Top 10 Minor League Teams To See In 2017
By J.P. Schwartz
1) Florida Fire Frogs (High-A, Braves) This new franchise will be starting off with a bang, as it likely will contain the most stacked rotation in the minors.
Possibles – Kolby Allard, Mike Soroka, Ronald Acuna, Max Fried, Austin Riley, Touki Toussaint, Braxton Davidson, Alex Jackson
2) Charlotte Knights (AAA, White Sox) This ranking assumes both Giolito and Lopez will not be breaking camp with the Sox. If they do, this team would rank a few spots lower.
Possibles – Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Yoan Moncada, Zack Burdi, Carson Fulmer, Tyler Danish
3) Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA, Phillies) Will possess arguably the best starting lineup in the minors.
Possibles – J.P. Crawford, Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams, Rhys Hoskins, Roman Quinn, Dylan Cozens, Mark Appel
4) Trenton Thunder (AA, Yankees) This ranking assumes Kaprielian will start here, as he spent most of last year on the DL while being assigned to Tampa. Considered by the front office to be a fast riser, when healthy. Also, Torres and Mateo will lead this lineup.
Possibles – James Kaprielian, Gleyber Torres, Jorge Mateo, Justus Sheffield, Miguel Andujar
5) Durham Bulls (AAA, Rays) Considered the most stacked assortment of pitching in Triple-A, especially if new acquisition De Leon fails to break camp with the Rays.
Possibles – Jose De Leon, Brent Honeywell, Jaime Schultz, Ryne Stanek, Chih-Wei Hu, Willy Adames, Jake Bauers, Casey Gillaspie
6) Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A, Padres) Close call between this team and its lower affiliate in Ft. Wayne, but Espinoza tips the scales.
Possibles – Anderson Espinoza, Jacob Nix, Josh Naylor, Logan Allen, Javier Guerra, Ruddy Giron
7) Ft. Wayne Tincaps (Low-A, Padres) Likely the most formidable pitching staff in the MWL.
Possibles – Cal Quantrill, Jorge Ona, Eric Lauer, Hudson Potts, Fernando Tatis Jr. Joey Lucchesi, Mason Thompson
8) Brevard County Manatees (High-A, Brewers) A mixed bag of talent whose lineup could give the Fire Frogs a run for their money.
Possibles – Corey Ray, Isan Diaz, Phil Bickford, Lucas Erceg, Marcos Diplan, Cody Ponce, Kodi Medeiros
9) Rome Braves (Low-A, Braves) The second most stacked team within the most talented farm system, featuring pitching from last years draft.
Possibles – Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz, Kyle Muller, Cristian Pache, Brett Cumberland, Lucas Herbert
10) Colorado Springs Sky Sox (AAA, Brewers) Pitching will be tough here, but Hader and Lopez are repeating this level.
Possibles – Josh Hader, Jorge Lopez, Lewis Brinson, Brandon Woodruff, Mauricio Dubon, Ryan Cordell
Ten More Runners Up
Oklahoma City Dodgers (AAA, Dodgers). Possibles – Cody Bellinger, Alex Verdugo, Brock Stewart, Chase DeJong
Lakewood Blue Claws (Low-A, Phillies). Possibles – Mickey Moniak, Sixto Sanchez, Kevin Gowdy, Cornelius Randolph, Adonis Medina, Daniel Brito
Great Lakes Loons (Low-A, Dodgers). Possibles – Yadier Alvarez, Gavin Lux, Walker Buehler, Jordan Sheffield
Bradenton Marauders (High-A, Pirates). Possibles – Mitch Keller, Cole Tucker, Will Craig, Gage Hinsz, Taylor Hearn
Fresno Grizzlies (AAA, Astros). Possibles – Francis Martes, Derek Fisher, J.D. Davis, Brady Rodgers
Hartford Yard Goats (AA, Rockies). Possibles – Ryan Castallani, Ryan McMahon, Antonio Senzatela, Dom Nunez
Birmingham Barons (AA, White Sox). Possibles – Michael Kopech, Zack Collins, Spencer Adams
Quad Cities River Bandits (Low-A, Astros). Possibles – Forrest Whitley, Daz Cameron, Ronnie Dawson, Miguelangel Sierra
Indianapolis Indians (AAA, Pirates). Possibles Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, Nick Kingham
Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High-A, Cubs). Possibles Eloy Jimenez, Oscar de la Cruz, Eddy Martinez