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Midseason top five MLB farm systems update

Top prospects like Andrew Benintendi and Dansby Swanson help put the Red Sox and Braves among the top five farm systems. AP Photo, Getty Images

The signing deadline for this year's drafted players has passed, with few surprises. Only one player drafted on Day 1 failed to sign, and I've already reordered the top 50 prospects in the minors last week, just before the last two first-rounders signed. Here now is a very temporary ranking of the five strongest farm systems in baseball.

Two teams not on this list that at least have a chance to make a big leap between now and August 1 are the Cincinnati Reds and the Tampa Bay Rays. Both need to be in full sell mode to try to restock their systems in a year when neither is going to reach the postseason.

The top five systems in baseball, as of right now, are:

1. Atlanta Braves

Top 50 prospects: Dansby Swanson, Ozhaino Albies, Kolby Allard, Sean Newcomb

Nothing has changed here except that Atlanta has added even more pitching to their stable of high-upside young arms thanks to a draft heavy on high school pitchers that saw them land two of the top 15 or so talents in the draft in right-hander Ian Anderson and lefty Joey Wentz. They also signed the consensus top prospect in the July 2 class, Venezuelan infielder Kevin Maitan, whose swing and projected hit tool earn him comparisons to a young Miguel Cabrera.

Their system has seen big comebacks from injury from Kolby Allard and Max Fried, and some modest progress from some of the system's lesser-known bats, including Ronald Acuna (before his injury) and Dustin Peterson. They still lack impact hitters, with their best position-player prospects primarily up-the-middle guys with defensive or positional value but without huge power potential, but there's so much pitching here that even with a typical attrition rate Atlanta should be able to move some of this surplus to acquire bats when they need to.