MLB farm systems ranked from worst to best by top prospects

Baltimore Orioles infielder Coby Mayo (86) scores a run during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Ed Smith Stadium.
Baltimore Orioles infielder Coby Mayo (86) scores a run during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Ed Smith Stadium.

It's only a matter of time until the kids take over, and what a sight that will be. Minor League Baseball is filled to the brim with tons of exciting young talent ready to hit the Majors. However, that wealth of talent is not equally distributed. There are several teams with much brighter futures than their adversaries.

While some teams don't have a single prospect in MLB's Top 100, others have three, four, even five waiting in the wings. Oftentimes, the strength of a team's farm system is indicative of how close they are to competing for a World Series title. In the past ten years, we've seen four teams ranked by as the top farm system in baseball go on to win the World Series within five years.

Here's how this year's farm system's stack up with one another.

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MLB farm system Power Rankings:

30) Los Angeles Angels

Top 5 prospects:

  • Nelson Rada (OF)

  • Caden Dana (RHP)

  • Ben Joyce (RHP)

  • Barrett Kent (RHP)

  • Denzer Guzman (SS)

The Angels are difficult to measure based on their tendency to call up their top prospects very quickly after joining their organization. Fortunately, the Angels have been a little more patient with some of the names on this list. Nelson Rada has some potential, but isn't the high-end talent that teams hope for from their top prospects. The Angels are the only team in baseball without a top-100 prospect and while some of their young guns like Ben Joyce draw a lot of attention, there's no evidence that these players will be household names at the big league level any time soon.

29) Houston Astros

Top 5 prospects:

  • Jacob Melton (OF)

  • Luis Baez (OF)

  • Brice Matthews (SS)

  • Zach Dezenzo (3B/2B)

  • Joey Loperfido (OF/2B/1B)

It's been a long time since the Astros had a great farm system, but it hasn't stopped them from finding success. As it stands, the Astros are currently five games under .500 in 2024, so perhaps the chickens have come to roost.

28) Kansas City Royals

Top 5 prospects:

  • Blake Mitchell (C)

  • Cayden Wallace (3B)

  • Ben Kudrna (RHP)

  • Frank Mozzicato (LHP)

  • Mason Barnett (RHP)

For a team in desperate need of a farm system overhaul, the 2023 draft class could be their saving grace. Most of their top prospects came from that class, which just goes to show how poor their farm system was before then. Still, because of their top prospects' youth, many of them are unproven and could wind up flopping in the minors, as was the case with Beck Way last season.

Way has turned it around this year in Double-A though, and his move to the bullpen could pay off massively for Kansas City down the line. Perhaps in a few years, the Royals could be back near the top of this list.

27) Oakland Athletics

Top 5 prospects:

  • Jacob Wilson (SS)

  • Luis Morales (RHP)

  • Denzel Clark (OF)

  • Darrell Hernaiz (SS)

  • Daniel Susac (C)

There is reason to believe in this group of A's prospects. Jacob Wilson is a hitting machine, Darrell Hernaiz has improved drastically on the defensive side, and Daniel Susac has provided a serviceable bat at every level of the minor leagues he's played in.

The Athletics would be higher on this list if half of their top prospects did not get called up to the big leagues at the start of the 2024 season. There's a good chance that Wilson will be called up soon as well. The A's are running their own prospect pool dry, but with trade rumors circling some of the team's star players like Mason Miller, the Athletics could very well fill it up again quickly.

26) Atlanta Braves

Top 5 prospects:

  • AJ Smith-Shawver (RHP)

  • Hurston Waldrep (RHP)

  • Spencer Schwellenbach (RHP)

  • JR Ritchie (RHP)

  • Owen Murphy (RHP)

While each of the Braves' top three prospects on this list have already reached the MLB level, the rest of their talent in the minors is rather underwhelming, with their No. 4 and 5 prospects still being three or so years away from being MLB-ready.

Of course, the Braves have done very well at locking up their biggest stars for the foreseeable future, so perhaps they will not need a huge pool prospects to enter for quite some time. Atlanta has done very well to give themselves ample opportunity to build a talented farm system without closing their World Series window.

