Truth & Rumors > MLB

Baseball's best farm system

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07:32 AM ET 01.29 | 'Tis the season. To kick off my look at the best prospects in the minor leagues this week, I've ranked all 30 MLB farm systems from top to bottom, considering only the players who are currently in their systems and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility. ... 1. Houston Astros ... On the one hand, when you pick first overall every year, you should probably end up with a pretty good farm system, and the Astros' top five prospects are all first-round picks. On the other hand, the Astros have done everything they needed to do to restock what was a few years ago the worst system in the majors, like exceeding MLB's recommended signing bonuses for Lance McCullers Jr. and Rio Ruiz in 2012, or landing prospects like Jonathan Singleton, Domingo Santana and Asher Wojciechowski in trades.

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Jonathan Singleton, Icon Sports Jonathan Singleton, Icon Sports
January 29, 2014  07:59 AM ET

....this is perhaps the only title the stros wil b earning for quite awhile.....with an owner who should not be, the mlb team should also be included as a farm team.....

January 29, 2014  09:13 AM ET

Delino Deshields, Jr. Glad that name is back in baseball. Solid.

Comment #3 has been removed
January 29, 2014  09:48 AM ET

This writer must be from Houston because most people in baseball know that the Red Sox and Cardinals rank as the two best systems in the game right now.

January 29, 2014  10:00 AM ET

Twins and Pirates are packed as well

January 29, 2014  10:08 AM ET

With the changes in draft compensation a few years ago, most teams can afford to stock farm systems, and it is paying off in more farm system talent reaching the big leagues on most teams,
(except those, like the Yankers, who give away draft picks as compensation for FA signings)!

Comment #7 has been removed
Comment #8 has been removed
January 29, 2014  10:25 AM ET

The Cardinals have promoted most of their best prospects. By the way, the guy who rebuilt the Cardinals system has been in Houston for a few years. I expect them to be a respectable team in the near future.

Comment #10 has been removed
January 29, 2014  10:33 AM ET

Easy to have a pretty good farm system when you're major league team is always bad enough to be picking before the other teams.

Comment #12 has been removed
January 29, 2014  10:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Actually, Keith Law is from Long Island, and is probably the foremost authority on ranking farm systems.Further, he doesn't even have the Red Sox or Cardinals in the top three.

I was thinking the same thing. Law's top 10 are as follows:
Houston
Minn
Pittsburgh
Chicago Cubs
Boston
NY Mets
KC
Colorado
SD

Other teams of note the Yankees are 20th, Texas 13th, StL 12th, Dodgers 11th and Tigers 28th
The main reason Houston is #1 according to Law is they have alot of top 100 prospects as well as a great amount of depth across their farm system.

January 29, 2014  10:54 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

The key is signing those guys. Like the article says, the Astros coughed up hefty signing bonuses for their first-rounders. The Jays balked at their past two first round choices' demands and let them walk, and now they have the 5th worst farm according to KLaw (but two protected first round choices this year). Astros are paying to have a good system. Hope it works out for them.

Yes and Law also says that Houston has heavily invested in Latin America again after a 7 year period in which they didn't because a legendary scout left.

January 29, 2014  11:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Delino Deshields, Jr. Glad that name is back in baseball. Solid.

His Dad was a total astroturf ball player. He could get those slap hits to skip through the infield on the fake stuff, but not real grass. Possibly the worst trade in Dodger history.

January 29, 2014  11:24 AM ET

Here is one writers list of players who were NEVER even once mentioned in the Baseball America Top 100. this stuff is like mel Kiper and his NFL draft stuff. Take it all with a grain of salt.

Starting line up:

1. Brett Gardner, CF (NYY)
2. Josh Donaldson, 3B (OAK)
3. Matt Carpenter, DH (STL)
4. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B (ARI)
5. Robinson Cano, 2B (SEA)
6. Yadier Molina, C (STL) (if I told you no Molina was ever a top 100 prospect, would you believe me?)
7. Shane Victorino, RF (BOS)
8. Ben Zobrist, LF (TB)
9. Ian Desmond, SS (WAS)

Bench:

C Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)
IF Alexei Ramirez (CHA)
IF Mark Trumbo (ARI)
OF Matt Holliday (STL)
OF Jose Bautista (TOR)

Starting Rotation

1. James Shields (KC)
2. Doug Fister (WAS)
3. Mat Latos (CIN)
4. Jose Quintana (CHA)
5. Patrick Corbin (ARI)

Bullpen

David Robertson (NYY)
Mark Melancon (PIT)
Joe Nathan (DET)
Drew Smyly (DET)
C.J. Wilson (TEX)

January 29, 2014  11:36 AM ET

Great farm systems only as good as the major leagues team record.....if you can't develope those 1st rd. picks to compete at the major league level then how good is the farm system really.

January 29, 2014  12:00 PM ET

All these fruitless years and they wind up with the best farm system, go figure Astro Fans!!!

January 29, 2014  12:13 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

....this is perhaps the only title the stros wil b earning for quite awhile.....with an owner who should not be, the mlb team should also be included as a farm team.....

but but the phillies own the Astros franchise and soon very soon the phillies will get those top players
in hot trades before we all expected!!

 
January 29, 2014  12:15 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Great farm systems only as good as the major leagues team record.....if you can't develope those 1st rd. picks to compete at the major league level then how good is the farm system really.

you couldn't have said better,the astros have great farm system but will never be able to develope them into a major league level,(example)the Rays??

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