The Los Angeles Dodgers are renowned for their strong farm. The system has taken a dip due to trades and graduations recently, but it remains one of the best in the game.
ESPN’s Keith Law ranks it No. 5 in the MLB, three spots down for last year’s spot.
New post for Insiders – my ranking of the top ten farm systems in baseball: https://t.co/d2TPtS8HDK
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) January 20, 2017
“The top of the Dodgers’ system rivals anyone’s. They have four top prospects whom you could legitimately give a 20 percent chance to become stars in the big leagues, although two are pitchers, one of whom has already blown out his elbow once and the other of whom struggled to throw strikes when he first signed.” -Keith Law
Some farms are built on depth, others on star power. Law implies the latter with the Dodgers. That said, the depth remains intact despite a midseason deal with Oakland that provided the A’s with three of their own top 10 prospects. As Law noted, the top of the Dodgers’ farm is as impressive as any. Law credited the franchise’s aggressiveness in the international market and its more conservative draft approach.
Jose De Leon and Yadier Alvarez have top of the rotation upside. Cody Bellinger is the big prize and is expected to take over for Adrian Gonzalez when the time comes. Alex Verdugo has Christian Yelich-like upside. Willie Calhoun and last year’s first rounder Gavin Lux give the team infield options moving forward.
The Dodgers may have the MLB’s largest payroll and seemingly limitless money, but the minor league depth is what makes the organization’s success sustainable. The question is at what point, if at all, the front office takes the opportunity to capitalize on moving youth for immediate help.