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View Full Version : Where does the Reds farm system rank?



fearofpopvol1
09-02-2007, 07:45 PM
Among all clubs? I know it's a little hard to actually rank them, but is there a good place to look for so-called "expert" opinions? Or does those of you that follow the minors closely have an unbiased opinion? Just curious.

dougdirt
09-02-2007, 07:50 PM
I would put them probably 8-10.

New Fever
09-02-2007, 08:13 PM
Doug (Everybody) who would rank ahead of the Reds?

dougdirt
09-02-2007, 08:36 PM
Honestly, thats just my opinion of where BA would rank them. The Reds had a very solid draft this year from all accounts and when you mix it in with the top end talent and the 'depth' that some people give the Reds no credit for, they are easily a Top 10 system in my mind. I mean lets be honest here, the Reds have a 20 year old leading the MWL in HR and I would be very pressed to rank him inside the top 8 prospects in the system.

nate
09-02-2007, 09:02 PM
How would you compare this year's farm system with the previous five years?

dougdirt
09-02-2007, 09:22 PM
incredibly better. More top end talent. More depth.

GoReds33
09-02-2007, 09:29 PM
incredibly better. More top end talent. More depth.This farm system has a couple guys that are doing good at the lower levels too. This system is stacked. I say they would rank 4 to 6.:)

paulrichjr
09-02-2007, 11:49 PM
It seems to me that with have a had a fairly large number of disappointments this year including Bailey and Watson (I think). Is this not the case?

Also, who are the surprises this year? The ones that no one considered prospects until this season?

GoReds33
09-03-2007, 12:28 AM
It seems to me that with have a had a fairly large number of disappointments this year including Bailey and Watson (I think). Is this not the case?

Also, who are the surprises this year? The ones that no one considered prospects until this season?I don't know if you would call Cueto a suprise but he had a breakout year. I guess Brandon Waring would be my suprise of the year. He wasn't here last year though. I can't recall the names, but there have been a few terrific relievers too.:)

dougdirt
09-03-2007, 12:34 AM
While I would say that Bailey has been a disappointment, I contribute some of that to injury. In half of his MLB games his ERA was under 2.20. Of course in the other half I don't even want to calculate the number, but it was ugly. That said, the kid is still a top 20 prospect in baseball, and Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto are both also inside the top 40 prospects in baseball.

The big surprises this year have been Danny Dorn, Adam Rosales, Pedro Viola, Josh Roenicke, Rick Asadoorian and Juan Francisco. Watson pitched very well until his innings began to add up. Lets remember that he was a relief pitcher for his college career, so stretching him out was going to take a toll. That said, his prospect status is fairly unchanged in my mind, and has actually gone up from where I ranked him at the end of last year, despite his tailing off.

Just for an example, here is where I ranked these guys at my year end Top 40 last season:
Danny Dorn - 33
Adam Rosales - 34
Pedro Viola - Not ranked and pitched in the Dominican
Josh Roenicke - unranked reliever
Rick Asadoorian - unranked outfield, now solid relief pitcher
Juan Francisco - 36

Now even still only Francisco has an arguement to for the top 10 by the way I rank players, but the rest of those guys all have legit shots at being in the majors soon and all but Francisco are having very good success at the AA level.

New Fever
09-03-2007, 12:35 AM
Juan Francisco would probably be the biggest surprise this year. Also a guy like Daryl Thompson who is 14-5 with a 3.18 ERA and a few of the 2007 Draft Picks. Pretty good year for the Reds' farm system. It's been fun watching the guys progress this year, now hopefully the big club will learn from the farm hands and have some success next year.

dougdirt
09-03-2007, 12:51 AM
Juan Francisco would probably be the biggest surprise this year. Also a guy like Daryl Thompson who is 14-5 with a 3.18 ERA and a few of the 2007 Draft Picks. Pretty good year for the Reds' farm system. It's been fun watching the guys progress this year, now hopefully the big club will learn from the farm hands and have some success next year.

I kept from naming any of the 2007 draftees as a surprise types, becuase they are just new guys. I forgot about Thompson though with mine. Good call on him. :thumbup:

GoReds33
09-03-2007, 01:08 AM
I kept from naming any of the 2007 draftees as a surprise types, becuase they are just new guys. I forgot about Thompson though with mine. Good call on him. :thumbup:I didn't think about him either. He's having a beastly season.:)

SteelSD
09-03-2007, 01:39 AM
While I would say that Bailey has been a disappointment, I contribute some of that to injury. In half of his MLB games his ERA was under 2.20. Of course in the other half I don't even want to calculate the number, but it was ugly. That said, the kid is still a top 20 prospect in baseball, and Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto are both also inside the top 40 prospects in baseball.

The big surprises this year have been Danny Dorn, Adam Rosales, Pedro Viola, Josh Roenicke, Rick Asadoorian and Juan Francisco. Watson pitched very well until his innings began to add up. Lets remember that he was a relief pitcher for his college career, so stretching him out was going to take a toll. That said, his prospect status is fairly unchanged in my mind, and has actually gone up from where I ranked him at the end of last year, despite his tailing off.

Just for an example, here is where I ranked these guys at my year end Top 40 last season:
Danny Dorn - 33
Adam Rosales - 34
Pedro Viola - Not ranked and pitched in the Dominican
Josh Roenicke - unranked reliever
Rick Asadoorian - unranked outfield, now solid relief pitcher
Juan Francisco - 36

Now even still only Francisco has an arguement to for the top 10 by the way I rank players, but the rest of those guys all have legit shots at being in the majors soon and all but Francisco are having very good success at the AA level.

Rick Asadoorian at age 27 in AA has a "legit shot" at producing in the Show soon? Juan Francisco and his .297 OBP/.751 OPS at Dayton has "an argument" for the top 10? If Francisco carries that kind of clout, then the Reds farm system is even worse than I think it is. Guys like that are "C-level" or worse prospects. Ditto Stubbs and a bunch of what would make up a Reds top 10 list at this point.

Right now, the Reds have Bruce, Votto, Bailey (if they haven't destroyed him), Cueto, Waring, Valaika, and Frazier who are potential "A" to "B" prospects. The Reds are incredibly thin at the upper levels and have little in the way of quality depth at any position. Overall starting pitching depth and quality is non-existent. It's nice to see guys like Viola, Roenicke, and Guevara produce in AA, but they're not exactly fast comers at ages 24, 25, and 25 respectively.

This is not a strong farm system. Every team has a draft every year and I don't see much of anything of distinction beyond that.

kaldaniels
09-03-2007, 01:43 AM
Rick Asadoorian at age 27 in AA has a "legit shot" at producing in the Show soon? Juan Francisco and his .297 OBP/.751 OPS at Dayton has "an argument" for the top 10? If Francisco carries that kind of clout, then the Reds farm system is even worse than I think it is. Guys like that are "C-level" or worse prospects. Ditto Stubbs and a bunch of what would make up a Reds top 10 list at this point.

Right now, the Reds have Bruce, Votto, Bailey (if they haven't destroyed him), Cueto, Waring, Valaika, and Frazier who are potential "A" to "B" prospects. The Reds are incredibly thin at the upper levels and have little in the way of quality depth at any position. Overall starting pitching depth and quality is non-existent. It's nice to see guys like Viola, Roenicke, and Guevara produce in AA, but they're not exactly fast comers at ages 24, 25, and 25 respectively.

This is not a strong farm system. Every team has a draft every year and I don't see much of anything of distinction beyond that.

What, and this question is for anyone, could the Reds have done up to this point to "destroy" Bailey...please elaborate. While I'm not happy with the results of this year...I would find it hard to spout out that the Reds may have "destroyed" him.

Blue
09-03-2007, 01:50 AM
Bailey, Cueto, Votto, Bruce, Maloney, Dorn, Rosales, Roenicke.

Incredibly thin at the upper levels. Totally agree.

dougdirt
09-03-2007, 01:55 AM
Rick Asadoorian at age 27 in AA has a "legit shot" at producing in the Show soon? Juan Francisco and his .297 OBP/.751 OPS at Dayton has "an argument" for the top 10? If Francisco carries that kind of clout, then the Reds farm system is even worse than I think it is. Guys like that are "C-level" or worse prospects. Ditto Stubbs and a bunch of what would make up a Reds top 10 list at this point.
Steel, you do know that Asadoorian is pitching for the first time in his career and he is having success in AA right? I don't care about his age, he has a mid 90s fastball. Out of the bullpen, thats a real good start. As for Francisco, I said he has an arguement, and he does. Not everything is in the stats Steel, especially when it comes to prospects. A player in his 19/20 season who has 25 home runs has a lot of potential. He is raw right now in certain aspects of his game, but that has nothing to do with his potential. As for Stubbs being a C level prospect, I think you are sadly mistaken in your judgement of Drew Stubbs and how most baseball people view him.... and in the end, that is all that is going to matter with Stubbs. Scouts like him, and for the better part of the year, he has produced while hurt (outside of June, he has 3 out of 4 months with .850 or higher OPS's).


Right now, the Reds have Bruce, Votto, Bailey (if they haven't destroyed him), Cueto, Waring, Valaika, and Frazier who are potential "A" to "B" prospects. The Reds are incredibly thin at the upper levels and have little in the way of quality depth at any position. Overall starting pitching depth and quality is non-existent. It's nice to see guys like Viola, Roenicke, and Guevara produce in AA, but they're not exactly fast comers at ages 24, 25, and 25 respectively.
I wouldn't put Waring near the other guys at this point in terms of prospects. Roenicke is in his first full season and is in AA. He was drafted at age 24. Viola is in his first full season in this country, and also at AA. Guevara has no chance, because the Reds see him as a trick pitch kind of guy. Fast comers, slow comers, it doesn't matter as long as you get there and produce. That said, I would say Viola and Roenicke are fast comers considering its their first full seasons and are in AA.


