Here’s where all 30 farm systems rank

Detroit Tigers

You know how 900 prospects line up. Now, how about their 30 farm systems?

MLB Pipeline has re-ranked all 30 organizations by their prospect talent in this last edition of the farm system rankings. The in-season rankings provide a good snapshot of where each club stands after movement brought on by the Trade Deadline, 2021 MLB Draft and, of course, internal player development.

Gone are the days of the Rays at the top. (Don’t worry, Tampa Bay fans; there are positive reasons for the drop.) A new AL East organization has risen to take their place. But the competition for No. 1 was extremely close — closer than previous years with dynamic mixes of Top 100 talent and overall depth all coming into play.

In that way, let there be hope. Four of the top five organizations in this edition of the rankings enter Aug. 24 with losing Major League records. But help is coming just a little further down the Minor League ladder.

1. Baltimore Orioles
2021 preseason rank: 5
2020 midseason rank: 8
2020 preseason rank: 13
Top 100 Prospects: Adley Rutschman, C (No. 1), Grayson Rodriguez, RHP (No. 8), DL Hall, LHP (No. 78), Gunnar Henderson, SS (No. 80), Colton Cowser, OF (No. 83)

The O’s now boast the best prospect in baseball AND the best pitching prospect in baseball, both in the top 10 overall. They’ve also had other prospects — like Henderson and Jordan Westburg — take steps forward, and have added two new members of their top 10 via the 2021 Draft (Cowser and Connor Norby).

2. Seattle Mariners
2021 preseason rank: 3
2020 midseason rank: 4
2020 preseason rank: 9
Top 100 Prospects: Julio Rodríguez, OF (No. 2), Noelvi Marte, SS (No. 11), George Kirby, RHP (No. 35), Emerson Hancock, RHP (No. 36)

Though Jarred Kelenic, Logan Gilbert and Taylor Trammell have graduated, there are still four prospects in the top 36 of our Top 100, and two in the top 11 alone, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if 2021 first-rounder Harry Ford hits that Top 100 eventually.

3. Miami Marlins
2021 preseason rank: 4
2020 midseason rank: 5
2020 preseason rank: 4
Top 100 Prospects: Kahlil Watson, SS (No. 28); Edward Cabrera, RHP (No. 30); Max Meyer, RHP (No. 31); Sixto Sánchez, RHP (No. 45); J.J. Bleday, OF (No. 77); Jake Eder, LHP (No. 82)

The Marlins went from one of baseball’s worst farm systems at the end of 2017 to one of its best by mid-2019, and they’ve kept adding to it ever since. They stocked up on pitching in the 2020 Draft with a pair of Top 100 Prospects in first-rounder Max Meyer and fourth-rounder Jake Eder, and they bolstered their supply of position prospects this year by signing Cuban shortstop Yiddi Cappe in January and drafting Watson and catcher Joe Mack with their first two picks in July. Several of their best farmhands should arrive in the big leagues over the next couple of years, with a second wave led by Watson, Mack, and pitchers Eury Perez and Dax Fulton coming behind them.

4. Pittsburgh Pirates
2021 preseason rank: 8
2020 midseason rank: 16
2020 preseason rank: 15
Top 100 Prospects: Henry Davis, C (No. 23), Quinn Priester, RHP (No. 53), Oneil Cruz, SS (No. 57), Nick Gonzales, SS/2B (No. 68), Liover Peguero, SS (No. 93)

Not only did the Pirates add a Top 100 player in taking Henry Davis No. 1 overall in the 2021 Draft, but their aggressive strategy with their bonus pool allowed them to add three exciting high school talents to a very deep system that was improved by Trade Deadline deals.

5. Kansas City Royals
2021 preseason rank: 10
2020 midseason rank: 10
2020 preseason rank: 17
Top 100 prospects: Bobby Witt Jr. (No. 3), Daniel Lynch (No. 59), Nick Pratto (No. 71), Asa Lacy (No. 72), MJ Melendez (No. 73), Jackson Kowar (No. 92)

The Royals knew they had a legitimate star on their hands in Witt, and the shortstop has only solidified his standing by showing power and speed at Double-A and Triple-A. Pratto and Melendez, however, are truer to the popup theme of the KC system in 2021 with several hitting prospects taking jumps. The pitching has stagnated but remains promising, and the additions of Frank Mozzicato and Ben Kudrna in the Draft have provided the top 10 with additional shots in the arm. It’s a more well-rounded and deeper group than it looked like this spring.

