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New prospect rankings suggest Detroit Tigers have best farm system in baseball

Spencer Torkelson, Casey Mize among MLB's top 10 prospects

Casey Mize #74 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the Detroit Tigers Summer Workouts at Comerica Park on July 6, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.
Casey Mize #74 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the Detroit Tigers Summer Workouts at Comerica Park on July 6, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (MLB Photos via Getty Images)

DETROIT – Do the Detroit Tigers have the best farm system in baseball? It might seem like an outrageous question considering how barren the organization was a few years ago. But MLB’s new prospect rankings suggest the Tigers are now at the top.

Tigers’ top 100 prospects

MLB Pipeline released its new top 100 prospects late Tuesday night to include players selected in the 2020 draft. The No. 1 overall pick, Spencer Torkelson, checks in at No. 7 on the overall list, replacing the team’s 2018 No. 1 pick, Casey Mize, who is now No. 8 overall.

Both Torkelson and Mize are among only eight players given overall rankings of 65. No. 1 prospect Wander Franco, a shortstop in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, received the lone 70 rank.

The Tigers have three more players in the top 100: No. 26 Matt Manning, No. 33 Riley Greene and No. 51 Tarik Skubal.

Major League Baseballs number one draft pick Spencer Torkelson #73 of the Detroit Tigers takes batting practice during the Detroit Tigers Summer Workouts at Comerica Park on July 4, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.
Major League Baseballs number one draft pick Spencer Torkelson #73 of the Detroit Tigers takes batting practice during the Detroit Tigers Summer Workouts at Comerica Park on July 4, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Manning is a 60 overall with a 60-grade fastball and curveball. His changeup received a 55 rating, as did his control.

Greene, who looked like the organization’s best position player already during summer camp, is a 55 overall with a 60-grade hit tool, 55-grade power and arm strength and 50-grade running and fielding.

Skubal, a former ninth-round pick who struck out 82 Double-A hitters in 42.1 innings last season -- has a 60-grade fastball and slider and a 55-grade curveball and changeup. His control rating is 55.

How top 100 prospects compare

There are only two teams -- the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres -- who have more top 100 prospects than the Tigers.

The Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners are tied with the Tigers at five top 100 prospects.

Here are the players ranked in the top 100 for those six organizations:

  • Braves: No. 14 Cristian Pache, No. 28 Drew Waters, No. 43 Ian Anderson, No. 57 Kyle Wright, No. 78 Shea Langeliers.
  • Dodgers: No. 2 Gavin Lux, No. 25 Dustin May, No. 75 Josiah Gray, No. 81 Keibert Ruiz, No. 94 Brusdar Graterol.
  • Mariners: No. 12 Jarred Kelenic, No. 19 Julio Rodriguez, No. 39 Emerson Hancock, No. 44 Logan Gilbert, No. 62 Evan White.
  • Marlins: No. 24 Sixto Sanchez, No. 30 J.J. Bleday, No. 42 Max Meyer, No. 74 Jazz Chisholm, No. 90 Jesus Sanchez, No. 96 Edward Cabrera.
  • Padres: No. 5 MacKenzie Gore, No. 27 C.J. Abrams, No. 29 Luis Patino, No. 55 Luis Campusano, No. 63 Taylor Trammell, No. 88 Robert Hassell.
  • Tigers: No. 7 Spencer Torkelson, No. 8 Casey Mize, No. 26 Matt Manning, No. 33 Riley Greene, No. 51 Tarik Skubal.

MLB Pipeline calculates the top farm systems using “prospect points,” assigning an organization 100 points for having the No. 1 prospect, 99 points for having the No. 2 prospect and so on, ending with one point for having the No. 100 prospect.

The Tigers blow out the competition using this scoring system:

  1. Tigers -- 380 points
  2. Padres -- 339 points
  3. Mariners -- 329 points
  4. White Sox -- 317 points
  5. Braves -- 285 points
  6. Rays -- 257 points
  7. Marlins -- 250 points
  8. Dodgers -- 228 points
  9. Royals -- 227 points
  10. Orioles -- 215 points

The Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles each have four top-100 prospects.

Top 30 prospects

Obviously, a team’s farm system goes well beyond the top 100 prospects, but the Tigers have built solid depth behind the high-profile names.

Each prospect receives an overall rating between 20 and 80. Here’s how the Tigers’ top 30 breaks down.

  • 65: Torkelson, Mize
  • 60: Manning
  • 55: Greene, Skubal
  • 50: 10 players
  • 45: 15 players

Here’s how top 30 prospects look for the other teams with at least five top 100 prospects:

  • Padres
    • 65: 1
    • 60: 0
    • 55: 5
    • 50: 9
    • 45: 11
    • 40: 4
  • Mariners
    • 65: 0
    • 60: 2
    • 55: 4
    • 50: 6
    • 45: 12
    • 40: 6
  • Braves
    • 65: 0
    • 60: 1
    • 55: 4
    • 50: 5
    • 45: 13
    • 40: 7
  • Marlins
    • 65: 0
    • 60: 1
    • 55: 5
    • 50: 8
    • 45: 13
    • 40: 3
  • Dodgers
    • 65: 1
    • 60: 1
    • 55: 3
    • 50: 12
    • 45: 13

The Tigers and Dodgers are the only two teams without a top 30 prospect below a 45-grade ranking. Both teams have five players ranked 55 or better, though the Tigers are the only team in baseball with two players ranked 65 or higher.

A combination of several elite players at the top and depth throughout the top 30 is what gives the Tigers such a strong minor league system. MLB Pipeline ranks it as the best in terms of “prospect points,” but after the most recent draft, it could simply be the strongest overall.

Here’s the organization’s full top 30:

  1. Spencer Torkelson, 3B/1B
  2. Casey Mize, RHP
  3. Matt Manning, RHP
  4. Riley Greene, OF
  5. Tarik Skubal, LHP
  6. Isaac Paredes, 3B/SS
  7. Willi Castro, SS
  8. Daz Cameron, OF
  9. Dillon Dingler, C
  10. Joey Wentz, LHP
  11. Alex Faedo, RHP
  12. Daniel Cabrera, OF
  13. Jake Rogers, C
  14. Parker Meadows, OF
  15. Franklin Perez, RHP
  16. Beau Burrows, RHP
  17. Wenceel Perez, SS
  18. Bryan Garcia, RHP
  19. Anthony Castro, RHP
  20. Bryant Packard, OF
  21. Kody Clemens, 2B
  22. Roberto Campos (OF
  23. Colt Keith, 3B/RHP
  24. Gage Workman, 3B
  25. Adinso Reyes, SS
  26. Nick Quintana, 3B
  27. Jose De La Cruz, OF
  28. Trei Cruz, SS
  29. Andre Lipcius, 3B/2B
  30. Rony Garcia, RHP

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