This is not a strong farm system. Every team has a draft every year and I don't see much of anything of distinction beyond that.
Steel, I don't know what kind of 'depth' you want to see, but the Reds have some quality depth in their system. Not every team can be full of 22 year old studs, and no one has a system like that. But if you want to give me a system where Danny Dorn and Adam Rosales aren't top 10 prospects but are both in AA at reasonable ages with over .900 OPS's and then tell me that the system doesn't have much depth... well then you are entitled to your opinion, I just think you are flat out wrong.

For what its worth though, Jim Callis at BA had Francisco as the Reds #6 prospect as recently as last month, and while I disagree with that slightly, I can see the argument being made for it. If he figures out to not swing at everything, the hitting is already there.

dougdirt
09-03-2007, 02:11 AM
Bailey, Cueto, Votto, Bruce, Maloney, Dorn, Rosales, Roenicke.

Incredibly thin at the upper levels. Totally agree.

You forgot about Michael Griffin, 23 years old, hitting .329/.368/.497 in AA (also hit over .300 in Sarasota in the first half), Pedro Viola, 24 years old, combined 1.42 ERA in 82.1 innings where he has allowed 55 hits and struck out 94, Tyler Pelland, 23 years old, now in AAA with a 3.18 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 27 strikeouts in 22.2 innings of relief. Of course there is asl older semi prospects with Chris Dickerson and Buck Coats in AAA....

SteelSD
09-03-2007, 02:26 AM
Steel, you do know that Asadoorian is pitching for the first time in his career and he is having success in AA right? I don't care about his age, he has a mid 90s fastball. Out of the bullpen, thats a real good start.

Yeah, I know and I don't at all care. At this point he's a 27-year old project rather than a prospect.


As for Francisco, I said he has an arguement, and he does. Not everything is in the stats Steel, especially when it comes to prospects. A player in his 19/20 season who has 25 home runs has a lot of potential. He is raw right now in certain aspects of his game, but that has nothing to do with his potential.

The guy hasn't performed. Couldn't care less about power potential if he can't do anything else well. And he hasn't.


As for Stubbs being a C level prospect, I think you are sadly mistaken in your judgement of Drew Stubbs and how most baseball people view him.... and in the end, that is all that is going to matter with Stubbs. Scouts like him, and for the better part of the year, he has produced while hurt (outside of June, he has 3 out of 4 months with .850 or higher OPS's).

Yeah, his turf toe has allowed him to run "like a gazelle" as you've often noted. Nice to see that you'll remove an entire month of performance in order to position Stubbs as a potential plus offensive player, but that month actually happened. And here we sit with Drew Stubbs at a .783 OPS in low A ball. Wow. That's awesome.


I wouldn't put Waring near the other guys at this point in terms of prospects.

I see. You'd consider Juan Francisco as a potential top 10 prospect based on nothing but his power potential but wouldn't consider Waring why? Because Waring is a whole year older than Francisco?


Roenicke is in his first full season and is in AA. He was drafted at age 24. Viola is in his first full season in this country, and also at AA. Guevara has no chance, because the Reds see him as a trick pitch kind of guy. Fast comers, slow comers, it doesn't matter as long as you get there and produce. That said, I would say Viola and Roenicke are fast comers considering its their first full seasons and are in AA.

Sure. 24 and 25-year old players are "fast comers" because they're playing against age-equitable competition. Sorry, but no.


Steel, I don't know what kind of 'depth' you want to see, but the Reds have some quality depth in their system. Not every team can be full of 22 year old studs, and no one has a system like that. But if you want to give me a system where Danny Dorn and Adam Rosales aren't top 10 prospects but are both in AA at reasonable ages with over .900 OPS's and then tell me that the system doesn't have much depth... well then you are entitled to your opinion, I just think you are flat out wrong.

Danny Dorn is 23 in high A ball. Adam Rosales (who I've always liked) is no longer a middle infielder at age 24. Considering how you've always pimped Jay Bruce because of his age versus his level, I'm a bit flabbergasted by the fact that you haven't considered the age comps on a good majority of Reds' prospects.

The Reds don't have a lot of high-level depth in the minors. Sorry, but if you were truly keyed into the Reds minor league system you'd realize that.


For what its worth though, Jim Callis at BA had Francisco as the Reds #6 prospect as recently as last month, and while I disagree with that slightly, I can see the argument being made for it. If he figures out to not swing at everything, the hitting is already there.

If Jim Callis had Francisco as the Reds' #6 prospect, I'd consider that a complete indictment of the Reds' minor league system.

Scrap Irony
09-03-2007, 02:36 AM
SD, I respectfully disagree. A bunch.

Cincinnati has four ROY candidates for 2008. Votto and Bruce have top end talent and should have enough at-bats for the award. Too, both Bailey and Cueto have shown a propensity for missing bats and are arguably the top one-two punch still in the minor leagues, as far as top end pitchers. Both have ace potential and stuff.

That's four solid A prospects. Last year, no team in all of baseball had four A prospects. None. Nada. Zip.

(That would be high end talent.)

Too, other A to B level talent you accidentally omitted or didn't think about include:
Danny Dorn
Has hit everywhere he's been and continues to pound the ball in AA. Good eye, good discipline, good pop. In short, everything a top end prospect should have. He's in AA, BTW. And, if Valaika is a B prospect, Dorn certainly is. He's hit better and at a higher level.

Adam Rosales
Speaking of AA, Rosales has had a resurgence at the plate after a poor showing last season in High A. His 71 extra base hits promise serious pop and, even if he can't play SS anymore, he's shown a legitimate bat. He, too, is in AA.

Darryl Thompson
Don't like hitters? How about young Mr. Thompson? All he's done is skate through two leagues with a combined 14-5 season and a 3.18 ERA. And he's young as well, at 21. Prospect gurus will be all over him. Or at least they should. He's a solid B prospect.

Matt Maloney
Speaking of pitching, let's take a look at Maloney. His fastball doesn't pass the look test, but his numbers are incredible. Want K rate? BB:K ratio? He delivers in spades. Maloney destroyed AA and in a short trial run at AAA, he's shown that same K ability. He's a poor man's Kevin Slowey and he's certainly a B prospect. I'd suspect Maloney will be, too.

That's eight A-B prospects off the top of my head, even without Stubbs, whom I like much more than you. (Very solid season after a horrid month, combined with speed and great D in CF.) Add on top of that the Waring, Valaika, Frazier troika and that's 11 A and B prospects.

That's a bunch.

(And, BTW, a ton of depth.)

Speaking of depth, here's where all those relievers come in. Cincinnati's pen, as you are well aware, is sorely lacking solid fastballs. Enter Viola, Roenicke, Aasadorian, Guevara, McBeth, and a host of good arms and hope a couple stick each year. It's not sexy, it's not headline grabbing, but it was the one thing Bowden was really, really good at year after year and it's the one thing that's been missing since he took his leather pants on up to the nation's capital. Add a couple good, young arms to a solid bullpen core and hope it works out.

(Psst, that's more depth.)

None of this mentions Francisco, who is 20 and has shown a rare ability to hit the ball a long way. He may be Samone Peters, he may be Austin Kearns. Shrug. Who knows? All I know is, people like the long ball, and I suspect he's much higher than a C prospect on most minor league expert cards. Others in the same vein include Fisher, Watson, LeCure, Turner, Soto, and Tyler Pelland.

That's 23 players from the GCL to the International League. That's four A-type prospects, which didn't happen last season for any team, 11 B prospects, and 23 total prospects with some intriguing numbers. Add in Stubbs and the Boy Wonder from Puxatawney and that's 25 prospects.

Time was, you couldn't find 25 guys to talk about in the Cincinnati pipeline. Many experts said it was last year, in fact. (Psst, they were wrong, then, too.) This year, Cincinnati has had a lot of kids step up and have really solid seasons and four or five have truly outstanding seasons. That's heady stuff.

And it's hardly a pipeline with little top end talent and no depth.

dougdirt
09-03-2007, 03:01 AM
Yeah, I know and I don't at all care. At this point he's a 27-year old project rather than a prospect.

Yeah, lets not worry about a guy with mid 90's heat in his first year as a pitcher because he is old and obviously will never help the big club.



I see. You'd consider Juan Francisco as a potential top 10 prospect based on nothing but his power potential but wouldn't consider Waring why? Because Waring is a whole year older than Francisco?
Francisco is a level higher, has nearly the same problem as Waring with high strikeouts and low walks, plays the same position and is a year and a half younger than Waring.



Sure. 24 and 25-year old players are "fast comers" because they're playing against age-equitable competition. Sorry, but no.
Age only goes so far. Viola is in his first year as a reliever and his first year in the US and has absolutely DOMINATED the competition he has faced. Roenicke played football in college for UCLA and didn't play much baseball. He has turned his first full season into a very successful AA season.



Danny Dorn is 23 in high A ball. Adam Rosales (who I've always liked) is no longer a middle infielder at age 24. Considering how you've always pimped Jay Bruce because of his age versus his level, I'm a bit flabbergasted by the fact that you haven't considered the age comps on a good majority of Reds' prospects.

Dorn is actually OPSing 1.089 in AA as we speak and has been there since late July. Rosales is 24 and is looking pretty good with his .933 OPS in AA and he has actually been playing SS and 3B lately. As for Jay Bruce and age/level, he is a freak.



The Reds don't have a lot of high-level depth in the minors. Sorry, but if you were truly keyed into the Reds minor league system you'd realize that.
Yeah, 4 top 75 players in the minor leagues surely is not high level. Maybe if you were more keyed into the Reds minor league system, you wouuld realize that.



