Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (22) | 2012 (5) | 2011 (4) | 2010 (19) | 2009 (19)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [74-88] AL East
AAA: [74-70] International League – Buffalo
AA: [68-72] Eastern League – New Hampshire
A+: [63-68] Florida State League – Dunedin
A: [61-78] Midwest League – Lansing
A(ss): [39-37] Northwest League — Vancouver

Graduated Prospects
Todd Redmond (RHP); Aaron Loup (LHP)

The Run Down
No one questions Aaron Sanchez‘s fantasy upside, which is as sexy as any minor league starting pitcher’s. And Marcus Stroman is a whiff machine — a former Duke Blue Devil, whose fastball/slider combo is so impressive that it (almost) allows me to look past the fact that he (probably) roots for Duke hoops. I loathe Duke hoops. Anyway, after those two headliners, this Toronto farm is young. Quite young. And as we know, youth is volatile. There’s upside here, but much of it hasn’t yet reached the full-season level, and therefore, it’s largely untested. A good number of these promising youngsters, however, will be headed to Toronto’s Low-A affiliate in the Midwest League next spring, and being a Chicago native, I’m excited to have the chance to put eyes on the Lansing squad when it passes through Kane County. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on what I see. Until then…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (23) | 2012 (25) | 2011 (30) | 2010 (14) | 2009 (10)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [74-88] NL Central
AAA: [57-87] Pacific Coast League — Nashville
AA: [59-79] Southern League — Huntsville
A+: [66-68] Florida State League — Brevard County
A: [59-76] Midwest League — Wisconsin

Arizona Fall League PlayersSurprise Saguaros
Tyler Cravy (RHP); David Goforth (RHP); Taylor Jungmann (RHP); Kevin Shackelford (RHP); Adam Weisenburger (C); Mitch Haniger (OF); Jason Rogers (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Logan Schafer (OF); Jeff Bianchi (INF); Scooter Gennett (2B); Khris Davis (OF); Caleb Gindl (OF); Wily Peralta (RHP); Brandon Kintzler (RHP); Alfredo Figaro (RHP); Donovan Hand (RHP); Tyler Thornburg (RHP)

The Run Down
The upper levels of the Brewers’ minor league system graduated quite a bit of talent into the bigs in 2013, as Wily Peralta, Tyler Thornburg, Khris Davis, and Scooter Gennett, among others, earned significant playing time in Milwaukee. What remains of the Brewers’ farm is a rather uninteresting mix of low-risk/low-upside, and high-risk/high-reward type prospects. It’s not the worst org in the game — no, the Angels have that locked up by a comfy margin — but it’s lacking severely in the high-impact department. Outfielders Victor Roache and Tyrone Taylor can change that outlook with big seasons in 2014. And Orlando Arcia and Devin Williams are gifted enough to bring some excitement to the lower levels of this system. But until further notice, you should probably try to avoid stocking up on Brewers in your dynasty leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (24) | 2012 (27) | 2011 (11) | 2010 (18) | 2009 (12)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB:  [73-89] NL East
AAA:  [72-72] International League — Lehigh Valley
AA:  [62-80] Eastern League — Reading
A+:  [67-68] Florida State League — Clearwater
A:  [56-80] South Atlantic League — Lakewood
A(ss):  [37-38] New York-Penn League — Williamsport

Arizona Fall League PlayersPeoria Javelinas
Ken Giles (RHP); Mike Nesseth (RHP); Kyle Simon (RHP); Austin Wright (LHP); Cameron Rupp (C); Aaron Altherr (OF); Cameron Perkins (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Darin Ruf (1B/OF); Cody Asche (3B); Jonathan Pettibone (RHP); Tyler Cloyd (RHP); Justin De Fratus (RHP); Jake Diekman (LHP)

The Run Down
Two of the top four prospects here weren’t in the system a year ago, so it goes without saying that the Phillies have made it an initiative to improve their farm. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (25) | 2012 (26) | 2011 (28) | 2010 (12) | 2009 (3)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB:  [96-66] AL West
AAA:  [79-65] Pacific Coast League — Sacramento
AA:  [62-78] Texas League — Midland
A+:  [69-71] California League — Stockton
A:  [77-62] Midwest League — Beloit
A(ss):  [33-43] New York-Penn League — Vermont

Arizona Fall League PlayersMesa Solar Sox
Ryan Dull (RHP); Omar Duran (LHP); Seth Frankoff (RHP); Bruce Maxwell (C); Max Muncy (1B); Addison Russell (SS)

