Ranking MLB's Best Minor League Farm Systems, Post-2019 (1-10)

These are my 2019 Post 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 1-10. 11-20 and 21-30 were released earlier this month and can be found via the links below.

11-20

21-30

10.) Atlanta Braves

  1. Cristian Pache, OF (14)
  2. Drew Waters, OF (27)
  3. Ian Anderson, SP (35)
  4. Kyle Wright, SP (98)
  5. Kyle Muller, SP
  6. Braden Shewmake, SS
  7. Shea Langeliers, C
  8. Trey Harris, OF
  9. William Contreras
  10. Bryse Wilson, SP

ATL Overview: Though the Braves remain in the top 10 teams, their minor league system is not what it once was. Cristian Pache and Drew Waters are likely two future starters who will accompany Ronald Acuña Jr. in Atlanta’s outfield, but neither has anywhere near as much potential upside as the former Braves top prospect. 2019 first-rounder Shea Langeliers didn’t show too much in his pro debut, and seems to have been a stretch at 9th overall. On the bright side, the Braves 2nd first-rounder Braden Shewmake did enough to launch himself above Langeliers. Kyle Wright was pushed to the border of the top 100 list, as the 2017 5th overall pick struggled mightily in 2019. Outside of Wright, the Braves still have some decent pitchers, with the likes of Ian Anderson, Bryse Wilson, and Kyle Muller in their organization. With Kolby Allard traded to Texas and both Mike Soroka and Touki Toussaint graduated from prospect status, there is just not as much quality pitching as before.

9.) San Diego Padres

  1. MacKenzie Gore, SP (5)
  2. Luis Patino, SP (22)
  3. Taylor Trammell, OF (29)
  4. CJ Abrams, SS (43)
  5. Ryan Weathers, SP
  6. Xavier Edwards, 2B
  7. Luis Campusano, C
  8. Adrian Morejon, SP
  9. Michel Baez, RP/SP
  10. Owen Miller, SS

SD Overview: Similar to Atlanta, San Diego’s farm system has taken a hit based on players who graduated to the majors. Fernado Tatis Jr., Luis Urias, Chris Paddack, Francisco Mejia, and Josh Naylor all played enough time in the MLB to lose their prospect status. That being said, the Padres still have more talent that the Braves do. Headlined by the dynamic pitching duo of MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patino, San Diego’s system is a tad pitching heavy. Gore is easily the best left-handed pitcher in the minors, as his 2019 season proved. Patino really made a name for himself at the 2019 Futures Game, showing electric stuff against some of the best hitters in the game. 2018 Futures Game standout, Taylor Trammell, who was dealt to San Diego in the three-team blockbuster which was headlined by Trevor Bauer, had a bit of a down year in 2019. On the other hand, 2019 1st rounder CJ Abrams had a monster minor league debut, hitting just under .400 between Rookie-League and Class-A. He also swiped 15 bags in just 150 at-bats, making good for a pace of 50-60 SBs across a whole season. Another player who had a great 2019 campaign, Luis Campusano looked great, and could potentially be the Padres catcher come 2021.

8.) Los Angeles Angels

  1. Jo Adell, OF (3)
  2. Jeremiah Jackson, SS (69)
  3. Jordyn Adams, OF
  4. Brandon Marsh, OF
  5. Will Wilson, SS
  6. D’Shawn Knowles, OF
  7. Kyren Paris, SS
  8. Jack Kochanowicz, SP
  9. Kevin Maitan, 3B
  10. Jahmai Jones, 2B

LAA Overview: Headlined by superstar Jo Adell, the Angels system is filled with athletic, 5-tool hitters. Adell is the clear-cut #1 in this organization. His dynamic abilities in all aspects of the game are what makes him so special, but he is not the only player with these tools. The most similar prospect in the Angels system would have to be Jordyn Adams. His excellent speed is his best tool, but he has plenty of room to improve with his hitting. One of the most exciting prospects in 2019 was Jeremiah Jackson. Jackson hit 22 home runs with 60 RBIs in just 256 at-bats. Over a whole season, that would project to be around 50 HRs and 120 RBIs. At just 165 lbs. and 19 years old, these numbers are astounding, not to mention a solid .266 batting average. There are many other exciting young hitters such as Brandon Marsh, Kyren Paris, and Will Wilson, but what the Angels are really lacking is pitching. It was quite surprising to see them spend their first couple picks in the 2019 draft on hitters. With a MLB rotation void of any true ace, the Angels would have to acquire a pitcher via trades or free agency, because their farm system offers nothing there. With one of the best hitter-heavy systems in the MLB, it is just a matter of time before Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani are joined by some of these talented youngsters.

