Updated MLB Farm System Rankings at the Start of 2021 MiLB Season

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2021

Updated MLB Farm System Rankings at the Start of 2021 MiLB Season

0 of 30

    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    After a cancelled 2020 season and a one-month delay to begin this year, minor league baseball has officially returned. There's no better time for an updated version of our farm system rankings and organizational top-10 prospect lists.

    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 players make up B/R's top 100 prospect list. (Note: There are 13 players who have graduated the prospect ranks since our last top 100 list, and they were replaced for this article.)

    • 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 in the future.

    • 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

1 of 30

    Cade Cavalli
    Cade CavalliLynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Cade Cavalli 222
    2. RHP Jackson Rutledge222
    3. RHP Cole Henry213
    4. RHP Mason Denaburg 213
    5. RHP Andry Lara183
    6. SS/3B Yasel Antuna 213
    7. LHP Tim Cate233
    8. 1B Drew Mendoza233
    9. LHP Matt Cronin233
    10. SS Armando Cruz173


    Farm System Snapshot

    The Nationals are still waiting on first-round picks Jackson Rutledge and Mason Denaburg to take a step forward in their development, and with both Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia moving on to the majors, it's a system without a top-tier prospect.

    Shortstop Armando Cruz agreed to a $3.9 million deal during the most recent international signing period, and he has standout defensive tools with a chance to be an everyday shortstop if his offensive game develops as hoped. He could be the No. 1 guy before too long.

29. Houston Astros

2 of 30

    Jeremy Pena
    Jeremy PenaLynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Pedro Leon231
    2. RHP Forrest Whitley232
    3. INF Jeremy Pena232
    4. SS Freudis Nova223
    5. RHP Alex Santos193
    6. C Korey Lee223
    7. RHP Hunter Brown223
    8. OF Colin Barber203
    9. RHP Tyler Ivey243
    10. RHP Shawn Dubin253


    Farm System Snapshot

    With Forrest Whitley sidelined once again following Tommy John surgery, there's a new No. 1 prospect in the Houston farm system. Outfielder Pedro Leon received the largest bonus ($4 million) of any player during the 2020-21 international signing period, and the 22-year-old could take over as the team's starting center fielder before the 2021 season is over.

    Projectable right-hander Alex Santos become the organization's top pitching prospect following a strong pro debut after he was given an above-slot $1.25 million bonus as the No. 72 overall pick in the 2020 draft. This club does as good a job as anyone developing under-the-radar pitching talent, so don't sleep on undersized right-hander Shawn Dubin.

28. Colorado Rockies

3 of 30

    Ryan Vilade
    Ryan ViladeAshley Landis/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Zac Veen191
    2. LHP Ryan Rolison232
    3. OF Ryan Vilade222
    4. 1B Michael Toglia223
    5. OF Brenton Doyle223
    6. 1B/3B Colton Welker233
    7. RHP Chris McMahon223
    8. 3B Aaron Schunk233
    9. C Drew Romo193
    10. LHP Helcris Olivarez183


    Farm System Snapshot

    The Rockies farm system skews heavily toward position-player talent, and much of it resides at corner infield and corner outfield spots, which is a less-than-ideal organizational philosophy.

    Prep outfielder Zac Veen has a chance to be the best pure hitter in the 2020 draft class, and he immediately shot to No. 1 in the system after going No. 9 overall. As for prospects who could make an impact this year, left-hander Ryan Rolison has a high floor and should be able to take over a spot in the rotation before the 2021 season is over.

27. Oakland Athletics

4 of 30

    Nick Allen
    Nick AllenSue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. C Tyler Soderstrom191
    2. LHP A.J. Puk262
    3. SS Robert Puason182
    4. SS/2B Nick Allen222
    5. RHP Daulton Jefferies253
    6. SS Logan Davidson233
    7. RHP Jeff Criswell223
    8. OF Brayan Buelvas183
    9. OF Pedro Pineda173
    10. OF Austin Beck223


    Farm System Snapshot

    With four teenagers ranked among their top 10 prospects, including 2020 first-round pick Tyler Soderstrom and $5.1 million international signee Robert Puason, there's a lot of potential for growth in the Oakland farm system.

