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February 26, 2014

Prospects Will Break Your Heart

2014 Organizational Rankings

by Jason Parks


1. Minnesota Twins
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 4
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: No team in baseball can boast the same level of top tier talent on both sides of the ball and impressive depth at every level.
Top Prospect: Byron Buxton (1)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Lewis Thorpe and Jorge Polanco
Prospects on the BP 101: 8
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Cedar Rapids
Prospects to See There: Kohl Stewart, Felix Jorge, Stephen Gonsalves, Ryan Eades, Lewis Thorpe
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Down. It’s hard to stay on top, especially with some of the top talent in the system likely to graduate to the highest level (Sano, Meyer, Pinto)

2. Chicago Cubs
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 12
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Thanks to a strong draft, clever trades, an aggressive acquisition plan in the international market, and developmental progress from some of the big names in the system, the Cubs became one of the strongest systems in the game.
Top Prospect: Javier Baez (4)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Jeimer Candelario and Paul Blackburn
Prospects on the BP 101: 7
Must-See Affiliate: Double-A Tennessee
Prospects to See There: Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, CJ Edwards, Pierce Johnson, Dan Vogelbach
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. While its likely that several of the Cubs’ top prospects will get a taste of the majors in 2014, the majority of the talent will remain eligible for next season’s list, and if you add to the mix a high draft pick this June and an extreme amount of young depth ready to make their stateside debuts, the system could take over the coveted rank of number one in baseball.

3. Pittsburgh Pirates
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 6
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Loaded with impact talent on both sides of the ball with major-league quality depth at the complex level through Triple-A.
Top Prospect: Jameson Taillon (19)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Josh Bell and Cody Dickson
Prospects on the BP 101: 7
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A West Virginia
Prospects to See There: Austin Meadows, Reese McGuire, Harold Ramirez, Cody Dickson
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Steady. The farm could lose the top two horses in Taillon and Polanco, but the depth is strong and should keep the Pirates’ farm in the top three for years to come.

4. Boston Red Sox
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 16
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Impact talent at premium up-the-middle positions and major-leaguer caliber arms in the upper-minors.
Top Prospect: Xander Bogaerts (2)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Blake Swihart and Trey Ball
Prospects on the BP 101: 6
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Pawtucket
Prospects to See There: Garin Cecchini, Matt Barnes, Henry Owens, Christian Vazquez,
Anthony Ranaudo
Farm System Trajectory 2015: Down. As good as the depth is in the Red Sox system, losing Bogaerts, Bradley and Webster (they could also lose Barnes and Cecchini) will weaken the farm as a whole.

5. Houston Astros
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 9
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Top-heavy with three prospects in the top 25 in the game followed by a deep roster of prospects with legit major-league futures.
Top Prospect: Carlos Correa (5)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Rio Ruiz and Michael Feliz
Prospects on the BP 101: 5
Must-See Affiliate: High-A Lancaster
Prospects to See There: Carlos Correa, Mark Appel, Vince Velasquez, Lance McCullers, Rio Ruiz, Teoscar Hernandez, Andrew Thurman
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. Losing does have its advantages, as the Astros will once again be picking 1:1 in the June draft and will be allotted more money to spend on amateur acquisitions than any other team in baseball.

6. St. Louis Cardinals
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 1
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Even after losing Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha, Trevor Rosenthal, Matt Adams, and Carlos Martinez to the major-league level, the Cardinals remain a strong system, built on the star power of Oscar Taveras and the mixture of high-ceiling depth and high-floor role players throughout the system.
Top Prospect: Oscar Taveras (3)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Alexander Reyes and Carson Kelly
Prospects on the BP 101: 4
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Peoria
Prospects to See There: Alexander Reyes, Carson Kelly, Rob Kaminsky, CJ McElroy, Vaughn Bryan
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Down. Losing Taveras and Wong will sting the system, but several prospects could step forward in 2014 to keep the Cardinals in the discussion for the top 10, most notably right-hander Alex Reyes, who has a chance to follow in the footsteps of Cardinals’ recent power arms Miller, Wacha, and Martinez.

