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Keith Law's Farm System Rankings


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#1 mabrowndog


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:33 PM

This is ESPN Insider content, so I'll only post relevant snippets here. First, the rankings in groups of 5:

 

STL, MIN, TBR, HOU, CHC

SDP, PIT, SEA, TEX, NYY

KCR, CIN, BAL, NYM, ARI

MIA, BOS, LAD, CLE, ATL

WAS, OAK, COL, TOR, DET

SFG, PHI, CWS, MIL, LAA

 

After seeing the Sox ranked 17th, he seems to be unreasonably bearish. But what really jumps out at me is that 3 other AL East teams are ranked above the Sox, with the Jays (as expected) the lone divisional laggard.

 

17. Boston Red Sox
 
A lot went right on the farm for Boston this year, with Xander Bogaerts looking like he can stay at shortstop, Jackie Bradley Jr. lighting everyone up with his plate discipline and Matt Barnes and Henry Owens posting very strong full-season debuts. The system's real shortage is in big league ready talent, with right-hander Allen Webster probably the closest.

 

Hard to argue with his verbal assessment of the Sox' system in a vacuum. The real issue I have is that Law doesn't consistently apply the bolded statement to some of the systems he ranks above the Sox.

 

FWIW, John Sickels also has the Cards at the top and the Rays #3. But he has Boston #9, ahead of the Cubs, Astros, Mets & D-Backs. In addition, he has the Yankees 14th, the Orioles 18th, and the Jays 22nd.

 

The three rivals Law says we're chasing (and I don't dispute the Rays' place on this list):

 

3. Tampa Bay Rays
 
The Rays had some setbacks among their highest-profile prospects this past year, but added a top-10 prospect in Wil Myers, a top-100 prospect in Jake Odorizzi and a former top-100 prospect in Mike Montgomery in the James Shields trade. They're deepest in power arms, although many of them are a grade or two of command below where they'll need to be to profile as starters, and right now their next impact bat after Myers would be in low Class A or short-season ball.

 

10. New York Yankees
 
It's a top-heavy system, but the group of position players who started in low Class A Charleston last year, some of whom finished in high-A Tampa, could produce as many as three above-average or better regulars plus several other guys who'll have big league value. They'd rank even higher had they not lost two major starting pitching prospects to season-long injuries, with one, Manny Banuelos, probably out now until 2014.

 

13. Baltimore Orioles
 
Dylan Bundy emerged as the minors' best pitching prospect in 2012, while their first pick from last year's draft, Kevin Gausman, was one of the hottest names in Florida instructional league in September. They'd rank higher had Manny Machado not lost his rookie eligibility in September.

 

 

 



#2 TheGoldenGreek33

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:22 PM

The Sox top five prospects (not including RdlR) are projected to start in Double-A or above, compared to that No. 10 ranked system.

 

1. Williams - high Class-A

2. Heathcott - Double-A

3. Sanchez - high Class-A

4. Austin - Double-A

5. Campos - XST/high Class-A

 

Huh is right.



#3 David Laurila


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:45 PM

I have a lot of respect for Keith's rankings, although this does seem pretty low. Baseball America has the Red Sox sixth, and there are a few other notable discrepancies as well.



#4 SoxLegacy

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 05:10 PM

That ranking of 17th does seem low to me as well. I find it puzzling that the Orioles are ranked higher, because per a friend who is an O's fan, aside from Bundy and Machado, the cupboard is pretty bare.



#5 The Best Catch in 100 Years

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:28 PM

That ranking of 17th does seem low to me as well. I find it puzzling that the Orioles are ranked higher, because per a friend who is an O's fan, aside from Bundy and Machado, the cupboard is pretty bare.

