Bleacher Report's Updated Farm System Rankings at the Start of 2019

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2019

Bleacher Report's Updated Farm System Rankings at the Start of 2019

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    While there's still a lot of the MLB offseason left, it's time for an updated look at the prospect landscape at the start of the new year.

    We'll likely update these rankings again before Opening Day on March 28, with the inevitable trade or injury still to come, 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 sets and tools are often better indications of what kind of player someone will be.
    • Talent (Player): As for guys in the higher levels of the minors who are close to breaking through to the big leagues, production and talent 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 a deep farm system is the way to build a sustainable contender. Depth and talent were the biggest factors 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.

    A tier system is used to help differentiate the varying levels of individual talent.

    • Tier 1/Top 100 Prospects: Prospects who have elite skill sets and All-Star potential. This is the cream of the prospect crop. These players are identified by where they will fall in our first top 100 prospect list of the year, which will be released later in the offseason.
    • Tier 2: Prospects who have a good chance of becoming impact contributors at the MLB level. These are the guys who were in consideration for spots on the leaguewide top-100 list and could eventually end up there.
    • Tier 3: Prospects who profile as fringe MLB contributors or young players who are still too raw to project any higher. This tier represents the bulk of prospects around baseball, though more than a few are capable of climbing to the next tier.

    Teams were initially ranked based on the number of Tier 1 and Tier 2 prospects in their systems, and then the rankings were subjectively tweaked from there.

                                      

    Note: A player must not have passed the rookie-eligibility limits (130 AB, 50 IP, 45 days on an active roster prior to Sept. 1) to be included in these rankings.

30. Boston Red Sox

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    Michael Chavis
    Michael ChavisJennifer Stewart/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. 3B Michael Chavis232
    2. LHP Darwinzon Hernandez223
    3. 3B Bobby Dalbec233
    4. 1B Triston Casas183
    5. RHP Bryan Mata193
    6. SS Antoni Flores183
    7. LHP Jay Groome203
    8. RHP Mike Shawaryn243
    9. RHP Tanner Houck223
    10. SS C.J. Chatham243

                           

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Red Sox system has talent; it just comes with significant boom-or-bust potential.

    Darwinzon Hernandez, Bryan Mata, Jay Groome and Tanner Houck all have electric stuff with a significant gap between each of their floors and ceilings. Varying levels of command issues, injury concerns and inconsistent performances are to blame.

    Michael Chavis posted a .919 OPS with 23 extra-base hits in 194 plate appearances last season but only after serving an 80-game PED suspension. Bobby Dalbec posted a .361 on-base percentage and slugged 32 home runs between High-A and Double-A, but he also struck out 176 times at a 32.4 percent clip.

    There are multiple guys capable of making the leap to Tier 1, there are just too many question marks.

    Third baseman Danny Diaz will be one to watch in his stateside debut. The 18-year-old has big raw power and the chance for a solid hit tool.

                     

    Just Missed: OF Nick Decker, 3B Danny Diaz, RHP Durbin Feltman

29. Chicago Cubs

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    Nico Hoerner
    Nico HoernerJoe Robbins/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. SS Nico Hoerner21Top 100
    2. C Miguel Amaya192
    3. OF Cole Roederer193
    4. LHP Brailyn Marquez193
    5. RHP Adbert Alzolay233
    6. LHP Justin Steele233
    7. SS Aramis Ademan203
    8. OF Brennen Davis193
    9. RHP Cory Abbott233
    10. RHP Paul Richan213

                 

    Farm System Snapshot

    There's a new No. 1 prospect in a thinned-out Chicago Cubs farm system.

    Nico Hoerner hit .327/.450/.571 in 60 plate appearances after going No. 24 overall last June. He then laid waste to the Arizona Fall League with an impressive .337/.362/.506 line and nine extra-base hits in 94 trips to the plate. Don't be surprised if he's in Chicago at some point in 2019.

    Meanwhile, catcher Miguel Amaya was one of the breakout prospects of 2018 with a .752 OPS, 21 doubles and 12 home runs in a full season at Single-A. His ETA could coincide with Willson Contreras' free agency (2023), so that's worth keeping an eye on.

    Behind those two, the lower levels of the system are loaded with unproven, high-ceiling prospects. As far as short-term impact, pitchers Adbert Alzolay and Justin Steele could be next to arrive in the majors.

                         

    Just Missed: RHP Richard Gallardo, RHP Alex Lange, LHP Brendon Little, RHP Keegan Thompson

28. Miami Marlins

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    Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Mesa Jr.
    Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Mesa Jr.Mark Brown/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Victor Victor Mesa22Top 100
    2. RHP Nick Neidert222
    3. RHP Sandy Alcantara233
    4. OF Monte Harrison233
    5. OF Connor Scott193
    6. RHP Jorge Guzman223
    7. 2B Isan Diaz223
    8. RHP Jordan Yamamoto223
    9. C Will Banfield193
    10. RHP Edward Cabrera203

                 

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Miami Marlins immediately gained a new No. 1 prospect when they signed Cuban standout Victor Victor Mesa to a $5.25 million bonus Oct. 22. The 22-year-old will likely begin the season in the minors, but there's a good chance he'll make his MLB debut in 2019 and has the tools to develop into a top-of-the-order table setter.

    Nick Neidert (2), Sandy Alcantara (3), Monte Harrison (4), Jorge Guzman (6), Isan Diaz (7) and Jordan Yamamoto (8) were all acquired in last offseason's fire sale, though none garner Tier 1 status, and overall the return for Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon still feels light.

    Neidert doesn't have overpowering stuff, but he does have 60-grade command and a polished three-pitch mix. After going 12-7 with a 3.24 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 154 strikeouts in 152.2 innings at Double-A, he's nearing his ceiling as a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

    The one to watch is Yamamoto. The 2014 12th-round pick posted a 2.08 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 26 innings in the AFL, and his fastball has earned praise for its high spin rate.

