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2021 MLB Organization Talent Rankings

Wander Franco Tomdipace (2)
(Photo by Tom DiPace)

Led by No. 1 prospect Wander Franco, Randy Arozarena and an extremely deep and varied group of middle infielders and talented pitchers, the Tampa Bay Rays once again rank as Baseball America’s No. 1 farm system.

On their way to a World Series appearance last year, the Rays topped the 2020 organizational talent rankings as well.

Seattle, which ranked dead last in 2018, has climbed to No. 2, which ties the Mariners' best-ever ranking.

Baseball America’s organizational talent rankings began in 1984. Every year, Baseball America looks at the totality of a farm system’s talent, with an emphasis on top prospects but also factoring in the depth of the organization’s prospect ranks.

The Rays are the sixth team to rank No. 1 in back-to-back years. The others are the Mets (1984-1985), the Braves (1994-1995), the Brewers (2003-2004), the Rays (2007-2008) and the Braves (2017-2018).

Topping this list also means that the Rays have ranked No. 1 five times, which trails only the Braves (6).

30 Matches
See Full List Expand Collapse All Updated on: 2/10/2021
  1. 1
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    Tampa Bay Rays

    Notes:

    2020: 1 | 2019: 2 | 2018: 5 | 2017: 11 | 2016: 13 | 2015: 17 | 2014: 20


    Top 100 Prospects (6): SS Wander Franco (1), OF Randy Arozarena (17), RHP Luis Patiño (23), 2B Vidal Brujan (56), LHP Shane McClanahan (100)


    The Skinny: The Rays can match anyone in top-tier prospects, but it’s the club’s exceptional depth, especially in middle infielders and arms, that earns the top spot. The Rays will likely have to trade some of their depth because they have surpluses at some positions.

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    Seattle Mariners

    Notes:

    2020: 5 | 2019: 14 | 2018: 30 | 2017: 21 | 2016: 28 | 2015: 24 | 2014: 25


    Top 100 Prospects (5): OF Julio Rodriguez (3), OF Jarred Kelenic (4), RHP Logan Gilbert (35), RHP Emerson Hancock (57), SS Noelvi Marte (73)


    The Skinny: In 2018, Seattle ranked dead last in our talent rankings. Trades, astute international amateur signings and excellent pitching development have turned the system around.

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    Toronto Blue Jays

    Notes:

    2020: 6 | 2019: 3 | 2018: 8 | 2017: 20 | 2016: 24 | 2015: 9 | 2014: 15


    Top 100 Prospects (6): RHP Nate Pearson (14), SS Austin Martin (19), SS Jordan Groshans (34), RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (69), C Alejandro Kirk (70), SS Orelvis Martinez (96)


    The Skinny: The Blue Jays' system has a mix of impact talent and depth throughout the organization, from players who should be 2021 contributors down to emerging talent at the lower levels. Nate Pearson is a potential frontline starter in the No. 1 spot, but the greatest strength of the system is its hitters, particularly in the infield and behind the plate.

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    Detroit Tigers

    Notes:

    2020: 11 |  2019: 15 | 2018: 20 | 2017: 25 | 2016: 26 | 2015: 30 | 2014: 28


    Top 100 Prospects (5): 1B Spencer Torkelson (5), LHP Tarik Skubal (20), RHP Casey Mize (28), RHP Matt Manning (30), OF Riley Greene (31)


    The Skinny: Having the No. 1 overall pick twice in a three-year span has its benefits. The Tigers are still loaded with more arms than bats, but the additions of Greene and Torkelson has helped diversify what had been a very pitching-dominated system.

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    Atlanta Braves

    Notes:

    2020: 4 | 2019: 4 | 2018: 1 | 2017: 1 | 2016: 3 | 2015: 29 | 2014: 26


    Top 100 Prospects (3): OF Cristian Pache (7), RHP Ian Anderson (8), OF Drew Waters (32)


    The Skinny: This is the sixth consecutive year the Braves have a top-five system. They won’t next year. Atlanta’s system is very top heavy, which means once Ian Anderson, Cristian Pache, Bryse Wilson and William Contreras graduate, the system will be much thinner.

