How the mighty have fallen… but not really. MLB Pipeline released updated rankings for teams’ farm systems this week that showed the Dodgers falling from third (preseason) to 11th. Of course, there’s a good reason behind it.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 2, 2020
Before breaking down the logic behind this, here’s what MLB.com’s team of Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo, and Mike Rosenbaum had to say about Los Angeles.
No team combines winning in the big leagues and churning out quality young talent like the Dodgers, who have slipped a bit in the rankings because they graduated Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Dennis Santana, and Edwin Ríos this summer. It’s the first time L.A. has not been in the top 10 since we started ranking farm systems in 2015.
It’s surprising to see the Dodgers not in the top-10 for the first time in five years, but — as noted — when you graduate four prospects from your top-10. Still, even with all the talent the club has brought up to the big leagues over the last five-plus seasons, it’s an impressive feat to still land at 11 on the Pipeline.
According to MLB.com, LA’s top-10 prospects rank as follows
- Gavin Lux • SS/2B
- Josiah Gray • RHP
- Keibert Ruiz • C
- Brusdar Graterol • RHP*
- Kody Hoese • 3B
- Michael Busch • 2B
- Diego Cartaya • C
- Luis Rodriguez • OF
- Bobby Miller • RHP
- Clayton Beeter • RHP
* Brusdar still hasn’t accrued enough service time.
If you’re a deep-dive Dodger fan (and prospect huggers like our friends at dodgers2080.com), you know these names. Moreover, you can also understand how in a COVID season, the LA farm system would have fallen for the first time in five years. Along with several of the top-15 stalwarts from the last few seasons moving on up, players like Miller and Beeter were only drafted this year (like, just over a month ago) and haven’t even officially picked up a pro baseball. Hoese and Busch are 2019 draftees that were expecting to have just about wrapped up their first full-seasons as professionals.
In short, the eyes of prospects evaluators have not been on these guys because the COVID-shortened season eliminated the minor leagues as well as the ability for scouts to do their jobs. In a regular year, the Dodgers likely would be higher, but still out of the top-five farm systems. But that’s ok when you’re the best team in baseball, right?