The Indians collection of prospects are at #17 in ESPN senior baseball analyst and prospect expert Keith Law's annual MLB farm system rankings (subscription required). His list is one of the most-anticipated releases of every offseason. The Astros are at the top of the list, which seems like a reasonable consolation prize for having just completed MLB's worst three-year stretch of baseball in fifty years. On the opposite end are the Brewers, who rank last.
Here's some of what Law had to say about the Tribe:
"Aggressive promotions for Dorssys Paulino and Jose Ramirez hurt their performances, although both are still promising middle infield prospects."
The Indians were at #19 on Law's list a year ago, so today's ranking represents a small amount of progress (and it's difficult to make huge gains in one year).
I looked at Baseball Prospectus' Top 100 Prospects list yesterday, and was delighted to see Franciso Lindor and Clint Frazier ranked as high as they are. Those were the only two Indians anywhere on the list so, a reminder that the organizational depth isn't particularly strong right now. Law's rankings show the system as roughly average, but you'd like to see a team that had missed the playoffs for five straight years with a system a bit better than average.
I also noted that the Twins led the division with 8 players on BP's list, while the Royals had 7, putting both teams far ahead of the Tribe. Law's rankings give a similar impression, as Minnesota is #2 on the list and KC is #7. The White Sox only had 2 players on the BP list, neither of them in the top 60, and the Tigers had only 1 player make the cut. Again, this matches up with Law's take, as Chicago is #27 and Detroit is #28.
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