2010 Farm System Rankings
1/26/2010 3:43 PM ET By Frankie Piliere
1. Tampa Bay Rays | Players in Top 100: 4
This is a very balanced farm system. They have pitching, and pitching that is on the cusp of contributing with Wade Davis and Jeremy Hellickson. They also have Desmond Jennings, one of baseball's best prospects, ready to burst onto the scene. The lower levels of their system are also packed with talent, with names like Matt Moore and Alexander Colome impressing talent evaluators.
2. Texas Rangers | Players in Top 100: 5
There isn't an organization in baseball that can match the top two arms in the Rangers' farm system -- Neftali Feliz and Martin Perez. Beyond that, though, Texas is loaded with power arms and power bats. Thanks to smart trades and a commitment to international scouting, its system continues to thrive.
3. Oakland Athletics| Players in Top 100: 3
The A's continue to keep their system well-stocked, and right now they are particularly loaded with position players. Even with the unusual loss of Grant Desme, who decided to retire from baseball to enter the priesthood, Oakland has plenty of bats on the horizon, including Chris Carter, Jemile Weeks and Grant Green. Some of their top arms have graduated to the big leagues, but they keep re-stocking the pitching with smart drafts.
4. Atlanta Braves | Players in Top 100: 6
It's never a surprise that the Braves have a strong farm system. They continue to graduate players like Tommy Hanson and yet still maintain outstanding depth. Jason Heyward is now on the cusp of big-league stardom, and there are still low-level talents like Christian Bethancourt, Julio Teheran and Arodys Vizcaino ready to move up the ranks behind him.
5. Cleveland Indians | Players in Top 100: 3
Headlined by Carlos Santana, the Indians boast a very strong farm system born in large part by some outstanding trades. That includes the deal that brought Santana to Cleveland for Casey Blake. Other arms like Alex White, Carlos Carrasco and Nick Hagadone help form one of the deepest crops of talent in baseball.
6. Baltimore Orioles | Players in Top 100: 4
Another team helped immensely by smart trades (see: Jones, Adam), the Orioles are only going to get better as another wave of talent appears to be on the way. Brian Matusz looks ready to stick in the big-league rotation, and others like Jake Arrieta are knocking on the door.
7. Florida Marlins | Players in Top 100: 3
One of the most impressive traits of this farm system is the abundance of high-upside arms that fly well under the radar. The Marlins do an outstanding job of getting low-priced, but extremely promising talent on the international market. On top of that, they've drafted well, with guys like Michael Stanton and Matt Dominguez to show for it.
8. San Francisco Giants | Players in Top 100: 3
It's hard not to get complimented on your farm system when you have both Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey ready to make an impact at the big-league level. Let's not forget, however, that they have other impressive bats like Thomas Neal and Ehire Adrianza. Zack Wheeler, the club's first-round draft pick last year, also figures to make a major impact on their system in 2010.
9. Milwaukee Brewers | Players in Top 100: 3
The Brewers have Alcides Escobar ready to graduate, and despite his 2009 struggles, Mat Gamel is still a very talented young bat. Those aren't the only young hitters to be excited about either, with Brett Lawrie, Jonathan Lucroy and Kentrail Davis all possessing big upside at the dish.
10. Colorado Rockies | Players in Top 100: 3
It's been a struggle to develop pitching throughout the team's history, but they certainly seem to be headed in the right direction now. Christian Friedrich has been outstanding from the moment he was drafted, and has front-of-the-rotation stuff. Tyler Matzek, the team's top draft choice in 2009, could be next in the pipeline.
11. Boston Red Sox | Players in Top 100: 4
Boston's low-level talent is as impressive as anyone's, with players like Ryan Westmoreland, Reymond Fuentes and Roman Mendez highlighting the list of the organization's top minor-leaguers. The Red Sox also boast some nice advanced talent in the likes of Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish.
12. Kansas City Royals | Players in Top 100: 4
They have the pitching with Aaron Crow and Mike Montgomery. The position prospects the team is banking on -- Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer -- have hit some bumps in the road but this is still a very strong system overall.
13. Cincinnati Reds | Players in Top 100: 4
Aroldis Chapman gives the system quite a boost, but the Reds were doing pretty well even before signing him. The young pitching at the big-league level is beginning to take shape, and 2009 first-round pick Mike Leake only figures to add to that.
14. Minnesota Twins | Players in Top 100: 4
The Twins are not loaded with elite talent, but what they do have is depth up and down the ladder. It's been that way for a while now, and that's why some of their big-league talent sneaks up on us. Fortunately for Minnesota fans, there is even more talent ready to contribute, headlined by Aaron Hicks, Ben Revere, Wilson Ramos and David Bromberg.
