The Los Angeles Dodgers farm system has consistently been among the best in baseball in recent years, ranking fifth by ESPN’s Keith Law in his annual rankings a year ago.
A few key prospects such as Corey Seager, Julio Urias and Cody Bellinger have graduated from prospect status to Major League players over the last couple seasons, which would take its toll any farm system.
The Dodgers still have four of the top 100 prospects in the sport according to Law though, as he recently ranked Walker Buehler at No. 12, Alex Verdugo at No. 36, Yadier Alvarez at No. 52 and Keibert Ruiz at No. 97.
Law feels the Dodgers farm system is a bit top heavy, and for that reason, he ranked as the ninth-best farm system in baseball going into 2018:
The Dodgers’ system is getting more top-heavy after trades and promotions, though mid-tier prospects aren’t likely to end up taking lineup or rotation spots in Los Angeles anyway. The Dodgers still have several likely stars up top and a few high-beta prospects, such as DJ Peters and Mitch White, who have high upside with lower probability and don’t offer that middle ground of potential outcomes.
Being top heavy isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it means the Dodgers have a few potential future stars in the organization. Buehler and Verdugo, both of whom made their MLB debuts in 2017, have consistently been ranked the highest of the group.
While neither found success at the big league level after being called up last September, they are coming off very successful Minor League seasons.
Buehler posted a 3.35 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over 88.2 innings with 125 strikeouts to 31 walks across 28 Minor League games (19 starts). Verdugo hit .314/.389/.436 with six home runs and 62 RBIs in 117 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Both could exceed their prospect status in 2018, which would further diminish the organization’s farm system. But with so many young stars already at the Major League level, having depth within the farm system becomes more of a luxury than a necessity.