7. Kansas City Royals
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 7
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: The Royals system remains quite strong thanks to a talent infusion from the rule 4 draft and developmental progress from some of the high-ceiling talent scattered across every level.
Top Prospect: Yordano Ventura (12)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Christian Binford and Hunter Dozier
Prospects on the BP 101: 7
Must-See Affiliate: High-A Wilmington
Prospects to See There: Raul Mondesi, Miguel Almonte, Sean Manaea, Hunter Dozier, Bubba Starling, Christian Binford, Daniel Rockett, Aroni Nina
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. The Royals will lose Ventura and possibly Jason Adam, but the lower levels are stacked with talent on the developmental upswing.

8. New York Mets
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 10
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Solid blend of pitching and positional talent, ranging from high-risk/high-reward types at the lower levels to safer high-floor prospects nearing the major-league level.
Top Prospect: Noah Syndergaard (11)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Amed Rosario and Marcos Molina
Prospects on the BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: Short-Season Brooklyn
Prospects to See There: Amed Rosario, Marcos Molina, Casey Meisner, Chris Flexen, Champ Stuart
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Steady. The Mets will likely graduate four of the top five prospects in their system, but the helium from low-level talents like Rosario, Molina, and Meisner could keep the system holding strong in the top 10 in the game, despite the graduations.

9. Texas Rangers
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 2
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Losing Profar and Perez to the majors left a mark, and trading away Mike Olt and C.J. Edwards drew some blood, but the foundation of the system is still extremely strong because of the org’s ability to recognize and acquire high-ceiling talent in the amateur markets.
Top Prospect: Rougned Odor (39)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Marcos Diplan and Joey Gallo
Prospects on the BP 101: 7
Must-See Affiliate: Double-A Frisco
Prospects to See There: Rougned Odor, Luis Sardinas, Drew Robinson, Jorge Alfaro, Luke Jackson, Chi Chi Gonzalez
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. Jorge Alfaro is about to explode into a top-tier prospect in the game, and the stockpile of talent in the lower levels of the minors should start taking developmental steps forward. This should be a top 5 system next season.

10. Colorado Rockies
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 22
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Butler exploded, Gray fell in the draft, and the Grand Junction team seem to multiple talent like water being poured on a mogwai.
Top Prospect: Jonathan Gray (16)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: David Dahl and Raul Fernandez
Prospects on the BP 101: 4
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Asheville
Prospects to See There: Raimel Tapia, David Dahl, Ryan McMahon, Terry McClure,
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. Butler and Bettis will likely graduate, and Gray could force the issue by dominating in the minors. But the rest of the farm should continue to develop and evolve, and if the Low-A roster shines like the scouting reports suggest, the Rockies could be looking at a very, very strong system for the foreseeable future.

11. San Diego Padres
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 3
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Injuries to key prospects in 2013 hurt the stock, but high-ceiling arms, the top backstop in the minors, and a strong draft haul keep the farm on the edge of the top 10.
Top Prospect: Austin Hedges (18)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Franchy Cordero and Zach Eflin
Prospects on the BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: High-A Lake Elsinore
Prospects to See There: Max Fried, Zach Eflin, Joe Ross, Walker Weickel, Rodney Daal, Hunter Renfroe, Mallex Smith
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. The meat of the Padres system won’t graduate to the majors in 2014, and as Hedges, Renfroe, Fried, and Cordero continue to develop, the system as a whole is likely to take steps forward…..if they can avoid the injury bug.

12. Baltimore Orioles
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 20
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Gausman and Bundy are still frontline monsters, but a strong draft in 2013 (Harvey, Hart) and the continued development of Eduardo Rodriguez and Mike Wright have taken the system up a few notches.
Top Prospect: Kevin Gausman (10)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Chance Sisco and Stephen Tarpley
Prospects on the BP 101: 5
Must-See Affiliate: Double-A Bowie
Prospects to See There: Eduardo Rodriguez, Tim Berry, Zachary Davies, Christian Walker.
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Down. The Orioles are likely to graduate five of their top six prospects to the majors, leaving the fate of the farm on the young talent at the lower levels of the minors.

