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Most Improved Agricultural Systems 2021



Twice a year, MLB Pipeline ranks baseball’s 30 farming systems. It was in the top 10 for a number of years, expanded to 15 in 2019, then expanded to incorporate all organizations in 2020. The first comes before the start of the season and is followed by a reclassification in the summer. to reflect things like graduation ceremonies. , trades, Draft and acquisitions of international signatures.

While there is no algorithm to determine this in a scientific way, the rankings are based on a combination of high-end talent and depth. A year ago, determining the rankings after a lost 2020 Minor League season was certainly difficult, although we have done our best to present an accurate 2021 preseason rankings.

Our reclassification at the end of August actually had data, with a full minor league season to be distinguished. Since then, other than a few more graduation ceremonies and some Arizona Fall League performances, little impact on how things would turn out, especially without the flurry of offseason exchanges that typically occur during and around winter meetings.

That’s not to say it’s not a useful exercise in looking at which organizations have made the biggest improvements in 2021 as the year draws to a close. Below are five teams that have made the biggest leaps in our rankings during the year. The Orioles are not on the list, given they haven’t made such a big jump, but it should be noted that the O’s have moved up to number one in our rankings, dropping from 13th in our ranking of pre-season 2020 to no .8 in this mid-season, starting at no.5 at the start of 2021 before taking first place in our reclassification.

1. Red Sox
Preseason Rank: 24
Reclassification: 12

It’s never optimal to finish with one of baseball’s worst records, especially in a city like Boston, where annual competitions are expected. But a difficult 2020 saw the Red Sox claim the No.4 pick in the 2021 draft, the first Boston selected since 1967 and the first top 10 selection since Andrew Benintendi joined the Red Sox as a member of the Red Sox. No.1.7 picks in 2015. This allowed the Red Sox to add the player MLB Pipeline had at No.1 in its 2021 Draft Talent Rankings, high school shortstop Marcelo Mayer. Add that to the good seasons of Triston Casas, Jarren Duran, surprising 2020 first round Nick Yorke and right-hander Brayan Bello.

2. Prowlers
Preseason Rank: 21
Reclassification: 11

The Rangers have an increasingly interesting farming system, anchored by their last four first-round picks, all of which are in the Top 100. This list is led by Jack Leiter, the No. 2 overall pick in the Rangers. ‘last year. Draft, which is No. 12 overall, followed by Josh Jung (2019), Cole Winn (2018) and Justin Foscue (2020). They added some interesting talent from trades (Ezequiel Duran, courtesy of the Yankees, comes to mind after a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League) and international signings. The big league team could still struggle, with the silver lining being that the Rangers pick No.3 in 2022, giving them another chance to add top-notch talent. Hold on to the Rangers fans, help is on the way.

The Nationals have spent a lot of time at or near the bottom of our rankings, ranking No.29 during the 2020 preseason and No.30 in both this year’s reclassification and the pre-roster. -season 2021. When the organization decided they weren’t competing in 2021, they decided to sell as the trade deadline approached. This led to a lot of depth, with nearly a third of the team’s Top 30 coming from 2021 trades. That list was dominated by recently graduated wide receiver Keibert Ruiz and right-hander Josiah Gray, both from the Dodgers in under the Max Scherzer / Trea Turner agreement. The system was bolstered by the last two first-round picks, Cade Cavalli (2020), a Futures Game participant who made his way from High-A to Triple-A in his first full season, and the first round of 2021 Brady House, a high school infielder who showed offensive potential during his brief professional debut in the Florida Complex League. Choosing No.5 in the 2022 draft won’t hurt either.

4. Royals
Preseason Rank: 10
Reclassification: 5

The Royals have gone from No.17 in early 2020 to the top five now, and while there are other organizations that have made a bigger leap in rankings, the Royals have a place here because of the potential to ‘high-end impact here. Having Bobby Witt Jr. is enough, and the fact that he went from Double-A to Triple-A in what was, in fact, his first full season and almost managed a 30-30 season, doesn’t make wrong. But the Royals also had stellar performances with prospects like wide receiver MJ Melendez, who led the minors in the home circuits, and first baseman Nick Pratto, who joined Witt and Melendez in playing well on two. upper minor levels. The Royals saved money by taking on high-cap high schooler Frank Mozzicato in the first round of the 2021 Draft, which allowed them to add eight members of our Top 250 Draft to the system, six of whom are currently in the Top 30 Royals.

5. Reds
Preseason Rank: 20
Reclassification: 10

In 2020, the Reds were in the bottom third of the standings, moved into the top 20 to start the 2021 season and have now moved to the end of the top 10, all while seeing Jonathan India take home Rookie of the Year honors. of the National League in 2021. The fact that a pair of top pitching prospects reach triple A in 2019 Nick Lodolo and 2017 first-round pick Hunter Greene, who returned from Tommy John surgery with a vengeance, helps , as did the addition of 2021 first-round pick Matt McLain (2020 first round Austin Hendrick is just behind McLain in his Top 30). McLain was one of nine Top 250 Draft talents to join the organization, with six more joining him in the team’s Top 30.