6. Tampa Bay Rays
2021 preseason rank: 1
2020 midseason rank: 1
2020 preseason rank: 1
Top 100 prospects: Shane Baz (No. 20), Vidal Bruján (No. 22), Xavier Edwards (No. 76), Josh Lowe (No. 79), Greg Jones (No. 91)

The king has fallen. For all the right reasons. Graduations of Wander Franco, Luis Patiño and Shane McClanahan from the preseason Top 100 — specifically Franco’s departure from No. 1 — have taken some of the shine off the Tampa Bay pipeline. But make no mistake, this is still one of the deepest systems in all of baseball, aided by breakouts from the likes of Taj Bradley, Curtis Mead and Tommy Romero. The Rays remain particularly strong up the middle on the position-player side, and Shane Baz’s improved command has him looking like a potential ace.

7. Detroit Tigers
2021 preseason rank: 2
2020 midseason rank: 2
2020 preseason rank: 5
Top 100 prospects: Spencer Torkelson (No. 4), Riley Greene (No. 7), Jackson Jobe (No. 50)

Remember when this was a system dominated by arms? That’s no longer the case, with Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Matt Manning all graduating this summer. Then again, it might not have been the case anymore, anyway, given the ways Torkelson and Greene have performed at every stop in their respective ascents toward Detroit. Jobe and fellow 2021 pick Ty Madden now lead the pitching group, and the currently injured Dillon Dingler has his own Top 100 potential as an athletic backstop. Depth is an issue as the list falls off pretty heavily toward the back end, but the possibility of multiple legit stars buoys the entire system.

8. San Francisco Giants
2021 preseason rank: 11
2020 midseason rank: 13
2020 preseason rank: 10
Top 100 Prospects: Marco Luciano, SS (No. 5); Joey Bart, C (No. 16); Luis Matos, OF (No. 84); Heliot Ramos, OF (No. 87)

Not only do the Giants have the best record in baseball, but their farm system hasn’t been this strong since Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford were percolating more than a decade ago. Their international scouting department has been crushing it recently, starting with a potentially special 2018 crop highlighted by Luciano, Matos and outfielder Jairo Pomares. San Francisco also has drafted well, including bolstering its pitching with Kyle Harrison, Will Bednar and Matt Mikulski in 2020 and 2021.

9. Arizona Diamondbacks
2021 preseason rank: 9
2020 midseason rank: 9
2020 preseason rank: 6
Top 100 prospects: Jordan Lawlar (No. 13), Corbin Carroll (No. 21), Alek Thomas (No. 42)

Those waiting for the D-backs to become a truly elite system have to hold out a little longer. The good news: Lawlar was a massive get with the sixth overall pick and instantly became the shining star of the system. Also, there’s no telling how high Carroll could have climbed if not for season-ending shoulder surgery. Instead, Thomas has been the productive outfielder in the upper levels. Unfortunately, Geraldo Perdomo has struggled, and Kristian Robinson’s status remains up in the air due to a legal issue. The promise here still remains on the position-player side — though pitching gains by Blake Walston and Ryne Nelson can’t be discounted — and this group should take a leap when the D-backs get a high pick and Draft pool in 2022.

10. Cincinnati Reds
2021 preseason rank: 20
2020 midseason rank: 22
2020 preseason rank: 24
Top 100 Prospects: Hunter Greene, RHP (No. 27), Nick Lodolo, LHP (No. 32), Jose Barrero, SS (No. 33), Matt McLain, SS (No. 98)

The Reds now have seven players on their Top 30 from the 2021 Draft, adding lots of depth, starting with first-rounder Matt McLain, who joins a Top 100 crop led by Hunter Greene, who looks every bit the top pitching prospect we thought he might be before surgery.

11. Texas Rangers
2021 preseason rank: 21
2020 midseason rank: 24
2020 preseason rank: 21
Top 100 Prospects: Jack Leiter, RHP (No. 12); Josh Jung, 3B (No. 52); Cole Winn, RHP (No. 66); Justin Foscue, 2B (No. 90); Sam Huff, C/1B (No. 99)

The Rangers could set a franchise record for losses, but there’s hope for the future because they may have more legitimate prospect depth than any other organization. Their four best prospects are their four most recent first-round selections — Leiter (2021), Jung (2019), Winn (2018) and Foscue (2020) — but there is plenty of talent stacked up behind them too. Texas has added talent via later choices (Huff, outfielder Evan Carter), trades (middle infielders Josh Smith and Ezequiel Duran) and international signings (middle infielders Luisangel Acuna and Maximo Acosta).

