Remember when the Texas Rangers were the annual owners of the title of best farm system in baseball? It led to a couple of pretty great years and consecutive World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011, and since then it's been on a bit of downturn.
Last year's rough season, however, allowed the Rangers to sell off some big-league pieces to contenders in a couple of pretty nice trades, and now the Rangers' farm has rebounded into top-third territory, as they ranked 11th in a recent ESPN ranking done by minor-league expert Keith Law.
The trade of Joakim Soria to Detroit, in particular, was a huge one for Rangers GM Jon Daniels. The Tigers sent top-notch starter prospect Jake Thompson along with reliever Corey Knebel, who was recently traded to Milwaukee with Luis Sardinas for starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo.
Here's what Law had to say about the Rangers' bounce back on the farm:
"A lost year at the major league level led to a productive trade with Detroit that netted the Rangers a top-100 prospect in Jake Thompson, and they had one of the steals of the 2014 draft when they got right-hander Luis Ortiz with a supplemental pick. There has been some attrition from the large group of high-upside position players they brought into the system in 2011-12, but not as much as you might expect, with that set likely to produce two or three stars in a couple seasons."