Updated Farm System Rankings for Every MLB Team at the Start of 2021

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2021

Updated Farm System Rankings for Every MLB Team at the Start of 2021

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    Wander Franco
    Wander FrancoMichael Reaves/Getty Images

    Our most recent farm system update came days after the Aug. 31 trade deadline, so the rankings were long overdue for a shuffling.

    In the months since, a handful of blockbuster trades have been made, and a number of top prospects also exhausted their rookie statuses over the season's final month and are no longer part of the conversation as a result.

    The following factors helped determine the placement 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 indicators of what kind of player someone will be.
    • Talent (Player): As for those in the higher levels of the minors who are close to breaking through to the big leagues, production and talent were 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): With that being said, there is a difference between a prospect who has a chance of making an impact in the majors and a prospect who could be a star. Elite prospects served as a tiebreaker of sorts when teams were close in the rankings.

    A tier system was used to help differentiate the varying levels of individual talent:

    • Tier 1: Prospects who have elite skill sets and All-Star potential. This is the cream of the prospect crop. These 100 players make up B/R's top 100 prospect list.
    • Tier 2: Prospects who have a good chance of becoming impact contributors. These are the players who were in consideration for spots on the leaguewide top 100 list and could 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 at-bats, 50 innings pitched, 45 days on an active roster prior to Sept. 1) to be included in these rankings.

30. Washington Nationals (Previous: 30)

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    Cade Cavalli
    Cade CavalliMatt Patterson/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Jackson Rutledge212
    2. RHP Mason Denaburg212
    3. RHP Cade Cavalli222
    4. LHP Tim Cate233
    5. RHP Andry Lara183
    6. 1B Drew Mendoza233
    7. RHP Cole Henry213
    8. LHP Matt Cronin233
    9. LHP Seth Romero243
    10. SS/3B Yasel Antuna213

    Next 5: RHP Joan Adon, OF Jeremy De La Rosa, C Israel Pineda, OF Roismar Quintana, RHP Sterling Sharp

       

    Farm System Snapshot

    With infielders Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia moving on to the majors and pitchers Wil Crowe and Eddy Yean traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Josh Bell deal, the Washington Nationals system is down four top prospects from the last time these rankings were updated—when they also claimed the No. 30 spot.

    The front office has invested first-round picks in Mason Denaburg (No. 27 in 2018), Jackson Rutledge (No. 17 in 2019) and Cade Cavalli (No. 22 in 2020), and that trio now represents the best of baseball's thinnest farm system.

29. Colorado Rockies (Previous: 29)

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    Ryan Rolison
    Ryan RolisonDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Zac Veen19Top 100
    2. LHP Ryan Rolison23Next 50
    3. 3B/OF Ryan Vilade212
    4. 1B Michael Toglia223
    5. 3B Colton Welker233
    6. 3B Aaron Schunk233
    7. SS Adael Amador173
    8. C Drew Romo193
    9. RHP Chris McMahon213
    10. 1B Grant Lavigne213

    Next 5: OF Brenton Doyle, OF Jameson Hannah, RHP Karl Kauffmann, LHP Helcris Olivarez, LHP Sam Weatherly

       

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Colorado Rockies are a franchise perpetually in need of pitching help, but five of their top 10 prospects are corner infielders who were all early draft picks in recent years. That should tell you everything you need to know about the front office.

    The Rockies used the No. 9 pick in the 2020 draft on outfielder Zac Veen, but he has a chance to be a steal if he lives up to his high offensive ceiling. They also appear to have hit on 2018 first-round pick Ryan Rolison, whose polish and high floor should allow him to move quickly toward a spot in the MLB rotation.

28. Houston Astros (Previous: 18)

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    Forrest Whitley
    Forrest WhitleyJeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Forrest Whitley23Top 100
    2. INF Freudis Nova212
    3. RHP Bryan Abreu232
    4. SS/2B Jeremy Pena232
    5. C Korey Lee223
    6. RHP Hunter Brown223
    7. RHP Luis Garcia243
    8. RHP Tyler Ivey243
    9. OF Jordan Brewer233
    10. RHP Alex Santos183

    Next 5: OF Colin Barber, SS/3B Grae Kessinger, OF Chas McCormick, RHP Jairo Solis, RHP Jojanse Torres

       

    Farm System Snapshot

    Since these rankings were last updated following the trade deadline, Jose Urquidy, Cristian Javier, Brandon Bielak and Enoli Paredes have all graduated for the Houston Astros. What's left is a thin system propped up by uber-talented but confounding right-hander Forrest Whitley and a number of second-tier pitchers with big arms and considerable risk.

    Shortstop Freudis Nova still has star-caliber upside, and 2019 first-round pick Korey Lee looks like the catcher of the future, but the front office has work to do to restock the pipeline.