12. Boston Red Sox
2021 preseason rank: 24
2020 midseason rank: 25
2020 preseason rank: 25
Top 100 Prospects: Marcelo Mayer, SS (No. 9); Triston Casas, 1B (No. 18); Jarren Duran, OF (No. 26)

The Red Sox parlayed MLB Pipeline’s top-ranked system in mid-2015 into three straight division titles and a World Series championship in 2018, by which time graduations and trades had thinned out their supply of prospect talent. A disastrous 2020 season enabled Boston to trade veterans for youngsters to replenish depth, and also gave it the No. 4 overall pick this July — its earliest choice since 1967 — which turned into the best prospect in the 2021 Draft, Mayer. The Sox have made some nice scouting finds too, such as Duran (seventh-rounder in 2018), second baseman Nick Yorke (a shocking first-rounder in 2020) and right-hander Brayan Bello (signed for $28,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2017).

13. Cleveland Indians
2021 preseason rank: 13
2020 midseason rank: 14
2020 preseason rank: 12
Top 100 Prospects: Tyler Freeman, INF (No. 65); George Valera, OF (No. 69); Nolan Jones, 3B/OF (No. 74); Gabriel Arias, INF (No. 89); Daniel Espino, RHP (No. 100)

The Indians’ lack of a player ranked in the upper half of the Top 100 belies the talent in a system on the rise. The majority of their best prospects are 21 or younger, including Valera, Arias, Espino, catcher Bo Naylor and middle infielders Brayan Rocchio and Angel Martinez. Cleveland has an impressive collection of gifted young hitters, especially in the middle infield, and has added quality arms in the last three Drafts with Espino (2019), Tanner Burns and Logan Allen (2020), and Gavin Williams (2021).

14. Toronto Blue Jays
2021 preseason rank: 7
2020 midseason rank: 7
2020 preseason rank: 16
Top 100 prospects: Gabriel Moreno (No. 34), Nate Pearson (No. 44), Orelvis Martinez (No. 48), Jordan Groshans (No. 61)

The Blue Jays dipped into their prospect talent pool when they moved Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson to the Twins for José Berríos at the Trade Deadline, thus hurting their ranking but improving their Major League club. Among the Top 100 prospects that remain, impressive bounces by Gabriel Moreno and Orelvis Martinez have been counterbalanced by another injury-riddled season for Nate Pearson. Pitching remains the biggest sore spot in the system, but the arrival of Gunnar Hoglund (a legit top-10 talent if not for Tommy John surgery) provides some hope there.

15. Minnesota Twins
2021 preseason rank: 12
2020 midseason rank: 12
2020 preseason rank: 7
Top 100 Prospects: Royce Lewis, SS (No. 37), Austin Martin, OF/SS (No. 38), Jordan Balazovic, RHP (No. 88)

The injury to Lewis and the graduations of Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach have caused a little dip, though they did add some exciting talent in the José Berríos and Nelson Cruz deals.

16. Los Angeles Dodgers
2021 preseason rank: 14
2020 midseason rank: 11
2020 preseason rank: 3
Top 100 Prospects: Diego Cartaya, C, (No. 29); Ryan Pepiot, RHP (No. 67); Michael Busch, 2B (No. 81); Bobby Miller, RHP (No. 85)

This is their lowest ranking since MLB.com started rating systems before the 2015 season, but all is well with the Dodgers. They continue to win at the big league level while developing talent in the Minors, graduating a steady stream of Top 100 Prospects to Los Angeles (or trading them to add impact players Trea Turner and Max Scherzer). Cartaya, Pepiot, Busch and Miller all have jumped onto the Top 100 list since the start of the season and a number of prospects such as right-hander Andre Jackson, shortstop Leonel Vargas and outfielder Jose Ramos also have significantly boosted their profiles.

