I love this question, though I have to add a caveat before I answer it. We formulated the current team prospect rankings on Prospect Watch back before the trade deadline in July. Though we've updated them with trades and graduations, some of them will look much different when we redo the lists again in February. My clear top four is based on what the lists look like today, factoring in both star talent and depth on the Top 10s:
1. Yankees: 2016 acquisitions have bolstered baseball's best farm system -- shortstop Gleyber Torres (one of the game's top five prospects), outfielders Clint Frazier and Blake Rutherford, left-hander Justus Sheffield and right-hander Albert Abreu.
2. White Sox: Winter Meetings trades skyrocket this system up the list, with second baseman Yoan Moncada (No. 1 on MLBPipeline's Top 100); right-handers Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning; and outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe arriving from the Red Sox and Nationals.
3. Braves: Shortstop Dansby Swanson, second baseman Ozzie Albies and third baseman Kevin Maitan will team with Freddie Freeman to form what could be baseball's best infield of the future. The success of Atlanta's rebuilding project depends on how well pitching prospects such as Kolby Allard, Ian Anderson and Mike Soroka pan out.
4. Dodgers: The Dodgers are loaded with gifted hitters (first baseman Cody Bellinger, outfielders Alex Verdugo and Yusniel Diaz, second baseman Willie Calhoun) and right-handers (Jose De Leon, Yadier Alvarez, Walker Buehler).
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Like the four Southeastern Conference standouts from the previous two Drafts, Kendall almost assuredly will be a top-10 pick. The Vanderbilt outfielder is the top position prospect and ranked No. 2 on our Draft Top 50.
Kendell is the best athlete of that group, but he also comes with far more questions about his bat. He's a well above-average runner with deceptive power and center-field skills, though there are some worries about his ability to recognize pitches and make consistent contact. In large part because they play the same position, the closest comparison in that group is Andrew Benintendi, who's a better hitter with more usable power but isn't as fast as Kendall.
When Schwarz hit 18 homers as a freshman at Florida in 2015, he looked like he'd go near the top of the 2017 Draft. Then he slipped to seven homers as a sophomore and his stock took a bit of a hit as well. He currently ranks No. 19 on the Draft Top 50.
Schwarz still has some of the best raw power in the 2017 class, shows good patience and might be able to catch. His defensive ability has been hard to assess because the Gators have a superior backstop in Mike Rivera, so Schwarz has spent much of his time at DH. If he has a big junior season and convinces clubs he can catch in the big leagues, he definitely could go in the top 10, just as Zack Collins did in 2016.
Schwarz's ceiling is an All-Star catcher with 25 homers per season. His floor is a first baseman/DH who doesn't do much beyond hitting for power. If a club decides to expedite his bat, he could be in the Majors by 2019, but he'll need more time to hone his defense if he stays behind the plate.
What does the Jorge Soler trade mean for Hunter Dozier and Jorge Bonifacio?
-- Bill L., Bozeman, Mont.
I liked the Royals buying low on Soler, who had trouble carving out a role for himself in the Cubs' crowded lineup but still is just 24 and has homered 27 times in little more than a full season's worth of big league at-bats. His presence will make it more difficult for Dozier and Bonifacio, two of Kansas City's best position prospects, to find regular playing time in the Majors.
Dozier is in better shape because he can play third base as well as the outfield corners, which are presently manned by Alex Gordon and Soler. Mike Moustakas likely will depart as a free agent after the 2017 season and Cheslor Cuthbert isn't much of a defender at the hot corner, so Dozier could be the Royals' third baseman of the future.
With Gordon (through at least 2019) and Soler (2020) under team control for several more years, Bonifacio is blocked. Soler isn't a good defender, though, so it's possible he could see more time at DH and leave an opening in right. Bonifacio could fill it if he can build on the progress he has made the last two years in the upper Minors.