Ranking MLB’s Best Minor League Farm Systems, Late-2019 (11-20)

These are my 2019 Late Season Rankings for MLB’s top farm systems. In this series you will see a breakdown of all 30 MLB teams’ farm systems and top 10 prospects. In this article, we will be looking at the systems ranked 11-20. 1-10 will be released in November.

20.) Philadelphia Phillies

  1. Alec Bohm, 3B (20)
  2. Spencer Howard, SP (86)
  3. Bryson Stott, SS
  4. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF
  5. Mickey Moniak, OF
  6. Adonis Medina, SP
  7. Simon Muzziotti, OF
  8. Luis Garcia, SS
  9. Erik Miller, SP
  10. Nick Maton, SS

PHI Overview: Though the Phillies just made the top 20, there is a lot of room for improvement here. Alec Bohm is really the only player whose season should be deemed a total success. He hit for both power and average, leading to a selection for the FSL All-Star roster. Spencer Howard pitched well, but he did miss almost half of the season. Two former consensus top 100 prospects, Adonis Medina and Mickey Moniak both struggled again in 2019, so if their struggles continue, they could soon become irrelevant in terms of prospect rankings. Luis Garcia is a guy who I like a lot, but needless to say, his 2019 season was surely a disappointment. There is a lot of potential here in this system, but the Phillies could easily wind up a bottom 10 system in my next set of rankings in early 2020.

19.) Toronto Blue Jays

  1. Nate Pearson, SP (7)
  2. Jordan Groshans, SS (97)
  3. Alek Manoah, SP
  4. Orelvis Martinez, SS
  5. Eric Pardinho, SP
  6. Anthony Kay, SP
  7. Kendall Williams, SP
  8. Adam Kloffenstein, SP
  9. Simeon Woods-Richardson, SP
  10. Miguel Hiraldo, 3B

TOR Overview: Though the Blue Jays winded up ranking as my #19 overall farm system, there is a big gap between them and the next best systems. This is where we start to see the team’s top 10 lists being full of quality talent one through ten. Nate Pearson is the head of a strong Toronto pitching system. Featuring a high 90’s fastball which can easily hit triple digits, Pearson is one of the most electric pitchers in all of MiLB. Manoah, the 11th overall pick in 2019 had a great debut this season, and was in consideration for a back end top 100 spot. Pardinho, Williams, Kloffenstein, and Simeon Woods-Richardson all offer solid upsides, and all four are still in their teens. Anthony Kay is the oldest pitcher of the bunch and he should be a big part of Toronto’s team in 2020. Orelvis Martinez is one of the most exciting position players in Torontos system. The 18 year-old was one of the premier talents in the 2018 international signing class, and should make his full-season debut in 2020, likely with Class-A Lansing. This is a deep system, especially considering Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio all graduated off the list recently.

18.) New York Yankees

  1. Jasson Dominguez, OF (30)
  2. Deivi Garcia, SP (58)
  3. Estevan Florial, OF (68)
  4. Clarke Schmidt, SP
  5. Anthony Seigler, C
  6. Luis Gil, SP
  7. Albert Abreu, SP
  8. Canaan Smith, OF
  9. Josh Smith, SS
  10. Roansy Contreras, SP

NYY Overview: The Yankees’ farm system is one of the hardest to predict. Their top prospect, Jasson Dominguez, has yet to take an at bat in professional baseball, and at age 16, he is one of the most unpredictable in all of baseball. Dominguez’s ceiling is clearly that of an elite, generational talent. Though his ceiling is so high, his floor is not as low as many players his age, making him a rock solid top-50 prospect. With Dominguez not playing at all in 2019, and Estevan Florial and Anthony Seigler missing large chunks of the season due to injuries, pitching has been the real story for the Yankees in 2019. Deivi Garcia has become one of the premier pitchers in all of baseball with a strikeout-rate well above league average. Clarke Schmidt and Luis Gil both enjoyed breakout seasons in 2019, making for two potential middle-of-the-rotation guys. The only issue with the Yankees farm system is that many of their players are kept in the minors for extended periods just based on the fact that their MLB roster is so full. Potentially look for guys like Estevan Florial, Josh Breaux, or Canaan Smith to be included in trade talks.

