Baseball America’s annual ranking of the farm systems is out. The top five: Rangers, Rays, Giants, Phillies and Indians. The bottom five: Nationals, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Cardinals and Astros.
The Giants at number 3 seems like an empty ranking to me. While they still technically count, the two blue chippers they name — Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner — aren’t going to be minor leaguers for long, and another named prospect — Angel Villalona — may never be allowed in the United States, what with the murder rap and all. Mostly, though, I just refuse to believe that Brian Sabean has built a solid farm system, because if that happened I’d have to stop criticizing him about everything, and it’s hard to let go of the things that you love.
The Indians should be on there twice. Once for having a good system of their own, and once for allowing Philadelphia to rank so high by virtue of not driving a hard bargain in the Cliff Lee deal.
At the bottom, the Nats have Strasburg and Storen, but everything else was put together by Jim Bowden so it’s understandably a mess. I think the most telling tidbit, however, comes in the Astros comment: no Houston farm team has had a winning record since 2007. That’s sixteen team seasons. That’s top-to-bottom consistency, my friends. Awful consistency, but consistency all the same.
Anyway, the B.A. list is always fun, if for no other reason than it puts to lie the “our team should trade some prospects for so-and-so” arguments you hear on talk radio all the time. Fact is, for a good number of you, there are no prospects.