If this headline looks familiar, you're probably thinking of the last time the St. Louis Cardinals' farm system was ranked the best in baseball by a widely respected minor league analyst. It was about a week ago, and the analysts were Baseball America. This week it's John Sickels at our sister site, Minor League Ball. The Cardinals jumped from No. 5 to No. 1 on the strength of their still-growing arsenal of starting pitchers and the continued development of Oscar Taveras, one of the two best prospects in baseball.
Following the minor leagues closely for more than a couple of years kind of beats the hubris out of you, but I won't deny that it's nice to see him list "Everything" as the Cardinals system's strength and "none really" for its weaknesses. Elsewhere in the NL Central, the Pittsburgh Pirates jump up to No. 5, the Chicago Cubs are in at No. 10, and the Cincinnati Reds rank No. 15, thanks to a strong crop of pitchers and "Sliding Billy" Hamilton.
For an in-house perspective on these prospects, I'll point you again to our two in-house 2013 prospect lists: the red baron's El Prospectos Top 10, and Future Redbirds's Top 20. You can find encomia to Oscar Taveras anywhere, but those two lists are exactly the place to go if you're interested in watching someone get really excited about Adam Ehrlich or Greg Garcia. (And if you are interested, welcome to Viva El Birdos. You'll like it here.)