13. Toronto Blue Jays
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 13
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Despite a recent penchant for using prospects as currency to acquire major-league talent, the Jays system remains thick with high-ceiling players on both sides of the ball.
Top Prospect: Marcus Stroman (27)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Miguel Castro and Mitch Nay
Prospects on the BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Lansing
Prospects to See There: Alberto Tirado, DJ Davis, Chase DeJong, Jairo Labourt, Mitch Nay, Matt Dean, Rowdy Telez
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. The Jays have some of the best young prospect depth in baseball, and as the short-season talent start to develop at the full-season level, the system as a whole should jump into the top 10, where they are likely to stay for a very long time.

14. Los Angeles Dodgers
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 21
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Most of the top talent is more solid-average than special, but the system has a lot of major-league quality depth, and should start to push that talent to the major league level in 2014.
Top Prospect: Julio Urias (35)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Victor Arano and Jesmuel Valentin
Prospects on the BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: Double-A Chattanooga
Prospects to See There: Julio Urias, Corey Seager, Chris Anderson, Ross Stripling, Tom Windle
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Down. Urias and Seager should continue to move up the prospect hierarchy, but the Dodgers are likely to graduate several top 10 prospects to the majors in 2014.

15. Arizona Diamondbacks
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 17
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: On the surface, prospect graduations and trades appear to have thinned the system, but the continued maturation of Archie Bradley and Chris Owings, the theft of Braden Shipley in the draft and the frontline projections attached to Jose Martinez have the system ranked higher than last season.
Top Prospect: Archie Bradley (9)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Jose Martinez and Justin Williams
Prospects on the BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A South Bend
Prospects to See There: Jose Martinez, Stryker Trahan, Justin Williams, Jose Munoz, Brad Keller
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. The Dbacks will likely graduate Bradley and Owings, but Shipley and Martinez are ready to step into the spotlight to take their place, and if the lower-level talent really blossoms, this farm could end up looking even better than it does now.

16. Cincinnati Reds
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 15
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: The top tier of the farm is flashy with loud tools and high projections, and the middle contains a healthy amount of solid-average types with realistic major-league futures.
Top Prospect: Robert Stephenson (22)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Ben Lively and Jose Ortiz
Prospects on the BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: Double-A Pensacola
Prospects to See There: Robert Stephenson, Phillip Ervin, Yorman Rodriguez, Jesse Winker, Jon Moscot, Ben Lively, Michael Lorenzen, Seth Mejias-Brean
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. Losing Hamilton isn’t going to break the farm, especially with impact names like Stephenson, Winker and Ervin moving up the chain, and if the aforementioned middle tier of talent can carve out their prospect identities, the system as a whole will improve as a result.

17. Seattle Mariners
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 5
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Major league graduations to Franklin, Zunino, and Miller—and a substantial injury to former number two pick Danny Hultzen—helped depress the farm despite the frontline upside of Taijuan Walker.
Top Prospect: Taijuan Walker (13)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Edwin Diaz and Tyler O’Neill
Prospects on the BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: High-A High Desert
Prospects to See There: DJ Peterson, Victor Sanchez, Tyler Pike, Tyler Marlette, Gabby Guerrero, Ketel Marte
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Steady. The Mariners are going to lose Walker and Paxton to the majors, but the system should hold steady thanks to expected developmental progress from D.J. Peterson and A-Ball arms Edwin Diaz, Luiz Gohara, and Victor Diaz.

18. Washington Nationals
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 23
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: They have Lucas Giolito
Top Prospect: Lucas Giolito (13)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Jefry Rodriguez and Drew Ward
Prospects on the BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Hagerstown
Prospects to See There: Lucas Giolito, Drew Ward
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. Giolito could emerge as the top pitching prospect in the game, and with toolsy positional talent and projectable arms, the system as a whole could jump into the top half in the game.