15. New York Yankees | Players in Top 100: 4
The Yankees have plenty of depth. What they don't have right now is a great deal of impact talent behind Jesus Montero. They have a lot of potential in the low levels, and it's a solid system, but at the moment much of their high-upside players are early in their development.
16. Washington Nationals | Players in Top 100: 4
It always helps to have baseball's best prospect. Stephen Strasburg is a big lift, but Washington continues to improve its depth in other ways. Derek Norris keeps on impressing, and they suddenly have some infield depth, with Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa coming off strong showings in 2009.
17. Philadelphia Phillies | Players in Top 100: 4
Sure, the Phillies gave up top talents like Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor to get Roy Halladay, but they did an excellent job of replacing some of what was lost by getting Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies in exchange for Cliff Lee. They have some potential stars at the lower levels like Anthony Gose and Domingo Santana.
18. Chicago Cubs | Players in Top 100: 3
The current crop of position players is looking very good for the Cubs. They have some work to do on their pitching depth, but a system headlined by talents like Starlin Castro, Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters is one that's doing pretty well.
19. Seattle Mariners | Players in Top 100: 3
The Mariners' system took a big hit in the trade for Cliff Lee, but there are still some very bright spots. Dustin Ackley looks poised to move up the ladder quickly and Michael Saunders continued to improve in 2009.
20. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Players in Top 100: 4
The Angels have seen better days, but there are still some things to like. Peter Bourjos and Hank Conger looked good in 2009, and early on Mike Trout looks like one of the best hitters to come out of last year's draft.
21. Detroit Tigers | Players in Top 100: 5
The Tigers got quite a lift from the Curtis Granderson trade, but the depth in their system is still lacking. Jacob Turner, Daniel Schlereth, Casey Crosby, and Andy Oliver give them some help in the pitching department, but there is some work to be done on the position-player side of the equation.
22. Arizona Diamondbacks | Players in Top 100: 2
The Diamondbacks took a hit in 2009, dealing away Daniel Schlereth and losing Jarrod Parker late in the season to Tommy John surgery. The 2009 draft gave them a handful of impressive bats like A.J. Pollock and Bobby Borchering, but beyond that there is not a great deal of depth.
23. Chicago White Sox | Players in Top 100: 3
There is a lot of potential in the system, and it may not be far off from prominence. Dan Hudson looks set to contribute at the big-league level, and Tyler Flowers had a strong 2009 campaign. Keep an eye out for low-level talents like left-handed pitcher Santos Rodriguez.
24. New York Mets | Players in Top 100: 3
The Mets have some very bright spots, like Jenrry Mejia, who could be one of their best pitching prospects in years, but the depth is lacking. Brad Holt is another hurler to keep an eye on, and Ike Davis is looking more and more like their first baseman of the future. It will take some time, however, to build up the depth.
25. Los Angeles Dodgers | Players in the Top 100: 2
Los Angeles has some impressive arms, but its depth is not what it has been in the past. Chris Withrow, Aaron Miller and Ethan Martin are not big-league ready, but have a lot of potential. Much of the Dodgers' top talent is currently in the lower levels of the minors.
26. Toronto Blue Jays | Players in Top 100: 3
The Roy Halladay deal helped this system in a big way, but depth is still an issue. Kyle Drabek and Brett Wallace give them two star-caliber prospects ready to contribute, but there isn't a lot behind them. Moises Sierra and Gustavo Pierre are lower-level talents that Jays' fans should monitor closely.
27. St. Louis Cardinals | Players in Top 100: 1
The Cardinals' system was on the rise heading into 2009, but graduating players and trades have depleted it in a hurry. By drafting top high school arms like Shelby Miller, they are off to a good start as they attempt to replenish their talent.
28. Pittsburgh Pirates | Players in Top 100: 3
As far as top prospects go, it doesn't get much better than Pedro Alvarez. Beyond that, the talent crop is limited. Jose Tabata clearly has potential, but he's been far from a sure thing during much of his career. Tim Alderson's stock has dropped as well. Tony Sanchez could move quickly and could give this system a boost in 2010.
29. Houston Astros | Players in Top 100: 2
It may not seem that way given this ranking, but Houston is headed in the right direction. Jason Castro has been strong and proved many doubters wrong. At the lower levels, a number of high-upside arms like Jordan Lyles and Ross Seaton have emerged. There is work to be done, but the Astros are on track.
30. San Diego Padres | Players in Top 100: 1
The encouraging thing for Padres fans is that there is low-level talent here. Donavan Tate and Simon Castro have great potential, and at first glance their 2009 draft looks strong. The state of the farm isn't so great right now, but there are signs of life.