2021 MLB Farm System Rankings

Julio Rodriguez, Arizona Fall League, October 10, 2019 - photo credit rd_79 on Flickr and @dropthearrow on Twitter

Welcome to the 2021 baseball season. Spring Training is nearly upon us! We’re excited for Minor League Baseball to return this year. During the entire month of January we gave you our Top 50 Prospects for each of the 30 teams, and now for the first time we’d like to share our site’s overall Minor League Baseball Organization Rankings.

Twenty (20) Prospects1500 writers each ranked the organizations 1 through 30, and then similarly to our overall Top 197 Prospects, we aggregated points to come up with an overall systems’ ranking. If you’d like to see each writer’s individual rankings, and how the overall point totals came about, the rankings spreadsheet is available to view.

In addition, each team’s correspondent has provided a short, 30,000-foot view snapshot of their minor league organization. Those comments are included with each ranking on this list. Here is our inaugural ranking of all 30 farm systems, counting down from number 30 to number 1.

30. Washington Nationals
Even though the Nats farm system ranks at or very near the bottom, there is some promise on the horizon. Several of their prospects could see themselves in consideration to be included in Top 100 lists by mid-season. -Jacob Swain (@jacob_swain3)

29. Colorado Rockies
The trade of Nolan Arenado did not significantly bolster the Rockies’ farm system but it helped to add depth. This is a top-heavy system that could produce a star in Zac Veen and maybe a few everyday regulars but fantasy players should tread with caution. -Michael Parnell (@parnellmichael)

28. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers farm system is short on players that are big league ready right now, but full of talented players down in the lower levels of the minors. This system is only about a year away from contributing some solid big league players. -David Gasper (@dgasper24)

27. Houston Astros
The Astros system is somewhat depleted after producing star rookies like Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez and facilitating the trade for Zack Greinke. The strength of the system is in the low minors where young projectable talent is being honed by some of the best development people in baseball. -Jared Chapman (@ChappyIsClutch)

26. Los Angeles Angels
Angels have stocked their organization with athletes on the position player side and senior college draftees on the pitching side. The hope of this system is that those position players they have invested so heavily in start to hit their development strides. -Andrew Rhodes (@A_Rhodes77)

25. Oakland Athletics
The A’s have cut back on spending in the majors going into 2021. This provides an excellent opportunity for their top prospects to make an impact. With opportunities abound with the big league club, keep an eye on the young arms in the A’s organization, as they might be called upon sooner rather than later. -Ben Wilson (@ourtradingcards)

24. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies organization is in a troubled state right now. After graduating or trading their best young talent, there aren’t many major league ready players right now. Much of the talent is in the lower levels but there is some talent in the pipeline that just needs time to develop. -Tony Bps (@tonybps1)

23. New York Mets
Although headlined by a few high upside prospects (Ronny Mauricio, Francisco Alvarez), the Mets have a below average farm overall. New ownership and management has given the Mets upper level prospect depth. -Christian Kainer (@CJ_Kainer)

22. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals farm system has some potentially elite prospects at the top in Dylan Carlson, Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore and Ivan Herrera. Although not a very deep system in terms of that high end potential outside the top 10 prospects, they do have some talent in the lower tiers that could move up the ranks. -Chris Eros (@ChrisEros)

21. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs may be short on major league ready prospects, but long on talent deep in their system. Their young players will test the Cubs’ developmental ability. -Tom Usiak (@The_Tom_U)

20. New York Yankees
Most prospect followers know Jasson Dominguez, but the Yankees have a good supply of diamond-in-the-rough pitchers, toolsy international free agents, and some slick fielding infielders to be excited about. Based on the sheer amount of talented young players in the Yankees’ system, I expect enough of them to shine and push their farm back into above-average status in just a short period of time. -Paul Woodin (@PaulWoodin1)

19. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox system has been added to through the trade market over the last year under the watchful eye of Chaim Bloom. A 4th overall selection in the upcoming MLB Draft will be heavily anticipated. -Ben Wilson (@TBDubbs11)

18. San Diego Padres
The Padres are going for it at the major league and it shows in the current state of their farm system. However, elite prospects at the top still make it better than most and plenty of depth still remains making the Padres organization the envy of many franchises. -Alex Sanchez (@Alex_W_Sanchez)

17. Cincinnati Reds
While the Reds’ system in its current state is rather shallow, there are enough prospects (like Nick Lodolo and Jose Garcia) within striking distance of the big leagues to keep the team at least interesting if not competitive for the near future. Their prospect depth should gradually improve, as they’ve already taken steps forward with recent draft picks like Austin Hendrick. -Rudie Verougstraete (@Seeing_Reds)

