Ranking the 30 Minor League Systems

I’ve spent the past five months writing the Top 15 prospects lists for all 30 clubs in Major League Baseball, which resulted in more than 450 minor league prospect reports. With those (finally) put to bed, I present you with a ranking on the minor league systems from worst to first. Rankings are based on both impact talent and overall depth within the systems.

The top scouts for each organization are chosen based on their impact on each organization’s system for 2012 and does not take into consideration players they’ve signed in the past that are no longer in the minors.

The Bottom 10

30. Chicago White Sox
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Keenyn Walker, OF
Top 2012 Prospect: Addison Reed, RHP
Org Strengths: Raw athletes
Org Weaknesses: Pitching depth, high-ceiling hitters
Top Scout: George Kachigian, who was responsible for signing Addison Reed, as well as Trayce Thompson.

29. Milwaukee Brewers
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Taylor Jungmann, RHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Taylor Jungmann, RHP
Org Strengths: Pitching depth
Org Weaknesses: High-ceiling bats
Top Scout(s): Ryan Robinson, who was responsible for Jed Bradley, Tyler Thornburg, Brooks Hall; Fernando Arango and Fausto Sosa Pena, who were responsible for Wily Peralta, Santo Manzanillo, Orlando Arcia.

28. Cleveland Indians
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Francisco Lindor, SS
Top 2012 Prospect: Francisco Lindor, SS
Org Strengths: Pitching depth
Org Weaknesses: Corner infield/outfield
Top Scout: Mike Soper, who is responsible for Francisco Lindor, T.J McFarland, Mike Rayl; special mention: Jason Lee, for his efforts in Taiwan (Chun Chen, Chen Lee).

27. Houston Astros
Top 2011 Draft Pick: George Springer, OF
Top 2012 Prospect: Jonathan Singleton, 1B/OF
Org Strengths: Right-handed pitching
Org Weaknesses: High-ceiling bats
Top Scout: Lincoln Martin, responsible for Delino DeShields and Telvin Nash.

26. Miami Marlins
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Jose Fernandez, RHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Christian Yelich, 1B/OF
Org Strengths: Pitching depth
Org Weaknesses: Infield depth
Top Scout(s): Tim McDonnell, responsible for Christian Yelich, Matt Dominguez, Rob Rasmussen, Ryan Fisher ; special mention: John Hughes for Noah Perio, Scott Cousins, Kyle Jensen, Mark Canha

25. Baltimore Orioles
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Dylan Bundy, RHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Dylan Bundy, RHP
Org Strengths: Athletic outfields
Org Weaknesses: Catching, left-handed pitching
Top Scout: Ernie Jacobs, responsible for Dylan Bundy and Parker Bridwell

24. Detroit Tigers
Top 2011 Draft Pick: James McCann, C
Top 2012 Prospect: Jacob Turner, RHP
Org Strengths: Left-handed pitching
Org Weaknesses: Right-handed starters
Top Scout(s): Marty Miller, responsible for Jacob Turner and Casey Crosby; Chris Wimmer, responsible for Drew Smyly, Andy Oliver, James McCann, and Brian Flynn

23. San Francisco Giants
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Joe Panik, SS
Top 2012 Prospect: Gary Brown, OF
Org Strengths: Outfield depth, catchers
Org Weaknesses: Starting pitching
Top Scout: Ciro Villalobos, responsible for Ehire Adrianza, Hector Sanchez, and Jesus Galindo

22. Chicago Cubs
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Javier Baez, SS
Top 2012 Prospect: Javier Baez, SS
Org Strengths: Right-handed pitching depth
Org Weaknesses: Catching, Left-handed pitching
Top Scout(s): Jose Serra, responsible for Welington Castillo, Rafael Dolis, Junior Lake, Marco Hernandez, Jeimer Candelario, and Jose Rosario; special mention: Lukas McKnight for Dan Vogelbach, Chris Carpenter (now with Boston), and Zeke DeVoss.

