Well, prospect expert Keith Law of The Athletic just took that non-slippage to the next level by publishing his rankings of all 30 MLB farm systems (subscription required).
Not only has the Dodgers’ farm held steady after losing Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong in recent years (among others), it’s actually maintained its supremacy, holding off the Tampa Bay Rays and earning the No. 1 spot in Law’s estimation.
Literally. No. 1.
It helps to have Andrew Friedman and his unique dual-action brain at the helm, doesn’t it? There might not be another one like him, in terms of drafting and developing talent from the bottom of the first round, as well as blending international spending with scouting to create a remarkable hit rate in that pool, too.
Dodgers ranked No. 1 in Keith Law’s Farm System Rankings for The Athletic.
It doesn’t get said often enough. For the Dodgers to be at literally the top of the heap after winning 106 games in 2019, posting a .717 winning percentage in 2020, and rocketing right back up to 106 victories in 2021, is a thing of beauty.
For those keeping score, that’s not just No. 1. That’s No. 1 directly ahead of the Mariners and Diamondbacks in the two and three spots, with the flat-lining Pirates in the No. 6 position (and the perennially-tanking Orioles nowhere to be found). Give the Rays and Jays at four and five their flowers, too, for building sustainable contenders alongside a fertile farm, but for the Dodgers to have theoretically “cleared out” their upper echelon prospects and still be here one half-year later is incredible.
Much of this is due to the fast rise of Diego Cartaya, who seamlessly stepped in for Ruiz and is a few years younger, meaning LA has more time to judge Will Smith’s future potential before either extending him or clearing him out. Add in slugging infielder Michael Busch and advanced pitchers Ryan Pepiot and Bobby Miller, hailed as the next breakout ace after fighting off the reliever label post-draft, and you’ve got a top-four that can win a head-to-head battle with any system.
Oh, and there’s the next wave, too, consisting of international signings Miguel Vargas (third base), Julio Rodriguez, and Wilman Diaz. That’s how the Dodgers have climbed so high and are so free to wheel and deal. They just haven’t slowed down one bit.