19. Miami Marlins
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 11
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Losing Fernandez, Yelich, and Ozuna hurt the system, but a strong campaign from Heaney and a strong 2013 draft class keeps the farm in the top 20.
Top Prospect: Andrew Heaney (30)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Jarlin Garcia and J.T. Riddle
Prospects on the BP 101: 2
Must-See Affiliate: Double-A Jacksonville
Prospects to See There: Colin Moran, Trevor Williams, Jose Urena, Justin Nicolino, Anthony DeScalfani, Colby Suggs
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. Heaney and Marisnick will likely lose eligibility, but with expected developmental progress from Moran and Williams, and a slew of early draft picks, including the number two overall selection, the farm system is likely to take a few steps forward.

20. Cleveland Indians
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 19
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Top heavy with two studs in Francisco Lindor and Clint Frazier, and a lot of promising Latin American depth spread across the entire system, but the majority of that depth comes with considerable risk.
Top Prospect: Francisco Lindor (6)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Francisco Mejia and Dace Kime
Prospects on the BP 101: 2
Must-See Affiliate: Double-A Akron
Prospects to See There: Tyler Naquin, Cody Anderson, Luigi Rodriguez, Tony Wolters, Joe Wendle.
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. Lindor is ready for the major league test and will likely lose his prospect eligibility, but Frazier is ready to emerge as a top tier prospect in the minors, and if some of the depth can take a step forward and minimize some of the attached risk, the system as a whole should tick up a bit.

21. Chicago White Sox
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 28
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: A strong draft class and a splash in the Latin American market have given the White Sox a much needed talent infusion on the farm.
Top Prospect: Erik Johnson (67)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Tim Anderson and Francellis Montas
Prospects on the BP 101: 2
Must-See Affiliate: High-A Winston-Salem
Prospects to See There: Tim Anderson, Courtney Hawkins, Francellis Montas, Jacob May, Chris Freudenberg, Keon Barnum
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. The White Sox will lose Johnson, Davidson, Semien and Sanchez to the majors, but a strong wave of talent is forming in the lower levels, and new alpha prospect Tim Anderson is ready to emerge as a frontline talent.

22. San Francisco Giants
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 26
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Crick leads a pitching-heavy farm, with a seemingly endless supply of future number four starters up and down the system.
Top Prospect: Kyle Crick (38)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Keury Mella and Ryder Jones
Prospects on the BP 101: 1
Must-See Affiliate: Double-A Richmond
Prospects to See There: Kyle Crick, Adalberto Mejia, Clayton Blackburn, Martin
Agosta, Ty Blach, Derek Law
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. As the wave of solid-average pitching talent continues to climb towards the majors and the lower level bats like Arroyo and Jones take their cuts at the full-season level, the system as a whole should take several steps forward over the course of the next season.

23. New York Yankees
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 14
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: The Yankees have talent in the minors—which helps separate them from the poorer systems in baseball—but down years from key prospects caused the system to yo-yo from middle of the pack to the bottom third.
Top Prospect: Gary Sanchez (85)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Luis Severino and Luis Torrens
Prospects on the BP 101: 1
Must-See Affiliate: Short-Season Staten Island
Prospects to See There: Luis Severino, Luis Torrens, Ian Clarkin, Gosuke Katoh, Thairo Estrada
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. In a talented yet schizophrenic system, all it takes is a return to form from some of the more heralded names on the farm and the Yankees will shoot back up the org rankings.

24. Atlanta Braves
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 18
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: The Braves have a knack for acquiring and developing Latin American players, but the economical approach to the rule 4 draft has left the system thin on high-ceiling stateside talent.
Top Prospect: Lucas Sims (40)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Jose Peraza and Mauricio Cabrera
Prospects on the BP 101: 2
Must-See Affiliate: High-A Lynchburg
Prospects to See There: Lucas Sims, Mauricio Cabrera, Jose Peraza, Jason Hursh, Wes Parsons.
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. The bulk of the talent is still at the A-Ball level, and with expected developmental progress, the system as a whole could jump up a few spots on the list.

