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Baseball Prospectus Ranks Padres Prospects 11th Best

The Padres' prospect rank better than most, but lower than they did a year ago.

What effect did Gyorko's graduation to the Big Leagues have?
What effect did Gyorko's graduation to the Big Leagues have?
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Having finished up every team's top prospect list, Baseball Prospectus released its annual Organizational Rankings. Despite its name implying that it ranks the entire organization, it is actually just a ranking of all the organizations prospects. Major leaguers and players who are no longer considered rookies are not eligible to be a part of the rankings. The Padres finished 11th. Here are some comments given:

11. San Diego Padres
Farm System Ranking in 2013: 3
2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link
State of the System: Injuries to key prospects in 2013 hurt the stock, but high-ceiling arms, the top backstop in the minors, and a strong draft haul keep the farm on the edge of the top 10.
Top Prospect: Austin Hedges (18)
Breakout Candidates for 2014: Franchy Cordero and Zach Eflin
Prospects on the BP 101: 3
Must-See Affiliate: High-A Lake Elsinore
Prospects to See There: Max Fried, Zach Eflin, Joe Ross, Walker Weickel, Rodney Daal, Hunter Renfroe, Mallex Smith
Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Up. The meat of the Padres system won’t graduate to the majors in 2014, and as Hedges, Renfroe, Fried, and Cordero continue to develop, the system as a whole is likely to take steps forward…..if they can avoid the injury bug.

One thing that stands out to me is that the Padres dropped in the rankings from #3 in 2013 to 11th. This is not explained in the comments, but I will do my best. First off, Jedd Gyorko and Robbie Erlin are no longer eligible. They were ranked 5th and 6th respectively among the Padres' 2013 prospects. Brad Boxberger also lost rookie eligibility and then was traded. You want players to graduate, but you hope that others develop to take their place and that newly drafted players take those developed players' spots too.

The Padres drafted well, according to many reports, and Hunter Renfroe now ranks 4th among Padres prospects according to this site. Dustin Peterson was liked well enough to be called a "Prospect On The Rise". The team also traded for Alex Dickerson who ranks 9th on their 2014 Padres list. Matt Wisler, Burch Smith and Jace Peterson all took steps forward. These are all good things, but certainly don't explain the drop.

The reason seems to come mostly from an inflated grade last year. First off, Rymer Liriano's injury, for some reason, was not accounted for. He lost development time and his star has dimmed a bit. Similarly, Casey Kelly did not need Tommy John surgery until after the report came out. Another reason is that some of the well-liked prospects from a year ago either stagnated or took a step back. Joe Ross was one who stagnated. He did not look better or worse. The ceiling is still there, but the floor was not raised. Cory Spangenberg took a step back and is now looked at as more of a future utility player after being ranked as the Padres' 10th best prospect in 2013. Adys Portillo was ranked 9th and lost enough luster to get designated for assignment by the club. He is still in the Padres organization, but hopes have dimmed.

I am also willing to wager that balance plays a part here. Even though graduations negatively impact the rankings, it is still the goal of the organization. Almost every player in the 2014 Padres Prospects ranking is likely to be there again in 2015 (as mentioned in the Farm System Trajectory section). That weakness is probably enough to give the organization a slight downgrade.