We used to make jokes about it, the Best Farm System In The History Of Whatever. We used it as a heraldry to point to the major league shortcomings of Dayton Moore's ever-increasing tenure, a snide tremolo as prospects graduated and struggled, and continued struggling, for weeks and months and seasons.
The foundation of that farm system was Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, with a pageant of left-handed pitchers putting on a good show. Wil Myers was there, still being listed as a catcher. Over the winter, Moore had traded Zack Greinke for Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jake Odorizzi, and Jeremy Jeffress, the latter two cracking the top 20 of an already deep system.
Everything that the Royals have accomplished over the past two seasons can be traced back to that farm system, the core of it providing the plurality of talent that allowed Kansas City to reach back-to-back World's Series for the first time in franchise history.
There are obvious contributors. Moustakas and Hosmer finally became the players the organization needed them to be, anchoring the middle of a robust lineup that included fellow prospect Salvador Perez. Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera have been fixtures in the bullpen for years, both of whom came out of that BFSITHOW system.
Then there is the trade, sending Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery to Tampa for James Shields and Wade Davis. Exchanging assets from the farm system for major league talent. I doubt anyone could have dreamed that Kansas City had in actuality exchanged flesh and blood for cold mechanical steel, but Wade Davis was the Key to the Trade after all. Contributors like Jarrod Dyson and Paulo Orlando, though not figures in the BFSITHOW accounting, have also made well-known impacts on the team's success.
And now, as the victory parade rolls around Union Station, it is time to reconsider the timbre of our mocking, because the Royals' Best Farm System In The History Of Whatever is now simply the Best Royals Team In The History Of Whatever, with two pennants, seven World's Series game victories, a host of playoff records, and has more victories than any team in baseball over the last three seasons.
And there is still two more seasons of this core of players left to go.