25) San Francisco Giants

  • Marco Luciano (SS)

  • Carson Whisenhunt (LHP)

  • Bryce Eldridge (1B)

  • Walker Martin (SS)

  • Rayner Arias (OF)

The Giants' have whiffed miserably on most of their first-round picks recently, and it has led to a rather underwhelming farm system. Giants top prospect Marco Luciano was talented with the bat when he reached the Majors but was so unreliable with his glove that he could not carve out an everyday role at shortstop.

The only other Giants prospect that could make an impact on the roster this season is Carson Whisenhunt, but he has struggled at Triple-A this year, and even if he was not struggling, the Giants would not really have a place for him in their starting rotation when everyone is healthy. If the Giants hope to compete for a division title or even a playoff spot this year or next, they'll likely have to do so without much help from their farm.

24) St. Louis Cardinals

Top 5 prospects:

  • Tink Hence (RHP)

  • Thomas Saggese (INF)

  • Victor Scott II (OF)

  • Tekoah Roby (RHP)

  • Chase Davis (OF)

The Cardinals' farm system is very deep and well-balanced. Many of their top prospects should be ready for the big leagues by the end of this season. Many more will be ready in 2025 and 2026. The team has players lined up for years to come. Unfortunately, not many of those prospects are expected to be game-changing talents. While the team's farm system should be very capable of filling roster spots and areas of need, it seems unlikely that any of the players in their minor league system will push the team over the edge to start competing for NL Central titles once again.

23) Miami Marlins

Top 5 prospects:

  • Noble Meyer (RHP)

  • Max Meyer (RHP)

  • Thomas White (LHP)

  • Victor Mesa Jr. (OF)

  • Dillon Head (OF)

Most people believe the Marlins' farm system is weak, and that is true, but it is still better than people realize. Each of the Marlins' top three prospects are pitchers and the Marlins have been much better at developing their pitchers than position players. Even as players like Sixto Sanchez struggle to get healthy and fall off as prospects, the Marlins continue to find new pitchers to flow into their big league club. The team needs a lot of help, for sure, but strong pitching is often the quickest way to improve your squad, and the Marlins have good high-ceiling options coming soon.

22) Toronto Blue Jays

Top 5 prospects:

  • Ricky Tiedemann (LHP)

  • Orelvis Martinez (2B)

  • Arjun Nimmala (SS)

  • Brandon Barriera (LHP)

  • Leo Jimenez (SS/2B)

Having a top-40 prospect in Tiedemann is nice, but the Blue Jays don't really have much outside of that. Obviously, Martinez is still a solid option, but the decline in the Jays' farm system after those two is steep. Even someone like Leo Jimenez who made a massive jump up the Blue Jays' prospect boards last season is still questionable as to whether or not his offensive skillset will translate to the Major Leagues.

21) New York Mets

Top 5 prospects:

  • Jett Williams (SS/OF)

  • Drew Gilbert (OF)

  • Christian Scott (RHP)

  • Ryan Clifford (OF/1B)

  • Luisangel Acuña (SS/2B/OF)

The Mets have some very impressive depth in their farm system thanks to a flurry of solid trades at last year's deadline. However, the lack of top-end talent is hard to dismiss. The team's top prospect, Jett Williams is hitting just .180 in Double-A this year and just underwent wrist surgery that will keep him sidelined until August. Drew Gilbert is slugging just .360 in Triple-A. Ryan Clifford hit .164 with 27 strikeouts in 21 games at Double-A.

2024 has not been kind to Mets' prospects, but the potential is there and the Mets could be back in the top half of MLB farm systems if just a few of their top guys can turn things around.

20) Arizona Diamondbacks

Top 5 prospects:

  • Jordan Lawlar (SS)

  • Tommy Troy (SS)

  • Druw Jones (OF)

  • Yu-Min Lin (LHP)

  • Gino Groover (3B)

Jordan Lawlar is fantastic, but the team does not have another top-60 prospect at all. Druw Jones has seriously struggled at the plate so far in his minor league career and while he has turned things around slightly so far in 2024, his .274/.402/.395 triple-slash in single-A is very underwhelming for a former No. 2 overall pick.

