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Organization Report Cards

November 15, 2002

For the past several years, Baseball America has expanded on our Organization of the Year selection by rating the seasons of the other 29 organizations as well.

We take that a step further this year with detailed report cards for all 30 organizations, from the Twins at the head of the class to the Orioles and Royals sitting in the corner.

The factors that went into the grades are explained below. Plus and minus grades were used for the overall ratings only; not for the ratings in each category.

In case you were wondering, we handed out two A’s, eight B’s, 14 C’s, four D’s and two F’s.

We were struck that the five teams of the American League Central covered the entire grading scale, with the Twins at the top and the Royals at the bottom. In between, the Indians earned a B, the White Sox got a C, and the Tigers had a D.

So as you read about the great success of the Twins, you can check out features on each of the AL Central teams (by clicking on the team name) and get a good idea of what an organization at each level looks like.

Grades were determined by the staff of Baseball America, and the capsules were written by managing editor Will Lingo, who answered questions about the results in a reader chat.

MAJOR LEAGUES
How the team performed in the big leagues.
MINOR LEAGUES
How the organization’s minor league affiliates performed, along with notable accomplishments on the field and changes or stability in the farm system.
TALENT LEVEL
The quality and depth of players in the farm system, as well as the contributions of young players in the major leagues.
PLAYER PROCUREMENT
Talent brought into the organization through trades or the draft.
ORGANIZATION DIRECTION
A catch-all category that considers stability and quality of leadership, improvement over previous years, bang for the buck and the general outlook for the franchise.
OVERALL GRADE
How Baseball America judges each organization’s performance from top to bottom in 2002. The grade takes into account the five categories above, though they are not weighted in a specific formula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minnesota Twins

MAJOR LEAGUES A
Young talent matured as Ron Gardenhire took over, and the team cruised to the division title, then beat the Athletics to advance to ALCS.

MINOR LEAGUES A
Edmonton won PCL title, with John Russell as Minor League Manager of the Year; .540 winning percentage was fourth-best.

TALENT LEVEL A
Young talent was the essential component of big league success, and a deep farm system is poised to provide more talent when needed.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
Didn’t need to make any significant deals; signed their first-round draft pick, but only 10 of their first 20 picks overall.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION A
In spite of Carl Pohlad’s best efforts, he has a good, young major league team and stable, loyal front office; all they need is a ballpark.

Overall A

Anaheim Angels

MAJOR LEAGUES A
After finishing 41 games back in 2001, won World Series with largely homegrown team and Mike Scioscia.

MINOR LEAGUES C
Two teams had worst records in leagues, but Cedar Rapids made playoffs and Salt Lake went to PCL finals.

TALENT LEVEL B
Francisco Rodriguez highlighted contributions of young pitchers, and system should have more on the way.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT B

No big deals, but didn’t need any after unloading Mo Vaughn; loaded up on quality lefthanders in draft.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION A

On top of World Series, solid front office, improving farm system, stable big league team–and Rally Monkey!

Overall A-

Oakland Athletics

MAJOR LEAGUES A
Second-best record in baseball at 103-59, including 20-game win streak, but lost in Division Series again.

MINOR LEAGUES B
Over .500 for the seventh time in eight years, and now have low-A team in Kane County to balance system.

TALENT LEVEL B
System depleted a bit by trades, but Mark Ellis contributed in Oakland and continued to stockpile arms.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT B
Got good value in trades, which got team going; had seven first-rounders but went for mostly bargain picks.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION B
Lost Grady Fuson, Jeremy Giambi, J.P. Ricciardi and won again; should do it again, with limited resources.

Overall B+

St. Louis Cardinals

MAJOR LEAGUES A
In spite of deaths of Darryl Kile and Jack Buck and major injuries, still won division and went to NLCS.

MINOR LEAGUES B
Over .500, and Peoria was best team in MWL and won league title; got back into FSL and out of New Haven.

TALENT LEVEL D
Still thin overall, but signs of talent influx at lower levels; Jason Simontacchi was a godsend in big leagues.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT B
Got Scott Rolen and others without giving up key pieces; Blake Hawksworth made up for lost draft picks.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION A
Walt Jocketty could be the best GM in baseball, and with Tony La Russa playoffs should be the goal again.

