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MLB Farm System Power Rankings: Weeks 8 and 9

A week-to-week ranking and review of each MLB team's farm systems.

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.

 

Ground Rules

 

  • 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!

Risers

 

Detroit Tigers: Tigers benefit from Riley Greene’s rehab at Triple-A as he approaches his Spring Training form for MLB promotion. But also, Kerry Carpenter has been playing out of this world, racking up 8 homers in the past two weeks and bolstering his prospect status. On the mound, Reese Olsen and Ty Madden have pitched well, while Wilmer Flores continues to look like he’ll be a legit MLB SP in another year or so.

Houston Astros: It’s all about Hunter Brown on the bump and Enmanuel Valdez at the plate. Brown looks like he’s fully baked as a prospect and is ready for the challenge of the big leagues. Valdez has played his way into a promotion to Triple A and could grab a cup of coffee with the senior club before the year is out. Astros don’t rebuild, just continue to reload.

Tampa Bay Rays: Just when we thought we had a good handle on the Tampa Bay farm, Austin Vernon and Kyle Manzardo add their names to the list. Remember this time last year when Taj Bradley was just popping up on our collective radar? He’s still only 21…Oh and and even if you remove Shane Baz from the equation, their collection of pitchers is as good top to bottom as any farm system in MLB.

 

Fallers

 

Atlanta Braves: This slide seems sort of inevitable after the promotion of Michael Harris III, the continued struggles of Drew Waters, and the rough week had by the bulk of the Braves’ starters at each level.

Baltimore Orioles: The specter of Grayson Rodriguez potentially being shut down for the season would be a fatal blow for many a farm system, but it’s to Baltimore’s credit that they only barely fall out of the top 10. DL Hall seems prepared to pick up slack left by GrayRod’s absence and Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Westburg’s promotion to Norfolk creates some space for potential movement below.

New York Yankees: Significant fall for the Bombers. Neither pitching nor hitting was particularly good over the past two weeks. Volpe’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Double-A year continues. He simply can’t get much of anything going except for stolen bases.

Featured image by Shawn Palmer (@Palmerdesigns_ on Twitter)

LaMar Gibson

A lifelong Baltimore Orioles fan that still hasn't forgiven Jeffrey Maier, Tony Fernandez, the 2014 Royals, or Edwin Encarnacion...and has no interest in doing so in the foreseeable future. You can read more of LaMar's thoughts by subscribing to his free monthly newsletter, Inside Fastball, for all things prospects.

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