17.) Cincinatti Reds

  1. Hunter Greene, SP (50)
  2. Jonathan India, 3B (61)
  3. Nick Lodolo, SP (62)
  4. Mike Siani, OF
  5. Tyler Callihan, 2B
  6. Jose Israel Garcia, SS
  7. Rece Hinds, 3B
  8. Anthony Santillan, SP
  9. Lyon Richardson, SP
  10. Tyler Stephenson, C

CIN Overview: Cinncinati’s system had one of the least interesting 2019 seasons of the 10 teams in this group. Their top prospect Hunter Greene missed the whole season recovering from TJ surgery, and is in danger of missing a large part of 2020 as well. Guys such as Jonathan India, Mike Siani, and Tyler Stephenson had solid seasons, but there is not much to say about them, good or bad. There should be some excitement for their 2019 draft class, with their top 3 picks all landing inside the Reds top 7. Nick Lodolo was by far the most sought after pitcher of his class, and he showed why in his first 8 professional games. Neither Tyler Callihan nor Rece Hinds left rookie level, so it is a bit hard to judge them too much yet. Overall, 2019 can be viewed as a very mediocre year for the Reds system, with no real breakout players, and no players really struggling either.

16.) Texas Rangers

  1. Josh Jung, 3B (37)
  2. Hans Crouse, SP (52)
  3. Leody Taveras, OF (75)
  4. Cole Winn, SP (94)
  5. Nick Solak, 2B
  6. Bubba Thompson, OF
  7. Sam Huff, C
  8. Anderson Tejeda, SS
  9. Brock Burke, SP
  10. Sherten Apostel, 3B

TEX Overview: One of the more well balanced systems in baseball, the Rangers system ranks right in the middle of the teams. The combination of Hans Crouse and Cole Winn was dominant for the Hickory Crawdads (Class-A) in 2019, although both pitchers could use some improvements for 2020. 8th overall pick Josh Jung played quite well in his debut at Class-A, and a increase in power should be expected. Along with 4 top 100 prospects, Texas did have a few breakout players as well. Nick Solak, who was acquired from Tampa Bay, broke out in 2019, even making a big impact for the MLB club. His power seems to have come out of nowhere, but he managed to launch 32 long-balls between the minors and majors. Sam Huff is another guy who put his name on the map in 2019. His heroics in the 2019 Futures Game surely didn’t hurt, but his sudden increase in HRs and AVG have put him in the top 100 conversation. Some other guys who did well include Jonathan Ornelas, Osleivis Basabe, Julio Pablo Martinez, and Sherton Apostel. With all these great years, Texas had some unfortunate injury luck as well. Bubba Thompson struggled to get things going after battle injuries early on. Anderson Tejeda, Chris Seise, Owen White, and Taylor Hearn all were on the shelf early in 2019. That being said, 2019 was a promising year for the Rangers organization, so they’ll look to build off that success next year.

15.) Pittsburgh Pirates

Travis Swaggerty OF, (PIT)
  1. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B (60)
  2. Oneil Cruz, SS (63)
  3. Travis Swaggerty, OF (89)
  4. Calvin Mitchell, OF (90)
  5. Ji-Hwan Bae, SS
  6. Quinn Priester, SP
  7. Mitch Keller, SP
  8. Sammy Siani, OF
  9. Lolo Sanchez, OF
  10. Will Craig, 1B