    A.J. Puk somehow still has prospect eligibility as a result of his struggle to stay healthy, and at 26 years old, he'll fall out of the prospect conversation this year one way or another. There's a dearth of pitching talent in this system right now, and that will no doubt be a focal point of this year's draft haul.

26. Los Angeles Angels

5 of 30

    Chris Rodriguez
    Chris RodriguezTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Brandon Marsh231
    2. LHP Reid Detmers211
    3. OF Jordyn Adams212
    4. SS/2B Jeremiah Jackson212
    5. RHP Chris Rodriguez223
    6. SS Kyren Paris193
    7. RHP Jack Kochanowicz203
    8. SS Arol Vera183
    9. LHP Hector Yan223
    10. OF Alexander Ramirez183


    Farm System Snapshot

    The Angels have some potential to rise in these rankings, with toolsy outfielder Jordyn Adams, shortstop of the future Kyren Paris and projectable 6'6" right-hander Jack Kochanowicz all capable of joining the top-100 prospect conversation in the future.

    For now, their system skews heavily toward lower-level prospects, though outfielder Brandon Marsh and left-hander Reid Detmers could both be in the big leagues this summer, and right-hander Chris Rodriguez is already there pitching out of the bullpen.

25. Milwaukee Brewers

6 of 30

    Garrett Mitchell
    Garrett MitchellAshley Landis/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Garrett Mitchell221
    2. SS/2B Brice Turang212
    3. OF Hedbert Perez182
    4. LHP Ethan Small242
    5. C Mario Feliciano222
    6. LHP Antoine Kelly213
    7. LHP Aaron Ashby223
    8. SS Freddy Zamora223
    9. C Jeferson Quero183
    10. OF Tristen Lutz223


    Farm System Snapshot

    The Brewers may have walked away with the biggest steal of the 2020 draft when they selected UCLA outfielder Garrett Mitchell with the No. 20 overall pick. He's still working to tap into his power potential, but even if he never hits a ton of home runs, his speed, center field defense and hit tool give him an extremely high floor.

    If you're looking for the next teenage phenom to rocket up leaguewide top-100 prospect rankings, outfielder Hedbert Perez has that type of upside. With five above-average tools and some valuable experience gained as the youngest player at the team's alternate site last year, his pro debut will be among the most anticipated of 2021.

24. Texas Rangers

7 of 30

    Sam Huff
    Sam HuffTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 3B Josh Jung231
    2. C Sam Huff231
    3. RHP Yerry Rodriguez232
    4. SS Maximo Acosta182
    5. 2B Justin Foscue222
    6. RHP Cole Winn213
    7. 1B/3B Sherten Apostel223
    8. SS Anderson Tejada233
    9. RHP Hans Crouse223
    10. SS Luisangel Acuna193


    Farm System Snapshot

    With Dane Dunning and Leody Taveras both exhausting their prospect eligibility early in the 2021 season, the Rangers slide a few spots in the rankings this time around. That prospect turnover will continue, as third baseman Josh Jung and catcher Sam Huff are both candidates to join the MLB roster by midseason.

    Teenage shortstop Maximo Acosta is more polished than the average international prospect, so don't be surprised if he puts up big numbers against low-level pitching in his pro debut. With a lot of intriguing talent in the early stages of their pro careers, the Rangers have as much boom-or-bust potential as any minor league system.

23. Boston Red Sox

8 of 30

    Jeter Downs
    Jeter DownsJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 1B Triston Casas211
    2. SS/2B Jeter Downs221
    3. OF Jarren Duran242
    4. RHP Tanner Houck242
    5. RHP Bryan Mata222
    6. OF Gilberto Jimenez203
    7. LHP Jay Groome223
    8. 3B Blaze Jordan183
    9. 2B Nick Yorke193
    10. RHP Thad Ward243


    Farm System Snapshot

    The Red Sox system is set for some significant turnover with Bobby Dalbec and Tanner Houck already in the majors and Jeter Downs, Jarren Duran and Thad Ward all candidates to join them before the 2021 season comes to a close.