                  

    Just Missed: SS Jose Devers, RHP Zac Gallen, LHP Braxton Garrett, OF Tristan Pompey

27. Milwaukee Brewers

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    Keston Hiura
    Keston HiuraJoe Robbins/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. 2B Keston Hiura22Top 25
    2. OF Corey Ray242
    3. SS Brice Turang193
    4. RHP Zack Brown243
    5. OF Tristen Lutz203
    6. IF Mauricio Dubon243
    7. OF Carlos Rodriguez183
    8. 3B Lucas Erceg233
    9. OF Joe Gray183
    10. RHP Trey Supak223

                 

    Farm System Snapshot

    Between trading several top prospects for Yelich and graduating the likes of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta to the majors, the Milwaukee Brewers farm system has thinned considerably.

    However, there is still plenty of intriguing talent, starting with second baseman Keston Hiura. The 22-year-old is arguably the best pure hitter in the minors not named Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and has a legit 70-grade hit tool. After hitting .293/.357/.464 with 34 doubles and 13 home runs between High-A and Double-A, he could be ready for the everyday second base job by midseason.

    Toolsy outfielder Corey Ray has been slow to develop after going No. 5 overall out of Louisville in 2016, but his skill set remains tantalizing. Shortstop Brice Turang also has the upside to exceed his 2018 draft position after he went No. 21 last June.

    Zack Brown enjoyed a breakout season as a starter in 2018, but a high-effort delivery could land him in the bullpen. If that happens, he may follow a similar path to Burnes.

         

    Just Missed: OF Micah Bello, C/1B Jacob Nottingham, OF Je'Von Ward

26. San Francisco Giants

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    Shaun Anderson
    Shaun AndersonRob Carr/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. C Joey Bart22Top 25
    2. OF Heliot Ramos19Top 100
    3. OF Marco Luciano173
    4. RHP Shaun Anderson243
    5. OF Alexander Canario183
    6. RHP Sean Hjelle213
    7. OF Heath Quinn233
    8. RHP Gregory Santos193
    9. RHP Melvin Adon243
    10. OF Diego Rincones193

                 

    Farm System Snapshot

    The San Francisco Giants used the No. 2 overall pick last June on Georgia Tech standout Joey Bart, who immediately became baseball's top catching prospect. After hitting .294/.364/.588 with 13 home runs in 51 games in his debut, he'll be on the fast track.

    Outfielder Heliot Ramos has loud offensive tools, and he played most of the 2018 campaign as an 18-year-old in full-season ball, so his subpar numbers need to be viewed in context. He still has the makings of a middle-of-the-order force; it will just take patience.

    Fellow teenagers Marco Luciano, Alexander Canario, Gregory Santos and Diego Rincones could push this system further, though there's still a clear lack of pitching talent across all levels.

    Flame-thrower Melvin Adon turned heads in the Arizona Fall League with a 21-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 12.1 innings. He could take off with a full-time move to the bullpen.

          

    Just Missed: C/1B Aramis Garcia, 3B Jacob Gonzalez, 1B/OF Chris Shaw, RHP Logan Webb

25. Cleveland Indians

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    Yu Chang
    Yu ChangCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Triston McKenzie21Top 50
    2. 3B Nolan Jones20Top 50
    3. OF George Valera183
    4. C Bo Naylor183
    5. SS Tyler Freeman193
    6. RHP Luis Oviedo193
    7. SS Brayan Rocchio173
    8. RHP Ethan Hankins183
    9. LHP Sam Hentges223
    10. SS/3B Yu Chang233

                 

    Farm System Snapshot

    There's no question Triston McKenzie and Nolan Jones are among the game's top prospects.

    Questions are arising over whether McKenzie will ever fill out his lanky 6'5", 165-pound frame, but the present stuff is good enough that his future is still bright, even if he never bulks up.

    As for Jones, he used budding power (19 HR) and excellent on-base skills (.405 OBP, 17.1 BB%) to emerge as an elite third base prospect in 2018. Still, his rocket arm and emerging bat could facilitate an eventual move to right field.

    Behind that duo, the system's loaded with high-ceiling players who are getting their feet wet in the lower minors. Case in point: prospects No. 3-8 on the above list are all still shy of their 20th birthdays.

    George Valera is the one to watch. He has huge raw power and could quickly make the leap to Tier 1 with a strong debut. For now, he has just six pro games under his belt after a broken hamate in his hand cut short his 2018.

                 

    Just Missed: RHP Elijah Morgan, RHP Lenny Torres

24. Kansas City Royals

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    Khalil Lee
    Khalil LeeJoe Robbins/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Brady Singer22Top 100
    2. C MJ Melendez20Top 100
    3. OF Khalil Lee20Top 100
    4. LHP Daniel Lynch223
    5. RHP Jackson Kowar223
    6. SS Nicky Lopez233
    7. 1B Nick Pratto203
    8. OF Seuly Matias203
    9. OF Kyle Isbel213
    10. RHP Carlos Hernandez213

                

    Farm System Snapshot

    In last year's version of this article, the Kansas City Royals occupied the No. 30 spot.

    A strong draft that netted a trio of advanced college arms (Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar and Daniel Lynch) and impressive progression from two other recent picks (MJ Melendez and Khalil Lee) makes this a system on the rise.

    Singer was in the conversation to go No. 1 overall and has front-line potential, Melendez looks like a franchise catcher in the making, and Lee took a huge step forward by trimming his strikeout rate from 32.1 to 24.6 percent.

    But it's the 6'6" lefty Lynch who had the most impressive season statistically, logging a 1.58 ERA with a 61/8 K/BB in 51.1 innings. With a polished four-pitch mix and an uptick in velocity, he could be the best of the bunch.

    The X-factor is Seuly Matias. He launched 31 home runs in 94 games as a 19-year-old but also struck out 131 times at a 34.8 percent rate. He might have a 20-grade hit tool, which is extremely poor, and he won't get to use his plus raw power enough against better pitching if he doesn't adjust his approach.

                   

    Just Missed: LHP Kris Bubic, RHP Yefri Del Rosario, RHP Josh Staumont

23. New York Mets

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    Peter Alonso
    Peter AlonsoChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. SS Andres Gimenez20Top 50
    2. 1B Peter Alonso24Top 100
    3. 3B Mark Vientos19Top 100
    4. SS Ronny Mauricio173
    5. LHP David Peterson233
    6. SS Shervyen Newton193
    7. LHP Anthony Kay233
    8. RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson183
    9. RHP Franklyn Kilome233
    10. 2B Luis Santana193

              

    Farm System Snapshot

    The New York Mets have a top-heavy system with a clear-cut top eight prospects and then a significant drop-off.