Graduated Prospects
Nate Freiman (1B); Stephen Vogt (C); Dan Straily (RHP); Sonny Gray (RHP)

The Run Down
The first rule of Oakland Athletics prospecting is to never write off a pitcher.  These guys are going to be spending the bulk of their time pitching in the cavernous O.co Coliseum, so any starting pitching prospect who’s pushing through the Athletics system is probably worth consideration in fantasy leagues.  That said, the list that follows is a little light on the pitching side of things — with arms like Sonny Gray and Dan Straily graduating their prospect status, there aren’t many high-impact starters left in this group.  Michael Ynoa can certainly fill that void with a healthy year, but for now, the bulk of the fantasy excitement is focused around Addison Russell and Michael Choice.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (26) | 2012 (15) | 2011 (2) | 2010 (9) | 2009 (6)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [96-66] NL East
AAA: [60-84] International League – Gwinnett
AA: [76-63] Southern League – Mississippi
A+: [69-70] Carolina League – Lynchburg
A: [73-66] South Atlantic League – Rome

Arizona Fall League PlayersScottsdale Scorpions
John Cornerly (RHP); Juan Jaime (RHP); Aaron Northcraft (RHP); Shae Simmons (RHP); Kyle Kubitza (3B); Tommy La Stella (2B); Elmer Reyes (SS); Robby Hefflinger (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Evan Gattis (C/OF); Julio Teheran (RHP); Alex Wood (LHP); Anthony Varvaro (RHP); Luis Avilan (LHP); Cory Gearrin (RHP);

The Run Down
The high-impact fantasy potential on this list starts and ends with Lucas Sims.  Still, I view this Braves farm system as an underrated group, in that, there are a number of intriguing college arms here, and Atlanta, as an organization, has proven itself in recent years to be quite adept at developing college pitchers into MLB assets. (See Mike Minor and Alex Wood.)  On the offensive side of things, there’s far less appeal.  Hitting prospects like Bethancourt, La Stella, and Salcedo could all be spending time with the big club in 2014, and they each bring a glimmer of fantasy upside, but it’s the variety of upside that barely garners consideration in mixed leagues.  With a decent amount of talent pushing through the upper levels, this is a group worth monitoring early on next season, but there’s truly nothing here to get too excited over until Sims makes his way to Turner Field.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (27) | 2012 (22) | 2011 (25) | 2010 (27) | 2009 (28)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [93-69] AL Central
AAA: [61-83] International League – Toledo
AA: [76-66] Eastern League – Erie
A+: [64-68] Florida State League – Lakeland
A: [69-70] Midwest League – West Michigan
A(ss):  [33-42] New York-Penn League — Connecticut

Arizona Fall League PlayersMesa Solar Sox
Tommy Collier (RHP); Kenny Faulk (LHP); Blaine Hardy (LHP); Corey Knebel (RHP); Dixon Machado (SS); Devon Travis (2B); Tyler Collins (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Jose Iglesias (SS); Darin Downs (LHP); Bruce Rondon (RHP)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (28) | 2012 (21) | 2011 (24) | 2010 (29) | 2009 (8)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [76-86] NL West
AAA: [68-75] Pacific Coast League – Fresno
AA: [70-72] Eastern League – Richmond
A+: [83-57] California League – San Jose
A: [82-55] South Atlantic League – Augusta
A(ss): [47-29] Northwest League — Salem-Keiser

Arizona Fall League PlayersScottsdale Scorpions
Kyle Crick (RHP); Cody Hall (RHP); Derek Law (RHP); Alberto Mejia (LHP); Andrew Susac (C); Angel Villalona (1B); Jarrett Parker (OF)

Graduated Prospect
Jean Machi (RHP)

The Run Down
When considering the San Francisco farm system from a fantasy perspective, one must always keep in mind the ballpark in which these prospects will eventually spend their days playing. In most places you look, AT&T Park grades out as the most pitcher-friendly venue in the game. That means that if you’re building your dynasty roster, it’s never a bad idea to take some chances with Giants pitching prospects. Conversely, it’s extremely risky to take on any of their offensive prospects (not that there are any). Overall, this is a rather thin system, featuring high-impact potential only in Kyle Crick and Clayton Blackburn. Crick, in particular, is quite awesome.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (29) | 2012 (30) | 2011 (27) | 2010 (23) | 2009 (16)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [63-99] AL Central
AAA: [65-78] International League — Charlotte
AA: [77-63] Southern League — Birmingham
A+: [71-69] Carolina League — Winston-Salem
A: [61-76] South Atlantic League — Kannapolis