    Gilberto Jimenez and 2020 draft picks Nick Yorke and Blaze Jordan are the headliners for the next wave of position player talent set to rise the ranks, but they don't have a slam dunk top prospect beyond Triston Casas once the aforementioned group moves on to the big leagues. Can Jay Groome stay healthy long enough to reclaim his top prospect status?

22. Chicago Cubs

9 of 30

    Brailyn Marquez
    Brailyn MarquezJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Brennen Davis211
    2. LHP Brailyn Marquez221
    3. SS Ed Howard191
    4. C Miguel Amaya222
    5. SS Cristian Hernandez172
    6. RHP Kohl Franklin213
    7. RHP Ryan Jensen233
    8. SS Reginald Preciado173
    9. 2B Chase Strumpf233
    10. 3B Christopher Morel213


    Farm System Snapshot

    The Cubs system is a bit top-heavy, but those first five guys have a chance to be extremely important for a club on the doorstep of a significant rebuild. A longstanding inability to develop pitching talent remains concerning, though Brailyn Marquez could buck that trend. Brennen Davis could be the team's best homegrown outfielder since the inception of the MLB draft in 1965.

    The X-factor is shortstop Cristian Hernandez, who was signed for $3 million in January and was widely regarded as the top international prospect on the market. He's drawn comparisons to Alex Rodriguez and Manny Machado at the same point in their development, and his offensive tools are loud.

21. St. Louis Cardinals

10 of 30

    Nolan Gorman
    Nolan GormanJulio Cortez/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 3B Nolan Gorman201
    2. LHP Matthew Liberatore211
    3. C Ivan Herrera201
    4. LHP Zack Thompson232
    5. 3B Jordan Walker182
    6. RHP Johan Oviedo233
    7. SS/RHP Masyn Winn193
    8. OF Jhon Torres213
    9. RHP Tink Hence183
    10. RHP Edwin Nunez193


    Farm System Snapshot

    With Dylan Carlson moving on to the big leagues, slugger Nolan Gorman is now the No. 1 prospect in the St. Louis farm system, followed closely by left-hander Matthew Liberatore, who was acquired in the deal that sent Randy Arozarena to Tampa Bay prior to last season.

    The Cardinals have added some exciting talent in the last calendar year. Power hitter Jordan Walker, two-way standout Masyn Winn and hard-throwing Tink Hence were selected in last year's draft, while right-hander Edwin Nunez and his 70-grade fastball were added for $525,000 on the international market last June.

20. New York Yankees

11 of 30

    Deivi Garcia
    Deivi GarciaTerrance Williams/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Jasson Dominguez181
    2. RHP Deivi Garcia211
    3. RHP Clarke Schmidt251
    4. RHP Luis Gil222
    5. C Austin Wells212
    6. SS Oswald Peraza203
    7. RHP Alexander Vizcaino233
    8. OF Kevin Alcantara183
    9. RHP Luis Medina223
    10. RHP Yoendrys Gomez213


    Farm System Snapshot

    When Jasson Dominguez takes the field for the first time in a regular-season game, it will be the most anticipated professional debut in recent memory. He could be the top prospect in baseball by the end of the 2021 season, and that's the level of expectations he'll be facing.

    The Yankees system is loaded with high-ceiling talent, giving them a ton of potential to climb up these rankings in the years to come. But for now, it's largely a boom-or-bust group with a lot to prove before they can start moving up.

