HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros minor league system has been ranked as the best in baseball this morning by ESPN.com's Keith Law. The top three clubs in Law's rankings are as follows:
1. Houston Astros
2. Minnesota Twins
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Astros minor league clubs experienced a great deal of success in 2013, with all six domestic teams making the postseason, with two winning championships. Over the past two seasons (2012-13), the combined record of the Astros minor league clubs is tops in baseball. This represents a dramatic turnaround as the Astros minor league clubs had the worst combined record in baseball in both 2010 and 2011.
When General Manager Jeff Luhnow was hired by the Astros in December of 2011, one of the main objectives of the organization was to build a top farm system that would lead to sustained success on the Major League level in the future.
"We have been focused on developing the best young talent in baseball in the past few years," Luhnow said. "Our scouts, coaches, trainers and front office should be proud of the talent we have accumulated. The next step is to turn that into wins for the Houston Astros."
In addition to the success of the minor league clubs, the Astros top prospects have also been recognized nationally by several outlets. Seven prospects were included in MLB.com's Top 100 list, released last week: Carlos Correa (#8), Mark Appel (#17), George Springer (#21) Jon Singleton (#50), Lance McCullers Jr. (#52), Mike Foltynewicz (#54) and Delino DeShields, Jr. (#66).
Five prospects were included on the Baseball Prospectus Top 101 list, also released last week: Correa (#5), Springer (#20), Appel (#21), Foltynewicz (#43) and Singleton (#57).
Last year, Law and other outlets ranked the St. Louis Cardinals as having the top minor league system. Prior to joining the Astros, Luhnow served as the vice president of scouting and player development for St. Louis for several seasons. Sixteen players on the 2013 NL Champion Cardinals playoff roster were drafted while Luhnow was VP of scouting and player development.