21. Colorado Rockies
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Tyler Anderson, LHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Nolan Arenado, 3B
Org Strengths: Left-handed pitching, middle infield
Org Weaknesses: Right-handed pitching depth
Top Scout(s): Jon Lukens, responsible for Nolan Arenado, Tyler Matzek, Peter Tago, Will Swanner and Rolando Fernandez, responsible for Wilin Rosario, Rosell Herrera, Edwar Cabrera, Hector Gomez, Cristhian Adames, and Jayson Aquino

The Middle 10

20. Philadelphia Phillies
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Larry Greene, OF
Top 2012 Prospect: Trevor May, RHP
Org Strengths: Right-handed pitching, raw athletes
Org Weaknesses: Polish hitting prospects
Top Scout: Sal Agostinelli, responsible for Sebastian Valle, Freddy Galvis, Maikel Franco, Cesar Hernandez, Carlos Tocci, Jonathan Villar (now with Houston), Domingo Santana (now with Houston); special mention: Tim Kissner, reponsible for Justin De Fratus, Kyrell Hudson, Travis d’Arnaud (now with Toronto), Anthony Gose (now with Toronto).

19. Los Angeles Angels
Top 2011 Draft Pick: C.J. Cron
Top 2012 Prospect: Mike Trout, OF
Org Strengths: Pitching depth
Org Weaknesses: Outfielders, catchers
Top Scout(s): Leo Perez, responsible for Jean Segura, Luis Jimenez, and Fabio Martinez, ; John Gracio, responsible for C.J. Cron, Taylor Lindsey, Kole Calhoun, Carlos Ramirez, and Andrew Romine.

18. Cincinnati Reds
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Robert Stephenson, RHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Devin Mesoraco, C
Org Strengths: Infield depth
Org Weaknesses: Advanced pitching
Top Scout: Tony Arias, responsible for Yonder Alonso (now with San Diego), J.C. Sulbaran, Neftali Soto, Henry Rodriguez, Yorman Rodriguez, Gabriel Rosa, Juan Duran, and David Vidal.

17. Washington Nationals
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Anthony Rendon, 3B
Top 2012 Prospect: Bryce Harper, OF
Org Strengths: Outfielders
Org Weaknesses: Right-handed pitching
Top Scout(s): Tyler Wilt, responsible for Anthony Rendon, Rick Hague, Jason Martinson, and Paul Demny; Tony Arango, responsible for Brad Peacock (now with Oakland), Chris Marrero, and Michael Taylor.

16. New York Mets
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Brandon Nimmo, OF
Top 2012 Prospect: Zack Wheeler, RHP
Org Strengths: Pitching
Org Weaknesses: Catching, power-hitting prospects
Top Scout(s): Ismael Cruz, responsible for Jeurys Familia, Cesar Puello, Jenrry Mejia, Jordany Valdespin, Juan Urbina, Wilmer Flores, Aderlin Rodriguez, Domingo Tapia, Juan Lagares; special mention: Marlin McPhail for Matt Harvey, Reese Havens, Cory Mazzoni, and Josh Edgin.

15. Minnesota Twins
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Levi Michael, SS
Top 2012 Prospect: Miguel Sano, 3B/SS
Org Strengths: Pitching
Org Weaknesses: Middle infield, catcher
Top Scout(s): John Leavitt, responsible for Aaron Hicks, Chris Parmelee, Travis Harrison, Matt Summers; Fred Guerrero, responsible for Miguel Sano, Adrian Salcedo, Manuel Soliman and Jorge Polanco.

14. Seattle Mariners
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Danny Hultzen, LHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Jesus Montero, C
Org Strengths: Pitching
Org Weaknesses: Up-the-middle depth
Top Scout: Bob Engle, responsible for Phillips Castillo, Guillermo Pimentel, Erasmo Ramirez, Victor Sanchez, and Carlos Triunfel

13. Los Angeles Dodgers
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Chris Reed, LHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Zach Lee, RHP
Org Strengths: Hard-throwing pitchers
Org Weaknesses: Left side infield depth
Top Scout(s): Calvin Jones, responsible for Zach Lee, Chris Withrow, and Ryan O’Sullivan; Lon Joyce, responsible for Allen Webster, James Baldwin, Ethan Martin, and Jake Lemmerman.

12. Kansas City Royals
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Bubba Starling, OF
Top 2012 Prospect: Wil Myers, OF
Org Strengths: Pitching
Org Weaknesses: Polished prosects
Top Scout(s): Steve Connelly, responsible for Wil Myers and Chris Dwyer; Rene Francisco, responsible for Elier Hernandez, and Noel Arguelles.

