clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Royals farm system ranks 18th, according to Baseball America

The improvement is still incremental.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The minor leagues are the pipeline of talent for any small market club, and that pipeline has been fairly dry in the years following their championship. But after bottoming out, the Royals are making incremental progress with their farm system, according to the latest organizational rankings by Baseball America. Their updated rankings for 2020 lists the Royals 18th out of 30 teams, up slightly from their 2019 mid-season ranking of 19th, and up considerably from their #27 ranking a year ago.

Royals organizational rankings, per Baseball America

Year Ranking
Year Ranking
2011 1st
2012 2nd
2013 18th
2014 8th
2015 13th
2016 21st
2017 26th
2018 29th
2019 27th

Baseball America ranks the Rays with the top farm system, featuring the near-consensus top prospect in baseball, shortstop Wander Franco. The Padres, who had the top spot a year ago, still look strong at #2. The Dodgers, Braves, and Mariners round out the top five. Other rebuilding clubs like the Marlins (#9), Tigers (#11), and Orioles (#12) rank higher than the Royals. The Brewers bring up the rear with the worst-ranked farm system and zero top 100 prospects.

The Royals landed three prospects on Baseball America’s top 100 prospect list - shortstop Bobby Witt, Jr. (#24), left-handed pitcher Daniel Lynch (#39), and right-handed pitcher Jackson Kowar (#78). The Royals have landed at least three prospects on each of the leading lists - Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, MLB Pipeline, Prospects Live, and John Sickels at The Athletic.

Royals prospect rankings on leading lists

Publication Royals prospects ranked
Publication Royals prospects ranked
Baseball America Bobby Witt, Jr. (#24), Daniel Lynch (#39), Jackson Kowar (#78)
Baseball Prospectus Bobby Witt, Jr. (#29), Brady Singer (#64), Daniel Lynch (#93), Kris Bubic (#96)
Fangraphs Bobby Witt, Jr. (#23), Daniel Lynch (#73), Kris Bubic (#110)
MLB Pipeline Bobby Witt, Jr. (#10), Brady Singer (#59), Daniel Lynch (#61)
Prospects Live Bobby Witt, Jr. (#22), Daniel Lynch (#67), Brady Singer (#88), Jackson Kowar (#90), Erick Pena (#96)
John Sickels Bobby Witt, Jr. (#22), Brady Singer (#52), Jackson Kowar (#54), Kris Bubic (#57), Daniel Lynch (#102)

The Royals could continue to move up organizational ranking lists once they make the fourth overall selection in this June’s draft, where they will have three of the top 41 picks. The system could also improve if some talented prospects who had disappointing 2019 seasons like catcher MJ Melendez, first baseman Nick Pratto, and outfielder Seuly Matias, can rebound this year. Young 16-year old outfielder Erick Pena, the prized free agent from the last international signing period, could also boost the system as he gets more playing time.

But graduations could hurt the system as well, if Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, and/or Daniel Lynch are ready to advance to the big leagues. That would be a plus for the level of young big league talent, but the Royals will need to continue to replace them in the farm system with more promising young arms.