27. Oakland Athletics (Previous: 28)

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    Nick Allen
    Nick AllenElaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. LHP A.J. Puk25Top 100
    2. SS Robert Puason18Next 50
    3. SS/2B Nick Allen22Next 50
    4. C Tyler Soderstrom192
    5. RHP Daulton Jefferies253
    6. 3B/SS Sheldon Neuse263
    7. SS Logan Davidson233
    8. OF Brayan Buelvas183
    9. RHP Jeff Criswell213
    10. OF Austin Beck223

    Next 5: RHP Tyler Baum, C Jonah Heim, RHP Grant Holmes, RHP James Kaprielian, OF Junior Perez

       

    Farm System Snapshot

    Talented teenagers Robert Puason, Tyler Soderstrom and Brayan Buelvas give the Oakland Athletics system intriguing upside, while A.J. Puk remains the top prospect after another injury-plagued season kept him from exhausting his rookie status.

    An uptick in offensive production in 2019 made Nick Allen look like a future everyday player at one of the middle infield spots, while Sheldon Neuse could compete for the starting second base job in spring training if the A's don't make an outside addition.

26. Los Angeles Angels (Previous: 23)

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    Reid Detmers
    Reid DetmersDarron Cummings/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Brandon Marsh23Top 100
    2. LHP Reid Detmers21Top 100
    3. OF Jordyn Adams21Next 50
    4. SS/2B Jeremiah Jackson20Next 50
    5. RHP Chris Rodriguez223
    6. SS Kyren Paris193
    7. SS Arol Vera183
    8. RHP Jack Kochanowicz203
    9. OF Alexander Ramirez183
    10. RHP/OF William Holmes203

    Next 5: 2B Jahmai Jones, OF/2B D'Shawn Knowles, LHP Packy Naughton, RHP Jose Alberto Rivera, LHP Hector Yan

       

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Los Angeles Angels have come a long way from having the consensus worst system in baseball just a few years ago, but with Jo Adell no longer a prospect and right-hander Jose Soriano having been snapped up in the Rule 5 draft, they fell a few spots since the last update.

    At some point, this system is going to have to produce someone in the way of MLB-caliber pitching talent, and 2020 first-round pick Reid Detmers is the top arm in the system by a wide margin. If he's finally healthy and everything clicks, right-hander Chris Rodriguez still has top-of-the-rotation upside, so he's one to watch.

25. Milwaukee Brewers (Previous: 26)

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    Brice Turang
    Brice TurangSue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Garrett Mitchell22Top 100
    2. SS/2B Brice Turang21Next 50
    3. OF Tristen Lutz22Next 50
    4. LHP Ethan Small232
    5. C Mario Feliciano222
    6. LHP Aaron Ashby223
    7. SS Eduardo Garcia183
    8. LHP Antoine Kelly213
    9. OF Hedbert Perez173
    10. SS Freddy Zamora223

    Next 5: RHP Zack Brown, RHP Max Lazar, OF Luis Medina, OF Corey Ray, OF Carlos Rodriguez

       

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Milwaukee Brewers have quietly done a nice job developing MLB talent—especially pitchers—in recent years with Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes and Devin Williams among the players to rise the ranks. That should bode well for Ethan Small, Aaron Ashby and flame-thrower Antoine Kelly.

    UCLA standout Garrett Mitchell jumped to the top of the organizational rankings after he was the No. 20 pick in 2020. If he can tap in to more of his strength and add some loft to his swing, he could be the steal of the draft.

24. Philadelphia Phillies (Previous: 19)

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    Spencer Howard
    Spencer HowardMatt Slocum/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Spencer Howard24Top 100
    2. RHP Francisco Morales21Top 100
    3. SS Bryson Stott23Next 50
    4. RHP Mick Abel19Next 50
    5. RHP Adonis Medina242
    6. SS Luis Garcia203
    7. C Rafael Marchan213
    8. OF Simon Muzziotti223
    9. OF Mickey Moniak223
    10. SS Casey Martin213

    Next 5: SS Nick Maton, LHP Erik Miller, OF Johan Rojas, LHP JoJo Romero, 2B Kendall Simmons

       

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Philadelphia Phillies slid a few spots now that slugger Alec Bohm is no longer perched atop their prospect list, but there is still some exciting top-tier talent headlining the thin system.

    Spencer Howard and Adonis Medina could factor in to the 2021 pitching staff, while Francisco Morales and Mick Abel are capable of emerging as elite prospects in the coming years. If the Phils don't make an outfield addition, Mickey Moniak could play his way into the center field job.

23. New York Yankees (Previous: 21)

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    Clarke Schmidt
    Clarke SchmidtKathy Willens/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Jasson Dominguez17Top 100
    2. RHP Clarke Schmidt24Top 100
    3. RHP Deivi Garcia21Top 100
    4. RHP Luis Gil222
    5. C Austin Wells212
    6. SS Oswald Peraza203
    7. RHP Alexander Vizcaino233
    8. SS Anthony Volpe193
    9. RHP Luis Medina213
    10. OF Kevin Alcantara183

    Next 5: RHP Roansy Contreras, 2B Ezequiel Duran, OF Estevan Florial, RHP Yoendrys Gomez, RHP Miguel Yajure

       

    Farm System Snapshot

    Behind the consensus top three in the New York Yankees farm system, right-hander Luis Gil and 2020 first-round pick Austin Wells represent the best of a deep crop of high-ceiling talent still looking to take that next step forward.

