    10. 3B Joe DunandROK3

    Graduated/Traded: None 


    Farm System Overview

    Despite receiving nibbles on Dan Straily and Dee Gordon, the Miami Marlins failed to swing a deal on deadline day.

    However, they did move relievers A.J. Ramos and David Phelps in the days leading up to the deadline, picking up a pair of quality prospects in right-hander Merandy Gonzalez and outfielder Brayan Hernandez.

    Gonzalez, 21, has gone 12-3 with a 1.78 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 89 strikeouts in 106 innings between Single-A and High-A in the Mets organization this year. The 19-year-old Hernandez still offers the same intriguing tools that made him one of the top prospects in the 2014 international free-agent class when he landed a $1.85 million bonus from the Mariners.

27. Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous: 26)

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    Anthony Banda
    Anthony BandaRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 1B Pavin SmithA-1
    2. RHP Jon DuplantierA+2
    3. RHP Taylor ClarkeAA2
    4. LHP Anthony BandaAAA2
    5. IF Domingo LeybaAA2
    6. OF Marcus WilsonA2
    7. SS Jasrado ChisholmA2
    8. 3B Drew EllisA-2
    9. C Daulton VarshoA-2
    10. OF Anfernee GrierA2

    Graduated/Traded: IF Dawel Lugo


    Farm System Overview

    The Arizona Diamondbacks added J.D. Martinez, David Hernandez and Adam Rosales to the roster in July without giving up any highly regarded prospects beyond infielder Dawel Lugo, who went to Detroit in the Martinez deal.

    Jon Duplantier (10-1, 1.44 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 111 K, 100 IP in A/A+) and Taylor Clarke (9-7, 2.91 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 107 K, 111.1 IP) have surpassed Anthony Banda as the team's top pitching prospects, while No. 7 overall pick Pavin Smith jumped straight to short-season A-ball as the club's new top overall prospect.

    The system looks better than it did when the season began, but that's not saying much.

26. San Francisco Giants (Previous: 25)

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    Christian Arroyo
    Christian ArroyoJeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. IF Christian ArroyoAAA1
    2. 1B Chris ShawAAA2
    3. RHP Tyler BeedeAAA2
    4. OF Bryan ReynoldsA+2
    5. OF Heliot RamosROK2
    6. OF Steven DuggarA+2
    7. OF Heath QuinnA+2
    8. OF Sandro FabianA2
    9. C/1B Aramis GarciaA+2
    10. SS Ryan HowardA+2

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    Christian Arroyo is hitting .396/.461/.604 over 102 plate appearances in Triple-A this season, but a good portion of his year has been spent struggling at the MLB level and then sidelined—first with a wrist injury and then with a broken left hand.

    Meanwhile, right-hander Tyler Beede (4.79 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, .282 BAA) has taken a step backward in Triple-A, leaving slugger Chris Shaw (.848 OPS, 26 2B, 16 HR) as the team's most productive top-end prospect in 2017.

    The front office managed to flip Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox for a pair of low-level prospects in right-handers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos, but that did little to boost the farm system's standing.

25. Chicago Cubs (Previous: 15)

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    Alex Lange
    Alex LangeGerald Herbert/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Oscar De La CruzA+1
    2. RHP Jose AlbertosA-2
    3. RHP Adbert AlzolayAA2
    4. RHP Alex LangeROK2
    5. RHP Thomas HatchA+2
    6. LHP Brendon LittleA-2
    7. C Victor CaratiniMLB2
    8. RHP Trevor CliftonAA2
    9. OF Mark ZagunisAAA2
    10. SS Aramis AdemanA-2

    Graduated/Traded: OF Eloy Jimenez, OF Ian Happ, RHP Dylan Cease, 3B Jeimer Candelario, SS Isaac Paredes


    Farm System Overview

    The Chicago Cubs paid a steep price to acquire Jose Quintana from the crosstown White Sox, sending Eloy Jimenez (No. 4) and Dylan Cease (No. 38), who both ranked among the league's top 50 prospects in our most recent update.

    Then they shipped Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Paredes—two players who would have ranked comfortably inside the organizational top 10 in this update—to the Tigers for reliever Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila.

    Throw in Ian Happ's graduation off their prospect list, as he exhausted his rookie eligibility, and it's easy to see why the Cubs fell further than anyone else in this update. The future is now on the North Side, so it's hard to argue with the all-in approach.    