If Jim Callis had Francisco as the Reds' #6 prospect, I'd consider that a complete indictment of the Reds' minor league system.

Or the fact that scouts love his potential and BA listens to what the scouts say.

dougdirt
09-03-2007, 03:04 AM
Heck, scrap irony didn't even mention Devin Mesoraco, Scott Carroll or Kyle Lotzkar, all top 3 round picks this past season in his 'depth chart' he went through.

Blue
09-03-2007, 01:01 PM
You forgot about Michael Griffin, 23 years old, hitting .329/.368/.497 in AA (also hit over .300 in Sarasota in the first half), Pedro Viola, 24 years old, combined 1.42 ERA in 82.1 innings where he has allowed 55 hits and struck out 94, Tyler Pelland, 23 years old, now in AAA with a 3.18 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 27 strikeouts in 22.2 innings of relief. Of course there is asl older semi prospects with Chris Dickerson and Buck Coats in AAA....

I guess sarcasm doesn't always translate on a message board.

dougdirt
09-03-2007, 01:05 PM
I guess sarcasm doesn't always translate on a message board.

No, I got your sarcasm, I just felt the need to add a little more to it. :thumbup:

SteelSD
09-03-2007, 01:31 PM
SD, I respectfully disagree. A bunch.

Cincinnati has four ROY candidates for 2008. Votto and Bruce have top end talent and should have enough at-bats for the award. Too, both Bailey and Cueto have shown a propensity for missing bats and are arguably the top one-two punch still in the minor leagues, as far as top end pitchers. Both have ace potential and stuff.

FOUR Rookie of the Year candidates? No. And those are the guys I have some hope for.


Too, other A to B level talent you accidentally omitted or didn't think about include:

The omissions you speak of weren't accidental.


Danny Dorn
Has hit everywhere he's been and continues to pound the ball in AA. Good eye, good discipline, good pop. In short, everything a top end prospect should have. He's in AA, BTW. And, if Valaika is a B prospect, Dorn certainly is. He's hit better and at a higher level.

The reason I consider Valaika a "B" prospect (and he's on the low edge of "B") is that he's what Dorn isn't- a middle infielder. Dorn had a great start at Billings and his 90 AB run at AA is super while alternating between LF and DH. But in the middle is a line of .281 BA/.359 OBP/.456 SLG at Sarasota. He's not going to continue a HR rate near one every ten AB going forward and may be a man without a position.


Adam Rosales
Speaking of AA, Rosales has had a resurgence at the plate after a poor showing last season in High A. His 71 extra base hits promise serious pop and, even if he can't play SS anymore, he's shown a legitimate bat. He, too, is in AA.

Oh, I know all about Rosales bat. In fact, I felt Rosales (as a SS) was a top prospect back when doug still had Miguel Perez high on his list. But the position change hurts pretty badly. I think Rosales is currently at the high end of "C" prospect, but he'll have to demonstrate that his power outburst is repeatable (it's heavily driven by Triples) to move up from there at his current position.


Darryl Thompson
Don't like hitters? How about young Mr. Thompson? All he's done is skate through two leagues with a combined 14-5 season and a 3.18 ERA. And he's young as well, at 21. Prospect gurus will be all over him. Or at least they should. He's a solid B prospect.

Daryl Thompson being healthy is great. Problem is that the two times he's actually been healthy his HR/9 rates have been well over 1.00. For his minor league career, his HR/9 rate is at 0.96. That's way too high.


Matt Maloney
Speaking of pitching, let's take a look at Maloney. His fastball doesn't pass the look test, but his numbers are incredible. Want K rate? BB:K ratio? He delivers in spades. Maloney destroyed AA and in a short trial run at AAA, he's shown that same K ability. He's a poor man's Kevin Slowey and he's certainly a B prospect. I'd suspect Maloney will be, too.

Maloney, like Rosales is on the upper cusp of "C". He doesn't throw very hard and relies on his breaking stuff to grab those impressive K totals. Problem is that his HR rates have climbed as he's advanced to face hitters better able to hit breaking balls. Sans velocity, that doesn't project well.


Speaking of depth, here's where all those relievers come in. Cincinnati's pen, as you are well aware, is sorely lacking solid fastballs. Enter Viola, Roenicke, Aasadorian, Guevara, McBeth, and a host of good arms and hope a couple stick each year. It's not sexy, it's not headline grabbing, but it was the one thing Bowden was really, really good at year after year and it's the one thing that's been missing since he took his leather pants on up to the nation's capital. Add a couple good, young arms to a solid bullpen core and hope it works out.

(Psst, that's more depth.)

When you're counting 25-year old AA relievers (Roenicke, Guevara) and 27-year old positional conversion projects (Asadoorian, McBeth) as quality depth, then there's a serious depth issue. The 24-year old Viola has looked good though while ascending to AA. But these aren't some young guns running wild through the system. They're big "ifs". Now that IS a place where the Reds have depth in the minors.


None of this mentions Francisco, who is 20 and has shown a rare ability to hit the ball a long way. He may be Samone Peters, he may be Austin Kearns. Shrug. Who knows? All I know is, people like the long ball, and I suspect he's much higher than a C prospect on most minor league expert cards. Others in the same vein include Fisher, Watson, LeCure, Turner, Soto, and Tyler Pelland.

Why would we need to mention Francisco at this point. The guy does one thing decently well- hit the ball out of the yard. The rest of the guys you list are the epitome of "C" prospects.


That's 23 players from the GCL to the International League. That's four A-type prospects, which didn't happen last season for any team, 11 B prospects, and 23 total prospects with some intriguing numbers. Add in Stubbs and the Boy Wonder from Puxatawney and that's 25 prospects.

Time was, you couldn't find 25 guys to talk about in the Cincinnati pipeline. Many experts said it was last year, in fact. (Psst, they were wrong, then, too.) This year, Cincinnati has had a lot of kids step up and have really solid seasons and four or five have truly outstanding seasons. That's heady stuff.

And it's hardly a pipeline with little top end talent and no depth.

I still can't find 25 guys in the system worth talking about.

Blue
09-03-2007, 01:43 PM
Steel, I would ask you this: What teams have a better farm system than the Reds?

SteelSD
09-03-2007, 02:05 PM
Yeah, lets not worry about a guy with mid 90's heat in his first year as a pitcher because he is old and obviously will never help the big club.

Quit it. You know as well as I do that such a project is a HUGE "if". Huge.


Francisco is a level higher, has nearly the same problem as Waring with high strikeouts and low walks, plays the same position and is a year and a half younger than Waring.

Brandon Waring: 1 HR/13.5 AB, 1 BB/12.48 AB
Juan Francisco: 1 HR/21.92 AB, 1 BB/23.91 AB

Yes, they're surely the same.


Age only goes so far. Viola is in his first year as a reliever and his first year in the US and has absolutely DOMINATED the competition he has faced. Roenicke played football in college for UCLA and didn't play much baseball. He has turned his first full season into a very successful AA season.

I see. Young becomes a positive when you're pimping Jay Bruce or Juan Francisco versus Brandon Waring, but age can't be used as a potential negative when talking about players you like. Got it.


Dorn is actually OPSing 1.089 in AA as we speak and has been there since late July. Rosales is 24 and is looking pretty good with his .933 OPS in AA and he has actually been playing SS and 3B lately. As for Jay Bruce and age/level, he is a freak.

Yes, I know Danny Dorn is in AA. Wonderful first 90 AB. Doesn't trump the 338 he put up in Sarasota this year. Hot streaks are fun, but they're not reality. And Adam Rosales has not been playing a bunch of SS and 3B recently. He's got two games at each position since the middle of August.


Yeah, 4 top 75 players in the minor leagues surely is not high level. Maybe if you were more keyed into the Reds minor league system, you wouuld realize that.

Go back and re-read what you responded to. I noted that the Reds have little in the way of high level DEPTH. And, aside from your consistent overrating of the kids currently in the system, they don't. Even this year you were demanding that guys like Paul Janish and Cody Strait were future MLB starters. No caveats either. You were certain.

So please don't get chippy when I dare to position an opinion that runs contrary to yours.


Or the fact that scouts love his potential and BA listens to what the scouts say.

Hey, I'd love to love the potential of a kid who has one decent offensive tool (some HR pop). But I don't.

GoReds33
09-03-2007, 02:09 PM
What, and this question is for anyone, could the Reds have done up to this point to "destroy" Bailey...please elaborate. While I'm not happy with the results of this year...I would find it hard to spout out that the Reds may have "destroyed" him.If anything the Reds have been over-protective of Bailey.:)

SteelSD
09-03-2007, 02:13 PM
Steel, I would ask you this: What teams have a better farm system than the Reds?

Here's a return question: Why does that actually matter?

dougdirt
09-03-2007, 02:16 PM
So please don't get chippy when I dare to position an opinion that runs contrary to yours.


Im not even going to reply to anything else you said, becuase well we have done it many times before because we are both strong on our opinions and will just continue to go back and forth just for the sake of going back and forth. We disagree on a LOT of things in respect to our farm system.

As for what I quoted, how about you dont get chippy with me in the first place?

dougdirt
09-03-2007, 02:18 PM
Here's a return question: Why does that actually matter?

Becuase you claim we don't have a strong farm system, so you obviously think there are a lot of teams with better ones. Im pretty sure he was just looking to see who you thought had better systems so he could go look and see what you consider strong.

PuffyPig
09-03-2007, 02:22 PM
Here's a return question: Why does that actually matter?

Since the question of the thread was ranking the Reds system, it would appear to be the only relevant question.