    From wild flame-thrower Luis Medina to high-ceiling middle infielder Oswald Peraza to 6'6" outfielder Kevin Alcantara, the system is loaded with intriguing prospects. It's hard to rank the Bronx Bombers any higher, though, until some of those players show more, but the system has as much upside as any ranked outside the top 10.

22. Los Angeles Dodgers (Previous: 12)

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    Keibert Ruiz
    Keibert RuizGregory Bull/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Josiah Gray23Top 100
    2. C Keibert Ruiz22Top 100
    3. 3B Kody Hoese23Top 100
    4. C Diego Cartaya192
    5. 2B Michael Busch232
    6. OF Andy Pages203
    7. 3B Miguel Vargas213
    8. RHP Ryan Pepiot233
    9. RHP Bobby Miller213
    10. SS/2B Jacob Amaya223

    Next 5: RHP Clayton Beeter, RHP Gerardo Carrillo, RHP Landon Knack, OF DJ Peters, OF Luis Rodriguez

       

    Farm System Snapshot

    Infielder Gavin Lux and hard-throwing right-hander Brusdar Graterol were Nos. 1 and 2 on the Los Angeles Dodgers prospect list at last update. But they surpassed the eligibility limits, and the result was a slide down the rankings for the defending World Series champions.

    Outfielders Andy Pages and Luis Rodriguez, third baseman Miguel Vargas and middle infielder Jacob Amaya represent the next wave of position-player talent, while Bobby Miller, Clayton Beeter and Landon Knack were all scooped up in the 2020 draft. With Josiah Gray, Keibert Ruiz and Kody Hoese all knocking on the door, this top prospect list could look very different this time next year.

21. San Diego Padres (Previous: 7)

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    MacKenzie Gore
    MacKenzie GoreGregory Bull/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. LHP MacKenzie Gore21Top 100
    2. SS CJ Abrams20Top 100
    3. C Luis Campusano22Top 100
    4. OF Robert Hassell19Next 50
    5. LHP Ryan Weathers212
    6. OF Hudson Head193
    7. INF Tucupita Marcano213
    8. RHP Justin Lange193
    9. OF Tirso Ornelas203
    10. RHP Reggie Lawson233

    Next 5: RHP Carlos Guarate, OF Joshua Mears, RHP Brayan Medina, 2B Esteury Ruiz, RHP Mason Thompson

       

    Farm System Snapshot

    The San Diego Padres had the best farm system in baseball not long ago, and they were still No. 7 on this list last time. So what happened?

    Luis Patino (previously No. 2 on the team), Cole Wilcox (No. 8), Reginald Preciado (No. 10), Owen Caissie (Next 5) and Blake Hunt (Next 5) were included in the blockbuster deals to acquire Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, while left-hander Adrian Morejon (No. 5) graduated from the prospect ranks.

    That's what happens when a team transitions from building to contending, and the Friars still have three elite prospects in MacKenzie Gore, CJ Abrams and Luis Campusano.

20. St. Louis Cardinals (Previous: 22)

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    Dylan Carlson
    Dylan CarlsonJeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Dylan Carlson22Top 100
    2. LHP Matthew Liberatore21Top 100
    3. 3B Nolan Gorman20Top 100
    4. C Ivan Herrera20Next 50
    5. LHP Zack Thompson232
    6. 3B Jordan Walker182
    7. RHP Johan Oviedo223
    8. OF Jhon Torres203
    9. SS/RHP Masyn Winn183
    10. 3B Elehuris Montero223

    Next 5: OF Tre Fletcher, RHP Tink Hence, RHP Angel Rondon, INF Edmundo Sosa, RHP Kodi Whitley

       

    Farm System Snapshot

    The St. Louis Cardinals have a potential future star in Dylan Carlson. He struggled in his first taste of MLB action but caught fire down the stretch, which could serve as a springboard heading into 2021.

    Slugger Jordan Walker and two-way standout Masyn Winn brought two more high-ceiling prospects to the system in the 2020 draft, and they could quickly move up the organizational list. At the very least, there will be a new No. 1 in 2021 with Carlson penciled in to a starting spot in the MLB outfield.

19. New York Mets (Previous: 20)

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    Ronny Mauricio
    Ronny MauricioRich Schultz/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. SS Ronny Mauricio19Top 100
    2. C Francisco Alvarez19Top 100
    3. 3B Brett Baty21Next 50
    4. RHP Matthew Allan19Next 50
    5. 3B Mark Vientos21Next 50
    6. OF Pete Crow-Armstrong182
    7. RHP J.T. Ginn213
    8. LHP Thomas Szapucki243
    9. RHP Junior Santos193
    10. RHP Franklyn Kilome253

    Next 5: RHP Robert Dominguez, IF Shervyen Newton, 3B/SS Jaylen Palmer, OF Alexander Ramirez, C Endy Rodriguez

             

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Francisco Lindor blockbuster was built around MLB infielders Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez, which means the New York Mets did not have to part with any of their elite minor league talent. With that said, right-hander Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene were included in the deal and checked in among the "Next 5" in the last update.

