Organization Report Cards




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

KEY
MAJOR LEAGUERS. How the team performed in the big leagues
MINOR LEAGUES. How the organization's minor league affiliates performed, along with notable accomplishments 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 majors.
PLAYER PROCUREMENT. Talent brought into the organization through trades or the draft.
ORGANIZATION DIRECTION. A Catch-all that considers stability and quality of leadership, improvement over previous years, bang for the buck and general outlook of the franchise.
The idea is that our Organization of the Year, which this year goes to the Dodgers, stands at the head of the class with an A, and the rest of baseball falls into line behind it.

The factors that went into the grades are explained below. Be sure to read the explanation for each category, and keep in mind that what an organization gets for its money, as well as expectations, color each rating. So even though the Cardinals won the National League Central with just 83 victories, for example, they get an A grade in the major leagues because they, you know, kind of won the World Series.

While we used plus and minus grades in the overall ratings to separate teams, they're not used in the ratings in each category. We don't grade on a perfect curve, but we do try to spread the grades around. This year we handed out three A's, 11 B's, 12 C's, four D's and no F's.

Grades were determined by the staff of Baseball America and capsules were written by editor in chief Will Lingo.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

GM Ned Colletti returned team to playoffs with combination of short-term signings like Nomar Garciaparra and contributions from young players.B

Departure of Class A affiliate from Vero Beach to California League makes for better geography but signals end of an era for Dodgertown.B

Young players like Russell Martin and Chad Billingsley contributed earlier than expected, and there should be plenty more talent on the way.A
Colletti shows ability to trade for useful pieces without giving up major prospects, and scouting director Logan White is simply one of the best.A
Cost-cutting measures like leaving Dodgertown raise questions about ownership's resources, but the baseball operation is in great shape.A
OVERALL GRADEA
DETROIT TIGERS
Only stumbles in dream season came in not winning AL Central and falling short in World Series; otherwise rebuilding project is complete.A
Triple-A Toledo won International League title and low Class A West Michigan won Midwest League, and high Class A Lakeland got a makeover.A
BA Rookie of the Year Justin Verlander and others played key roles in Detroit; system has impact talent at top but lacks overall depth.B
After getting Cameron Maybin with 10th pick in 2005, got consensus top talent Andrew Miller at No. 6 in 2006.B
Comerica Park came alive in 2006, and with Dave Dombrowski in place with money behind him, Tigers don't expect to be losers again anytime soon.B
OVERALL GRADEA-
MINNESOTA TWINS
After slow start, surged to AL Central title and second-best record in baseball, led by MVP Justin Morneau and batting champion Joe Mauer.A
Four minor league affiliates reached playoffs, though no titles, and system remains one of the most stable in the game.B
Young big league talent supplemented by rookies like Francisco Liriano and Matt Garza, and pitching dominates talent behind them.A
As usual, Twins weren't able to make any blockbuster trades; loaded up on hitters in draft to supplement system that's now heavy on pitching.C
New ballpark on the horizon secures the club's future in Minnesota, and current front office has proven its ability to build consistent winners.A
OVERALL GRADEA-
NEW YORK METS
Finished tied with Yankees for best record in baseball, but falling short in playoffs leaves bitter taste for fans--injuries or not.A
High Class A St. Lucie won Florida State League title, but big story was losing longtime Triple-A affiliation with Norfolk and moving to New Orleans.C
Lastings Milledge and Mike Pelfrey got to big leagues but weren't quite ready; John Maine was a revelation; system is improving but still thin.B
Able to get pieces like El Duque and Shawn Green without giving up core prospects; went for pitching in draft that did not include a first-round pick.B
Consolation after upset came from knowledge these Mets have a young core that should allow them to be back next year; new ballpark also on the way.A
OVERALL GRADEB+
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Diamondbacks started building for the future around players like Brandon Webb and Stephen Drew, but still tied for last in NL West.D
Talented Tucson squad was BA's Minor League Team of the Year and won PCL and Triple-A titles; finished with .525 winning percentage overall.A