Overall B+

San Francisco Giants

MAJOR LEAGUES A
With another incredible Barry Bonds season and veteran team, came within innings of a World Series title.

MINOR LEAGUES D
Winning percentage dropped 65 points to .463; Fresno got a new ballpark but was the worst team in the PCL.

TALENT LEVEL B
System didn’t play major role in big league success, but talent in minors is good, led by Jesse Foppert.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT B
One major deal for Kenny Lofton was a key; no big names in the draft but another solid effort.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION C
After great season fell just short, Brian Sabean re-upped but Dusty Baker did not; who takes over aging club?

Overall B+

Cleveland Indians

MAJOR LEAGUES C
Didn’t contend for the first time in years and shifted into rebuilding mode at midseason; fired Charlie Manuel, ended up with Eric Wedge.

MINOR LEAGUES A
Every full-season affiliate made the playoffs, .577 was best winning percentage in baseball, and Double-A Akron was Team of the Year.

TALENT LEVEL A
Young players like Brandon Phillips established themselves in the big leagues, and Victor Martinez led premium prospects in the minors.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT A
May have strongest farm system in game after amazing job of replenishing talent through trades of veterans and another strong draft.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION B
Laid foundation for next run at greatness well, but now must carry out the plan; skeptical fans want to see Jim Thome re-signed.

Overall B+

Atlanta Braves

MAJOR LEAGUES A
Unbelievable consistency continues with another division title, best record in NL—and another playoff flop.

MINOR LEAGUES B
Only one playoff team, but .512 winning percentage was best in five years; Bubba Nelson led minors in ERA.

TALENT LEVEL B
Damian Moss led latest injection of pitching; minor league depth remains a strength, especially in arms.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
No significant deals after Gary Sheffield; Jeff Francoeur led draft crop, but five of first 15 picks unsigned.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION B
AOL struggles and Glavine/Maddux status raise questions, but Schuerholz and Cox always find the answers.

Overall B

Los Angeles Dodgers

MAJOR LEAGUES B
With leadership of Jim Tracy and play of Shawn Green, won most games since 1991 but missed playoffs.

MINOR LEAGUES A
Las Vegas had best record in PCL, Great Falls won Pioneer, and .563 winning percentage was third-best.

TALENT LEVEL B
Eric Gagne emerged as outstanding closer, and farm system has talent ascending and depth of arms.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT B
Gave up too much in deadline deals, but Sheffield deal worked out and Logan White’s first draft was strong.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION B
Dan Evans regime off to good start, with contention in spite of injuries, better chemistry and positive outlook.

Overall B

New York Yankees

MAJOR LEAGUES A
At 103-58 had the best record in baseball and fifth straight division title, but Division Series loss stings.

MINOR LEAGUES B
Norwich won Eastern, then affiliation went to Trenton; Staten Island won NY-P as part of .530 overall record.

TALENT LEVEL B
While injuries and trades have hit minor league talent level, ascendance of Alfonso Soriano gets high marks.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT D
Deals for Weaver and Mondesi cost prospects and didn’t help; lost picks for free agents hurt draft effort.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION B
Unsurpassed resources, but will two straight years without a World Series send Steinbrenner into panic?

Overall B

Toronto Blue Jays

MAJOR LEAGUES C
Team responded after Carlos Tosca took over, they worked in young talent and unloaded players like Mondesi.

MINOR LEAGUES D
Decent record, but fired some longtime organization men and ended up in New Haven for Double-A affiliate.

TALENT LEVEL B
Eric Hinske was Rookie of the Year, leading new wave of talent; farm has good arms but not as many bats.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT A
Though some scouts were fired, produced baseball’s best draft; getting rid of Mondesi was a strong move.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION B
Tosca and J.P. Ricciardi have team in the right direction, though everyone is still learning new philosophy.

Overall B-

Arizona Diamondbacks

MAJOR LEAGUES B
Carried by Johnson and Schilling, won NL West again with second-best record in NL but faltered in playoffs.

MINOR LEAGUES D
Third-worst winning percentage, with two teams worst in their leagues, and Yakima’s 22-game losing streak.

