Originally Posted by M2
With any feeder system, you need to choose who's part of the foundation and who can get you what you need to fill in around that foundation. They aren't all going to pan out and getting ahead of that curve is critical for a team with limited resources. Some top prospects should be dealt. It's just a matter of figuring out which ones.
This is a very important point. While you obviously will realize value from that top X% of prospects who go on to contribute to your organization, you should try to realize as much value as possible from those prospects who don't.
There's no reason to let a Brandon Larson rot away without giving him either sufficient opportunity to completely fail or trading him way before the bloom is off the rose.
Turning away B prospects for real contributors has been a hallmark of the Braves for the last 15 years. Sure, sometimes you'll end up trading away guys who return more value than you gain (like the Pierzynski trade), but often you get something for nothing.
You can stockpile as much depth as you want, but at the end of the day, the goal has to be maximizing the value on the 25 man roster. It's a balancing act, for sure, but depth in and of itself isn't necessarily a virtue.