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.

8 Creative Deals That Should Happen Before the 2019 MLB Trade Deadline

Almost halfway through the 2019 MLB season, most teams know at this point if they will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. Every year at the deadline there are multiple important deals made that affect both the current season and years to come. Here are some unique trade scenarios which are unlikely to happen, but are reasonable and would benefit both sides.

1.) Madison Bumgarner to the Yankees

The Deal:

NYY receives: Madison Bumgarner (SP)

SF receives: Chance Adams (SP), Frank German (SP) and Glenn Otto (SP)

Analysis: The odds of any team paying a large sum for an aging rental in Bumgarner is extremely unlikely, so a package of three middle-of-the-road starters would be adequate for the Giants. Chance Adams has shown flashes of greatness but has also struggled heavily at times. Both German and Otto are playing in A-Advanced, so they have time to develop into back-end starters.

The Yankees need for pitching has been brought around only due to injuries. A healthy Yankees rotation includes Luis Severino, Domingo German, Masahiro Tanaka, C.C. Sabathia, and James Paxton, with J.A. Happ, Jonathan Loaisiga, Jordan Montgomery, and Chance Adams as reserves. Currently, only four of these pitchers are fully healthy, so a trade may be necessary. With loads of depth on the major league roster, dealing a player such as Clint Frazier or Gio Urshella may not be out of the question.

2.) Trevor Bauer to the Rays

The Deal:

TB recieves: Trevor Bauer (SP)

CLE receives: Jesus Sanchez (OF), Nate Lowe (1B), Taylor Walls (SS), and Tommy Romero (SP)

Analysis: The Rays have been dominating using only three starters (two with Tyler Glasnow injured), so imagine what they could do with four lights-out pitchers. Landing Bauer and getting Glasnow back soon would vault the Rays into series competition with the Astros, Yankees and Dodgers as World Series favorites.

The package in this scenario leaves Tampa’s youthful MLB roster intact while giving the Indians much needed young talent. Jesus Sanchez fills a huge void in the Indians organization at outfield and should be ready to see MLB action as soon as 2020. With Brent Honeywell losing another season to injury, I can’t imagine he would be dealt anytime soon and as much as Cleveland would want pitchers in return, I’d expect Tampa to hold on to their young starters. Matthew Liberatore, Shane McClanahan, and Shane Baz have been outstanding at Class-A Bowling Green, and the Rays would be foolish to part with any of the trio. Brendan McKay is Tampa’s other elite arm, but his unique DH/SP combo is too valuable to give up.

3.) Bauer to the Padres

The Deal:

SD recieves: Trevor Bauer (SP)

CLE receives: Adrian Morejon (SP), Ryan Weathers (SP), Michel Baez (SP) and Cal Quantrill (SP)

Analysis: Trevor Bauer is likely the best available pitcher available at the deadline, and the Padres have what it takes to pry him away from Cleveland. In this scenario, the Indians would have to choose between the Rays package featuring three potential plus bats, and the Padres’ which offers four mid-rotation starters. Out of the four Padres prospects in the package, Weathers has the highest ceiling, and he is the only one I would project as a #2/#3 starter. Morejon, Baez and Quantrill I view as #3/#4 starters in an ideal situation. While this package may not blow Cleveland away, the Padres are in no rush to make a deal as the majority of their core is controlled for many years to come.

4.) Marcus Stroman to the Padres/Rays

The Deal:

SD/TB receive: Marcus Stroman (SP)

TOR receives: Ryan Weathers (SP), Logan Allen (SP), and Manuel Margot (OF) (from SD) or Jesus Sanchez (OF) and Nick Solak (2B) (from TB)

Analysis: If Trevor Bauer is dealt, it would likely be to either of these two teams, which would eliminate them as options for Stroman. Assuming one lands Bauer, the other should look at Stroman as a cheaper alternative who could wind up being acquired at a much better value.

Taking a look at the potential packages, the Rays would be keen to keep their young pitchers, so Sanchez is the top prospect on the move. Nick Solak has been a nice surprise as well, so Toronto would be getting two quality hitters in exchange for Stroman. The Padres offer is based around pitcher Ryan Weathers. He’s the name most teams would be after assuming Fernando Tatis Jr, Luis Urias, and MacKenzie Gore aren’t available. Luis Patino could be swapped out with Weathers, although San Diego may be more hesitant to let Patino go.