TALENT LEVEL C
Junior Spivey and John Patterson contributed; system has some righthanders and bats, but little depth.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
Signed two prep players from draft, but one was Sergio Santos; gave up Duaner Sanchez for Mike Fetters.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION C
Big league success, but aging roster and debt are problems, as is system that isn’t reliably producing yet.

Overall C+

Boston Red Sox

MAJOR LEAGUES B
Return of Nomar and Pedro and emergence of Derek Lowe led to fifth-best record in AL but no playoffs.

MINOR LEAGUES D
Left Trenton for Portland, but .454 winning percentage tied for third-worst in baseball and no playoffs.

TALENT LEVEL D
Casey Fossum contributed in Boston; system has little beyond emergence of Hanley Ramirez.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
Traded Seung Song for Cliff Floyd and got other players with weak system; solid draft with good values.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION C
New ownership hasn’t meant much difference so far; Mike Port performed well as search for GM drags.

Overall C+

Chicago Cubs

MAJOR LEAGUES D
A 21-game drop from 2001 meant third-worst record in NL and end of Don Baylor’s tenure.

MINOR LEAGUES B
Third straight year above .500, with Northwest and Arizona League titles and Mark Prior supernova.

TALENT LEVEL B
Prior and others contributed with more on the way; disappointments offset by new blood like Felix Pie.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT B
Deadline deals were minor, while draft results could be major, especially if Bobby Brownlie signs.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION B
Jim Hendry takes over as GM with new manager on the way; ingredients in place for a big step forward.

Overall C+

Houston Astros

MAJOR LEAGUES C
Got within a game of the Cardinals but faltered down the stretch; Berkman and Oswalt were tremendous.

MINOR LEAGUES C
Third straight year above .500 and finally got rid of two low Class A affiliates that hurt development.

TALENT LEVEL B
Kirk Saarloos was amazing in minors and showed flashes in majors; still good depth of prospects.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
Traded a few prospects in minor deals; draft turned out all right after strike-driven embargo on signings.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION B
Played meaningful games most of the season, but team underachieved in first season under Jimy Williams.

Overall C+

Seattle Mariners

MAJOR LEAGUES B
A 93-win season is disappointing when it’s 23 games off the year before and doesn’t get you in the playoffs.

MINOR LEAGUES C
Another big drop as system was 90 points off ’01 winning percentage, though San Antonio won TL.

TALENT LEVEL C
No big contributions from young players in Seattle as injuries had devastating effect on system.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT D
Weakest draft after losing first-round pick for the first time since 1989; Winn for Piniella was only major deal.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION B
Year after and Piniella’s departure raise questions, but Pat Gillick, great park, young talent are big assets.

Overall C+

Chicago White Sox

MAJOR LEAGUES C
Slumping major league team perked up after midseason trades of veterans like Kenny Lofton and ended up at .500.

MINOR LEAGUES C
Birmingham won Southern and Bristol won Appalachian, but overall teams were .466; left Arizona League for new affiliate in Great Falls.

TALENT LEVEL B
Joe Crede led latest crop of new big leaguers, and Joe Borchard could be ready soon; Corwin Malone and other prospects faltered.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
Conservative draft focused on pitching, and deadline deals also brought in more arms.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION C
Kenny Williams tries youth after raising payroll and weakening system without big league success; Big Hurt’s departure signals new era.

Overall C

Cincinnati Reds

MAJOR LEAGUES C
Contended into August but couldn’t make big deals to stay in the race as Adam Dunn and others faltered.

MINOR LEAGUES B
Overall .528 winning percentage as Stockton won Cal League; then moved affiliate back to Carolina League.

TALENT LEVEL C
Austin Kearns joined Dunn in big leagues; injuries and development questions (Wily Mo Pena) limit system.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
Acquired Dempster, Estes; instability in scouting with Casey McKeon replaced, Gary Hughes leaving.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION C
With right moves, pieces in place to contend as ballpark opens, though ownership says payroll won’t change.

Overall C

Philadelphia Phillies

MAJOR LEAGUES C
Team didn’t respond second time around with volatile Larry Bowa, losing Scott Rolen and going to 14th losing record in 16 years.

