It seems like we can never get enough of rankings and lists. However, when I conceived of a power ranking for MLB farm systems, I wanted it to be both different as well as actually useful. How can we wrap our arms around an entire organization’s worth of prospects and gain some perspective?
In an effort to be more creative, I decided to utilize the statistical performance of each organization’s top 30 prospects on a regular basis, rather than the traditional end-of-year summary. Instead of waiting for the dust to settle, I wanted to zoom in to see how different decisions and results impact the strength of individual systems. Ultimately, I want each week to be a snapshot of how an MLB team’s pipeline is (or is not) progressing.
UPDATE: One thing about making weekly lists is you have to recognize when certain parts of your rankings aren’t really coming together to be helpful. On that end, the tiers I identified in last week’s initial column really don’t make sense when combined with numerical rankings. So I’m scrapping them! Instead, I have created a more visually alluring table with some blurbs about certain systems.
- This list is made at my discretion. So yes, this is completely subjective.
- This is a weekly rankings list. If the #1 overall prospect gets called up, that team’s farm system will likely be negatively impacted in the rankings. If a pitcher suffers a blowup or a hitter slumps during the week, it’s going to impact the rankings. This is not just based on general Future Value or else I’d make an end-of-year list like everyone else.
- Why is Team X above Team Y? See bullet point #1.
- Yes, I do actually watch minor league games during the week including reviewing specific ABs or innings that I may have missed.
- No I do not hate __________. I keep an open mind about whatever results come in and whoever may be producing them.
- This is supposed to be fun, so let’s have fun with it!
Farm System Power Rankings
Atlanta Braves: The Braves are yet again stockpiled with intriguing arms, even after dealing away Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes. Last year it was Spencer Strider. The story so far in 2022 is Royber Salinas. Meanwhile, Kyle Muller and Tucker Davidson continue to knock on the door to becoming everyday starters with Jared Shuster looking to follow soon. Michael Harris holds down the hitting as the ebb and flow of prospect development is leaving Atlanta a bit sparse in upcoming position players.
Boston Red Sox: Nick Yorke and Marcelo Mayer have now been joined by a warmed-up Triston Casas and new org addition Alex Binelas. Even lower-ranked prospect David Hamilton has joined the Boston Hit Parade. On the bump, Brayan Bello has led a small but talented group of arms in Ks alongside bullpen aces Wilkeman Gonzalez and Brandon Walter. Boston looks prepared to reload as necessary for the next couple of years of AL East warfare.
Baltimore Orioles: Grayson Rodriguez sets the pace for their pitching pipeline while hitters such as Connor Norby, Cesar Prieto. and the lesser-known Adam Hall pick up the slack while Coby Mayo and Colton Cowser start to warm up.
New York Mets: Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, and Jose Butto are carrying the entire farm currently. Allan is out for the season; will Mauricio, Vientos, and others take another step forward for the Mets?
Los Angeles Dodgers: Several of the top Dodgers hitting prospects including Diego Cartaya, Andy Pages, and Eddys Leonard have yet to get going in 2022. Fortunately, L.A. is well stocked with arms that are meeting expectations so far in the early season.
Colorado Rockies: Ezequiel Tovar’s ascension into a Top 100 prospect continues but unfortunately the Rockies have to begin wondering about their two OF wunderkind as both Benny Montgomery and Zac Veen have been non-entities through the first two weeks of 2022.
Chicago Cubs: One of the most talented collections of hitting prospects in the league through every level…and none of them can hit this season. Incredibly disappointing start for the North Siders and their pitchers aren’t doing much to help matters.
Featured image by Shawn Palmer (@Palmerdesigns_ on Twitter)