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March 29, 2013

Prospects Will Break Your Heart

2013 Organizational Rankings

by Jason Parks

(Note: Players mentioned in the "Prospects To See There" sections aren't necessarily starting the season at the "Must-See Affiliate." However, they may appear there at at some point in 2013.)

1. St. Louis Cardinals
Ranking in 2012: 3
State of the Farm: Built on high-impact talent and depth, the Cardinals have an elite farm system and could maintain the top spot in 2014 even with the likely promotions of Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, and the best pure bat in the minors, Oscar Taveras.
Top Prospect: Oscar Taveras
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Charlie Tilson and Tyrell Jenkins
Prospects on BP 101: 7
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Memphis
Prospects To See There: Oscar Taveras, Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez, Trevor Rosenthal, Michael Wacha, Kolten Wong, Matt Adams
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Matt Slater, John Vuch, Dan Kantrovitz

 

2.  Texas Rangers
Ranking in 2012: 6
State of the Farm: Having Jurickson Profar at the top of the list doesn’t hurt, but the low-level depth—especially on the positional side—is what makes this one of the best systems in the game.
Top Prospect: Jurickson Profar
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Lewis Brinson and Yohander Mendez
Prospects on BP 101: 6
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Hickory
Prospects To See There: Jorge Alfaro, Ronald Guzman, Luis Marte, Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, Lewis Brinson, Nick Williams
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Jayce Tingler, Jake Krug, Mike Daly, AJ Preller, Kip Fagg, Josh Boyd

 

3:  San Diego Padres
Ranking in 2012: 1
State of the Farm: With injuries to Casey Kelly, Rymer Lirano, and Joe Wieland, the upper levels of the system have taken a hit, but the lower-level talent, especially on the mound, might be the best in baseball.
Top Prospect: Austin Hedges
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Matthew Wisler and Justin Hancock
Prospects on BP 101: 5
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Ft. Wayne
Prospects To See There: Max Fried, Joe Ross, Erik Cabrera, Tayron Guerrero, Walker Weickel
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Randy Smith, AJ Hinch, Billy Gasparino, Chad MacDonald

 

4.  Minnesota Twins
Ranking in 2012: 22
State of the Farm: Thanks to a few trades and a very good draft, the Twins jumped from near the bottom in the game to near the top, with a good blend of high-ceiling talent and depth at every level.
Top Prospect: Byron Buxton
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Jose Berrios and Romy Jimenez
Prospects on BP 101: 6
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Cedar Rapids
Prospects To See There: Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios, Luke Bard, Max Kepler, Travis
Harrison, Jorge Polanco
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Mike Radcliff, Deron Johnson, Joel Lepel

 

5.  Seattle Mariners
Ranking in 2012: 7
State of the Farm: You can find impact talent all over the Mariners farm system, both on the mound and in the field.
Top Prospect: Taijuan Walker
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Gabriel Guerrero and Luiz Gohara
Prospects on BP 101: 5
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Tacoma
Prospects To See There: Taijuan Walker, Mike Zunino, Danny Hultzen, Nick Franklin, James Paxton, Brad Miller.
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Tom McNamara, Chris Gwynn, Tim Kissner

 

6.  Pittsburgh Pirates
Ranking in 2012: 8
State of the Farm: The Pirates might have the best one-two punch in the minors in Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon, but the high ceiling talent doesn’t stop at the top of the list, as impact players Gregory Polanco, Alen Hanson, and Luis Heredia are still on the rise.
Top Prospect: Gerrit Cole
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Dilson Herrera and Adrian Sampson
Prospects on BP 101: 5
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A West Virginia
Prospects To See There: Josh Bell, Luis Heredia, Wyatt Mathisen, Tyler Glasnow, Barrett Barnes
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Greg Smith, Tyrone Brooks, Rene Gayo, Brad Fischer, Joe DelliCarri

 

7. Kansas City Royals
Ranking in 2012: 5
State of the Farm: After the trade for James Shields and Wade Davis, rumor suggested that the Royals had mortgaged their farm for the two arms, leaving the system barren and closer to the bottom tier than the top. But the reality is that the pipeline of talent is still very rich with impact potential, thanks in part to a strong infusion of Latin American talent at the lower levels of the minors.
Top Prospect: Kyle Zimmer
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Adalberto Mondesi and Miguel Almonte
Prospects on BP 101: 4
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Lexington
Prospects To See There: Adalberto Mondesi, Bubba Starling, Miguel Almonte, Humberto Arteaga, Cameron Gallagher, Terrance Gore
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): J.J. Picollo, Rene Francisco, Scott Sharp, Gene Watson, Mike Arbuckle

