They didn't win the World Series, they didn't make the playoffs last year. But the Baltimore Orioles are defending champions in something. MLB Pipeline revealed on Wednesday night their farm system rankings before the start of the season. For the second straight season, it's the Orioles who are on top.
Baltimore Orioles ranked as top farm system in baseball
As you can see from the tweet, it's not just MLB Pipeline that thinks so. It's also Baseball America and ESPN who pegged the Orioles at the top. They were also ranked first at the 2021 midseason mark and the 2022 preseason rankings by MLB Pipeline. The only top 100 prospect that's graduated from the system is Adley Rutschman.
The recent preseason rankings have the Orioles with eight prospects in MLB Pipeline's top 100 prospects list. Top Orioles prospect Gunnar Henderson is also the top prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, but my guess is it won't be long until he graduates. Right handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez, who has a strong chance to crack the opening day roster, is ranked seventh, giving the Orioles two top 100 prospects that are also in the top 10.
Rounding out the Orioles top five prospects are Jackson Holliday, Colton Cowser, and Jordan Westburg. In the top 100 rankings, Holliday is listed at 12, Cowser at 40, and Westburg at 74. Sixth ranked Orioles prospect Heston Kjerstad, who is having a great spring training, is ranked 80th in the top 100. Rounding out the top 100 representation is DL Hall at 97 and infielder Joey Ortiz at 99.
Between the preseason and midseason rankings for MLB Pipeline, the Orioles have been named the top farm system in baseball for the fourth time in a row. The Padres are the only other team to have done the same, with the Tampa Bay Rays being the other team with more than one number one ranking.
We saw last season the impact Rutschman had on the Orioles, being a large contributing factor to the team's 31 win increase. Henderson debuted down the stretch, and Rodriguez is on the cusp. The future is coming to Charm City, hopefully helping the Orioles push toward that World Series title.