19. Chicago White Sox

12 of 30

    Michael Kopech
    Michael KopechCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 1B/OF Andrew Vaughn231
    2. RHP Michael Kopech251
    3. LHP Garrett Crochet211
    4. RHP Jared Kelley192
    5. OF Yoelqui Cespedes232
    6. RHP Matthew Thompson203
    7. RHP Jonathan Stiever233
    8. RHP Andrew Dalquist203
    9. OF Micker Adolfo243
    10. RHP Norge Vera203


    Farm System Snapshot

    Second baseman Nick Madrigal became the latest top-tier prospect to exit the White Sox organizational rankings earlier this year, and right-hander Michael Kopech is not far behind with 33 innings under his belt toward the 50-inning threshold. He'll be followed soon thereafter by Andrew Vaughn and Garrett Crochet, who are also currently playing important roles on the MLB roster.

    In other words, this top prospect list is going to look markedly different by midseason. Right-hander Jared Kelley has Tier 1 upside, Yoelqui Cespedes is an exciting addition with dynamic bloodlines, and Matthew Thompson is an under-the-radar pitching prospect capable of breaking out.

18. Detroit Tigers

13 of 30

    Spencer Torkelson
    Spencer TorkelsonGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 3B/1B Spencer Torkelson211
    2. RHP Matt Manning231
    3. OF Riley Greene201
    4. 3B/SS Isaac Paredes222
    5. C Dillon Dingler222
    6. OF Daniel Cabrera223
    7. RHP Alex Faedo253
    8. LHP Joey Wentz233
    9. OF Parker Meadows213
    10. 3B Gage Workman213


    Farm System Snapshot

    With Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal exceeding prospect eligibility limits earlier this season after making their MLB debuts last year, the Tigers farm system is not quite as stacked at the top as it has been in recent seasons.

    That said, 2020 No. 1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson and outfielder Riley Greene have superstar potential, while Matt Manning could wind up being the best of the bunch among the team's homegrown starters. They also had a great draft beyond Torkelson, plucking catcher Dillon Dingler, outfielder Daniel Cabrera and third baseman Gage Workman from the college ranks.

17. Philadelphia Phillies

14 of 30

    Spencer Howard
    Spencer HowardDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Spencer Howard241
    2. RHP Francisco Morales211
    3. RHP Mick Abel191
    4. SS Bryson Stott231
    5. C Rafael Marchan222
    6. SS Luis Garcia203
    7. OF Simon Muzziotti223
    8. OF Yhoswar Garcia193
    9. SS Nick Maton243
    10. SS Casey Martin223


    Farm System Snapshot

    Right-hander Mick Abel and shortstop Bryson Stott are among the newcomers to our top 100 prospects list with 13 players graduating since those rankings were last updated shortly after Opening Day. Stott is a polished prospect with the potential to be the long-term answer at shortstop, while Abel has an extremely projectable 6'5" frame and a ton of potential.

    This is not the deepest farm system in baseball by any means, but they have some solid top-tier talent and enough high-ceiling potential in the lower levels to be pushing for a spot in the upper half of these rankings in the near future.

16. Baltimore Orioles

15 of 30

    Adley Rutschman
    Adley RutschmanJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. C Adley Rutschman231
    2. RHP Grayson Rodriguez211
    3. LHP DL Hall221
    4. OF Heston Kjerstad221
    5. SS Gunnar Henderson192
    6. SS Jordan Westburg223
    7. LHP Keegan Akin263
    8. RHP Michael Baumann253
    9. RHP Dean Kremer253
    10. OF Yusniel Diaz243


    Farm System Snapshot

    The time has come for Keegan Akin (26), Michael Baumann (25), Dean Kremer (25) and Zac Lowther (25) to prove they are MLB-caliber pitchers as they have reached the upper-end of the prospect scale in terms of age. That said, it's Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall who still profile as the future anchors of the starting rotation.

    The biggest question in the organization right now might be whether Gunnar Henderson, Jordan Westburg or 2020 deadline pickup Terrin Vavra can step forward as the long-term answer at shortstop. Will we see top prospect and potential future face of the franchise Adley Rutschman in the majors in 2021?