19) Seattle Mariners

Top 5 prospects:

  • Cole Young (SS/2B)

  • Harry Ford (C)

  • Colt Emerson (SS/2B)

  • Lazaro Montes (OF)

  • Felnin Celesten (SS)

Cole Young and Harry Ford are a fantastic 1-2 punch for farm system rankings, but the lack of a top-ten pitching prospect really brings the Mariners down a peg. Their top pitching prospect is No. 12 in their system, Michael Morales, and he may not be ready for the big leagues until late 2025. Most of the team's other top pitching prospects are still in Rookie ball or Single-A as well.

18) Chicago White Sox

Top 5 prospects:

  • Colson Montgomery (SS)

  • Noah Schultz (LHP)

  • Drew Thorpe (RHP)

  • Edgar Quero (C)

  • Bryan Ramos (3B)

Colson Montgomery has been hyped up for some time now it feels like, but outside of him, the White Sox plan seems to be buying everything and hoping something sticks. The team's general manager, Chris Getz, has added numerous prospects over the last year and a half, including 17 of the team's top-30 prospects heading into the 2024 season. There's a lot of depth on the team, but not enough high-end talent to warrant a higher spot on this list.

17) Philadelphia Phillies

Top 5 prospects:

  • Andrew Painter (RHP)

  • Aidan Miller (SS/3B)

  • Mick Abel (RHP)

  • Justin Crawford (OF)

  • Starlyn Caba (SS)

With Andrew Painter in the middle of Tommy John recovery, it's hard to give the Phillies a higher ranking than this. Despite having five top-100 prospects, the Phillies can't really trust any of their top guys to jump to the Major League level just yet. Mick Abel is posting a 6.70 ERA in Triple-A, and everyone else is still years away from earning a shot at a roster spot.

16) Minnesota Twins

Top 5 prospects:

  • Walker Jenkins (OF)

  • Brooks Lee (SS)

  • Emmanuel Rodriguez (OF)

  • Gabriel Gonzalez (OF)

  • David Festa (RHP)

The Twins have a very good set of hitters at the top of their prospect rankings and each of them should come into the league steadily over the next 2-3 years. Festa is also a solid pitching prospect who could make an immediate impact at the MLB level.

The biggest problem in the Twins' farm system is the lack of a true superstar. No one in the system possesses an elite talent. According to, not a single prospect ranks as "well above average" in any of the key traits scouts look for. There are tons of prospects will "above average" traits across the board but nothing that jumps out at fans that could really push the Twins over the edge.

15) Cleveland Guardians

Top 5 prospects:

  • Chase DeLauter (OF)

  • Kyle Manzardo (1B)

  • Jaison Chourio (OF)

  • Ralphy Velazquez (1B)

  • Daniel Espino (RHP)

For a team that is known for producing great pitchers, it is refreshing to see Cleveland's prospect rankings full of strong bats. Kyle Manzardo and Chase DeLauter were both potential Opening Day players for the Guardians, but clearly, the team opted to keep developing them and it hasn't hurt their offense at all.

Cleveland had 17 rookies make their Major League debuts last season, so their farm system was obviously going to be more diminished than it has been in recent years. Still, there's a lot to like about who the Guardians have coming up soon.

14) Cincinnati Reds

Top 5 prospects:

  • Rhett Lowder (RHP)

  • Noelvi Marte (3B/SS)

  • Edwin Arroyo (SS)

  • Cam Collier (3B)

  • Connor Phillips (RHP)

Noelvi Marte is barely a prospect anymore after having contributed massively to the Reds' Major League ball club for more than 30 games at this point. However, the rest of this prospect pool is solid as well. Rhett Lowder dominated High-A early this season, and while he is still finding his footing in Double-A, he's still striking out 12.7 hitters per nine innings. Cam Collier is flashing 30-homer potential in High-A as well.

Other top prospects are certainly struggling though. Connor Phillips has not returned to his 2023 form this season after earning the call-up late last year. Edwin Arroyo suffered a torn labrum and will miss the entirety of the season. With all that in mind, and the fact that Collier and Lowder are still a long ways from reaching MLB, the Reds' system can't go any higher than 14th.