I think that BA ranked the Reds system around the middle last year (forget where), lets assume around 15. I'm pretty sure the Reds ranking will improve, so I think it will be around 8-12.

dougdirt
09-03-2007, 02:26 PM
Since the question of the thread was ranking the Reds system, it would appear to be the only relevant question.

I think that BA ranked the Reds system around the middle last year (forget where), lets assume around 15. I'm pretty sure the Reds ranking will improve, so I think it will be around 8-12.
The Reds system ranked 12th actually.

Betterread
09-03-2007, 02:31 PM
I think the knowledge that dougdirt shares on other farm systems is a good perspective for the Reds system. I appreciate it.
I would have to think that the Reds system must be in the top 1/3 because we have 4 prospects that are not only locks to make the majors (barring an unforeseen serious injury, of course) but have the potential to be above average major leaguers. That is remarkable in comparison to other systems. I think the last two drafts have developed depth in our system for middle infielders, and athletic OFers. This was especially important, to my perception, for the middle infielders, because of our lack of even adequate prospect depth before 2006 (Paul Janish was our top middle IF prospect - you draw your own conclusions.)
The Reds are trying to build catching depth, and the positive offensive developments of Tatum and Perez (I think his comeback from elbow surgery escaped people's attention, but look at his power numbers - I am optimistic that he has turned a corner offensively this year), and the drafting of Mesoraco bodes well, even if they do not boast a legitimate ML prospect at the position yet.
I am very concerned about our starting pitching depth, because after Bailey and Cueto, there is a big dropoff to Maloney and another dropoff to Watson (who will probably end up in the bullpen anyway), and then there is a chasm. In my opinion, we need to emphasize starting pitching in the 2008 draft.

GoReds33
09-03-2007, 02:36 PM
This farm system may not be tops in baseball but they are headed in the right direction. They have plenty of talent at all levels of the system, and MLB fill in players at AAA. I think somebody alot of you guys missed was Miguel Perez. He's having a good year offensivly, and defensivly.

Blue
09-03-2007, 02:41 PM
Here's a return question: Why does that actually matter?

uhh... because it would indicate how we are positioned for the future compared to the rest of MLB?

I answered your question.

GoReds33
09-03-2007, 02:47 PM
Here's a return question: Why does that actually matter?
Its like a recruiting class in college sports. It gives you a rough idea of the future.:)

SteelSD
09-03-2007, 02:50 PM
Becuase you claim we don't have a strong farm system, so you obviously think there are a lot of teams with better ones. Im pretty sure he was just looking to see who you thought had better systems so he could go look and see what you consider strong.

Just because another team may be "stronger" or "weaker" in the pipeline doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the Reds' prospects.

For example, let's say the Reds leapfrogged the Brewers in minor league ranking after the call-ups of Gallardo and Braun. Ditto for the Royals now that Butler and Gordon are in the Show. That says nothing about the Reds. The talent in the system didn't suddenly get any stronger. Do the 2007 MLB presences of Delmon Young, Jason Hirsh, Troy Tulowitzki, Chris Iannetta, Philip Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain make the Reds system "look" better by comparison? Yep. But it's an illusion.

Where the Reds rank is irrelevant. There's nothing to be gained by comparative analysis considering that minor league pipelines are in constant states of flux. The real target is the quality and projection of the players the Reds have in their pipeline and their ability to impact the MLB team. Everything else is a red herring.

dougdirt
09-03-2007, 03:29 PM
Well Steel, you are right, another teams system has nothing to do with the Reds system. It does have something to do with what you view as the stronger systems though. Which I think is what people are asking of you, since you obviously think the Reds system isn't that strong.

SteelSD
09-03-2007, 03:53 PM
Well Steel, you are right, another teams system has nothing to do with the Reds system. It does have something to do with what you view as the stronger systems though. Which I think is what people are asking of you, since you obviously think the Reds system isn't that strong.

I think my previous post was quite clear.

camisadelgolf
09-03-2007, 05:33 PM
Just because another team may be "stronger" or "weaker" in the pipeline doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the Reds' prospects.

For example, let's say the Reds leapfrogged the Brewers in minor league ranking after the call-ups of Gallardo and Braun. Ditto for the Royals now that Butler and Gordon are in the Show. That says nothing about the Reds. The talent in the system didn't suddenly get any stronger. Do the 2007 MLB presences of Delmon Young, Jason Hirsh, Troy Tulowitzki, Chris Iannetta, Philip Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain make the Reds system "look" better by comparison? Yep. But it's an illusion.

Where the Reds rank is irrelevant. There's nothing to be gained by comparative analysis considering that minor league pipelines are in constant states of flux. The real target is the quality and projection of the players the Reds have in their pipeline and their ability to impact the MLB team. Everything else is a red herring.

If the Reds weren't allowed to call up their prospects, I'd say that's a pretty good argment. Besides, those names you just mentioned are just a few examples, and what kind of effect would they have on the overall rankings of farm systems?

mbgrayson
09-03-2007, 07:42 PM
Well, lets look at each minor league team and their records. This is one of the indicators BA uses when ranking systems.

2007
Rookie Billings: 36-34 (5 games left, 3rd place)
GCL Reds: 15-41 (last place)
Low 'A' Dayton: 78-62 (won 1st half-in MWL playoffs)
High 'A' Sarasota: 81-59 (won 1st half-in FSL playoffs)
'AA' Chatanooga: 67-73 (2nd place in division in 2nd half, .5 game out)
'AAA' Louisville: 74-70 (2nd place in division)

So overall, in 2007 the Reds farm teams are 351-339. That is a .509 winning percentage. (With 5 games left to play).

In 2005, the Reds farm teams were 309-272. That is a .454 winning percentage.
In 2006, the Reds farm teams were 358-332. That is a .519 winning percentage.

And it is worth noting that in 2005, only 1 of the Reds 6 minor league affiliates had a winning record. In 2006, 3 of 6 had winning records. And in 2007, they have had 4 teams playing above .500 baseball out of 6 leagues. They are doing better. (The winning percentage was a little better in 2006 because Chatanooga was playing 22 games over .500, and Billings 26 games over .500,)

SteelSD
09-03-2007, 07:46 PM
If the Reds weren't allowed to call up their prospects, I'd say that's a pretty good argment. Besides, those names you just mentioned are just a few examples, and what kind of effect would they have on the overall rankings of farm systems?

The effect is huge. Take, for example, Kevin Goldstein's pre-season organizational rankings at BP:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5870

BP ranked only two Brewers' prospects as "Excellent" coming into the season. Those guys were Braun and Gallardo. The Royals ranking of #9 coming into the season was entirely based on Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, and Luke Hochevar. Two of those three are currently in the Show. Arizona? BP wasn't counting Carlos Quentin or Stephen Drew and take a look at the rest of the list...

Player (2007 high Level)

Chris Young (MLB)
Justin Upton (MLB)
Carlos Gonzalez (AAA)
Miguel Montero (MLB)
Alberto Callaspo (MLB)
Dustin Nippert (MLB)
Mark Reynolds (MLB)
Brett Anderson (A+)
Micah Owings (MLB)
Emilio Bonifacio (AA)

Now, I'm saying saying I completely agree with the inclusion of any or all of those players on a top 10 list. In fact, I don't like external lists for anything but informational purposes. However, all but three have seen MLB service time this season. Not all have been positives, but Chris B. Young has been doing yeoman's work manning CF while smacking some HR (28). Needs improvement in the hitting department. Miguel Montero has been bad offensively after being good offensively part time during his last two MiL seasons. Dustin Nippert's taking some lumps with a plus fastball and spotty command. Micah Owings is something the Reds haven't seen in years- an effective home-grown MLB Starting Pitcher. Mark Reynolds joined the club and has provided a much-needed .832 OPS. Conner Jackson, Quentin, and Stephen Drew no longer counted of course. That's 10 guys over two seasons who would no longer count as "prospects", but are we to say the Reds' system is "better" than the D-Backs'?

It might be fun to look at how an organization "stacks up" to others when that organization isn't really releasing any prospects to the Show while the others are churning them in quick fashion, but that doesn't give us an accurate perspective on how good the Reds' system really is.

For a look at the pre-season list, Goldstein's system ranked the Reds 9th in hitting and 16th in pitching (10th overall) while saying this about the system:

A once moribund system suddenly has a potential ace in Homer Bailey and a potential impact outfielder in Jay Bruce. Joey Votto is pretty good in his own right, but the talent falls off in cliff-like fashion in short order.

Now, that's not factoring in the the 2007 amateur draft, but every team gets to participate in that annual event. For the teams churning prospects, it's unlikely they'll be able to replace the minor league ranking "value" of players like Braun, Gallardo, Butler, and Gordon in a single draft.

On the plus side, the Reds' system is getting better. There's certainly more talent down there than we saw two years ago. That's a start. But it's not nearly enough yet.

flyer85
09-03-2007, 07:54 PM
Where the Reds rank is irrelevant. There's nothing to be gained by comparative analysis considering that minor league pipelines are in constant states of flux. The real target is the quality and projection of the players the Reds have in their pipeline and their ability to impact the MLB team. Everything else is a red herring.exactly. The proof will be in the pudding. Will any of these guys come up and make an impact? We'll find out.

dougdirt
09-03-2007, 08:27 PM
So the system was ranked 10th in the preseason by BP, has no doubtedly gotten stronger since then, regardless of what anyone else has done, our system has added more depth and more high end talent, and its not a strong system Steel?

flyer85
09-03-2007, 09:41 PM
This is similar to projecting college recruiting classes. There comes a time when prospects get to play and all the projections don't matter at that point. We'll know the farm system is getting better when "prospects"(or suspects) start having an impact at the major league level or they get turned into something that impacts at the major league level.