    Andres Gimenez and Peter Alonso can be considered "1" and "1A" in these rankings. One is a precocious middle infield prospect with tremendous upside, the other is a first base-only slugger who looks ready for the majors after logging an .849 OPS with six home runs and 27 RBI in 27 AFL games.

    Not far behind is Mark Vientos, who posted an .878 OPS with 11 home runs in rookie ball. He'll be 19 for the entire 2019 season and still has plenty of room to add strength to his 6'4", 185-pound frame.

    Don't be surprised if Simeon Woods-Richardson is the top pitching prospect in the system by the end of the year. The Mets went over-slot to sign him to a $1.85 million bonus at No. 48 overall, and he posted a 1.56 ERA and 26/4 K/BB over 17.1 innings in his debut.

    There's a lot of high-ceiling international talent to keep an eye on—led by Ronny Mauricio, Shervyen Newton, Freddy Valdez, Adrian Hernandez and Francisco Alvarez.

             

    Just Missed: C Francisco Alvarez, OF Adrian Hernandez, LHP Thomas Szapucki, OF Freddy Valdez

22. Los Angeles Angels

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    Jo Adell
    Jo AdellPatrick McDermott/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Jo Adell19Top 25
    2. RHP Griffin Canning22Top 100
    3. OF Brandon Marsh21Top 100
    4. IF Luis Rengifo213
    5. OF Jordyn Adams193
    6. 2B Jahmai Jones213
    7. LHP Jose Suarez203
    8. 1B Matt Thaiss233
    9. OF D'Shawn Knowles173
    10. LHP Patrick Sandoval223

                  

    Farm System Snapshot

    Jo Adell has quickly gone from "best athlete" in the 2017 draft to one of baseball's top all-around prospects. His raw tools have translated to on-field success faster than anyone could have hoped, and after closing out the 2018 season at Double-A, he could be ready for an everyday role by 2020.

    Behind him, the Los Angeles Angels system is vastly improved.

    Griffin Canning has established himself as a future rotation member, Brandon Marsh has flashed five-tool potential and Luis Rengifo came out of nowhere to hit .299/.399/.452 with 50 extra-base hits and 41 steals while reaching Triple-A.

    Toolsy outfielders Jordyn Adams and D'Shawn Knowles could shoot up the organizational rankings, and the same goes for lefties Jose Suarez and Patrick Sandoval as they embark on full seasons in the upper levels of the minors.

    A healthy Chris Rodriguez could rejoin the top prospect list after he missed 2018 with a stress reaction in his back.

          

    Just Missed: RHP Ty Buttery, OF Michael Hermosillo, RHP Chris Rodriguez, RHP Jose Soriano

21. Washington Nationals

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    Victor Robles
    Victor RoblesG Fiume/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Victor Robles21Top 25
    2. SS Carter Kieboom21Top 50
    3. SS Luis Garcia18Top 100
    4. RHP Mason Denaburg193
    5. RHP Wil Crowe243
    6. SS Yasel Antuna193
    7. LHP Seth Romero223
    8. RHP Sterling Sharp233
    9. OF Gage Canning213
    10. C Israel Pineda183

                 

    Farm System Snapshot

    No system is more top-heavy than that of the Washington Nationals.

    Luckily, the three headliners all have a chance to be impact players, which is enough to put the club in the No. 21 spot.

    Victor Robles is poised to seize a starting position in the big league outfield as long as Bryce Harper doesn't re-sign in Washington. Speed and defense will be his most prominent tools early on, but there's true five-tool potential.

    Shortstop Carter Kieboom could move across the bag to second base with Trea Turner blocking his path in the big leagues. His bat will play at either position, and after posting an .801 OPS with 48 extra-base hits between High-A and Double-A, he's close to ready.

    Luis Garcia is also destined for a position change and has the arm to man third base if Anthony Rendon walks in free agency next winter. The 18-year-old hit .298/.336/.406 with 34 extra-base hits, splitting the season between Single-A and High-A, and he appears to be on the fast track.

    The rest of the system is filled with Tier 3 guys of varying levels of upside. A healthy Mason Denaburg could quickly jump to Tier 2, and the same goes for a focused Seth Romero. For now, the chasm between the top three and everyone else is massive.

                 

    Just Missed: OF Telmito Agustin, RHP Jake Irvin, RHP Jackson Tetreault

20. Baltimore Orioles

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    Yusniel Diaz
    Yusniel DiazRob Carr/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Yusniel Diaz22Top 100
    2. LHP DL Hall20Top 100
    3. 3B Ryan Mountcastle212
    4. RHP Grayson Rodriguez192
    5. OF Austin Hays233
    6. OF Ryan McKenna213
    7. RHP Dean Kremer223
    8. LHP Zac Lowther233
    9. SS Jean Carmona193
    10. LHP Keegan Akin223

           

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Baltimore Orioles finally pulled the trigger on rebuilding last summer, trading the likes of Manny Machado, Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop and Zach Britton to add needed depth to a thin farm system.

    Yusniel Diaz was the centerpiece of a five-player package that came from the Dodgers in the Machado deal. The 22-year-old does everything well and has the hit tool (.285 BA), speed (12 SB), plate discipline (.392 OBP, 14.2 BB%) and contact skills (67 K, 16.1 K%) to be a top-of-the-order catalyst.

    Lefty DL Hall has quickly proved to be a steal after he went No. 21 overall in 2017, and top 2018 pick Grayson Rodriguez will push him for the title of top pitcher in the system. Dean Kremer—another piece of the Machado package—also deserves a mention after he racked up 178 strikeouts in 131.1 innings between High-A and Double-A.

    Outfielder Ryan McKenna looks ready to take a major step forward after he hit .344/.474/.590 over 78 plate appearances in the AFL. A strong start in Double-A could vault him to No. 3 on the organizational list.