5.) Max Scherzer on the Move

The Deal:

WSH receives: Kyle Tucker (OF), Freudis Nova (SS), Abraham Toro (3B) and J.B Bukauskas (SP)

HOU receives: Max Scherzer (SP)

Analysis: With Houston’s lineup completely stacked, their pitching is the only part of their team that could use improvement. There is no better pitcher to acquire than Max Scherzer. With three years left on his contract, Scherzer would cost a boatload but would be worth it when he leads them to the World Series. They’d be adding Scherzer to a rotation that already features two stars in Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, so the addition of Scherzer would likely give the Astros the best rotation in all of MLB.

After losing Bryce Harper to free agency in the offseason, the Nats have not been able to keep up there winning ways and are currently well under .500. Dealing Scherzer might be a big blow to Nationals fans, but it would signify a rebuild, that if done correctly, could have the Nats back in contention before 2022. Dealing Scherzer, as well as Anthony Rendon, would bring back five or six top of the line prospects who would replenish a weak farm system. In this deal, Washington gets four very talented players led by outfielder Kyle Tucker. Though Tucker struggled in his MLB debut, he has been excellent in Triple-A and would help as soon as this year. Nova, Toro and Buskauskas are at least two years away, but that’s not a problem if Washington does decide to rebuild.

6.) Phillies Land an Outfielder

The Deal:

PHI receives: Adam Jones (OF) and Greg Holland (CP)

ARI receives: Enyel de los Santos (SP), Simon Muzziotti (OF), Nick Maton (SS) and Edgar Garcia (SP)

Analysis: Having a 2nd baseman play center field is not ideal for a contending team, and that is what the Phillies are stuck with, as Scott Kingery has been forced into action in the outfield. With Andrew McCutchen lost for the season and Odubel Herrera in legal trouble, the Phillies would benefit from adding a 3rd outfielder. The Diamondbacks are a likely candidate to rebuild this offseason, and there’s no better time to start than at the trade deadline. Dealing rental veterans Jones and Holland will land lower-tier prospects than guys such as Zack Greinke or Ketel Marte, but it’s a start for a team in desperate need of talented prospects. The return for the Diamondbacks isn’t great, but it does offer a solid group of prospects who could become more relevant as their careers progress.

7.) Ketel Marte Blockbuster

The Deal:

LAA receives: Ketel Marte (OF)

ARI receives: Brandon Marsh (OF), Jordyn Adams (OF), Jeremiah Jackson (SS) and Kevin Maitan (3B)

Analysis: The Angels have a window of time to win, and that coincides with Mike Trout of course. Trout signed a massive contract last year and will be getting paid over 35 million dollars a year up until his age 38 season. As good as he is, it is improbable that Trout can perform at his usual standards into his late 30s. That gives the Angels 5-6 years to build a dynasty and contend for the World Series. Instead of waiting for their prospects to develop and wasting valuable time, the Angels could go for it all in 2019 and beyond.

Landing Marte would be huge for the Angels, adding a 3rd scary power bat (4th if you could Pujols) to their lineup. Add the surprise emergence of Tommy la Stella and you have 5 quality hitters at the top of the lineup. If they manage to hold on to Jo Adell, he could become another weapon in the outfield. With Trout and Marte both locked up 5+ years and Jo Adell, a young outfielder on the rise, the Angels should feel comfortable parting with both Jordyn Adams and Brandon Marsh.

From the Diamondbacks point of view, they are dealing their only “star” remaining, and although he is under contract through 2024, without dealing him Arizona would be lucky to field a solid team before 2022. Marsh is the only incoming player above Single-A, so the return package fits with the Diamondbacks’ timeline perfectly. Although this is the least likely deal to happen, it could benefit both teams in unforeseen ways.

8.) Angels go all In

The Deal:

LAA receives: Didi Gregorius (SS), Starling Marte (OF)

NYY receives: Chris Archer (SP), Jo Adell (OF)

PIT receives: Clint Frazier (OF), Estevan Florial (OF), Jamhai Jones (2B)

Analysis: The first thing to mention is that this whole trade is in a scenario in which the Angels acquire Ketel Marte (trade #7) and that the Yankees don’t add another pitcher (trade #1). This is the most complex of the 10 proposals, this deal has lots of moving parts, but it would benefit all the teams involved. In this rare three-team trade, the combination of prospects and MLB-caliber players would present a unique, one-of-a-kind deal.