 

8. Tampa Bay Rays
Ranking in 2012: 13
State of the Farm: Adding Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi pushed a fringe-top 10 system firmly into the mix, with enough depth to grow into something even more substantial in the coming years.
Top Prospect: Wil Myers
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Blake Snell and Felipe Rivero
Prospects on BP 101: 5
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Durham
Prospects To See There: Wil Myers, Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Hak-Ju Lee, Alex Colome
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Chaim Bloom, James Click, Carlos Rodriguez, Jim Hoff

 

9. Houston Astros
Ranking in 2012: 26
State of the Farm: It’s a slow climb to talent legitimacy, but the Astros have taken huge steps forward in recent years, drafting high-ceiling talent and trading to bolster depth.
Top Prospect: Jonathan Singleton
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Carlos Correa and Rio Ruiz
Prospects on BP 101: 4
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Quad Cities
Prospects To See There: Carlos Correa, Rio Ruiz, Lance McCullers, Vincent Velasquez, Adrian Houser
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Quinton McCracken, Sig Mejdal, Mike Elias, Oz Ocampo, Kevin Goldstein

 

10. New York Mets
Ranking in 2012: 17
State of the Farm: Trading established big leaguers for high-ceiling minor-league talent has transformed this system from average at best to top 10 in the game.
Top Prospect: Zack Wheeler
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Domingo Tapia and Aderlin Rodriguez
Prospects on BP 101: 4
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Vegas
Prospects To See There: Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, Jeurys Familia
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Paul DePodesta, Dick Scott, J.P. Ricciardi, Tommy Tanous, Chris Becerra

 

11. Miami Marlins
Ranking in 2012: 21
State of the Farm: Thanks to good drafting and a fire sale of major-league talent, the Marlins are a much-improved system on both sides of the ball.
Top Prospect: Jose Fernandez
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Andrew Heaney and Mason Hope
Prospects on BP 101: 4
Must-See Affiliate: Double-A Jacksonville
Prospects To See There: Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich, Jake Marisnick, Andrew Heaney, Jake Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Dan Jennings, Stan Meek, Brian Chattin, Albert Gonzalez, Michael Youngberg, Marc Lippman

 

12. Chicago Cubs
Ranking in 2012: 20
State of the Farm: High-impact bats in the lower minors give the system some muscle, but it thins considerably out as you climbs the ranks.
Top Prospect: Albert Almora
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Javier Baez and Juan Carlos Paniagua
Prospects on BP 101: 4
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Kane County
Prospects To See There: Albert Almora, Dan Vogelbach, Dillon Maples, Duane Underwood, Marco Hernandez, Jeimer Candelario
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Jason McLeod, Jaron Madison, Brandon Hyde, Tim Cossins, Alex Suarez

 

13. Toronto Blue Jays
Ranking in 2012: 2
State of the Farm: The farm took a hit when top 101 prospects Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino, Travis d’Arnaud, and Noah Syndergaard were shipped out of town for an infusion of major-league talent.
Top Prospect: Aaron Sanchez
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Alberto Tirado and Matt Smoral
Prospects on BP 101: 2
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Lansing
Prospects To See There: D.J. Davis, Roberto Osuna, Daniel Norris, Alberto Tirado
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Doug Davis, Tim Leiper, Dane Johnson, Brian Parker, Jose Rosario, Luis Marquez

 

14. New York Yankees
Ranking in 2012: 15
State of the Farm: The system has some impact talent and several high-risk prospects that could develop into high-end players, but the field thins out quickly after the top tiers erode.
Top Prospect: Gary Sanchez
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Rafael De Paula and Ty Hensley
Prospects on BP 101: 2
Must-See Affiliate: High-A Tampa
Prospects To See There: Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams, Angelo Gumbs, Jose Campos
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Mark Newman, Damon Oppenheimer, John Kremer, Pat Roessler, Tom Slater

 

15. Cincinnati Reds
Ranking in 2012: 18
State of the Farm: With quality drafts and a firm foothold in the Latin American market, the Reds system has the potential to jump several spots in the coming year.
Top Prospect: Billy Hamilton
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Nick Travieso and Amir Garrett
Prospects on BP 101: 4
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Louisville
Prospects To See There: Billy Hamilton, Tony Cingrani, Daniel Corcino, Kyle Lotzkar, Donald Lutz, JJ Hoover
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Bill Bavasi, Terry Reynolds, Chris Buckley, Tony Arias, Jeff Graupe