PIT Overview: Ranking Pittsburgh at 15 was very tough because I realize how good their system is, but their lack of a true “superstar” is the reasoning behind their middle-of-the-pack position. The Pirates 4 top 100 prospects consist of two outfielders and two infielders, but no pitchers. Mitch Keller not being included on the top 100 might seem like a surprise, but his MLB stats have been absolutely putrid. Though just in 48 innings, his 7.13 ERA is concerning, especially considering opponents hit .348 against him during that time. Quinn Priester is ranked as Pittsburg’s top pitching prospect, but it is a toss up between him and Keller, as to who will wind up being the better MLB pitcher. Flipping to the offensive side where Pittsburgh is more plentiful, the outfield duo of Travis Swaggerty and Calvin Mitchell will be exciting to watch. Both outfielders played together in 2019 with the Bradenton Marauders (A-Advanced), and both were selected as FSL All-Stars. Although the two have similar trajectories to the majors, their playing styles differ just a bit. Mitchell’s bat is seen as better than Swaggerty’s, while Swaggerty’s overall athleticism and defensive skills outdo Mitchell’s. Infielder Oniel Cruz is the real unicorn of this system. With a height of 6’7″ and just weighing 175 lbs., Cruz is not your prototypical shortstop. His combination of above-average speed and elite arm talent show signs of being able to stay at shortstop for a good chunk of his career, though third base could possibly be in his future. Speedsters Ji-Hwan Bae and Lolo Sanchez round out the upper tier of Pittsburgh’s farm system, both posted 30+ stolen bases in 2019.

14.) Baltimore Orioles

  1. Adley Rutschman, C (11)
  2. Grayson Rodriguez, SP (47)
  3. Ryan Mountcastle, 3B (53)
  4. DL Hall, SP (70)
  5. Austin Hays, OF
  6. Adam Hall, SS
  7. Zac Lowther, SP
  8. Michael Baumann, SP
  9. Gunnar Henderson, SS
  10. Yusniel Diaz, OF

BAL Overview: A big rebuild in Baltimore has not left the Orioles with the ideal amount of young talent, like teams such as the Marlins or White Sox, but they have just enough to make the top half of the rankings. By far the most exciting prospect in their system, Adley Rutschman is surely Baltimore’s next catcher, barring something unthinkable. The #1 overall pick offers plenty of potential as a switch hitting catcher, though his 2019 didn’t necessarily show that. Austin Hays and Ryan Mountcastle are Baltimore’s two best power-hitting prospects, and both could hit for average as well. Mountcastle played all of 2019 at Triple-A, while Hays was recalled to Baltimore again in 2019. Come 2020, both Hays and Mountcastle should be starting for the Orioles. Middle infielders Gunnar Henderson and Adam Hall are a bit futher away, but they are two more contact oriented hitters, with Hall having excellent speed as well. Baltimore’s 2017 and 2018 1st round pitchers, DL Hall and Grayson Rodriguez, have both shown front-end starter stuff. Outside these two pitchers, there is not anymore “sure things” but they are loaded with quality depth. Pitchers such as Zac Lowther, Keegan Akin, Dillion Tate, and Hunter Harvey offer much lower ceilings, but could wind up being an important part of the organization. Yusniel Diaz is a bit of a wild-card in the Orioles system. After solid seasons in 2017 and 2018, Diaz hasn’t shown much improvement in 2019. Over those 3 seasons, his average has dropped each year, while hitting precisely 11 home runs in all 3 seasons. Obviously the lack of adding power as he matures is a bit of a concern, but Diaz will play all of 2020 at age 23, so it is a bit premature to call the former top 100 prospect a bust.

