Farm System Rankings Part One Doug Gray November 27, 2012 45 Comments Today I wanted to take a look at some of the prospect rankings from Baseball America. They have done the individual league Top 20 prospects, so that is what I used as a baseline for the data. I weighed each spot, 1-20 and at different values for each level so that the #1 prospect in a given league is worth more than the #1 prospect in the league below it and so on. It isn’t a perfect formula and part two of the series using John Sickels rankings (once he makes it through all 30 teams) are generally more accurate because he ranks the players on a very comparable grading scale, but that may be another 6 weeks. Here are the overall rankings: Rank Team Prospects Points 1 Rangers 14 306.5 2 Mariners 14 302.5 3 Diamondbacks 10 301 4 Pirates 13 297 5 Rays 12 291 6 Cardinals 14 279 7 Royals 12 251.5 8 Red Sox 12 247 9 Rockies 11 239.5 10 Reds 11 231 11 Blue Jays 11 228.5 12 Padres 13 216.5 13 Astros 10 206.5 14 Mets 11 204 15 Braves 10 200 16 Twins 7 199 17 Cubs 10 188.5 18 Phillies 9 185 19 Tigers 9 179 20 Athletics 8 152 21 Dodgers 6 148.5 22 Angels 6 126 23 Marlins 6 124 24 Yankees 5 114 25 White Sox 6 111 26 Indians 6 105.5 27 Nationals 5 98 28 Giants 5 96 29 Orioles 3 96 30 Brewers 3 46 The Reds rank 10th overall by this system and find themselves third in the division behind the Pirates and the Cardinals, but well ahead of the Cubs and the hapless Brewers. I think that when John Sickels finishes up all of his grades, assuming there are no big trades, that the Reds will be in that 7-10 range in his rankings as well. As noted though, it could be quite a while before we get a chance to check out those rankings. 45 Responses hunr4redsoct November 27, 2012 Would you be willing to trade Homer Bailey to the Royals straight up for Wil Myers? The Duke November 27, 2012 I’d trade Chapman before Bailey. I don’t think Chapman ever sticks as a starter and that his trade value willnever be higher than it is right now. Daryl November 27, 2012 I think I agree with Duke but I’m not sure the Royals make that move for either guy. tim November 27, 2012 I still think we should start an offer of Chapman and Hamilton to Florida for Stanton. Alan Horn November 27, 2012 I agree with Duke in that the moving of Chapman to starter could backfire on us big time. That said, we have to give it a try. We can always move him back to closer. I agree that his trade value would be diminished at that point. Still, he has shown he is one of the dominant closers in the game. Ryan K November 27, 2012 I think it’s hard to give up an established Major League player for a guy who has not done anything in the big leagues yet. Especially when you are swapping straight up with nothing else involved. For all we know Will Meyers could be the next Brandon Larson. Alan Horn November 27, 2012 I agree. Any prospect’s results can stop at any level and the only way to know for sure is to try them at that particular level. I didn’t agree with the trade proposal, but the possibility that Chapman as a starter could fail. Ryan K November 27, 2012 yea sorry I understood what you were saying and I completely agree. I guess that was more a reply to the trade proposal itself. That being said if Will Meyers can continue to produce at the big league level that would work out great. It would just be a big risk for a team trying to win the series. I would like them to find a young controlled contract though for either 3rd base or left field. MK November 27, 2012 Homer has finally matured and looks like he will be the top of the rotation pitcher we have been waiting on. Wouldn’t trade a top of the rotation guy for a prospect. Look what the Reds needed to give up to get Latos. With Latos, Cueto and Bailey, the Reds have what not many teams have, three top of the rotation guys. I would expect Chapman will have some of the same growing pains as a starter that Bailey had so I hope expectations aren’t too unreasonable. Doug Gray November 27, 2012 No. I really think people underestimate just how valuable Homer Bailey was last year. If you took The top 15 pitchers in the NL last year, Homer Bailey was one of them. He may not be an ACE, but he is a #1 pitcher in the NL. zblakey November 27, 2012 The Reds lost six games last year in which Bailey had them ahead but relievers failed to ‘hold’ the lead. On the flip side, he was ‘saved’ twice in games in which he was behind when he was pulled and the Reds rallied to win. Bailey’s 21 ‘quality starts’ was second highest on the staff, trailing only Cueto (23) and the same number as other notables such as Matt Cain, Cliff Lee and Wandy Rodriquez. Leake received .5 more runs per game than Bailey. I remember the Giants catcher said that Bailey’s ‘stuff’ was the best his team had seen ALL season following the playoff game. JIM T November 27, 2012 Doug, I like the fact we have a top ten farm system but looking at the big league club, a big Well done should go to our entire player developement department. Our 25 man roster has 3/5’s of last years starting rotation is home grown and 5 of the 8 fielders all came up through our system. That also isn’t counting Frazier. Throw in Chapman, LeCure, Ondrusek from the pen. Factor in two subs in Heisey and Mesoraco. That Is quite impressive considering they walked away with the Central. PDD is absolutely getting it done. Alan Horn November 27, 2012 Agree Jim. It is light years away from Marge’s days of leading the Reds. Sultan of Swaff November 27, 2012 The Royals want Lester or Shields for Myers. I think we can top that offer and still keep the team intact. Bailey and Leake would be my offer. It keep the