At some point ... you'd have to think ... the Los Angeles Dodgers' drafting and development machine would stop producing top-of-the-pyramid farm systems. Right?
After all, teams like the Baltimore Orioles have been buried in the gutter for so long that they've been able to parlay top-three picks into mega-prospects every single year of the Mike Elias/Sig Mejdal era. The Arizona Diamondbacks have also been hoarding top picks, and a Druw Jones/Corbin Carroll/Jordan Lawlar haul might have the highest upside of any team's stockpile. The Cincinnati Reds just pulled off a Luis Castillo heist while watching Elly De La Cruz develop.
And yet ... MLB Pipeline had the Dodgers at No. 2 entering the season. Keith Law of The Athletic had the Dodgers staying in the king spot at No. 1, ahead of the O's and Guardians. And the data? The data bears it out through the month of April, where the Dodgers and all their affiliates have combined to wipe the floor with the rest of the league.
What's even crazier about this particular data set? Unlike in years past, it's the Dodgers' farm that's driving this record so far above .500 and not the big-league club.
LA's MLB team has begun surging recently and has taken over first place in the NL West, but they're not playing in their typical upper echelon. Across the minors? Different story. Outright dominance.
Dodgers minor-league, major league records show farm system is hot
We know the old adage. Wins and losses at the minor-league level don't ultimately matter. Sometimes, veteran-laden Triple-A teams can dominate the PCL because they're stacked with Quad-A 27-year-olds, making win-loss records an imperfect measurement.
The Dodgers have done it with a 15-6 mark at Rancho Cucamonga, though. They've done it with a 12-9 record for Great Lakes, powered by Dalton Rushing. They've done it with the same 12-9 record at Double-A, without much of a contribution from a scuffling Diego Cartaya.
The Dodgers still have weapons, and they have them at every level. James Outman's graduation and immediate star turn might have taken national scribes by surprise, but Dodgers fans who've watched his development over the years knew he was capable of ably filling Cody Bellinger's roster spot. Michael Busch has potentially been ready for even longer, and the Dodgers are lucky that when they have to go to the fourth line of defense, they have a prospect of his caliber at the ready. Michael Grove struggling? Great; here's Gavin Stone.
Los Angeles' farm rolls potentially deeper than any other big-league club, and they're not playing on Easy Mode like the O's. This group of prospects has been wholly earned, and they're not slowing down anytime soon.