When John Sickels released his Cincinnati Reds prospect list two weeks ago, it was an interesting list. It was a bit different than the other lists from national writers. Today Sickels released his Top 200 prospect list and much like his Reds list, it’s not a strong look for the organization.

There were only six Reds prospects who made the Top 200 in total. Here’s where each of the Reds prospects rank:

While there weren’t comments for every player, several of the Reds players did get comments within their “sub-group”. Here’s the comment on Amir Garrett:

Garrett may seem a bit high here but he will be ready to help soon.

I’d agree that Amir Garrett will be ready to help soon. I don’t agree that he’s a bit high being ranked 50th. But, that does bring up the question of, if Amir Garrett is ranked at 50 and is ready to help soon, how is Cody Reed, who easily outperformed Amir Garrett at Triple-A last season, with similar or better stuff, ranked 138 spots lower?

Cody Reed absolutely, unequivocally, got his brains beat in at the big league level. No one is going to argue that. But when we look at the entire picture between Garrett and Reed, the stuff is very similar, though most believe that Reed has stuff that’s ever so slightly better. His minor league numbers have also been quite a bit better, too – particularly when it comes to throwing strikes. If someone wants to make the argument that Amir Garrett should be ranked higher than Cody Reed, I think you can make that argument. But, the gap shown here between the two is so large that it’s hard to really understand.

There is a big gap in how people seem to feel about the Cincinnati Reds, and in particular, their prospects. Let’s take Luis Castillo as an example once again. When he came over from the Marlins he was ranked 12th in the organization by John Sickels. That ranked behind five other Reds prospects that also didn’t make the Top 200 prospects in baseball. Yet, Keith Law ranked that same player inside his Top 100.

In the long run, none of these rankings mean anything. In five years it will have all played itself out and we will have forgotten all about our initial reading of these top prospect lists. But, in the middle of a rebuild the wild variance in rankings among nationally respected sources leaves a lot of questions for how well the organization is doing. There’s a wide array of opinions – with some places thinking the Reds are doing much better in the prospect department and some that seem to think that things aren’t going nearly as well.

8 Responses

  1. Bill

    There is a pretty big variance in how the national analyst see our prospects. I imagine when you try to analyze and evaluate about 1,000 minor league players (30ish players across 30 organizations) it gets pretty difficult to really understand in detail everything going on with specific players.

    After Senzel whose talent and performance closely aligned last year our next best prospects all gave reasons to doubt. Winker’s lack of power, Stephenson and Garrett need to refine their command/control, and Reed’s major league performance was disheartening.

    Upon closer analysis there is reason for optimism. Winker was fighting wrist problems and looked good in other facets of hitting. Reed often seemed one batter away from progressing in many of his ML starts and was lights out at AAA. Garrett always seemed to bounce back from tough starts and continues to make amazing progress. Stephenson is still very young and has tremendous ability.

    No doubt, 2017 is a big year for Winker, Garrett, Stephenson, and Reed. While no one should expect them to dominate during their ML opportunities this year, they will want to show progress as there is another batch of prospects right on their heels.

  2. wes

    So this completes my first year of following minor league ball. I started following before last season when I figured out I couldn’t start liking a new team.

    Was hoping we would show a bit better on this list…..slowly coming around on looking at skill vs number by their name.

    One thing I see consistent in majors to minors is that you can have a bad season or bad couple of months. And when that happens- you see stock free fall in minors. Still think the Reds are doing a very good job with their minor league system and the fruit will pay off soon.

  3. Norwood Nate

    The rankings are getting out of control. There simply cannot be that much variance amongst the lists if any of them want to have any credibility. I will continue to mainly pay attention to the rankings here, as I believe having a deep familiarity with the players helps in being able to rank them accordingly. I just think there are too many minor leaguers, and the guys ranking them can’t/aren’t seeing them enough to form a valid opinion.

  4. Patrick

    The two rankings that I most respect are BA and Sickles. They both have the Reds not ranked that high. I can also understand these rankings most of our guys have red flags showing up in their production.

  5. Brennan

    I have a hard time believing that Aquino, Castillo, and Trammell aren’t top 200 prospects. Could throw in Romano and Mahle for that case too.
    Not saying all of these prospects should be listed but I don’t see how 1 or 2 of the 5 I mentioned didn’t crack the list

    • Doug Gray

      Agreed. Cody Reed being at 188 is something I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around.

  6. Steve

    Hope the players are not even paying attention to these lists and just go out and perform and show all the list makers how wrong they are.

  7. BBFAN

    I think Garretts ranking is just right. How can you say he is ranked to high? Look what he has been doing on the mound compared with other top prospects. He ranks right up there with the rest of the top pitchers and who cares about rankings? Sal Romano is about you be In the MLB and he isnt ranked as high as Garrett, Reed or Stephenson. Maybe the only people who are over ranked are the ones who rank the players.