2010 Organization Talent Rankings





Baseball America's minor league talent rankings line up organizations based on their current prospect-eligible players heading into the 2010 season. The rankings take into account both high-ceiling prospects as well as overall depth of talent, with the best organizations having both. Rankings are by the Baseball America staff, while the text was written by Jim Callis.

1 Tampa Bay Rays
Last Year's Rank: 4.
Impact Talent: Even after graduating Evan Longoria and David Price quickly to the majors, the Rays still have plenty of quality talent on the way to the majors, led by OF Desmond Jennings, RHPs Jeremy Hellickson and Wade Davis, and LHP Matt Moore. Tampa Bay led all clubs with seven players (Jennings, Hellickson, Davis, Moore, SS Reid Brignac, SS Tim Beckham and RHP Alex Colome) on our Top 100 Prospects list.
Depth: Tampa Bay is as deep as it is talented, especially in terms of pitching, with a second wave of arms that includes Colome and RHP Nick Barnese, and LHPs Jake McGee, Alex Torres and Kyle Lobstein. It's also telling that Beckham, the No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft, ranks just sixth on our Rays Top 10 list.
2010 Rookies: Davis won the fifth starter's job with six strong outings last September. Jennings soon will push B.J. Upton from center to right field, while Hellickson and Brignac could make an impact if given the opportunity.
2 Texas Rangers
Last Year's Rank: 1.
Impact Talent: RHP Neftali Feliz already has made his presence felt in Texas with 31 dominant innings last summer. 1B Justin Smoak and LHP Martin Perez could have made a case for outranking Feliz as the Rangers' No. 1 prospect, and the club signed a pair of potential stars in RHP Tanner Scheppers and SS Jurickson Profar last summer.
Depth: Texas' system has thinned out a little in the last year, following the promotions of Elvis Andrus, Julio Borbon, Derek Holland and Tommy Hunter in 2009. The Rangers continue to replenish their talent through the draft—though they whiffed on signing 2009 first-rounder Matt Purke—and the international market.
2010 Rookies: The only question with Feliz is whether Texas should deploy him as a starter or reliever. Unless Chris Davis catches fire again, Smoak could take his job before the all-star break.
3 Cleveland Indians
Last Year's Rank: 7.
Impact Talent: C Carlos Santana and 3B Lonnie Chisenhall should form the heart of Cleveland's future batting order. LHP Nick Hagadone and RHP Jason Knapp, acquired in 2009 trades for Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee, have electric arms.
Depth: The Indians have built a strong system, more via trades (Santana, Hagadone, Knapp, OF Michael Brantley, RHP Carlos Carrasco) and the Latin American market (RHP Hector Rondon, LHP Kelvin de la Cruz) than the draft.
2010 Rookies: Lou Marson will keep the catching job warm while Santana recovers from hand surgery, and the rebuilding Indians will also make regulars of Brantley and Carrasco. Rondon could get an opportunity as well.
4 San Francisco Giants
Last Year's Rank: 5.
Impact Talent: The only team that can match San Francisco's 1-2 punch of C Buster Posey and LHP Madison Bumgarner is Texas with Feliz and Smoak. RHP Zack Wheeler, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2009 draft, is more advanced than Bumgarner was at the same stage.
Depth: Our Giants Top 10 list drops off markedly after the big three, but overall San Francisco's Top 30—buy the Prospect Handbook to check it out—is one of the deepest in the game.
2010 Rookies: Bumgarner may be ready to step into the rotation at age 20. Posey needs to polish his receiving before he takes over for Bengie Molina behind the plate.
5 Boston Red Sox
Last Year's Rank: 13.
Impact Talent: OF Ryan Westmoreland has some of the best all-around tools in the game, though his baseball future is on hold after brain surgery this spring see Page 3. RHP Casey Kelly, now that he has focused on pitching, could have three plus pitches and exudes polish. SS Jose Iglesias is dazzling with the glove and should end Boston's problems at his position.
Depth: The Red Sox don't have a lot of big league-ready talent, but they have more high-ceiling position prospects and arms than any other organization. That group includes the impact prospects mentioned above, as well as OF Reymond Fuentes, SS/2B Derrik Gibson, LHP Drake Britton and RHP Madison Younginer.