             

    Just Missed: 3B JC Encarnacion, RHP Hunter Harvey, RHP Blaine Knight, SS Richie Martin, RHP Luis Ortiz

19. Colorado Rockies

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    Brendan Rodgers
    Brendan RodgersBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. SS Brendan Rodgers22Top 25
    2. 3B Colton Welker21Top 100
    3. 1B/3B Tyler Nevin21Top 100
    4. 2B/SS Garrett Hampson242
    5. LHP Ryan Rolison213
    6. 1B Grant Lavigne193
    7. RHP Peter Lambert213
    8. 3B Ryan Vilade193
    9. SS Terrin Vavra213
    10. RHP Justin Lawrence243

                   

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Colorado Rockies have a top-heavy system as well, with a wide gap between their top eight prospects and the rest of their minor league talent pool.

    Brendan Rodgers remains the headliner, and after raking in Double-A, he has little left to prove in the minors. The vacancy at second base could have his name written all over it. That said, don't be surprised if fellow prospect Garrett Hampson gets the first crack at the job.

    Colton Welker can flat-out hit and looks like the heir to Nolan Arenado at third base, while Tyler Nevin is fresh off an impressive run in the AFL where he hit a ridiculous .426/.535/.593 over 71 plate appearances. Both guys could be ready by 2020.

    While there are plenty of intriguing bats, the system is thin on pitching after it graduated the likes of Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela and Jon Gray in recent years.

    Keep an eye on reliever Justin Lawrence, who can reach the upper 90s with a deceptive, whip-like sidearm delivery. After striking out 62 batters in 54.1 innings at High-A, he punched out another 13 in 10.2 AFL innings. He's ready for a look in the big league bullpen.

                     

    Just Missed: OF Yonathan Daza, SS Eddy Diaz, OF Daniel Montano, RHP Reid Humphreys, RHP Riley Pint

18. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Jon Duplantier
    Jon DuplantierChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Jon Duplantier24Top 50
    2. OF Kristian Robinson18Top 50
    3. SS Jazz Chisholm20Top 100
    4. C Daulton Varsho222
    5. RHP Taylor Widener243
    6. OF Alek Thomas183
    7. SS Geraldo Perdomo193
    8. OF Jake McCarthy213
    9. SS Blaze Alexander193
    10. RHP Emilio Vargas223

                   

    Farm System Snapshot

    MLB talent was the target in the deal that sent Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals, so the move didn't have much of an impact on the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system. That said, if they green light trades of Robbie Ray, Zack Greinke, David Peralta and others, a windfall of prospect talent could be coming their way.

    For now, Jon Duplantier holds the No. 1 spot after he followed up a breakout 2018 season with an equally strong showing at Double-A. The 6'4", 225-pound right-hander looks like the future ace of the staff.

    The biggest breakout candidate in this system—and perhaps leaguewideis Kristian Robinson. The toolsy outfielder made his Stateside debut in 2018 and hit .279/.363/.428 with 12 doubles and seven home runs in 57 rookie ball games. He'll play the entire upcoming season at age 18.

    Like Robinson, Jazz Chisholm is a native of the Bahamas, and he too as an extremely high ceiling. After posting an .842 OPS with 23 doubles and 25 home runs between Single-A and High-A, he's ready to join the top-tier of shortstop prospects.

    The No. 18 spot is the floor for this system, and it could rank significantly higher by midseason.

                     

    Just Missed: RHP Taylor Clarke, 3B Drew Ellis, 1B Pavin Smith, C Andy Yerzy, IF Andy Young

17. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Mitch Keller
    Mitch KellerPatrick McDermott/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Mitch Keller22Top 25
    2. 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes21Top 50
    3. SS Oneil Cruz20Top 100
    4. OF Travis Swaggerty21Top 100
    5. OF Calvin Mitchell193
    6. SS Cole Tucker223
    7. 2B Kevin Kramer253
    8. OF Bryan Reynolds233
    9. IF Kevin Newman253
    10. RHP Steven Jennings203

                     

    Farm System Snapshot

    In right-hander Mitch Keller, the Pittsburgh Pirates have the most polished top-tier pitching prospect in baseball. He has three plus pitches and excellent command, and after battling injuries early in his pro career, he's proved durable. Simply put, he's as safe a bet as anyone to have a lengthy, successful MLB career.

    Behind him, the system is loaded with position-player talent.

    Some combination of Kevin Kramer, Cole Tucker and Kevin Newman figures to be the future at the middle infield spots, Ke'Bryan Hayes has All-Star potential and could assume everyday third base duties by midseason, and towering 6'6" shortstop Oneil Cruz might have the highest ceiling of any of them after a standout full-season debut.

    The Pirates have been shy at times when it comes to promoting top prospects, but the pieces are in place for a major youth movement if they go that route.

         

    Just Missed: RHP Luis Escobar, OF Jason Martin, OF Lolo Sanchez

16. Texas Rangers

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    Taylor Hearn
    Taylor HearnMark Brown/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. LHP Taylor Hearn24Top 100
    2. RHP Hans Crouse202
    3. OF Leody Taveras202
    4. OF Julio Pablo Martinez222
    5. RHP Cole Winn192
    6. OF Bubba Thompson203
    7. IF Anderson Tejeda203
    8. RHP Jonathan Hernandez223
    9. LHP Brock Burke223
    10. RHP Tyler Phillips213

                   

    Farm System Snapshot

    This might be the high-water mark on Taylor Hearn.

    That said, there's a lot to like about the hard-throwing lefty, starting with increasing optimism that he can remain in a starting role. Blessed with a 70-grade fastball, he's made steady improvements in his secondary stuff and overall command, posting a 3.49 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 9.8 K/9 in 129 innings at Double-A. He also lowered his walk rate to a manageable 3.3 BB/9.

    There are plenty of other intriguing arms in the Texas Rangers system, led by Hans Crouse and 2018 draft pick Cole Winn. And don't sleep on left-hander Brock Burke, who was acquired in the Jurickson Profar trade. He has the sturdy 6'4" frame, premium velocity and deceptive delivery to carve out a spot in the middle of a big league rotation.

    The arrow is trending down for Leody Taveras after a disappointing season at High-A, but he's still just 20 years old and well ahead of the developmental curve. A second season at the level could put him right back on the top prospect map.