Where the Reds system ranks isn't really worth debating. Just start graduating impact players and most won't care where those players or the system was ranked.

Scrap Irony
09-03-2007, 10:25 PM
Does that BP report discuss the drafting of Waring and Frazier? Does it analyze the emergence of Dorn and or the re-emergence of Rosales? How about the multiple level jump of Jay Bruce, Michael Griffin, Craig Tatum, and many, many others this season. Does it discuss that? Does it report on how more effectively Miguel Perez and Daryl Thompson are because they're healthy?

Of course it doesn't. Because it's last year's news.

New year. More depth. More top end talent. Better future ballclub.

And that's why it matters.

SteelSD
09-03-2007, 10:57 PM
So the system was ranked 10th in the preseason by BP, has no doubtedly gotten stronger since then, regardless of what anyone else has done, our system has added more depth and more high end talent, and its not a strong system Steel?

I'm sorry, doug, but that's not how I see it. It's not strong and I'd suggest that any strengthening you propose is due to the Reds participation in the same draft everyone else gets to have. And it's overly-dependent on the future performance of four guys.

One (Jay Bruce) is very solid. He does have his flaws. His BB rate is lower than I'd like it to be, but I'm going to acknowledge that he may improve in that area with time. I think you know I've always been fair with Bruce even though I don't consider him to be an incredible historical outlier regarding his age comps. He's the best prospect the Reds have and one of the best in baseball- particularly from an age/performance/tools combined perspective.

The next is Bailey. I'm elated that he's been relatively healthy, his current issues notwithstanding. He's very young, throws hard, but he doesn't throw as hard as advertised. He's had consistent issues with command- including command issues when he tries to throw his higher velocity fastballs. His breaking stuff is raw and inconsistent even when he's on. He's yet to find a truly repeatable release point. We've gone round and round on Bailey's potential and probability for future success. His K rate dropped dramatically after advancing to AAA. His BB rate increased. Pretty much every year it's something with this kid and it's a good reminder of how difficult it is to get a raw, powerful High School arm to manifest itself as the weapon of a future MLB ace pitcher.

And before you note that I've never given Bailey a real chance, I'd like to point out that I'm actually holding out hope that he'll be a real MLB contributor sometime in the next two to three years. I just think folks have always had expectations that were much too high for him and that's one of the reasons he ended up getting a call to the Big club even though he was nowhere near ready. The result was poor performance and an injury that required a rehab assignment that saw him shelled at Sarasota. I know you don't care about rehab assignment results, but is his 2007 path really what either of us wanted to see?

Cueto's up next. What's not to like about this kid? He's young, he's healthy, and he's demonstrated about as near a true performance "trifecta" as you'd like to see with a career line of 0.63 HR/9, 2.16 BB/9, and 9.23 HR/9 and he carried that K rate into AAA (unlike Bailey). My concern here is a HR/9 rate that's advanced along with Cueto through the org. It started in 2006 at Sarasota (0.88 HR/9), disappeared in 2007 at Sarasota (0.34 HR/9) but then reared it's ugly head this year at both Chatt (1.00 HR/9) and Louisville (0.82 HR/9). I'm hoping that those are aberrations tied to performing against older competition, just as I'm hoping that the Reds can figure out that his size is not a disadvantage.

Then Joey Votto. Like him I do. But with the recent rumors about the organization's defensive concerns with him, he's downgraded. As I've noted elsewhere, former D-Back's prospect Chris Carter was shipped out for command-light Emiliano Fruto. Carter profiles a LOT like Votto. Mid-range power, solid plate discipine, and a defensive question mark.

After that, the talent level falls off a cliff regardless of your demands that Cody Strait and Paul Janish types are certain MLB starter material. If that's what you're looking for out of prospects, then I can see why we disagree.

As for the addition of other high-end talent via the minors this season, where is it? The Reds took a huge gamble with Devin Mesoraco in the first round this year. Ditto with Drew Stubbs last season. Chris Valaika is struggling severely during his first prolonged exposure to high-A pitching. As long as he stays in the middle infield I have hope, but jeez. I consider Frazier and Waring to be nice additions, but only Waring is doing something I'd consider to be significant.

No one else is really pushing anyone at a higher level. Where is the laundry list of hitters who are really crushing their levels while being age-equitable? Where is the extreme rundown of starting pitchers who are simply making opposing hitters shake their collective heads?

M2
09-03-2007, 11:10 PM
I don't know how strong the Reds' system is, though it is more interesting.

The real question these days is what's for real down there and what's an illusion.

For instance, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier strike me as being legit. Bruce is an enfant terrible and Frazier can flat out hit (I'm thinking he could have a Youkilisian future). After them things get a lot murkier. Pitching is always tough to gauge because young arms are so volatile. Homer Bailey seemed like a sure thing and now he's going haywire for reasons that have not been made apparent (though I tend to think it's because he's 21 and not ready to compete at the levels into which the organization pushed him, now he doesn't trust his stuff). Johhny Cueto may be a better prospect or maybe he's just the flavor of the day and his 2008 will mirror Bailey's 2007. Travis Wood got injured. Matt Maloney, Carlos Fisher and Sam Lecure give the franchise more upper minors starting pitching depth than we've seen in a while and that's good, but I'm not sure the Reds have a legit starting pitching prospect in A ball. Darryl Thompson and Sean Watson don't do a thing for me as starters. If I had to take a flyer on one of the arms down there, I'd probably choose Travis Webb. No one's lighting it up at Billings (maybe Scott Carroll, but he was a late arrival). Kyle Lotzkar is 17, I'm not putting a lot eggs in that basket any time soon.

So while there's a bit of a bubble, I'm not seeing a lot behind it. Roenicke and Viola may be the best actual pitching prospects in the pipeline. Asadoorian didn't really distinguish himself this year. I would put him decidedly behind Roenicke, Viola, Salmon, McBeth and Guevara at the moment. I'd probably take Dushan Ruzic over Asadoorian.

Beyond Bruce the position players aren't exactly stacked either. Votto's having a solid season, but he's not exactly dominating. After them in the high minors you've got a lot of filler - Dickerson, Rosales, Dorn, Castro and Henry are the best of the lot.

It's fairly similar in A ball. Frazier looks like his bat is ready-made, but what is there beyond him? Valaika, Heisey and Francisco have all got OB issues. Francisco doesn't have OB issues so much as a lack of ability. He seems to be cut from the Tony "Gormingo" Blanco mold. Heading into today Stubbs had a .775 OPS. That's not pretty. Cozart's struggled mightily. Justin Turner might just be the best of the option outside of Frazier.

We'll see about the guys in the rookie leagues when they get to full season ball. Waring had a huge season in Billings, but we'll see how sea level treats him. Soto's interesting, but he hasn't done anything Willy Jo Ronda didn't in the GCL.

So I'd say the Reds have a compelling top five - Bruce, Bailey, Cueto, Votto and Frazier - and that probably will raise the organizational profile for the time being. Perhaps the question to ask is where the system will rank after Bruce graduates?

SteelSD
09-03-2007, 11:22 PM
Does that BP report discuss the drafting of Waring and Frazier? Does it analyze the emergence of Dorn and or the re-emergence of Rosales? How about the multiple level jump of Jay Bruce, Michael Griffin, Craig Tatum, and many, many others this season. Does it discuss that? Does it report on how more effectively Miguel Perez and Daryl Thompson are because they're healthy?

Of course it doesn't. Because it's last year's news.

That's interesting, because I brought up both Waring and Frazier with my first post on this thread and I noted them as positives.

The "emergence" of Dorn is isolated to around 90 AA AB as his 338 AB at Sarasota are pretty uninspiring for a DH/LF prospect (.815 OPS). He's basically a guy without a position. Michael Griffin? He of the .737 career MiL OPS and a .682 OPS last year in Dayton? Craig Tatum? The guy who's produced a .729 career MiL OPS at age 24, including a .648 OPS at AA this season?

Miguel Perez? At this point? Perez was always healthy while producing awful numbers at every stop and Daryl Thompson is gets banged around to a tune of over 1.00 HR for every 9 IP every time he is healthy.

The guys you've mentioned are either fringe prospects or non-prospects at this point. Are we so starved for real prospects that we need to start looking at those who aren't as such?

Betterread
09-03-2007, 11:56 PM
Thanks M2 and SteelSD for destroying an interesting discussion. Instead of learning from the guys in this section who spend a lot of time following minor league ball, you criticise their opinions with obviously shallow observations, inconsistent critical criteria, and foolish sounding idioms (you ought to use generally accepted scouting terminology, but you don't). I hope you derived some satisfaction from diminishing the level of discourse in this thread, because I didn't.

Patrick Bateman
09-04-2007, 12:05 AM
Mark Reynolds joined the club and has provided a much-needed .832 OPS.

I agree with most of what you said, but Reynolds has some serious on base issues, and that's been a recurring problem.

His 0.23 BB/K tells most of the story, and once his luck equalizes, you are going to have a huge out machine. His power is intriguing, but he still has a pretty long way to go before being counted on as much of present help. Considering he's already 24, I'm not a fan of his long term outlook.

M2
09-04-2007, 12:09 AM
Thanks M2 and SteelSD for destroying an interesting discussion. Instead of learning from the guys in this section who spend a lot of time following minor league ball, you criticise their opinions with obviously shallow observations, inconsistent critical criteria, and foolish sounding idioms (you ought to use generally accepted scouting terminology, but you don't). I hope you derived some satisfaction from diminishing the level of discourse in this thread, because I didn't.

Yeah, because we haven't been following the farm system for ages.