24. Detroit Tigers (Previous: 27)

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    Alex Faedo
    Alex FaedoJohn Raoux/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Matt ManningA-1
    2. OF Christin StewartAA2
    3. RHP Alex FaedoROK2
    4. 3B Jeimer CandelarioAAA2
    5. RHP Beau BurrowsAA2
    6. RHP Kyle FunkhouserA+2
    7. SS Isaac ParedesA2
    8. LHP Gregory SotoA2
    9. OF Michael GerberAA2
    10. RHP Joe JimenezAAA2

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    Slowly but surely, the Detroit Tigers are building a respectable farm system.

    While the return for J.D. Martinez proved largely underwhelming aside from the addition of Dawel Lugo, they did pick up a pair of quality prospects in Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Paredes when they sent Justin Wilson and Alex Avila to the Cubs.

    Meanwhile, Matt Manning (2.22 ERA, 29 K, 28.1 IP) has looked sharp in his first pro action, Christin Stewart (.859 OPS, 21 2B, 22 HR) continues to look like a middle-of-the-order bat in the making and Beau Burrows (8-6, 2.70 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 105 K, 103.1 IP) is starting to live up to being a former first-round selection.

23. Seattle Mariners (Previous: 22)

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    Andrew Moore
    Andrew MooreNam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Kyle LewisA+1
    2. 1B Evan WhiteA-1
    3. RHP Nick NeidertAA2
    4. RHP Andrew MooreAAA2
    5. RHP Sam CarlsonROK2
    6. OF Braden BishopAA2
    7. RP Thyago VieiraAAA2
    8. 1B Dan VogelbachAAA2
    9. RHP Max PovseAAA2
    10. OF Julio RodriguezROK2

    Graduated/Traded: OF Tyler O'Neill, OF Brayan Hernandez


    Farm System Overview

    The Seattle Mariners sent power-hitting outfield prospect Tyler O'Neill to the Cardinals in exchange for left-hander Marco Gonzales in one of the more puzzling moves of July.

    Even prior to missing time to Tommy John surgery, Gonzales was never thought of as highly in prospect circles as O'Neill—who was admittedly having a down year after a breakout 2016 campaign.

    The system still boasts a pair of intriguing former college standouts in Kyle Lewis and Evan White, who could be ready to help at the big league level in short order. Nick Neidert (10-5, 3.25 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 114 K, 113.2 IP) has also established himself as the clear No. 1 pitching prospect in the system, reaching Double-A as a 20-year-old.

22. Boston Red Sox (Previous: 21)

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    Rafael Devers
    Rafael DeversTed S. Warren/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 3B Rafael DeversMLB1
    2. LHP Jay GroomeA1
    3. 3B Michael ChavisAA1
    4. 1B Sam TravisAAA2
    5. 1B Josh OckimeyA+2
    6. RHP Mike ShawarynA+2
    7. RHP Bryan MataA2
    8. RHP Tanner HouckA-2
    9. RHP Roniel RaudesA+2
    10. RHP Alex ScherffROK2

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    The Boston Red Sox added Eduardo Nunez and Addison Reed for the stretch run without coughing up any of their top young talents as they sent out five prospects total, but none who were close to cracking the top 10 within the organization.

    Rafael Devers has arrived in the majors with a bang, going 10-for-24 with two doubles and two home runs in his first six games. He'll have a chance to make a serious impact down the stretch while potentially plugging what's been a black hole at third base.

    A breakout season from Michael Chavis (.977 OPS, 26 2B, 25 HR) and strong performances from 2016 fifth-round pick Mike Shawaryn (7-5, 3.93 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 133 K, 100.2 IP) and 2016 international signee Bryan Mata (3.29 ERA, 51 K, 52.0 IP) have given the system some promising names to help replace the talent that was surrendered to acquire Chris Sale.

21. Texas Rangers (Previous: 24)

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    Ariel Jurado
    Ariel JuradoCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Leody TaverasA1
    2. 2B Willie CalhounAAA1
    3. LHP Yohander MendezAA1
    4. 1B Ronald GuzmanAAA2
    5. OF Bubba ThompsonROK2
    6. LHP Cole RagansA-2
    7. RHP Ariel JuradoAA2
    8. RHP Hans CrouseROK2
    9. SS Chris SeiseROK2
    10. 1B/OF Yanio PerezA+2

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    The Texas Rangers made the right move in biting the bullet and trading free-agent-to-be Yu Darvish at the deadline, as they picked up a nice package of prospects from the Dodgers.

    Willie Calhoun (.931 OPS, 24 2B, 23 HR) was the headliner in that deal, while right-hander A.J. Alexy and infielder Brendon Davis have both shown the potential in the lower levels of the minors to eventually emerge as top-10-caliber prospects.