New front office has shed most old financial obligations and is plugging in young talent from one of the best farm systems in the game.B
Arizona has supplemented strong drafts by former scouting director Mike Rizzo with astute trades, netting such players as Chris Young .A
Transition from free spending to building from the ground up appears well under way, but the final step--winning in majors--is always the hardest.B
OVERALL GRADEB+
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Yes, their record was mediocre and they barely held on to make the playoffs, but they did win the World Series, and that's what it's all about.A
Success at lower levels masked abysmal teams at Double-A and Triple-A; only affiliation change was move from State College to Batavia in NYP.C
Adam Wainwright was a savior and Chris Duncan and Anthony Reyes contributed to playoff success, but system remains less productive than others.C
Deal for Jeff Weaver turned into a major coup; went heavily after college players in draft, with positive early returns.B
GM Walt Jocketty again shows his magic touch in big leagues, but elevation of Jeff Luhnow shows dissatisfaction with player-development operation.B
OVERALL GRADEB+
NEW YORK YANKEES
After another year filled with controversy--most of surrounding A-Rod--the Yankees still had best record in AL, but fell short in the playoffs again.B
Finished with composite .551 winning percentage, then moved longtime Triple-A affiliation from Columbus to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the season.B
Young players like Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang established themselves, and Phillip Hughes leads the next wave of improved farm system.B
Yankees did their annual mega-deal, this time for Bob Abreu, but held onto premium talent like Hughes; also spent big money on draft again.A
Retention of Joe Torre shows Brian Cashman has a strong hold on baseball operation, which means stability and continued success for Yankees.B
OVERALL GRADEB
OAKLAND ATHLETICS
Another AL West title, and finally got over the playoff hump by beating Twins in Division Series, thanks in part to resurgence from Frank Thomas.A
Affiliates won at a .530 clip and three of four full-season clubs reached playoffs; Triple-A Sacramento again led minor leagues in attendance.B
Biggest rookie contribution came from Andre Ethier, who helped bring Milton Bradley from Dodgers; system has some hitters but not much pitching.C
Bradley trade was team's only major deal, and signing of Esteban Loiaza cost them a first-round pick in draft, though they still found intriguing talent.C
Another organization, led by GM Billy Beane, that has shown it can consistently build winning teams, and a new ballpark will give them a boost.A
OVERALL GRADEB
CLEVELAND INDIANS
For the first time in a while, the Indians went into season with expectations, but couldn't fulfill them despite scoring second-most runs in baseball.C
High Class A Kinston franchise continued its success, symbolic of a farm system that traditionally wins and produces prospects.A
Young nucleus remains in place, supplemented by Jeremy Sowers, and more young talent led by Adam Miller should be ready to contribute soon.B
Opened year by trading for Andy Marte, ended it by getting Josh Barfield, and worked another solid draft in between.B
Tigers weren't the AL Central team most people expected to emerge in 2006, but Cleveland should be able to take another good shot in 2007.B
OVERALL GRADEB
FLORIDA MARLINS
Incredibly young and cheap team incredibly stayed in playoff hunt until end of season under first-year manager Joe Girardi before faltering.B
Infusion of so many young players into big leagues left minor league teams shorthanded, with overall .465 winning percentage.D
Hanley Ramirez was one of baseball best rookies, and rookie pitching staff was better than anyone could have expected; not much left at higher levels.B
In spite of talk about unloading players like Dontrelle Willis, Marlins stood pat; draft focused on athletes after first-round pick Brett Sinkbeil.C
Early success of rookies gives hope for another World Series from the ashes story, but future won't be settled until ballpark questions are resolved.C
OVERALL GRADEB
LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Started with World Series aspirations but ended up out of playoffs in spite of strong performances by Francisco Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero.C
Only one full-season team had a winning record, but organization has established a strong roster of affiliates and had no turnover.C
Howie Kendrick and Jered Weaver look good but other youngsters flopped, and overall talent level has slipped a bit from a couple of years ago.B
No major deals, though they did lose Alberto Callaspo in a preseason trade, and Hank Conger and Sean O'Sullivan topped draft crop.C
