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Ranking the five best farm systems: hitters

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Which farm systems have the best collections of hitters?

MLB: All Star Game-Futures Game
Eloy Jimenez
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

You can find prospect rankings for systems anywhere, but that doesn’t really tell you how that talent stacks up in different areas. I thought that this would be a good chance to break down which teams are well set up to load up their offense. There will be a similar post about pitching coming at a later time.

Honorable Mention- Brewers, Rays, Twins, Athletics, Dodgers

Even outside of Lewis Brinson and Keston Hiura the Brewers have a number of very solid bats in the system. They were very close as the top runner up, but the Reds depth was a big factor.

The Rays have some high end guys with Willy Adames, Brendan McKay, and Jesus Sanchez, and they also have a strong second tier of bats. That’s why they also just missed the list.

The Twins have some very promising guys, but are a little too shortstop heavy, but it is still especially impressive when you think about the bats they just recently graduated. Oakland would have made it had Matt Chapman not graduated recently. The Dodgers with Willie Calhoun would have had a spot on the list. They’ve got depth, but after the Alex Verdugo, Jeren Kendall duo and Keibert Ruiz, they don’t quite stack up.

5. Cincinnati Reds-The Reds may lack the impact hitters of some of the other teams outside of Nick Senzel, but they’ve got some impressive depth. Senzel has really responded to everything thrown at him this year and is expected to to reach the big leagues sometime in 2018.

Taylor Trammell has emerged as a Top 50-75 prospect this year with a great year in Low A, posting a prime-Curtis Granderson type of stat line. Guys like Tyler Stephenson, Jesse Winker, Jeter Downs, Shed Long, and Aristides Aquino are all very solid prospects in their own right, with Stephenson starting to regain the shine that he had entering 2016.

That’s not all as Jose Siri, TJ Freidl, Chris Okey, Stuart Fairchild, Alfredo Rodriguez, and Jose Israel Garcia have all been talked about quite a bit in the past year, and all have potential. This is one of the deepest farm systems for hitters in the game.

4. Philadelphia Phillies-Rhys Hoskins does still count, but it’s much more than just him and his big power output. JP Crawford has seen his stock bounce back this year after a mid-season turn around.

Jorge Alfaro is a guy with some very high end tools at a premium position. Scott Kingery has added the power no one saw coming in his bat out of college and really emerged this season. Cornelius Randolph has bounced back at the plate this year after battling injuries last year, and Jhailyn Ortiz has an extremely high ceiling.

You can’t forget about last year’s #1 overall draft pick Mickey Moniak despite some struggles this year, and they added Top 10 draftee Adam Haseley this year. Not to mention Roman Quinn and powerful Dylan Cozens. Jose Gomez, Daniel Brito, Carlos Tocci, Luis Garcia, and Cole Stobbe are also in the system. The Phillies not having one elite Moncada, Jimenez, Guerrero, Acuña, Senzel type is what locks them in at fourth.

3. Atlanta Braves-You don’t get to be the best farm system in baseball without an impressive collection of both arms and bats.

Ronald Acuña is about to be the top prospect in the game after Rafael Devers loses eligibility, a true five tool talent who can do it all. Ozzie Albies has shown way more power this year than anyone expected given his size. Then you get to Kevin Maitan, who has been the most hyped international prospect since Miguel Sano. Maitan’s stats aren’t huge this year, but he held his own despite a very aggressive assignment.

Austin Riley has had back to back 20 homer seasons in the minors despite just turning 20 years old right as the season began. Cristian Pache has a good hit tool, and special speed and defense. If he can add power- something many around the game think can and will happen, he will move way up prospect lists.

Then you have Alex Jackson, who may not be the guy who everyone thought at the time of his draft, but has resurrected his career this year after being dealt by the Mariners. Second round draft pick Drew Waters couldn’t have had a better pro debut and reached the Appy League despite being a prep player.

Travis Demeritte, Dustin Peterson, Rio Ruiz are all upper minors guys who will have some role in the big leagues, while you’ve got Brett Cumberland, Derian Cruz, Anfernee Seymour among the guys in the lower minors. And there’s still more coming. I really like the Braves group, but some of that talent is a little too far away to rank higher.

2. Toronto Blue Jays-The Blue Jays don’t have the depth of the White Sox, but this is by far the most exciting group of bats in the minors. Just this past Friday, Baseball America’s John Manuel suggested 80 power and 80 hit for Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

An 80 hit tool on a guy not named Rose, Gwynn, Miggy, Trout, or Altuve seems insane, but if anyone can do it he’s the guy. Bo Bichette is so good that he’d be the top bat in most other systems, but yet he hasn’t been the best bat on either of his two minor league teams this year because of the presence of Vladdy Jr.

Anthony Alford is a five tool, exciting talent and a clear third Top 50 guy for the Jays. Those three guys are a big part of why they rank this high, but Teoscar Hernandez and Richard Urena have potential along with being ready to contribute now. Logan Warmoth was a first round pick as a college shortstop and they added another shortstop in Kevin Smith, then Hagen Danner and Riley Adams as high pick catchers.

Another catcher who is having a breakout year is Danny Jansen. If that’s not enough, Rowdy Tellez, Max Pentecost, Cavan Biggio, Juan Kelly, and Connor Panas are in the system. If they had just a little more depth near the Top 100, they would have been in the top spot.

  1. Chicago White Sox-The winner is the White Sox. Whether or not you believe in his hit tool, Yoan Moncada is an elite prospect with massive upside. In terms of pure bats, Eloy Jimenez may be the best in the minors not named Vladimir Guerrero Jr..

Luis Robert is a third elite level guy, and has been compared favorably to Moncada. Former Yankee top pick Blake Rutherford has high upside and is the fourth consensus Top 100 prospect in the system, and the Sox own first rounders from the last two years- Zack Collins and Jake Burger are not too far off.

Former top international signee Micker Adolfo has started to show some signs of being the guy everyone thought he was, while second rounder Gavin Sheets is a big bat. Ryan Cordell is on the doorstep of the big leagues right now.

Then you have Casey Gillaspie and Luis Alexander Basabe, who have both struggled this year but both have potential. I haven’t even mentioned Jameson Fisher’s hit tool, future fourth outfielders Charlie Tilson and Alex Call, or Evan Skoug as another offensive catcher.