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ESPN.com’s Keith Law rates Padres as top farm system

Feb 8, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

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Keith Law published his annual farm system rankings over at ESPN.com and has the Padres in the top spot, noting that “there are so many prospects here with high floors, players who would be top-10 or top-five in other systems but are 11-20 here.”

After the Padres at No. 1 he has the Rays, Blue Jays, Cardinals, and Royals filling out the top five.

His rankings are behind the ESPN.com paywall, so you’ll have to pony up to read them and his team-by-team analysis in full, but Law also has the White Sox dead last and says Chicago “is not particularly close to No. 29, either.” And that’s after general manager Ken Williams did a mini-rebuild by trading away Sergio Santos and Carlos Quentin.

  1. dondada10 - Feb 8, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    I’ll never understand how Kenny Williams still has a job. Their championship can’t still be his saving grace. That man has not only signed players to contracts that have become albatrosses, but he’s traded for players who’s contracts were already deemed awful. Now you’re telling me that their system isn’t even approaching that of the team who has the second worst system?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      From what I recall, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf is extremely loyal to his people, more so than his players (insert comments about Michael Jordan here).

      • paperlions - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        Reinsdorf also refuses to spend money on amateur talent. It is hard to build a solid system when your boss refuses to give the the budget to be competitive drafting, signing, and developing talent.

    • Matt Adams - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      Rios was clearly a mistake. Dunn, there is no way you see that coming. Kenny hasn’t exactly been any sort of miracle worker but he also hasn’t done as poorly as folks like to make it sound.

  2. missthedayswhenwedidnthavetologin - Feb 8, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Pretty soon his son is going need to get a new job, think Kannapolis has any vacancies?

  3. El Bravo - Feb 8, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Ken Williams dropped the ball this off season…I guess it runs in the family. BAM!

  4. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    I’m hoping some of this had to do with Hoyer, as he is now my team’s GM :)

    Good to hear some good news about the Padres. Healthy teams are good for MLB.

    • b7p19 - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      The Latos trade and their interest in the carribean have a lot to do with it. I liked Hoyer though, he’ll be a good patsy for Theo (why do they need 2 GM’s again?)

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        If you’re going to have 1 smart guy, why not have 2 smart guys? I’m guessing Hoyer deals with contracts and daily activities while Theo scopes out big picture, drafting and philosophical direction-type work.

        Not like this is rare – Boston, Oakland, Miami, etc all have GM’s and Presidents.

      • vanmorrissey - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        After the debacle Farm system under Towers, with Moorad ownership it’s turned around. Whether it translates to wins at the MLB level is another story. Believe KC was 1st last year and is expected to make a run next year or 2014, same as what to expect in SD.

  5. Ari Collins - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Keith Law has my Red Sox as an average system (more than that, I won’t say; ESPN Insider is worth it just for Law). Sickels has them at #11. Those and Baseball America are the most well-regarded prospect rankers. Be interesting to see where BA has us.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      Ari, don’t worry. I won’t let the cat out of the bag either.

      Although, some fans on this very site doubted me the other week when we were talking about where the Yankees farm system would be rated when the BA rankings came out in March. Well Keith Law’s ESPN ranking isn’t BA but as I thought back then the Yankees would be rated in the top 10.

      I don’t want to give out the exact ranking but the Yankees just made it in Law’s ranking coming in between 9 and 11. I won’t give out the number the Red Sox came in at other then to say to between 17 and 19. The operative word there is BETWEEN for both the Yankees and Red Sox rankings.

      • cur68 - Feb 8, 2012 at 5:12 PM

        I hope bozosforall is paying attention. THIS is how you bait a Sox fan, folks!
        *says the guy who’s rooting interest’s farm is ranked #3*

      • Ari Collins - Feb 8, 2012 at 7:55 PM

        And #1 in Sickels’ rankings, cur.

        Don’t worry, I’m not too baited. Not by a homer who thinks ESPN is biased against the Yankees. It’s really too bad that ESPN doesn’t play Yankee games and talk about how great they are. They should really do that! And maybe more Red Sox games too, while they’re at it. Maybe they could– no, that’s just silly. But maybe… maybe they could play some games where New York plays AGAINST Boston? No, they’re far too biased against New York and Boston and large media markets in general to do that more than once every couple of years.

  6. The Rabbit - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Where are the Pirates on this list? You’d think that a perennial bottom dweller would have some talent from the draft.

    • paperlions - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      “8. Pittsburgh Pirates

      The Pirates’ top tier of prospects is very strong, but there’s surprisingly little depth given how high they’ve drafted and how much they’ve spent on amateur talent.”

  7. uyf1950 - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Some fans on this very site doubted me the other week when we were talking about where the Yankees farm system would be rated when the BA rankings came out in March. Well Keith Law’s ESPN ranking isn’t BA but as I thought back then the Yankees would be rated in the top 10.

    Well the Yankees just made it in Law’s ranking at #10. I won’t give out at what number the Red Sox came in at other then to say to between 17 and 19. The operative word there is BETWEEN.

    • Ari Collins - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      And Sickels has Boston at #11 and NYY at #16.

      We’ll see what Baseball America says, since while I generally like Sickels the best (his track record is better than BA, and that’s with being pretty hard about himself about past misrankings, something BA never honestly owns up to), BA’s considered the more-or-less official source.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        Ari as I said, It isn’t BA. But for the most part I’ve never found the reporters at ESPN to give the Yankees the benefit of the doubt in their commentary. Most of the time it quiet the opposite. But, that’s just my opinion.

      • paperlions - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:38 PM

        Not that it makes a difference….but Law grew up a Yankee fan.

      • Ari Collins - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:50 PM

        ESPN, if anything, has a bias TOWARDS New York (and all big media markets).

        Keith Law, however, is an evenhanded and unbiased sabermetrician, in addition to being an excellent scout with many scouting and front office contracts.

        Same with Sickels.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:57 PM

        Ari, Sorry to disagree with you about ESPN. But I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you.

  8. tcostant - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Why even post links behind the “pay wall”? Instead of driving business to ESPN, lets ignore these until they are free for everyone, like Al Gore intended the internet to be.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 8, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      Because this is some people’s, like Law’s, livelihood, and the man has to feed his family?

    • dnc6 - Feb 8, 2012 at 7:53 PM

      If you ever find a way to contribute to society, I’ll make sure to tell people to ignore you until you provide it for free.

  9. icanspeel - Feb 8, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    I am a Padres fan, and the future looks bright, but they did trade or not sign free agents to get draft picks of most or all of their current stars for prospects to get to the #1 spot lol

  10. takingbovadasmoney - Feb 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    That is funny since I had Law rated as the 16th rated baseball analyst at The Worldwide Leader.

  11. drmonkeyarmy - Feb 8, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Let’s get down to brass tax, where are the Phillies on the list?

    • ame123 - Feb 8, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      25th.

  12. bigtrav425 - Feb 8, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    the Indians being ranked 29th says all you need to know about the inept running of the organization by the Dolans,shapiro and antonetti…..pleaseeeeeeeee for my own insanity leave town!!!

    • dnc6 - Feb 8, 2012 at 7:56 PM

      It says that the Indians just promoted their top two prospects and traded away 3 and 4 for a front of the rotation pitcher, not much else. With Santana, Cabrera, Masterson, Chisenhall, Kipnis and Jimenez and a wealth of bullpen arms, the Indians have a good deal of young talent on the roster. I’m not sure why you’re hung up on prospect rankings.

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