    While he didn't quite crack the top 10, don't be surprised if Sherten Apostel shoots up the organizational rankings in 2019 after he hit .278/.420/.460 with eight home runs and 36 RBI over 224 plate appearances in his Stateside debut.

                

    Just Missed: RHP A.J. Alexy, 3B Sherten Apostel, SS Jonathan Ornelas, LHP Joe Palumbo, LHP Cole Ragans, IF Eli White, RHP Owen White

15. New York Yankees

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    Estevan Florial
    Estevan FlorialChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Estevan Florial21Top 100
    2. RHP Deivi Garcia19Top 100
    3. RHP Jonathan Loaisiga242
    4. OF Everson Pereira172
    5. RHP Michael King232
    6. RHP Roansy Contreras193
    7. RHP Clarke Schmidt223
    8. C Anthony Seigler193
    9. RHP Garrett Whitlock223
    10. OF Antonio Cabello183

            

    Farm System Snapshot

    The New York Yankees farm system is loaded with quality arms who are one good season away from establishing themselves as top prospects.

    Deivi Garcia made the leap with a brilliant season that included a 2.55 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, .189 opponents' batting average and 105 strikeouts in 74 innings over three levels. While he's undersized at 5'10", 163 pounds, his advanced three-pitch mix is electric, and he needs only to prove he's capable of holding up over a full season.

    Roansy Contreras, Clarke Schmidt, Garrett Whitlock, Luis Gil, Trevor Stephan, Matt Sauer and Luis Medina could all join him in making the jump to top-prospect status with strong 2019 performances.

    Five-tool potential and past performance are enough to keep Estevan Florial in the No. 1 spot. Still, don't be surprised if one of the pitchers or 17-year-old outfielder Everson Pereira overtakes him before 2019 is over.

    Pereira showed an approach that belied his age in the Appalachian League, and he could be gearing up for a breakout performance in his full-season debut.

    This is another system that could rank significantly higher by midseason.

                       

    Just Missed: RHP Domingo Acevedo, RHP Luis Gil, RHP Luis Medina, RHP Matt Sauer, RHP Trevor Stephan

14. Philadelphia Phillies

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    Adonis Medina
    Adonis MedinaRob Carr/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Sixto Sanchez20Top 50
    2. 3B Alec Bohm22Top 100
    3. SS Luis Garcia182
    4. RHP Adonis Medina222
    5. OF Adam Haseley222
    6. RHP Spencer Howard223
    7. LHP JoJo Romero223
    8. RHP Enyel De Los Santos233
    9. LHP Cole Irvin243
    10. LHP Ranger Suarez233

                    

    Farm System Snapshot

    After graduating the likes of Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, J.P. Crawford, Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro in recent years, the Philadelphia Phillies have a pitching-rich system.

    Sixto Sanchez is still the best of the bunch. He made just eight starts in 2018 while battling shoulder inflammation, but he still has top-of-the-rotation upside and could be banging down the door by midseason.

    The breakout arm last year was Spencer Howard, who posted a 3.78 ERA with 147 strikeouts in 112 innings at Single-A after Philly selected him in the second round of the 2017 draft. With a four-pitch mix and a sturdy 6'3", 205-pound frame, he looks like a future big league starter.

    Will this be the year everything clicks for 2016 No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak? The 20-year-old hit an uninspired .270/.304/.383 at High-A, but the tools are still there and he's still young.

                        

    Just Missed: 2B Daniel Brito, OF Mickey Moniak, RHP Francisco Morales

13. St. Louis Cardinals

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    Dakota Hudson
    Dakota HudsonJeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. 3B Nolan Gorman18Top 100
    2. RHP Alex Reyes24Top 100
    3. RHP Dakota Hudson24Top 100
    4. C Andrew Knizner232
    5. 3B Elehuris Montero202
    6. RHP Ryan Helsley243
    7. OF Dylan Carlson203
    8. RHP Griffin Roberts223
    9. OF Jhon Torres183
    10. 3B Malcom Nunez173

              

    Farm System Snapshot

    The St. Louis Cardinals do as good a job as any team of developing minor league talent into MLB contributors, and it's often less heralded prospects who break through.

    A healthy Alex Reyes is the most likely to make a splash in 2019. The electric right-hander has been shelved by Tommy John surgery and a torn lat muscle for most of the past two seasons, so he'll need to prove healthy before he can reclaim his top-prospect status.

    Andrew Knizner is the catcher of the future since the club traded Carson Kelly to Arizona, Dakota Hudson seems to have found a home in a setup role and slugger Nolan Gorman will try to match a torrid pro debut that saw him post a .949 OPS with 17 home runs in 63 games.

    Cuban third baseman Malcom Nunez is one to watch. He hit an absurd .415/.497/.774 with 16 doubles and 13 home runs over 199 plate appearances in the Dominican Summer League and is poised to make his Stateside debut.

                

    Just Missed: OF Randy Arozarena, LHP Genesis Cabrera, OF Justin Williams

12. Oakland Athletics

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    Jesus Luzardo
    Jesus LuzardoChris Carlson/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. LHP Jesus Luzardo21Top 25
    2. C Sean Murphy24Top 50
    3. LHP A.J. Puk23Top 100
    4. OF Austin Beck202
    5. OF Kyler Murray212
    6. OF Lazaro Armenteros193
    7. OF Jameson Hannah213
    8. RHP James Kaprielian243
    9. SS/OF Jorge Mateo233
    10. RHP Daulton Jefferies233

                   

    Farm System Snapshot

    A strong case can be made that Jesus Luzardo is the best pitching prospect in baseball.

    The left-hander dominated over three minor league levels in 2018, going 10-5 with a 2.88 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 129 strikeouts in 109.1 innings. The Oakland Athletics didn't want to push his innings total higher down the stretch last year, but he should have a shot to crack the rotation out of spring training.

    Catcher Sean Murphy hit .288/.358/.498 with 36 extra-base hits at Double-A while using his rocket arm to nab 34 percent of base stealers. He has all the tools to be a franchise catcher, and there's a clear path to the job.

    Bounce-back seasons from guys like James Kaprielian, Jorge Mateo and Sheldon Neuse would send this system back into the top 10 in these rankings.

