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Top 20 Summary

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Summarizing the Top 20 Lists

There are several different ways you can summarize the lists. I didn't originally intend the Top 20 lists to result in "farm system rankings," but several industrious readers went ahead and ran some numbers. Although the exact way they weighted grades varied from system to system, the results were pretty much the same. Thanks to readers Lambtwo and Don2 for sending the numbers in.

Note that the difference in some of these farm systems is very little; a lot of these teams are extremely close to each other. Note that, in my grading system, there is little difference between a Grade C+ and a Grade B- prospect. Attaching a specific number to the grade may exaggerate the difference. As you know, my grading system involves a combination of objective and subjective factors. The latter, of course, is difficult to quantify.

I caution against taking the exact position of any one team too seriously. The difference, for example, between Texas at #16 and Houston at #20 is small and the exact number can be deceptive. It's probably better to think of these in groups of five or six.

The numbers below were generated by Lambtwo, but Don2's numbers are virtually the same. Lambtwo gave a Grade A 10 points, a Grade A- 9 points, a Grade B+ 8 points, etc., down to Grade C at 4 points.

Los Angeles 6.80 1
Minnesota 6.75 2
Oakland 6.75 3
Anaheim 6.55 4
Colorado 6.45 5
Cleveland 6.40 6
Milwaukee 6.25 7
Boston 6.10 8
Toronto 6.00 9
Kansas City 5.95 10
Atlanta 5.90 11
Tampa Bay 5.90 12
Seattle 5.85 13
Chicago Sox 5.70 14
San Fran 5.70 15
Texas 5.70 16
Pittsburgh 5.65 17
Arizona 5.55 18
Chicago Cubs 5.55 19
Houston 5.55 20
St. Louis 5.40 21
NY Yankees 5.35 22
Florida 5.30 23
NY Mets 5.20 24
Baltimore 5.15 25
Cincinnati 5.15 26
Philadelphia 5.15 27
San Diego 5.15 28
Detroit 5.05 29
Washington 4.80 30

Another way to look at it, also generated by Don2, is the number of prospects Grade B or higher:
12 LA
12 Oak
11 Min
9 Ana
8 Cle
8 Mil
7 Col
7 Tor
7 TB
7 Hou
6 Bos
6 KC
6 SF
6 ChW
5 Atl
5 Tex
5 Fla
5 Bal
5 Phi
4 Sea
4 Pit
4 Ari
4 NYM
4 Cin
4 Was
3 ChC
3 StL
3 NYY
3 SD
3 Det
Summarizing, I'd like to put these in groupings. The placement of each team in a group is more important than their ranking WITHIN the group.

TOP FARM SYSTEMS
Los Angeles, Minnesota, Oakland, Anaheim, Colorado, Cleveland
GOOD FARM SYSTEMS
Milwaukee, Boston, Toronto, Atlanta, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Seattle
AVERAGE FARM SYSTEMS
San Francisco, Chicago Sox, Texas, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Chicago Cubs, Houston
WEAK FARM SYSTEMS
St. Louis, NY Yankees, Florida, NY Mets, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, San Diego
AWFUL FARM SYSTEMS
Detroit, Washington

I don't think most of those would be particularly controversial, but there are some exceptions. The rankings of Oakland, Boston, and Kansas City are heavily dependent on good-looking 2004 drafts turning out well in the long run. Those clubs could drop quickly if the drafts don't pan out. The Braves seem low to me, at least compared to their reputation. The Rockies came out better than I expected.

Also note that these grades don't include guys recently graduated to the Show. The Mets don't get credit for David Wright or Jose Reyes. It's a snapshot of current talent in the minors or on the cusp of the majors.

What do you guys and gals think?