17. Los Angeles Angels
Here is the team I debated most with out of this batch of five. The Angels aren’t loaded by any stretch, but they do have arguably the top prospect in the game along with Matt Moore and Bryce Harper in Mike Trout. Trout is a do it all CF, and should have a long pro career with multiple All Star games to go to. Trout isn’t the only quality prospect in this system though. SS Jean Segura would probably be easily a top 40 type player if it wasn’t for his injury in 2011, which I believe was a groin or hamstring issue. He should bounce back, and looks to be able to play SS which helps his value, because he can hit. A couple other guys showed they could hit too. Kaleb Cowart a 2010 1st rounder was pretty good in his first year. 2B Taylor Lindsey hit .362 last season and flashed above average power. 2011 1st rounder C.J Cron showed off the power he is known for and shouldn’t take long to get to the big leagues. After that it does get more thin for the Angels, but 3B Luis Jimenez has shown potential in AA ball. Lower level quality athletes like Travis Witherspoon, Randal Grichuk, and Chavez Clarke. Pitching is led by right hander Garret Richards, who has #2 or #3 potential. The Angels will look for a couple of talented guys to bounce back from injury in Cam Bedrosian and Fabio Martinez-Mesa. Both guys have quality arms. Joining those three with quality arms is Justin La Tempa, lefty Max Russell, and closer candidate Daniel Tillman. Matt Shoemaker doesn’t have the same kind of arm that some of the other guys have, but he has had some success.
Biggest Strength: Balance. I like this system, especially if Mesa and Bedrosian can come out strong in 2012. There is a little bit of everything, but it is a couple years away for the most part.
16. New York Mets
The Mets have always had somewhat of a middling farm system. They take enough risks internationally, but haven’t always done so in the draft. Until 2011 anyway. Trading away Carlos Beltran definitely took this system up a couple of notches, along with what I consider a quality draft. Highlighting the Mets system is a bunch of quality power arms. Matt Harvey and Zach Wheeler are a nice 1-2 punch, and it almost doesn’t matter who you want to put first. Most would probably give the edge to Wheeler. They should anchor the Mets rotation starting in 2013 together. Along with those two, the Mets have power armed Jeurys Familia and Jennry Mejia as well. Both may end up in the bullpen, but that would be okay, as they both could be dominant. Speaking of bullpens, 2011 draftees Corey Mazzoni, Logan Verrett, and Jack Leathersich could help on that end soon. Another 2011 draftee for the Mets that is a starting pitcher and has a lot of talent is Michael Fullmer. Overshadowed by a good high school class, Fullmer would’ve went higher most years. They also added high school righty Christian Montgomery. The Mets picked up high school bat Brandon Nimmo in the first round, and he is the Mets top rated position prospect. Along with Latin American signings Cesar Puello, Wilfredo Tovar, Jefrey Marte, Aderlin Rodriguez, Armando Rodriguez, Juan Urbina, Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores, Nimmo and fellow 2011 high schooler Phillip Evans present some potential upside in the future for the Mets.
There is also more polished guys in their system as well. Matt Den Dekker, Jordanny Valdespin, Reese Havens, Danny Muno are guys that might lack a little ceiling, but could be contributors. Kirk Niewenhuis and Zach Lutz could contribute as well. Oops……I almost forgot Corey Vaughn.
Biggest strength: Like the Angels, the Mets have a good mix going on here, which is a sign of a strong farm system, but it is deeper than the Angels with a little more overall upside. There is no shame in being 16th, especially with teams hanging on to their prospects more often now.