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Baseball America ranks Twins' system 7th

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 10:39 AM

Matt Eddy of Baseball America posted an article today where he used a points-based system to rank the farm systems of all 30 MLB teams. The Twins ranked seventh on his list, which is a little disappointing IMO. Here's what he had to say:

Minnesota’s system mirrors the Cubs in that all the strength is tied up in position-player talent, though the Twins did have some big arms such as Meyer and far-away talents like RHP Jose Berrios (13 MWL) and LHP Lewis Thorpe (7 GCL).


The Future Is Now: Top Farm Systems Poised To Deliver Near-Term Value - BaseballAmerica.com

#2 TRex

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 10:47 AM

Insofar as there IS an annual 'Baseball America' ranking of minor league farm systems, I think your title is a little disingenuous. It should have correctly referred to Matt Eddy FROM Baseball America ranks Twins system 7th... but I would guess you already knew that, but chose to stir the pot (or poke the animals) anyway!

#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 12:29 PM

Yeah, agree with TRex, this ranking was based solely on league top 20 rankings which isn't clear in your post. And even on this 5-7 were basically tied. And the Rangers list included Profar. I suspect that when the real BA list comes out, the Twins will be a top 4 system.

#4 whydidnt

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 12:36 PM

If I interpret correctly, he was ranking systems on talent that will help in the near term, so guys in the upper minors primarily. When you consider the dearth of pitching talent at the upper levels of the Twins system, 7 sounds like a pretty good number to me.

#5 PseudoSABR

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 12:47 PM

Well, this is just an aggregate of their Top 20 lists (the chart is titled: FARM SYSTEM STRENGTH BASED ON LEAGUE TOP 20 RANKINGS), and, evidently, does not reflect the depth of prospects beyond those lists. So I'm not sure this list reflects BA's actual ranking of the league's farm systems.

#6 whydidnt

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:09 PM

It's not quite aggregate, though in that it is weighted towards the upper minors. Multiplying the players ranking by 4 if in AAA, down to 1 if in low A. Since the Twins top players are all below the AAA level, they naturally don't rank at the very top. I think for what he was trying to do, seven is a pretty accurate slot for the Twins, based upon BA's rankings.

#7 kab21

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:59 PM

This is a really simple calculated ranking that is only looking at 5 prospects (and graduated prospects) from each org and doesn't include recent draft picks or top rk ball talents. Additionally Buxton and Sano don't score in the top ten of assets since they were playing in leagues further away from the majors than other players even though they aren't that far away.

It's difficult to even get upset considering how simple of a list it is. However it is amazing how strong some of these farm systems are. Top 3 isn't even guaranteed.

#8 Seth Stohs

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:30 AM

Yeah, I think that the Twins will rank a bit higher, though when the "real" rankings come out, don't forget that Hicks, Gibson and Arcia (all Top 100 guys) 'graduated' from the realms of "prospects." So, don't be surprised if it's not as high. I have to think that Houston will be #1, but I think the Twins could be anywhere from 2-6.

#9 Boom Boom

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 08:45 AM

Being ranked 7th isn't a slight, and organizational rankings should be weighted on the upper minors. Having some good prospects who are multiple years away from debuting in the majors is no guarantee of anything.

#10 nicksaviking

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 09:00 AM

Not only are the Twins at a disadvantage with the high value of AAA rankings, they are also at a disadvantage as the rankings are also skewed heavily in favor of pitching, SS and catching, though perhaps rightfully so.

Edit: Additionally, from the rules I remember when those rankings came out, none of the Twins pitching prospects from last draft counted as they did not pitch enough innings. Things might look differently had Stewart and Gonsalves not been excluded. They surely won't when it comes to the real evaluation.

#11 righty8383

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 09:55 AM

In a couple months when people like Keith Law, Jonathan Mayo and others do their rankings, I don't see the Twins falling out of the top 3. They have 2 elite prospects and a pretty deep system beyond that.

#12 gunnarthor

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 12:13 PM

In a couple months when people like Keith Law, Jonathan Mayo and others do their rankings, I don't see the Twins falling out of the top 3. They have 2 elite prospects and a pretty deep system beyond that.


My guess is #3 would be the highest. You're right that they have some nice top talent but the Cubs and Astros have a lot of depth. I think they have to be the top 2 right now. Maybe the Red Sox if Bogaerts is still a "prospect" for these things. Then the Twins, Pirates and maybe Cards come into play.

In John Sickels end of the season rankings, he had 6 Cubs, Astros and Pirates in his top 75. 5 Twins and 5 Red Sox.

