Jim Callis

Red Sox head list of Top 10 Minor League systems

Non-waiver Trade Deadline moves bring shakeup to latest rankings

Red Sox head list of Top 10 Minor League systems

The consensus pick to win the American League East, the Red Sox instead have posted the worst record in the circuit and are headed toward their third last-place finish in the past four years. Boston fans can take solace in the facts that the one exception, 2013, produced a World Series title and that the organization has enough young talent to make another championship more than just a dream for the distant future.

The Red Sox have two of the best young players in baseball in 22-year-olds Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts, they've introduced two more promising rookies this year in Blake Swihart and Eduardo Rodriguez, and there's plenty more talent where that came from.

Boston currently has the best farm system in baseball after placing second in's last rankings back in March. The Red Sox already have given left-handers Brian Johnson (No. 46 on the Top 100 Prospects list and Henry Owens (No. 47) trials in the big league rotation, but most of their best prospects are a couple of years away. In total, Boston has seven names on the Top 100 Prospects list.

The Red Sox's low Class A Greenville affiliate features three exciting infielders in second baseman Yoan Moncada (No. 10), third baseman Rafael Devers (No. 15) and shortstop Javier Guerra (No. 88). They're products of an international program that also has yielded Double-A outfielder Manuel Margot (No. 30) and precocious 17-year-old right-hander Anderson Espinoza. With the seventh overall pick in June, the Red Sox added outfielder Andrew Benintendi (No. 72), the best college athlete in the Draft.

Top Prospects: Benintendi, BOS

So while the present hasn't looked good in Boston, the future is promising. Here are how the game's most talented systems stack up behind the Red Sox:

2. Los Angeles Dodgers
Preseason Top 10: No. 6
Prospects on Top 100 list: 5

In shortstop Corey Seager (No. 2) and left-hander Julio Urias (No. 5), the Dodgers have the best hitting/pitching prospect combo in the game. Their system runs deeper than that duo, though. as right-handers Jose DeLeon (No. 28) and Grant Holmes (No. 66) showcase swing-and-miss stuff. Adding second baseman Jose Peraza (No. 29) in the 13-player trade with the Braves and Marlins in July was a nice bonus, and Los Angeles also spent more than any club on the 2015 international market, securing Cuban right-hander Yadier Alvarez for $16 million and Dominican outfielder Starling Heredia for $2.6 million.

A look at prospect Corey Seager

3. Colorado Rockies
Preseason Top 10: Not ranked
Prospects on Top 100 list: 7

The Rockies stand out most among systems that didn't crack our preseason Top 10, thanks to getting the high school hitter (shortstop Brendan Rodgers, No. 11) and pitcher (right-hander Mike Nikorak, No. 96) with the highest ceilings in the Draft and adding righties Jeff Hoffman (No. 57) and Miguel Castro via the Troy Tulowitzki trade with the Blue Jays. Colorado already had a nice collection of prospects in the organization -- including righty Jon Gray (No. 34), outfielder David Dahl (No. 55), third baseman Ryan McMahon (No. 58) and second baseman Forrest Wall (No. 93) -- and matches Boston for the most Top 100 Prospects with seven.

Top Prospects: Rodgers, COL

4. Chicago Cubs
Preseason Top 10: No. 1
Prospects on Top 100 list: 5

The Cubs had the game's best system entering the season, headlined by Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Jorge Soler. Even with those three graduating to the big leagues, Chicago still has as many quality position prospects as anyone, starting with catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber (No. 7), shortstop Gleyber Torres (No. 35) and outfielders Billy McKinney (No. 40), Albert Almora and Ian Happ. The Cubs have some pitching on the way, too, with right-handers Carl Edwards Jr. (No. 65), Duane Underwood (No. 78) and Pierce Johnson in the first wave and several high-school picks from the past two Drafts (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Justin Steele, Carson Sands) in the second.

Top Prospects: Edwards Jr., CHC

5. Minnesota Twins
Preseason Top 10: No. 3
Prospects on Top 100 list: 6

No organization has two higher-ranked prospects than outfielder Byron Buxton (No. 1) and third baseman Miguel Sano (No. 4), both of whom have debuted in Minnesota this season, and right-hander Jose Berrios (No. 25) may not be far behind them. Left-hander Tyler Jay (No. 74) is on a fast track after going sixth overall in the 2015 Draft, and Jorge Polanco (No. 87) and Nick Gordon (No. 89) give the Twins a pair of Top 100 shortstops. If righties Kohl Stewart and Alex Meyer can regain some of their lost luster, this system will be even stronger.

Berrios fans four in two innings

6. Pittsburgh Pirates
Preseason Top 10: No. 4
Prospects on Top 100 list: 5

Tommy John surgeries for right-handers Jameson Taillon (No. 53) and Nick Kingham have made the Bucs' system heavy on hitters -- with the notable exception of righty Tyler Glasnow (No. 9). First baseman Josh Bell (No. 37) and second baseman Alen Hanson (No. 77) are on the verge of bolstering Pittsburgh's lineup, outfielders Austin Meadows (No. 27) and Harold Ramirez are a couple of years away and Reese McGuire is one of the top catching prospects in the Minors.

Statcast: Bell's two-run blast

7. Philadelphia Phillies
Preseason Top 10: Not ranked
Prospects on Top 100 list: 6

The most improved system on this list, the Phils have risen from the bottom third in baseball thanks in large part to adding four Top 100 Prospects since June: right-hander Jake Thompson (No. 59), outfielder Nick Williams (No. 63) and catcher Jorge Alfaro (No. 68) from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade, plus outfielder Cornelius Randolph (No. 97) in the first round of the Draft. Having their past two first-rounders, shortstop J.P. Crawford (No. 6) and righty Aaron Nola (No. 22), continue to look better and better has helped, too.

Top Prospects: Thompson, PHI

8. Houston Astros
Preseason Top 10: No. 8
Prospects on Top 100 list: 5

The Astros have graduated prospects to the Majors (Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr. and Preston Tucker) and dealt other promising youngsters (outfielders Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana and catcher Jacob Nottingham) to fuel their playoff drive. Yet they still have admirable depth, including three Top 100 Prospects from the 2015 Draft in shortstop Alex Bregman (No. 26) and outfielders Daz Cameron (No. 61) and Kyle Tucker (No. 64) to go with holdover right-handers Mark Appel (No. 50) and Vincent Velasquez (No. 67). Houston also has a number of breakout performers such as first baseman A.J. Reed and righties Francis Martes and Joe Musgrove.

Top Prospects: Cameron, HOU

9. Texas Rangers
Preseason Top 10: No. 7
Prospects on Top 100 list: 5

Before the Hamels trade, the Rangers would have ranked second on this list. They were able to land a front-line starter without sacrificing third baseman Joey Gallo (No. 8) or outfielders Nomar Mazara (No. 17) and Lewis Brinson (No. 76), and they have more rotation help on the way with first-round right-handers Dillon Tate (No. 54), Luis Ortiz (No. 98) and Alex Gonzalez.

Top Prospects: Tate, TEX

10. New York Yankees
Preseason Top 10: Not ranked
Prospects on Top 100 list: 3

The Yanks drew criticism for not wanting to part with right-hander Luis Severino (No. 16), outfielder Aaron Judge (No. 21) or first baseman Greg Bird at the Trade Deadline, but they upgraded their rotation by simply promoting Severino. New York has position prospects at every spot on the diamond, including speedy shortstop Jorge Mateo (No. 99), sweet-swinging second baseman Robert Refsnyder and slugging catcher Gary Sanchez.

Jim Callis is a reporter for and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.