13.) Detroit tigers

  1. Casey Mize, SP (6)
  2. Matt Manning, SP (21)
  3. Riley Greene, OF (39)
  4. Isaac Paredes, INF
  5. Tarik Skubal, SP
  6. Alex Faedo, SP
  7. Joey Wentz, SP
  8. Franklin Perez, SP
  9. Willi Castro, SS
  10. Beau Burrows, SP

DET Overview: A pitching heavy system for the past few years, Detroit remains that way again in 2019. First overall pick, Casey Mize, got off to a red-hot start to 2019, but cooled down a bit at the end of the season after a promotion to Double-A. Another very high pick (9th overall in 2016), Matt Manning, had a great year and looks to be a potential middle of the rotation starter. Tarik Skubal came out of nowhere this season, logging 122 innings while striking out a whopping 179. His breakout furthers Detroit’s dynamic pitching system. Alex Faedo and Beau Burrows are two more of Detroit’s first round pitchers, and though both have had their fair share of struggles, they showed some promise in 2019. Franklin Perez is another elite arm the Tigers possess, but he has not been able to stay healthy these past couple years. Another year lost to injury would be very worrisome for Perez’s long term development. One of the few non-pitching prospects who stands out in Detroit’s farm system, 5th overall pick Riley Greene, had a great first season, and could easily wind up being at least a 20/20 guy for the majority of his career. Shortstop Adinso Reyes, who narrowly missed the Tigers top 10, had an outstanding year for the DSL Tigers, so he’s another name to keep an eye on.

12.) Minnesota Twins

  1. Royce Lewis, SS (13)
  2. Alex Kirilloff, OF (18)
  3. Brusdar Graterol, SP (67)
  4. Trevor Larnach, OF (72)
  5. Nick Gordon, SS
  6. Jordan Balazovic, SP
  7. Ryan Jeffers, C
  8. Wander Javier, SS
  9. Keoni Cavaco, SS
  10. Brent Rooker, OF

MIN Overview: An up and down year for many of the Twins prospects, Minnesota boasts 4 top 100 guys, 2 of which land inside the top 20. Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff both finished the 2019 season at Double-A, so a potential call-up in 2020 is not off the table (especially for Kirilloff). Pitcher Brusdar Graterol and Jordan Balazovic showed promising stuff this year, with Graterol playing a role late in the Twins season, including a postseason appearance. A big storyline here is the bounce-back season for shortstop Nick Gordon. The former top-100 prospect missed a few games early on, but came back to hit .297, up from .248 last season. If Gordon’s 2020 is as good as his 2019, and he proves 2018 to be a fluke, then Minnesota has a guy who offers great speed, as well as good fielding, and just below-average power. If the Twins are looking for a more powerful guy, then Brent Rooker is the man. Since being drafted back in 2017, Rooker has compiled 965 at-bats, while launching a whopping 54 home-runs. An older prospect, Rooker, who should get meaningful looks in 2020, could potentially be a 30-45 home-run guy, and hitting around .260 is a reasonable assumption for him.

11.) San Francisco Giants

Heliot Ramos, OF (SF)
  1. Marco Luciano, SS (16)
  2. Joey Bart, C (19)
  3. Heliot Ramos, OF (41)
  4. Alexander Canario, OF
  5. Seth Corry, SP
  6. Mauricio Dubon, SS
  7. Hunter Bishop, OF
  8. Logan Webb, SP
  9. Luis Toribio, 3B
  10. Sandro Fabian, OF

SF Overview: A bit of a top-heavy system, San Francisco’s farm system boasts some of the most underrated players in baseball. Marco Luciano is a truly elite talent, and has made a strong case to be a top 25 prospect. Former 2nd overall pick, Joey Bart, continues to hit for both power and average, a rarity at the catcher position. He will likely replace Buster Posey as soon as he is ready, given Posey’s rapid decline. Heliot Ramos is another exciting name. Ramos, along with 2019 1st rounder, Hunter Bishop, should wind up being solid starters in the Giants outfield. One less talked about name, Alexander Canario, had an outstanding 2019 season, and narrowly missed the top 100. Speaking of “sleeper” prospects, Seth Corry is a name never really mentioned in any top prospect rankings, but he is another guy who just missed my top 100, and is a likely candidate to be in the mix come 2020. Maruicio Dubon is just under 30 MLB at-bats away from graduating from prospect status, but still under the threshold, he’s another potential MLB starter in this borderline top-10 system.

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