15. Cincinnati Reds

16 of 30

    Jose Garcia
    Jose GarciaMatt York/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. SS Jose Garcia221
    2. RHP Hunter Greene211
    3. LHP Nick Lodolo221
    4. OF Austin Hendrick191
    5. 2B/3B Jonathan India241
    6. OF Michael Siani213
    7. 3B Rece Hinds203
    8. RHP Tony Santillan243
    9. RHP Lyon Richardson213
    10. 2B/3B Tyler Callihan203


    Farm System Snapshot

    The Reds have graduated catcher Tyler Stephenson to the majors this year, and starting second baseman Jonathan India will soon join him in exiting the prospect ranks. Despite his struggles last year, Jose Garcia still profiles as the shortstop of the future and it was no surprise he was overmatched making the jump from High-A to the majors.

    This team has struggled to develop homegrown pitching talent in recent years. There is still plenty of time for Hunter Greene to realize his vast potential and Nick Lodolo has one of the highest floors of any pitching prospect, but there's a steep drop-off from those two to the rest of the arms in the system.

14. Atlanta Braves

17 of 30

    Cristian Pache
    Cristian PacheTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Cristian Pache221
    2. OF Drew Waters221
    3. LHP Kyle Muller232
    4. C Shea Langeliers232
    5. C William Contreras232
    6. SS Braden Shewmake232
    7. LHP Jared Shuster223
    8. OF Michael Harris203
    9. LHP Tucker Davidson253
    10. RHP Jasseel De La Cruz233


    Farm System Snapshot

    The Braves have welcomed a steady stream of exciting young talent to the majors in recent years, and right-hander Ian Anderson became the latest former top prospect to exhaust his rookie eligibility and exit their organizational ranks earlier this year. Cristian Pache and William Contreras will soon follow.

    Drew Waters needs to cut down his strikeout rate and Kyle Muller needs to refine his command if they are going to be the next prospects to emerge from the pipeline as impact players. The system appears to be thinning out a bit, but they know how to develop talent as well as anyone.

13. New York Mets

18 of 30

    Brett Baty
    Brett BatyJulio Cortez/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. C Francisco Alvarez191
    2. SS Ronny Mauricio201
    3. RHP Matthew Allan201
    4. 3B Brett Baty211
    5. 3B Mark Vientos212
    6. OF Pete Crow-Armstrong192
    7. RHP J.T. Ginn213
    8. OF Khalil Lee223
    10. OF Alex Ramirez183
    9. RHP Junior Santos193


    Farm System Snapshot

    Right-hander Matthew Allan jumped onto B/R's top 100 prospect list in April and slugger Brett Baty was one of the 13 prospects added to the list during this update, giving the Mets four Tier 1 prospects at the onset of the minor-league season.

    It's a top-heavy system, but they added some quality depth over the past year by drafting Pete Crow-Armstrong and J.T. Ginn and trading for Khalil Lee. There is also a lot of potential breakout talent in the lower levels of the minors. This group could crack the top 10 in these rankings by midseason.

12. Kansas City Royals

19 of 30

    Bobby Witt Jr.
    Bobby Witt Jr.Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. SS Bobby Witt Jr.201
    2. LHP Asa Lacy211
    3. LHP Daniel Lynch241
    4. RHP Jackson Kowar241
    5. OF Erick Pena182
    6. OF Kyle Isbel242
    7. SS Nick Loftin223
    8. RHP Jonathan Bowlan243
    9. LHP Austin Cox243
    10. RHP Carlos Hernandez243


    Farm System Snapshot

    Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. posted an .851 OPS with three home runs in 40 plate appearances during spring training, perhaps pushing up his timeline in the process. He has all the makings of a future superstar, from his five-tool potential to his MLB bloodlines.

    Daniel Lynch made his MLB debut on Monday, joining recent top prospects Brady Singer and Kris Bubic on the big-league staff. It won't be long before Jackson Kowar joins him, while outfielder Kyle Isbel also got a taste of the big leagues earlier this year before he was optioned back to the alternate site. The strength of this system is the quantity of talent that is close to MLB-ready.