#13 markos

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 01:01 PM

Yeah, I think that the Twins will rank a bit higher, though when the "real" rankings come out, don't forget that Hicks, Gibson and Arcia (all Top 100 guys) 'graduated' from the realms of "prospects." So, don't be surprised if it's not as high. I have to think that Houston will be #1, but I think the Twins could be anywhere from 2-6.


Seth, who are your 1-6 teams? You don't need to rank them, I'm just curious who you have in the conversation. I think the top-5 are pretty set (alphabetically: Astros, Cubs, Pirates, Red Sox, Twins), but then I see some separation to the next tier (Cardinals, Dodgers, Royals). I'm probably forgetting some team or teams...

#14 Oxtung

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:59 PM

I agree with most people here. The Twins will end up in the 3-5 range with the Astros (1), Cubs (2), Red Sox, and Pirates. I think the next set of teams include Royals, Rays, Mets and Dodgers.

I think the Marlins probably have more young talent than any team, they just push it to the majors so quickly. If you add Jose Fernandez (20 yo), Yelich (21 yo) and Stanton (23 yo) to their "prospect" list they are the clear cut #1 team. That doesn't even include the other 5 or so players 25 or younger that were top 100 prospects at some point and are currently on their major league roster. They are absolutely chalk full of young talent.

I think I'm in the minority but I don't really like the Cards system. I would put them somewhere in the middle. #18 +/- 5. Remember they graduated around 4 top 100 players this season. That said, they do a great job helping guys improve so I have no doubt they will churn out some solid players that I currently don't like.

#15 cmathewson

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 06:04 PM

I would question the Eddy's not even mentioning Stewart when he mentions far-away arms. He is the top-ranked pitcher in the system in my book.
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#16 gunnarthor

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 08:50 PM

I think I'm in the minority but I don't really like the Cards system. I would put them somewhere in the middle. #18 +/- 5. Remember they graduated around 4 top 100 players this season. That said, they do a great job helping guys improve so I have no doubt they will churn out some solid players that I currently don't like.


Well, the Cards still have Taveras who is one of the few prospects who could, if healthy, push Buxton for #1 overall. And Wong and Martinez are still considered prospects for next years purposes, although both have basically graduated.

#17 kab21

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 09:05 PM

My guess is #3 would be the highest. You're right that they have some nice top talent but the Cubs and Astros have a lot of depth. I think they have to be the top 2 right now. Maybe the Red Sox if Bogaerts is still a "prospect" for these things. Then the Twins, Pirates and maybe Cards come into play.

In John Sickels end of the season rankings, he had 6 Cubs, Astros and Pirates in his top 75. 5 Twins and 5 Red Sox.


During the middle of the season I thought the Twins were a definite #1 but them being in the 3-5 range has nothing to do with prospect disappointments but everything to do with just how ridiculous the Cubs and Astros systems are becoming. Bogaerts still qualifies for the Sox but Gerrit Cole doesn't so I don't think they are top 5 w/o him.

#18 Oxtung

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 10:59 PM

During the middle of the season I thought the Twins were a definite #1 but them being in the 3-5 range has nothing to do with prospect disappointments but everything to do with just how ridiculous the Cubs and Astros systems are becoming. Bogaerts still qualifies for the Sox but Gerrit Cole doesn't so I don't think they are top 5 w/o him.


The Pirates have 3 potential top of the rotation arms, not including Cole, and top 10 positional prospects at OF, SS and Catcher. Six players ranked in Sickels' end of season top 75 prospects list. They also have another 5 players probably in the 100-200 range. There is plenty of talent here to warrant a top 5 system ranking.

Who do you think should replace them in the top 5?

#19 Oxtung

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:07 PM

Well, the Cards still have Taveras who is one of the few prospects who could, if healthy, push Buxton for #1 overall. And Wong and Martinez are still considered prospects for next years purposes, although both have basically graduated.


And what else? Those are 2 premier players and a really nice one. Once you get past that they have a bunch of question marks. If Gonzalez, Jenkins, Kaminsky all pan out and Gast returns to form from his injury they could move up quickly but at this point they are all too iffy to rate the system very highly.

#20 gunnarthor

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 12:10 AM

And what else? Those are 2 premier players and a really nice one. Once you get past that they have a bunch of question marks. If Gonzalez, Jenkins, Kaminsky all pan out and Gast returns to form from his injury they could move up quickly but at this point they are all too iffy to rate the system very highly.


Well, frankly, after the top 5 or so teams, just having two premier players is going to get you ranked pretty high. Looking at Sickels lists, those prospects are not evenly distributed. Just looking at other teams with a top 20 guy, Seattle has 3 in the rankings (4, 75 and ?? for the injured pitcher) so do the Indians and Mets but the Cards look better than all 3. A's have one player (Russell at 15 but nothing after him), so do the Tigers. Rockies have 2. Royals have 4. I think Cards, with two premier guys in the top 20, should pretty easily slot into most top 10 rankings.

