Over at Sports Illustrated today, Baseball America's John Manuel has an article ranking the five best and worst farm systems in baseball. Honestly, I considered it kind of a victory not to see the Pirates in the bottom five, but Manuel actually ranks them in the 6-15 range with the "Best of the Rest" that are just outside of the top five.
That might not seem particularly great, but geez, two years ago we had Andrew McCutchen, Steve Pearce, Neil Walker, and Brad Lincoln was just coming off of TJ surgery and we had no idea what we had there. Today, Pearce and Walker are non-entities, McCutchen is no longer a prospect, and the system is now in the top half of baseball's, based mostly on players acquired since Neal Huntington was hired in 2007.
Seriously, this encourages me to no end. I feel like whistling through the halls right now. We've come a long way in two years.