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.
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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."