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.