Wear your crown proudly, Astros. It took a ton of pain, sweat and tears (of your fans) to get to the top of the mountain. But, in his recent ranking of all the farm systems in the league, Keith Law put the Astros at the top of the prospect world.
Here's the link, though an Insider subscription is required. Law has some very nice things to say not only about the Astros depth, but also about the new forays into Latin America. It's an encouraging snapshot into how much improvement Houston has accomplished in such a short time.
It's worth revisiting, though, just how Houston got here. We may rush to laud Jeff Luhnow and his great staff for all the work in getting it here, but much of the foundation was laid by Ed Wade. If Jonathan Singleton, George Springer, Jason Castro and Jarred Cosart lead the Astros to their second-ever pennant in 2016, Wade will have played an integral part.
Also, those two No. 1 picks helped a ton, as both Carlos Correa and Mark Appel now lead a deep system for both position players and pitching. But, just as important (as Law mentions), was Houston leveraging the draft rules to nab a ton of above-slot guys later in the draft. From Lance McCullers to Rio Ruiz to a host of others, Houston was able to add depth to its system that doesn't show up in Top 100 rankings (yet).
In what I'm sure is sort of a victory lap, Luhnow will be chatting at ESPN at 1 p.m. CST. Go ask him about his top ranked system then.