Arizona Fall League PlayersGlendale Desert Dogs
Chris Bassitt (RHP); Charlie Leesman (LHP); Stephen McCray (RHP); Kevin Vance (RHP); Micah Johnson (2B); Marcus Semien (SS); Brandon Jacobs (OF); Jared Mitchell (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Avisail Garcia (OF); Josh Phegley (C); Jordan Danks (OF); Andre Rienzo (RHP)

The Run Down
Back in July I went on a brief rant, imploring White Sox brass to change their ways and improve their flaccid trajectory. It went like this: “There are several questionable farm systems in baseball, but the Chicago White Sox are certainly one that stands out. For years now, the Sox have maintained a firm MLB-first approach to player personnel. They’re a principled franchise that would rather allocate its baseball operations budget toward free agent signings and MLB extensions than toward draft spending. And when they do stumble upon a real-deal prospect, they usually like to trade him for a veteran dude, someone to help that playoff push. It’s a model that occasionally works — they won a World Series by it in 2005 — but it’s not one that’s built to sustain success. And now, in 2013, the White Sox are awful. They’re in total rebuild mode — everything is for sale. This is finally their opportunity to change direction, to try to build a system that cultivates and utilizes impact talent. They’ve already dealt Matt Thornton to Boston for Brandon Jacobs, an upside outfielder with a skill set that might be very useful in the fantasy game. Don’t stop there, Chicago. Tear it all down.”

Well, they couldn’t quite tear it all down — there were no Adam Dunn buyers in the market — but they were able to make some key moves and splash some youth into an organization that desperately needed it. Most notably, Avisail Garcia was an outstanding acquisition. He’s ineligible for this list, but he’d be an easy #1 were he still hanging onto his prospect status. Don’t get me wrong here, this system is still lacking, but it’s no longer the weakest in the game, and its overall direction has improved greatly.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (30) | 2012 (18) | 2011 (15) | 2010 (26) | 2009 (25)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [78-84] AL West
AAA: [78-66] Pacific Coast League – Salt Lake
AA: [73-66] Texas League — Arkansas
A+: [69-71] California League – Inland Empire
A: [56-78] Midwest League – Burlington

Arizona Fall League PlayersMesa Solar Sox
R.J. Alvarez (RHP); Cam Bedrosian (RHP); Mike Morin (RHP); Michael Roth (LHP); Jett Bandy (C); Taylor Lindsey (2B); Zach Borenstein (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Kole Calhoun (OF); J.B. Shuck (OF); Grant Green (2B); Andrew Romine (3B); Dane De La Rosa (RHP); Michael Kohn (RHP)

The Run Down
The postseason is barely underway, but let’s get on with some 2014 baseball chatter because I just can’t wait.  As always, we’ll be easing you into these MiLB previews, starting with the poorest systems, and working our way toward the best as Opening Day approaches next spring.  So here we are at the bottom; The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Hoo boy, this is a thin, low-impact group.  Making matters worse, the Halos forfeited their first round picks in each of the past two seasons when they signed free agents Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols.  LA fans probably don’t want to hear this right now, but the Cardinals used their 2012 first round pick to draft Michal Wacha.  Ouch.  Take solace in the fact that you guys still produced Mike Trout, whose career WAR at age 22 is 21.1.  That’s insane homegrown output over the past two seasons, so I can’t feel too bad for you jerks just yet.

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Jonathan Singleton | 1B, Astros | Born: 9/18/1991

Jonathan Singleton tested positive for using marijuana. He was busted for that twice, actually, and the after the second offense, baseball suspended him for the first 50 games of the 2013 regular season. Now, I could probably spend the rest of this post writing about how idiotic it seems to slap such a lengthy suspension on a 21-year-old prospect for puffing a few doobs — after all, this is the same sport that hardly cares to notice when year after year ballplayers are arrested for driving while drunk. The crime/punishment standards in these cases seem a tad ridiculous, but what do I know? Anyway, before news of his suspension, Singleton was being tabbed as a 2013 impact arrival. He’d spent all of 2012 at Double-A Corpus Christi, posting a full-season line at .284/.396/.497 with 52 XBH (21 HR). He was all set to begin the year at Triple-A, on track for arrival in Houston sometime in the mid-to-late stages of the regular season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?