For the Angels, acquiring Ketel Marte would be a great start to building a championship team, but they’d still be a couple of pieces away. Didi Gregorius is set to become a free agent after the 2019 season, but he could be a candidate for an extension with Los Angeles. Starling Marte has three years left on his contract, so he would be the Angels third outfielder with Mike Trout and Ketel Marte. Both Starling Marte and Ketel Marte are long term solutions with very reasonable salaries. The only real downside for the Angels is that their farm system would be completely depleted. If their organization is willing to pair these three All-Stars with Trout and Ohtani, that could put the Angels in the running for the top Wild Card this season, and potentially the division in 2020.

Clint Frazier has not worked out for the Yankees and it is becoming increasingly apparent that he will not be in New York much longer. Although Chris Archer has not been very good with the Pirates, he has proved to be excellent in the AL East in the past, so the Yankees could take a chance on him. Gregorius is a great ballplayer but could see limited playing-time with Giovani Urshella, Gleyber Torres, and DJ LeMahieu taking up three infield spots. An extension for Gregorius is even less likely as Miguel Andujar will be returning in 2020, making the Yankees infield extremely crowded. Jo Adell has shown much more potential than Estevan Florial, so the Yankees improve their farm system in this trade too. Adell could eventually make an impact in 2020 when Giancarlo Stanton replaces Edwin Encarnacion as the primary DH.

Acquiring Archer for the package of Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, and Shane Baz might have seemed bad for Pittsburgh at the time, but now looks like an absolute catastrophe for the entire franchise. Archer has been extremely inefficient for the Pirates, posting an ERA well over 5.00 since being acquired. Meanwhile, Meadows and Glasnow have taken off for the Rays, both performing like All-Stars, helping the Rays be near the top of the stacked AL East. Shane Baz was a surprise addition to the trade as a PTBNL (player to be named later), and has been nothing but lights out in Single-A this year. Cutting ties with Archer might be tough given how much they gave up to land him, but sometimes it’s best to know when you messed up. Frazier, Florial, and Jones are three young players who could be the core of a Pirates rebuild.

Ranking MLB’s Best Minor League Farm Systems, Early-2019 (1-10)

These are my 2019 Early Season Rankings for MLB’s top farm systems. In this article, we will be looking at the systems ranked 1-10. Numbers 11-20 and 21-30 were released earlier in May.

10.) Los Angeles Angles

  1. Jo Adell, OF (18)
  2. Griffin Canning, SP (48)
  3. Jeremiah Jackson, SS (98)
  4. Jordyn Adams, OF (100)
  5. D’Shawn Knowles, OF
  6. Brandon Marsh, OF
  7. Jose Suarez, SP
  8. Kevin Maitan, OF
  9. Jahmai Jones, 2B
  10. Jose Soriano, SP

LAA Overview: In their past few drafts, the Angels have been targeting athletic prep players with their early picks. Jo Adell, Jeremiah Jackson, Jordyn Adams, Brandon Marsh, and Jahmai Jones were all selected within the first two rounds of recent drafts, and all five of them show 5-tool abilities, exactly what the Angels were hoping for. Getting Kevin Maitan must have been a pleasant surprise for LA, as they were able to land him thanks to international scandals involving the Atlanta Braves. Though his numbers aren’t the best, he is still very young and was compared to some of the greats before his struggles. Griffin Canning has done okay in his first few MLB starts and the hope is that he’ll stick in the weak Angels rotation for years to come. With Adell, Adams, Knowles, Marsh, and Maitan all being quality outfield prospects, the hope is at least two will live up to their potential, giving the Angels two outfielders to surround Mike Trout.

9.) Texas Rangers

  1. Hans Crouse, SP (60)
  2. Julio Pablo Martinez, OF (61)
  3. Leody Taveras, OF (93)
  4. Anderson Tejeda, 2B (94)
  5. Bubba Thompson, OF
  6. Cole Winn, SP
  7. Cole Ragans, SP
  8. Osleivis Basabe, SS/2B
  9. Jonathan Ornelas, UTIL
  10. Christopher Siese, SS

TEX Overview: The top five prospects of the Rangers are very underrated in my opinion. Hans Crouse has been dynamic for Class-A Hickory, and word is that he will be moved up a level within a week. With his promotion, 2018 1st rounder Cole Winn will fill his spot in Hickory, where he will make his first ever professional stats. Bubba Thompson, JP Martinez, and Leody Taveras make up a stacked Down East (A-Advanced) outfield. While Martinez is ranked higher, that is mostly due to his three year age difference with Thompson and Taveras. Martinez should move up the ranks quicker, but Taveras and Thompson have better long term potential in my opinion, as both possess the size Martinez does not. Tejeda is a great middle infielder and his bat isn’t too shabby either. His power/speed combo could fit well at the top the Rangers order come 2021/2022. Both Chris Siese and Owen White will miss all of 2019 due to injury, but both recent draftees could climb in the rankings when they return.