25. Philadelphia Phillies
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 24
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Injuries to several top prospects have taken the system down a few pegs, but the organization’s ability to find and acquire Latin American talent could pay off in a big way in the coming years.
Top Prospect: Maikel Franco (52)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: J.P. Crawford and Yoel Mecias
Prospects on the BP 101: 2
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Lakewood
Prospects to See There: Dylan Cozens, Yoel Mecias (when he returns from TJ); J.P. Crawford, Zach Green, Gabriel Lino, Cord Sandberg, Carlos Tocci
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. The Phillies should lose Franco and Biddle to the majors, but good young talent at the lower levels should help push the system up, assuming they can stay on the field and avoid injury.

26. Tampa Bay Rays
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 8
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Major league graduations and a slew of injuries to key prospects have the Rays toward the back of the pack of all farm systems in the game.
Top Prospect: Enny Romero (90)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Nick Ciuffo and Blake Snell
Prospects on the BP 101: 2
Must-See Affiliate: Triple-A Durham
Prospects to See There: Enny Romero, Jake Odorizzi, Alex Colome, Hak-Ju Lee, Nate Karns, Kevin Kiermaier, Matt Ramsey
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Down. Based on the fact that the must-see affiliate is Triple-A, the Rays are likely to lose a healthy chunk of talent to the majors in 2014, taking a slice out of an already shaky farm system.

27. Detroit Tigers
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 29
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Adding Robbie Ray helped, but this is a system built on Venezuelan dreams and a lot of really fringy stateside talent.
Top Prospect: Nick Castellanos (37)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Javier Betancourt and Joe Jimenez
Prospects on the BP 101: 1
Must-See Affiliate: Double-A Erie
Prospects to See There: Corey Knebel, Drew VerHagen, Steven Moya, Devon Travis, Robbie Ray
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Steady. Without a talent infusion, the system as a whole is unlikely to improve much, and with their only top-101 talent (Castellanos) graduating to the majors, holding steady in 2014 could be seen as a victory.

28. Oakland Athletics
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 25
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Addison Russell is going to be very good player, but the rest of the system is either high-risk/moderate-reward or moderate-risk/low-reward.
Top Prospect: Addison Russell (7)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Bobby Wahl and Billy McKinney
Prospects on the BP 101: 1
Must-See Affiliate: High-A Stockton
Prospects to See There: Bobby Wahl, Daniel Robertson, Raul Alcantara, Michael Ynoa, Nolan Sanburn, Renato Nunez, Dylan Covey
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. It’s not a deep system, but if you project strong years from prospects like Wahl, Robertson, Alcantara and McKinney—in addition continued excellence from Addison Russell--the farm should jump a few spots.

29. Milwaukee Brewers
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 27
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: It’s pretty rough, but at least the lower levels can offer some high-ceiling talent, even though it comes with considerable risk.
Top Prospect: Tyrone Taylor (Not Ranked)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Devin Williams and Tucker Neuhaus
Prospects on the BP 101: 0
Must-See Affiliate: High-A Brevard County
Prospects to See There: Tyrone Taylor, Orlando Arcia, Victor Roache, Jorge Lopez
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. I actually like some of the aforementioned lower-level talent, especially Devin Williams, and if those higher risk types can start to actualize on the field, the farm will take a much needed step forward.

30. Los Angeles Angels
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 30
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Losing early draft picks hasn’t helped the Angels re-stock the farm, as the system is rich with fringe prospects and thin on high-ceiling upside.
Top Prospect: Taylor Lindsey (Not Ranked)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Ricardo Sanchez and Natanel Delgado
Prospects on the BP 101: 0
Must-See Affiliate: Double-A Arkansas
Prospects to See There: Kaleb Cowart, R.J. Alvarez, Mark Sappington, Alex Yarbrough, Cam Bedrosian
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. After two straight years on the bottom, the Angels will likely take a small step forward in 2014 thanks to emerging lower-level talent like Sanchez, Middleton, Delgado, and Green, and a pick in the first-round (15th) this June.

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 some point in 2014.

Link to 2013 Organizational Rankings

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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