We're Number ONE!

Padres Farm System Ranked #1

March 2, 2018

When the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) was a freshman basketball star at UCLA in 1966, frosh were not allowed to play at the varsity level.  


He and the rest of his young teammates were so good, however, that they handily beat the varsity team in a preseason exhibition. Alcindor would go on the next three years and lead UCLA to the first three of its record seven-consecutive NCAA titles.


We bring that up because today, MLB.com has ranked the Padres as the No. 1 farm system in all of major league baseball. And...being as the Padres are ranked nowhere near No. 1 at the big-league level, well, let's just say it got us wondering.


This is quite a kudo for GM A.J. Preller and the entire organization. At least somebody out there thinks that the Padres' rebuilding plan is coming along just perfectly, thank you. And a great minor league system it what's needed for eventual major league success.


It is here we must insert the caveat that having a top minor league system does not guarantee future glory. The players still must develop and live up to the potential predicted for them.


But just like the signing of Eric Hosmer gives Padre fans hope for the near future, this ranking by MLB.com simply has to instill confidence in the team's fan base about the years coming ahead.


The Padres are on top because, simply, they have what scouts believe are the best players. They are the only organization that has six prospects among the Top 50 in MLB.


The 19-year-old shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr., leads the way at No. 7. Former top draft-pick, lefty McKenzie Gore is No. 8. Followed by second baseman Luis Urias at No. 19, right-hander Cal Quantrill (No. 36), righty Michel Baez (No. 40) and another lefty Adrian Morejon (No. 42).


This all follows a year in which the Padres were ranked as the No. 4 farm system, with a group which included prospects like center fielder Manuel Margot, outfielder Hunter Renfroe, pitcher Dinelson Lamet and second baseman Carlos Asuaje -- all of whom already have received the big-league call and begun to flourish.


Could a team lead by the above star-studded gathering of youngsters beat the team that Andy Green will field on Opening Day?


Of course, only time will tell. As we've noted before, Rome (nor the current champion Astros) was not built in a day. But you've got to start somewhere.


For the Padres, that somewhere is currently sky-high.