 

16. Boston Red Sox
Ranking in 2012: 12
State of the Farm: The explosion of Xander Bogaerts and the development of recent draftees Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Matt Barnes continue to push the system forward.
Top Prospect: Xander Bogaerts
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Henry Owens and Manuel Margot
Prospects on BP 101: 4
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Pawtucket
Prospects To See There: Jose Iglesias, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Jr, Allen Webster, Bryce Brentz
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Allard Baird, David Finley, Eddie Bane, Jared Banner, Ben Crockett, Eddie Romero, Amiel Sawdaye

 

17. Arizona Diamondbacks
Ranking in 2012: 9
State of the Farm: The Bauer-for-Gregorious swap didn’t favor the DBacks, and the haul for Justin Upton wasn’t of the high-end prospect variety, leaving the system down from the previous year.
Top Prospect: Tyler Skaggs
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Stryker Trahan and Jose Munoz
Prospects on BP 101: 4
Must-See Affiliate: Double-A Mobile
Prospects To See There: Archie Bradley, Chris Owings, Andrew Chaffin, Anthony Meo, David Holmberg
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Ray Montgomery, Mike Bell, Brendan Domaracki, Ryan Issac

 

18. Atlanta Braves
Ranking in 2012: 10
State of the Farm: Down from the previous year because of some upper-level stagnation, trades, and recent draft hauls that haven’t produced enough impact fruit.
Top Prospect: Julio Teheran
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Mauricio Cabrera and Andry Ubiera
Prospects on BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Gwinnett
Prospects To See There: Julio Teheran, Sean Gilmartin, Evan Gattis, JR Graham
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): John Coppolella, Tony DeMacio, Johnny Almaraz, Bruce Manno

 

19. Cleveland Indians
Ranking in 2012: 24
State of the Farm: It’s a weird system because it features a lot of talent, including two of the top 30 prospects in the game, but the majority of that talent has yet to take the step forward in status, so the overall grade suffers as a result.
Top Prospect: Francisco Lindor
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Mitch Brown and Anthony Santander
Prospects on BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: High-A Carolina
Prospects To See There: Francisco Lindor, Luigi Rodriguez, Tony Wolters
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Ross Atkins, John Mirabelli, Brad Grant, Steve Lubratich, Ramon Pena, Derek Falvey

 

20. Baltimore Orioles
Ranking in 2012: 16
State of the Farm: Bundy and Gausman are two monsters near the top of the prospect food chain, but the depth quickly escapes the system, as the second tier has some promise, but the third and fourth tier are barren.
Top Prospect: Dylan Bundy
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Josh Hader and Hector Veloz
Prospects on BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Norfolk
Prospects To See There: Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop, LJ Hoes, Xavier Avery
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Gary Rajsich, Dan Duquette, Mike Snyder, John Stockstill, Rick Peterson, Brian Graham

 

21. Los Angeles Dodgers
Ranking in 2012: 19
State of the Farm: Puig could be scary, and Seager, Lee, and Garcia are nice pieces, but the quality starts to diminish when you peel back the layers.
Top Prospect: Yasiel Puig
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Zachary Bird and Julio Urias
Prospects on BP 101: 2
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Albuquerque
Prospects To See There: Yasiel Puig, Zach Lee, Chris Withrow, Chris Reed, Matt Magill, Onelki Garcia
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Logan White, De Jon Watson, Bob Engle, Vance Lovelace, Rick Ragazzo, Jody Reed

 

22. Colorado Rockies
Ranking in 2012: 14
State of the Farm: It’s not so much that the Rockies took a big step back, it’s that they just didn’t take a big step forward. They have a solid top tier of talent, but the air gets thin as you go down the list.
Top Prospect: Trevor Story
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Chad Bettis and Eddie Butler
Prospects on BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: High-A Modesto
Prospects To See There: Trevor Story, Will Swanner, Tyler Anderson, David Dahl
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Jeff Bridich, Zach Wilson, Rolando Fernandez, Marc Gustafson, Jon Well

 

23. Washington Nationals
Ranking in 2012: 11
State of the Farm: Impact talent that comes at a high risk, as six of the top 10 prospects in the system have medical red flags or substantial arm surgeries on their resume. 
Top Prospect: Anthony Rendon
Breakout Candidates for 2013: AJ Cole and Estarlin Martinez
Prospects on BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: Double-A Harrisburg
Prospects To See There: Nate Karns, Brian Goodwin, Michael Taylor, Sammy Solis, Matt Skole
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Bob Boone, Roy Clark, Kris Kline, Johnny DiPuglia, Kasey McKeon, Doug Harris

