2020 MLB Farm System Rankings

What is there to say? / Still I can't be silent / Hear the Cult of Ray / And you'll be enlightened

After most of the Top 50 prospect lists have been put together at Pitcher List, I thought it would be a good time to put together the first-ever organization ranks of every MLB team. Included in every team’s blurb is a link to their Top 50 list, along with a breakdown of some of their top prospects. I’ve also included three prospects, typically two hitters and one pitcher, that you should keep your eyes on if you play in deeper dynasty leagues.

Note: These Top 50 lists, as well as this team by team list, are all done through a fantasy baseball-focused lens. Many players who are ranked higher or lower on other platforms will get a boost here. For example, players who profile as middle relievers or glove-first infielders likely won’t have much fantasy relevance, so they won’t be ranked as highly. 

 

1. Tampa Bay Rays

 

Not only do the Rays have the overall best prospect, Wander Franco, but they also have the number one farm system in all of baseball. The amount of solid depth they have throughout their entire system is pretty incredible. They also seem to have a type: Vidal Brujan, Xavier Edwards, Greg Jones … all speedy shortstops who will have to shift positions at some point because of Franco and Willy Adames, if he is still on the team by the time they are ready. The Rays’ pitching, which has always been a strength, is led by Brendan McKay. McKay had a rough debut in the majors last year, but I still believe he is still a No. 3 type starter. Brent Honeywell Jr. is back throwing and hopefully he can stay healthy. Shane Baz has looked amazing, especially coming out of the bullpen during the Fall Stars Game in Arizona, and there is a non-zero chance that he should move to being a lights-out reliever. My favorite of the bunch is Shane McClanahan, a lefty that has a fastball sitting in the mid-nineties, a wipeout slider in the mid-eighties, and a mid-seventies curveball with a bunch of drop. Keep your eyes on Alejandro Pie, Kevin Padlo, and Joe Ryan.

 

2. San Diego Padres (Top 50 List)

 

The Padres have been the number one system for a couple of years now, but the Rays’ depth has them slightly ahead at this point. The Padres’ system is lead by the best pitching prospect in the minor leagues right now in MacKenzie Gore. If I had one question I could ask him, it would be who taught him those mechanics. He finished the year in Double-A and should see some time this year in Petco Park, especially if the Padres show they can compete for the NL Wild Card. Luis Patiño is following in Gore’s footsteps. He has a high leg kick, which he picked up from Gore, and also finished the year in Double-A. Patiño has an explosive fastball, lights-out slider, and developing changeup. A Gore/Patiño combination in a rotation will sure be fun to watch. Their offensive prospects are lead by CJ Abrams, an explosive shortstop who demolished the AZL before being promoted to Fort Wayne. Luis Campusano busted onto the scene in High-A and is a must-own in dynasty leagues, even though he is a catcher. Keep your eye on Gabriel Arias, Tirso Ornelas, and Joey Cantillo.

 

3. Los Angeles Dodgers

 

The top of the Dodgers list is filled with prospects who have already seen major league time and should play an important role for the team this season. After Gavin Lux, Dustin May, and new-to-the-system Brusdar Graterol, the list starts to dip a little. Josiah Gray, acquired in a trade with the Reds during the 2018 offseason, has been pretty impressive considering he was once a shortstop. Keibert Ruiz massively struggled in 2019 and was quickly passed by Will Smith. He was working on a swing adjustment before spring training was put on hold. Michael Busch and Kody Hoese are polished college bats drafted this past summer, and with the Dodgers track record of development, should be a target in first-year player drafts. Keep your eye on Omar Estevez, Diego Cartaya, and Michael Grove.