For the record, I didn't make a single comment about anybody's observations, simply stated my own. I suggest you get over whatever it is that's stuck in your craw.

dougdirt
09-04-2007, 01:31 AM
Steel, I have come to the conclusion you want the Devil Rays system and anything less is not strong.

dougdirt
09-04-2007, 01:35 AM
Oh, and where did I ever say Cody Strait (who I ranked 23rd last year) or Paul Janish (who I overranked at 11, although BP also overranked him at 10 and BA overranked him at 9, so lets be honest, I did a better job than they did, right?) were ever going to be, as you claim, certain MLB Starters. I went back and looked, I didn't say anything of the sort. I said Janish plays good defense and has good plate discipline and he may hit well enough one day to get by as a starter somewhere. I said that Strait has a very interesting combo of power and speed. Nowhere did I say anything about certain MLB starters.

LoganBuck
09-04-2007, 02:02 AM
Steel why no love for Drew Stubbs? Aside from the issues surrounding drafting him, his injuries, and his lackluster time in Billings last year his numbers outside of this June have been very good. I haven't checked his stats over the last few days but he was leading the league in runs scored. I know you can not completely discount his June, but I do believe it was an injury issue. I know you will respond with his age versus level of competition, but I think that is a dumb organizational philosophy thing that hits all other prospects not named Homer Bailey. He plays a very nice centerfield, has a good arm, and sticks out like a sore thumb as a superior athlete. You notice him pretty quickly while watching the Dragons. Bruce was very similar in the field last year. They glide to the ball.

I am not saying he will be a superstar, but I think he has the makings of a very useful player.

Lets be fair here, the argument about rankings and depth is pure conjecture. Baseball America puts out a Top 100 list every year. Of that list only a handful of those players turn into All stars, even once in their career. A third of the players become useful major leaguers, another third get cups of coffee and wash out, and another third fail to reach the bigs/get injured. I would much rather look at the comparative cornucopia of talent now as compared to 4 years ago. We can at least agree on that can't we?

dougdirt
09-04-2007, 02:18 AM
Steel why no love for Drew Stubbs? Aside from the issues surrounding drafting him, his injuries, and his lackluster time in Billings last year his numbers outside of this June have been very good. I haven't checked his stats over the last few days but he was leading the league in runs scored. I know you can not completely discount his June, but I do believe it was an injury issue. I know you will respond with his age versus level of competition, but I think that is a dumb organizational philosophy thing that hits all other prospects not named Homer Bailey. He plays a very nice centerfield, has a good arm, and sticks out like a sore thumb as a superior athlete. You notice him pretty quickly while watching the Dragons. Bruce was very similar in the field last year. They glide to the ball.


Drew Stubbs since July began has put up this line .308/.394/.517 in Dayton. That covers his most recent 250 plate appearances.

camisadelgolf
09-04-2007, 06:57 AM
If two teams are said to have equally-ranked farm systems, but one team has more players come up to the big leagues this year, doesn't that only say that one team's talent was closer to the big leagues than the other? If you look at the talent in the Reds' system, you should notice that the AAA squad is pretty weak, and the AA squad isn't particularly strong, but from high-A and down, things are very exciting. If you're going to rank teams besides on their farm system, I think it's fair to say the Reds have one of the stronger systems. If you're going to rank teams based on how close their talent is to the MLB level, then that's a completely different ranking system altogether.

SteelSD
09-04-2007, 09:14 AM
Steel, I have come to the conclusion you want the Devil Rays system and anything less is not strong.

Or maybe we just define "strong" differently?


Oh, and where did I ever say Cody Strait (who I ranked 23rd last year) or Paul Janish (who I overranked at 11, although BP also overranked him at 10 and BA overranked him at 9, so lets be honest, I did a better job than they did, right?) were ever going to be, as you claim, certain MLB Starters. I went back and looked, I didn't say anything of the sort. I said Janish plays good defense and has good plate discipline and he may hit well enough one day to get by as a starter somewhere. I said that Strait has a very interesting combo of power and speed. Nowhere did I say anything about certain MLB starters.

dougdirt at redreporter.com, March 29th 2007:

Now as for the rest of the Farm system he <Dan O'Brien> brought in Travis Wood, Sam Lecure, Johnny Cueto, Paul Janish, Milton Loo and Cody Strait who are all within the Reds top 11 prospects.

As for Janish, we will have to agree to disagree on that one. He will be a starter someday and an above average one.

My apologies for incorrectly positioning your opinion of Strait. You haven't stated he was a sure starter- just one of the Reds' top 11 prospects coming into the season. However, you were pretty clear on Janish.

But if that list of players comprised the bulk of the Reds' top 11 prospects in March, 2007 then maybe you can begin to understand why I'm not entirely fired up about the overall quality of the Reds' system? Just maybe?

SteelSD
09-04-2007, 09:20 AM
I would much rather look at the comparative cornucopia of talent now as compared to 4 years ago. We can at least agree on that can't we?

My concerns about Stubbs are well documented. No reason to hash them out here. However, I actually already noted that the Reds' system IS better than it was in past seasons. And as M2 noted, it's at least more interesting regardless of how much better it actually is (which is the real point of dissention).

D-Man
09-04-2007, 11:47 AM
Where the Reds system ranks isn't really worth debating.

I would say that the topic is worth debating because the top farm systems, almost universally, turn their big league clubs into championship contenders. And frequently, the best farm systems form the foundation of championship teams within three to four years, like the 1985-88 Reds farm did, or the 1992-96 Yankeees farm did, or the 2000-2002 White Sox farm did. So it is certainly a topic worthy of debate.

Regarding the state of the Reds, I would say that the farm system is in better overall shape than it was last year, although I agree that it is a pretty significant dropoff after the top four.

Thanks to good health (generally speaking), the pitching depth is nice, particularly in upper-level relievers. The Reds need to sort through the keepers and the chaff in short order because the major league club can't carry fifteen relievers. I hope to see several of these guys shipped out for major league players because their value will likely diminish in the next year or so.

I don't see any Jay Bruce-like breakout candidates on the horizon on the offensive side of the ledger, although there are several intriguing candidates in the low minors. Offensive player depth is generally scarce. On the other hand, BP's Kevin Goldstein thought the first-half Dayton club was loaded with talent, and I generally agree with him.

Regarding Dorn: his .815 OPS in Sarasota didn't match Bruce's or Rosales' performance. However, it was actually quite good when adjusted for the league. His OPS was 10th best in the circuit, which is what you would hope to see.

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/external/brandedstats/t998.html?lid=123&t=l_bat&sid=milb

What the club is missing are prospects that can both hit and defend. I think Frazier and/or Stubbs could provide that mix, but we'll have to see about Frazier's glove and Stubbs' bat.

I liked the 2007 draft for its value approach (Frazier and Cozart were both likely first rounders coming into the year). I'm not anticipating that Mesoraco is on the fast track, however.

The system is definitely short on "sure thing" prospects (or even near-sure thing ones), but I like that it has a fairly wide collection of interesting talent. That is more than we could have said for most of the the 2000s.

dougdirt
09-04-2007, 11:58 AM
dougdirt at redreporter.com, March 29th 2007:

Now as for the rest of the Farm system he <Dan O'Brien> brought in Travis Wood, Sam Lecure, Johnny Cueto, Paul Janish, Milton Loo and Cody Strait who are all within the Reds top 11 prospects.
Baseball America ranked Cody Strait at #11. I ranked him at #23. They liked him quite a bit more than I did.


As for Janish, we will have to agree to disagree on that one. He will be a starter someday and an above average one.

My apologies for incorrectly positioning your opinion of Strait. You haven't stated he was a sure starter- just one of the Reds' top 11 prospects coming into the season. However, you were pretty clear on Janish.

But if that list of players comprised the bulk of the Reds' top 11 prospects in March, 2007 then maybe you can begin to understand why I'm not entirely fired up about the overall quality of the Reds' system? Just maybe?
So I was wrong about Janish. So were a lot of people, including baseball america and baseball prospectus. I still don't know what that has anything to do with the current system, 9 months after we all came out with those lists where an entire season has been played in between there Steel.

And yeah, we must have a real differing opinion of what a strong system is. You want a strong system to be a top 3 system in baseball or its not strong.

dougdirt
09-04-2007, 12:03 PM
The system is definitely short on "sure thing" prospects (or even near-sure thing ones), but I like that it has a fairly wide collection of interesting talent. That is more than we could have said for most of the the 2000s.

4 Top 40 prospects in all of baseball all in AA or AAA is being short on 'sure or close to sure thing' prospects?

I mean really, only the Yankees can match that, and only the Red Sox have that many guys in the top 75.

lollipopcurve
09-04-2007, 12:32 PM
I think M2's take is pretty fair. A few responses below...

In general, and I've been following the Reds' minor leagues closely for about 25 years, I think the system is probably the strongest it's been since the Davis-Daniels-O"Neill-Jones days.

From M2:


Bruce is an enfant terrible and Frazier can flat out hit (I'm thinking he could have a Youkilisian future)

When you've got perhaps the best hitter in the minors, your system isn't weak -- just to dispense with that little bit of semantical nonsense.
As for Frazier, the comp to Youkilis is interesting, but I do think it should be noted that Frazier is quite a bit more athletic. He offers a lot of positional flexibility, and I do think his power potential eclipses Youk's pretty significantly. Needless to say, if he ends up as productive a player as Youk that'll be a good thing. I tend to wait on BA's league prospect lists before going all-in on a prospect, but if Frazier tops the Pioneer League I'll join the lovefest. For now, I say he's a nice grab in the supplemental first round.


Homer Bailey seemed like a sure thing and now he's going haywire for reasons that have not been made apparent (though I tend to think it's because he's 21 and not ready to compete at the levels into which the organization pushed him, now he doesn't trust his stuff).

