San Diego,CA- ESPN’s Keith Law today released his yearly minor league rankings and the San Diego Padres minor league system was ramked 9th best in Major League baseball. This is the third straight year the Padres have been ranked among the top ten minor systems in Major League Baseball by Keith Law. The Padres minor league systems were ranked as the number one farm system in baseball in 2012, 6th in Major league baseball last season and now 9th this season.
Here’s what Keith Law had to say about the San Diego Padres:
The Padres were my top system two years ago and graduated a lot of that depth to the majors. However, they filled the void nicely with two more solid drafts, helping make up for lost seasons from Casey Kelly and Rymer Liriano (both of whom missed 2013 due to Tommy John surgery).
Their recent trade for major league reliever Alex Torres also included Jesse Hahn, another power arm to add to the system, but he missed their top 10 behind several pitchers with a better chance to remain starters.
As Law noted in his rankings the Padres decline from their number one rank has been due to the fact that many of those prospects from the Padres number one ranked class like Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Jedd Gyorko have graduated to the big leagues. Yet the number one class may not be done producing productive major leaguers yet as Casey Kelly and Rymer Liriano who were the Padres top prospects in 2012 missed all of last season due to Tommy John surgery. Liriano is expected to begin the season in Double-A San Antonio with the hope that he’ll return to his ” top prospect” form of 2012 and merit a midseason call up. Kelly how is expected to be ready to begin the 2014 season and start out the year in Triple-A El Paso, with the hope of him returning to the Padres rotation at some point this season.