Season 50 Minor-League Power Rankings
Lebanon, KS – With the minor-league playoffs just starting, who are the best teams in the minors? Minor-league power rankings are hard to quantify across various levels. They are based on overall season performance, not necessarily the team's current makeup, given promotions and demotions. Without further ado, here are the Yount Season 49 Minor League Power Rankings:
1) Tampa Bay Rays Rookie (65-11)-This might be one of the most dominant teams in recent minor-league history. Stocked with six first-round picks in the Season 50 Draft (five signed), this team has a different talent level than most of its competition. Christian Kintzler went 14-0 in 15 starts across 116.2 innings, with a 0.99 WHIP and 2.16 ERA. At the plate, three first-round picks (Cook, Rzepcynski, and Hardtke) tabulated over a 1.000 OPS.
2) Seattle Mariners Double A (105-39)-This team was very consistent, ranking in the top five in hitting and pitching, but where they stood out was defensively, with just fifteen negative plays. Ugueth Vincente was great at the plate, and Benji Bandilla is a candidate for minor league pitcher of the year with his 201 IP, a 1.13 WHIP, and 177 strikeouts.
3) Baltimore Orioles Low A (116-28)-With the most wins in the minors, you can argue for the Low A Orioles as the top team, and indeed, the Orioles have a great chance to be the Organization of the Year again. With a team OPS of .812, this was a team effort. Furthermore, as a hallmark of minor-league success, especially at the lower levels, Stubby Curtis had 37-plus plays at 3B, which is almost unheard of.
4) Milwaukee Brewers Triple A (96-48)-This team might have made the AL playoffs as a wild card, as it is stocked full of prospects blocked at the ML level. Nigel Mullin, who seems like he has been in the minors forever, is the field's headliner, with a number of quality arms that are future all-stars stocked in the pen.
5) Atlanta Braves Low A (100-44)-Can we briefly talk about Walt Bradshaw? He was signed as a free agent and slashed .357/.450/.802 with 65 home runs and 209 RBI. That is not a misprint. 209 RBI! Daniel Webster was a fantastic reliever, appearing in 65 games and 109.1 innings while maintaining a 0.89 WHIP.
6) Detroit Tigers Triple A (94-50)-When the Tigers have the ML club humming like they do this year, it means the Triple-A squad will also be good. The Tigers always have ML-quality depth and 4A players available for the inevitable injuries. Starters Boomer McDonald and Santo De Aza anchored the rotation and will make the Triple-A Tigers a tough out in the playoffs.
7) Baltimore Orioles High A (105-39)-This is the second appearance by the Orioles in the top ten as they had an insane year in the minors. Consistency is the formula again, as the Orioles ranked #4 in hitting, #3 in pitching, and #3 in fielding.
8) Chicago Cubs Double A (97-47)-The return of Rule 5 pick Jorge Campos was a big deal for the Cubs, as in just 84 games, he hit 35 home runs making this a dangerous team to deal with in the playoffs. Prospect Felipe Liriano also had a solid year with a slash of .329/.422/.588. A candidate for minor league pitcher of the year, Buddy Hart went 17-1 in his 29 starts over 175.1 innings, sporting a 0.90 WHIP and 1.23 ERA.
9) Baltimore Orioles Rookie (55-21)-The Orioles continue to draft well. 6th-round pick Horacio Feliz is a shining example, as he went .407/.486/.702. On the mound, their first-round pick Abraham Gordon (Pick 27 overall) was a stud in his 84.2 innings with a 0.87 WHIP and 2.02 ERA.
10) Baltimore Orioles Double A (94-50)-You counted correctly. That is four Orioles teams in the top ten. Wilson Milone remains a mainstay as each team he is on wins due to his status as one of the best defensive shortstops in the minors, who also hits at a high clip. As a first-round pick in Season 47, Milone should make it up either in Season 51 or 52.
11) High A Chicago Cubs
12) Low A Atlanta Braves
13) High A Atlanta Braves
14) Rookie Minnesota Twins
15) High A Boston Red Sox
16) Triple A San Diego Padres
17) High A Tampa Bay Rays
18) Low A Cleveland Guardians
19) Low A Anaheim Angels
20) Triple A New York Yankees