11. Arizona Diamondbacks

20 of 30

    Geraldo Perdomo
    Geraldo PerdomoDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Kristian Robinson201
    2. OF Corbin Carroll201
    3. OF Alek Thomas201
    4. SS Geraldo Perdomo211
    5. LHP Blake Walston192
    6. RHP Bryce Jarvis232
    7. RHP Levi Kelly213
    8. RHP Slade Cecconi213
    9. OF Wilderd Patino193
    10. 1B/OF Seth Beer243


    Farm System Snapshot

    The 20-year-old trio of Kristian Robinson, Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas represents the future in Arizona, and all three of those outfielders could be in the majors by the second half of the 2022 season if all goes according to plan.

    Looking beyond the top of the system, the D-backs have a wealth of projectable arms in their system, including 2020 draft picks Bryce Jarvis and Slade Cecconi who could jump up the rankings with a strong pro debut. If you're looking for a sleeper prospect who could break out in 2021, outfielder Wilderd Patino is worth keeping an eye on.

10. Los Angeles Dodgers

21 of 30

    Josiah Gray
    Josiah GrayGregory Bull/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Josiah Gray231
    2. C Keibert Ruiz221
    3. 2B Michael Busch231
    4. 3B Kody Hoese231
    5. RHP Bobby Miller222
    6. C Diego Cartaya192
    7. OF Andy Pages203
    8. RHP Ryan Pepiot233
    9. 3B Miguel Vargas213
    10. SS Wilman Diaz173


    Farm System Snapshot

    The Dodgers have churned out star-level talent in recent years, from Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger on the position-player side of things to Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Dustin May on the mound. And yet, they still have a top-10 farm system.

    Michael Busch and Kody Hoese were both taken in the first round of the 2019 draft, and they could share the MLB infield for years once they arrive in the majors. Last year's top pick Bobby Miller has an electric fastball-slider combination that gives him closer potential if he doesn't stick as a starter. Wilman Diaz is the latest prized addition to the system as a five-tool shortstop who was signed for $2.7 million in January.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates

22 of 30

    Ke'Bryan Hayes
    Ke'Bryan HayesPaul Beaty/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes241
    2. RHP Quinn Priester201
    3. 2B/SS Nick Gonzales211
    4. SS Oneil Cruz221
    5. SS Liover Peguero201
    6. RHP Tahnaj Thomas212
    7. OF Hudson Head203
    8. RHP Cody Bolton223
    9. RHP Brennan Malone203
    10. OF Travis Swaggerty233


    Farm System Snapshot

    Recent first-round picks Quinn Priester (No. 18 in 2019) and Nick Gonzales (No. 7 in 2020) are both potential stars, with Priester set to emerge as one of baseball's elite pitching prospects and Gonzales poised to rocket through the minor leagues thanks to his polished offensive game.

    Live arms Tahnaj Thomas, Cody Bolton and Brennan Malone are still building toward significant ceilings, while athletic outfielder Hudson Head is one to watch after coming over from San Diego as the centerpiece of the Joe Musgrove trade. There's a lot of potential there, but will it be developed properly in a system with a spotty track record?

8. Minnesota Twins

23 of 30

    Alex Kirilloff
    Alex KirilloffJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff231
    2. SS Royce Lewis211
    3. OF Trevor Larnach241
    4. RHP Jhoan Duran231
    5. RHP Jordan Balazovic221
    6. 1B Aaron Sabato212
    7. SS Keoni Cavaco193
    8. RHP Blayne Enlow223
    9. RHP Matt Canterino233
    10. OF Gilberto Celestino223


    Farm System Snapshot

    Royce Lewis is sidelined with a torn right ACL, making Alex Kirilloff an easy pick as the No. 1 prospect in a top-heavy Minnesota farm system. There's a steep drop-off beyond the five Tier 1 guys and 2020 first-round pick Aaron Sabato, who could make his way into the top 100 rankings in short order with a strong debut.

