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Mariners Prospects Among Best

Michael Pineda
MLB.com unveiled their top 50 prospect list for 2011. It is just one list, but it is from an independent source (well, independent of any individual team) that does its homework. As I looked at the list, I thought it would be fun to try to come up with some sort of ranking system to devise how strong each team's farm system is, based on the MLB.com rankings.

Here's the method I came up with:

  • The top spot was worth 8 points
  • 2-5 are worth 7 points
  • 6-10 are worth 6 points
  • 11-16 are worth 5 points
  • 17-23 are worth 4 points
  • 24-31 are worth 3 points
  • 32-40 are worth 2 points
  • 41-50 are worth 1 point

The point system is more intuitive than scientific. The basic premise is that the talent gaps get less noticeable the lower you go (hence why there are longer and longer stretches before dropping down to the next level), and that locally around any spot in the rankings, the players above and below that player aren't a ton better or worse (hence why there are no big jumps). Each team's score is the total of all the ranked players in their farm system. In the case of ties, the system with the highest ranked individual player is ranked higher. The results:

Royals 26
Rays 16
Mariners 14
Braves 14
Phillies 10
Yankees 10
Blue Jays 9
Angels 8
Reds 8
Nationals 7
Orioles 7
Tigers 5
Rangers 5
Pirates 4
Cardinals 4
Padres 4
Rockies 4
Twins 4
White Sox 3
Giants 3
Diamondbacks 3
Astros 3
Indians 2
Red Sox 1
Dodgers 1
Cubs 1
Athletics 0
Brewers 0
Marlins 0
Mets 0
This is far from a perfect system. A majority of teams have a couple players on the list, and a farm system is more than just a few players.

With that said, this list is about the cream of the crop, and the cream of the crop is where most of the stars come from. Ultimately, stars are who any team builds around. So, if we are only going to pick a few players to judge a farm system on, these are the players we want to look at.

The good news is that the Mariners front office has good reason to continue to say that the farm system is a bright spot. This is an independent poll, and the Mariners under my loose system had the third highest point total, based entirely on Dustin Ackley, Michael Pineda, and Nick Franklin.

Leading up to the overall top 50 list, MLB.com did top 10 lists for each position. I have a method to look at these, and see how much the results change.

For now, this list will have to do. Jack Zduriencik's strength in Milwaukee was the draft (don't be fooled by the goose egg the Brewers have in 2011; it's due to guys reaching the majors and trades), and it looks like we are starting to see results in Seattle too.