Have The Blue Jays Ever Had A Top Three Farm System Before?
The Blue Jays rank third in BA’s midseason org talent rankings. Have they ever ranked this highly before?
-Pete Toms (@PeteToms)
BA:They have, but it’s been quite a while. In the 21st century, the Blue Jays have generally been a middle-of-the-pack farm system, with an average rank of 14th. The Blue Jays ranked as high as fourth in 2011 and fifth in 2012 with a group that included future big leaguers Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, Joe Musgrove, Travis D’Arnaud, Daniel Norris, Kevin Pillar, Adeiny Hechavarria and Jake Marisnick, but they haven’t cracked the top three since the last time the Blue Jays were on top of the baseball world, when the Blue Jays won back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993.
The Blue Jays have ranked No. 1 in our organization talent rankings on three separate occasions. Through much of the 1980s and early 1990s, the Blue Jays were the gold standard when it came to drafting and player development. Toronto never ranked lower than eighth in our farm system rankings from 1986 to 1996. The club ranked No. 1 in 1987 and 1988 as well as 1993 and ranked second an additional two more times.
The 1987-1988 Blue Jays farm system included Glenallen Hill, Todd Stottlemyre, David Wells, Duane Ward, Jose Mesa, Pat Borders, Pat Hentgen, Luis Sojo, Mark Whiten and Derek Bell. The 1993 group included Bell, Alex Gonzalez, Carlos Delgado, Hentgen, Steve Karsay, Graeme Lloyd, Ed Sprague, Shawn Green and Shannon Stewart. The Blue Jays ranked third in 1993 and 1994 as well. The 1994 group included Gonzalez, Delgado, Green and Stewart from the previous list as well as Chris Carpenter.
This current Blue Jays group probably doesn’t have the depth of those late 1980s or early 1990s groups, but they do have a better top prospect–Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is our current No. 1 prospect in baseball. The Blue Jays have never had a No. 1 prospect before (and technically, Guerrero has to hold the No. 1 prospect ranking into the offseason to be the team’s first). Guerrero’s No. 3 ranking coming into the season already tied John Olerud (1990) for the highest-ranked prospect in organization history.
It’s a similar story for our current No. 1 farm system. San Diego has never ranked No. 1 in an offseason farm system ranking. In fact, the Padres’ No. 3 ranking coming into the 2018 season is the highest the organization has been since 1987 when a loaded system (Roberto Alomar, Sandy Alomar Jr., Benito Santiago, Carlos Baerga and Dave Hollis) ranked No. 2.