    The top six prospects in the system are all still a few years away, but they could all prove well worth the wait and develop into cornerstone pieces if all goes according to plan. Don't be surprised if J.T. Ginn joins that top-tier group in 2021 with a strong pro debut.

18. Chicago Cubs (Previous: 27)

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    Brailyn Marquez
    Brailyn MarquezJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. LHP Brailyn Marquez21Top 100
    2. OF Brennen Davis21Top 100
    3. SS Ed Howard19Next 50
    4. C Miguel Amaya21Next 50
    5. RHP Adbert Alzolay25Next 50
    6. OF Cole Roederer213
    7. SS Reginald Preciado173
    8. RHP Ryan Jensen233
    9. 2B Chase Strumpf223
    10. RHP Kohl Franklin213

    Next 5: RHP Cory Abbott, LHP Burl Carraway, C Ethan Hearn, RHP Tyson Miller, 3B Christopher Morel

                  

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Chicago Cubs didn't exactly net a windfall of prospect talent in the Yu Darvish trade. But teenage shortstop Reginald Preciado has significant upside, and 2020 second-round pick Owen Caissie has plenty of room to grow into his 6'4" frame with 55-grade present power.

    For now, it remains a relatively thin system with some exciting top-tier talent, and that upper echelon grew with the addition of 2020 first-round pick Ed Howard and an MLB breakthrough for right-hander Adbert Alzolay, who may finally be ready to deliver on the hype.

17. Boston Red Sox (Previous: 25)

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    Bobby Dalbec
    Bobby DalbecSteven Senne/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameLevelTier
    1. SS/2B Jeter Downs22Top 100
    2. 1B Triston Casas20Top 100
    3. 3B/1B Bobby Dalbec25Top 100
    4. RHP Bryan Mata21Next 50
    5. OF Jarren Duran24Next 50
    6. RHP Tanner Houck242
    7. OF Gilberto Jimenez203
    8. RHP Noah Song233
    9. LHP Jay Groome223
    10. 3B/2B Hudson Potts223

    Next 5: SS/2B Cameron Cannon, 3B Blaze Jordan, RHP Chih-Jung Liu, SS Matthew Lugo, RHP Thad Ward

              

    Farm System Snapshot

    First baseman Bobby Dalbec (23 G, .959 OPS, 8 HR) and right-hander Tanner Houck (3 GS, 3-0, 0.53 ERA) both found success in their first MLB action, and they should factor into the Boston Red Sox's Opening Day plans as a result. Second baseman of the future Jeter Downs and right-hander Bryan Mata may not be far behind.

    This system is steadily improving thanks to a handful of trades and some good in-house development. The 2018 draft class could be one for the books with Triston Casas (first round), Thad Ward (fifth round) and Jarren Duran (seventh round) quickly rising through the organizational ranks.

16. Chicago White Sox (Previous: 15)

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    Nick Madrigal
    Nick MadrigalNam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Michael Kopech24Top 100
    2. 1B Andrew Vaughn22Top 100
    3. 2B Nick Madrigal23Top 100
    4. RHP Jared Kelley19Next 50
    5. LHP Garrett Crochet21Next 50
    6. RHP Jonathan Stiever232
    7. RHP Matthew Thompson203
    8. OF Micker Adolfo243
    9. RHP Andrew Dalquist203
    10. OF Luis Gonzalez253

    Next 5: OF Benyamin Bailey, RHP Jimmy Lambert, OF Blake Rutherford, SS Yolbert Sanchez, 1B Gavin Sheets

               

    Farm System Snapshot

    There is not a more top-heavy system in baseball than the Chicago White Sox's, which features a steep dropoff after the top five prospects. That list includes 2020 first-round pick Garrett Crochet and above-slot second-rounder Jared Kelley.

    Nick Madrigal will be the everyday second baseman in 2021, and Michael Kopech only needs to prove he's healthy to be MLB-ready, so expect this group to continue sliding. That's indicative of the rapid ascent from rebuilder to contender since an abundance of former top prospect talent is now starring at the MLB level.

15. Kansas City Royals (Previous: 9)

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    Jackson Kowar
    Jackson KowarCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. SS Bobby Witt Jr.20Top 100
    2. LHP Asa Lacy21Top 100
    3. LHP Daniel Lynch24Top 100
    4. RHP Jackson Kowar24Top 100
    5. OF Erick Pena17Next 50
    6. OF Kyle Isbel232
    7. SS Nick Loftin223
    8. OF Khalil Lee223
    9. LHP Austin Cox233
    10. RHP Carlos Hernandez233

    Next 5: RHP Jonathan Bowlan, RHP Ben Hernandez, SS Brady McConnell, C MJ Melendez, 1B Nick Pratto

                   

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Kansas City Royals made the surprise decision to include Brady Singer in their Opening Day rotation last year, and left-hander Kris Bubic joined him shortly after the start of the season. Could we see a similar approach this spring with Daniel Lynch or Jackson Kowar?