8.) Detroit Tigers

  1. Casey Mize, SP (19)
  2. Matt Manning, SP (34)
  3. Alex Faedo, SP
  4. Beau Burrows, SP
  5. Franklin Perez, SP
  6. Christin Stewart, OF
  7. Dawel Lugo, INF
  8. Parker Meadows, OF
  9. Willie Castro, SS
  10. Jose Azocar, OF

DET Overview: By far the most pitcher heavy farm system, all of the Tigers top five prospects are starters. Casey Mize was absolutely unhittable in his four starts in A-Advanced and has been just as good since his promotion to Double-A. Not only is he holding opposing hitters to a batting average in the low .100s., but Mize has also only given up three walks in 45 innings this year. His excellent command will put him on the fast-track to the majors and I’d expect to see him in Detroit around this time next year. Former 9th overall pick Matt Manning has been stellar as well, posting a sub-2.50 ERA through his first seven starts of the season. Add in two more former 1st round picks, Alex Faedo and Beau Burrows, along with high-ceiling prospect Franklin Perez, and the Tigers have 5 of the best starting pitcher prospects in all of baseball. Using these five guys, Detroit could field an entire rotation of quality starters with just their prospects. Outside of their pitchers, Christian Stewart, Dawel Lugo, and Daz Cameron are all MLB ready prospects primed to make an impact in 2019.

7.) Toronto Blue Jays

  1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B (1)
  2. Bo Bichette, SS (6)
  3. Nate Pearson, SP (71)
  4. Cavan Biggio, 2B (89)
  5. Jordan Groshans, SS/3B (90)
  6. Eric Pardinho, SP
  7. Orelvis Martinez, SS
  8. Adam Kloffenstein, SP
  9. Kevin Smith, SS/3B
  10. Anthony Alford, OF

TOR Overview: Having the best, most hyped prospect of the decade would automatically vault any farm system to the upper tier of the rankings, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is not the only talented prospect in the Blue Jays organization. Shortstop Bo Bichette does not have nearly as much power as Guerrero but could be just as good of a hitter while surpassing him in areas such as base-running and defense. Nate Pearson has been just as dominant as Casey Mize of the Detroit Tigers this season. Like Mize, Pearson started the season in A-Advanced but received a well-deserved promotion to Double-A. The third Blue Jays’ prospect with strong baseball bloodlines, Cavan Biggio, has been outstanding this season at Triple-A Buffalo. At 24 years old, Biggio might be the next high profile call-up for Toronto.

6.) Minnesota Twins

Nick Gordon, SS (MIN)
  1. Royce Lewis, SS (4)
  2. Alex Kirilloff, OF (11)
  3. Brusdar Graterol, SP (77)
  4. Wander Javier, SS (96)
  5. Nick Gordon, SS/2B
  6. Griffin Jax, SP
  7. Ryan Jeffers, C
  8. Brent Rooker, OF
  9. Trevor Larnach, OF
  10. Luis Arraez, 2B/OF

MIN Overview: 2017 1st overall pick Royce Lewis has the most potential out of the bunch, but Alex Kirilloff might be the safer player as of now. Either way, both of these guys are above average in nearly every aspect of the game and they should both have a place on the Twins’ roster come 2021. Starter Griffin Jax has been a pleasant surprise this season. After having issues with his military status holding him out of much of his career, Jax was allowed to continue baseball full-time thanks to new rules this season. It seems like he has not lost a step, and he has been superb through his first seven starts in Double-A. 77th overall prospect Brusdar Graterol has also been lights-out in Double-A, posting number even better than those of Jax. One of the most advanced Twins prospects is Nick Gordon (brother of Dee Gordon). While Nick does not have the same top-line speed as his brother, Nick shows more power and he has a great all around feel for the game. Wander Javier is a bit of a wild card after missing all of 2018 and the first chunk of 2019 due to injuries, but if he comes back strong, Javier has the abilities to compete to be the Twins future shortstop.

