Its prospect ranking season and before Keith Law of ESPN releases his Top 100 prospects rankings, today he released his organizational farm system rankings. The Cubbies top the list, no surprises with the stockpile of minor leaguers Theo Epstein has been hoarding. The Royals fall squarely in the middle, at #15, with only five American League teams ahead of them, although two division rivals in the Twins and White Sox.
Years of strong drafts paid off by bringing the Royals one win from a world championship, and there's actually quite a bit of talent still in the system, as the Royals didn't have to trade much of what they already had. This organization has lost some depth, but the top 10 is still solid, especially in starting pitching.
You can see Baseball Prospectus' top ten Royals prospect list to get an idea of who Keith might be talking about. The Royals farm depth is particularly pitching-heavy with Brandon Finnegan, Sean Manaea, Miguel Almonte, and Kyle Zimmer showing the most upside with a few intriguing under-the-radar guys like Christian Binford and Glenn Sparkman.
But the system seems rather thin in hitters right now. Raul Mondesi hasn't hit much at all, and his upside is not going to be a middle-of-the-order type hitter. Hunter Dozier struggled mightily in AA, and his upside is pretty limited as a hitter. Chase Vallot showed some power in his first professional season, but also struck out a ton and is a long way from the Majors. Bubba Starling - yea, let's not talk about him.
The Royals farm system seems to be very talented, but coming off a very disappointing 2014 season. They will have a chance this June with two draft picks in the top 40 to add to their depth. There is still enough talent they could bounce back, and with a strong year, vault back into a top ten farm system.