7.) Arizona Diamondbacks

  1. Krisitan Robinson, OF (31)
  2. Alek Thomas, OF (38)
  3. Seth Beer, 1B/OF (73)
  4. Corbin Carroll, OF (78)
  5. Daulton Varsho, C
  6. Matt Tabor, SP
  7. Blaze Alexander, SS
  8. Kevin Cron, 1B
  9. Geraldo Perdomo, SS
  10. Liover Peguero, SS

ARI Overview: One of the most unpredictable systems in all of baseball, the Diamondbacks farm system is headlined by a few young and talented hitters. Kristian Robinson is the potential franchise player in this group. He offers extreme power at just 18 years old, so he could possibly improve on his already impressive HR numbers. He can also hit for average, as well as steal bases, so there is really not much Robinson can’t do. And as mentioned before, at only 18, his ceiling is enormous. Fellow teenagers, Alek Thomas and Corbin Carroll, both offer solid upside as speedy, left-handed, outfielders. This group of 3 top 100 outfielders is likely to have at least two of the three to make it big. Outside of this “big three”, there is still plenty of talent in this organization. Dalton Varsho is a potentially well-above average catcher, and his unique skill set includes the ability to steal some bases. Seth Beer is a bit of an older prospect, but he offers solid power, although his strikeout rate is quite high. Beer, who headlined the Zack Greinke deal, was packaged with a pair of talented pitchers as well. Both Corbin Martin and JB Bukauskas were sidelined for the end of 2019, but they still could be 3 or 4 starters in a MLB rotation.

6.) Los Angeles Dodgers

  1. Gavin Lux, SS (4)
  2. Dustin May, SP (57)
  3. Keibert Ruiz, C (59)
  4. Jeter Downs, SS (100)
  5. Josiah Gray, SP
  6. Kody Hoese, 3B
  7. Diego Cartaya, C
  8. Luis Rodriguez, OF
  9. DJ Peters, OF
  10. Edwin Rios, 1B/3B

LAD Overview: The emergence of Gavin Lux is what solidified the Dodgers as a top 10 system. Lux’s phenomenal 2019 season was capped with a short time in the majors, where his success continued. His rapid rise has cemented him as a 2020 starter for L.A. Dustin May should also make the team following a solid MLB debut as well. Unfortunately a head injury derailed his final few weeks, but he showed enough to keep himself in the mix for a back-end rotation spot. Jeter Downs had a very nice season, launching 24 home runs and stealing 24 bases. The only issue with Downs is that he would likely not have a spot on the Dodgers roster for the next year or so, especially if LA decides to sign a free agent such as Anthony Rendon. Another player who had a breakout year was Josiah Gray. Gray, along with Downs, was sent to LA in exchange of a large haul built around Yasiel Puig. It surely seems that the Downs/Gray duo is making Cincinnati wish they did not part with the youngsters. Catcher is a position of strength in the Dodgers system, a luxury that not many teams have. Even with Will Smith promoted to the major league club, the Dodgers still have two more very talented back-stops in Keibert Ruiz and Diego Cartaya. I’d fully expect one of the trio to be dealt sometime within the next year, since Ruiz is nearing MLB ready as well.

5.) Seattle Mariners

  1. Julio Rodriguez, OF (8)
  2. Jared Kelenic, OF (15)
  3. Logan Gilbert, SP (40)
  4. Evan White, 1B (71)
  5. Noelvi Marte, SS (87)
  6. George Kirby, SP
  7. Justin Dunn, SP
  8. Isaiah Campbell, SP
  9. Juan Then, SP
  10. Justus Sheffield, SP

SEA Overview: Though ranked at #8, Julio Rodriguez is my favorite prospect in all of baseball. I truly believe he is a generational talent, who will gain more power as he enters his 20’s. Seeing him play for the Class-A West Virginia Power, Rodriguez looked like he was in a league of his own. Making diving catches in the field, launching moonshot home runs, and bringing the crowd to its feet, Rodriguez sure looked the part when I scouted him. After a promotion to A-Advanced, he somehow did even better. Though just in 64 at bats, he hit .462. Yes that .462, and he was getting on base over 50% of the time. Those are just incredible numbers for such a young player, so Rodriguez is a player I am extremely high on. Another Dominican signee, Noelvi Marte made his debut in 2019, and really impressed in the Dominican Summer League. A name a lot of people may not have heard of, watch out for Marte in 2020. Jared Kelenic had a very nice 2019, and is likely making the Mets regret dealing him for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. Justin Dunn was the other big name the Mets packaged with Kelenic, furthering the Mets regrets. A solid year in Double-A earned Dunn a promotion to Seattle, where he had 4 short, but good starts. With a lot of pitching, Seattle’s rotation will be looking quite a bit different in the next couple years.