2010 Rookies: Boston doesn't have openings on its roster for OF Josh Reddick or RHPs Junichi Tazawa and Michael Bowden, so lefty specialist Dustin Richardson could be its top rookie this season.
6 Minnesota Twins
Last Year's Rank: 22.
Impact Talent: OF Aaron Hicks is a five-tool talent with more polish than expected from a two-way product who's just a year and a half removed from high school. C Wilson Ramos would get more hype if he weren't stuck behind Joe Mauer, and RHP Kyle Gibson could have been a top 10 pick last June if he hadn't come down with a forearm injury right before the draft. SS/3B Miguel Sano was the top player on the international market last summer.
Depth: The Twins system sticks out most for a crop of athletic outfielders headlined by Hicks, Ben Revere, Angel Morales and Max Kepler.
2010 Rookies: Minnesota is favored to win the American League Central, and its only rookie with a shot at much playing time is 3B Danny Valencia.
7 Florida Marlins
Last Year's Rank: 2.
Impact Talent: OF Mike Stanton has more raw power than any prospect in the game, and he might have the most athleticism as well. 1B Logan Morrison has the tools to be a classic No. 3 hitter, and LHP Chad James has the stuff to be a frontline starter.
Depth: Florida's system doesn't have a particular area of strength, nor does it have a glaring weakness. There's balance all over the diamond.
2010 Rookies: The Marlins should have a rookie starting at a corner infield spot this season, probably either Morrison or Gaby Sanchez at first base, with Rule 5 pick Jorge Jimenez a longshot at third base. Stanton and OF Scott Cousins could factor into the outfield mix.
8 Baltimore Orioles
Last Year's Rank: 9.
Impact Talent: LHPs Brian Matusz and Zach Britton should join Chris Tillman at the front of Baltimore's rotation for years to come. 3B Josh Bell has the power and arm strength to be a star on the hot corner, and trading for him gave the Orioles a standout bat that they otherwise didn't have.
Depth: Most of the Orioles' best prospects are pitchers, with RHPs Jake Arrieta, Matt Hobgood and Brandon Erbe backing up the lefties.
2010 Rookies: Matusz is a prime Rookie of the Year candidate after winning five of his eight big league starts last summer. RHP Kam Mickolio should contribute in the bullpen.
9 Atlanta Braves
Last Year's Rank: 6.
Impact Talent: OF Jason Heyward is the game's best prospect, and 1B Freddie Freeman has raced through the minors alongside him. RHPs Julio Teheran and Arodys Vizcaino (who came over as part of the Javier Vazquez trade with the Yankees) have huge ceilings but a long way to go.
Depth: The Braves have gotten more conservative in the draft, so many of their best prospects have come from the international market: Teheran, SS/3B Edward Salcedo, C Christian Bethancourt, RHP Randall Delgado.
2010 Rookies: The talk of Atlanta's major league spring training camp, Heyward quickly is locking up the right-field job. Fireballing RHP Craig Kimbrel could make his big league debut soon.
10 Colorado Rockies
Last Year's Rank: 20.
Impact Talent: Colorado stole LHPs Tyler Matzek (No. 11 pick in 2009) and Christian Friedrich (No. 25 in 2008) much lower in the draft than they should have gone.
Depth: The Rockies bolstered their system with baseball's best draft in 2009, starting with Matzek, OF Tim Wheeler, LHP Rex Brothers and 3B Nolan Arenado with their first four picks.
2010 Rookies: 2B/OF Eric Young Jr.'s speed will earn him some playing time, if not a regular role. RHPs Jhoulys Chacin and Esmil Rogers could contribute if needed after getting their feet wet in Colorado last year.
11 Oakland Athletics
Last Year's Rank: 3.
Impact Talent: The A's need offense, and 1B/OF Chris Carter, OF Michael Taylor and SS Grant Green have the ability to rectify that situation.
Depth: Oakland is hitter-heavy after promoting an entire rotation (Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, Vin Mazzaro, Josh Outman) and a closer (AL rookie of the year Andrew Bailey) to the majors last year.
2010 Rookies: Carter and Taylor may not win everyday jobs out of spring training, but they should by the all-star break.
12 Seattle Mariners
Last Year's Rank: 24.
Impact Talent: Scouts say that OF/1B/2B Dustin Ackley, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft, is the best pure hitter in the minors and the best to come out of college baseball in at least two decades. For a guy with average or better tools across the board, OF Michael Saunders doesn't seem to generate a lot of hype.
