In today's game, it seems as though the big market, and high priced teams seem to dominate the league both in success, and on the free agent market. With the exception of the Seattle Mariners. However, there is one front that smaller market teams tend to succeed at, and that is in the farm system.
Here are my top 10 farm systems in baseball:
10. Baltimore Orioles-
The Orioles are a pretty top heavy organization. They've got Matt Wieters, who has turned more into an everyday MLB player, however we will see where he starts the season this year, although I'd be stunned if it wasn't Baltimore. Brian Matusz is easily the best pitching prospect in this system, and rightfully so, he's got a bright future.
9. Philadelphia Phillies-
One of three "big" market teams I have on my list. This organization has got some great talent, primarily on the mound and in the outfield. With guys like Dominic Brown and Michael Taylor, this team's got some great outfield prospects. And on the mound, Kyle Drabek is arguably one of the best pitching prospects in baseball.
8. Kansas City Royals-
The Royals should be on this list given how many high picks they have, and fortunately for them, they are. Recently, they've produced guys like Joakim Soria and Alex Gordon. Currently however, this system is lead by Eric Hosmer, Mike Montgomery and Tim Melville.
7. Boston Red Sox-
The second of my three big market teams on this list. The Red Sox have been one of the best farm systems in the league for a while now producing guys like Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Clay Bucholz and so on. The current class right now isn't nearly as good as some of the names they have produced in recent history, but still good. Josh Bard leads the way for a strong group of pitchers, Lars Anderson for hitters.
6. Atlanta Braves-
The third, and final big market team on my list, the Braves have done very well to obtain talent due to their great scouts. Jason Heyward is one of the top 5 prospects in the league and definetly the best outfielder. Beyond him, the Braves have a guy by the name of Tommy Hanson who has already shown flashes of excellence at the MLB level.
5. Cleveland Indians-
The Indians have really beefed up their farm system of late with the trades of CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Victor Martinez most notably. When its all said and done, the Indians have a great catcher prospect in Carlos Santana, and Adam Miller, a pitching prospect who when healthy has dominated the minor leagues, and a power hitting outfielder in Matt Laporta.
4. San Francisco Giants-
This season they lost a bit of depth in the trades for Ryan Garko and Freddy Sanchez. However, the Giants still have maintained their top, prized prospects in Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner. These two are arguably the best two prospects on the same team, with Posey making a push to become the major league starter, and Bumgarner making a brief stint with the Giants last season.
3. Oakland Athletics-
They acquired arguably the best corner infield out there this season in the Matt Holliday trade, Brett Wallace a 3B. The A's constantly seem to have a deep farm system as they are always trading away their stars. Their farm system really got a boost from the Rich Harden, Joe Blanton, and Nick Swisher trades, not too mention the Holliday trade.
2. Tampa Bay Rays-
The Rays still have a farm system to kill for. With guys like Tim Beckham, Wade Davis, Desmond Jennings, and Jeremy Hellickson, this team goes deep. Not too mention the many homegrown talents their MLB club has, including David Price and Carl Crawford.
1. Texas Rangers-
This pick was quite easy. Scroll through any list of top 100 prospects in baseball and your likely to find about 10 guys in the Rangers' system. Its almost unfair. Some of the most notable players are: Elvis Andrus, Martin Perez, Justin Smoak, Neftali Perez, and Derek Holland. This team, has a lot of good years to come if they can keep their core group of prospects together.
Honorable Mention- Florida Marlins
The Marlins didn't make my list for their lack of depth. This system is too heavily reliant upon Cameron Maybin and Logan Morrison. All the other teams on my list had at least 3 great prospects, in the top 5, 5 or 6 great prospects. The Marlins just missed my top 10.