Less production than hoped from what was once most talented system in the game, but owner Arte Moreno is determined to maintain winning ways.B
OVERALL GRADEB
BOSTON RED SOX
Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz led potent offense again, but pitching fell apart and so did season after five-game sweep by Yankees.C
Portland won first Eastern League title, led by Minor League Manager of the Year Todd Claus; but Class A affiliation ended up in California LeagueB
Jonathan Papelbon held the bullpen together until he got hurt, while Jon Lester was stricken with cancer; farm system has strength at lower levelsB
Couldn't make midseason deals to fix pitching staff, and earlier deals cost good young talent like NL rookie of the year Hanley Ramirez.C
Red Sox have become what they once detested--a big-market team with a bloated payroll--and Theo Epstein hasn't built on World Series magic.B
OVERALL GRADEB-
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Looks like GM Pat Gillick still has a winning touch; team took off after subtracting Bob Abreu and adding Jamie Moyer; Ryan Howard was MVP.B
Dropped longtime Scranton affiliation to move to new Lehigh Valley franchise (after a year in Ottawa); moved from Batavia to Williamsport in NYP.B
Cole Hamels showed a great deal of potential in his major league debut, and pitching continues to look like the strength of the farm system.C
Abreu and Moyer deals both worked out well for Phillies; first-round gamble on Kyle Drabek has potential to pay big dividends.B
Gillick said team was rebuilding after Abreu trade, but those plans changed quickly; now if they can just find someone to take Pat Burrell . . . B
OVERALL GRADEB-
SAN DIEGO PADRES
Another unheralded team, another division title, highlighted by Trevor Hoffman setting a new major league record for career saves.B
Three playoff teams, with Rookie-level Arizona League squad taking a title, and moved Double-A affiliate farther west with San Antonio affiliation.B
Josh Barfield had a good rookie season, then was traded away, as was George Kottaras; system looks mighty thin now, especially at higher levels.D
GM Kevin Towers has never shied away from bold deals, and deals like those for Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young paid dividends in 2006.A
It seems the lack of minor league talent will take a toll at some point, but Towers shows a knack for team building that keeps San Diego winning.B
OVERALL GRADEB-
CINCINNATI REDS
New general manager Wayne Krivsky energized franchise and Reds contended in weak NL Central, though holes eventually caught up to them.C
Double-A Chattanooga's playoff run was led by dominant performance from league MVP Joey Votto; affiliations remained stable.B
Not much talent supplied to Cincinnati this year, and still not a deep system, but Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce have speared a significant improvement.B
Big midseason deal with Nationals for relief help didn't pan out; Drew Stubbs will determine ultimate value of potentially deep draft classC
With improved ownership, things are suddenly looking up in Cincinnati, but team still needs more good players to make a serious playoff push.B
OVERALL GRADEC+
TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS
New ownership, new front office, new manager, same old results; worst record in baseball puts Rays on clock for No. 1 pick in 2007 draft.F
Double-A Montgomery won first Southern League title in franchise history, but prospects and staff at Triple-A Durham embarrassed the organization.C
Delmon Young made his long-awaited major league debut, and the Rays have plenty more talent coming from one of most talented systems in baseball.A
Tampa Bay jettisoned veterans during season to add even more prospect talent, and draft brought in still more, led by Evan Longoria.B
The question remains whether the Rays will ever be able to assemble a winning major league team, but there sure is a lot of young talent here.B
OVERALL GRADEC+
ATLANTA BRAVES
Hung around the wild-card race for most of the season, but the long run of division titles finally came to an end as pitching staff fell apart.C
Sending so many young players to Atlanta in last couple of years has taken a toll on minor league teams, though Danville did win Appy League crown.D
Previous season was bigger one for rookies, and the top of the farm system now features little premium talent to plug in at big league level.C
Trading for Bob Wickman stabilized a horrendous bullpen; took a risk on Cody Johnson in the first round of draft, then went for pitching.C
John Schuerholz and Bobby Cox are still in place, but otherwise it looks like benign neglect of corporate ownership is starting to take a tollB
OVERALL GRADEC