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    San Diego Padres

    Notes:

    2020: 2 | 2019: 1 | 2018: 3 | 2017: 9 | 2016: 25 | 2015: 14 | 2014: 6


    Top 100 Prospects (7): LHP MacKenzie Gore (10), SS C.J. Abrams (11), C Luis Campusano (36), LHP Adrian Morejon (76), SS Ha-Seong Kim (78), LHP Ryan Weathers (84), OF Robert Hassell (85)


    The Skinny: The Padres have traded 29 prospects—and 12 young, recently graduated major leaguers—in the last 16 months. Despite that, they still have the most Top 100 Prospects of any team, including an elite pitching prospect in lefthander MacKenzie Gore and an elite position player prospect in shortstop CJ Abrams.

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    Baltimore Orioles

    Notes:

    2020: 12 | 2019: 22 | 2018: 17 | 2017: 27 | 2016: 27 | 2015: 28 | 2014: 12


    Top 100 prospects (5): C Adley Rutschman (2), RHP Grayson Rodriguez (22), LHP D.L. Hall (59), OF Heston Kjerstad (62), OF/1B Ryan Mountcastle (63)


    The Skinny: In the 37 years of Baseball America farm system rankings, this is the Orioles’ highest-ever rank. Yes, the O’s had the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft and picked second in 2020, but it’s the new emphasis on Latin America and better depth that has them climbing the ranks.

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    Minnesota Twins

    Notes:

    2020: 8 | 2019: 7 | 2018: 12 | 2017: 22 | 2016: 10 | 2015: 2 | 2014: 3


    Top 100 prospects (4): OF Alex Kirilloff (18), SS Royce Lewis (29), OF Trevor Larnach (39), C Ryan Jeffers (60)


    The Skinny: The astute pick and development of Jeffers has been a nice bonus for what remains a deep system. Minnesota’s depth is better among bats than arms and many of the team’s top prospects should graduate in the next year.

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    Los Angeles Dodgers

    Notes:

    2020: 3 | 2019: 9 | 2018: 9 | 2017: 2 | 2016: 1 | 2015: 3 | 2014: 14


    Top 100 Prospects (3): C Keibert Ruiz (53), RHP Josiah Gray (68), 2B Michael Busch (87)


    The Skinny: The defending World Series champions graduated a steady stream of homegrown stars to become baseball’s best team, including Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Walker Buehler within the last five years. While the top of their system no longer contains the same star power, the Dodgers immense depth has them primed to continue debuting impact players for years to come.

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    Cleveland Indians

    Notes:

    2020: 19 | 2019: 16 | 2018: 21 | 2017: 18 | 2016: 17 | 2015: 23 | 2014: 17


    Top 100 prospects (4): RHP Triston McKenzie (26), 3B Nolan Jones (45), SS/2B Andres Gimenez (66), SS Tyler Freeman (82)


    The Skinny: Cleveland’s ability to target amateur pitchers with plus command and improve their stuff to match the command has paid off handsomely. But the ability of Cleveland’s close-to-the-majors bats to step up will be vital to the team’s attempts to remain in contention in the post-Francisco Lindor era.

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    Miami Marlins

    Notes:

    2020: 9 | 2019: 13 | 2018: 24 | 2017: 29 | 2016: 29 | 2015: 25 | 2014: 27


    Top 100 Prospects (6): RHP Sixto Sanchez (6), OF JJ Bleday (43), RHP Max Meyer (44), SS Jazz Chisholm (77), RHP Edward Cabrera (81), LHP Trevor Rogers (89)


    The Skinny: With six Top 100 prospects and a solid prospect list well into the teens, the Marlins are behind only the Braves among NL East teams and could leapfrog the Braves in these rankings next season. Miami needs one or two outfielders from a deep group to take a big step forward in 2021.