While I've been far more optimistic about Homer than most, I am concerned after watching him pitch this year and I lack confidence in the Reds' developmental track record with starters, obviously. So, who is this Tom Brown guy they've got working with him? Important for the organization to note that Clay Buchholz threw his no-hitter shortly after turning 23. I think it may not realistic to hope for anything real good out of Homer until 09, when he turns 23. There's just too much work to be done on the secondary stuff. I have no idea why he was called up -- I suspect ownership was involved to an extent -- but it was clearly a mistake. Along with the injury to Wood, I think you have to say that the hope for getting rotation help from the minors has dimmed a little in 07.


Johhny Cueto may be a better prospect or maybe he's just the flavor of the day and his 2008 will mirror Bailey's 2007.

I am confident that Cueto will offer the team something useful, whether it's as a starter or reliever. His minor league performance has not shown the every-now-and-then blow-ups Bailey's did. He's been consistently strong, which bodes well. The issue with Cueto may be that he's a short, flyball pitcher. Damn those fences at GAB....


Roenicke and Viola may be the best actual pitching prospects in the pipeline. Asadoorian didn't really distinguish himself this year. I would put him decidedly behind Roenicke, Viola, Salmon, McBeth and Guevara at the moment. I'd probably take Dushan Ruzic over Asadoorian.

Don't forget Pelland. He's looking good out of the pen at AAA. Hard-throwing lefty, young for level, performing well = nice to have in system.


After them in the high minors you've got a lot of filler - Dickerson, Rosales, Dorn, Castro and Henry are the best of the lot.

Filler matters. You can fashion cheap, useful platoons and bench help out of these guys. I think Michael Griffin may end up a 24th/25th guy, as may Buck Coats, Tatum and Perez still have time to establish themselves as back-up types, and Cumberland has upside. Dorn is intriguing to me at the moment -- he's done well at AA in just his first full season. In my view, the high minors have been transformed from a repository of veteran mercenaries to a scrum of hungry young-enough players. In other words, it's healthy.


Valaika, Heisey and Francisco have all got OB issues. Francisco doesn't have OB issues so much as a lack of ability. He seems to be cut from the Tony "Gormingo" Blanco mold. Heading into today Stubbs had a .775 OPS. That's not pretty. Cozart's struggled mightily. Justin Turner might just be the best of the option outside of Frazier.

Have always liked Turner. He'll be a Red, in some capacity, if he stays healthy. I'm going to disagree with the assessment of Francisco. Best power-hitting prospect in the Midwest League -- a tough hitters league -- according to BA. To me, that counts for something, though certainly not a guarantee. Give this kid time, he's real young, and 25 taters in that league is a big number. Plate discipline can be learned, if not mastered.

I've said many times I'd give Stubbs' bat 2-3 years. He's been in pro ball a year and a half. I know there aren't a lot of comps for him that forecast success, but I do think there are always new players under the sun. He's a big-time tools guy with good plate discipline. I'm still pretty optimistic about him, given that he rebounded well from a bad first half. I'm guessing a lot of teams would take him as their 5th-8th best prospect.


We'll see about the guys in the rookie leagues when they get to full season ball. Waring had a huge season in Billings, but we'll see how sea level treats him. Soto's interesting, but he hasn't done anything Willy Jo Ronda didn't in the GCL.

I'm not wild about Waring, as some are, but I certainly consider him interesting. Don't agree with the Soto-Ronda comp at all -- Soto's got a lot of EBH power in that RH bat. I'm very curious to know why he stopped playing the last few weeks -- I think he's got a chance to be a better hitter than both Frazier and Waring, health permitting. Also, I think Mesoraco's presence desrves mention. A high-ceiling catcher is something the organization hasn't had forever. A long way for this kid to go, but he does offer what most would call "depth" at perhaps the thinnest postion in pro ball.

SteelSD
09-04-2007, 01:10 PM
Baseball America ranked Cody Strait at #11. I ranked him at #23. They liked him quite a bit more than I did.

Then why did you position Strait as being among the top 11 prospects in March when you apparently didn't think much of him?


So I was wrong about Janish. So were a lot of people, including baseball america and baseball prospectus. I still don't know what that has anything to do with the current system, 9 months after we all came out with those lists where an entire season has been played in between there Steel.

Did you ever wonder why BA and BP may have missed on Janish? Have you considered that having so many ranked players who project to drop off a "top 10" (or "top 11") list in such a short time might be indicative of overall organizational weakness rather than the "strength" of players who are swapping slots with them on someone's ranking board?


And yeah, we must have a real differing opinion of what a strong system is. You want a strong system to be a top 3 system in baseball or its not strong.

I want a system that's consistently drafting and feeding the parent club actualized talent. Such a system may, at any point in time, appear to be a "weak" system due to that kind of talent chun. I couldn't care less about "strong" and "weak" as comparative terms. Unfortunately, the Reds aren't churning anywhere but in the mid to bottom ranges of their own prospect "lists".

Falls City Beer
09-04-2007, 01:16 PM
Overall starting pitching depth and quality is non-existent.


This really is the tale of the tape. Until this improves, there's really not much to talk about.

If the Reds want to see contention in the next several years, they're going to have to take an alternate route from the one they're currently on: wait on the youngsters. Outside of Bruce, maybe Votto (though I'm not sure he'll ever be able to take a spot on the defensive side of things), and Cueto in relief, the cavalry's not there.

dougdirt
09-04-2007, 01:20 PM
Then why did you position Strait as being among the top 11 prospects in March when you apparently didn't think much of him?
I was saying thats where BA ranked him at. I just mistakenly left out that BA ranked him there.



Did you ever wonder why BA and BP may have missed on Janish? Have you considered that having so many ranked players who project to drop off a "top 10" (or "top 11") list in such a short time might be indicative of overall organizational weakness rather than the "strength" of players who are swapping slots with them on someone's ranking board?
Becuase they, like me, expected him to continue to hit in the .260-.270 range and not drop off the face of the Earth offensively this year. It isn't like he performed well and fell because others took his place, he fell off because his OPS dropped nearly 200 points.



I want a system that's consistently drafting and feeding the parent club actualized talent. Such a system may, at any point in time, appear to be a "weak" system due to that kind of talent chun. I couldn't care less about "strong" and "weak" as comparative terms. Unfortunately, the Reds aren't churning anywhere but in the mid to bottom ranges of their own prospect "lists".
So you don't think the Reds can reach down next year and pull out talent next season? Or the next season?

dougdirt
09-04-2007, 01:24 PM
This really is the tale of the tape. Until this improves, there's really not much to talk about.

If the Reds want to see contention in the next several years, they're going to have to take an alternate route from the one they're currently on: wait on the youngsters. Outside of Bruce, maybe Votto (though I'm not sure he'll ever be able to take a spot on the defensive side of things), and Cueto in relief, the cavalry's not there.

You see Cueto as a reliever? Based on what?

flyer85
09-04-2007, 01:28 PM
I would say that the topic is worth debating because the top farm systems, almost universally, turn their big league clubs into championship contenders.... it isn't where they rank that determines that, it is the ability to produce players that impact the major league team that will determine that. Rankings will always fluctuate as impact players graduate to the majors.

And the Reds haven't been graduating impact players for quite a long time. Of the 25 man roster, only Dunn is a true Red product. That is amazing when you consider it.

IslandRed
09-04-2007, 01:32 PM
Rankings will always fluctuate as impact players graduate to the majors.

Yep. That's why I really like the approach Goldstein takes to his organizational Top 10s on BP -- he goes over the prospects and then meshes them with the under-25 players that have already reached the show, giving a more complete picture of the team's young talent base.

dougdirt
09-04-2007, 01:36 PM
... it isn't where they rank that determines that, it is the ability to produce players that impact the major league team that will determine that. Rankings will always fluctuate as impact players graduate to the majors.

And the Reds haven't been graduating impact players for quite a long time. Of the 25 man roster, only Dunn is a true Red product. That is amazing when you consider it.

Edwin was in the Reds system at age 18. He is also a true Reds product. We may not have signed him at 17, but we developed him.

flyer85
09-04-2007, 01:48 PM
Edwin was in the Reds system at age 18. He is also a true Reds product. We may not have signed him at 17, but we developed him.EE was acquired from the Rangers after a very promising first year with them, which does not make him a true Red product in my book.

lollipopcurve
09-04-2007, 02:10 PM
EE was acquired from the Rangers after a very promising first year with them, which does not make him a true Red product in my book.

Disagree -- when you bring a player from rookie ball (Billings) all the way through your system with stops at every level, you've developed that player.

dfs
09-04-2007, 02:22 PM
Like Betterread, I have nothing to actually contribute to the discussion, but I would like to thank y'all for sharing your thoughts. That's all the voices contributing. It's an interesting thread. Wish the big club was doing enough to stimulate discussion that we weren't talking about prospects in September, but I suspect I'm not alone in that.

flyer85
09-04-2007, 02:41 PM
Disagree -- when you bring a player from rookie ball (Billings) all the way through your system with stops at every level, you've developed that player.He was a 9th round pick of the Rangers and spent a decent chunk of 2001 in the Sally League(where he played well as an 18 year old). The Rangers saw enough to make him a 9th round pick and he showed very well in 2 months in the Sally League. The Reds could have selected him in 2000 if they thought he was all that.

lollipopcurve
09-04-2007, 02:53 PM
He was a 9th round pick of the Rangers and spent a decent chunk of 2001 in the Sally League(where he played well as an 18 year old). The Rangers saw enough to make him a 9th round pick and he showed very well in 2 months in the Sally League. The Reds could have selected him in 2000 if they thought he was all that.