5.) Houston Astros

  1. Forrest Whitley, SP (10)
  2. Yordan Alvarez, OF (28)
  3. Kyle Tucker, OF (37)
  4. Corbin Martin, SP (57)
  5. Freudis Nova, SS
  6. Seth Beer, OF
  7. Bryan Abreu, SP
  8. Peter Soloman, SP
  9. J.B. Bukauskas, SP
  10. Ronnie Dawson, OF

HOU Overview: All four of Houston’s top 4 prospects are currently either in Triple-A or at the MLB level. This is a great sign for Houston, as they should have quality players able to join their roster when needed. Forrest Whitley has had a rough stretch the past two years including a long suspension in 2018 and struggles in 2019. He is still one of the best pitching prospects and could join fellow top prospect, Corbin Martin, in Houston soon. Kyle Tucker did not perform well during his time in Houston last season and has been as good as hoped for in 2019. Like Whitley, these struggles are likely a fluke as he is too talented to put up weak numbers for an extended period of time. Quite the opposite of Tucker, Yordan Alvarez has been absolutely outstanding in 2019. In his first 130 ABs, Alvarez has already hit 15 HRs and hit over .400. After this amazing start to 2019, Alvarez leapfrogged Tucker as the Astros’ best outfield prospect. Freudis Nova has yet to make his debut with a full-season club, but he excelled during his two seasons in the DSL and GCL, making 2019 an exciting year for the 19 year-old shortstop. 2018 first rounder, Seth Beer, possesses tantalizing power and has been flying through Houston’s system. Beer could reach Triple-A in his 2nd professional season, and a September call-up is not out of the question.

4.) Atlanta Braves

  1. Cristian Pache, OF (21)
  2. Mike Soroka, SP (26)
  3. Austin Riley, 3B (35)
  4. Ian Anderson, SP (40)
  5. Kyle Wright, SP (50)
  6. Touki Toussaint, SP (52)
  7. Drew Waters, OF (62)
  8. Williams Contreras, C
  9. Kyle Muller, SP
  10. Joey Wentz, SP

ATL Overview: The top four farm systems are in a tier of their own in my opinion. Each of these four teams has at least ten high-quality prospects that make up well-rounded systems with talent at almost every position. In the Braves system Cristian Pache has been a name on the rise. Drawing exciting comparisons to Ronald Acuna Jr., Pache fits the same mold as the former Rookie of the Year, but these comparisons might be coming a bit too early. Even if Pache isn’t quite as talented as Acuna, his all-around talent is hard to ignore. Switch-hitting outfielder prospect, Drew Waters, has 5-tool abilities as well, and an outfield of Waters, Pache, and Acuna could be a possibility come 2020/2021. Austin Riley had been tearing it up in Triple-A before his promotion in mid-May. In the race for most HRs in all of minor league baseball, Riley should be able to continue his home run barrage in Atlanta. The best aspect of the Braves farm system is its wealth in young starting pitching. Mike Soroka, Kyle Wright, Touki Toussaint, Luiz Gohara, Kolby Allard, and Bryse Wilson all are guys who have had a taste of the majors, albeit with varying results. Ian Anderson, Kyle Muller, and Joey Wentz are also a big part of the Braves future, with the only question being which of these prospects will make the rotation. With well over ten candidates for the rotation, some of these pitchers could be moved to the bullpen or used as trade chips.

Wander Franco, SS (TB)

3.) Tampa Bay Rays:

  1. Wander Franco, SS (5)
  2. Brendan McKay, SP/DH (20)
  3. Brent Honeywell, SP (27)
  4. Jesus Sanchez, OF (30)
  5. Matthew Liberatore, SP (32)
  6. Vidal Brujan, 2B (78)
  7. Ronaldo Hernandez, C (87)
  8. Shane McClanahan, SP
  9. Lucius Fox, SS
  10. Shane Baz, SP