    Of course, the question on everyone's mind is whether Kyler Murray is ready to leave football behind. The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner hit .296/.398/.556 with 13 doubles, 10 home runs and 47 RBI in 51 games at Oklahoma last spring before going No. 9 overall in the MLB draft.

                       

    Just Missed: OF Luis Barrera, OF Skye Bolt, RHP Brian Howard, 3B Sheldon Neuse

11. Detroit Tigers

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    Casey Mize
    Casey MizeCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Casey Mize21Top 25
    2. RHP Matt Manning20Top 50
    3. SS Isaac Paredes192
    4. OF Daz Cameron212
    5. RHP Franklin Perez212
    6. RHP Alex Faedo232
    7. RHP Beau Burrows223
    8. OF Parker Meadows193
    9. OF Christin Stewart253
    10. OF Brock Deatherage233

          

    Farm System Snapshot

    As the rebuild continues in Detroit, several of the Tigers' top prospects are closing in on the majors.

    Last year's No. 1 overall pick, Casey Mize, is among that group, and he should move quickly. With excellent command of an advanced three-pitch mix that includes a 70-grade splitter, and a strong 6'3", 220-pound frame, he looks like a future ace.

    Not far behind is Matt Manning, who has taken off since turning his full attention to baseball after starring on the basketball court as well in high school. The 6'6" right-hander has electric stuff, which helped him fan 154 batters in 117.2 innings over three levels. He still has room to improve his overall command, and the upside is huge if he can take a step forward in that area.

    Isaac Paredes showed good pop (28 2B, 15 HR) while reaching Double-A as a 19-year-old, while Daz Cameron has started to turn his tremendous potential into on-field production.

    The X-factor is Franklin Perez. The 21-year-old began the 2018 season as one of the baseball's top pitching prospects but saw his stock drop after he missed time with a lat strain and shoulder inflammation—sandwiched around 19.1 innings of 6.52 ERA work. If he's back to full health, he would give the team another Top 100 prospect.

          

    Just Missed: SS Willi Castro, RHP Kyle Funkhouser, SS Wenceel Perez, C Jake Rogers

10. Seattle Mariners

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    Evan White
    Evan WhiteChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. LHP Justus Sheffield22Top 50
    2. LHP Yusei Kikuchi27Top 100
    3. OF Julio Rodriguez18Top 100
    4. OF Jarred Kelenic19Top 100
    5. 1B Evan White222
    6. RHP Justin Dunn232
    7. RHP Logan Gilbert213
    8. OF Kyle Lewis233
    9. C Cal Raleigh223
    10. RHP Erik Swanson253

                 

    Farm System Snapshot

    Trades of James Paxton, Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Jean Segura and Mike Zunino have helped the Seattle Mariners restock a farm system that had been among the thinnest in baseball for several years.

    Then they further bolstered their spot in these rankings by signing Japanese standout Yusei Kikuchi on New Year's Day in a move reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN.com. Kikuchi and fellow offseason addition Justus Sheffield will likely both have a spot in the Opening Day rotation.

    They're not the only prospects poised to make a 2019 impact. First baseman Evan White is on the cusp thanks to his advanced approach at the plate, Erik Swanson closed out last season in Triple-A and outfielder Braden Bishop has little left to prove in the minors.

    With that in mind, the team's place within the top 10 is likely only temporary. Once Sheffield and Kikuchi exhaust their prospect status, there will be an inevitable slide down the rankings. Still, this system has come a long way in a short time.

          

    Just Missed: OF Braden Bishop, SS Noelvi Marte, OF Josh Stowers, OF Dom Thompson-Williams

9. Minnesota Twins

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    Royce Lewis
    Royce LewisBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. SS Royce Lewis19Top 25
    2. OF Alex Kirilloff21Top 25
    3. RHP Brusdar Graterol20Top 50
    4. OF Trevor Larnach212
    5. OF Brent Rooker242
    6. LHP Stephen Gonsalves242
    7. SS Wander Javier193
    8. RHP Jhoan Duran203
    9. LHP Lewis Thorpe233
    10. C Ryan Jeffers213

                  

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Minnesota Twins' Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff are two of the best prospects in baseball, and they may just be scratching the surface of their potential.

    After going No. 1 overall in 2017, Lewis hit .292/.352/.451 with 46 extra-base hits and 28 steals between Single-A and High-A, and he won't turn 20 until June. Even if he moves to center field, he has all the makings of a future superstar.

    Not to be outdone, Kirilloff returned from a 2018 season that was lost to Tommy John surgery with a bang, hitting .348/.392/.578 with 44 doubles, 20 home runs and 101 RBI playing alongside Lewis at Single-A and High-A. He looks like a future 60-hit, 60-power guy who is also a plus on the basepaths and in the outfield.

    The pitching side of the system is somewhat weak, though Brusdar Graterol has a chance to be special, and guys like Stephen Gonsalves, Lewis Thorpe, Kohl Stewart and Zack Littell are MLB-ready.

    A healthy Wander Javier will look to prove he was worth the $4 million bonus he signed as part of the 2015 international class after a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder sidelined him last year.

         

    Just Missed: RHP Jorge Alcala, OF Akil Baddoo, RHP Blayne Enlow, 2B/SS Nick Gordon, 2B/SS Yunior Severino

8. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Alex Verdugo
    Alex VerdugoRob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Alex Verdugo22Top 25
    2. SS Gavin Lux21Top 50
    3. C Keibert Ruiz20Top 100
    4. RHP Dustin May21Top 100
    5. C/3B Will Smith232
    6. SS Jeter Downs202
    7. RHP Tony Gonsolin243
    9. OF DJ Peters233
    10. RHP Josiah Gray213
    8. RHP Dennis Santana223

               

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Los Angeles Dodgers spent big on the international market in recent years, but their stellar job of drafting has given them one of the best farm systems.

    Alex Verdugo, Gavin Lux, Dustin May, Will Smith, Tony Gonsolin, DJ Peters, Mitchell White, Jeren Kendall, Connor Wong and Edwin Rios are all homegrown draft picks.

    They also bolstered the system by acquiring Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray from the Reds in the deal that sent Alex Wood, Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to Cincinnati.

