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What did the 2005 Angels' best-in-baseball farm system turn out to be worth?

In the late 2000s, when the Angels’ farm system (weakened mostly by promotions and a lack of early first-round draft picks) started to place low in organizational rankings, some local writers would respond with a pithy counterpoint: In 2000, the Angels were ranked 29th by Baseball America, and two years later they won the World Series. This supposeduly irrefutable refutation was trotted out so reliably it seemed likely that reporters were parroting the club's own words. You never got the sense that the Angels, as an organization, thought much of organizational rankings.

The organizational rankings, in time, thought much more of the Angels. They improved from 29th to 25th to 17th to fifth to third and, finally, before the 2005 season, they were baseball’s no. 1 farm system, according to both BA and John Sickels. Baseball Prospectus didn’t do org rankings yet, but that year's top prospects list had two Angels in the top five. The Angels had made this great leap forward while also dramatically upgrading their big-league results; as Matt Welch writes in the Angels team essay in this year’s BP Annual, “it almost felt like the Angels had beaten baseball's business cycle.”

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Ben and Sam talk to Jason Parks about why he thinks the Minnesota Twins have the best minor-league talent in baseball.

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September 27, 2013 6:00 am

Pebble Hunting: The Hypotheses That Require Revisiting


Sam Miller

A look back at the great stolen base scare, the Giancarlo Stanton lineup protection debate, the first base drought, and more.

One option would be to just stay quiet for six months, wait until the season is over, and dump 9,000 articles on you all at once. But the other option is to write things with incomplete data, acknowledge the incompleteness, note that that data are interesting, compelling, suggestive or freaky, and revisit it later when you remember.

We try to do the latter. Here are a few things to revisit from the first few weeks of the season or just before the season.

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