Royals within their budget, fills out their rotation for more years than either of those guys would, and makes them contenders immediately. Myers is a stud, and with Hamilton, would solidify our outfield for the next 6 years. Corcino and Cingrani maintain depth. Greg November 27, 2012 If you are giving up both of those guys then the Royals need to throw in their closer or their 3rd baseman(cant spell name). Ryan K November 27, 2012 My personal opinion but I much rather have Bailey over Shields at this point in their career’s. I think Bailey’s career is just getting starting going into what hopefully should be his best years. Alan Horn November 27, 2012 Not to mention the difference in cost. Sultan of Swaff November 27, 2012 Doug, how much does one or two blue chip prospects weigh on a team’s rankings? Or rather, is age/level/top 100 status taken into account? Doug Gray November 27, 2012 In this system, it is a very crude effort. Didi Gregorius wound up being worth the same as Robert Stephenson because of how far up the ladder he was and his high ranking in the AAA rankings. Obviously we know that isn’t true, they don’t have the same value. That is why I prefer the ranking system I use for Sickels prospects, because they can be weighed evenly. WallyP November 27, 2012 I have to say I agree with Doug about Bailey he was such a valuable part of the reds success. I would like to make a point that has been made many times about Chapman. Guys I was born and raised in NYC and while I am a huge reds fan for many many years, I love the NY Yankees. The turning point of the current Yankee success was hands down Mariano Rivera. Guys why are the Reds tinkering with the one of the most impressive closers in the MLB. I understand that he could be a no 1 or no 2 starter in the Majors. He was so dominating as a closer and has that X factor that is very very hard to find in that position. Lets not re invent the wheel here . Keep him in the Pen , make him the highest paid closer in the game after several years of success and not worry about that position for the next 5 years Herbie November 27, 2012 I believe Derek Jeter and Andy Petite would have a little something to do with that, not to mention Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neil, David Cone etc. RobL November 27, 2012 While the Reds system is strong, it should be pointed out that the Cards are better. They match the Reds pitching talent: Stephenson/Shelby Miller Corcino,Cingrani,Travieso,Lotzkar/Martinez,Jenkins,Wacha,Rosenthal. Plus, they have two sure-bet hitting prospects in Tavares and Wong at positions of need. Adams is a good hitter, but he is blocked. The Reds lack any top flight hitters. There are alot of “ifs” involved with each player. I love Billy Hamilton as much as anybody, but he’s no sure thing at the plate. I point this out to remind us that the Reds are the underdogs. The Cards have been snakebitten by injury the last two years. They are the more talented team, and have more elite talent on the way. Buying high through free agency (BJ Upton) or trade (Willingham/Spann) are not the answers. The Reds need patience on Hamilton and Mesoraco, and hope Chapman can succeed in the rotation. Get a buy low guy for leftfield and hope it pans out. (Justin Upton has too many injury concerns for the price required to get him) Alan Horn November 27, 2012 I mostly agree. Willingham would only be buying high in terms of players. His contract is quite reasonable(I think I saw around 6 million per year). If those players are blocked(one of the shortstops and Leake for instance), then I make the deal even if I have to throw in someone else such as Stubbs. I would be hesitant to include Cingrani or Corcino. I might add, that my preferable solution is Ludwick, Broxton and keep Didi and all the young talent(for now at least). RobL November 27, 2012 Alan, I agree that Willingham has a good contract. But he will cost a lot of talent in prospects. Giving from redundant resources is okay (Latos). My problem is more with the addition of Spann/Revere. These are young cost controlled players that would mean more talent needs to be given up. Then names like Hamilton, Stephenson, or Corcino needs to be added. Don’t give up the difference makers in the system. Alan Horn November 27, 2012 I agree on the prospects. I think the best course of action may be Ludwick, Broxton and building a bench. Broxton won’t be cheap, but if we are moving Chapman, we need to know we have a closer(Although I think Hoover could do the job, he isn’t proven. A pennant contender isn’t the place to see unless we have a injury). Just think, we could have signed Willingham as a FA last year for 6 million a year. Hindsight is 20/20. Doug Gray November 27, 2012 The Cardinals have a better system, that I don’t doubt. Oscar Taveras scares me. A lot. More than a lot. Wong not so much. But Major League wise, I will take our team every day of the week. We have the best player between the two teams and it isn’t close. We have better pitching right now and it isn’t really close. Our guys are generally younger than theirs. RobL November 27, 2012 I’m with you Doug, I like the Reds both majors and minors. But I just want to point out the beast that is down in St. Louis. Yes Votto is the best, but Yadier and Holliday are both better than Bruce. I would say Beltran and Craig are his equal (if not better). Freese and Jay are both on par with Phillips. That’s six players in the range of our top 3. Their offense is better. Our pitching is better due to our better bullpen. If Chapman has success as a starter, than our starters would be better than theirs. You are right that we are