17. San Diego Padres
2021 preseason rank: 6
2020 midseason rank: 3
2020 preseason rank: 2
Top 100 prospects: CJ Abrams (No. 6), Luis Campusano (No. 39), Robert Hassell III (No. 47), MacKenzie Gore (No. 62)

If these rankings were based solely on the Top 100, the Padres would slot in much higher. Despite multiple trades, San Diego has managed to keep Abrams, Campusano, Hassell and Gore — a notable feat given how the front office has pushed so many chips onto the Major League roster. That approach has hurt the depth here, and the quality does fall off quickly in the back half of the top 30. The elephant in the room remains Gore’s status after he really struggled with his command and delivery at Triple-A El Paso. He has worked on both back at the complex in Arizona for much of the summer and just got into games again last week.

18. Chicago Cubs
2021 preseason rank: 22
2020 midseason rank: 26
2020 preseason rank: 23
Top 100 Prospects: Brennen Davis, OF (No. 14); Brailyn Marquez, LHP (No. 94)

The Cubs system has received a major of influx of talent since the end of last season, via a slew of trade acquisitions (led by outfielders Pete Crow-Armstrong, Owen Caissie and Alexander Canario, shortstop Reginald Preciado and right-hander Caleb Kilian), the international signing of shortstop Cristian Hernandez and the drafting of left-hander Jordan Wicks and shortstop James Triantos. Among the prospects who were already in house, SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game MVP Davis has blossomed into one of the game’s best, but many of Chicago’s top pitchers (Marquez and right-hander Kohl Franklin among others) have missed all or most of the season.

19. New York Yankees
2021 preseason rank: 18
2020 midseason rank: 19
2020 preseason rank: 22
Top 100 Prospects: Anthony Volpe, SS (No. 15); Jasson Dominguez, OF (No. 17); Oswald Peraza, SS (No. 64)

The Yankees would have ranked at least a few spots higher if they hadn’t parted with 10 legitimate prospects in trades for Joey Gallo, Anthony Rizzo, Andrew Heaney and Clay Holmes. Volpe has rocketed up prospect lists in 2021, while Dominguez and Peraza headline a strong international flavor to a quietly efficient system. It’s doing its job of providing help for the big league club, whether by trades or with rookie sensation Luis Gil.

20. Washington Nationals
2021 preseason rank: 30
2020 midseason rank: 30
2020 preseason rank: 29
Top 100 prospects: Keibert Ruiz (No. 19), Cade Cavalli (No. 41), Josiah Gray (No. 54), Brady House (No. 60)

A notable jump for the Nats, though this should have been expected. Washington went into sell mode at this year’s Trade Deadline, and nine of the current Top 30 came over in July deals alone, headlined by Ruiz and Gray in a blockbuster with the Dodgers. House — an infielder with plus power potential — was a promising addition as well at No. 11 overall, and Cavalli has looked like a potential 2020 first-round steal as a pitcher who has stayed at or near the top of the Minor League leaderboard in strikeouts all summer. There is still work to be done to make this a system worthy of a rebuild — impact hitting is a particular area of need beyond Ruiz and House — but the arrow is pointing in the right direction.

21. St. Louis Cardinals
2021 preseason rank: 17
2020 midseason rank: 18
2020 preseason rank: 18
Top 100 prospects: Nolan Gorman (No. 25), Matthew Liberatore (No. 51), Jordan Walker (No. 63)

Dylan Carlson moved out. Walker moved in. That’s about the story of the Cardinals from a Top 100 perspective from the beginning of the season until now. There were other positive developments in Nick Plummer’s breakout, Masyn Winn’s climb to High-A and the strong addition of toolsy outfielder Joshua Baez in the second round. But for the most part, this is a farm system that has stagnated. Impact pitching beyond Liberatore feels like the biggest area of need, though the addition of 18th-overall pick Michael McGreevy helps some in that regard.

22. New York Mets
2021 preseason rank: 19
2020 midseason rank: 20
2020 preseason rank: 20
Top 100 prospects: Francisco Álvarez (No. 10), Brett Baty (No. 49), Ronny Mauricio (No. 58)

Put the Mets’ Big Three up against the top three prospects of any other system, and they’d rank quite highly. Álvarez, in particular, has taken off to the point where only Adley Rutschman is ranked higher among catchers. But a big three does not a system make. There are some success stories to be found beyond them here. J.T. Ginn has looked healthy in his return from Tommy John surgery, and Mark Vientos’ power potential has come through in a big way at Double-A. But following Matt Allan’s own elbow surgery, there are a lot more questions than answers on the pitching side, and depth is a major issue after the first 17 spots or so. The lack of a Kumar Rocker signing and limited Draft talent behind him did New York no favors in either regard.