13) Boston Red Sox

Top 5 prospects:

  • Marcelo Mayer (SS)

  • Roman Anthony (OF)

  • Kyle Teel (C)

  • Miguel Bleis (OF)

  • Wikelman Gonzalez (RHP)

The Red Sox need pitching, and although only one of the team's top-five prospects is a pitcher, their farm system is still set up for success in the long run. Not only are the team's top-three pitching prospects each scheduled to reach the Majors over the next three seasons, but Wikelman Gonzalez led all of the minors in strikeout rate last year.

The team's hitting prospects speak for themselves. They're fantastic.

12) Colorado Rockies

Top 5 prospects:

  • Adael Amador (2B/SS)

  • Chase Dollander (RHP)

  • Yanquiel Fernandez (OF)

  • Jordan Beck (OF)

  • Sterlin Thompson (1B/OF)

Yes, only one of the Rockies' top-12 prospects is a pitcher, but this is the team that plays at Coors Field. Most of the time, regardless of pitching prospect talent, it's going to be difficult for them to find success at the Major League level. The Rockies need a team that can play to their park, and tons of great hitters does that very well.

11) Texas Rangers

Top 5 prospects:

  • Sebastian Walcott (SS)

  • Justin Foscue (2B/3B)

  • Kumar Rocker (RHP)

  • Anthony Gutierrez (OF)

  • Jack Leiter (RHP)

This list does not even include Jose Corniell who was named Rangers minor league pitcher of the year last season. Think about that, the team's best minor league pitcher from a season ago isn't even in their top-five prospects. The Rangers are deep, balanced, and have players who could be ready to join the big league club this year, the next, and the year after that. Even if the Rangers weren't coming off a World Series championship, they'd be set up to contend for some time in the near future.

10) Washington Nationals

Top 5 prospects:

  • James Wood (OF)

  • Dylan Crews (OF)

  • Brady House (3B)

  • Yohandy Morales (1B/3B)

  • Cade Cavalli (RHP)

Having two top-ten prospects is pretty much all you need to earn a top-ten spot in these rankings. James Wood and Dylan Crews are going to be stars in Major League Baseball. What keeps the Nationals at 10 on this list though is their lack of pitching depth. The hitters will obviously be fine, but with Cavalli on the return trail from Tommy John surgery, the team doesn't know what to expect from their top pitching prospect. The team's No. 2 and 3 pitching prospects – Jarlin Susana and Travis Sykora – are still years away from being MLB-ready.

9) New York Yankees

Top 5 prospects:

  • Jasson Dominguez (OF)

  • Spencer Jones (OF)

  • Chase Hampton (RHP)

  • Roderick Arias (SS)

  • Everson Pereira (OF)

The Yankees have had a very productive farm system for years now and even with Jasson Dominguez still recovering from an elbow injury, the team's prospect pool is deep and has a lot of potential. Chase Hampton could make an impact on the team as early as this season.

8) Pittsburgh Pirates

Top 5 prospects:

  • Paul Skenes (RHP)

  • Termarr Johnson (2B/SS)

  • Bubba Chandler (RHP)

  • Anthony Solometo (LHP)

  • Thomas Harrington (RHP)

The Pirates obviously have a great pool of prospects, but Paul Skenes is barely a prospect at this point. He's obviously a tremendous talent and earns the Pirates some points, but he's a big leaguer now, and the team's ranking should reflect more on the rest of their prospects.

Luckily, the rest of their prospects are also very good. Termarr Johnson, Bubba Chandler, and Anthony Solometo are all top-100 prospects. Plus, Braxton Ashcraft has pitched very well in Double-A over the last two seasons, even earning a spot on the Pirates' 40-man roster this past offseason. Pittsburgh's pitching staff is going to be a problem for opposing teams in a few years.