    What was once a pitching-rich system now skews more position-player heavy, and none has a brighter future than Bobby Witt Jr. who could soar to the top of leaguewide prospect lists in his first full season. The pro debut of Erick Pena, who was signed for $3.9 million in 2019 and has been compared to a young Carlos Beltran, should also have Kansas City fans buzzing.

14. Cincinnati Reds (Previous: 17)

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    Tyler Stephenson
    Tyler StephensonAaron Doster/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. LHP Nick Lodolo22Top 100
    2. RHP Hunter Greene21Top 100
    3. C Tyler Stephenson24Top 100
    4. OF Austin Hendrick19Top 100
    5. SS Jose Garcia22Top 100
    6. 3B Jonathan India24Next 50
    7. RHP Tony Santillan233
    8. OF Michael Siani213
    9. RHP Lyon Richardson203
    10. 2B/3B Tyler Callihan203

    Next 5: RHP Bryce Bonnin, 3B Rece Hinds, C Jackson Miller, RHP Riley O'Brien, RHP Christian Roa

                  

    Farm System Snapshot

    The lost 2020 minor league season gave Hunter Greene additional time to recover from Tommy John surgery, and that could ultimately benefit his development in the long run. He still has the stuff and athleticism to be a generational talent on the mound, and he's still young enough to get back on the developmental track.

    Tyler Stephenson and Jose Garcia both received a taste of the big leagues last season, and while both would benefit from a bit more seasoning, it's easy to envision them assuming everyday roles before the 2021 campaign is over. The lack of pitching talent behind Nick Lodolo and Greene is going to be an issue in the near future.

13. Texas Rangers (Previous: 24)

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    Sam Huff
    Sam HuffTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. 3B Josh Jung22Top 100
    2. RHP Dane Dunning26Top 100
    3. C Sam Huff22Top 100
    4. OF Leody Taveras22Next 50
    5. RHP Yerry Rodriguez23Next 50
    6. RHP Hans Crouse222
    7. 2B Justin Foscue212
    8. 1B/3B Sherten Apostel213
    9. SS Anderson Tejada223
    10. RHP Cole Winn213

    Next 5: SS Maximo Acosta, OF Bayron Lora, LHP Joe Palumbo, OF Steele Walker, 3B Davis Wendzel

                  

    Farm System Snapshot

    The deal that sent Lance Lynn to the Chicago White Sox brought back a pitcher in Dane Dunning who should be able to step right into the MLB rotation. After missing all of 2019 recovering from Tommy John surgery, he returned to make his MLB debut last season and posted a 3.97 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in seven starts.

    Catcher Sam Huff and center fielder Leody Taveras also gained valuable big league experience during the shortened season, and they too could be part of the Opening Day roster. With that in mind, there's a good chance this is the peak for the Texas system before an inevitable slide back down the rankings.

12. Baltimore Orioles (Previous: 13)

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    Ryan Mountcastle
    Ryan MountcastleJulio Cortez/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. C Adley Rutschman22Top 100
    2. RHP Grayson Rodriguez21Top 100
    3. LHP DL Hall22Top 100
    4. OF Heston Kjerstad21Top 100
    5. 1B/OF Ryan Mountcastle23Top 100
    6. SS Gunnar Henderson192
    7. LHP Keegan Akin252
    8. RHP Michael Baumann253
    9. RHP Dean Kremer253
    10. OF Yusniel Diaz243

    Next 5: LHP Zac Lowther, OF Ryan McKenna, LHP Kevin Smith, SS Terrin Vavra, SS Jordan Westburg

               

    Farm System Snapshot

    Strong debuts from Ryan Mountcastle (35 G, .878 OPS, 5 HR, 23 RBI) and Keegan Akin (6 GS, 3.27 FIP, 12.3 K/9) were among the biggest positive takeaways for the Baltimore Orioles in another year of rebuilding. That's just the start of what figures to be a steady influx of prospect talent arriving on the scene in the years to come.

    With Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Westburg both candidates to shift to third base as they grow into their tall frames and Terrin Vavra profiling more as a utility player, the O's are still looking for their shortstop of the future. Overall, the rebuild looks to be on the right track, and it's only a matter of time before the Adley Rutschman era begins.

11. Pittsburgh Pirates (Previous: 16)

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    Ke'Bryan Hayes
    Ke'Bryan HayesGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes23Top 100
    2. SS Oneil Cruz22Top 100
    3. 2B/SS Nick Gonzales21Top 100
    4. SS Liover Peguero20Next 50
    5. RHP Tahnaj Thomas21Next 50
    6. OF Travis Swaggerty23Next 50
    7. RHP Cody Bolton222
    8. OF Jared Oliva253
    9. RHP Quinn Priester203
    10. RHP Brennan Malone203

    Next 5: 2B/SS Ji-Hwan Bae, OF Cal Mitchell, RHP Carmen Mlodzinski, OF Sammy Siani, RHP Eddy Yean

               

    Farm System Snapshot

    Ke'Bryan Hayes led all MLB rookies with 1.9 WAR in 2020, and he only played in 24 games and tallied 95 plate appearances. That should make him one of the NL Rookie of the Year favorites entering 2021, as well as a bright spot in the dark abyss that is the current state of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Athletic 6'4" right-hander Tahnaj Thomas is a prospect on the rise who could be ready to break out in a big way, and he joins Quinn Priester and Brennan Malone as extremely projectable arms with electric present stuff. It's going to take some time and patience, but there's a lot of talent in the Pittsburgh pipeline.

10. Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous: 8)

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    Geraldo Perdomo
    Geraldo PerdomoBuck Davidson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Kristian Robinson20Top 100
    2. OF Alek Thomas20Top 100
    3. SS Geraldo Perdomo21Top 100
    4. OF Corbin Carroll20Next 50
    5. LHP Blake Walston19Next 50
    6. 1B/OF Seth Beer24Next 50
    7. RHP Levi Kelly212
    8. RHP Bryce Jarvis233
    9. RHP Luis Frias223
    10. OF Wilderd Patino193

    Next 5: RHP J.B. Bukauskas, RHP Slade Cecconi, OF Stuart Fairchild, RHP Drey Jameson, RHP Corbin Martin

                    

    Farm System Snapshot

    For all that's made of the potential Ronald Acuna Jr., Cristian Pache and Drew Waters outfield of the future in Atlanta, or the Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez future outfield in Seattle, the Arizona Diamondbacks have a pretty good trio of their own.

    Kristian Robinson looks the part of a future middle-of-the-order star, Alek Thomas has the speed, hit tool and glove to be a star in center field, and Corbin Carroll should be one of the first prep prospects from the 2019 draft to reach the majors thanks to his 60-grade hit tool.

    There's a wealth of high-ceiling talent in this system and a good balance between hitters and pitchers, giving the D-backs a solid long-term outlook even if the present is a bit murky.

9. Cleveland (Previous: 10)

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    Triston McKenzie
    Triston McKenzieJose Juarez/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. 3B Nolan Jones22Top 100
    2. RHP Triston McKenzie23Top 100
    3. SS Tyler Freeman21Top 100
    4. OF George Valera20Next 50
    5. SS Brayan Rocchio19Next 50
    6. C Bo Naylor20Next 50
    7. RHP Ethan Hankins202
    8. LHP Joey Cantillo213
    9. SS Gabriel Arias203
    10. 2B Aaron Bracho193

    Next 5: RHP Tanner Burns, RHP Daniel Espino, OF Daniel Johnson, SS/3B Gabriel Rodriguez, RHP Josh Wolf

           

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Francisco Lindor trade did not add anyone to Cleveland's top-10 prospect list, but it did bolster the MLB roster and net a pair of solid second-tier prospects in Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene, both of whom are capable of jumping onto that list in short order.

    With that said, the future of the farm system resides in low-level, high-ceiling prospects like George Valera, Brayan Rocchio, Bo Naylor, Ethan Hankins, Gabriel Arias, Aaron Bracho and Daniel Espino.

    All seven of those players have the upside to develop into top-100 prospects down the line, and that should provide some level of comfort to a fanbase that just saw its superstar traded for a less-than-thrilling return.

8. Minnesota Twins (Previous: 11)

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    Alex Kirilloff
    Alex KirilloffBrace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. SS Royce Lewis21Top 100
    2. 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff23Top 100
    3. RHP Jordan Balazovic22Top 100
    4. OF Trevor Larnach23Top 100
    5. RHP Jhoan Duran22Top 100
    6. C Ryan Jeffers23Next 50
    7. SS Keoni Cavaco192
    8. 1B Aaron Sabato213
    9. RHP Blayne Enlow213
    10. RHP Matt Canterino233

    Next 5: OF Gilberto Celestino, SS Wander Javier, IF Jose Miranda, OF Misael Urbina, OF Matt Wallner

            

    Farm System Snapshot

    Both Alex Kirilloff and Ryan Jeffers are likely to break camp with a spot on the Opening Day roster for the Minnesota Twins. Kirilloff made his MLB debut in the postseason and now has a clear path following the non-tender of Eddie Rosario, while Jeffers posted a 118 OPS+ in 62 plate appearances and served as the team's starting backstop in the playoffs.

    Top prospect Royce Lewis battled through a disappointing 2019 regular season, but hit .353/.411/.565 with 12 extra-base hits in 22 games in the 2019 Arizona Fall League. Can he pick up where he left off?

    Starting pitching is the biggest question mark on the MLB roster right now, and the same is true of a farm system that is thin on quality arms behind Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran.