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Champs couldn't defend their World Series title; offense was better behind Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome, but pitching took a big step back.B
Charlotte was one of better teams in Triple-A most of the season, but more teams were like low Class A Kannapolis, which was one of the worst.D
Years of prospect-for-veteran trades have taken a toll, but there are still players like Josh Fields ready to step into the big leagues soon.C
Trades continue to drain talent like Chris Young, though they keep the big league team winning; Kyle McCulloch topped another conservative draft.D
Thinning of talent at low levels of minor leagues is a concern, but another 90-win season proves White Sox are consistent winners.B
OVERALL GRADEC
COLORADO ROCKIES
Building around young players and normalizing Coors Field with the humidor, the Rockies have hope but still finished tied for last in NL West.D
Tulsa was one of the more talented teams in Double-A before promotions took a toll, but no other minor league affiliates reached the playoffs.C
Scouting director Bill Schmidt has helped build one of the more talented systems in baseball, and young talent has started to contribute in Colorado.B
Moving Ryan Shealy was only trade of note, and draft leaned more toward pitching, led by first-round pick Greg Reynolds.C
General manager Dan O'Dowd has been criticized for frequently changing course, but direction seems stable now; all that's left is winning.C
OVERALL GRADEC
HOUSTON ASTROS
Astros made their traditional late-season surge, but they came up a bit short in winnable NL Central and generally struggled to score runs.C
Second-best winning percentage in minors (.557), led by Texas League title from talented Double-A Corpus Christi squad.A
Jason Hirsh stepped into big leagues but wasn't quite ready for prime time, and system isn't exactly loaded behind him.C
Lost a couple of prospects in Aubrey Huff trade with Devil Rays, but it was worth the risk; top draft picks had lackluster debuts.C
Signing of Carlos Lee shows the Astros expect to remain in contention again next year, and they have the pieces to make another run.B
OVERALL GRADEC
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Reliance on Barry Bonds and other veterans finally fell apart, and departure of manager Felipe Alou and others will mean a new look for 2007.C
Northwest League title for short-season Salem-Keizer highlighted best overall winning percentage in the minor leagues (.557).A
Strong season from Matt Cain leads next generation of Giants pitchers; in keeping with tradition, organization will have to look elsewhere for bats.C
Shea Hillenbrand was a nice pick-up, but no major deals; grabbing Tim Lincecum with 10th overall pick in draft should help big league team right away.B
Likely end of Bonds era means a time of transition for Giants, but GM Brian Sabean and new manager Bruce Bochy have track records of success.C
OVERALL GRADEC
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Blue Jays moved up to second place in AL East after boosting payroll before the season, but still ended up out of the playoffs.B
Organization expected to try five-affiliate farm system in 2007 after dropping Rookie-level Pulaski team in Appalachian League after 2006 season.C
Adam Lind made his major league debut and will assume a full-time role in 2007, but there's not much impact talent behind him.D
Free-agent signings and trade targets played well; went for high school first-rounder in Travis Snider for the first time under GM J.P. Ricciardi.C
Spending more money did result in more wins, but Ricciardi hasn't shown the creative touch needed for the Jays to take next step into the playoffs.C
OVERALL GRADEC
BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Again showed flashes of being competitive with interesting young pitching staff, but again finished in fourth place in AL East.D
Overall winning percentage still lags (.481, 23rd in the game), but adding Norfolk as Triple-A affiliate was a coup and gives system great geography.B
System has steadily improved from darkest days of a few years ago, with Nick Markakis and Adam Loewen as most promising new big leaguers in '06.B
Ownership nixed potential trades involving Miguel Tejada, but scouting director Joe Jordan has put together two straight strong drafts.B
Baltimore is finally showing ability to develop young talent again, but interference of ownership is a huge question, and fans are rightly impatient.C
OVERALL GRADEC-
CHICAGO CUBS
With worst record in league, president Andy MacPhail and manager Dusty Baker won't be back, and roster will be made over in offseason.F
Cubs remain an attractive major league affiliate and system had .524 overall winning percentage; moved out of dying West Tenn market.B
Farm system's bumper crop of a few years ago has not produced much of a major league harvest, and organization now lacks impact talent.C