Kevin Gausman is a very good pitching prospect. He'll probably rank about where Matt Barnes is, if not higher, as these top 100s start to roll out. Jonathan Schoop is also a very nice IF prospect--will probably end up at 2B, but 3B is a possibility too. Beyond those guys it's not great, but I'd imagine Bundy makes quite a big difference. Still, probably should have been behind the Red Sox. The Yankees' high rank surprises me too, and I also expected the Rangers to be much higher--so much depth in that system.



#6 SoxLegacy

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:32 PM

Best Catch, thanks for jogging my memory--Schoop is a guy my friend mentioned, but I didn't know about Gausman.



#7 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:15 AM

Yeah, 17 is really hard for me to wrap my head around.  In the lower half of systems around the league?  With somewhere around 10 of their top 15 prospects being at AA or higher (depending on how you rank them that number could shift one or two in either direction) and six players is mlb.com's top 100, 3 of which are top 40 guys?  There's a pretty decent chance they won't end up with less than 4 on any of the top 100 lists, either.

 

I'm guessing Iglesias will miss most lists, but wouldn't be surprised to see Owens make most of them and Webster seems a decent bet not to fall too far from the 71 mlb.com had him at.  Add to that the depth of the system and I'm scratching my head.

 

I wouldn't complain about any ranking in the 5-10 range and probably not as far back as 12, but I'm really curious to see what Law has to say when asked about this in chats.


Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 05 February 2013 - 01:16 AM.


#8 The Best Catch in 100 Years

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:24 AM

Yeah as I said I'm really finding it hard to see the case for putting the Yankees over the Red Sox. I guess Law might take a different view, but I think Bogaerts is far and away the best guy in either system (who's tops for the Yankees? Mason Williams? Gary Sanchez?), and you could certainly make a case for Barnes and Bradley being better than any Yankee prospect too. There could be a bunch of depth guys that push the balance toward the Yankees' side (Tyler Austin, Jose Campos, Slade Heathcott, uh... Cito Culver? Ravel Santana?) but I find it hard to see those guys stacking up well enough next to Webster, Cecchini, Swihart, Owens, Iglesias, Brentz, Vincio, etc. to outweigh the Red Sox' advantage at the top.


Edited by The Best Catch in 100 Years, 05 February 2013 - 01:24 AM.


#9 Fishercat


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:41 AM

Since it's insider content, I don't want to post too much, but Law just posted his Top 100

 

5. Xander Bogaerts

40. Jackie Bradley Jr.

63. Allen Webster

79. Matt Barnes

 

The relatively lower ranking of Barnes and only having four on the Top 100 would explain his lower org ranking.

 

Edit: Henry Owens was his #101 on the "Just Missed" list


Edited by Fishercat, 05 February 2013 - 10:42 AM.


#10 TOleary25

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:47 AM

Yankees come in with four as well:

 

18. Gary Sanchez

35. Mason Williams

52. Tyler Austin

57. Slade Heathcott



#11 SaveBooFerriss


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

Law has always been very high on Williams.  Williams actually dropped a spot from his ranking last year (34).   Last year Williams was ahead of Anthony Rizzo and Matt Harvey. 

 

I wonder how many teams would take Williams over the much more of a sure thing in Bradley. 



#12 EEIcaller

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:41 PM

It's damn near unbelievable that the Rays are yet again near the top.



#13 mabrowndog


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:57 PM

It's damn near unbelievable that the Rays are yet again near the top.

 

Their system would still have been Top 10, but getting Wil Myers is what returned them to the lofty perch.



#14 mabrowndog


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:45 PM

FYI, Keith will be holding an online chat today at 3 pm EST.

 

LINK

 

He'll also have on on Thursday at 1 pm EST.



#15 Brosnan27

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:58 PM

The Red Sox should be right around 8-10.  There aren't many systems who have that kind of depth.



