Baseball America released its yearly recap of farm system rankings -- the MLB equivalent of a preseason college basketball poll, in reality -- and to no one's surprise, the Tigers were near the bottom. Second-to-last, in fact. The Tigers narrowly edged out the Milwaukee Brewers for the 29th spot on Baseball America's list.
Here's what Baseball America's Matt Eddy had to say to summarize the Tigers' dismal ranking:
Detroit traded Avisail Garcia to the White Sox in the three-team deal that netted them Jose Iglesias, and no team has mortgaged its future to win now quite like the Tigers.
There is little argument to be made that the Tigers should be higher on this list. Their system is painfully thin, especially in the high minors, and trading a preseason top-100 prospect to a division rival didn't help matters. Neither did trading talented outfielder Danry Vasquez at the trade deadline. The Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens finished with the second-worst record in the International League this season despite the presence of Nick Castellanos, who was ranked as the fifth best prospect in the league by Baseball America.
It is worth reiterating that these rankings were a recap of the 2013 season, not necessarily a preview of 2014 systems -- although the prospect calendar more or less begins with the amateur draft in June anyway. Among the notable names listed for other teams in these rankings were Gerrit Cole (Pirates), Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox), Chris Archer (Rays), Michael Wacha (Cardinals), and AL Rookie of the Year Wil Myers (Rays).
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