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    St. Louis Cardinals

    Notes:

    2020: 13 | 2019: 10 | 2018: 13 | 2017: 12 | 2016: 14 | 2015: 15 | 2014: 7


    Top 100 prospects (3): OF Dylan Carlson (9), LHP Matthew Liberatore (46), 3B Nolan Gorman (54)


    The Skinny: The Cardinals are more notable for depth than top-end talent right now. Somehow a trade for Nolan Arenado didn’t do much to diminish that depth. Having five of the top 100 picks in the 2020 draft provides a number of options for high-ceiling prospects to jump onto the Top 100 Prospects list in 2022 or 2023.

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    Pittsburgh Pirates

    Notes:

    2020: 23 | 2019: 18 | 2018: 16 | 2017: 7 | 2016: 11 | 2015: 7 | 2014: 1


    Top 100 prospects (4): 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes (15), SS Oneil Cruz (50), 2B/SS Nick Gonzales (51), RHP Quinn Priester (58)


    The Skinny: Unlike the previous regime, Pittsburgh targeted high-risk, but higher upside in its offseason trades. Many of those prospects will likely wash out, but it has helped Pittsburgh replenish its farm system with players with the potential to be quality everyday regulars.

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    Kansas City Royals

    Notes:

    2020: 18 | 2019: 27 | 2018: 29 | 2017: 26 | 2016: 21 | 2015: 13 | 2014: 8


    Top 100 prospects (4): SS Bobby Witt Jr. (16), LHP Daniel Lynch (25), LHP Asa Lacy (37), RHP Jackson Kowar (95)


    The Skinny: This remains a very pitching-heavy group, but Witt leads the way. If he develops into an asset offensively and defensively at shortstop, it provides an anchor for a team that still needs to find some more big bats for the future.

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    San Francisco Giants

    Notes:

    2020: 14 | 2019: 28 | 2018: 25 | 2017: 24 | 2016: 19 | 2015: 26 | 2014: 19


    Top 100 prospects (3): SS Marco Luciano (12), C Joey Bart (41), OF Heliot Ramos (83)


    The Skinny: The Giants' strength comes from a ton of potentially impact position players spread throughout their system. From Marco Luciano, Luis Matos and Alexander Canario in the lower levels to Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos up above, San Francisco has a wealth of talent around the diamond. The system is short on pitching, however, with just five players in its Top 30 who project as big league starters.

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    Arizona Diamondbacks

    Notes:

    2020: 10 | 2019: 21 | 2018: 26 | 2017: 28 | 2016: 22 | 2015: 6 | 2014: 13


    Top 100 Prospects (5): OF Corbin Carroll (42), C/OF Daulton Varsho (67), SS Geraldo Perdomo (75), OF Kristian Robinson (93), OF Alek Thomas (94)


    The Skinny: The D-Backs’ 2020 draft added some closer-to-the-majors arms to a system already well-stocked with toolsy position players who carry plenty of risk. A return to form from RHP Corbin Martin or a step forward by RHP Conor Grammes or RHP Levi Kelly could provide a boost in 2021. 

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    Chicago Cubs

    Notes:

    2020: 22 | 2019: 29 | 2018: 28 | 2017: 16 | 2016: 20 | 2015: 1 | 2014: 4


    Top 100 prospects (2): LHP Brailyn Marquez (52), OF Brennen Davis (72)


    The Skinny: After years of trading prospects for veterans during their competitive window, the Cubs have pivoted and begun trading veterans for prospects in an attempt to reload the farm system. The Yu Darvish trade gave them four talented but far-away prospects to work with, improving the depth behind a respectable top of the system that includes lefthander Brailyn Marquez and outfielder Brennen Davis.

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    New York Yankees

    Notes:

    2020: 17 | 2019: 20 | 2018: 2 | 2017: 3 | 2016: 16 | 2015: 19 | 2014: 18


    Top 100 prospects (3): OF Jasson Dominguez (33), RHP Deivi Garcia (55), RHP Clarke Schmidt (64)


    The Skinny: Though they are fronted by an uber-talented teenager and a pair of big league-ready righthanders, much of the Yankees' value on the farm lies in its upside. Twenty-four of their Top 30 Prospects haven't played above A-ball, and 14 haven't reached a full-season level. Their group is also heavy on hard-throwing righthanders, a demographic that makes up 13 of the Top 30.

