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House of Shlain: Organizational Top-10 Lists: NL

Nick Shlain

Nick analyzes prospects for RotoWire and focuses on the Midwest League during the season.

So this time around I broke the rules and left Travis d'Arnaud, Kolten Wong and Matt Davidson on even though both have been playing in the majors. Sue me, but nobody else with any major league experience is on the following lists. The teams are listed by division and not which farm system I think is the best, although I might do an organizational ranking at the end of the season. Without further adieu, here are my National League top 10 lists:


Atlanta Braves

1. Lucas Sims, RHP
2. J.R. Graham, RHP
3. Christian Bethancourt, C
4. Sean Gilmartin, LHP
5. Mauricio Cabrera, RHP
6. Jason Hursh, RHP
7. Cody Martin, RHP
8. Jose Peraza, SS
9. Kyle Kubitza, 3B
10. Edward Salcedo, SS

On the surface, it doesn't look spectacular, but this is a system that graduated Andrelton Simmons last year and Julio Teheran this year. Despite the lack of high upside position players down on the farm, the Braves have a young and dynamic group of position players at the major league level. The system is deep with solid pitchers, but Sims is the best of the bunch with two plus pitches.

New York Mets

1. Travis d'Arnaud, C
2. Noah Syndergaard, RHP
3. Dominic Smith, 1B
4. Rafael Montero, RHP
5. Michael Fulmer, RHP
6. Brandon Nimmo, OF
7. Gavin Cecchini, SS
8. Domingo Tapia, RHP
9. Jake DeGrom, RHP
10. Kevin Plawecki, C

The two prospects acquired from Toronto in the R.A. Dickey trade unsurprisingly headline the Mets list. d'Arnaud was recently promoted to the majors and Syndergaard made it to Double-A. Mets fans are getting closer to the day when they'll see Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Syndergaard throwing to d'Arnaud in New York.

Washington Nationals

1. Brian Goodwin, OF
2. Lucas Giolito, RHP
3. A.J. Cole, RHP
4. Matt Skole, 3B
5. Matt Purke, LHP
6. Robbie Ray, LHP
7. Zach Walters, SS
8. Michael Taylor, OF
9. Sammy Solis, LHP
10. Tony Renda, 2B

It's still early, but the Nationals' gamble on Giolito with the 16th pick of the 2012 draft has worked out so far as he has made a complete recovery from Tommy John surgery and was recently promoted to the New York-Penn League. Giolito pitched five innings of two-hit ball while striking out four batters in his NYPL debut Wednesday.

Miami Marlins

1. Andrew Heaney, LHP
2. Justin Nicolino, LHP
3. Colin Moran, 3B
4. Jose Urena, RHP
5. Adam Conley, LHP
6. Avery Romero, 3B
7. J.T. Realmuto, C
8. Brian Flynn, LHP
9. Jesus Solorzano, OF
10. Angel Sanchez, RHP

Justin Nicolino was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year and threw seven shutout innings for Double-A Jacksonville on Wednesday. Heaney has a 1.42 ERA in 82.1 innings between High-A and Double-A this season. Neither of these two are very far away from the majors and the Marlins already have Jose Fernandez, Nathan Eovaldi, Jacob Turner, and Henderson Alvarez at the major league level. It looks like the Marlins have young pitching depth coming. If you follow me on Twitter, you know how I feel about the Marlins' future. #2015

Philadelphia Phillies

1. Jesse Biddle, LHP
2. Maikel Franco, 3B
3. Adam Morgan, LHP
4. Roman Quinn, SS
5. J.P. Crawford, SS
6. Tommy Joseph, C
7. Carlos Tocci, OF
8. Shane Watson, RHP
9. Larry Greene, OF
10. Cesar Hernandez, OF

I'm not sure if any single move undone would save this Phillies team from collapse, but giving up Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton for Hunter Pence in 2011 sure blew up on them like many suggested it would. Until the Phillies get back to drafting, developing, and keeping young players the club will be stuck with an aging roster. Perhaps they'll look to restock the farm system with a Cliff Lee trade this offseason, but that's getting ahead of ourselves.

NL Central

St. Louis Cardinals

1. Oscar Taveras, OF
2. Kolten Wong, 2B
3. Tyrell Jenkins, RHP
4. Carson Kelly, 3B
5. Stephen Piscotty, 3B
6. John Gast, LHP
7. Marco Gonzales, LHP
8. Rob Kaminsky, LHP
9. Charlie Tilson, OF
10. James Ramsey, OF

It's been a lot of fun to watch Wil Myers play for the Rays so far, but I've never talked to a scout who preferred Myers to Oscar Taveras. A nagging ankle injury essentially ruined Taveras' 2013 season, but I'm very anxious to see him when he gets to the majors next season. Taveras is the most impressive minor league hitter I've seen in the past three years.

Pittsburgh Pirates

1. Jameson Taillon, RHP
2. Gregory Polanco, OF
3. Alen Hanson, SS
4. Austin Meadows, OF
5. Luis Heredia, RHP
6. Tyler Glasnow, RHP
7. Josh Bell, OF
8. Reese McGuire, C
9. Nick Kingham, RHP
10. Barrett Barnes, OF

The Pirates are in the interesting position of having one of the best farm systems in the game and a contending team at the major league level. Pittsburgh even tried to make an offer to Miami for slugger Giancarlo Stanton at the trade deadline, but talks didn't go very far. Well, at least they tried. Austin Meadows is quietly one of the best overall players from the 2013 draft.