7. Detroit Tigers (Previous: 6)

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    Casey Mize
    Casey MizePaul Sancya/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Casey Mize23Top 100
    2. 3B/1B Spencer Torkelson21Top 100
    3. RHP Matt Manning22Top 100
    4. OF Riley Greene20Top 100
    5. LHP Tarik Skubal24Top 100
    6. 3B/SS Isaac Paredes21Next 50
    7. RHP Alex Faedo252
    8. C Dillon Dingler223
    9. LHP Joey Wentz233
    10. RHP Franklin Perez233

    Next 5: RHP Beau Burrows, OF Daniel Cabrera, OF Daz Cameron, OF Parker Meadows, SS Wenceel Perez

              

    Farm System Snapshot

    Casey Mize (28.1 IP, 6.99 ERA) and Tarik Skubal (32.0 IP, 5.63 ERA) took some lumps in their first big league action, but both showed flashes of the potential that has earned them a spot among the game's top pitching prospects. Matt Manning, Alex Faedo and Joey Wentz could all get the call in 2021 as the Tigers' youth movement continues.

    Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene have a chance to be a special one-two punch in the middle of the Detroit lineup, and the front office could decide to develop them side-by-side with a ticket to Single-A to start the 2021 campaign.

    Catcher has been a revolving door in the organization for some time now, so the development of 2020 second-round pick Dillon Dingler will be monitored closely. A center fielder at the onset of his pro career, he has rare athleticism for the position and a good feel for receiving despite limited experience.

6. San Francisco Giants (Previous: 14)

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    Joey Bart
    Joey BartJeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. C Joey Bart24Top 100
    2. OF Heliot Ramos21Top 100
    3. SS Marco Luciano19Top 100
    4. OF Hunter Bishop22Next 50
    5. OF Alexander Canario20Next 50
    6. LHP Seth Corry22Next 50
    7. OF Luis Matos18Next 50
    8. SS/2B Will Wilson223
    9. C Patrick Bailey213
    10. 3B Luis Toribio203

    Next 5: RHP Tristan Beck, LHP Kyle Harrison, RHP Sean Hjelle, OF Jairo Pomares, LHP Nick Swiney

                    

    Farm System Snapshot

    The San Francisco Giants' climb from the bottom of these rankings to the No. 6 spot in the short time since general manager Farhan Zaidi took over prior to the 2019 season has been nothing short of amazing.

    Joey Bart hit .233/.288/.320 with zero home runs in 111 plate appearances as the team's primary catcher last year after Buster Posey opted out, but he maintained his rookie status and could be headed back to the minors for further seasoning.

    Heliot Ramos should be the next top prospect to arrive on the scene as he looks to stake claim to the center field job, and there is a wealth of exciting position-player talent behind him led by dynamic power-hitting shortstop Marco Luciano and low-level outfielders Alexander Canario and Luis Matos. It's a pitching-thin system, but it's stocked with talent.

5. Atlanta Braves (Previous: 5)

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    Cristian Pache
    Cristian PacheTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Ian Anderson22Top 100
    2. OF Cristian Pache22Top 100
    3. OF Drew Waters21Top 100
    4. LHP Kyle Muller23Top 100
    5. C Shea Langeliers22Next 50
    6. LHP Tucker Davidson24Next 50
    7. C William Contreras23Next 50
    8. SS Braden Shewmake233
    9. LHP Jared Shuster223
    10. RHP Jasseel De La Cruz233

    Next 5: RHP Bryce Elder, OF Michael Harris, RHP Freddy Tarnok, RHP Patrick Weigel, RHP Victor Vodnik

                    

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Atlanta Braves' current roster is littered with recent top prospects such as Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Dansby Swanson, Kyle Wright, Austin Riley, Touki Toussaint, Sean Newcomb, A.J. Minter and Bryse Wilson.

    Despite graduating all of that prospect talent to the MLB roster, they somehow still have a top-five farm system. That could change once Ian Anderson and Cristian Pache drop off the prospect list, which is likely to happen shortly after the start of the 2021 season with both players currently projected for Opening Day spots.

    Drew Waters will then become the top prospect in the system, and if he's going to live up to expectations, he'll need to work on making more consistent contact after striking out 164 times at a 28.6 percent clip in 2019.

4. Seattle Mariners (Previous: 2)

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    Jarred Kelenic
    Jarred KelenicDarryl Webb/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. OF Jarred Kelenic21Top 100
    2. OF Julio Rodriguez20Top 100
    3. OF Taylor Trammell22Top 100
    4. RHP Logan Gilbert23Top 100
    5. RHP Emerson Hancock21Top 100
    6. SS Noelvi Marte18Top 100
    7. RHP George Kirby22Next 50
    8. C Cal Raleigh232
    9. LHP Brandon Williamson223
    10. RHP Sam Delaplane253

    Next 5: OF Braden Bishop, RHP Isaiah Campbell, OF Zach DeLoach, OF Jake Fraley, RHP Juan Then

           

    Farm System Snapshot

    The No. 2 team in these rankings in the last update, the Seattle Mariners drop two spots after Evan White (No. 5 prospect) and Justin Dunn (No. 9 prospect) both exited the prospect ranks down the stretch.

    With that said, this is still an elite farm system with some truly dynamic talent at the top in the outfield tandem of Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez. Both players look like future superstars, and following the stellar rookie season that Kyle Lewis put together, it's easy to dream about that future outfield.