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    Cincinnati Reds

    Notes:

    2020: 28 | 2019: 8 | 2018: 10 | 2017: 13 | 2016: 12 | 2015: 16 | 2014: 16


    Top 100 prospects (2): SS Jose Garcia (79), OF Austin Hendrick (97)


    The Skinny: The Reds have just barely moved out of the bottom third of farm systems, but considering they ranked 28th last year, that’s a leap. The Reds have a number of candidates to jump into or return to the Top 100 like RHP Hunter Greene, 3B Rece Hinds and LHP Nick Lodolo, so they could climb further over the next year.

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    Boston Red Sox

    Notes:

    2020: 20 | 2019: 30 | 2018: 23 | 2017: 14 | 2016: 4 | 2015: 5 | 2014: 2


    Top 100 prospects (3): 1B Triston Casas (47), 2B/SS Jeter Downs (71), 1B/3B Bobby Dalbec (90)


    The Skinny: The Red Sox didn’t have a first-round pick in 2019 and have only had four picks in the top 50 in the past four drafts. Next year the Red Sox will pick fourth, which should add some top-end talent to a slowly-improving farm system.

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    Chicago White Sox

    Notes:

    2020: 7 | 2019: 6 | 2018: 4 | 2017: 5| 2016: 23 | 2015: 20 | 2014: 24


    Top 100 Prospects (4): 1B Andrew Vaughn (21), RHP Michael Kopech (24), 2B Nick Madrigal (40), LHP Garrett Crochet (74)


    The Skinny: Chicago's system is a bit better than would have been expected because neither Nick Madrigal nor Michael Kopech graduated. It also got an infusion of high-end pitching from the 2020 draft thanks to the additions of lefty fireballer Garrett Crochet and righty Jared Kelley. The system is top-heavy, though, and falls off quite a bit after the Top 10.

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    Los Angeles Angels

    Notes:

    2020: 16 | 2019: 12 | 2018: 14 | 2017: 30 | 2016: 30 | 2015: 27 | 2014: 30


    Top 100 prospects (2): OF Jo Adell (13), OF Brandon Marsh (38)


    The Skinny: Los Angeles’ farm system is no longer the group that finished 30th in baseball three times in four years in the middle of last decade, but it remains a farm system that does not have many players who project as future MLB regulars.

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    New York Mets

    Notes:

    2020: 25 | 2019: 19 | 2018: 27 | 2017: 15 | 2016: 15 | 2015: 4 | 2014: 10


    Top 100 prospects (3): C Francisco Alvarez (48), SS Ronny Mauricio (65), RHP Matt Allan (98)


    The Skinny: The top of the Mets' system packs a punch but lacks proximity. Trades of quality prospects from recent draft classes—Jarred Kelenic and Simeon Woods Richardson (2018), Josh Wolf (2019) and Isaiah Greene (2020)—have thinned system depth significantly.

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    Texas Rangers

    Notes:

    2020: 21 | 2019: 25 | 2018: 22 | 2017: 23 | 2016: 7 | 2015: 11 | 2014: 9


    Top 100 prospects (1): 3B Josh Jung (49)


    The Skinny: The Rangers haven't drafted or developed well for nearly a decade, but they have a young contingent of position players in the lower minors who give their current farm system some long-term potential. Their pitching depth has been decimated by Tommy John surgeries, however, a trend that has to reverse course for Texas to return to prominence in the major leagues.

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    Colorado Rockies

    Notes:

    2020: 29 | 2019: 24 | 2018: 19 | 2017: 10 | 2016: 6 | 2015: 8 | 2014: 11


    Top 100 prospects (2): SS/2B Brendan Rodgers (61), Zac Veen (86)


    The Skinny: This is the fourth consecutive year that the Rockies have ranked in the bottom third of MLB farm systems. Trading away Nolan Arenado did help their depth but it did not improve their ranking. Colorado does have plenty of first base prospects.

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