    This system has taken a huge hit in recent seasons as the front office has swung deals for the likes of Cole Hamels, Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Beltran. However, it's back on the rise now as Texas potentially heads for a retooling period of sorts.

20. New York Mets (Previous: 20)

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    Dominic Smith
    Dominic SmithJohn Raoux/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. SS Amed RosarioMLB1
    2. 1B Dominic SmithAAA1
    3. RHP Justin DunnA+1
    4. LHP David PetersonA-2
    5. SS Andres GimenezA2
    6. LHP Thomas SzapuckiINJ2
    7. OF Desmond LindsayA2
    8. RHP Chris FlexenMLB2
    9. C Tomas NidoAA2
    10. RHP Jordan HumphreysA2

    Graduated/Traded: RHP Merandy Gonzalez


    Farm System Overview

    First of all, happy Amed Rosario Day to those who observe!

    The New York Mets' top prospect will make his MLB debut Tuesday after hitting .328/.367/.466 with 33 extra-base hits and 19 stolen bases in 94 games with Triple-A Las Vegas this season.

    The Mets did a healthy mix of buying and selling at the deadline, shipping out upcoming free agents Addison Reed and Lucas Duda while replacing Reed in the bullpen with A.J. Ramoswho is controllable through next season.

    The biggest prospect to move in those deals was right-hander Merandy Gonzalez, the headliner going to Miami in the Ramos deal. So while the Mets' place in the rankings doesn't change, the fanbase should be plenty excited for a healthy dose of Rosario and fellow top prospect Dominic Smith down the stretch.

19. Cleveland Indians (Previous: 17)

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    Francisco Mejia
    Francisco MejiaRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Triston McKenzieA+1
    2. C Francisco MejiaAA1
    3. 1B Bobby BradleyAA1
    4. 3B Nolan JonesA-2
    5. SS Yu-Cheng ChangAA2
    6. OF Quentin HolmesROK2
    7. 3B Yandy DiazAAA2
    8. RHP Shane BieberAA2
    9. SS Willie CastroA+2
    10. OF Will BensonA-2

    Graduated/Traded: OF Bradley Zimmer


    Farm System Overview

    It was a considerably quieter July for the Cleveland Indians this time around after they swung the blockbuster deal to acquire relief ace Andrew Miller from the Yankees a year ago.

    They have two of the game's top prospects in right-hander Triston McKenzie and catcher Francisco Mejia, both of whom are well ahead of the developmental curve and showing legitimate star potential. However, Bradley Zimmer's graduation costs them a few spots, and there's a fairly steep drop-off in talent after that aforementioned duo and slugger Bobby Bradley.

    The performance of recent draft picks Nolan Jones, Will Benson and Quentin Holmes will go a long way toward determining where this system will rank going forward.

18. Colorado Rockies (Previous: 18)

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    Riley Pint
    Riley PintDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. SS Brendan RodgersAA1
    2. RHP Riley PintA1
    3. 3B Ryan McMahonAAA1
    4. 3B Colton WelkerA2
    5. RHP Peter LambertA+2
    6. 3B Ryan ViladeROK2
    7. SS Garrett HampsonA+2
    8. RHP Ryan CastellaniAA2
    9. RHP Yency AlmonteAAA2
    10. C Tom MurphyAAA2

    Graduated/Traded: OF Raimel Tapia 


    Farm System Overview

    The Colorado Rockies have graduated a Tier 1 prospect in outfielder Raimel Tapia since these rankings were last updated

    However, a standout season from Ryan McMahon (.364 BA, 1.004 OPS, 36 2B, 17 HR) and a breakout performance from Colton Welker (.365 BA, .941 OPS, 24 XBH) keeps them from dropping in the rankings.

    A trio of lower-level prospects were sent to the Phillies in exchange for All-Star reliever Pat Neshek, and a yet-to-be-named player will be sent to the Rangers to complete a deal for catcher Jonathan Lucroy. All things considered, it was a productive deadline without costing much in the way of young talent.

17. Toronto Blue Jays (Previous: 12)

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    Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
    Vladimir Guerrero Jr.Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.A+1
    2. SS Bo BichetteA+1
    3. OF Anthony AlfordAA1
    4. RHP Sean Reid-FoleyAA2
    5. RHP T.J. ZeuchA+2
    6. SS Logan WarmothA-2
    7. C Max PentecostA+2
    8. SS Richard UrenaAA2
    9. RHP Nate PearsonA-2
    10. IF/OF Lourdes GurrielAA2

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    Sean-Reid Foley's drop (4.58 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 4.0 BB/9) from a Tier 1 to a Tier 2 prospect wound up costing the Toronto Blue Jays several spots in these rankings.