16. Los Angeles Dodgers
Consistently adding to their stable of high-caliber, homegrown talent, highlighted by Bobby Miller, Landon Knack, and Clayton Beeter, the system’s greatest asset lies in their pitching. However, LA has added more impact bats, Michael Busch and Kody Hoese, over the past two drafts and all of the players mentioned should fly through the minors on the wings of one of the best developmental systems in baseball. -Nate Eckert (@GQ__82)

15. Chicago White Sox
With their top four prospects prepared to lose rookie status in 2021, the White Sox are retooling the system with high ceiling preps and international signees. -Dan Victor (@slydanno70)

14. Texas Rangers
The Rangers’ system doesn’t look the most exciting from the outside, but if you take a deeper look and factor in the next few years, they have some exciting talents such as Sam Huff and Josh Jung. There won’t be too much in terms of development until 2022 at least, but the Rangers are hoping that they will slowly improve their system with the right movements. -Jake Tweedie (@MLBUKAnalysis1)

13. Kansas City Royals
The Royals feature two promising bats to go along with their large stable of pitchers. From top to bottom, they have a top 15 farm system, with some breakout candidates that could place them into the top 10 by 2022. -Michael Kelley (@MKelley_ND)

12. Minnesota Twins
Top heavy with some really nice talent, the Twins are almost at the point where they need to start preparing for life after these soon-to-be-ready prospects. Until then, it’ll be nice to sit back, relax, and enjoy the talent and potential. -Dave Funnell (@sportz_nutt51)

11. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates are primed to take over the top spot for both high-end talent and organizational depth after this year’s draft. Cherington and Co. appear to be operating with a plan, deftly trading away anything not tied down for young players on the rise. Given the likelihood of snagging the top pick in 2022 as well, look for the Pirates to be back in playoff contention by 2024 at the latest. -Kyle Brown (@CavghtLooking)

10. San Francisco Giants
A system growing with international roots finally has a homegrown star in Marco Luciano. Look for other international players to take the leap as this organization grows stronger over the next couple years in hopes of capturing another World Series crown in the near future. -Paul Aiton (@Paul_8en)

9. Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona touts a relatively under-the-radar system containing potential superstars, a good amount of pitching talent, and exciting talent at all levels. I would put the D’Backs top ten up against darn near any other organization. -Nate Handy (@TheNeedle12)

8. Atlanta Braves
With a couple of their top guys set to graduate from prospect status in 2021, the Braves system could look very different a year from now. For the time being, the talent at the top of the farm coupled with some interesting toolsy players throughout makes it one of the more intriguing ones in baseball. -Jake Berry (@berrys_baseball)

7. Baltimore Orioles
One of the most improved systems in the game, Baltimore’s top level talent is potentially game changing. The depth should only continue to improve as they finally dive into the international market. -Ryan James (@RyanJames5)

6. Cleveland Indians
Cleveland’s calling card continues to be its young pitchers. There are plenty of arms nearing the big leagues, but keep an eye on the younger bats, too – There are several names in the lower levels to get excited about. -Jim Zele (@zbaseball86)

5. Detroit Tigers
The Tigers system has never been more promising than right now, with five players in the MLB Pipeline Top 100 (five are actually in our own Prospects1500 Top 35). Anchored by 2020 MLB Draft #1 Pick Spencer Torkelson, the Tigers’ rebuild is inching closer to completion. -Kurt Moody (@DET_Guru_Kurt)

4. Toronto Blue Jays
The rebuild of the big club is now complete and the young core are ready to take it to the next level. Top prospects Austin Martin and Jordan Groshans now lead an exciting group of players that make up the next wave that will be coming in another year or two. -Greg Bracken (@gregbracken07)

3. Miami Marlins
The Marlins’ farm system has significantly improved over the past three years under the guidance of Jeter and team. They did what they needed to and the farm system is finally flourishing with depth specifically in pitching and the outfield. Stay tuned! -Stoffer Cochran (@stoffer81)

2. Seattle Mariners
The Mariners possess one of the best minor league systems in baseball, featuring two top 5 prospects and multiple starting pitchers with high upside. The future is bright in Seattle as they are poised to break the longest playoff drought in the major leagues. -Joe Rush (@joeprush)

1. Tampa Bay Rays
Led by the consensus top prospect in baseball, the Rays’ farm system boasts a bevy of elite hitting and pitching talent. A harmonious blend of international scouting, consistent drafting and high-end player development has continuously allowed the farm to produce players ready to contribute at the next level. -Jake Wiener (@GatorSosa)

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