4.) Kansas City Royals

  1. Bobby Witt Jr., SS (12)
  2. Brady Singer, SP (55)
  3. Jackson Kowar, SP (56)
  4. Kris Bubic, SP (80)
  5. Daniel Lynch, SP (85)
  6. Khalil Lee, OF (88)
  7. Nick Pratto, 1B
  8. MJ Melendez, C
  9. Seuly Matias, OF
  10. Brewer Hicklen, OF

KC Overview: I’ll start KC’s overview talking about pitchers Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar, who may be long lost brothers. Their careers are so similar it is really incredible. Both are right handed pitchers who attended Florida. Both are 6’5″ and 23 years old. Both were selected by Kansas City in the 1st round of the 2018 draft. Both were 2019 Carolina League All-Stars with the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Both pitched exactly 148.1 innings in 2019. Their hits allowed, strikeouts, and WHIP were nearly identical. It is only right that they are ranked back to back in my top 100 rankings. It’s hard to believe, but Singer and Kowar are not the only top 100 pitchers KC drafted in 2018. In fact, two more pitchers, Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic were selected in the 1st round by the Royals. Adding these 4 1st rounders to their farm system rejuvenated their pitching which was previously quite weak. While The quartet of pitches did very well in 2019, but the same can’t be said for some of their hitters. Nick Pratto and MJ Melendez spent the entire 2019 season with Wilmington, but they each hit just 9 HRs, and even more worrisome, not being able to hit even .200. I’d expect a bounce back year for the two, but if 2020 is anything close to their 2019 seasons, then I’d start to worry more. Seuly Matias experienced similar struggles at A-Advanced after his absolutely monster 2018, but he dealt with injuries, so the struggles aren’t very concerning considering the smaller sample size. 2nd overall pick, Bobby Witt Jr.’s debut season left much to be improved upon, and I could see him having a breakout season in 2020.

3.) Chicago White Sox

Steele Walker, OF (CHW)
  1. Luis Robert, OF (1)
  2. Michael Kopech, SP (24)
  3. Nick Madrigal, 2B (28)
  4. Andrew Vaughn, 1B (33)
  5. Jonathan Stiever, SP (92)
  6. Steele Walker, OF
  7. Dane Dunning, SP
  8. Blake Rutherford, OF
  9. Matthew Thompson, SP
  10. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF

CHW Overview: Having the #1 overall prospect instantly makes a potential top 10 farm system, but the White Sox have a lot more than Cuban phenom Luis Robert. That is not to take away from the talent of Luis Robert. Robert landed the #1 spot due to his outstanding power/speed combination that is so hard to come by. Robert is clearly an elite talent, and he will surely be joining former top 5 prospect, Eloy Jimenez, in Chicago’s outfield at some point in early 2020. Speaking of players likely to be in Chicago in early 2020, both Nick Madrigal and Michael Kopech should be up with the major league club shortly after spring training. Unlike Kopech, Madrigal is yet to reach the majors, but he should be up around the same time as Robert, as both are the same age and have risen up through the minors in nearly identical patterns. Madrigal’s absolutely mind-boggling strikeout numbers are likely to regress a bit in the majors, but he should still be one of the best contact hitters in the MLB upon his arrival. Kopech, acquired in the Chris Sale trade, missed all of 2019 recovering from TJ surgery required, but should be ready for Spring Training. After a couple starts with a minor league club, Kopech should be back in Chicago a few weeks into 2020. Another pitcher who will be making a return to the mound (likely mid 2020), Dane Dunning will be back after missing all of 2019 as well. A boarder line top 100 guy, Dunning doesn’t have the overpowering stuff that Kopech does, but he has 4 quality pitches to use. Jonathan Stiever was a bit of a surprise addition to my top 100, so 2020 will be an interesting year for him. The White Sox 2nd and 3rd round picks, Matthew Thompson and Andrew Dalquist, offer nice upside, though neither has proven much yet. Chicago has tons of depth at outfield with Steele Walker, Luis Alexander Basabe, Blake Rutherford, Micker Adolfo, and Luis Gonzalez nearing the highest ranks of the minors. I find it hard to imagine that all 5 will be with the club in a couple years since Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert have 2 of the 3 outfield positions locked up. Come 2021, Micker Adolfo could be a potential DH, with 2 of the other 4 landing roster spots as well.

