The signing deadline for this year's drafted players has passed, with few surprises. Only one player drafted on Day 1 failed to sign, and I've already reordered the top 50 prospects in the minors last week, just before the last two first-rounders signed. Here now is a very temporary ranking of the five strongest farm systems in baseball.
Two teams not on this list that at least have a chance to make a big leap between now and August 1 are the Cincinnati Reds and the Tampa Bay Rays. Both need to be in full sell mode to try to restock their systems in a year when neither is going to reach the postseason.
The top five systems in baseball, as of right now, are:
Top 50 prospects: Dansby Swanson, Ozhaino Albies, Kolby Allard, Sean Newcomb
Nothing has changed here except that Atlanta has added even more pitching to their stable of high-upside young arms thanks to a draft heavy on high school pitchers that saw them land two of the top 15 or so talents in the draft in right-hander Ian Anderson and lefty Joey Wentz. They also signed the consensus top prospect in the July 2 class, Venezuelan infielder Kevin Maitan, whose swing and projected hit tool earn him comparisons to a young Miguel Cabrera.
Their system has seen big comebacks from injury from Kolby Allard and Max Fried, and some modest progress from some of the system's lesser-known bats, including Ronald Acuna (before his injury) and Dustin Peterson. They still lack impact hitters, with their best position-player prospects primarily up-the-middle guys with defensive or positional value but without huge power potential, but there's so much pitching here that even with a typical attrition rate Atlanta should be able to move some of this surplus to acquire bats when they need to.