 

24. Philadelphia Phillies
Ranking in 2012: 29
State of the Farm: Suspect depth and limited high impact, but the system isn’t without potential, as some of the under-the-radar names could take big steps forward in 2013.
Top Prospect: Jesse Biddle
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Maikel Franco and Carlos Tocci
Prospects on BP 101: 1
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Lehigh Valley
Prospects To See There: Adam Morgan, Tommy Joseph, Ethan Martin, Cody Asche, Jonathan Pettibone, Darin Ruf, Phillippe Aumont, Jake Diekman
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Pat Gillick, Joe Jordan, Gordon Lakey, Steve Noworyta, Marti Wolever, Benny Looper

 

25. Oakland Athletics
Ranking in 2012: 4
State of the Farm: Russell could end up as a the top prospect in the game and the lower levels have some nice depth, but minor-league trades for major-league talent have taken a bite out of the system.
Top Prospect: Addison Russell
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Nolan Sanburn and Renato Nunez
Prospects on BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Sacramento
Prospects To See There: Michael Choice, Dan Straily, Sonny Gray, Miles Head
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Billy Owens, Eric Kubota, Dan Feinstein, Keith Lieppman, Sam Geaney, David Forst

 

26. San Francisco Giants
Ranking in 2012: 25
State of the Farm: Good pitching depth and a few high-impact types in the top 10, but the system falls off very quickly and lacks a punch on the offensive side of the ball.
Top Prospect: Kyle Crick
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Adalberto Mejia and Mac Williamson
Prospects on BP 101: 2
Must-See Affiliate: High-A San Jose
Prospects To See There: Kyle Crick, Clayton Blackburn, Chris Stratton, Martin Agosta
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Dick Tidrow, Bobby Evans, John Barr, Jeremy Shelley, Fred Stanley

 

27. Milwaukee Brewers
Ranking in 2012: 28
State of the Farm: They top three prospects in their system might end up as relievers, and there is very little impact potential waiting in the wings. 
Top Prospect: Wily Peralta
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Jorge Lopez and Victor Roache
Prospects on BP 101: 2
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Nashville
Prospects To See There: Wily Peralta, Tyler Thornburg, Johnny Hellweg, Scooter Gennett
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Reid Nichols, Dick Groch, Bruce Seid, Zach Minasian, Charlie Greene, Rick Tomlin 

 

28. Chicago White Sox
Ranking in 2012: 30
State of the Farm: Up two spots from last season and showing more signs of life. Who says Baseball Prospectus hates the White Sox?
Top Prospect: Courtney Hawkins
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Chris Beck and Myles Jaye
Prospects on BP 101: 0
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Kannapolis
Prospects To See There: Keon Barnum, Myles Jaye, Chris Beck
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Doug Laumann, Grace Guerrero Zwit, Nick Capra, J.J. Lally, Kirk Champion

 

29. Detroit Tigers
Ranking in 2012: 27
State of the Farm: A few nice players up top that could play a major league role in 2013, and they always have a promising layer of Venezuelan depth at the lower levels that could step up and boost the ranking significantly in the coming years, but as it stands now, the system as a whole falls short.
Top Prospect: Nick Castellanos
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Jake Thompson and Harold Castro
Prospects on BP 101: 1
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Toledo
Prospects To See There: Nick Castellanos, Avisail Garcia, Casey Crosby, Bruce Rondon
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Scott Reid, Manny Crespo, Miguel Garcia, Tom Moore, Dan Lunetta, David Chadd, Scott Pleis, Scott Bream

 

30. Los Angeles Angels
Ranking in 2012: 23
State of the Farm: It’s a very thin system with limited depth and upside, but the ghost of Mike Trout will live on the farm for a very long time.
Top Prospect: Kaleb Cowart
Breakout Candidates for 2013: R.J. Alvarez and Austin Wood
Prospects on BP 101: 1
Must-See Affiliate: High-A Inland Empire
Prospects To See There: Kaleb Cowart, R.J. Alvarez, Austin Wood, Eric Stamets
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Scott Servais, Hal Morris, Justin Hollander, Bobby Scales, Ric Wilson, Carlos Gomez

Last year's organizational rankings

*Special thanks to Hudson Belinsky for researching and recommending the must-see affiliates for each team.

Jason Parks is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here

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