On Friday afternoon the mailman dropped off several awesome things for me that I’ve been waiting a while for. One of those things was baseball related. I twas the Baseball America Prospect Handbook. If you are unfamiliar, it’s the Top 30 prospects, with scouting reports and information for each organization. If you are interested in it, you can buy it here. It’s much cheaper on Amazon, but doesn’t ship for several more weeks. It’s a great resource for me throughout the season when traveling around to watch the Reds play on the farm – mostly as a general guide for who to keep an eye on from the other team.

A few years ago the Baseball America crew added something to the write ups that was rather valuable. They would add a grade, along with the risk factor. The grades are the OFP (overall future potential) that you will see on scouting reports that are turned into teams. Here’s the breakdown of the chart at the start of the book that tells you what each grade means:

The Reds trades with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees after the deadline to send the book to the printer. That means that they only have 27 players in their section that are still with the organization after losing Shed Long, Jeter Downs, and Josiah Gray. I didn’t look up if any of the other teams within the division made trades and lost any of their top 30 prospects. Perhaps they did and I just didn’t pay attention and take notice. Here’s how each organization broke down via the grades.

The Cincinnati Reds jump out here in that 60+ grade range. It’s that area that separates them from the rest of the division. They have five players that grade out as 60 or higher. The entire rest of the division combines for five such players.

Now, there is something worth noting about the grade chart. Simply having a higher grade does not necessarily mean a player is the higher ranked prospect. This is where the risk factor comes in with each grade. A player with a 50 grade that is in Triple-A has far less risk than a player with a 50 grade who is playing in complex level baseball. The guy in Triple-A will be ranked significantly higher. In some cases grade 40 players ranked higher than grade 50 players because of this.

This was just a fun little exercise to look at with the book in hand. There was only one big surprise within the Top 30 to me. Miguel Hernandez wasn’t in there. And he didn’t even make the depth chart at shortstop, either. I found that to be rather interesting. I’m the “high” guy when it comes to Hernandez. But I’m not alone in believing he’s got a chance to be a quality future shortstop, either. Fangraphs has him at #23 on their list. It was just a surprise that he wasn’t on the depth chart, given a few others who were.

28 Responses

  1. Wes

    Shot out to homer for wanting to take another shot at it ! I figured he’d take his millions and millions and call it a career.

  2. Wes

    And according to fan graphs all those guys combined are worth 70 zillions.

    According to reality out of the top10 60 grade plus players- maybe 1/2 will be occasional all stars.


    Here’s my top 5 in order for most all stars in future-

    Gorman is my dark horse

    Another way to notice how fantastic of off season reds have had ! In comparison- pirates gave up 2 top 50 prospects for Chris archer reds gave up 0 top hundred for Roark wood Puig Gray

    2019 gonna be that year (insert strong arm emoji)

    • Doug Gray

      I think you may have carried a few extra zeroes on your math in that 70 zillion calculation.

    • Stock

      Friedl surprises me but Siri and Garcia had disappointing seasons

    • Doug Gray

      He’s still very upset that they aren’t with Pensacola anymore. Ever since that happened all he’s done is shown up every few weeks and posted something very similar to this. I don’t want to ban him from commenting, but he’s getting real close to it. Find something better to do with your time, Joe.

  3. RedsKoolAidDrinker

    So I was one who was in the crowd that would have given a tad more for Realmuto. But after the calm of the storm, I must admit that Tucker Barnhart I think makes other players better with his leadership. I know that’s not analytics, but I really would have missed him.

    Question: is there any reason to believe (other than injury) that Realmuto could have/ would have trended downward this year?

    • Cguy

      Have you read the latest from MLB Trade Rumors (JT Realmuto Talks: Behind the Scenes)? Reds were dismissed in a single sentence, as have never been close. Perhaps MLBTR should read their own press releases- or discount them.

  4. Rob

    Keith Law has Brent Spillane rated as our eighth best prospect. He has been the most bullish, by far, I’ve seen on him. Great college numbers. Great contact issues.

    • Doug Gray

      I lied.

      There is literally ZERO way you can rank Bren Spillane ahead of Jose Siri. None. And it’s absolutely ridiculous that it happened.

  5. Bred

    How often do 50 to 60 rated players play themselves up to be 70 to 80 players?

      • Nep O'Tism

        Jose Altuve was the once of the decade? Undersized guy who I don’t believe was ever on a Top 100 list, signed for just $15k.

        Now has 1 MVP, 6 AS, 5 SS, 1 GG, and 3 batting titles.

      • Doug Gray

        I don’t think Jose Altuve is a 70/80 player to be honest with you. He’s a 60/65 guy who has had 2 seasons where he’s been better than that.

      • Doug Gray

        Let me expand a little on this, though: Altuve would absolutely have been a Top 100 guy had his career played out slightly differently. His breakout was in 2011 when he hit .389/.426/.591 in the minors as a 21-year-old. But he also reached the Majors that year and lost his prospect list eligibility before the list would come out for that season. Still, don’t think anyone was projecting him to be the guy he was in 2016 or 2017, either. He’s certainly outperformed the expectations.

    • Doug Gray

      To expand on this, there are about 3-4 80 grade players in all of Major League Baseball at a given point in time. Maybe. There are a handful more of 70’s. It’s rare that someone goes from “solid average” projection to “Future Hall of Famer”. Usually you can notice those kinds of things, those kinds of tools very early.

      • Wes

        I’d say trout is only 80 grade player in all of baseball. Betts 70/75. Scherzer 70. Bumgarner was an 80 grade pitcher a few years ago when he was just so dominant in the post season.

        At his peak votto might of got to 75 but 70 is a much safer grade and more like 65 today.

        Love/hate to see Bumgarner a red this season. Hate to see one of their big 3 prospects be traded with no return for a 1/2 season but there’s no better player in our generation you want on the field in a 1 game playoff than Bumgarner.

  6. RMR

    Cards gave up their #3 guy Carson Kelly and another guy who was fringe top 30 in Andy Young in the Goldschmidt deal. But yeah, great to see the Reds with as many plus prospects (60+) as the rest of the division combined.