Milwaukee Brewers

1. Jimmy Nelson, RHP
2. Taylor Jungmann, RHP
3. Tyrone Taylor, OF
4. Hunter Morris, 1B
5. Nick Delmonico, 3B
6. Victor Roache, OF
7. Clint Coulter, C
8. Mitch Haniger, OF
9. Devin Williams, RHP
10. Orlando Arcia, SS

The Brewers' system is on the rebound, but many of the top prospects here are still a few seasons away from making a big league impact. Jungmann's ascent has been somewhat offset by the disappointment of fellow first-round pick Jed Bradley, leaving the Brewers relatively light with arms in the upper levels of the organization.

Cincinnati Reds

1. Billy Hamilton, OF
2. Robert Stephenson, RHP
3. Nick Travieso, RHP
4. Phil Ervin, OF
5. Jesse Winker, OF
6. Michael Lorenzen, RHP
7. Daniel Corcino, RHP
8. Sal Romano, RHP
9. Ryan Wright, 2B
10. Drew Cisco, RHP

It was harder to keep Stephenson out of the top spot this time as he's one of the most impressive arms in the minors right now. He has a 123:25 K:BB in 103.2 innings across three levels this season. Billy Hamilton has picked up his performance as he's hitting .302/.343/.395 in his last 31 games.

Chicago Cubs

1. Javier Baez, SS
2. Albert Almora, OF
3. Jorge Soler, OF
4. Kris Bryant, OF
5. Mike Olt, 3B
6. Pierce Johnson, RHP
7. Arismendy Alcantara, SS
8. Dan Vogelbach, 1B
9. C.J. Edwards, LHP
10. Christian Villanueva, 3B

No one organization should have all this power. It's ridiculous. The Cubs already had Baez, Almora, and Soler and added Kris Bryant in the draft and Mike Olt in a trade with Texas. I haven't even mentioned Dan Vogelbach or Arismendy Alcantra yet. This is easily one of the best farm systems in the game.

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers

1. Corey Seager, 3B
2. Joc Pederson, OF
3. Julio Urias, LHP
4. Zach Lee, RHP
5. Chris Reed, LHP
6. Chris Anderson, RHP
7. Onelki Garcia, LHP
8. Tom Windle, LHP
9. Ross Stripling, RHP
10. Yimi Garcia, RHP

I had Corey Seager ranked 30th in all of baseball at the beginning of July and even that might have been too low. Seager destroyed the Midwest League with a .918 OPS before a promotion. Drafted in the first round in 2012 and just 19 years old, there's plenty of time for Seager to fill out and add more power much like his older brother Kyle.

Arizona Diamondbacks

1. Archie Bradley, RHP
2. Matt Davidson, 3B
3. Chris Owings, SS
4. Braden Shipley, RHP
5. David Holmberg, LHP
6. Andrew Chafin, LHP
7. Stryker Trahan, C
8. Jake Barrett, RHP
9. Brandon Drury, 3B
10. Michael Taylor, C

The only prospects I'd rank ahead of Archie Bradley at this point are Byron Buxton and Oscar Taveras. He's been dominant at Double-A with a 2.07 ERA. Chris Owings could be the shortstop of the future in Arizona and that might make one of their other infielders available in a trade this offseason.

Colorado Rockies

1. Jonathan Gray, RHP
2. David Dahl, OF
3. Eddie Butler, RHP
4. Rosell Herrera, SS
5. Tom Murphy, C
6. Trevor Story, SS
7. Tyler Anderson, LHP
8. Kyle Parker, OF
9. Will Swanner, C
10. Tyler Matzek, LHP

The number three overall pick from the 2013 draft, Gray is already dominating in the California League. In four starts he has a 0.95 ERA and 28 strikeouts over 19 innings. He and Eddie Butler should give the Rockies a hard-throwing combination atop the rotation in a few years.

San Diego Padres

1. Max Fried, LHP
2. Austin Hedges, C
3. Rymer Liriano, OF
4. Matt Wisler, RHP
5. Joe Ross, RHP
6. Casey Kelly, RHP
7. Hunter Renfroe, OF
8. Zach Eflin, RHP
9. Adys Portillo, RHP
10. Jace Peterson, SS

If Casey Kelly and Rymer Liriano were healthy, the Padres would have a legitimate argument for the claim of the top system in the game. Neither of them are healthy as both are recovering from Tommy John surgery, but this is still a very good system. Matthew Wisler has been outstanding at Double-A with a 2.78 ERA in 18 starts.

San Francisco Giants

1. Kyle Crick, RHP
2. Clayton Blackburn, RHP
3. Chris Stratton, RHP
4. Joe Panik, SS
5. Martin Agosta, RHP
6. Gary Brown, OF
7. Heath Hembree, RHP
8. Christian Arroyo, SS
9. Edwin Escobar, LHP
10. Ty Blach, LHP

The list of veterans the Giants added during their title runs in 2010 and 2012 is quite long, but it was the 2011 deadline trade for Carlos Beltran that has this system reeling a bit. This is the team that drafted and developed Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, and Pablo Sandoval, but giving up on six years of Zack Wheeler for two months of Beltran was a big mistake. Looking at this year's trade deadline, this is exactly the kind of trade that doesn't shouldn't happen anymore. Flags fly forever, but you don't get one for missing the playoffs like the Giants did in 2011.

Tell me I'm selling your favorite player or team short in the comments below.