#16 Fishercat


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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:08 AM

I can't access it from work (Law tweeted the link but it's blocked by my work network), but off my phone, Sox Top 10 rankings and such

 

1. Xander Bogaerts (SS)

2. Jackie Bradley Jr. (CF)

3. Allen Webster (RHP)

4. Matt Barnes (RHP)

5. Henry Owens (LHP)

6. Deven Marrero (SS)

7. Blake Swihart ©

8. Garin Cecchini (3B)

9. Drake Britton (LHP)

10. Brian Johnson (LHP)

 

Key Notes:

 

*Law thinks that Swihart and Cecchini have a shot to make "the leap" in 2013

*Intriguing prospects outside the top ten include power-hitting 1B Travis Shaw and defensive whiz Jose Vinicio

*Dark Horses include Cody Kekuk, Manuel Margot, and Mike Augliera with the first two having "future Top 100 potential"


Edited by Fishercat, 06 February 2013 - 11:09 AM.


#17 Hugh G Rection

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:30 AM

How in the Hell can Brentz not be a top 10 prospect or even been mentioned in the notes ????? Even if you are personally low on his tools his stats alone at AA should put him ahead of Britton and Johnson.



#18 mabrowndog


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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

How in the Hell can Brentz not be a top 10 prospect or even been mentioned in the notes ????? Even if you are personally low on his tools his stats alone at AA should put him ahead of Britton and Johnson.

 

Great question. You can ask him that in tomorrow's chat, which will focus on Law's Top 10 lists for each club.



#19 The Best Catch in 100 Years

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:22 AM

How in the Hell can Brentz not be a top 10 prospect or even been mentioned in the notes ????? Even if you are personally low on his tools his stats alone at AA should put him ahead of Britton and Johnson.

I don't think Britton over Brentz is that weird. Britton's a bit younger than Brentz, and really turned it on at the end of the season in AA (according to Law, 4-pitch mix, 94-97 from the left side; stellar K/BB numbers). 

 

Johnson over Brentz looks a little more questionable to me, I'll admit, but again, I don't think it's that crazy. Johnson's stock was really high in the beginning phases of the draft process (top 10 in BA's initial top draft prospects list, IIRC) and it could be that he's been really impressive in instructional leagues or something. Brentz has put up good numbers but I've seen his upside pegged as anything from bench player to solid corner OF, while Johnson's generally regarded as a high probability solid backend starter (a pretty valuable commodity) and, again, could have raised his perceived upside over the past few weeks. Based on my pretty limited intel I'd probably still put Brentz first, but I don't think Law's decision to put Johnson at 10 is that outrageous.



#20 thestardawg

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:52 PM

He just answered in his chat citing below average defense and inability to walk (Brentz)

#21 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:09 PM

I don't think Britton over Brentz is that weird. Britton's a bit younger than Brentz, and really turned it on at the end of the season in AA (according to Law, 4-pitch mix, 94-97 from the left side; stellar K/BB numbers). 
 
Johnson over Brentz looks a little more questionable to me, I'll admit, but again, I don't think it's that crazy. Johnson's stock was really high in the beginning phases of the draft process (top 10 in BA's initial top draft prospects list, IIRC) and it could be that he's been really impressive in instructional leagues or something. Brentz has put up good numbers but I've seen his upside pegged as anything from bench player to solid corner OF, while Johnson's generally regarded as a high probability solid backend starter (a pretty valuable commodity) and, again, could have raised his perceived upside over the past few weeks. Based on my pretty limited intel I'd probably still put Brentz first, but I don't think Law's decision to put Johnson at 10 is that outrageous.


Sounds like he's basically saying that Joe Saunders > Marcus Thames. Which is true enough.

Edited by Savin Hillbilly, 07 February 2013 - 05:12 PM.


#22 Reggie's Racquet

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:27 PM

He just answered in his chat citing below average defense and inability to walk (Brentz)


His inability to walk is because of the hole in his leg that resulted from him shooting himself.

#23 twibnotes


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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:13 AM

His inability to walk is because of the hole in his leg that resulted from him shooting himself.


Law seems to be one step ahead with his predictions. Flux capacitor?




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