#21 kab21

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:26 AM

The Pirates have 3 potential top of the rotation arms, not including Cole, and top 10 positional prospects at OF, SS and Catcher. Six players ranked in Sickels' end of season top 75 prospects list. They also have another 5 players probably in the 100-200 range. There is plenty of talent here to warrant a top 5 system ranking.

Who do you think should replace them in the top 5?


I'm not as high on Kingham, McGuire or Hansen as you are. And Glasnow is a complete boom/bust type. They might stick at #5 but I like the other 4 teams more.

#22 markos

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:53 AM

Well, frankly, after the top 5 or so teams, just having two premier players is going to get you ranked pretty high. Looking at Sickels lists, those prospects are not evenly distributed. Just looking at other teams with a top 20 guy, Seattle has 3 in the rankings (4, 75 and ?? for the injured pitcher) so do the Indians and Mets but the Cards look better than all 3. A's have one player (Russell at 15 but nothing after him), so do the Tigers. Rockies have 2. Royals have 4. I think Cards, with two premier guys in the top 20, should pretty easily slot into most top 10 rankings.


I definitely think that the Cards will slot into the top-10. However, you methodology got me wondering if there will be any surprise teams highly ranked due to depth. A couple years ago I think the Padres were pretty highly ranked not because they had any elite prospects (no one in the top 20), but because they had something like two dozen B prospects. I don't have near enough knowledge of other teams' farm system to make any guesses, but I'm genuinely curious. I guess I'll have to wait until after the experts weigh in to find out.

#23 Oxtung

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 10:55 PM

Well, frankly, after the top 5 or so teams, just having two premier players is going to get you ranked pretty high. Looking at Sickels lists, those prospects are not evenly distributed. Just looking at other teams with a top 20 guy, Seattle has 3 in the rankings (4, 75 and ?? for the injured pitcher) so do the Indians and Mets but the Cards look better than all 3. A's have one player (Russell at 15 but nothing after him), so do the Tigers. Rockies have 2. Royals have 4. I think Cards, with two premier guys in the top 20, should pretty easily slot into most top 10 rankings.


You bring up an interesting discussion topic, as Markos alluded to, is a premier player or two worth more than 3 or 4 top 100 players? Personally I'll take quantity over quality. The failure rate of prospects is so high, even of elite prospects, that I downgrade a system like the Cards.

I looked through all the teams top prospects the other day and IMO they break down into 4 groups.

Group 1 are the teams like the Twins with elite talent and depth. Every team has 6+ top 100ish prospects and a premier player. Astros, Cubs, Red Sox, Twins and the Pirates.

Group 2 doesn't quite have the depth but has 4+ top 100 prospects. They also have some very intriguing players that could quickly become top 100 prospects. The Mets, Dodgers, Royals, Rays and Marlins fall into this category (though to be fair the Mets have Syndergaard and d'Arnaud who could be considered premier).

Group 3 teams either have 3-4 top 100 prospects, one might be elite, or 2-3 top 100 prospects but 2 of them are elite. This is the biggest group and includes the Indians, D-Backs, Rockies, Cards, Mariners, Rangers, Phillies, Reds, Blue Jays and the Nationals. The Cardinals could fit anywhere from 11-22. I'd put them somewhere in the middle because I don't think they have quite as much depth as some of the other systems.

Group 4 teams are just B. A. D. Let's say it all together, BAD. A's, Padres, Giants, Tigers, Braves, White Sox, Brewers and Angels.

I think you're selling the Mets system quite a bit short. They have 2 premier prospects in Syndergaard and d'Arnaud and a very nice pitcher in Montero. In addition Wilmer Flores, Steven Matz, Kevin Plawecki and Cesar Puello were all listed in the "Honorable Mention" section of Sickels top 75 list. They also have Dominic Smith who was their 1st round pick in 2013 and was considered the top prep bat of the draft. Dilson Herrera is an intriguing 2B prospect that has the tools to be ranked in the future.

The Royals have a much better system than the Cardinals as well. In addition to the 4 he mentions they also have Hunter Dozier and Sean Manaea from this years draft. Bubba Starling, if he can ever put his tools together, and Jorge Bonifacio are both intriguing. John Lamb has had injury problems but was a very good pitcher a few years ago.

I'd take the Mariner's Walker, Hultzen, Paxton, Peterson foursome over the Cardinals Taveras, Martinez, Wong, ??? (assuming Hultzen's injury isn't career ending). Though part of that is because I value pitchers much more than OF's and 2B.