MINOR LEAGUES B
Scranton had best record in International League and GCL team won league title in fifth straight season above .500 for system.

TALENT LEVEL B
Brett Myers graduated to the big leagues, highlighting strong pitching throughout organization; Marlon Byrd should be next.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
Cole Hamels was a calculated risk that could pay off, but getting an injured Bud Smith and a bag of beans for Rolen probably won’t.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION C
New ballpark on the way, and young talent in the majors and minors, yet team regressed and you wonder what will change that.

Overall C

San Diego Padres

MAJOR LEAGUES D
Second-worst record in the NL as they used a record-tying 59 players in search of next wave of talent.

MINOR LEAGUES C
Only one playoff team, but winning percentage was .513 after two years below .500.

TALENT LEVEL B
Sean Burroughs faltered but Oliver Perez and Jake Peavy looked good; still working on next wave.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
Added depth but not much else in trades; Khalil Greene highlights an ordinary draft.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION C
Red Sox took Lucchino and other front-office talent, and Moores troubles hang over solid young ballclub.

Overall C

Texas Rangers

MAJOR LEAGUES D
A-Rod was outstanding, team was bad again with same combination of bad free agents and bad pitching.

MINOR LEAGUES B
Top three affiliates reached playoffs and Charlotte won FSL; made major affiliation moves, mostly positive.

TALENT LEVEL B
Good prospects led by Mark Teixeira; Hank Blalock stumbled, but Mike Young, Kevin Mench came through.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
Dumped Kapler, Valdes and got a little in return; draft handicapped by no picks between first and sixth round.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION C
Elements in place to build a solid team, but another firing and Hicks’ record don’t suggest patience to do it.

Overall C

Florida Marlins

MAJOR LEAGUES C
At 79-83, you get the feeling they could have done more under better circumstances.

MINOR LEAGUES C
Big drop in winning percentage, and major changes in affiliates; will get plum PCL team in Albuquerque.

TALENT LEVEL B
Blisters slowed down Josh Beckett, while Jason Stokes and Dontrelle Willis emerged in the minors.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
Jeremy Hermida could boost ordinary draft; deadline deals brought in lots of arms, like Justin Wayne.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION D
Adding front-office talent and pledging to increase payroll, but franchise swap and fallout was a disaster.

Overall C-

Montreal Expos

MAJOR LEAGUES C
Better season than anyone had a right to expect, finishing second in NL East; even traded for Colon and Floyd.

MINOR LEAGUES C
Made improvement but still a .477 winning percentage; upgraded from Ottawa to Edmonton at Triple-A.

TALENT LEVEL D
Tomokazu Ohka contributed, but trades significantly thinned farm system; good pitching at the top, though.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
Gave up a lot for Colon and Floyd, and recouped some with Floyd retrade; decent draft given circumstances.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION D
Young talent and Omar Minaya’s staying, but owned by MLB and don’t know where home games will be.

Overall C-

New York Mets

MAJOR LEAGUES F
Team with a $100 million payroll and built for contention was a train wreck and quit playing by August.

MINOR LEAGUES C
Perfectly average, as .496 winning percentage was middle of the road and there were no affiliation changes.

TALENT LEVEL C
Youngsters were kept out of New York mess; farm system is good at the top with Jose Reyes but not deep.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT B
Gave up talent to get Roberto Alomar, got it back in deadline deals; Scott Kazmir may be pick of ’02 draft.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION C
Resources to bounce back if things go right, but Steve Phillips on a short leash, Art Howe was second choice

Overall C-

Pittsburgh Pirates

MAJOR LEAGUES D
A 10-game improvement yet had 10th straight losing season; another invisible good season for Brian Giles.

MINOR LEAGUES A
Farm system went above .500 for the second time in 33 years, as Lynchburg and Hickory won league titles.

TALENT LEVEL C
Kip Wells and Josh Fogg were good additions; led by Sean Burnett, pitching is strength of minors as well.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT B
Signing Bryan Bullington keyed a good draft; getting anything for Chad Hermansen was notable.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION B
Dave Littlefield seems to be changing organization outlook, and Brian Graham turned around farm system.