    That said, there might not be a more exciting prospect duo this season than Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.855 OPS, 31 XBH) and Bo Bichette (1.044 OPS, 51 XBH) and the system has enough other high-ceiling talents in the lower levels that it could quickly climb back toward the top 10.

    Outfielder Teoscar Hernandez didn't quite crack the organization's top 10, but acquiring him from the Astros for Francisco Liriano might very well wind up as the most lopsided deal of the 2017 deadline if he can realize his potential as an everyday outfielder.

16. Baltimore Orioles (Previous: 23)

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    Chance Sisco
    Chance SiscoChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. C Chance SiscoAAA1
    2. SS Ryan MountcastleAA1
    3. LHP D.L. HallROK1
    4. OF Austin HaysAA1
    5. LHP Tanner ScottAA2
    6. OF Cedric MullinsAA2
    7. LHP Keegan AkinA+2
    8. LHP Zac LowtherA-2
    9. RHP Cody SedlockA+2
    10. LHP Alex WellsA2

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    With Austin Hays (.328 BA, .968 OPS, 23 2B, 26 HR) officially making the jump to Tier 1, the Baltimore Orioles climb seven spots in these rankings despite opting against selling at the deadline.

    Had they found a suitable return for Zach Britton and/or Brad Brach, they could have climbed even higher.

    For now, this remains a top-heavy system that has received a significant boost in the rankings from the breakout performances of Hays and Ryan Mountcastle (.847 OPS, 39 2B, 15 HR) as well as the selection of left-hander D.L. Hall as an absolute steal at No. 21 overall back in June.

    Keep an eye on hard-throwing lefty Tanner Scott (1.83 ERA, 74 K, 59 IP, .174 BAA) and outfielder Cedric Mullins (.925 OPS, 25 XBH) as two other prospects on the rise.

15. Minnesota Twins (Previous: 19)

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    Royce Lewis
    Royce LewisJim Mone/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. SS Nick GordonAA1
    2. SS/CF Royce LewisROK1
    3. LHP Stephen GonsalvesAA1
    4. RHP Fernando RomeroAA1
    5. SS Wander JavierROK2
    6. OF Alex KirilloffINJ2
    7. RHP Blayne EnlowROK2
    8. OF Brent RookerA+2
    9. RHP Brusdar GraterolROK2
    10. C Mitch GarverAAA2

    Graduated/Traded: LHP Adalberto Mejia


    Farm System Overview

    The Minnesota Twins might not have added anyone to their organizational top 10, but they were able to land some quality prospects while flipping starter Jaime Garcia and All-Star reliever Brandon Kintzler.

    Zack Littell was the headliner in the deal that sent Garcia to the Yankees. The 21-year-old has gone 14-1 with a 1.87 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 109 strikeouts in 115.1 innings in Double-A as his results have belied his stuff.

    Meanwhile, the Kintzler deal brought another intriguing arm in 6'5" southpaw Tyler Watson. A 34th-round pick in 2015, he's opened eyes with his advanced feel for pitching, and further development of his changeup could make him a middle-of-the-rotation candidate.

    Two prospects on the rise: 18-year-old Brusdar Graterol (1.93 ERA, 27 K, 23.1 IP) and potential catcher of the future Mitch Garver (.884 OPS, 21 2B, 15 HR).

14. Pittsburgh Pirates (Previous: 16)

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    Kevin Newman
    Kevin NewmanDavid Goldman/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Mitch KellerA+1
    2. OF Austin MeadowsAAA1
    3. RHP Shane BazROK1
    4. SS Kevin NewmanAAA1
    5. 3B Ke'Bryan HayesA+2
    6. 3B Will CraigA+2
    7. SS Cole TuckerAA2
    8. RHP Steven JenningsROK2
    9. LHP Taylor HearnA+2
    10. OF Conner UseltonROK2

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    After graduating Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell from the prospect ranks early in the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates did well to restock the system with an aggressive draft that saw them select and sign four potential first-round-caliber talents in Shane Baz, Steven Jennings, Conner Uselton and Calvin Mitchell.

    The stalled development of Austin Meadows is troubling, though.

    Most expected the 22-year-old to arrive in the majors at some point this season, but instead, he's hit just .250/.314/.363 while dealing with nagging hamstring issues.

    It will be interesting to see how the team sorts out the middle infield logjam of Kevin Newman, Cole Tucker and Kevin Kramer as all three prospects push closer to the majors.

