30 Teams in 30 Days: Minor League System Rankings
by Eugene Tierney on March 31, 2010

General

2010 MLB Minor League System Rankings
Here are my system rankings.

I’ve also included the rank of how they evaluate amateur talent; I looked at my rankings and adjusted the pre-trade ranks. So, the Dodgers took credit for Carlos Santana rather than the Indians; it makes it a little more interesting to see how well each team drafts and signs international free agents.

1. Boston Red Sox
Pre-trade Ranking: 1
Many teams have to think it’s not fair that the Red Sox can afford almost any free agent while still getting the top amateurs. They had 7 guys in the top 100; it would have been eight if they still had Nick Hagadone.

2. Cleveland Indians
Pre-trade Ranking: 19
This is important for a team like the Indians; with rebuilding, they are relying a lot on the system. Of course, a lot of these guys came from trades; Hagadone, Carlos Carrasco, and Carlos Santana all came from trading guys off.

3. Tampa Bay Rays
Pre-trade Ranking: 4
The Rays are almost always near the top in the prospect recent years; they draft very well and they make good trades. This system is full of quality arms. Everyone one on the top 100 was drafted/signed by the Rays.

4. Reds
Pre-trade Ranking: 6
Without the signing of Aroldis Chapman, the Reds would have dropped to 11th. They’ve developing some good fielders and Mike Leake looks like a top flight pitching prospect. If they have another strong draft and international free agent class, they move up further.

5. Royals
Pre-trade Ranking: 7
The one thing Drayton Moore has done for this organization is re-stock the minor league system. They draft well and have been able to reel in a couple of international prospects. They’ve shown they are willing to spend on amateurs, which is something they’ll have to do to compete.

6. Tigers
Pre-trade Ranking: 18
The Tigers got a boost by adding Austin Jackson and Daniel Schlereth to their system. Add in the recent drafting of Jacob Turner and Casey Crosby, and they have a top notch system. They will sign above slot in the draft, so they don’t miss many good first rounders.

7. Nationals
Pre-trade Ranking: 8
Without the 2009 draft, the Nationals would move from top third to bottom third. Strasburg is a start in the making and Storen is under the radar due to Strasburg. Norris is definitely someone to watch as well. They will need to continue to have strong drafts to off-set the loss of Strasburg and Storen to the majors this year.

8. Braves
Pre-trade Ranking: 3
It’s seems like Atlanta always has a strong system. This year they will graduate Jason Heyward to the majors. If you look at the guys they’ve traded away though (Neftali Feliz, Tyler Flowers for example), you’d have to wonder how good this team could be soon.

9. Marlins
Pre-trade Ranking: 9
While the Marlins are known for trading veterans for prospects, this ranking is really based off their drafts. Michael Stanton may be the best hitter in the minors with Heyward graduating to the big leagues. I expect big things out of Logan Morrison too.

10. Mets
Pre-trade Ranking: 13
The Mets system is underrated, in my opinion. People are down on Fernando Martinez, but he’s still young and full of potential. They have sleepers in Wilmer Flores, Jenrry Mejias, Ike Davis, and Ruben Tejada. If the guys in the low minors continue to develop, they should be set for some time.

11. Twins
Pre-trade Ranking: 14
The success of the Twins lies with their minor league system. They normally draft well and made an international splash this off-season by signing Miguel Sano. They should continue to get the young guys cycling through the system.

12. Dodgers
Pre-trade Ranking: 2
The Dodgers still have some good players in their system, but how nice would Carlos Santana and Josh Bell look right now? They draft well, so they can fill in a few of the holes in the up coming draft.

13. Yankees
Pre-trade Ranking: 5
I don’t think the Yankees have the strongest drafts each year, but they can get those international guys. I’m not saying they don’t draft well; they have a good draft here and there, but not consistently like the Red Sox, Tigers, or Rays.

14. Rangers
Pre-trade Ranking: 22
The Rangers have a strong system overall, but they lack the high profile guys outside of Feliz, Perez, and Smoak. They’ve drafted pretty well the last few years and they have candidates for break outs this year.

15. Giants
Pre-trade Ranking: 15
See the Rangers – lacking high profile guys outside of Posey and Bumgarner. I could see a few guys breaking out as well.

16. Athletics
Pre-trade Ranking: 29
They have Carter and Taylor as their only elite prospects. Green is close. Outside of that, they don’t have a lot to show from drafts and trades of Huston Street, Joe Blanton, Rich Harden, etc. They are also hurt by graduating a lot of players last year.

17. Mariners
Pre-trade Ranking: 16
The talent level in this system took a small hit when they traded Carlos Lee, but none of the guys traded cracked the Top 100. There are some definite question marks, but there is some upside too.

18. Diamondbacks
Pre-trade Ranking: 10
This is another system that has graduated a few players in the last couple of years. They had a solid draft in ’09 and could have a few guys that move up in status. They normally draft well, so they could be back in the top half next year.

19. Rockies
Pre-trade Ranking: 17
The system is doing pretty well with pitching, but they are lacking an elite hitter. If they can get 1 or 2 solid fielders in the draft, they could have a strong system again.

20. Cardinals
Pre-trade Ranking: 12
This system has probably dropped the most in the last year since they traded for Matt Holliday and Mark DeRosa. They’ve had some decent drafts since Jeff Luhnow took over the minor league system. I’d expect them to sign another high profile draftee this year.

21. Padres
Pre-trade Ranking: 20
They’re in rebuilding mold, but they need to rebuild the whole system. They have a couple of solid guys, but they need to do more. Hopefully the new ownership and front office will turn things around.

22. Astros
Pre-trade Ranking: 21
They’ve made strides over the last 2 years, but they still have a lot of work to do. As we mentioned in the Astros Roundtable, they have a few trade candidates that could bring some prospects in.

23. Orioles
Pre-trade Ranking: 26
They were solid last year, and still have Matusz in this system. They could be hurting next year when he’s no longer a rookie. They have a couple sleepers in their system, but it’s looking a little bare.

24. Blue Jays
Pre-trade Ranking: 30
J.P. Riccardi did a number on this system. He could have gotten a good package for Halladay mid-season, but they had to settle for less. Of course, they got 2 top 30 prospects in the end; those are their only 2 elite prospects.

25. Cubs
Pre-trade Ranking: 23
If it wasn’t for Stalin Castro, they’d look weak. Vitters could go either way still. They do have some young guys that could progress to elite status, but they have a long way to go.

26. Brewers
Pre-trade Ranking: 24
The Brewers’ system is in a downturn after trying to make some trades to compete. They have a good track record in the last decade of bringing guys through the system, so they should be fine in the long run.

27. Angels
Pre-trade Ranking: 25
I don’t think the system is a high priority for the Angels; they can spend to bring big names in. They don’t mind giving up draft picks, but they’ll need to draft a little stronger to make up for lack of picks.

28. Pirates
Pre-trade Ranking: 28
You would think that since they’ve traded veterans, they’d have a better system. I still think Jose Tabata could be a worth while player, but they only have 1 elite prospect (Alvarez).

29. Phillies
Pre-trade Ranking: 11
They’ve kept the Major League team stocked at the expense of the minors. They’ve given up more than they received back for Lee. Aumont could possibly crack the top 100 next year, but it depends on how he does in the starting rotation.

30. White Sox
Pre-trade Ranking: 27
This system is extremely weak and took a hit when Gordon Beckham graduated to the majors. They have a couple of guys at are close to being into the top prospect status, but we’ll see how they do this year.



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