John Sickels' website Minor League Ball is one of the must reads for anyone interested in Minor League players. John was kind enough to take time out of his day to answer several questions for us regarding the resurgence in the Astros farm system.
TCB: Let's get the big one out of the way. How improved do you view the Astros farm system? And what range would you rank it today?
John Sickels: I don't think there's any doubt that the system has improved significantly, especially in regards to overall depth. The exact rankings, I don't know yet...I won't have a range for that until I finish writing my book and review every organization. But they would no longer rank at the bottom of the barrel, of that I'm certain.
TCB: In all the years you've been covering the Minor Leagues, where does this overall improvement in the Astros farm system rank for you?
JS: Well, I never ranked farm systems against each other until this year so I don't know how it compares historically. I'll just say that I'm impressed. The trades added depth but I really like what they did with the draft, and not just the obvious picks like Correa and McCullers.
TCB: How much has Delino DeShields stock improved this year? And how much does him repeating a level at A ball hurt his ranking?
The best thing to do is go watch minor league games yourself.