Overall C-

Colorado Rockies

MAJOR LEAGUES D
Bad start dooms Buddy Bell, and even offense falters as Hampton and Neagle struggle again.

MINOR LEAGUES C
Only Double-A Carolina made postseason, after its only winning half as a Rockies affiliate; moved to Tulsa.

TALENT LEVEL C
Jason Jennings and Denny Stark could be key pieces, but system is thin behind top four or five prospects.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
Trades brought big leaguers, not prospects; draft has potential with Jeff Francis and Jeff Baker.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION D
Attendance fell for the sixth straight season as Dan O’Dowd administration can’t seem to stick with a plan.

Overall D+

Detroit Tigers

MAJOR LEAGUES F
Tied for worst record in baseball in their ninth straight losing season, resulting in two managers fired and Alan Trammell taking over.

MINOR LEAGUES B
Second straight year above .500, highlighted by a new ballpark in Toledo and Mud Hens making the playoffs.

TALENT LEVEL C
Eric Munson is finally coming around, and Franklyn German and Carlos Pena add to organization with good depth but few stars.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT C
Adding German and Pena while getting rid of Jeff Weaver was a good move; Curtis Granderson, MVP of NY-P, highlighted solid draft.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION D
It would have been another unmitigated disaster, but replacing Randy Smith with Dave Dombrowski provides direction and reason for hope.

Overall D

Milwaukee Brewers

MAJOR LEAGUES F
Worst record in NL and in franchise history cost just about everyone; even fouled up the All-Star Game.

MINOR LEAGUES D
Two teams with winning records, and one (Ogden) picked a new affiliate; Brad Nelson led minors in RBIs.

TALENT LEVEL C
Players with impact potential at lower levels, but still not much depth; no big league help this year.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT B
Got value for Tyler Houston; Prince Fielder looks like a good gamble, showing why Jack Zduriencik survived.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION C
Housecleaning from Wendy Selig-Prieb on down; Doug Melvin has more to start with than Dean Taylor did.

Overall D

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

MAJOR LEAGUES F
First team since 1978-79 Blue Jays with consecutive 100-loss seasons; cost Hal McRae but not Chuck LaMar.

MINOR LEAGUES D
Second-worst winning percentage, but Durham won the IL and Rocco Baldelli was Minor League POY.

TALENT LEVEL B
Carl Crawford and Dewon Brazelton lead next wave in majors; Baldelli tops good minor league system.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT B
Dan Jennings’ last draft was strong, led by B.J. Upton; couldn’t pull off any deadline deals.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION D
Two players shot, one released after getting out of jail, Josh Hamilton hurt again. Welcome home, Lou.

Overall D

Kansas City Royals

MAJOR LEAGUES F
Worst season in franchise history finally cost Tony Muser his job. Tony Pena took over but doesn’t have much to work with.

MINOR LEAGUES C
Three playoff teams and a .521 winning percentage, but they lost their short-season affiliate with no replacement on the horizon.

TALENT LEVEL F
Runelvys Hernandez got older but made it to majors; no one made a league top 10, and all significant prospects have major questions.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT D
Zack Greinke might be good, but no other obvioius help on the way; could have traded Paul Byrd and still lost 100 games.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION F
The Tom Gamboa incident seemed to typify the overall bad mojo that has afflicted the organization, leaving Royals fans with little hope.

Overall F

Baltimore Orioles

MAJOR LEAGUES D
Played .500 ball most of the season until 4-32 collapse; Mike Hargrove is organization’s biggest asset.

MINOR LEAGUES F
Along with worst winning percentage in baseball (.434), got kicked out of Rochester after 42 years.

TALENT LEVEL F
Rodrigo Lopez and Jorge Julio contributed in Baltimore, but minor league talent is worst in the game.

PLAYER PROCUREMENT D
Lopez was a find, but why no deadline deals? Draft grade up in the air with Adam Loewen in junior college.

ORGANIZATION DIRECTION F
Worst attendance in Camden Yards; Cal Ripken doesn’t want to be GM. Is Peter Angelos paying attention?

Overall F

 

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