For the first time in forever, the Los Angeles Dodgers haven't been frozen atop prospect evaluators' leaderboards this offseason. According to MLB Pipeline, ESPN and Baseball America, the Baltimore Orioles are the new gold standard, while the Arizona Diamondbacks have potentially the highest concentration of elite prospects with Corbin Carroll, Jordan Lawlar and Gabriel Moreno (thanks, Jays!).
The Athletic's Keith Law rolled up Thursday with his farm system rankings, though, which were constructed with seemingly one goal in mind: reminding the baseball world that the King Stays King.
Law still believes the Los Angeles Dodgers possess the best farm system in baseball. ranking the Cleveland Guardians second and those pesky Orioles third. On the flip side, the Orioles just placed eight prospects on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list, while the Dodgers and Guardians tied with seven representatives.
ESPN's list was far harsher to the Dodgers, ranking just five names and shooting Miguel Vargas all the way towards the bottom tier at No. 80, by far his lowest appraisal of the cycle.
Law, though, gives extra credit to the consistency of the Dodgers' system, while also spouting off a series of names that can barely crack LA's remarkable top tier, but would be top five in lesser rolodexes. As he sees it, the O's and Guards can threaten, but there's a reason the Dodgers have found themselves in a different stratosphere since Andrew Friedman laid the foundation almost a decade ago.
Keith Law Farm System Rankings: Dodgers No. 1, Guardians and Orioles Trail Behind
That's why the Dodgers have prospects you've never even heard of who could be household names by the end of the year. It may not be the consensus opinion any longer, but it's still beautiful to see one of MLB's most renowned prospect evaluators crown your system before the season plays out.
Law dropped eight Dodgers on his personal Top 100, highlighting all the typical names, while also showing love to lesser-known players like River Ryan and Josue De Paula in his system assessment. He also believes RHP Michael Grove could make the Dodgers' rotation this season, or at least be a swingman at the big-league level, and joined a chorus of disbelief that LA managed to luck into Dalton Rushing in last year's draft cycle, too.
Is it luck, though, at this point? Or is it just the relentless nature with which the Dodgers operate? Considering how rarely they miss, fans should get used to a permanent top-three spot moving forward, no matter who graduates (and No. 1 feels nice).