John Sickels releases his Cincinnati Reds Top 20 Prospects List Doug Gray January 23, 2014 5 Comments Late last night John Sickels released his Cincinnati Reds Top 20 prospects list. His list looks a bit different than mine did when it was released a few months ago. Our top 10’s contain 9 of the same names, with the lone exceptions being David Holmberg, who wasn’t a Red when my list came out (Sickels list) and Nick Travieso (my list). Holmberg still wouldn’t be in my top 11 though, so that doesn’t change much. After the top 11 is where things get a bit different between Sickels list and my own. I had 2nd rounder KJ Franklin on my list at #12 and he doesn’t crack Sickels top 20 or even his “others” list that is 15 players deep. Jose Ortiz, Aristides Aquino and Gabriel Rosa also cracked my top 20 and weren’t listed for Sickels in his top 20 or his “others” section. John does an excellent job interacting with the readers at his site and in the comments section he noted that Franklin and Ortiz both are grade C players, which puts them on the same grade level as the guys ranked 14th or lower on his list. I think that John is a bit more cautious when ranking players based on pure tools than I am, which is why we see the differences between some of the players with the biggest gaps between my list and his. Go check out his list and be sure to check out what he has to say in the comments section about some of the guys too, including his full write up on Billy Hamilton. 5 Responses MK January 23, 2014 Seems there are a lot of lists out. Is there anyone who tracks the success of the prognostications? And, just what is the definition of success? Doug Gray January 23, 2014 There have been some studies, but it is tough to really do for the long term. Sickels clearly is on his own, so stacking him up is easy. But Baseball America has turnover, even at the top. Baseball Prospectus went from numbers guys making the lists, to Goldstein and now to Parks. So a history of their rankings doesn’t tell us much. ESPN has Keith Law now, but I have no idea who was doing it before he was,but he has only been on the job for a couple of years, so it is tough to evaluate that lists history. Then of course is the whole thing where I fully believe that “we” are ranking guys better today than ever before.There is simply more information out there about the guys, we know what helps predict future success better (No more Corey Patterson types ranking at the top with horrible plate discipline because they can beat up on minor league fastballs – that approach doesn’t work in the Majors). So even in a case like Sickels, where he has been the lone voice for all of these years, he ranks guys differently today than he would have 10-15 years ago. Doug Gray January 23, 2014 With all of that said, here is a study by Victor Wang from 2008 that gives some insight to both BA and Sickels values. http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-bright-side-of-losing-santana/ Nick January 23, 2014 The top four names are very exciting. Winker has been extremely impressive. Ervin has been as well in limited action. Ervin, Winker, Rodriguez, Hamilton, Bruce all in the organization. The outfield decisions may become quite difficult in a couple years…or things will become much clearer. Norwood Nate January 23, 2014 Looking back at my personal list, all my top 10 are in his top 15 and all but one of my top 15 are in his top 16 (16 because of the addition of Holmberg) with the lone exception being Amir Garret. At the time, I had Moscot a just out of the top 15, but looking back I believe I was mistaken. The top 4 prospects are obvious, but I’m a little surprised he had Travieso outside of the top 10. With his age, and limited innings I thought what he did in Dayton was pretty good, and I believe he’ll improve as he moves forward. Overall, a good list.