Depth: Ackley and Saunders were draft picks, but the Mariners have had more recent success using the international market, the source of many of their best prospects, including Italian 3B Alex Liddi, Dominican SS/2B Carlos Triunfel and Dominican RHP Michael Pineda.
2010 Rookies: C Adam Moore is competing for a starting job in spring training, while Saunders will have to wait a bit longer for an opportunity.
13 Milwaukee Brewers
Last Year's Rank: 10.
Impact Talent: Slick-fielding SS Alcides Escobar forced J.J. Hardy out of town by taking his job last August. 2B Brett Lawrie might be the second coming of Jeff Kent, provided he can stay at second base.
Depth: The Brewers have done a much better job of developing hitters than pitchers in recent years, and their top minor leaguers are still position prospects Escobar, Lawrie and 3B Mat Gamel. Behind them, RHP Eric Arnett leads a promising group of arms.
2010 Rookies: Escobar is a lock to start at shortstop after hitting .304 in Milwaukee last season. Gamel could push overachieving Casey McGehee for playing time by midseason, when C Jonathan Lucroy could begin to pressure free-agent signee Gregg Zaun.
14 Chicago Cubs
Last Year's Rank: 27.
Impact Talent: The Cubs have three up-the-middle standouts in SS Starlin Castro, OF Brett Jackson and SS Hak-Ju Lee. 3B Josh Vitters and RHP Andrew Cashner are notable for the power in their bat and arm, respectively.
Depth: Chicago's system is deeper than it has been in the years, though many of its best prospects are still a year or two away from the majors. The Cubs are best-stocked with middle infielders: Castro, Lee, Logan Watkins, Ryan Flaherty, D.J. Lemahieu and Darwin Barney.
2010 Rookies: Though he's barely 20 and has played only 31 games above Class A, there's talk Castro could open the season as Chicago's shortstop. Several rookies—most notably RHPs Andrew Cashner, Blake Parker and Esmailin Caridad, and LHP John Gaub—could help revamp the bullpen.
15 Pittsburgh Pirates
Last Year's Rank: 18.
Impact Talent: 3B Pedro Alvarez slugged 27 homers in his pro debut and is the best power hitter to come through the system since Barry Bonds.
Depth: The Pirates have used the draft and trades to give the system its best depth in recent memory, but they still need to develop more cornerstone players. Only six members of our Pirates Top 30 list were in the organization before Neal Huntington became general manager in September 2007.
2010 Rookies: Alvarez should power his way into Pittsburgh's lineup by the all-star break. RHP Brad Lincoln and OF Jose Tabata also could make their presence felt by then.
16 Kansas City Royals
Last Year's Rank: 11.
Impact Talent: LHP Mike Montgomery and RHP Aaron Crow headline a Royals system dominated by pitchers. This season will be important in determining whether 3B Mike Moustakas and 1B Eric Hosmer can regain some of the luster they lost in 2009.
Depth: Kansas City has built up its system by aggressively spending in the draft. After Montgomery, its next five best prospects either signed for big league deals (Crow) or over-slot bonuses (Moustakas, Hosmer, C Wil Myers, RHP Tim Melville).
2010 Rookies: The Royals don't have much big league-ready talent, leaving RHP Carlos Rosa, a middle reliever, as the only rookie likely to contribute.
17 Cincinnati Reds
Last Year's Rank: 14.
Impact Talent: LHP Aroldis Chapman has generated lots of buzz, first by hitting 100 mph at the 2009 World Baseball Classic, then by signing for $30.25 million, and now by showing his dominant stuff in major league spring training. He immediately jumped to the forefront among Cincinnati prospects, ahead of OF/2B/3B Todd Frazier, 1B Yonder Alonso and RHP Mike Leake.
Depth: The Reds have a solid if unspectacular system, with a nice balance of prospects between the upper and lower levels of the minors as well as at positions all over the diamond.
2010 Rookies: LHPs Matt Maloney and Travis Wood will get first shot at an opening in the Cincinnati rotation, with Chapman looming as soon as he's ready. Underdog OF Chris Heisey has little left to prove in the minors.
18 Philadelphia Phillies
Last Year's Rank: 12.
Impact Talent: Philadelphia emptied its farm system to trade for Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, but refused to part with five-tool OF Domonic Brown.