 

4. Seattle Mariners (Top 50 List)

 

What a few trades will do for a system! The Mariners have shot up the rankings with the trade for Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn last offseason. Kelenic’s season was riddled with injuries, but he still managed to slash .279/.354/.506 with 22 home runs and 22 stolen bases over three levels. From a fantasy standpoint, Kelenic will give you all-around production, but the Mariners’ top prospect is Julio Rodriguez. The Mariners were aggressive in the 18-year-old’s assignment to High-A, and he did not disappoint. The Mariners seem to be very aggressive in promoting their “guys,” made evident with the Evan White extension. Logan Gilbert and George Kirby are easily No. 2 starters and should move quickly. Kirby is a major strike thrower and Gilbert is a 6-foot-5 righty who has experienced an uptick in velocity. Noevi Marte should make his debut stateside this season, and looks to follow the footsteps of Julio Rodriguez and stick at shortstop. Keep your eyes on Cal Raleigh, Jonatan Clase, and Sam Delaplane.

 

 5. Cleveland Indians (Top 50 List)

 

The Indians system has been one of my favorite systems for a couple of seasons now. Their system is filled with all kinds of fantasy goodness. Nolan Jones has an excellent approach at the plate with the chance for 20-plus home runs. George Valera and Aaron Bracho performed well in the New York-Penn League. Tyler Freeman and Bryan Rocchio have great bat-to-ball skills with the ability to stick at short. Daniel Espino and Ethan Hankins have shown flashes of brilliance, and outside of the Dodgers, the Indians seem to get the most out of their pitchers. Keep your eyes on Bo Naylor, Alexfri Planez, and Jean Carlos Mejia.

 

6. Toronto Blue Jays (Top 50 List)

 

The Blue Jays have moved up the list mainly due to the Marcus Stroman trade to the New York Mets that netted them Anthony Kay, a back-end starter type, and Simeon Woods-Richardson, an advanced prep arm who scouts have raved about. He made it all the way to High-A and profiles as a perfect No. 2 starter behind their number one prospect, Nate Pearson. Pearson has an elite fastball that touches over 100 mph consistently. He has struggled with injury issues, but they seem more fluky in nature. If he can stay on the mound, he looks like a great starter for years to come. The Blue Jays’ hitting prospects are led by Jordan Groshans, who was having a breakout season before fracturing his foot. Keep your eyes on Alejandro Kirk, Gabriel Moreno, and Adam Kloffenstein.

 

7. Minnesota Twins (Top 50 List)

 

The Twins should be sitting pretty in the American League Central for a couple of seasons. They have a young team and have Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and Royce Lewis waiting to make their debuts. Their closest impact pitcher might be Lewis Thorpe, who should begin the season in Triple-A but has looked good this spring. Jordan Balazovic impressed last year, but has only made it to High-A. That said, he is still a guy to take a flyer on in your dynasty league. Keep your eyes on Jhoan Duran, Ryan Jeffers, and Gilberto Celestino.

 

8. Miami Marlins (Top 50 List)

 

The Marlins’ system has greatly improved the past couple of seasons. As an organization, they have consistently produced major league pitchers but have struggled to find impact bats. Knowing this, the Marlins traded a major league starter in Zac Gallen to the Diamondbacks for toolsy shortstop Jazz Chisholm. Chisholm has swing-and-miss issues, but they decreased a bit when he got into the Marlins organization. They also drafted some pretty interesting bats during the draft in J.J. Bleday and Peyton Burdick, and both should be owned in a dynasty league. The Marlins also have some pitching that is very close to the majors. Sixto Sanchez, who they got from the Phillies, was able to stay relatively healthy, but my favorite is Edward Cabrera. He should be able to give you plenty of strikeouts and not hurt your ratio stats, and has a chance to make his debut this year. Keep your eyes on Lewin Diaz, Jerar Encarnacion, and Braxton Garrett.