    With Yasmani Grandal potentially departing in free agency, the continued development of the team's trio of quality catching prospects—Keibert Ruiz, Will Smith and Connor Wong—takes on added significance.

    Will 2019 be the year Verdugo finally gets a crack at an everyday job? It's hard to believe he's still just 22 years old, as he's seemingly been on the cusp of the majors for years.

         

    Just Missed: RHP Yadier Alvarez, C Diego Cartaya, OF Jeren Kendall, RHP Mitchell White, C Connor Wong

7. Houston Astros

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    Kyle Tucker
    Kyle TuckerRob Leiter/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Forrest Whitley21Top 25
    2. OF Kyle Tucker21Top 25
    3. 1B/OF Yordan Alvarez21Top 50
    4. RHP Josh James25Top 100
    5. RHP Corbin Martin222
    6. RHP J.B. Bukauskas222
    7. 1B/OF Seth Beer223
    8. SS Freudis Nova183
    9. RHP Bryan Abreu213
    10. RHP Cristian Javier213

                 

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Houston Astros are in an excellent position with a stacked MLB roster and a loaded farm system to serve as reinforcements or trade fodder.

    Forrest Whitley might have the highest upside of any pitching prospect in baseball with a projectable 6'7", 195-pound frame and an overpowering four-pitch mix. A 50-game suspension for violating the MiLB drug program slowed his ascent to the big leagues, but all signs point to a 2019 debut.

    In the meantime, hard-throwing Josh James looks destined for a spot in the Opening Day rotation after he impressed down the stretch last year. With a 70-grade fastball and a plus slider/changeup combination, he struck out 171 batters in 141.2 innings in the minors and another 29 in 23 innings with the MLB club.

    Outfielder Kyle Tucker is still an elite prospect despite a subpar showing in his first taste of the majors. He'll be joined by Yordan Alvarez in the outfield and in the middle of the batting order a few years down the road.

    Will they pull the trigger on a J.T. Realmuto trade and part with some of their top prospects?

         

    Just Missed: LHP Cionel Perez, OF Myles Straw, LHP Framber Valdez

6. Cincinnati Reds

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    Taylor Trammell
    Taylor TrammellJoe Robbins/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. 2B/3B Nick Senzel23Top 25
    2. OF Taylor Trammell21Top 25
    3. RHP Hunter Greene19Top 50
    4. 3B Jonathan India22Top 100
    5. RHP Tony Santillan212
    6. C Tyler Stephenson222
    7. 2B Shed Long233
    8. OF Mike Siani193
    9. RHP Vladimir Gutierrez233
    10. OF Mariel Bautista213

           

    Farm System Snapshot

    Look out for the Cincinnati Reds.

    By the 2020 season, they could have Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell, Jonathan India, Tony Santillan, Tyler Stephenson, Shed Long and Vladimir Gutierrez all playing in the majors.

    That upcoming infusion of young talent, coupled with the financial flexibility to be major players on the free-agent market, gives them an extremely bright outlook.

    Senzel would have already established himself in the majors if not for a fractured right index finger that required surgery. It's still unclear where he'll land defensively, but he has the offensive tools to be a perennial batting-title contender with the pop for 40 doubles and 20 home runs.

    Developing pitching talent remains the biggest issue for this organization.

    However, if Hunter Greene can stay healthy and live up to his potential, and guys like Santillan and Gutierrez can hold down rotation spots, they'll be in good shape.

          

    Just Missed: OF Michael Beltre, RHP Keury Mella, OF Stuart Fairchild, OF Jose Siri

5. Tampa Bay Rays

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    Brandon Lowe
    Brandon LoweJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. SS Wander Franco17Top 25
    2. RHP Brent Honeywell23Top 50
    3. 1B/LHP Brendan McKay23Top 50
    4. OF Jesus Sanchez21Top 50
    5. C Ronaldo Hernandez21Top 100
    6. LHP Matthew Liberatore19Top 100
    7. 2B/OF Brandon Lowe242
    8. 1B Nate Lowe233
    9. 2B Vidal Brujan203
    10. RHP Shane Baz193

            

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Tampa Bay Rays have a new No. 1 prospect in precocious shortstop Wander Franco.

    Playing the entire 2018 season at age 17, he hit .351/.418/.587 with 10 doubles, seven triples, 11 home runs and more walks (27) than strikeouts (19) as one of the youngest players in the rookie-level Appalachian League.

    Behind him, the system is stocked with high-ceiling talent.

    Brent Honeywell has front-line potential if his recovery from Tommy John surgery goes smoothly, Brendan McKay has a chance to be the next two-way star or just a stellar left-handed starting pitcher, Ronaldo Hernandez has quickly emerged as one of the game's most exciting catching prospects and Jesus Sanchez looks like a future middle-of-the-order star.

    That's to say nothing of Brandon Lowe (.949 OPS, 22 HR), Nathaniel Lowe (.985 OPS, 27 HR) and Vidal Brujan (.320 BA, .862 OPS, 55 SB), who all had huge offensive seasons in 2018.

    The system may look a bit thin on the pitching side based on this top-prospect list, but few organizations do a better job of developing arms, so that's far from a concern.

         

    Just Missed: SS Lucius Fox, OF Moises Gomez, LHP Shane McClanahan, 2B/OF Nick Solak

4. Chicago White Sox

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    Eloy Jimenez
    Eloy JimenezJamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Eloy Jimenez22Top 25
    2. RHP Dylan Cease22Top 25
    3. RHP Michael Kopech22Top 25
    4. OF Luis Robert21Top 50
    5. SS Nick Madrigal21Top 100
    6. RHP Dane Dunning24Top 100
    7. OF Micker Adolfo222
    8. OF Luis Gonzalez233
    9. OF Blake Rutherford213
    10. OF Luis Alexander Basabe223

                

    Farm System Snapshot

    Slugger Eloy Jimenez: coming to a ballpark near you this summer.

    The Chicago White Sox held him back during the second half last season, but after he hit .337/.384/.577 with 28 doubles, 22 home runs and 75 RBI in 108 games between Double-A and Triple-A, he has nothing left to prove. With 70-grade power and a good enough approach to hit .300, he's a future superstar.