Depth: The Phillies depleted their store of polished prospects, but they still have a number of raw athletes (such as OF Anthony Gose) and power arms (led by RHPs Phillippe Aumont and Trevor May) with huge upsides.
2010 Rookies: Coming off consecutive National League pennants, Philadelphia has few job openings. LHP Anthony Bastardo and RHP Scott Mathieson may find work in the bullpen.
19 Toronto Blue Jays
Last Year's Rank: 19.
Impact Talent: All of Toronto's blue-chip prospects—RHP Kyle Drabek, 3B/1B Brett Wallace, C Travis d'Arnaud, RHP Zach Stewart—were acquired in trades.
Depth: The Blue Jays didn't sign a single member of our Top 100 Prospects list, and their system placed 28th in our Prospect Handbook rankings before new GM Alex Anthopoulos turned Roy Halladay into Drabek, Wallace and d'Arnaud.
2010 Rookies: Wallace's defense is still shaky at the hot corner, but his bat is ready to help the Jays. RHP Josh Roenicke, another trade acquisition, is as talented as any member of Toronto's bullpen.
20 San Diego Padres
Last Year's Rank: 29.
Impact Talent: OF Donavan Tate was the best athlete available in the 2009 draft, though there are questions about his bat. RHP Simon Castro and OF Jaff Decker had breakout seasons in low Class A last year.
Depth: San Diego focused on drafting college players for years, but high school (Tate, Decker) and international (Castro) prospects stick out the most in its system.
2010 Rookies: After a huge rookie crop that included Kyle Blanks, Everth Cabrera, Mat Latos and Will Venable a year ago, the Padres won't have many new faces this season. LHP Aaron Poreda could crack the rotation or bullpen after coming over from the White Sox in the Jake Peavy trade.
21 Los Angeles Dodgers
Last Year's Rank: 23.
Impact Talent: SS Dee Gordon has electric speed and doesn't look like someone who has played baseball for only four years. After mild health problems in 2008, RHP Chris Withrow worked at 92-96 mph and hit 99 last summer.
Depth: Gordon is emblematic of many of Los Angeles' best prospects, in that he has a huge ceiling but isn't particularly close to reaching it. The Dodgers system isn't as stacked as it was when it ranked among the game's best in the mid-2000s, but solid drafts are beginning to replenish it.
2010 Rookies: RHP Josh Lindblom and LHP Scott Elbert could fill the hole in the back of the Dodgers rotation or play a vital role in the bullpen.
22 New York Yankees
Last Year's Rank: 15.
Impact Talent: C Jesus Montero rivals Jason Heyward as the best all-around hitter in the minor. The Yankees traded two Top 100 Prospects in the offseason: OF Austin Jackson to get Curtis Granderson from the Tigers, and RHP Arodys Vizcaino to pry Javier Vazquez from the Braves.
Depth: Even if the defensively challenged Montero can't stick behind the plate, New York is still loaded at catcher with Andrew Romine, Gary Sanchez and J.R. Murphy.
2010 Rookies: Unless Montero bashes his way into the lineup at midseason, the defending World Series champions won't have any rookies playing key roles.
23 Chicago White Sox
Last Year's Rank: 16.
Impact Talent: OF Jared Mitchell, who won national championships in football and baseball at Louisiana State, is a Carl Crawford in the making but could miss the season after injuring his left ankle in spring training. C Tyler Flowers has improved his defense and has more power than most backstops.
Depth: GM Kenny Williams won't hesitate to deal prospects for veterans, and last year he traded four former first-round picks and gave up four players for Jake Peavy. That approach can't help but thin out the system, but it works for the White Sox.
2010 Rookies: An unheralded fifth-rounder in 2008, RHP Dan Hudson reached the majors at the end of his first full season and is first in line should a rotation spot open up. Flowers could take over for A.J. Pierzynski before the year is out.
24 Washington Nationals
Last Year's Rank: 21.
Impact Talent: RHPs Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen, who were top 10 overall picks in 2009, are the club's No. 1 starter and closer of the future. C Derek Norris is a well-rounded hitter with all-star potential if he can stay behind the plate.
Depth: Washington's system is more top-heavy than most, as the star power of Strasburg, Norris and Storen dwarfs the overall collection of talent.
2010 Rookies: The future could arrive by midseason for the Nationals when Strasburg and Storen come up. SS Ian Desmond is pushing for Cristian Guzman's job after an impressive September callup.
