22. Los Angeles Dodgers
There is a group of about 5 or 6 systems here that are going to be interchangeable essentially, but I had to find some order, otherwise it wouldn’t be a ranking. The Cubs system is quite a bit deeper than the Dodgers, but I give the Dodgers the nod because their greatest commodity is pitching. There really is a lack of quality offensive prospects in this system though, so I can’t go much higher than this, and could’ve easily gone a spot lower. What can I say, I am a sucker for pitchers. The prize arm in the Dodgers system belongs to one Zach Lee. First, the Dodgers shocked everyone by actually signing him away from football, then he goes on to make them look genius for it. He pitches past his age, and owns quality stuff to boot. Allen Webster and Nathan Eovaldi are two right-handed pitchers that are going to be knocking on the clubhouse door this season. Eovaldi has already debuted in 2011 with the Dodgers and showed he won’t be over his head. The pitching parade continues with 2011 first rounder Chris Reed, and also Garret Gould. Both players should see high A at some point this season and have mid-rotation potential. And that’s not it. More power arms exist with Chris Withrow and Josh Lindblom as well. The Dodgers may not hit a lick, but their pitching should keep them in games for years to come.
Biggest strength: If I have to tell you this, you didn’t just read the paragraph above. Power pitching baby. All of those guys, with Reed maybe the exception, can touch mid 90’s at the drop of a hat, and sometimes more.
21. Houston Astros
The Astros have really started to step up their game when it comes to developing a farm system. Or, they have just traded a lot of major league talent away to get it. Regardless of how it happened, Houston is looking more and more viable in both high end talent and depth. Jonathan Singleton, Jared Cosart, and George Springer are likely to see their names on top 100 lists, and SS Jonathan Villar might not be too far behind. Domingo Santana has good power potential as a toolsy OF. Houston has made a conscious effort to add athletes to their system, and have done so. Delino DeShields Jr. along with Austin Wates are two guys who could be spark plugs at the top of an order. Jay Austin is really talented if he doesn’t let his head get in the way. Telvin Nash can brutalize a baseball. Houston is also becoming a player in Latin American, inking the talented Ariel Ovando. And then there is some pitchers to like. R.J. Alaniz, Vincent Velazquez, Tanner Bushue, Mike Foltynewicz, Adrian Houser, Brett Oberholtzer, and Paul Clemens should give Houston fans some hope finally.
Biggest strength: A good balance of pitching and position players. This isn’t a lopsided system like the Dodgers, but one thing Astros fans have to keep in mind is, their system is highly volatile. There is quite a bit of ceiling here, but quite a bit of failure potential as well.