23. Atlanta Braves
2021 preseason rank: 15
2020 midseason rank: 15
2020 preseason rank: 8
Top 100 Prospects: Cristian Pache, OF (No. 40), Shea Langeliers, C (No. 75), Drew Waters, OF (No. 86), Michael Harris, OF (No. 97)

Ian Anderson graduated and is now a Rookie of the Year candidate, while the top two outfielders have struggled in 2021, while on the positive side, Michael Harris has joined them in the Top 100.

24. Los Angeles Angels
2021 preseason rank: 25
2020 midseason rank: 21
2020 preseason rank: 26
Top 100 Prospects: Reid Detmers, LHP (No. 24), Brandon Marsh, OF (No. 43), Sam Bachman, RHP (No. 95)

The Angels have been hovering in the same area of our rankings for a while, but Detmers has developed into the best lefty prospect in the game, while he and Marsh are impacting the big league team and there’s still some exciting up-the-middle talent that could take off in the future.

25. Milwaukee Brewers
2021 preseason rank: 28
2020 midseason rank: 28
2020 preseason rank: 29
Top 100 prospects: Garrett Mitchell (No. 56), Sal Frelick (No. 96)

The trend line is certainly pointing up, as the past rankings indicate here. There is a clear theme of speedy first-round outfielders among the Top 100 contingent, and there are positive reports on the next tier of names, specifically Hedbert Perez, Jeferson Quero, Ethan Small and Aaron Ashby. Joe Gray Jr.’s ascent to the No. 9 spot might be the feel-good story of the system as well. There still isn’t the flash needed for the Brewers to truly pop in these rankings, and it’s very much the system of a team built for Major League contention that hasn’t Drafted higher than ninth overall since 2017.

26. Colorado Rockies
2021 preseason rank: 27
2020 midseason rank: 28
2020 preseason rank: 27
Top 100 Prospects: Zac Veen, OF (No. 55)

Veen has lived up to first-round billing with a strong first full season and he’s joined by another exciting high school outfield draftee in Benny Montgomery, one of six 2021 draftees added to the Top 30.

27. Philadelphia Phillies
2021 preseason rank: 19
2020 midseason rank: 23
2020 preseason rank: 19
Top 100 Prospects: Mick Abel, RHP (No. 70)

Abel, the club’s first-rounder in 2020, is the lone Top 100 rep, though 2019 first-rounder Bryson Stott was a Futures Gamer and 2021 top pick Andrew Painter could join the list in the future.

28. Oakland Athletics
2021 preseason rank: 26
2020 midseason rank: 17
2020 preseason rank: 14
Top 100 Prospects: Tyler Soderstrom, C (No. 46)

Soderstrom, the A’s first-rounder in 2020, has lived up to advanced billing in terms of his offensive upside and while there isn’t a ton of depth here, there are some intriguing middle infield types, courtesy of the Draft and international signings, in the top 10.

29. Houston Astros
2021 preseason rank: 29
2020 midseason rank: 27
2020 preseason rank: 28
Top 100 Prospects: none

The Astros’ focus on winning at the big league level has taken a toll on their system, which hasn’t been helped by the loss of the club’s top two picks in the 2020 and 2021 Drafts, a penalty for sign-stealing. They have a knack for finding and polishing unheralded prospects, and they’re headed toward their fourth American League West title in five years with contributions from unhyped rookies Luis García, Chas McCormick and Jake Meyers. Houston lacks a current Top 100 Prospect but has high hopes for a 2019 Draft that included catcher Korey Lee, right-hander Hunter Brown and outfielder Colin Barber.

30. Chicago White Sox
2021 preseason rank: 16
2020 midseason rank: 6
2020 preseason rank: 11
Top 100 Prospects: none

The White Sox are winning big and their system has a much different look from the start of the season, when since-graduated Andrew Vaughn, Michael Kopech, Nick Madrigal and Garrett Crochet all were Top 100 Prospects. The organization invested heavily in high school right-handers Jared Kelley, Andrew Dalquist and Matthew Thompson in the 2019 and 2020 Drafts, but they’ve all had rough years in Low-A. Chicago’s best prospects currently are hitters, three signed this year (shortstop Colson Montgomery, outfielder Yoelqui Céspedes, third baseman Wes Kath) plus resurgent third baseman Jake Burger.

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