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MLB Farm System Rankings In The NL Central

Nolan_Gorman_PaulGierhart.jpg
Nolan Gorman (Photo by Paul Gierhart)

Farm System Talent Rankings

Last Three Years
Team201820172016
Chicago Cubs281620
Cincinnati Reds91312
Milwaukee Brewers1189
Pittsburgh Pirates16711
St. Louis Cardinals131214


Chicago Cubs Farm System Overview For 2019

SEE THE CUBS TOP 10 PROSPECTS

SEE THE CUBS PROSPECTS CHAT 

NOTABLE GRADUATIONS: C/1B Victor Caratini (4), 3B David Bote (12).

TRENDING: The Cubs hope their 2018 draft class will help restock a lower-tier farm system.

STRENGTHS: After stripping the system of its best parts during its run to the World Series in 2016 and the playoffs in 2017, the Cubs’ system is in a bit of a transitional period. In the 2018 draft, the team went back to what it did well: Evaluating hitters. Four of the system’s top five prospects are hitters, and each shows potential for impact.

WEAKNESSES: Conversely, the Cubs have had a devil of a time developing pitchers, which is why they were forced to acquire arms like Jon Lester, Jose Quintana and Yu Darvish to buttress their collection of young, talented hitters. Many of team’s higher-profile homegrown arms have either stalled or washed out in recent years, leaving the big league club with few internal answers when help has been needed. Brailyn Marquez is the most promising young arm, but he’s years away from helping.

Chicago Cubs Projected 2022 Lineup

(Listed with 2022 season age)

Willson Contreras 29
1B Anthony Rizzo 32
2B Javier Baez 29
3B Kris Bryant 30
SS Nico Hoerner 25
LF Kyle Schwarber 29
CF Albert Almora 29
RF Ian Happ 27
SP Jose Quintana 33
SP Yu Darvish 35
SP Kyle Hendricks 32
SP Brailyn Marquez 23
SP Adbert Alzolay 27
CL Carl Edwards Jr. 30

SEE THE CUBS TOP 10 MLB PROSPECTS

Cincinnati Reds Farm System Overview For 2019

SEE THE REDS TOP 10 PROSPECTS

SEE THE REDS PROSPECTS CHAT 

NOTABLE GRADUATIONS: RHP Tyler Mahle (4), OF Jesse Winker (5), Phillip Ervin (19).

TRENDING: The Reds keep stockpiling high first-round picks, and the fruits from those drafts should begin impacting Cincinnati in 2019 and 2020.

STRENGTHS:  The Reds have a strong, deep group of infielders staggered throughout the system, headlined by Nick Senzel in the upper levels and Jonathan India lower in the system. Jeter Downs was also part of that group before being traded to the Dodgers. A strong group of righthanders has emerged as well, led by Hunter Greene, Tony Santillan and Vladimir Gutierrez.

WEAKNESSES:  Outside of Senzel and outfielder Taylor Trammell, most of the Reds talent is in the lower levels of the system and multiple years away from helping. While their pitching crop is solid, the organization has long failed to successfully develop starting pitchers, from Cody Reed to Robert Stephenson to Brandon Finnegan to Amir Garrett. Even their two successes—Tyler Mahle and Luis Castillo—stumbled last season, leaving plenty of valid skepticism whether or not the pitchers will reach their ceilings as members of the Reds organization.

Cincinnati Reds Projected 2022 Lineup

(Listed with 2022 season age)

Tyler Stephenson 25
1B Joey Votto 38
2B Jonathan India 25
3B Eugenio Suarez 30
SS Jose Peraza 28
LF Nick Senzel 27
CF Taylor Trammell 24
RF Jesse Winker 28
SP Luis Castillo 29
SP Hunter Greene 23
SP Tony Santillan 25
SP Tyler Mahle 27
SP Vladimir Gutierrez 26
CL Raisel Iglesias 32

SEE THE REDS TOP 10 MLB PROSPECTS

Milwaukee Brewers Farm System Overview For 2019

SEE THE BREWERS TOP 10 PROSPECTS

SEE THE BREWERS PROSPECTS CHAT 

NOTABLE GRADUATIONS: RHP Brandon Woodruff (1), OF Brett Phillips (5), RHP Freddy Peralta (9), RHP Taylor Williams (NR).

TRENDING: Prospect graduations of Peralta and Woodruff—and Josh Hader in 2017—plus the Christian Yelich trade equals a thinned farm system.

STRENGTHS:  The Brewers’ system depth has been thinned dramatically by graduations and the Christian Yelich trade that cost them three Top 10 Prospects. Keston Hiura is an impact bat on the horizon, and while the position players beyond him are not necessarily sure bets, at least Corey Ray, Brice Turang and Mauricio Dubon all play up the middle. Corbin Burnes is big league tested and ready for an expanded role, alongside 2018 rookie breakthroughs Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta.

