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.
- 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!
Cleveland Guardians: Espino leads the pack but the Guardians are chockful of talent throughout the system. Recent call-up Bryan Lavastida has been a pleasant surprise while Jhonkensy Noel continues to launch balls into the stratosphere. Jose Fermin is the newest middle infielder to make a run at becoming the 2B of the future in Cleveland.
Pittsburgh Pirates: “Oneil who?” All kidding aside, it’s heartening to see several different position players all having strong starts in 2022. Recent call-up Jack Suwinkski is one of many OF prospects that are in the Pittsburgh system and overlooked SS Liover Peguero continues to make a solid case as the “real” SS of the future in Pittsburgh.
San Diego Padres: After calling up long-time C prospect Luis Campusano, the San Diego upper minors look kind of bare. However, their A ball is thriving. Jackson Merrill, James Wood, and Robert Hassell III headline a really fascinating group of youngsters. On the other hand, the pitchers are all question marks.
Philadelphia Phillies: I’m still down on the Phillies overall system but I couldn’t in good faith leave them in last place with Andrew Painter’s early season performance. A lone bright spot in what’s otherwise an ignominious group of prospects right now.
Oakland Athletics: Oakland’s collection of top 30 players may not be the sexiest but they are putting up solid numbers across all 4 levels. The imports (Langeliers, Ginn, Cusick, and Estes) have helped to give this unexciting bunch some depth. With Nick Allen seemingly graduated to the bigs, look for Zach Gelof, Langeliers and Ginn to be next up for the Athletics.
New York Yankees: A nightmare start for the #1 prospect Anthony Volpe, an increased K rate over 65 PAs (29%) and an incredibly unlucky BABIP (.182) have surpressed Volpe’s typical dynamism. The rest of the Yankees hitting prospects are room temperature currently and pitching was never going to be their saving grace at the minor league level.
Los Angeles Angels: Brett Kerry and Jordyn Adams are pulling the entire system at this point. Perhaps the warmth of May will loosen up the bats and arms in the Angels farm?
Featured image by Shawn Palmer (@Palmerdesigns_ on Twitter)