Earlier this week we saw that the Rays fell out of the top spot in Baseball America’s ranking of the minor league systems. Like BA, Keith Law of ESPN has the Texas Rangers as the top far system. Unlike BA, Law has the Rays in the top 3. In fact, the Rays have the second best system according to Law.
2. Tampa Bay Rays: They just keep churning out the prospects, although they’ll have a new challenge in 2009: no draft picks in the top 10 — or even 20. Success with high school pitchers taken after the first round has been a big part of their system’s depth, including another wave of kids who spent 2008 in short-season ball. However, their recent efforts in Latin America have yet to yield any significant prospects.
Obviously this includes David Price, who will be #1 or #2 overall in most prospect rankings, but it says a lot about the depth of the Rays’ organization, that the Rays are still #2 after the promotion of Evan Longoria and the injury to Jake McGee.
When Law refers to “another wave of kids who spent 2008 in short-season ball,” he is referring to pitchers like Matt Moore, Nick Barnese and Albert Suarez, three pitchers whose names you will hear with more regularity in the next couple of years.