    Those six guys all profile as potential impact players at the next level, but it's mostly a crapshoot beyond that group. Keoni Cavaco has loud tools but needs polish, Blayne Enlow and Matt Canterino are solid second-tier arms, and high-profile international signings Gilberto Celestino, Wander Javier and Misael Urbina still have a ways to go to live up to the hype.

7. San Diego Padres

24 of 30

    MacKenzie Gore
    MacKenzie GoreSue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. LHP MacKenzie Gore221
    2. SS CJ Abrams201
    3. C Luis Campusano221
    4. OF Robert Hassell191
    5. LHP Ryan Weathers211
    6. INF Tucupita Marcano212
    7. RHP Justin Lange193
    8. OF Joshua Mears203
    9. RHP Mason Thompson233
    10. RHP Reggie Lawson233


    Farm System Snapshot

    Even after welcoming a number of top prospects to the majors and trading for Blake Snell, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove during the offseason, the Padres still have a deep enough farm system to earn a spot inside the top 10.

    Left-hander MacKenzie Gore is one of baseball's elite pitching prospects and CJ Abrams has a dynamic collection of skills including a 60-grade hit tool and 80-grade speed. Behind the current collection of Tier 1 prospects, there's an intriguing collection of high-upside talent including slugger Joshua Mears and 2020 draft pick Justin Lange who both possess Tier 1 upside.

6. Cleveland

25 of 30

    Nolan Jones
    Nolan JonesTony Dejak/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. 3B Nolan Jones221
    2. SS Tyler Freeman211
    3. OF George Valera201
    4. SS Brayan Rocchio202
    5. RHP Daniel Espino202
    6. C Bo Naylor212
    7. RHP Ethan Hankins202
    8. SS Gabriel Arias213
    9. 2B Aaron Bracho203
    10. LHP Joey Cantillo213


    Farm System Snapshot

    There may be no farm system in baseball right now with a more impressive collection of lower-level talent than Cleveland, with nine of their top 10 prospects 21 years old or younger. That doesn't include Josh Wolf (20), Lenny Torres (20), Carson Tucker (19), Gabriel Rodriguez (19) and others positioned just outside the top 10 list.

    That gives this system some serious potential, though it also comes with a certain level of volatility given most of those players have limited professional experience and still need to prove they can handle a higher level of competition. With elite on-base ability and budding power, Nolan Jones could be knocking on the door after the All-Star break.

5. Miami Marlins

26 of 30

    Sixto Sanchez
    Sixto SanchezJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Sixto Sanchez221
    2. OF JJ Bleday 231
    3. RHP Max Meyer211
    4. RHP Edward Cabrera221
    5. OF Jesus Sanchez232
    6. 1B Lewin Diaz 232
    7. OF Peyton Burdick 232
    8. LHP Braxton Garrett233
    9. SS Jose Devers 213
    10. OF Monte Harrison253


    Farm System Snapshot

    Even with early NL Rookie of the Year candidates Jazz Chisholm and Trevor Rogers exiting this list, the Marlins still have a top-five farm system thanks to the lingering impact of their fire sale a few years ago and some good drafting in recent years.

    Peyton Burdick hit .308/.407/.542 with 20 doubles and 11 home runs in 69 games between Low-A and Single-A after signing as a third-round pick in 2019. He has as much breakout potential as any prospect heading into the 2021 season and could quickly jump onto top 100 lists. Don't sleep on Braxton Garrett still living up to the hype that made him the No. 7 overall pick in 2016.

4. San Francisco Giants

27 of 30

    Marco Lucaino
    Marco LucainoAshley Landis/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. SS Marco Luciano191
    2. C Joey Bart241
    3. OF Heliot Ramos211
    4. OF Hunter Bishop221
    5. LHP Seth Corry222
    6. OF Luis Matos192
    7. OF Alexander Canario202
    8. LHP Kyle Harrison193
    9. C Patrick Bailey213
    10. SS/2B Will Wilson223


    Farm System Snapshot

    The Giants have an exciting collection of young position players, headlined by shortstop Marco Luciano who has a shot at claiming the No. 1 prospect spot in all of baseball before the 2021 season is over. Fellow international signings Luis Matos, Alexander Canario, Luis Toribio also offer impact potential.

