ESPN's Keith Law is not very impressed with the Miami Marlins' minor league system.
Law released his rankings for each club's farm system Wednesday morning and the Marlins are ranked 29th.
Miami only has one player in the top 100, which will officially be released Thursday, but not even that much impressed the ESPN insider. Law wrote the Marlins "have some high-upside bats in the lowest levels and their pitching is light everywhere."
Why does it matter?
Over the last few seasons, the Marlins have not been ranked at the top of Law's annual list. Since Giancarlo Stanton made his major league debut in 2010, the Marlins have consistently been calling upon prospects.
Stanton was among the first to be called upon. Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich received consistent playing time thereafter. J.T. Realmuto is a more recent example. Justin Bour also falls into that category. Offensively, a majority of Marlins progressed through the club's minor league system.
With regard to pitching, the Marlins have been dependent on internal starting options over the last few seasons. Jose Fernandez. Tom Koehler. Adam Conley. Justin Nicolino. Brad Hand. Kendry Flores.
When teams have depleted farm systems, it more often than not means their top prospects have been promoted and as a result, the major league club is having a fair amount of success. However, that has not been the case with the Marlins.
Since moving to Marlins Park, Miami has struggled consistently. Even with talented prospects who were supposed to have an immediate impact, and many have, the club has not been able to win on a regular basis.
So why does it actually matter?
Miami appears to be in "win now" mode, with Stanton under contract for the next few seasons. The organization is confident it can win with its core.
If the Marlins truly start winning, maybe it truly does not matter and the club can add some depth in the future. But if the inconsistencies continue, the Marlins will likely look back and realize keeping their minor league system stocked would have been more beneficial.
Can it get better?
Of course it can better. But it might have to stay the same or get worse first.
Miami's last fire sale came in 2012, when the club added Adeiny Hechavarria and Justin Nicolino. The players the Marlins received in that deal are major league ready and currently set to contribute.
At the time, the deal with the Blue Jays seemingly improved the Marlins' minor league system. With those players on the 25-man roster, the minor league levels now lack additional talent.
The result? The No. 29 system in baseball.
The Marlins could always deal for prospects if this season doesn't go as planned. But without moving core pieces, that could be a challenge.
A reason for hope
Miami made multiple deals before last July's non-waiver trade deadline. Only a few notable names were sent to Miami in exchange for major league talent.
But the Marlins have new faces in their front office in heading into 2016, which could result in more talent being sent to Miami in potential deals.