2013: 1 – Boston Red Sox, 2 – Houston Astros, 3 – San Diego Padres, 6 – Seattle Mariners
Both The Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros are two of the shining examples of how to bang on a trash can… Oh, wait. Wrong list.
Regardless of how much cheating you think they each did, both teams were loading up with young talent, watching it either come to fruition like Houston did, or mixing that talent with traded players like the Red Sox did with Chris Sale. Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley all became a large part of the Sox, and it would end with them winning the Series both in 2013 and in 2018.
Then we have the Astros, who were playing the tank game, looking more like an NBA team. Arguably the baseball equivalent of the Philadelphia 76ers (Trust the Process).
They did insanely well with their top picks, taking George Springer in ’11, Carlos Correa in ’12, Alex Bregman in ’15, and Kyle Tucker in ’15 as well. After years of tanking, highlighted by three straight seasons of over 105 losses, they would start to compete in 2015, making the playoffs with an 86 win season. Then, in 2017, they would make it all the way there, *winning* the World Series. They would lose the ALCS the following year and lose the WS in seven next year.
The San Diego Padres were the third-ranked farm system but it is the same story for them, as I mentioned on the previous page. A collection of prospects that just did not turn into stars as expected.
For the Mariners, it was a similar story to the Padres. Seattle had a good farm system, or so we thought. Dustin Ackley showed promise in the minor leagues, but never amounted to anything. The Mariners were building a three-headed monster with Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, and Danny Hultzen but that did not go as planned. Jesus Montero was acquired the previous year for Michael Pineda which seemed good, but we now know it was not.