ESPN.com has released the first part of Keith Law's annual prospect series today with his organizational rankings, listing his number 1-30 in terms of farm systems. The majority of the series' content will be released tomorrow, which will include a thorough overview of Law's top 100 prospects, a top 10 list for each organization, and an article on some names who just missed the top 100. Unfortunately, the series regularly falls behind ESPN's "Insider" pay wall, and this year is no exception, but for many of those who are regular readers of it, this is ESPN's most anticipated Insider content of the entire year – especially pertaining to baseball.
The Toronto Blue Jays – an organization oft-considered for best farm system honors this offseason, came in ranked at number three behind San Diego and perennial prospect powerhouse Tampa Bay. Despite graduating top prospect Brett Lawrie to the big leagues, the Blue Jays system actually improved in Law's rankings from last years ranking of fourth.
If last year's number three ranked organization in Law's series is any indication of how this year's will do, then Toronto has a lot to look forward to. National League rookie of the year Craig Kimbrel and one of his competitors for the award – Freddie Freeman – are both a part of last year's number three ranked Atlanta Braves. Also part of that Braves prospect list are new rotation stalwarts Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy, and that's not even to make any mention of the top ranked prospect in their system – pitcher Julio Teheran.
While an incredible five members of Law's top ten Blue Jays last year have graduated to the big leagues (Kyle Drabek, Lawrie, J.P. Arencibia, Henderson Alvarez, and Zach Stewart with the Chicago White Sox) Toronto is likely finding itself near the top of the organizational list once again due to some impressive improvements from some repeating members of the top 10 (Anthony Gose, Travis D'Arnaud) and a 2010 draft class that is coming along very strongly (Deck McGuire, Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard, Justin Nicolino).
In an offseason that has provided little to be excited about from a fan perspective, this is a reminder that the future is still very bright in Toronto.
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