Royals and Rays lead Baseball America farm system rankings


Kansas City had a record nine players in Baseball America‘s annual ranking of the top 100 prospects, including three guys in the top 10, so it’s no surprise that BA‘s farm system rankings released today have the Royals in the top spot.

It’s also no surprise that the Rays rank second, as Tampa Bay claimed BA‘s top spot in three of the past four seasons.

Bringing up the rear are the Brewers and Marlins, who both ranked among the top 15 farm systems in 2010. Milwaukee gutted their prospect crop to acquire Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, while Florida called up most of its top prospects to the majors last year.

As usual with BA there’s a ton of worthwhile content beyond just the rankings, as Jim Callis provides a rundown of each farm system’s strengths and weaknesses.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.