Each season, Baseball America grades the farm system and ranks them 1 to 30. In most recent years, the Rays system has been at the top or very near the top. This year, they have once again been graded very highly – #2 overall – by the panel of experts at Baseball America.
Talk about top-heavy. Every system would love to have two big league-ready right-handers like Wade Davis and Jeremy Hellickson, who both have stuff, command and success at the upper levels. And neither of them is even the Rays’ top prospect — that honor goes to five-tool center fielder Desmond Jennings, whose only issue is durability. In between Triple-A and low Class A, the Rays are a bit thin, but they have a bevy of power arms at the lower levels, led by left-hander Matt Moore.
This is the recipe for the Rays to stay competitive each year in the hyperactive financial market that is the AL East. The thinness at the lower levels is concerning, especially given the fact the Rays were unable to sign their two top draft picks from the 2009 draft, but if Carl Crawford does leave after this season, the Rays will get two first rounders in the 2010 draft to draft and hopefully sign.