The Indians I'll give you, though I aboslutely LOVE Lindor. I'd trade Sano or Buxton for Lindor. Boom. Done.

#24 Oxtung

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 11:04 PM

I'm not as high on Kingham, McGuire or Hansen as you are. And Glasnow is a complete boom/bust type. They might stick at #5 but I like the other 4 teams more.


I also have the Pirates at 5. I was just saying that I don't see a strong alternative to the Pirates.

My 3 "top of the rotation" possibilities for the Pirates didn't include Kingham, btw. Taillon, Glasnow and Heredia are the 3 I was talking about. I think it's too early to judge McGuire or Meadows based on the few AB's they got this season.

#25 kab21

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 09:03 PM

I also have the Pirates at 5. I was just saying that I don't see a strong alternative to the Pirates.

My 3 "top of the rotation" possibilities for the Pirates didn't include Kingham, btw. Taillon, Glasnow and Heredia are the 3 I was talking about. I think it's too early to judge McGuire or Meadows based on the few AB's they got this season.


The thing is that the Twins arms stack up well against the Pirates arms. Heredia is a big name only. Kind of like Deolis Guerra when he was traded for. He's been pushed but he doesn't strike anyone out while walking everyone.

It's not too early to judge McGuire. I didn't like him that much in the draft and I still don't. Meadows is a different story.

#26 Oxtung

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:16 PM

The thing is that the Twins arms stack up well against the Pirates arms. Heredia is a big name only. Kind of like Deolis Guerra when he was traded for. He's been pushed but he doesn't strike anyone out while walking everyone.

It's not too early to judge McGuire. I didn't like him that much in the draft and I still don't. Meadows is a different story.


Kab I don't think we're disagreeing about the Pirates here. I think they're the fifth team and behind the Twins which is what it sounds like you believe as well.

To continue the discussion with some minutia because that is fun sometimes, I don't disagree about Heredia, his stats have not backed up the scouts so far. That doesn't mean they won't in the future though. Interestingly he gives up few hits which compensates for his wildness. I'm not sure that is sustainable but it is intriguing.

The Twins have some young arms with a lot of potential; Stewart, Gonsalves, Thorpe, Felix, Rosario, Landa; but they are so far away it is hard to compare them to AA and AAA players. In addition I don't know the Pirates system well enough to know how well their A- and Rk ball pitchers are thought of.

If we limit ourselves to the more well known commodities, say A-ball and above, the Pirates have the better pitchers, IMO. Taillon is considered better than Meyer, though when it's all said and done I wouldn't be surprised if Meyer is the better pither. Glasnow is clearly a better prospect than Berrios and Kingham is better than May. After that the Twins have a bunch of guys with back end ceilings while the Pirates have a mid-rotation guy in Kyle McPherson, assuming he is healthy. The Twins might have the better young guys, again I don't know the Pirates' system well enough to comment either way, but above rookie ball it is hard to argue against the Pirates.

As for McGuire and Meadows I said it's too early to judge based on the AB's they got this season. It is just a small sample size and it means little. I think it's fair to judge them on their scouting reports at this point and if you disliked McGuire before the draft well, he has done little to change opinions one way or the other.

#27 gunnarthor

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 08:36 AM

I don't think the Twins were wrong to take Stewart but I do think that in a few years, I could see Meadows being the best player and a lot of teams kicking themselves over passing on him. It seemed (from things like minorleagueball) that a lot of people were thinking he was a "boring" pick, didn't have the upside of Frazier, small HS, slow to the majors, etc.

#28 Oxtung

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 11:40 AM

I don't think the Twins were wrong to take Stewart but I do think that in a few years, I could see Meadows being the best player and a lot of teams kicking themselves over passing on him. It seemed (from things like minorleagueball) that a lot of people were thinking he was a "boring" pick, didn't have the upside of Frazier, small HS, slow to the majors, etc.


Wasn't meadows the one the Twins were linked to the most? The one with less power potential but better contact and range? I get confused between the 2.

#29 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:04 PM

Sickles preferred Frazier. I know that... I'll have to disagree there.

#30 cmb0252

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:45 PM

Mayo and Callis over at mlb.com picked which team they each thought had the best farm system. Callis went with the obvious answer the Astros while Mayo.....well he does what Mayo does and picked the pirates for arguments sake. Last week he picked Bryant over Sano as the best 3B prospect in the game even though he has Sano ranked higher. Here is a link to his article on why the pirates have the best farm:
Pipeline Perspectives: Pittsburgh Pirates have baseball's top farm system | MLB.com: News