25 New York Mets
Last Year's Rank: 17.
Impact Talent: Most of the Mets' top prospects are products of the international market—RHP Jennry Mejia, SS Wilmer Flores, OF Fernando Martinez—where the club has spent more of its resources. 1B Ike Davis is the most promising of New York's recent draft picks.
Depth: The upper levels of the system couldn't provide enough reinforcements in 2009, but there's promise at the lower levels. A lot of the Mets' best prospects still require polish, but they do have talent.
2010 Rookies: Davis may already be New York's best option at first base, though he may get some Triple-A time before he gets the call. LHP Jon Niese and C Josh Thole could be ready for expanded roles after getting cameos last year.
26 Los Angeles Angels
Last Year's Rank: 25.
Impact Talent: C Hank Conger has an exciting bat for a catcher, though he still has to prove he can stay healthy and remain behind the plate. OF Mike Trout had one of the best tools packages among players in the 2009 draft.
Depth: Years of giving away draft picks as free-agent compensation crippled Angels drafts and took a toll on the system. Most of the organization's highest-ceiling players, such as Trout and RHPs Garrett Richards and Fabio Martinez, haven't gotten past Rookie ball.
2010 Rookies: Los Angeles has few openings for youngsters. RHP Trevor Bell could serve in middle relief and OFs Terry Evans and Chris Pettit could pull reserve duty.
27 Detroit Tigers
Last Year's Rank: 28.
Impact Talent: The Tigers love their power pitchers, and they have two of the minors' best in RHP Jacob Turner and LHP Casey Crosby.
Depth: Several of Detroit's top prospects entered the system in the past year, either through the draft (Turner, LHP Andy Oliver, SS Daniel Fields) or trades (OF Austin Jackson, LHP Daniel Schlereth), but overall the talent is still thin.
2010 Rookies: Jackson and 2B Scott Sizemore are all but assured everyday jobs to start the season. C Alex Avila's bat should earn him at least semi-regular at-bats, and Schlereth could help in the late innings.
28 Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Year's Rank: 26.
Impact Talent: RHP Jarrod Parker is easily Arizona's best and most big league-ready prospect, but after going down late last season he'll miss all of 2010 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Depth: The Diamondbacks ranked No. 1 on this list four years ago and third the year after that, but big league graduations and so-so drafts have eroded their minor league talent. Only two of our Arizona Top 10 Prospects were in the system at the beginning of 2009, and the club needs its 2009 draft (seven picks in the first two rounds, starting with 3B Bobby Borchering and OF A.J. Pollock) to be a success.
2010 Rookies: RHPs Bryan Augenstein and Kevin Mulvey are in the running for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
29 St. Louis Cardinals
Last Year's Rank: 8.
Impact Talent: RHP Shelby Miller stands out as one of the few high-ceiling players in the system, ranking as St. Louis' top prospect despite being 19 and owning just three innings of pro experience.
Depth: We overrated the Cardinals system at No. 8 a year ago, but they didn't help matters by promoting Colby Rasmus and trading many of their best prospects, most notably Brett Wallace.
2010 Rookies: LHP Jaime Garcia could crack the rotation after a successful comeback from Tommy John surgery. 3B David Freese was a frontrunner for a starting job until St. Louis signed Felipe Lopez in late February. OF/1B/3B Allen Craig could be a productive bat off the bench.
30 Houston Astros
Last Year's Rank: 30.
Impact Talent: The Astros' two best prospects are their last two first-round picks, C Jason Castro and SS Jiovanni Mier, and they're head and shoulders above the rest of the talent in the system.
Depth: Years of poor drafts, including a disaster that featured no signees before the fifth round in 2007, have crippled the system and leave it woefully thin.
2010 Rookies: SS Tommy Manzella is ticketed for a starting job, and Houston hopes he can be the second coming of Adam Everett. RHP Sammy Gervacio posted a 2.14 ERA in 21 big league innings at the end of last season. The Astros are weak at catcher, so Castro could be starting by midseason, if not sooner.Baseball America's minor league talent rankings line up organizations based on their current prospect-eligible players heading into the 2010 season. The rankings take into account both high-ceiling prospects as well as overall depth of talent, with the best organizations having both.

Rankings are by the Baseball America staff, while the text was written by Jim Callis.