13. Washington Nationals (Previous: 14)

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    Erick Fedde
    Erick FeddeJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Victor RoblesAA1
    2. OF Juan SotoA1
    3. SS Carter KieboomA1
    4. RHP Erick FeddeMLB1
    5. LHP Seth RomeroROK2
    6. RHP Wil CroweROK2
    7. OF Andrew StevensonMLB2
    8. SS Luis GarciaROK2
    9. OF Yasel AntunaROK2
    10. OF Daniel JohnsonA+2

    Graduated/Traded: 3B Sheldon Neuse, LHP Jesus Luzardo, LHP Tyler Watson


    Farm System Overview

    The Washington Nationals added Brandon Kintzler, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to what had been a shaky relief corps, and while it cost them a trio of quality prospects, they didn't have to part with any top-tier guys. 

    There's not a more top-heavy system in the league right now as Victor Robles, Juan Soto, Carter Kieboom and Erick Fedde are all easy choices for inclusion in leaguewide top 100 lists, but the fall-off from there is steep.

    First-round pick Seth Romero and second-round pick Wil Crowe have the upside to join that group, and Andrew Stevenson has the glove to be an everyday center fielder if his bat continues to develop. As of now, it's hard to rank this group any higher, though.

12. Los Angeles Dodgers (Previous: 10)

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    Yadier Alvarez
    Yadier AlvarezLynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Walker BuehlerAAA1
    2. OF Alex VerdugoAAA1
    3. RHP Yadier AlvarezAA1
    4. OF Yusniel DiazA+1
    5. OF Jeren KendallA2
    6. RHP Mitchell WhiteAA2
    7. RHP Jordan SheffieldA2
    8. C Keibert RuizA+2
    9. C Will SmithAA2
    10. 3B Edwin RiosAAA2

    Graduated/Traded: 2B Willie Calhoun


    Farm System Overview

    The Los Angeles Dodgers managed to add Yu Darvish for the stretch run without giving up anyone from the vaunted group of Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo and Yadier Alvarez.

    Willie Calhoun has the offensive potential to be a star, and A.J. Alexy was among the most promising arms in the system, but as far as all-in moves are concerned, the Darvish deal wasn't the blow to the farm system it could have been.

    They also added lefty relievers Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani without parting with any further top-tier prospect talent, so while losing Calhoun costs the Dodgers a few spots, the big league roster got considerably better without making the farm system all that much worse.

    That's how you win the trade deadline, folks.

11. St. Louis Cardinals (Previous: 13)

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    Luke Weaver
    Luke WeaverDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Alex ReyesINJ1
    2. C Carson KellyMLB1
    3. RHP Jack FlahertyAAA1
    4. RHP Luke WeaverMLB1
    5. OF Tyler O'NeillAAA1
    6. OF Harrison BaderMLB2
    7. OF Magneuris SierraAA2
    8. SS Delvin PerezROK2
    9. RHP Sandy AlcantaraAA2
    10. RHP Dakota HudsonAAA2

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    The St. Louis Cardinals will regret not trading free-agent-to-be Lance Lynn or selling high on Tommy Pham if they fail to reach the postseason this year, but they still managed to come away from the trade deadline as winners.

    It's amazing how they turned Marco Gonzales into Tyler O'Neill, even with O'Neill's step back with the jump to Triple-A this season. He still has legit 30-homer upside, and Gonzales still looks like a potential No. 5 starter at best.

    Jack Flaherty (10-3, 2.24 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 118 K, 116.2 IP) has surpassed Luke Weaver as the team's top active pitching prospect, as Alex Reyes continues to work his way back from preseason Tommy John surgery.

    Guys such as Carson Kelly, Magneuris Sierra, Harrison Bader, Dakota Hudson, O'Neill, Weaver and Flaherty are all either ready or close to ready to make an impact at the MLB level, so it will be interesting to see how all those pieces fit in the coming year.

10. Houston Astros (Previous: 5)

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    Derek Fisher
    Derek FisherCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Kyle TuckerAA1
    2. RHP Franklin PerezAA1
    3. RHP Forrest WhitleyA+1
    4. OF Derek FisherMLB1
    5. RHP J.B. BukauskasROK1
    6. 1B/OF Yordan AlvarezA+2
    7. C Jake RogersA+2
    8. 3B J.D. DavisAAA2
    9. RHP Hector PerezA+2
    10. RHP David PaulinoSUS2

    Graduated/Traded: RHP Francis Martes, OF Teoscar Hernandez


    Farm System Overview

    Graduating top pitching prospect Francis Martes and trading outfielder Teoscar Hernandez to the Blue Jays for Francisco Liriano bumps the Houston Astros from No. 5 down to the No. 10 spot.