    Dylan Cease has overtaken Michael Kopech as the system's top pitching prospect, due in part to the fact that Kopech will miss the 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Cease's performance had plenty to do with that, too, as he went 12-2 with a 2.40 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 160 strikeouts in 124 innings between High-A and Double-A.

    Cuban phenom Luis Robert was slowed by a ligament issue in his thumb last year and could be ready for a breakout season in 2019. He's joined by Micker Adolfo, Luis Gonzalez, Blake Rutherford, Luis Alexander Basabe and Steele Walker in a system loaded with outfield talent.

    Expect to see a wave of top prospects arrive in Chicago this summer. The team might not be ready to contend quite yet, but it's an exciting time to be a White Sox fan.

          

    Just Missed: C Zack Collins, RHP Ian Hamilton, RHP Alec Hansen

3. Toronto Blue Jays

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    Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
    Vladimir Guerrero Jr.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.19Top 25
    2. SS Bo Bichette20Top 25
    3. C Danny Jansen23Top 100
    4. RHP Eric Pardinho17Top 100
    5. RHP Nate Pearson22Top 100
    6. SS Jordan Groshans192
    7. SS Kevin Smith222
    8. 2B Cavan Biggio232
    9. RHP Sean Reid-Foley233
    10. OF Anthony Alford243

                 

    Farm System Snapshot

    How good is Vladimir Guerrero Jr.?

    "As a future plus hitter with at least 30-homer potential, Guerrero boasts the offensive profile of a perennial All-Star and possible MVP candidate in his prime," wrote MLB.com, and that might not do him justice.

    Despite the fact that he won't turn 20 until March, he hit .381/.437/.636 with 29 doubles, 20 home runs and 78 RBI in the upper levels of the minors last year. He's the AL Rookie of the Year front-runner and a generational talent for a Toronto Blue Jays team set to retool.

    Guerrero gets the attention, and rightfully so, but this is a stacked system behind him.

    Danny Jansen will take over as the starting catcher in 2019, infielders Bo Bichette, Kevin Smith and Cavan Biggio could all see the majors this season and have a chance to make a major offensive impact, and Anthony Alford still has tantalizing enough tools to dream on his potential.

    The pitching side is considerably weaker, but hard-throwing Nate Pearson and prodigy Eric Pardinhowho pitched in the World Baseball Classic at age 15both have a chance to be special. Sean Reid-Foley should get a long look for a rotation spot this spring.

         

    Just Missed: 3B Miguel Hiraldo, SS Orelvis Martinez, 1B Rowdy Tellez, RHP T.J. Zeuch

2. Atlanta Braves

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    Austin Riley
    Austin RileyMark Cunningham/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Ian Anderson20Top 25
    2. 3B Austin Riley21Top 25
    3. RHP Kyle Wright23Top 50
    4. RHP Touki Toussaint22Top 50
    5. OF Cristian Pache20Top 50
    6. RHP Mike Soroka21Top 100
    7. RHP Bryse Wilson21Top 100
    8. OF Drew Waters19Top 100
    9. C William Contreras21Top 100
    10. LHP Luiz Gohara22Top 100

                 

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Atlanta Braves' collection of pitching prospects is as impressive as any ever assembled.

    Ian Anderson, Kyle Wright, Touki Toussaint, Mike Soroka, Bryse Wilson, Luiz Gohara, Kolby Allard, Kyle Muller and Joey Wentz all look like future MLB starters with varying levels of polish and upside. Even if only half of them pan out, the Braves are in an excellent position.

    Anderson, the No. 3 pick in the 2016 draft, has emerged as the best of the bunch. With a projectable 6'3", 170-pound frame and three plus pitches, it's easy to dream on his upside, and the present is not too shabby, either. He posted a 2.49 ERA and 1.14 WHIP with 142 strikeouts in 119.1 innings last year while reaching Double-A.

    Austin Riley is MLB-ready, and a move to the outfield could be forthcoming to get his bat into the lineup. Cristian Pache is a future Gold Glove winner in center field, and his offensive game has come along nicely, while William Contreras has emerged as the potential long-term answer at catcher.

    Even after winning the NL East title in 2018, Atlanta has better days ahead.

        

    Just Missed: LHP Kolby Allard, LHP Kyle Muller, LHP Joey Wentz

1. San Diego Padres

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    Fernando Tatis Jr.
    Fernando Tatis Jr.Andy Hayt/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. SS Fernando Tatis Jr.20Top 25
    2. LHP MacKenzie Gore19Top 25
    3. RHP Chris Paddack22Top 50
    4. 2B/SS Luis Urias21Top 50
    5. C/OF Francisco Mejia23Top 50
    6. LHP Adrian Morejon19Top 100
    7. LHP Logan Allen21Top 100
    8. RHP Luis Patino19Top 100
    9. RHP Michel Baez22Top 100
    10. SS Xavier Edwards19Top 100

              

    Farm System Snapshot

    How deep is the San Diego Padres farm system?

    Esteury Ruiz, Cal Quantrill, Buddy Reed and Hudson Potts would be prized prospects for most organizations. In San Diego, they're relegated to the honorable mentions list, buried behind a wealth of elite young talent.

    Fernando Tatis Jr. is the headliner, and after hitting .286/.355/.507 with 22 doubles, 16 home runs and 16 steals as a 19-year-old at Double-A, he should be knocking on the door by midseason.

    MacKenzie Gore and Chris Paddack are the top arms in the system. Adrian Morejon, Logan Allen, Luis Patino and Michel Baez are all capable of overtaking them with further development, and the future rotation figures to be a significant strength.

    As if the system weren't already overflowing with talent, shortstop Xavier Edwards looks like one of the early steals of the 2018 draft. After going No. 38 overall and signing for an above-slot bonus of $2.6 million, he hit .346/.453/.409 with more walks (31) than strikeouts (25) in his pro debut.

    It might be another long season in 2019, but the Padres are set up for sustainable contention once they return to relevance.

                  

    Just Missed: 1B/OF Josh Naylor, RHP Jacob Nix, 3B Hudson Potts, RHP Cal Quantrill, OF Buddy Reed, 2B Esteury Ruiz, LHP Ryan Weathers

           

    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.