Baseball America releases 2013 farm system rankings: Red Sox, Astros, Padres head list

Dilip Vishwanat

Boston's Xander Bogaerts is ranked as the No. 1 asset heading into 2014.

The Boston Red Sox have the best farm system in baseball, according to Baseball America's 2013 organizational rankings. The Red Sox' system is led by shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who the website ranks as the top major league asset for 2014. The rest of the top five consists of the Houston Astros (2), San Diego Padres (3), Texas Rangers (4), Chicago Cubs (tied-5) and Kansas City Royals (tied-5).

Baseball America used a strict methodology to arrive at its rankings. It started with a list of the top 20 prospects in each league, such as the International League and Pacific Coast League. Then, it assigned weights based on factors inluding strength of league, proximity to the majors, and position played by the prospect, with extra credit going to pitchers, catchers, and shortstops. Bogaerts is the top player based on the strength of the International League, his presence in Triple-A, and the fact that he's a shortstop. The 20-year-old is already making good on BA's prediction, as he is 6-for-19 with six walks and a 1040 OPS in the 2013 postseason.

The Red Sox' high ranking is helped by Bogaerts, as well as his former Pawtucket teammates Jackie Bradley Jr. and Allen Webster. Houston benefits from its depth of talent, led by pitchers Mike Foltynewicz and Jarred Cosart and outfielder George Springer, and San Diego boasts top pitching prospects Matt Wisler, Keyvius Sampson, and Max Fried. After Bogaerts, the other top-rated players include Gerrit Cole (Pittsburgh), Archie Bradley (Arizona), Zack Wheeler (Mets), Noah Syndergaard (Mets), and Oscar Taveras (St. Louis).

The Milwaukee Brewers finished last on the list after promoting several strong players to the majors in 2013. The team also traded several top prospects in the past few years in deals for major league veterans such as C.C. Sabathia, Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum.

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