2.) Tampa Bay Rays

  1. Wander Franco, SS (2)
  2. Brendan McKay, SP/DH (10)
  3. Matthew Liberatore, SP (34)
  4. Vidal Brujan, 2B (49)
  5. Shane Baz, SP (51)
  6. Shane McClanahan, SP (81)
  7. Ronaldo Hernandez, C (83)
  8. Brent Honeywell, SP (96)
  9. Greg Jones, SS
  10. Jake Cronenworth, SS/RP

TB Overview: Tampa Bay was just beaten out for the #1 spot, and so was Wander Franco. A toss up between Franco and Luis Robert, Robert won that battle based on his more developed profile, but Franco is just as exciting. The teenage phenom shined across Class-A and A-Advanced in 2019. As the youngest player in the Florida State League, Franco hit .339 in his time with the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Franco is not the only elite talent in this organization. Brendan McKay is a unique guy because of his desire to play both ways as a hitter and pitcher. Making his MLB debut in 2019, McKay mainly pitched, but did get a few cuts as well. While he would obviously have more value as a successful 2-way player, his future may wind up solely on the mound. Jake Cronenworth following McKay’s footsteps as a 2-way player, and he actually was much more successful with it. Following Tampa’s MLB strategy, Cronenworth was used as an opener in 7 games and didn’t allow a run in those 7 appearances. He hit .329 as a shortstop, so it will be interesting to see how Tampa Bay will use him next season. Pitchers Matthew Liberatore, Shane Baz, and Shane McClanahan all had productive seasons in 2019, further solidifying their top 100 statuses. Greg Jones had himself one of the best debuts of the 2019 draft class, showing his great contact as well as elite speed. Other speedsters Vidal Brujan, Lucius Fox, and Taylor Walls were all successful on the base-paths as well. Jones, Brujan, Fox, and Walls are all well above average runners, so it will remain to be seen if any of the group can develop at least average power.

1.) Miami Marlins

Osiris Johnson, SS (MIA)
  1. Sixto Sanchez, SP (23)
  2. Jesus Sanchez, OF (32)
  3. Jazz Chisholm, SS (36)
  4. JJ Bleday, OF (44)
  5. Edward Cabrera, SP (79)
  6. Monte Harrison, OF (82)
  7. Jorge Guzman, SP (91)
  8. Braxton Garrett, SP (93)
  9. Trevor Rogers, SP
  10. Osiris Johnson, SS

MIA Overview: Surprised to see Miami at #1? Well the Marlins MLB roster may be one of the worst, their massive rebuild has left them with immense amounts of young talent in the minors. I was a bit hesitant to put the Marlins at #1, given that they are one of only two teams in this grouping without a top 20 prospect, but their depth is overwhelming in all areas. Starting with their whopping 8 top 100 prospects, there is good balance with 4 pitcher and 4 hitters. Sixto Sanchez, who was acquired in the JT Realmuto trade, tops the list. The hard throwing righty was great for the Marlins after coming over from Philly, posting a sub-3.00 ERA across A-Advanced and Double-A. Fellow flamethrower Edward Cabrera spent time across A-Advanced and Double-A as well, putting up surprisingly good numbers with both teams. #91 overall prospect, Jorge Guzman, was sent to Miami as part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade. Guzman has the best velocity of the bunch, but his command is definitely something that needs to be worked on. Guzman shined at the end of 2019, posting a 1.20 ERA in his final 5 appearances, while holding opposing batters to a stunning .066 batting average. His strong finish is a big reason he made the backend of the top 100. The lefty duo of Braxton Garrett and Trevor Rogers are a bit different than the previous three pitchers. Neither southpaw has the raw velocity of Sanchez, Guzman, or Cabrera, but they are just as effective using their off-speed selections. On the offensive side of things, Miami has just as much talent. Jesus Sanchez and Jazz Chisholm were acquired near the 2019 trade deadline (Sanchez for Trevor Richards/Nick Anderson and Chisholm for Zac Gallen). Both guys offer substantial power as both could easily be 25-30 HR guys. A potential lineup come 2021, featuring speed at the top with Monte Harrison and/or Jose Devers, and then the power of Jazz Chisholm, Jesus Sanchez, JJ Bleday, and Lewin Diaz, would make for a tough task for opposing pitchers. The Marlins system is so deep guys like Victor Victor Mesa, Victor Mesa Jr., Connor Scott, and Peyton Burdick aren’t even in the top 10, when they could be top 5 guys in many other systems. Although the trades of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and JT Realmuto may still bring hate from Marlins fans, there is no doubt that these deals have built one of the best farm systems in all of baseball.

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