When he’s not arguing on Twitter with Curt Schilling over evolution and the bible, ESPN’s Keith Law is keeping his finger on the pulse of baseball’s top prospects.
Every year, Law releases his rankings of the top 100 prospects in baseball, and also ranks the farm systems for every team in the league. Last year, Law listed the Cubs‘ Kris Bryant as his No. 1 prospect, who took home National League Rookie of the Year honors, while his No. 3 pick, Carlos Correa, was named Rookie of the Year in the American League.
This year, SS/3B Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers is the head of the class, with left-handed pitcher Julio Urias, also of the Dodgers, coming in at No. 5. Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins stays put at No. 2 where Law ranked him last year. And the biggest jump in the top 10 goes to right-handed pitcher Alex Reyes of the St. Louis Cardinals, who Law has at No. 8 this year, after ranking him 77th last year.
The teams with the most prospects in the top 100 are the Atlanta Braves, Dodgers, and Twins — all with seven — who round out the top three farm systems in baseball, respectively. The Braves, of course, have been in rebuild mode, and have loaded up on prospects coming over from the Arizona Diamondbacks. As a result, the Diamondbacks dropped from where they were last year at No. 14, down ten spots to No. 24. Beyond having two prospects in the top 5, the Dodgers also have five prospects listed between No. 51 and 92.
The Twins, as I mentioned, have the No. 2 prospect in baseball, and also have three prospects in the top 33, including Buxton. And while Law ranks the Braves as the top farm system in baseball, they are without a top 10 prospect. The Braves’ highest ranking prospect is shortstop Dansby Swanson, who Atlanta acquired in the Shelby Miller deal with the Diamondbacks. Swanson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, but he doesn’t appear on Law’s list until No. 13.
Ranking dead last in Law’s farm system rankings would be the Los Angeles Angels, who don’t have a single prospect in the top 100. They’re the only team without one, while there are six teams in total who only have one prospect in the top 100, including the Toronto Blue Jays (No. 25) who have just about emptied their system over the last year and change as part of their “win now” approach. Angels fans have a lot to look forward to, as Law says, “I’ve been doing these rankings for eight years now, and this is by far the worst system I’ve ever seen.” Awesome, awesome.
Both lists are behind ESPN’s paywall, so I can’t go into too much detail, but they’re absolutely worth the read if you’re a prospect junkie. Links can be found above.