younger and already proven (as opposed to their young arms). RobL November 27, 2012 I also agree that Wong is a solid player, not big time. And Tavares scares the crap out of me. KyWilson1 November 27, 2012 Would Hamiliton, Lotzkar and Cingrini be enough to get Will Meyers? Doug Gray November 27, 2012 I don’t know. If I were the Royals I don’t think I would pull the trigger on that deal. They are asking around for starters with #1/2 potential who are established Major Leaguers. While that comes with salary, it also comes with sureness. With a group of prospects, there is still plenty of unknown and all three of those guys still have decent risk involved with them. WallyP November 27, 2012 Herbie yes you are correct and we can mention a bunch of other players but trust me in NY if you did not beat the yanks by the 8th inning , you were done. To have a guy that is a lock 99% of the time is a huge plus Doug Gray November 27, 2012 Except he didn’t do that. When Rivera got hurt last season and began talking about retiring, I believe it was Rob Neyer, noted that despite being the best closer ever, he only saved games at a rate about 3% higher than the Pittsburgh Pirates closers did in the same time frame of his career. We are talking about the difference between 1-2 games per season between the best dude to ever play the position and one of the worst franchises in that time frame. Most games are over after 8 innings by sheer odds. Most games aren’t 1 run games heading into the 9th. Most “closers” have an ERA under 4.50, meaning they aren’t even going to give up 1 run every other game they pitch. Mo was the best ever, but he isn’t why the Yankees turned things around. WallyP November 27, 2012 Doug I could not disagree with you more. teams that played against the Yankees naturally had to worry about the team(Jeter williams ARod ect….) but they had to have a sense of urgency when they played against the yankees and that was all because of MO. When you can depend on a guy like that you change your style of managing and you make the game shorter. How many guys have had that much of an effect on a game before he even entered Doug Gray November 27, 2012 Plenty of guys had that effect. All elite closers do. WallyP November 27, 2012 the stats that you quoted have zero to do with the Mo effect Doug Gray November 27, 2012 Sure, but they do demonstrate that while he may have mentally caused some issues for some guys here and there, he wasn’t really all that much better at his job than most other guys with his job. luke November 27, 2012 Reds havn’t had an elite closer for many many years prior to Chapman…many years Doug Gray November 28, 2012 Nope, and yet Chapman and Cordero had a nearly identical save rate. WallyP November 27, 2012 Doug not trying to be arguementive but when you say here and there you make it sound like a small consequence. He changed the game and he dominated when it meant the most. Please look at his stats in the post season Also ask any batter that he faced what it was like to hit against him My point his the reds have found gold with Chapman closing , why fix something that is working just fine Cbus November 27, 2012 You can get close to the same save % that Chapman provided from someone else, who cares if that person has less strikeouts and a higher ERA. Then you can have Chapman start and pitch twice as many innings providing much more value. Unless he sucks at starting but you have got to at least try it and find out. I do agree somewhat that not all innings are equal and the 8th/9th inning is more important because nothing is worse than consistently blowing leads just ask the Brewers. But that doesn’t mean you take potentially your best pitcher and pitch him the least amount of innings. MK November 27, 2012 In the whole Chapman argument I hate the idea of giving up Mike Leake. Alan Horn November 27, 2012 Keep him around. Someone will get hurt. You can never have enough pitching. Shaggy November 27, 2012 I personally don’t want to trade any of our talent now I think this tem could succeed with didi at short cozart at third and frazier in left rolen takes cairo spot and h rod takes Valdez spot chapman in the rotation put leake in the minors as protection bring him up when chapman gets shut down KyWilson1 November 27, 2012 Cozart doesnt have the stick to play third, his production there would be aweful. So unless the Reds had a cf that conteracted that production youre hurting the team. The Reds need to be looking hard for a player they think can have a breakout season in left/3b and either trade for them or sign them. Scouts need to locate a guy that has the tools and just had either bad luck or was injured. Personally I think Sizemore on a minor league deal with incentives would be a bargain deal. Nyger Morgan-CF, Fukudome-Lf,could help on cheap deals as well. Jim delaney November 28, 2012 With signing Broxton, Chapman move to rotation appears finalized, Reds now need to push to acquire a top of lineup hitter to play CF or LF. I am hopeful the Reds can make a move for either Jacoby Ellsbury (Boras client in last arb year), Sin Shoo Choo (Boras client in walk year) or Alex Gordon (I think Royals are more willing to move Gordon than Myers). If reds could acquire Ellsbury I would like to see them trade Stubbs to a team like the Mets for Daniel Murphy and a prospect. Who to trade for Of help? I would Trade Cozart, Leake and bullpen prospect arms. Didi is ready defensively to play in majors, hit him 8th, this will push the C to 7th in order which helps Mes and Reds overall lineup. Will be interesting to see what Walt does. Doug- great job with the team prospect breakdown.