Jettisoned veterans as season went south but didn't get premium players in return; lost draft picks to free agency but made up for it with calculated risks.B
Wholesale changes will continue as Lou Piniella wants to win right away and Tribune Co. considers selling the team.C
OVERALL GRADEC-
MILWAUKEE BREWERS
Jump from .500 in 2005 didn't happen, as injuries and poor performances doomed team, particularly on the pitching staff.C
Top two affiliates reached playoffs, and otherwise an average year with .495 winning percentage and no affiliation changes.C
Most young big leaguers like Rickie Weeks and J.J. Hardy were bothered by injuries; Yovani Gallardo leads system now filled with power arms.B
Got some useful players in midseason trade of Carlos Lee to Rangers; got another power arm in Jeremy Jeffress in draft.C
Brewers still feel like they have the elements to contend if young players stay healthy and improve, and pitching staff gets better.B
OVERALL GRADEC-
TEXAS RANGERS
Another disappointing season cost manager Buck Showalter his job, as the Rangers showed again they can both score and give up a lot of runs.C
Worst composite winning percentage in the minor leagues, with six affiliates an amazing 107 games under .500.F
Pitching is supposed to be strength of the farm system, but it didn't provide any help in 2006; not much talent behind the system's premium arms.C
Made a bunch of deals, highlighted by acquisition of Carlos Lee, but not much long-term impact; led off draft with more pitching in Kasey Kiker.C
With his own choice of manager in place in Ron Washington, GM Jon Daniels' hope is that stability will lead to success in Texas.C
OVERALL GRADEC-
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Perked up a little bit after new GM Dayton Moore took over, so at least they didn't finish with the worst record in baseball again.F
Double-A Wichita held most of Royals' hope for the future, led by Minor League Player of the Year Alex Gordon; returned affiliation to Wilmington.B
Players like Gordon and Billy Butler finally provide reason for optimism, though prospect talent alone won't be enough to turn this team around.C
Moore moved aggressively to get what he could for veterans after taking over; used No. 1 pick on Luke Hochevar, who should provide quick help.B
For the first time in a long time, the outlook is not all doom and gloom in Kansas City, but there's a long way to go, especially in competitive AL Central.C
OVERALL GRADED+
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Bringing in mediocre veterans may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but it led to another losing season and second-worst record in NL.D
Altoona was only affiliate to reach the playoffs; Pirates left Williamsport to establish NYP affiliation with nearby State College, Altoona's sister franchise.C
Much of Pirates' hope for the future lies with young arms like Tom Gorzelanny, and system is thin on premium talent after Andrew McCutchen.C
Got a couple of useful pieces in trading Sean Casey and Oliver Perez; went for college pitching in draft, led off by Brad Lincoln at No. 4 overall.C
Hosting All-Star Game showed off great PNC Park to the nation, leading everyone to wonder when the Pirates will put a decent team in it.D
OVERALL GRADED+
SEATTLE MARINERS
Seems like 2001 was a mighty long time ago, though ownership didn't make any major changes after third straight last-place finish in AL West.D
Losing went down through the minors, with .456 winning percentage; lost San Antonio and Inland Empire affiliations for West Tenn and High Desert.D
Kenji Johjima was only rookie to make an impact, and he wasn't exactly homegrown; among the worst group of prospects in the minor leagues.D
Unloaded veterans like Jamie Moyer, but didn't get any difference-makers in exchange; draft crop looks like it could provide significant boost in arms.C
At least the ballpark is still nice; Mariners have plenty of resources, but GM Bill Bavasi and Co. haven't made very good use of them.D
OVERALL GRADED
WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Shine of Frank Robinson finally wore off, and the undermanned Nationals gave up more runs than any other team in the National League.D
Paper-thin talent shows through in minor leagues, where team again finished near bottom of standings; improved geography in affiliation shuffle.D
Ryan Zimmerman was a shining light in an otherwise dismal season, but beyond that it's one of the weakest farm systems in the game.C
Big trade with Reds didn't provide immediate returns, and much-discussed trade of Alfonso Soriano never happened; finally had money for a real draft.C
Years of neglect from major league ownership are apparent now, and it's not clear GM Jim Bowden will be the man to turn things around.B
OVERALL GRADED