11. Boston Red Sox
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Matt Barnes, RHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Xander Bogaerts, SS
Org Strengths: Infield depth
Org Weaknesses: Pitching depth
Top Scout(s): Jim Robinson, responsible for Will Middlebrooks, Alex Wilson, Brandon Workman, and Drake Britton; Rich Fagnant, responsible for Matt Barnes and Ryan Lavarnway.

The Top 10

10. New York Yankees
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Dante Bichette Jr., 3B
Top 2012 Prospect: Manny Banuelos, LHP
Org Strengths: Balanced depth among hitters
Org Weaknesses: High-ceiling pitchers
Top Scout(s): Jeff Deardorff, responsible for Mason Williams, Dante Bichette Jr., and J.R. Murphy; Scott Lovekamp, responsible for Adam Warren, D.J. Mitchell, Bryan Mitchell, Jake Cave, Mark Montgomery, and David Adams.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Gerrit Cole, RHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Gerrit Cole, RHP
Org Strengths: Pitching
Org Weaknesses: Left-side infield depth
Top Scout: Mike Leuzinger, responsible for Josh Bell, Robbie Grossman, Colton Cain, Victor Black, and Matt Curry.

8. Arizona Diamondbacks
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Trevor Bauer, RHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Trevor Bauer, RHP
Org Strengths: Pitching
Org Weaknesses: Infield, catching depth
Top Scout: Hal Kurtzman, responsible for Trevor Bauer, Ryan Wheeler, and Charles Brewer.

7. Oakland Athletics
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Sonny Gray, RHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Jarrod Parker, RHP
Org Strengths: Outfielders
Org Weaknesses: Left-handed pitching
Top Scout: Matt Ranson, responsible for Sonny Gray, and Aaron Shipman.

6. St. Louis Cardinals
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Kolten Wong, 2B
Top 2012 Prospect: Shelby Miller, RHP
Org Strengths: Power arms
Org Weaknesses: Outfield/infield depth
Top Scout(s): Juan Mercado, responsible for Carlos Martinez, Oscar Taveras, and Victor DeLeon; Ralph Garr Jr. responsible for Shelby Miller, Tyrell Jenkins, and C.J. McElroy Jr.

5. Texas Rangers
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Kevin Matthews, LHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Jurickson Profar, SS
Org Strengths: Up-the-middle depth
Org Weaknesses: Corner infield, outfield
Top Scout: Mike Daly, responsible for Jurickson Profar, Christian Villanueva, Rougned Odor, Ronald Guzman, Luis Sardinas, and Nomar Mazara.

4. Atlanta Braves
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Sean Gilmartin, LHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Julio Teheran, RHP
Org Strengths: Infield depth
Org Weaknesses: Outfield depth
Top Scout(s): Gerald Turner, responsible for Andrelton Simmons, Matt Lipka, and Evan Gattis; Brian Bridges, responsible for Zeke Spruill, J.J. Hoover, Todd Cunningham, and Adam Milligan.

3. Tampa Bay Rays
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Taylor Guerrieri, RHP
Top 2012 Prospect: Matt Moore, LHP
Org Strengths: Pitching
Org Weaknesses: Power-hitters
Top Scout(s): Jack Powell, responsible for Matt Moore; Eddy Toledo, responsible for Alex Colome, and Enny Romero.

2. Toronto Blue Jays
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Tyler Beede, RHP (did not sign) | Jacob Anderson, OF (signed)
Top 2012 Prospect: Anthony Gose, OF
Org Strengths: Catching
Org Weaknesses: Left-handed pitching
Top Scout(s): Eric McQueen, responsible for Deck McGuire, Dwight Smith Jr., and Chris Hawkins; Marco Paddy, responsible for Adeiny Hechavarria, Adonys Cardona, and Roberto Osuna.

1. San Diego Padres
Top 2011 Draft Pick: Cory Spangenberg, 3B/2B
Top 2012 Prospect: Yonder Alonso, 1B
Org Strengths: Right-handed pitching
Org Weaknesses: Outfield depth
Top Scout: Randy Smith, responsible for Rymer Liriano, Simon Castro (now with White Sox), Edinson Rincon, and Adys Portillo.

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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12 years ago

The Phillies lacking a Polish hitting prospect is nothing new – they really haven’t had one since Greg Luzinski

12 years ago
Reply to  powder

I laughed. Hard to believe the Rays are still so high, they just keep churning out the youthful talent.

Woodrum's UZR Article
12 years ago
Reply to  powder

comment of the day, well done