 

9. Arizona Diamondbacks (Top 50 List)

 

Over the past few seasons, the Diamondbacks have quietly put together a very deep system. They used that depth to obtain Zac Gallen and Starling Marte, both of whom should help their ball club be competitive this year and did not hurt their overall farm system ranking. Their top five prospects are excellent dynasty league options. Kristian Robinson and Corbin Carroll have power and stolen base potential. Geraldo Perdomo has an amazing eye at the plate and is golden in an OBP league. Alek Thomas is super polished and will help in every category, just maybe not to the level of Robinson or Carroll. Daulton Varsho is a fantasy baseball player’s dream: An excellent hitter who might retain catcher eligibility early on in his career. Their pitching is a bit far away, but there is massive upside with Luis Frias, Matt Tabor, and Blake Walston. Keep your eyes on Pavin Smith, Seth Beer, and Levi Kelly.

 

10. Detroit Tigers (Top 50 List)

 

Pitching. Pitching. Pitching. The Tigers’ top three prospects are pitchers and can go in any order, if I’m being honest. Matt Manning dominated Double-A, Casey Mize had a stellar first full professional year before an injury ended his season, and Tarik Skubal struck out everyone from High-A to Double-A and quickly moved up prospect lists. Those three pitching prospects might be the best one-through-three in all of baseball right now. They also have Alex Faedo, Beau Burrows (health permitting), Joey Wentz (health after Tommy John surgery) and any one of those could be your number four or five starter. The biggest hole in the Tigers’ system is their hitting, but they started to address that by drafting Riley Greene, an advanced prep bat with above-average power who is perfectly suited for a corner outfield spot. We might see Isaac Paredes this season, and he has some of the bat-to-ball skills in the minors right now. It is just a bit unclear where his future home is. He has gotten more reps at third this past season, but could move to second if needed. Keep your eyes on Parker Meadows, Bryant Packard, and Kody Clemens.

 

11. San Francisco Giants (Top 50 List)

 

Thanks in large part to great draft selections and superb international scouting, the Giants are quickly moving up the farm system ranks. There is a slight chance we see Joey Bart this year. He has performed well at every level and was destroying baseballs in the AFL before leaving early due to a broken hand. At the young age of 17, Marco Luciano amazed scouts with his power and amazing walk rate, especially for someone so young. Luciano has the chance to be the number one prospect in the next couple of seasons. Seth Corry and Sean “Peanut Butter and” Hjelle had breakout performances on the pitching side. Keep your eyes on Luis Matos, Jairo Pomares, and Gregory Santos.

 

12. Chicago White Sox (Top 50 List)

 

The White Sox system is very top-heavy. It is led by Luis Robert, who will quickly move off the list as he will be the full-time center fielder in Chicago. Nick Madrigal should also make his debut this year, but I’m unsure how much he will contribute this year. His value depends on where he will be hitting in the lineup. If it is at the top, it means plenty of runs and some stolen bases, but if he is at the bottom, slash everything down a few notches. Andrew Vaughn is a major-league ready bat, but with Jose Abreu and Edwin Encarnacion filling up first base and DH, we won’t see him until 2021. Michael Kopech has returned from TJS and looked good in spring before everything was shut down. He should see some time in the majors by season’s end. Keep your eye on Benyamin Bailey, Yermin Mercedes (my favorite spring training story), and Jonathan Stiever.

 

13. Atlanta Braves (Top 50 List)

 

Their system is missing All-Star impact players like Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies, but the Braves’ system is still pretty good. Cristian Pache and Drew Waters are waving from just beyond the outfield fence at Truist Park for some reps this season. The Braves also have some MLB-ready arms in Ian Anderson, Bryce Wilson, and Kyle Wright, but none have the impact to be an ace. Their system is a bit top-heavy, and their rank will probably dip in the next couple of seasons. However, keep your eyes on Michael Harris, Trey Harris, and Bryce Ball.

 

14. Baltimore Orioles (Top 50 List)

 

The Orioles have moved up the ranks mostly due to the development of their young pitchers. Leading the way is Grayson Rodriguez, who absolutely dominated Single-A and the development of his secondary pitches was impressive this year. DL Hall is a southpaw with a fastball that touches 97, but needs to refine his command just a bit. Dean Kremer, Michael Baumann, and Zac Lowther all showed promise and profile as back-of-the-rotation options in the future. The Orioles hitters are led by Adley Rutschman, who will be the cornerstone of the franchise for years to come. Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays should get plenty of playing time in Camden Yards this year. Keep your eyes on Adam Hall, Ryan McKenna, and Keegan Akin.