WEAKNESSES:  Outside of Hiura and Burnes, the Brewers might not have another significant rookie contributor in 2019 or 2020. That should be more than enough for a major league team with a young lineup and rotation and Josh Hader, the most electrifying young reliever in baseball. Catcher is a position of need, so Jacob Nottingham’s development will be important.

Milwaukee Brewers Projected 2022 Lineup

(Listed with 2022 season age)

Jacob Nottingham 27
1B Jesus Aguilar 32
2B Keston Hiura 25
3B Travis Shaw 30
SS Orlando Arcia 27
LF Lorenzo Cain 36
CF Corey Ray 27
RF Christian Yelich 30
SP Corbin Burnes 27
SP Brandon Woodruff 29
SP Jimmy Nelson 33
SP Freddy Peralta 26
SP Zach Davies 29
CL Josh Hader 28

SEE THE BREWERS TOP 10 MLB PROSPECTS

Pittsburgh Pirates Farm System Overview For 2019

SEE THE PIRATES TOP 10 PROSPECTS

SEE THE PIRATES PROSPECTS CHAT 

NOTABLE GRADUATIONS: 3B Colin Moran (9), RHP Nick Kingham (10), OF Jordan Luplow (13), 2B Max Moroff (16), RHP Edgar Santana (23), RHP Kyle Crick (18 in Giants’ system), RHP Richard Rodriguez (NR)

TRENDING: The Pirates traded Luplow and Moroff to the Indians, clearing the way for the next wave of prospects with modest ceilings.

STRENGTHS:  The Pirates’ infield of the future could take shape over the next few seasons with third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, second baseman Kevin Kramer and shortstops Cole Tucker and Kevin Newman all beginning 2019 at Triple-A or higher. The system also is on the verge of producing major league outfielders in the form of Bryan Reynolds and Jason Martin. While not all of these prospects have high ceilings, they do have proximity value. Shortstop Oneil Cruz and outfielder Calvin Mitchell have ceilings as big league regulars, but they are slated for high Class A and are at least three years away.

WEAKNESSES: Beyond No. 1 prospect Mitch Keller, the Pirates don’t have any other top-flight pitching prospects to plug into the rotation the next few seasons. Losing Tyler Glasnow and 2017 first-rounder Shane Baz in the Chris Archer trade diminished their depth.

Pittsburgh Pirates Projected 2022 Lineup

(Listed with 2022 season age)

C Elias Diaz 31
1B Josh Bell 29
2B Kevin Kramer 28
3B Ke'Bryan Hayes 25
SS Cole Tucker 25
LF Gregory Polanco 30
CF Travis Swaggerty 24
RF Oneil Cruz 24
SP Jameson Taillon 30
SP Mitch Keller 26
SP Joe Musgrove 29
SP Trevor Williams 30
SP Steven Brault 30
CL Felipe Vazquez 30

SEE THE PIRATES TOP 10 PROSPECTS


St. Louis Cardinals Farm System Overview For 2019

SEE THE CARDINALS TOP 10 PROSPECTS

SEE THE CARDINALS PROSPECTS CHAT 

NOTABLE GRADUATIONS:RHP Jack Flaherty (2), RHP Jordan Hicks (5), OF Harrison Bader (6), LHP Austin Gomber (14), UT Yairo Munoz (17), C Francisco Peña (NR).

TRENDING: A robust 2018 rookie class will be followed by another strong group, including top prospects Alex Reyes and Tyler O’Neill.

STRENGTHS:  Even after graduating Jack Flaherty and Austin Gomber, the Cardinals still have a rich array of upper-level arms. Alex Reyes, Dakota Hudson and Daniel Poncedeleon have already shown they are effective big league pitchers, while fireballers Genesis Cabrera and Ryan Helsley spent time in Triple-A in 2018 and should reach the majors in 2019. Nolan Gorman, Elehuris Montero and Malcom Nuñez all rank in the top 10 and make up one of the best groups of third base prospects in the game.

WEAKNESSES:  The Cardinals still lack middle infielders who project as everyday players. Tommy Edman is solid but projects as a utility infielder, and the trade of Andy Young further depletes their middle infield depth. The failure of 2016 first-rounder Delvin Perez to develop has hurt the Cardinals’ depth, and they overall don’t have many long-term options up the middle.

St. Louis Cardinals Projected 2022 Lineup

(Listed with 2022 season age)

Andrew Knizner 27
1B Paul Goldschmidt 34
2B Yairo Munoz 27
3B Nolan Gorman 22
SS Paul DeJong 28
LF Elehuris Montero 23
CF Harrison Bader 28
RF Tyler O'Neill 27
SP Carlos Martinez 30
SP Alex Reyes 27
SP Jack Flaherty 26
SP Miles Mikolas 33
SP Dakota Hudson 27
CL Jordan Hicks 25

SEE THE CARDINALS TOP 10 PROSPECTS

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