    However, the system still features a top-15 overall prospect in Kyle Tucker, a pair of potential front-line arms in Franklin Perez and Forrest Whitley, and an MLB-ready 20/20 threat in Derek Fisher.

    There's more high-end talent on the rise, too.

    Yordan Alvarez (.313 BA, .935 OPS, 24 XBH) was acquired at the deadline last year for reliever Josh Fields after signing for a $2 million bonus, and his 6'5", 225-pound frame offers intriguing power potential.

    Catcher Jake Rogers was a third-round pick in last year's draft and widely regarded as the best defensive backstop in the class. Now, an .829 OPS, 19 doubles and 15 home runs have quickly made him one of the best two-way prospects at the position.

9. Cincinnati Reds (Previous: 8)

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    Hunter Greene
    Hunter GreeneJulio Cortez/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Hunter GreeneROK1
    2. 3B Nick SenzelAA1
    3. RHP Tyler MahleAAA1
    4. OF Taylor TrammellA1
    5. RHP Luis CastilloMLB1
    6. RHP Vladimir GutierrezA+2
    7. OF Jesse WinkerAAA2
    8. 2B Shed LongA+2
    9. SS Jeter DownsROK2
    10. OF Jose SiriA2

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    The Cincinnati Reds should enjoy their spot inside the top 10 while they can, as right-hander Luis Castillo is just two innings away from exhausting his prospect eligibility.

    There's still a lot to like about this group of young talent, though, starting with Hunter Greene and Nick Senzel at the top. Greene has a chance to be a generational talent and a true ace, while Senzel could be ready to take over as the everyday third baseman by next season.

    It was a quiet deadline for the Reds, as their only move was to send reliever Tony Cingrani to the Dodgers for Scott Van Slyke and catching prospect Hendrik Clementina.

    The 20-year-old is currently in his fourth year of rookie ball, but he's hitting .370/.439/.554 with nine extra-base hits while throwing out 30 percent of base stealers, so he'll be one to keep an eye on once he finally makes the jump to full-season ball.

8. Oakland Athletics (Previous: 11)

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    A.J. Puk
    A.J. PukLynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. SS Franklin BarretoAAA1
    2. LHP A.J. PukAA1
    3. OF Austin BeckROK1
    4. 3B Matt ChapmanMLB1
    5. RHP James KaprielianINJ1
    6. LHP Jesus LuzardoROK2
    7. IF/OF Jorge MateoA+2
    8. RHP Daniel GossettMLB2
    9. RHP Grant HolmesAA2
    10. C Sean MurphyAA2

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    Did the Oakland Athletics really get the best possible return for Sonny Gray?

    As Michael Baumann of The Ringer wrote: "[Dustin] Fowler blew out his knee this year, [Jorge] Mateo's best tool is his speed and [James] Kaprielian could turn out to be a god, but he's also only thrown 29 minor league innings in three years. That just doesn't feel like the appropriate return on a 27-year-old top-end starter with two more years of team control. There's no [Eloy] Jimenez in this package."

    In fact, the best pickup of the deadline could wind up being left-hander Jesus Luzardo, who came over along with infield prospect Sheldon Neuse in the trade that sent Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to the Nationals.

    The 19-year-old has a 1.61 ERA and a 25-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 22.1 innings this year, and he has legitimate front-line upside if everything comes together.

    Catching prospect Sean Murphy is also one to watch as he's hitting .271/.330/.458 with 16 doubles and 11 home runs while reaching Double-A in his first full professional season.

7. San Diego Padres (Previous: 9)

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    MacKenzie Gore
    MacKenzie GoreAlex Gallardo/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. LHP MacKenzie GoreROK1
    2. RHP Cal QuantrillAA1
    3. RHP Anderson EspinozaINJ1
    4. 2B Luis UriasAA1
    5. SS Fernando Tatis Jr.A1
    6. LHP Adrian MorejonA1
    7. RHP Michel BaezA2
    8. LHP Eric LauerA+2
    9. 1B Josh NaylorAA2
    10. LHP Logan AllenA+2

    Graduated/Traded: RHP Dinelson Lamet


    Farm System Overview

    While the San Diego Padres didn't pull the trigger on trading standout reliever Brad Hand at the deadline, he could still net them a significant return down the road thanks to team control through 2019.