 

15. St. Louis Cardinals (Top 50 List)

 

If we are being honest here, other than the Dodgers, the Cardinals have been putting together successful farm systems even when picking later in drafts. However, it looks like the top of the system is starting to feel the effects. Dylan Carlson leads the pack and was really pushing to make the Opening Day roster with his amazing spring. Nolan Gorman packs a punch, but his aggressiveness might get the best of him as he moves up through the minors. The Cardinals received an injection of desperately-needed pitching talent with the trade for Matthew Liberatore, as most of their other pitchers are leaning toward the bullpen. Keep your eyes on Ivan Herrera, Elehuris Montero, and Zach Thompson.

 

16. Los Angeles Angels (Top 50 List)

 

The Angels’ system is filled with athletic, toolsy, volatile players. The combination can work, as with Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh, but can easily implode, as with Jahmai Jones and D’Shawn Knowles. Adell will begin the year in Triple-A, as he still needs a bit more work, but should make his debut this year. Marsh is on the same path, but was injured in Spring Training so he might not make his debut in 2020. Jordyn Adams, the rawest, toolsiest athlete of them all, showed signs of improvement but still has a way to go both in development and levels. Their pitching talent is lacking that one true ace, but Patrick Sandoval should contribute to the big league club this year. Keep your eyes on Jeremiah Jackson, Jack Kochanowica, and Hector Yan.

 

17. Pittsburgh Pirates (Top 50 List)

 

The Pirates are in a bit of a rebuild mode after poor performance and bad trades. They have a totally new front office and management staff, and I’m pretty excited to see what changes are made. They traded away Starling Marte during the winter and acquired two interesting prospects, Liover Peguero and Brennan Malone. Adam Garland wrote a great piece right after the trade that you should really check out. The system has a bunch of exciting hitters, including 6-foot-7 shortstop Oneil Cruz, a defensive wizard who can hit for a good average, and 15-20 home run potential in Ke’Bryan Hayes, and Jared Oliva, who should make his debut this year and can chip in a couple of steals. Their pitching is led by Mitch Keller, who is not long for the list, Tahnaj Thomas (who is my favorite of the bunch), and Quinn Priester. Keep your eyes on Mason Martin, Jack Herman, and Cody Bolton.

 

18. Cincinnati Reds (Top 50 List)

 

The Reds’ system is a very unique one. They have traded some of their top-tier talent in order to be competitive, and some of their draft picks from 2012 to 2014 did not reach their potential. However, the Reds have hired Kyle Boddy from Driveline to assist in their pitching development, which will hopefully bear fruit in the coming seasons. Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene lead the pack in pitching, with Tony Santillan and Vladimir Gutierrez waiting in the wings as possible back-end starter types. Jose Garcia and Tyler Stephenson should contribute in the majors very soon, and don’t sleep on Jonathan India.

 

19. Kansas City Royals (Top 50 List)

 

The Royals’ system has been rebuilding for a couple of seasons now, and it is starting to show. Interestingly, the Royals went with a hitter-heavy draft in 2017 and supplemented it with a college pitcher-heavy draft in 2018. I liked the strategy in theory, as it gives your younger hitters a chance to mature a bit before then supplementing the team with ready-made pitchers. There was one small hiccup. Most of the hitters (MJ Melendez, Seuly Matias, and Nick Pratto) massively struggled in High-A Wilmington. Was it the coaching staff, the environment, or lack of talent? Only time will tell.  Topping the list is first-round draft pick Bobby Witt Jr. Witt Jr. has the makings of being a power/speed threat at shortstop. After being signed during the J2 period, Erick Pena shot up the prospect lists and is a high FYPD selection. Their pitching pool is very deep with Daniel Lynch, Jackson Kowar, Brady Singer, and Kris Bubic, and brings hope that baseball will be fun again in Kansas City. Keep your eyes on Khaill Lee, Brewer Hicklen, and Jonathan Bowlan.

