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Dodgers’ farm system ranked No. 1 by Keith Law

The Dodgers’ farm system is deeper than it’s ever been

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Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago White Sox Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Dodgers are the current favorites to win the 2022 World Series. Well, you know — assuming there’s a season.

Many betting sites have the Dodgers projected to win the most games in 2022. Usually when you’re considered one of the best teams in baseball, it likely means your farm system isn’t as strong. This can vary between top prospects graduating or using the top prospects as trade pieces.

For LA, their top prospects have graduated in recent years and they’ve used some of their top names as trade pieces. Over the last two seasons, they’ve traded Jeter Downs, Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray in separate deals to acquire Mookie Betts, Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. All three off those prospects were consensus ‘Top 100 prospects’. You would think that trading three players in the Top 100 would guy the system, right?

Well, turns out it doesn’t matter, because Keith Law of The Athetic ranks LA’s farm system as the best in all of baseball.

Here’s his blurb on LA from his Monday post:

The Dodgers’ system is just ridiculous. They are hitting on every cylinder right now. They have depth and ceiling, pitching and position players, near-in prospects and long-term Players. I don’t think any other organization can rival their consistent success in drafting, international scouting, player development and pro scouting right now, which is probably the last thing fans of the four other NL West teams want to hear.

Every player in their top 10 was in broader consideration for my top 100 – I don’t make a “longlist,” like this was the Booker Prize or something, but if I did one with 200 or so names, the Dodgers’ entire top 10 would make it. The only nitpick I’d offer is that they only put one prospect in my top 40 because the rest of their high-ceiling guys, players who have a chance to be frequent All-Stars or top 10 in baseball at their positions, are higher-variance or just further away from the majors. They make up for it by having so many of those players that they should end up with multiple stars from their current roster of prospects even with typical attrition.

Now this is just truly remarkable. I know there isn’t any ‘official’ farm system ranking and these are all subjective, but having someone as credible as Law rank the Dodgers at No. 1 isn’t something to ignore.

Last week, Baseball America ranked the Dodgers as the eighth best farm system in the majors. Still a pretty good ranking if you ask me.

The Dodgers’ system certainly is different as in years past, as they don’t have that ‘top prospect’ that is knocking on the door ready to be the next superstar. When looking at all the different outlets, Diego Cartaya could be considered that prospect, as he was ranked as high as No. 13 overall by The Athletic. The only difference is that he’s at least two years away from making the big-leagues. Aside from Cartaya, the Dodgers don’t have any other prospects who were ranked inside the Top 35 by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus.

According to Law, that didn’t matter. He wrote that the Dodgers’ depth is among the best in baseball. From the excerpt above, he said if he did a Top 200 prospects list the entire Dodgers’ Top 10 would make the cut.

There are a number of players who were ranked inside different Top 100 lists who likely won’t see the majors in 2022, such as Cartaya, Andy Pages, Eddys Leonard and potentially Bobby Miller. The Dodgers are loaded with talented players who still need time to develop, but they also have a number of players deeper in the rankings who could find themselves with the big-league club in 2022.

I took a look at Baseball America’s list of LA’s top 10 prospects and here are some players who we’ll likely see in the majors at some point in 2022.

Miguel Vargas

2021 stats: .319/.380/.526/.906, 23 HR, 76 RBI

Age: 22

On Dodgers 40-man roster: No

Position: 3B

Vargas was ranked inside the top 65 by Baseball America, The Athletic and Baseball Prospectus. Many anticipate him to be Justin Turner’s eventual replacement at third base and there’s a chance we see him crack the big-leagues in 2022.

He only has 83 games of experience at Double-A, so he’ll likely need some more time to get polished in the minors before getting called up.

Ryan Pepiot

2021 stats: 5-9, 4.62 ERA, 101 13 IP, 127 K, 47 BB

Age: 24

On Dodgers 40-man roster: No

Position: RHP

Pepiot found himself ranked in the Top 100 on only one ranking (Baseball America, No. 99) but he’s still viewed as the second best pitcher in LA’s system. His name has been mentioned as one we can see in 2022 due to the Dodgers’ uncertainty with their starting rotation.

He was excellent last season with Tulsa but struggled with Oklahoma City in 11 games.

Michael Busch

2021 stats: .267/.386/.484/.870, 20 HR, 67 RBI

Age: 24

On Dodgers 40-man roster: No

Position: 2B

Busch was ranked as high as No. 53 by The Athletic. He was a first round pick by the Dodger in 2019 and has been getting rave reviews as one of LA’s top hitters in the system. Busch hits for power and gets on base. His biggest knock is that he struggles against left-handed pitching, as he hit below .200 against southpaws last season.

He’ll begin the season at AAA most likely and is another name who can become a valuable bench piece some point later in the season.

Other prospects on the 40-man roster we’ll likely see in 2022

  • Andre Jackson
  • James Outman
  • Jacob Amaya
  • Michael Grove

Seriously, the Dodgers’ farm system is ridiculous. What they’ve been able to accomplish over the last decade with no top draft capital has been extraordinary. With LA set to compete in 2022, their farm system ensures that this team will continue to compete for many years to come.