Deep Leagues Farm System Rankings Part V: Teams 6-10

Deep Leagues Farm System Rankings Part V: Teams 6-10

10.  Oakland Athletics—the Oakland system is solid, but unfortunately, 2011 is the second consecutive down year for a usually elite farm system.  The advantage of this system is an abundance of power hitting, which is exactly what Oakland needs at the major league level.  Coming into the season, the team’s best prospects were Michael Taylor and Chris Carter, two talented players whose status declined some this season due to struggles at AAA.  However, look for next year’s top prospect to be SS Grant Green, as USC product who improved his status through a solid season at AA.  Moreover, in the infield, Jemile Weeks and Adrian Cardenas can hopefully also help the major league team reasonably soon.  C Max Stassi is one of the game’s 10 best catching prospects.  The system is somewhat short on pitching prospects, however.  Mystery prospect Michael Inoa pitched a few games this season before being shut down.  Another pitcher who increased his status this year is pitcher Ian Krol, who the A’s signed for a bargain price from high school.  In the first round, Oakland drafted UTA OF Michael Choice, who is another player possessing elite power potential.  The team also went overslot at the deadline to sign Yordy Cabrera, a player many projected to sign in first round. 

Top 10 Prospects

  1. Grant Green
  2. Chris Carter
  3. Michael Taylor
  4. Max Stassi
  5. Michael Choice
  6. Tyson Ross
  7. Adrian Cardenas
  8. Ian Krol
  9. Yordy Cabrera
  10. Rashun Dixon (yeah, probably shouldn’t be there but ah well)

9.  Texas Rangers—showing how quickly these rankings can change, last season’s #1 system falls several spots in just five months.  The drop is primarily due to the graduation of several great prospects (Neftali Feliz, Justin Smoak), the failure of many prospects to have a true breakout season, and several trades.  P Martin Perez struggled to some degree in AA, which is partially attributable to his age.  However, P’s Tanner Scheppers climbed the rankings to challenge Perez for consideration as the team’s top pitching prospect.  SS Jurickson Profar considers to draw positive reviews for his potential while OF Engel Beltre’s prospect status improved tremendously despite his slow basetrotting inducing a massive brawl.  In the 2010 draft, the Rangers did a good job drafting quality players without spending heavily in the early rounds.  In the first round, the team stayed at or below slot to sign Canadian Catcher Kellan Deglan and Georgia Tech Football Commit Jake Skole.  This freed up the $1.5 million needed to sign Luke Jackson, an expensive bonus for a prep pitcher selected in the 5th round.  This bonus seemed awfully high to me, but where my opinion converges with the people who built the Rangers’ farm system, perhaps you should trust their option.  On the other hand, Justin Grimm, a pitcher from Georgia, is a guy I thought the Rangers signed for a reasonable price.    

Top 10 Prospects

  1. Martin Perez
  2. Tanner Scheppers
  3. Blake Beavan
  4. Jurickson Profar
  5. Engel Beltre
  6. Kellan Deglan
  7. Jake Skole
  8. Wilmer Font
  9. Robbie Erlin
  10. Robbie Ross

Update (8/31): a player who should have been listed here is Michael Kirkman, who is posting far too good of #’s in AAA to justify excluding.

8.  Philadelphia Phillies—after watching the Phillies’ flurry of often-season trades, it appeared they were going towards a “win now” strategy without regard to the team’s future.  However, the performance of the team’s prospects in Lakewood this season proved the system remains loaded with talent.  The Lakewood group is led by Jonathan Singleton, a smooth-swinging first baseman who seemingly came from nowhere to become a top 50 prospect.  The Phillies also have Sebastian Valle, a potentially elite catcher, and Freddy Galvis, who has the makings of an excellent shortstop.  Jiwan James is an OF offering substantial upside.  Surprisingly, Lakewood’s pitching is equally impressive, lead by Pitchers Jarred Cosart and Brody Colvin.  While a level ahead, Trevor May is also worth mentioning when discussing Phillies’ pitching prospects. This group should be arriving at just the right time to provide help when the talent currently at the major league level begins to decline in about 3 years. 

Top 10 Prospects

  1. Jarred Cosart
  2. Jonathan Singleton
  3. Brody Colvin
  4. Sebastian Valle
  5. Jiwan James
  6. Jonathan Villar
  7. Trevor May
  8. Domingo Santana
  9. Jesus Sanchez
  10. Freddy Galvis/Phillipe Aumont

7.  Minnesota Twins—the Twins have built an excellent farm system.  The team made a substantial investment in Dominican 3B Miguel Sano, which seems wise at this point based upon Sano’s performance in 2010.  Former Missouri standout Kyle Gibson established himself as an elite prospect, and 2010 draftee Alex Wimmers from Ohio State should serve as an excellent compliment in the future.  OF Aaron Hicks offers enormous upside with 80 arm strength, and the makeup to continue improving at the plate.  Ben Revere, slightly ahead of Hicks in age, is another solid prospect.  The team’s international investments seem to be having an impact, especially the impressive performances of Oswaldo Arcia and German prospect Max Kepler.

Top 10 Prospects

  1. Kyle Gibson
  2. Miguel Sano
  3. Aaron Hicks
  4. Oswaldo Arcia
  5. Alex Wimmers
  6. Ben Revere
  7. Max Kepler
  8. David Bromberg
  9. Angel Morales
  10. Adrian Salcedo

6.  Seattle Mariners—the top of the Mariners’ system offers several excellent players.  2B Dustin Ackley, while having a somewhat disappointing debut season, has all the talent to develop into an all-star.  Ackley came into the season as the team’s only “great” prospect, but breakout seasons from three other players’ greatly increased this system’s ranking. First, P Michael Pineda established himself as an elite prospect with his terrific performance this season.  Second, 2009 first-rounder Nick Franklin posted exceptional numbers in his debut season.  Finally, all signs point toward 3B Alex Liddi being the first European hitter to make significant contributions in the major leagues.  I am not particularly familiar with many of the Mariners’ high picks this season, but many are encouraged by the signing of Utah prep SS Marcus Littlewood.  The team also spent $2.2 million on OF Phillips Castillo from the Dominican and negotiations are ongoing with former Kentucky/Independent League pitcher James Paxton.    

Top 10 Prospects

  1. Dustin Ackley
  2. Michael Pineda
  3. Nick Franklin
  4. Alex Liddi
  5. Carlos Truinfel
  6. Mauricio Robles
  7. Gabriel Noriega
  8. Marcus Littlewood
  9. Greg Halman
  10. Mike Carp

Update (8/31): was looking through this system, and if I had to pick a system I have rated too high, it’s the Mariners.  As much as I like their top 3 or 4 prospects, the system is probably not deep enough to justify placing 6th.