TB Overview: The Rays’ system is one of my personal favorite in terms of individual talent and the Rays’ group of pitching prospects might be my favorite out there. Brendan McKay is the most interesting guy on this list as he is one of the only two-way players around. Having been much better as a pitcher than a hitter, McKay is in his third season of playing both ways. Brent Honeywell should be beginning his rehab assignment pretty soon and might make the Rays’ rotation later in the summer. 2018 first rounders Matthew Liberatore and Shane McClanahan are currently in Class-A and both did excellent in their Rookie League debuts in 2018. I fully expect both to excel as they climb the ladder to the MLB. I was very surprised to hear Shane Baz was the PTBNL (player to be named later) in the Chris Archer trade with the Pirates. Austin Meadow and Tyler Glasnow were already quite a bundle, so adding the 19 year-old first round pick really made the deal lopsided for Tampa. Wander Samuel Franco may very well be the #1 overall prospect in my Late-2019 rankings, and it appears as if this would be very well deserved. Franco’s superb play these past couple years have vaulted him in the top ten of almost all prospect lists. Infielders Vidal Brujan and Lucius Fox possess similar skill sets to each other. Both are speedy middle infielders who can hit from both sides of the plate. Tampa also has a good bit of talent outside their top ten with guys like Nick Solak, Taylor Walls and the Lowe brothers (Nate and Josh). Jose de Leon is about to return from Tommy John surgery and could be an intriguing option for the Rays rotation.

2.) Chicago White Sox:

Luis Robert, OF (CHW)
  1. Eloy Jimenez, OF (3)
  2. Luis Robert, OF (13)
  3. Michael Kopech, SP (15)
  4. Dylan Cease, SP (24)
  5. Nick Madrigal, 2B (31)
  6. Dane Dunning, SP (84)
  7. Micker Adolfo, OF
  8. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF
  9. Steele Walker, OF
  10. Alec Hansen, SP/RP

CHW Overview: The White Sox are at the final stages of a massive rebuild, and their wealth of prospects is what will make them contenders once again. After signing a six-year deal with the White Sox, Eloy Jimenez made his much-hyped MLB debut. Michael Kopech also has made his MLB debut (2018), but succumbed to Tommy John surgery, keeping him out all of 2019. Dane Dunning and Micker Adolfo also will be missing all of 2019 with arm injuries which required surgery too. Although the injuries have been bad for the White Sox prospects, there is still a lot to like in the system. Luis Robert has been on a tear in 2019 and earned a promotion to Double-A early this season. Steele Walker also was promoted and took Robert’s spot in Winston-Salem (A-Advanced). Outfielders are plentiful in the White Sox organization with Jimenez, Robert, Adolfo and Walker being joined by Luis Basabe, Blake Rutherford, Luis Gonzalez and Joel Booker as possibilities for Chicago’s future lineup. The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A) boast one of the best catching tandems in all of minor league baseball. Both Zack Collins and Seby Zavala narrowly missed the White Sox top ten list and would have made the top ten on almost any other team. With all the talent in Chicago’s system, it is hard to argue against what the White Sox have been building for their future.

1.) San Diego Padres:

  1. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS (2)
  2. Chris Paddack, SP (9)
  3. MacKenzie Gore, SP (23)
  4. Francisco Mejia, C (41)
  5. Luis Urias, SS/2B (42)
  6. Ryan Weathers, SP (63)
  7. Luis Patino, SP (76)
  8. Adrian Morejon, SP (97)
  9. Michel Baez, SP
  10. Luis Campusano, C

SD Overview: The number one farm system rightfully has the most prospects on my top 100 list. Fernando Tatis Jr. made his debut around the same time as Chicago’s Eloy Jimenez and experienced the same amount of hype. Tatis made a great impression in San Diego before suffering an injury in his 27th game. He should be returning soon and will be welcomed back enthusiastically. Chris Paddack is another guy who has been killing it in his first MLB games. Already in the conversation for Rookie of the Year and even the Cy Young, Paddack has been nothing short of excellent. The most surprising thing about Paddack and Tatis is that neither were rated very highly before being traded to San Diego, therefore the Padres got both at bargain prices. Both the White Sox (Tatis Jr.) and the Marlins (Paddack) already must regret dealing these youngsters, and the regret will only increase as Tatis and Paddack continue to dominate. MacKenzie Gore is the best left-handed starter of the Padres, but he is not alone in that field. Ryan Weathers, Adrian Morejon, and Logan Allen are all quality lefties as well, showing the depth of the Padres pitching prospects. Luis Urias struggled in his time with the Padres, but has been performing very well after being optioned back to Triple-A and should be recalled within a few weeks. Having guys like Josh Naylor, Cal Quantrill, and Xavier Edwards being left off the Padres’ top ten list shows how deep this system truly is.