    The question is whether they will be able to develop any rotation pieces in the years to come. Seth Corry took a huge step forward in 2019 when he posted a 1.76 ERA with 172 strikeouts in 122.2 innings, and they gave Kyle Harrison a $2.5 million bonus as a third-round pick last year. Those two are the cream of the pitching crop right now.

3. Toronto Blue Jays

28 of 30

    Jordan Groshans
    Jordan GroshansChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. RHP Nate Pearson241
    2. SS/OF Austin Martin221
    3. SS Jordan Groshans211
    4. RHP Simeon Woods Richardson201
    5. RHP Alek Manoah231
    6. SS Orelvis Martinez191
    7. C Gabriel Moreno212
    8. RHP Adam Kloffenstein202
    9. SS/2B Miguel Hiraldo203
    10. RHP C.J. Van Eyk223


    Farm System Snapshot

    It won't be long until 2020 first-round pick Austin Martin and 55 hit/55 power infielder Jordan Groshans join an exciting young offensive core in Toronto. Beyond that duo, the system has a wealth of low-level minor-league talent capable of breaking through, led by toolsy shortstop Orelvis Martinez and catcher Gabriel Moreno.

    Nate Pearson is still the team's top prospect, but health and command issues have raised some red flags in the past year. After Alek Manoah allowed just one hit while striking out 15 in seven scoreless innings this spring, it wouldn't be a shock to see him rise to the top of the organizational rankings with a strong start to the year in the minors.

2. Seattle Mariners

29 of 30

    Jarred Kelenic
    Jarred KelenicElaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. OF Jarred Kelenic211
    2. OF Julio Rodriguez201
    3. RHP Logan Gilbert231
    4. OF Taylor Trammell231
    5. RHP Emerson Hancock211
    6. SS Noelvi Marte191
    7. RHP George Kirby231
    8. C Cal Raleigh242
    9. LHP Brandon Williamson233
    10. RHP Juan Then213


    Farm System Snapshot

    The Mariners are off to a strong start and eyeing their first postseason berth since 2001. The eventual arrival of outfielder Jarred Kelenic, right-hander Logan Gilbert and catcher Cal Raleigh should provide a significant in-house boost around midseason, and there is more talent behind them in the pipeline.

    Hard-throwing George Kirby and precocious shortstop Noelvi Marte are prospects on the rise, ready to become the new headliners in the system. There's a relatively wide gap between the top eight guys on this list and everyone else, but those top-tier guys are good enough to make this one of the game's elite farm systems right now.

1. Tampa Bay Rays

30 of 30

    Wander Franco
    Wander FrancoBrynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Top 10 Prospects

    1. SS Wander Franco201
    2. LHP Shane McClanahan 241
    3. 2B/SS Vidal Brujan 231
    4. RHP Shane Baz 211
    5. 2B/SS Xavier Edwards211
    6. LHP/DH Brendan McKay252
    7. RHP Nick Bitsko 182
    8. RHP Joe Ryan242
    9. OF Josh Lowe232
    10. RHP Cole Wilcox213


    Farm System Snapshot

    Even with Randy Arozarena and Luis Patino moving off the top-10 prospect list since the season started, the Rays still have the deepest collection of minor-league talent in all of baseball. That starts with No. 1 overall prospect Wander Franco, and he's set to open the 2021 campaign at Triple-A.

    One of the top prospects in the 2021 draft class, Nick Bitsko reclassified and went No. 24 overall last year. The 6'4", 225-pound right-hander has electric present stuff with four above-average pitches and 55-grade command. Even after Franco and Shane McClanahan exit this list, the Rays will still have a strong claim to the No. 1 ranking.


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


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.