    The development of Logan Gilbert, Emerson Hancock and George Kirby will be paramount to the team finally turning a corner, as they are currently thin on impact arms behind Marco Gonzales. It wouldn't be surprising to see Sam Delaplane closing games by the end of 2021 after he struck out 120 batters in 68.2 innings in 2019 and then dominated in the Arizona Fall League.

3. Toronto Blue Jays (Previous: 4)

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    Nate Pearson
    Nate PearsonJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Nate Pearson24Top 100
    2. SS/OF Austin Martin21Top 100
    3. SS Jordan Groshans21Top 100
    4. RHP Simeon Woods Richardson20Top 100
    5. RHP Alek Manoah22Top 100
    6. C Alejandro Kirk22Next 50
    7. SS Orelvis Martinez19Next 50
    8. C Gabriel Moreno202
    9. RHP Adam Kloffenstein202
    10. SS/2B Miguel Hiraldo203

    Next 5: OF Dasan Brown, 2B/SS Leonardo Jimenez, SS Estiven Machado, RHP Eric Pardinho, RHP CJ Van Eyk

             

    Farm System Snapshot

    Nate Pearson has some work to do refining his command after a rocky MLB debut, Jordan Groshans needs to stay healthy, and Austin Martin needs to figure out a position, but it's hard not to be excited about the present and future of the Toronto Blue Jays. The fact that five of their top 10 prospects are either 20 years old or younger only further brightens their long-term outlook.

    Pearson struggled to a 6.00 ERA and walked 13 batters in 18 innings before missing a month with a flexor strain in his right elbow. His 2.3 BB/9 in 123.1 minor league innings is a good indication of his ability to throw strikes, so he just needs to settle in at the MLB level and avoid further arm issues.

    Alejandro Kirk went 9-for-24 with two doubles and a home run in his MLB debut, and despite some questions about his defense behind the plate, he can flat-out hit. He could be the everyday DH in 2021, depending on how the rest of the offseason unfolds.

2. Miami Marlins (Previous: 3)

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    Sixto Sanchez
    Sixto SanchezJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. RHP Sixto Sanchez22Top 100
    2. OF JJ Bleday23Top 100
    3. SS Jazz Chisholm22Top 100
    4. OF Jesus Sanchez23Top 100
    5. RHP Edward Cabrera22Top 100
    6. RHP Max Meyer21Top 100
    7. LHP Trevor Rogers23Next 50
    8. OF Monte Harrison25Next 50
    9. OF Peyton Burdick232
    10. 1B Lewin Diaz232

    Next 5: OF Jerar Encarnacion, LHP Braxton Garrett, OF Kameron Misner, RHP Nick Neidert, OF Connor Scott

               

    Farm System Snapshot

    For all the flack that Derek Jeter and the new ownership group took for gutting the MLB roster when they first took control of the Miami Marlins, the team is now fresh off a surprise postseason appearance and poised for sustainable success thanks in large part to all of the pieces they acquired on the trade market.

    Sixto Sanchez, Jazz Chisholm, Jesus Sanchez, Monte Harrison and Lewin Diaz were all trade pickups among their current list of top prospects, and they are not the only outside additions.

    If you're looking for an under-the-radar breakout prospect for 2021, keep an eye on outfielder Peyton Burdick. He hit .308/.407/.542 with 20 doubles, 11 home runs and 64 RBI in 69 games after going in the third round of the 2019 draft, and he closed out his debut at Single-A.

1. Tampa Bay Rays (Previous: 1)

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    Randy Arozarena
    Randy ArozarenaEric Gay/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    NameAgeTier
    1. SS Wander Franco19Top 100
    2. OF Randy Arozarena 25Top 100
    3. LHP/DH Brendan McKay25Top 100
    4. RHP Luis Patino 21Top 100
    5. LHP Shane McClanahan 23Top 100
    6. 2B/SS Vidal Brujan 22Top 100
    7. 2B/SS Xavier Edwards21Top 100
    8. RHP Shane Baz 21Top 100
    9. RHP Joe Ryan24Top 100
    10. OF Josh Lowe22Top 100

    Next 5: RHP Nick Bitsko, RHP JJ Goss, C Ronaldo Hernandez, RHP Brent Honeywell, SS Greg Jones

               

    Farm System Snapshot

    The Tampa Bay Rays already had the best farm system in baseball by a fairly wide margin before they added elite pitching prospect Luis Patino and high-ceiling catcher Blake Hunt in the Blake Snell trade.

    Randy Arozarena is coming off a postseason for the ages and is still prospect eligible, so pencil him in as the AL Rookie of the Year favorite. He could be joined on the MLB roster in 2021 by Patino, Brendan McKay and Shane McClanahan, who debuted during the postseason.

    In the upcoming years, it bears watching how the Rays fit incumbents Brandon Lowe and Willy Adames, along with Wander Franco, Vidal Brujan and Xavier Edwards, into two middle infield spots and perhaps third base. It's a great problem to have, and for a franchise that never has trouble developing pitching talent, it's a welcome sight to see some high-ceiling position-player talent on the horizon.

                 

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

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