 

20. Boston Red Sox (Top 50 List)

 

The Red Sox system got a bit of a boost this off-season with the trade for Jeter Downs and Connor Wong. Downs’ stock has grown greatly since moving over to the Dodgers organization. He started to make louder contact and more of a fly-ball/line drive approach. Triston Casas looks like the first baseman of the future, and Bobby Dalbec should smash balls out of Fenway this year, but will struggle to make contact. The Red Sox system has moved up the ranks in recent years due to hitting on some draft picks and international signings. Keep your eyes on Thad Ward, Chris Murphy, Gilberto Jimenez, and Eduardo Lopez.

 

21. New York Yankees (Top 50 List)

 

Thank goodness the Yankees lineup is filled with great hitters, because it is going to be a while before any of their high-impact batters make it to the show. They signed Jasson Dominguez, but the kid is 16 years old and has yet to make an appearance in professional ball. Their highest-ranked pitchers, Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia, should make their debuts this season. Schmidt has the makings of being a reliable No. 2-3 starter for years to come, but Garcia is a reliever in the long run due to his size and control issues. Keep your eyes on Kevin Alcantara, Canaan Smith, and Roansy Contreras.

 

22. Texas Rangers (Top 50 List)

 

Outside of Josh Jung, a super-polished college bat they drafted last year, the Rangers’ system seems to be very boom or bust. Leody Taveras is a defensive wizard who patrols center field, but can he make enough contact to reach his potential of double-digit steals? Will Sherten Apostel be able to keep the strikeouts in check as he moves up the ladder? Is breakout star from 2019 Sam Huff for real? If Hans Crouse can stay healthy and Cole Winn learns a bit more control, they would make a perfect one-two punch in the rotation. Maximo Acosta and Bayron Lora are some intriguing J2 signings from this year, but obviously they are very far away. Keep your eyes on Bubba Thompson, Luisangel Acuña, and Yerry Rodriguez.

 

23. Chicago Cubs (Top 50 List)

 

The Cubs’ system has been quite barren recently, but there are some interesting guys for dynasty leagues. After adding a bunch of good weight, Brennan Davis was having a breakout campaign before an injury ended his season. He should begin the year in High-A and should be on your radar if he is not already on your team. Brailyn Marquez has an elite fastball, but the southpaw has trouble commanding his pitches. If he can harness that, watch out. Keep your eyes on Cole Roederer, Chase Stumpf, and Cory Abbott.

 

24. Oakland Athletics

 

The top of the Athletics system is filled with studs. Jesus Lazardo and A.J. Puk have spots in the starting rotation, and their battery mate Sean Murphy should have full-time reps behind the dish. However, the rest of the system is full of question marks. Can Daulton Jefferies or James Kaprielian stay healthy? With Jorge Mateo being out of options, does he remain on the team, or is he traded elsewhere? Luckily the A’s have young MLB talent on their roster because the farm system is looking bleak. Using a ninth overall pick on Kyler Murray and then losing him to football in 2018 really stings. Keep your eyes on Greg Deichmann, Austin Beck, and Luis Barrera.

 

25. New York Mets (Top 50 List)

 

The Mets system has lost many top prospects (Jerred Kelanic, Simeon Woods-Richardson) in recent trades made to compete now. At the top, Ronny Mauricio looks like the shortstop of the future. Looking at his stats, you might think otherwise, but the Mets have been very aggressive in his assignments and he has yet to really struggle. Mark Vientos has some of the best exit velocity readings in the system with some room to add more muscle on his frame. Francisco Alvarez performed well in the Appy League, and is worth taking a flyer on in your deeper dynasty leagues. Matthew Allen and Josh Wolf were drafted this year and are the pitchers to watch in this organization.

