The middle group of 10 teams includes last year's two pennant winners, both of whom still have some young talent on the horizon despite last summer's big trades, as well as five other teams expected to contend for playoff spots this season.
While it's certainly difficult to maintain a strong farm system while contending -- you promote prospects who can help you, and you trade others to fill holes you can't fill internally -- it's not impossible, as you can see quite clearly from the teams listed today.
11. Minnesota Twins
2016 rank: 3
The Twins have been drafting high for a while now, and it’s starting to have a positive effect on their big league roster, but there’s still a lot of talent on its way. They even have some pitchers who throw hard for once. What they don’t have, at least anywhere at a full-season level, is a future star -- a No. 1 or No. 2 starter, a middle of the order bat, a potential MVP candidate, nothing quite like that.
They have a surfeit of players who should have major league value: a half-dozen or so potential midrotation starters, a slew of hard-throwing relievers and a few high-probability position players, led by shortstop Nick Gordon. Their potential stars are still in short-season ball and probably four to six years away from the majors, which means their probability is low and so is their potential value to other clubs.
The Twins might have those potential stars in the majors already -- Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Max Kepler -- and could add one with the first overall pick in this June’s draft, but at the moment, that’s the one real weakness of their farm.