7) Los Angeles Dodgers

Top 5 prospects:

  • Dalton Rushing (C/1B)

  • Josue De Paula (OF)

  • Nick Frasso (RHP)

  • River Ryan (RHP)

  • Kyle Hurt (RHP)

Although the Dodgers don't have a litany of top-100 prospects, it's hard to bet against them given their track record with developing prospects. Even with so many of their best talents joining the big league club a year ago, the Dodgers' system remains very deep.

6) Tampa Bay Rays

Top 5 prospects:

  • Junior Caminero (3B/SS)

  • Carson Williams (SS)

  • Xavier Isaac (1B)

  • Brayden Taylor (3B/SS)

  • Dominic Keegan (C)

Although none of the Rays' top-six prospects are pitchers, Santiago Suarez, Yoniel Curet, and Jose Urbina are all expected to make massive jumps at some point either this year or next. None of them has pitched particularly well in 2024, but none of them are the Rays' top pitching prospect either.

That title belongs to southpaw Mason Montgomery, who also has not pitched well at Triple-A, but has dropped his walks per nine drastically since last year while increasing his strikeout rate at the Triple-A level. It's only a matter of time before it all comes together.

5) San Diego Padres

Top 5 prospects:

  • Ethan Salas (C)

  • Robby Snelling (LHP)

  • Dylan Lesko (RHP)

  • Leodalis DeVries (SS)

  • Adam Mazur (RHP)

Many people thought the Padres' prospect pool was dead after the Juan Soto trade. Clearly, that is not the case. Obviously, trading Soto to the Yankees played a massive part in rebuilding their prospect pool, but international draftees and other draft prospects have also turned out very well for San Diego.

4) Detroit Tigers

Top 5 prospects:

  • Jackson Jobe (RHP)

  • Max Clark (OF)

  • Jace Jung (3B/2B)

  • Kevin McGonigle (SS/2B)

  • Ty Madden (RHP)

Max Clark and Kevin McGonigle both may not be ready for the Majors this year, but they will be minor league stars that leave fans giddy with anticipation for their call-ups.

Outside of them, Jackson Jobe has posted a sub-3.0 ERA in Double-A. Although he did suffer a hamstring strain in early May, it isn't expected to hurt Jobe's development long term. Jace Jung has the power to hit 40 homers at the Major League level.

3) Milwaukee Brewers

Top 5 prospects:

  • Jacob Misiorowski (RHP)

  • Jeferson Quero (C)

  • Tyler Black (1B)

  • Robert Gasser (LHP)

  • Brock Wilken (3B)

Even with Jackson Chourio no longer considered a prospect, the Brewers have a lot to like about their farm system. Quero and Black are both top-tier hitting talents. Misiorowski has posted a sub-3.0 ERA in 42 innings at Double-A. Robert Gasser could start contributing to the Brewers very soon, and the team still has tons of talent at the lower levels like Cooper Pratt and Yophery Rodriguez to fill in once the top guys join Milwaukee.

2) Chicago Cubs

Top 5 prospects:

  • Cade Horton (RHP)

  • Owen Cassie (OF)

  • Matt Shaw (3B)

  • Kevin Alcantara (OF)

  • James Triantos (2B)

Chicago's seven top-100 prospects is the most of any team in Major League Baseball. With that said, you would expect them to have someone in the top-15. They don't.

That's all that is keeping them from the No. 1 spot on this list though. This is a very deep, very talented group of youngsters that will help the Cubs drastically for years to come.

1) Baltimore Orioles

Top 5 prospects:

  • Jackson Holliday (2B/SS)

  • Samuel Basallo (C/1B)

  • Coby Mayo (3B/1B)

  • Heston Kjerstad (OF)

  • Enrique Bradfield Jr. (OF)

Everyone expected it and here it is. The Baltimore Orioles' farm system has been praised and lauded for years now and 2024 is no different. Even with Jackson Holliday struggling mightily in the big leagues, he's still just 20 years old with tons of time to develop. Coby Mayo, Heston Kjerstad, and Samuel Basallo are all crushing opponents in the minors. If the Orioles ever start to struggle, which seems unlikely, they have a ton of talent to help them get back on track waiting in the wings.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB farm system rankings: Ranking all 30 teams ahead of the draft