John Sickels released his Reds top 20 prospects last week and with that came the grades for those prospects. In the past years I have looked at the organizational rankings using a system formulated by Victor Wang and the crew at Beyond the Box Score to assign dollar values for what certain grade players have gone on to produce. Today though, I am simply going to look at just how the Reds farm system has graded out in comparison over the past four seasons. You can read about how the numbers were figured out here.
Here is a quick break down of the value of the system heading into each of the years, broken down between the hitter and pitcher values.
After that 2010 season where the Reds ranked in the top 10 of baseball with their position heavy farm system that was position player heavy, with nearly a 3-1 advantage in value. Things shifted the next year with the graduation of several position guys and the pitchers gaining strength, adding more than 50% value over the previous season. The system overall ranked in the back half of the Majors, but they were able to graduate several players to the Majors so that isn’t unexpected. The following year they took a step forward as the position players and pitchers both added about 25% from the year before and the system found itself ranked in the middle-of-the-pack. This year the system took a small step forward overall, but the distribution changed dramatically. The hitters picked up quite a bit of value, adding 60% over the previous year. The pitching however took a step backwards, losing 33% of its value from the year before thanks in large part to Daniel Corcino taking a big step backwards and Tony Cingrani graduating to the Majors.
After being near the top of the mountain four years ago and dropping off dramatically due to graduations to the Major Leagues, the Reds have moved forward for the second year in a row and again find themselves as a middle-of-the-pack farm system that is a bit top heavy, though I am of the belief that there is plenty of depth in the system that has room for improvement. Despite that belief, the farm system could take a step back after the year if both Billy Hamilton and Robert Stephenson graduate.