Some farms are more fertile than others. Here are Peter Gammons's evaluations of the best and worst farm systems:
The Blue Jays built a powerhouse that ultimately disappointed from 1985 to '87; now they have a nearly all-new team with Fred McGriff, Kelly Gruber, John Olerud, et al. The Jays scout hard, and they're the best in the business at spotting talent in other systems—they stole McGriff, Gruber, George Bell and Tom Henke from rival clubs. A weakness: development of pitching.
A state-of-the-art organization that feeds on data. The well-informed A's have a good scouting department, but the heart of their system is the excellent minor league teaching, supervised by minor league coordinator Karl Kuehl.
Some say the Red Sox system merely rolls the balls out and lets the kids play. But Boston continues to produce good players because of its superb veteran scouts and because the organization is very patient with young talent.
Too many front-office changes over too many years. What the Indians need is a commitment from their ownership and the time to make it work.
2. New York.
The Yankee organization used to have good minor league people. But now those guys, the Stump Merrills and the Buck Showalters, are working in Yankee Stadium, and the new, inexperienced instructors only contribute to the disorder in one of the worst-run businesses in America.
Player-personnel director Doug Melvin is trying to restore this organization to its former luster after it lost its top scouts by being cheap. No system in the league has developed fewer current major leaguers.