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.

15 Responses

  1. MK

    Although moving up I do not think the system is as well rounded as the past I am glad it is making progress again,

    • DaveCT

      I am thinking the same thing, and that this is due to the lack of AA/AAA position players in the mix. While there are P’s Stephenson, Moscot, Contreras, Rogers, etc., with Barnhart and YRod, and that is not bad, the volume of OF and Inf’s seems to be at Hi and Lo A. Especially given the likes of Greene, Wright, Duran, Gelalich, Lohman, etc having stalled. Even 1 or 2 of these players breaking out would make a difference in the balance.

      • sultan of swaff

        I agree. The slow starts by Travieso and Gelalich sting. We need one of them to hop on the fastrack express. Mid market teams simply cannot sustain success unless these top picks contribute at the ML level.

  2. Norwood Nate

    A little surprised to see our pitching take a hit this past year. And especially to see it flip-flop with the hitting. Maybe I’m not understanding how the numbers work. But with Stephenson, Travieso, Moscot, Contreras, Rogers, Homberg, Lorenzen, and Lively being near the top of our rankings, I would still think pitching would be a strong suit. But then again I guess 3 of our top 4 prospects are hitters. So maybe that’s the difference. Just seems to be more depth on the pitching side, especially when you do consider Corcino, Guillon, Garrett, and Kivel.

    • MK

      Nate, I don’t think the pitching has taken a hit. It is a percentage thing and a system who lost the likes of Grandal, Alonso, Gregarious, etc. in trades and with the promotions of Fraizer, Mesoraco, Cozart, the Reds was just down a bit on the position player side making the pitching percentage higher. With Ervin, Winker, etc. they have made a little comeback on the position player side.

      Sultan, I really do not think the Travieso pick is a sting. He is a tremendous raw talent. Everybody brings up Wacha and Stephenson but Nick probably has the 10% of the experience of the former and maybe 50% of the latter. It is no more fair to compare him to those two than it is to Gruler and Howington. If he gets the the bigs in 4 to 5 years I think that would be very good. Homer Bailey really did not stay in the big leagues full time until his 7th year at age 24.

  3. Billy


    Can you put those graphics together with different breakouts? For example, can you show the value broken out by the team (or level) the player ended the season with? Or can you show the value of, say, the top 5 prospects vs. everyone else in the system? This is a really cool breakout that I think you’re just scratching the surface with.

    • Doug Gray

      Sorry, I forgot to respond to this. I will have this coming up at some point this week, great idea.

  4. 44reds

    What do y’all think of the Chris Nelson signing? Seems like there is some upside there.

    • Doug Gray

      I will have a full post on that in the morning. There are some things to like about it. There are some not-so-good things about it too.

  5. Krozley

    Nelson is probably the leader for the backup SS role (where he played most of his games in the minors) given the current roster. Even if he could be halfway between his 2012 and 2013 results, he would be an improvement over the last few backup shortstops. Seems to strike out a lot though.

    • MK

      He has only played 3 games at short in the big leagues and only 10 in the minors the last 2 years. Most of his minor league shortstop play came at the AA and below level ending in 2009. But he might be best of the back-up shortstop lot right now.

  6. DaveCT

    Any idea where Justin Turner is? Give him two years and an outfield glove, three starts a week at SS, 3B, 2B, or CF.

    • Norwood Nate

      I’ve been banging the Justin Turner gong for a while now. No idea what’s going on with him. In my opinion, he’d be perfect for the last spot on the Reds bench.