Sickels Ranks Nats #25 Farm System

no25John Sickels has released his second annual farm system rankings, and if you haven’t guessed where the Nats came in by now… have I got some real estate in Florida for you!

All kidding aside, you can tell from his lengthy intro that this is something he’s doing mostly to appease his readers, but also to make the point that things change rapidly — the James Shields trade for Kansas City and Justin Upton trade for Atlanta, for example, dropped them from Top 10 systems in 2012 to No. 21 and 27 respectively. It’s nice to have a top-ranked farm system, but it’s not as important as developing talent that can play for your major-league team — now and in the future.

From that perspective, the Nationals have obviously succeeded, which I’ve mentioned before.

Sickels ranked the Nationals #14 last year. They’re now ranked #25, right about where I would have guessed, even if the recent Baseball America book had them at #16. No sense paraphrasing his short comment, as this will sound awful familiar:

Strengths: Anthony Rendon and Brian Goodwin have star potential. Considerable raw material for a pitching staff. Weaknesses: They are banking a lot on injured pitchers recovering well. Many prospects are too old for their levels.

Rankings like these are by their very nature subjective — some folks put a premium on having multiple prospects with high ceilings, others prefer a system to have both depth and diversification. Never mind the philosophical differences about when and how to draft and/or develop pitchers vs. position players.

Take it for what it’s worth — something to talk about for a while in late January that most folks will forget by mid-February.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

6 thoughts on “Sickels Ranks Nats #25 Farm System”

  1. Ditto on Brian. Pretty top heavy. But then I like it that way. But for phased development not all that great. I’m not sure Alex Meyer would have made much of a difference. A lot has to do with the initial propensity to go for college age players in the upper rounds in the draft. Now, that they’ve “arrived” at the big league level it’ll be interesting to see if Rizzo let’s Roy Clark go after the prep school player as that was his forte’ with Atlanta.

  2. Brilliant move by the organization to focus on college guys in the early rounds. Seems like a great way to prime the pump when you’re building up a farm system. On the down side, it doesn’t help your farm system ranking when your top pick two years in a row only plays one full year in the minors.

  3. I feel that the top ten Nats (have included Cole and Jordan in the group, not Walters) might hang in there with most top tens, if they were healthy. But, of course, that is not the case in the pitching department. In fact, six of the seven pitchers I have chosen are dealing with severe health issues or have recently dealt with them and are in recovery mode. As well, Rendon is still a concern healthwise

  4. I guess its still possible to pick up another couple in Karns and to a lesser extent Hood and perhaps Skole. But, we’ll have to see.

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