    Instead, it's Fernando Tatis Jr. making the jump to Tier 1 that earns the team two spots in the rankings, as the 18-year-old is hitting .268/.364/.491 with 19 doubles and 17 home runs for Single-A Fort Wayne.

    The other prospect on the rise is right-hander Michel Baez, who landed a $3 million bonus out of Cuba as part of last year's international spending spree.

    The 21-year-old is an imposing figure on the mound at 6'8" and 220 pounds, and the early returns have been terrific as he's posted a 1.30 ERA, 0.63 WHIP and a 54-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 34.2 innings.

    It's a dominant performance similar to what Dodgers prospect Yadier Alvarez did in his pro debut a year ago, and he could jump up to Tier 1 status himself in short order.

6. Philadelphia Phillies (Previous: 7)

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    Rhys Hoskins
    Rhys HoskinsMatt Rourke/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Mickey MoniakA1
    2. RHP Sixto SanchezA1
    3. OF Adam HaseleyA-1
    4. 1B Rhys HoskinsAAA1
    5. 2B Scott KingeryAAA1
    6. SS J.P. CrawfordAAA1
    7. C Jorge AlfaroAAA2
    8. OF Nick WilliamsMLB2
    9. RHP Adonis MedinaA2
    10. RHP Franklyn KilomeA+2

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    There have been a lot of moving parts in the Philadelphia Phillies system over the past year.

    While former top prospects J.P. Crawford and Jorge Alfaro have fallen flat in the upper levels of the minors, others such as precocious right-hander Sixto Sanchez and infielders Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery have seen their stock increase dramatically.

    The result is a farm system that has more or less maintained its spot in these rankings, despite considerable shuffling on that top prospect list you see above.

    Sanchez is the one to watch here, as the 19-year-old has gone 5-3 with a 2.41 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and a 64-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 67.1 innings in Single-A. He has the makings of a stellar three-pitch mix and advanced command, albeit with limited projectability remaining in his 6'0", 185-pound frame.

5. Tampa Bay Rays (Previous: 6)

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    Brent Honeywell
    Brent HoneywellLynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Brent HoneywellAAA1
    2. SS Willy AdamesAAA1
    3. 1B/LHP Brendan McKayA-1
    4. OF Jesus SanchezA1
    5. 1B/OF Jake BauersAAA1
    6. RHP Jose De LeonAAA1
    7. OF Joshua LoweA2
    8. OF Garrett WhitleyA2
    9. SS Lucius FoxA2
    10. SS Wander FrancoROK2

    Graduated/Traded: RHP Jacob Faria, 1B Casey Gillaspie


    Farm System Overview

    The Tampa Bay Rays move into the top five more as a result of the Houston Astros' falling out than anything else.

    In fact, with Jacob Faria's graduation and Casey Gillaspie's trade to the White Sox for reliever Dan Jenningsamong other minor deadline movesthey've actually done more subtracting as small-scale buyers than adding.

    Still, with two marquee prospects in Brent Honeywell and Willy Adames, another potential star in first-round pick Brendan McKay and one of the fastest-rising teenagers in the sport in Jesus Sanchez, the Rays provide plenty of justification for their ranking.

    Wander Franco is also a new addition as he was signed to a $3.825 million bonus as the No. 1 prospect in this year's international class, per MLB.com

4. Milwaukee Brewers (Previous: 4)

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    Brett Phillips
    Brett PhillipsDerik Hamilton/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. CF Lewis BrinsonMLB1
    2. RHP Luis OrtizAA1
    3. RHP Brandon WoodruffAAA1
    4. 2B/OF Keston HiuraA1
    5. OF Corey RayA+1
    6. IF Isan DiazA+1
    7. RHP Corbin BurnesAA2
    8. RHP Freddy PeraltaA+2
    9. SS Mauricio DubonAAA2
    10. OF Brett PhillipsAAA2

    Graduated/Traded: LHP Josh Hader


    Farm System Overview

    A streaking Chicago Cubs team and the unshakeable feeling that they were playing with house money this year wound up being enough for the Milwaukee Brewers to opt against aggressively buying at the deadline.

    They did pick up relievers Anthony Swarzak, Jeremy Jeffress and Tyler Webb in exchange for prospects Ryan Cordell, Tayler Scott and Garrett Cooper, respectively. None of those moves were anything close to a serious blow to the team's long-term plans, though.

    Luis Ortiz and Brandon Woodruff have emerged as the top pitching prospects in the system now that Josh Hader has moved on to the majors, but keep an eye on Corbin Burnes.