 

26. Philadelphia Phillies (Top 50 List)

 

Is it just me, or have the Phillies been in the middle-to-bottom-half of this list for many seasons now? Their top two prospects, Spencer Howard and Alec Bohm, should see some time in Citizens Bank Park this year. Outside of those two, the list quickly drops off a cliff. Their first-round pick this season, Bryson Stott, has a scouting line full of average grades, but at this point, I don’t trust the Phillies’ development staff to capitalize on them. Keep your eyes on Luis Garcia, Kendall Simmons, and Francisco Morales.

 

27. Houston Astros

 

This is the normal life cycle of baseball team. You go from the basement to the penthouse then back toward the basement. The top of the Astros’ system is filled with pitchers, and leading the way is former top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley. After a drug suspension, he struggled with injuries and lost the feel for throwing consistent strikes. He has gone back to his old mechanics, and we’ll wait to see if the changes help him regain his dominance. Jose Urquidy and Abraham Toro should begin the season on the roster and will quickly move off the list. Cristian Javier had another good year in the minors and should see some time in the rotation. It is still unknown if he has enough to stick long-term, as his stuff is not overpowering. Keep your eyes on Jeremy Pena, Colin Barber, and Tyler Ivey.

 

28. Colorado Rockies (Top 50 List)

 

No surprise to see the Rockies’ list filled with hitters but … boy, oh boy. It is not fun to be a fan of the Rockies right now. Their top prospect at this point is either Sam Hilliard or Brendan Rodgers (if you still believe). Also, keep in mind the recent track record of not playing their young players. Is it their stubbornness? Were we hyping them up because of the ballpark? *Shrug emoji* As with all things, it is probably a mixture of both. On a curious note, the Rockies love their corner infield bats. Their system is filled with first basemen or third basemen. It is an odd strategy to lock up your franchise player, who just happens to play an elite third base, and continue to draft the same type. Maybe the return on the Nolan Arenado trade will buck the trend. Keep your eyes on Michael Toglia, Aaron Schunk, and Brenton Doyle.

 

29. Washington Nationals (Top 50 List)

 

The Nationals’ system has been pretty barren for a couple of years, mostly due to trades to help them compete. Well, they are the reigning World Series champions and have some young, exciting talent that should contribute for years to come. However, outside of Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia, there is pretty much no elite talent that will contribute to your run to a fantasy title. Their recent track record of drafting injured players and turning them into major league talent has soured a bit. Both Mason Denaburg and Seth Romero have consistently been injured. However, Jackson Rutledge looked good after being drafted this year. Keep your eyes on Andry Lara, Tim Cate, and Drew Mendoza.

 

30. Milwaukee Brewers (Top 50 List)

 

All I have to say is “sorry,” Brewers fans. At least you will have the joy of watching Christian Yelich for the next seven years. Brice Turang should steal some bases with a decent average, but offers little to no power. Tristan Lutz will bring the power and profiles as a decent corner outfield bat. Marco Feliciano turned some heads this season, but still has some swing-and-miss in his game. Ethan Small, their first-round draft pick, is a strike-thrower and has No. 3 starter potential. Keep your eyes on Hedbert Perez, Luis Medina, and Antoine Kelly.

Featured image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Shelly Verougstraete

Shelly currently writes for Pitcher List, RotoGraphs, The Dynasty Guru, and Prospects365. She can also be heard on the Dynasty's Child podcast on The Dynasty Guru. She is a proud Dog Mom to Orsillo and Soto.

2 responses to “2020 MLB Farm System Rankings”

  1. Avatar Crazyhorse says:

    What about the Yankees Luis Medina with his stuff should he be mentioned

  2. Avatar Bubba says:

    He should be mentioned in other people’s updated prospects lists but with the Yankees farm system loaded with Deivi Garcia and frank German and others maybe next year he would be mentioned but he is really good and I love the way he can throw strikes and make people miss with his fastball

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