    A fourth-round pick in 2016, he's gone 8-3 with a 1.65 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 110 strikeouts in 114.1 innings between High-A and Double-A and could reach his ceiling as a middle-of-the-rotation starter in the near future.

3. New York Yankees (Previous: 2)

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    Seth Wenig/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. SS Gleyber TorresINJ1
    2. OF Clint FrazierMLB1
    3. RHP Chance AdamsAAA1
    4. OF Estevan FlorialA1
    5. LHP Justus SheffieldAA1
    6. 3B Miguel AndujarAAA1
    7. RHP Domingo AcevedoAA1
    8. RHP Albert AbreuA+2
    9. RHP Freicer PerezA2
    10. IF Tyler WadeMLB2

    Graduated/Traded: OF Blake Rutherford, RHP James Kaprielian, IF/OF Jorge Mateo, OF Dustin Fowler


    Farm System Overview

    With the AL East title within reach and expectations still to win now even with the club clearly focused on the future, the New York Yankees were in a precarious position this July.

    When the dust settled, they acquired Sonny Gray, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, Todd Frazier and Jaime Garcia, and the farm system still has enough elite-level talent and overall depth to fall just one spot to No. 3 in the rankings.

    Blake Rutherford and James Kaprielian both have huge upside, but the team is not lacking for outfield talent in the case of Rutherford, and there's no guarantee Kapreilian ever stays healthy enough to realize his ace potential.

    The rise of 19-year-old Estevan Florial, who is hitting .297/.373/.483 with 37 extra-base hits and 17 stolen bases for Single-A Charleston, has also given this already stacked system another elite-level talent.

2. Atlanta Braves (Previous: 1)

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    Ronald Acuna
    Ronald AcunaLynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Ronald AcunaAAA1
    2. SS Ozzie AlbiesAAA1
    3. LHP Kolby AllardAA1
    4. RHP Mike SorokaAA1
    5. RHP Kyle WrightROK1
    6. SS Kevin MaitanROK1
    7. RHP Ian AndersonA1
    8. LHP Luiz GoharaAAA1
    9. LHP Joey WentzA2
    10. OF Cristian PacheA2

    Graduated/Traded: LHP Sean Newcomb


    Farm System Overview

    There was a good deal of debate over who the No. 1 prospect in the Atlanta Braves system was once Dansby Swanson graduated off that list earlier this season.

    Now there's little doubt Ronald Acuna belongs at the top.

    The 19-year-old has already reached Triple-A and is hitting .311/.365/.516 with 22 doubles, 16 home runs and 35 stolen bases over three minor league levels this season. Simply put, he's a potential franchise cornerstone in their ongoing rebuilding efforts.

    Kolby Allard and Mike Soroka remain the team's top pitching prospects, but first-round pick Kyle Wright, offseason pickup Luiz Gohara and 2016 draft picks Ian Anderson and Joey Wentz are pushing their way into that conversation as well.

    It will be interesting to see who gets the call to the majors between now and the end of the season as the Braves continue to assess their rising young talent.

1. Chicago White Sox (Previous: 3)

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    Michael Kopech
    Michael KopechRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 2B Yoan MoncadaMLB1
    2. OF Eloy JimenezA+1
    3. RHP Michael KopechAA1
    4. OF Blake RutherfordA1
    5. OF Luis RobertROK1
    6. RHP Dylan CeaseA1
    7. RHP Lucas GiolitoAAA1
    8. RHP Alec HansenA+1
    9. RHP Reynaldo LopezAAA1
    10. RHP Dane DunningA+2

    Graduated/Traded: None


    Farm System Overview

    Already the No. 3 farm system when we last updated these rankings following the June draft, the Chicago White Sox continued stockpiling young talent with five July trades.

    The headliners from their summer haul were Eloy Jimenez (No. 4), Blake Rutherford (No. 29) and Dylan Cease (No. 38), who all ranked among the top 50 prospects in our most recent top 100 update.

    However, they also added Casey Gillaspie, Ryan Cordell, Ian Clarkin, A.J. Puckett and Tito Polo as quality organizational depth capable of making an impact at the next level.

    Throw in incumbent guys such as Zack Collins, Carson Fulmer, Spencer Adams, Micker Adolfo and first-round pick Jake Burger, who would easily rank inside the top 10 of most other organizations, and it further illustrates the impressive overall depth of this system.

    We're still a few years away from the next contending team on the South Side, but they've quickly built up baseball's best farm system since finally committing to a full-blown rebuild with the Chris Sale trade.


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, unless otherwise noted.