Of course they could have selected him -- the same is true of all the other teams. All the other teams could have traded for him as a teenager, too, but they didn't -- and the Reds did. Come on -- you can't say the Reds didn't develop EdE. The Rangers drafted him, the Reds traded for him as a teenager and developed him, from Billings on up.

flyer85
09-04-2007, 02:56 PM
Of course they could have selected him -- the same is true of all the other teams. All the other teams could have traded for him as a teenager, too, but they didn't -- and the Reds did. Come on -- you can't say the Reds didn't develop EdE. The Rangers drafted him, the Reds traded for him as a teenager and developed him, from Billings on up.He was not drafted, I made no statements about "developing" him. I simply stated the fact that he is not a true product of the Reds system because he was not drafted by them. To get credit in my book(an most others) for that you need to have the foresight to draft said player and then graduate the player to the majors. The Billings thing is a Red Herring anyway, EE was playing lowA ball and doing well when the Reds traded for him.

lollipopcurve
09-04-2007, 02:58 PM
I simply stated the fact that he is not a true product of the Reds system because he was not drafted by them.

But I think you're wrong -- because "the system" is a developmental system, not a drafting system. Development produces players, drafting does not.

flyer85
09-04-2007, 03:02 PM
But I think you're wrong -- because "the system" is a developmental system, not a drafting system. Development produces players, drafting does not.it is both, you have to have the foresight to draft the right players and develop their talent. If you're drafting crap there is nothing to develop. Reds missed out on the foresight part, they took advantage of seeing 2 months of 18 year old doing very well in Low A ball and asked for him in a trade (BTW, it was a move JB often tried, that is getting a player 3-4 years away as a throw in)

D-Man
09-04-2007, 03:05 PM
4 Top 40 prospects in all of baseball all in AA or AAA is being short on 'sure or close to sure thing' prospects?

Okay, beyond the top four prospects, who projects as average (or better) major leaguer? And how likely are they to reach their respective ceilings?

There aren't any upper-level hitters that stand out. Perhaps Dorn. . . but he is just as likely to do a Smitherman-like flop as he is to become a major league regular. We haven't seen him in 100 upper-level PAs yet.

Frazier is barely beyond short-season ball. Enough said.

The best bets are probably the cast of AA-AAAA relievers, although I can barely tell any of them apart. They all have 8 or 9 K's per nine, moderately good stuff, and good control thus far. However, none of them has blazing stuff, and I don't see a conversion to starting in the works for any of them because of their limited repertoires.

Maloney is interesting, but he has big warts; Steel is absolutely right about him. Nevertheless, the Reds have a strong history in turning soft-tossers like Maloney into successful major leaguers (see Browning, Schourek, Harang, among others).

I see lots of interesting candidates, but no single prospect beyond the top 4 that is close to a sure thing.

GoReds33
09-04-2007, 03:50 PM
Okay, beyond the top four prospects, who projects as average (or better) major leaguer? And how likely are they to reach their respective ceilings?

There aren't any upper-level hitters that stand out. Perhaps Dorn. . . but he is just as likely to do a Smitherman-like flop as he is to become a major league regular. We haven't seen him in 100 upper-level PAs yet.

Frazier is barely beyond short-season ball. Enough said.

The best bets are probably the cast of AA-AAAA relievers, although I can barely tell any of them apart. They all have 8 or 9 K's per nine, moderately good stuff, and good control thus far. However, none of them has blazing stuff, and I don't see a conversion to starting in the works for any of them because of their limited repertoires.

Maloney is interesting, but he has big warts; Steel is absolutely right about him. Nevertheless, the Reds have a strong history in turning soft-tossers like Maloney into successful major leaguers (see Browning, Schourek, Harang, among others).

I see lots of interesting candidates, but no single prospect beyond the top 4 that is close to a sure thing.I wouldn't consider Harang a soft tosser. He hass a deceptivly quick fastball.

dougdirt
09-04-2007, 03:51 PM
Okay, beyond the top four prospects, who projects as average (or better) major leaguer? And how likely are they to reach their respective ceilings?
No other team outside of Boston, TB and NY can even say they have 4 guys like we do.



There aren't any upper-level hitters that stand out. Perhaps Dorn. . . but he is just as likely to do a Smitherman-like flop as he is to become a major league regular. We haven't seen him in 100 upper-level PAs yet.
Bruce and Votto don't stand out? Sure, Dorn could flop. But you can't really argue his success to this point can you? I bet every team in baseball wishes they had Dorn in their system. For what its worth, Dorn has 109 AA plate appearances.



Frazier is barely beyond short-season ball. Enough said.
Which has what to do with his talent on a baseball field?



The best bets are probably the cast of AA-AAAA relievers, although I can barely tell any of them apart. They all have 8 or 9 K's per nine, moderately good stuff, and good control thus far. However, none of them has blazing stuff, and I don't see a conversion to starting in the works for any of them because of their limited repertoires.
Pelland and Roenicke both throw mid 90s.... thats pretty blazing. None of them are real starters, but I will take my chances with Bailey and Cueto for the next two years and hope Fisher, Lecure, Watson or someone else can step into maybe a #5 role if needed.


Maloney is interesting, but he has big warts; Steel is absolutely right about him. Nevertheless, the Reds have a strong history in turning soft-tossers like Maloney into successful major leaguers (see Browning, Schourek, Harang, among others).
If you read around, you will find that I have never been high on Maloney due to his stuff, or lack there of. That said, Aaron Harang is not a soft tosser. The guy works 88-92, but can hit 94 when he wants to. That isn't soft tossing unless we have differing opinions on that one.



I see lots of interesting candidates, but no single prospect beyond the top 4 that is close to a sure thing.

Which still brings me to the point where maybe 3 other teams in baseball can make that same statement. Outside of those, none of them can.

RedsManRick
09-04-2007, 04:18 PM
Again, as with all discussion of "strengh" of minor league systems, you have to agree on a measuring stick. It's pretty clear that Doug's and Steel's are different.

Are we talking upside potential? Likely major league contribution? Are we considering all players under a certain age or experience level, or just those yet to make the majors?
Are we comparing the Reds system in 2007 to the Reds system prior, or the Reds to other teams?

For all involved, I'd love to described what a "strong" system looks like in terms of talent throughout. I actually agree with most of Steel's assessments from the individual player perspective. However, I think any measurement such as "strong" is meaningless absent context. Steel, the context matters because you made a claim which invoked it. Yes, most if not all of our prospects have flaws. But such is the nature of the prospects other organizations too.

If we're measuring strength against some platonic ideal of 5 deep across the board with likely major leaguers and a healthy sprinkling of all-stars, then there may be just 1 or 2 "strong" systems in baseball, if that. If "strong" simply means better than average, then that's a defensible claim... assuming you can define how you're measuring strength.

New Fever
09-04-2007, 04:33 PM
I believe in this entire discussion people are devaluing the big 4 prospects for the Reds. It's like people are just grouping them all into 1 prospect. Those big 4 prospects are all top 30 prospects in the baseball right now and the last time I checked there are only 30 teams in baseball. Every other team in the NL Central would trade their farm system for the Reds farm system. Another fact is that Jay Bruce is the #1 prospect in baseball. Homer Bailey was ranked as the best pitching prosect in the game in the BA Mid-Season rankings, he probably has dropped a little sense then but he still a top 10 prospect in the game. Joey Votto is a prospect that we here on redszone have been waiting for, a prospect who is ready for the big leagues, he has proven himself the last two seasons. Johnny Cueto has been dominate this year and he maybe a Top 5 pitching prospect in the game. Even if you think that the Reds system is weak after those guys you have to admit that those 4 prospects are very impressive and really can make a system by themselves. The Arizona DiamondBacks' system had no depth going into the 2006 season and was ranked the #1 system in baseball.

RedsManRick
09-04-2007, 04:39 PM
It would be interesting to see the minor league systems evaluated on three tiers: Young Major Leaguers (expected to contribute in <1 year), Upper Minors(expected to contribute in 1-3 years), and Lower Minors (expected to contribute in 3+ years). If a guy is already making significant contributions, then he's no longer a prospect -- i.e. Ryan Braun.

This usually seems to be the major flaw in the ranking systems. It's just so hard to properly account for the variability in development.
It would be more informative for me to know that the Reds are...

- 20th in Young Major Leaguers
- 4th in Upper Minors
- 17th in Lower Minors

...than it would be to say 13th overall.

Just like .250/.350/.475 is a lot more informative than any one of those, or even OPS.

Sure, you can debate the definitions for those three groups, but the idea is pretty simple and would do a lot to prevent this run around. Maybe you weight the categories and still come up with an overall rank, however, we seem to be missing this middle level of meaningful aggregation when we jump from individuals to the entire system.

medford
09-04-2007, 05:40 PM
Interesting reading for sure. Thanks for all the replys. However, I still am left w/ one question, the question posed in this very thread's title. Where does the Reds system rank? I've seen doug post 8-10, and someone else mention 4-6. Other than that, there has been very little comparision about how the Red's farm system (however you want to define it) compares w/ other farm systems.

Now I fully understand that this is a very difficult question to answer for the average fan, heck even a moderatly well heeled Red's minor league baseball fan. Afterall, we're all primarly fans of the Reds and thus fans of any prospects/suspects they may have. However how much time does it take to have a firm grip of 30 team's minor league structures & talent? I have enough trouble keeping up w/ the on goings on the Red's minor league system and am truly only able to do so b/c of the fine people that post on this site.

Personally, I think this is the singular most important question regarding the Reds and their future. We have seen that any recent Reds owner has either been unwilling or unable to spend the money to keep up w/ the joneses (or the Yankees/Red Sox/etc...) I personally don't expect this to change any time soon as it will always be more difficult, if not impossible for the Reds to generate the same kind of revenue that the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, etc... can generate. Therefor, I can not in good conscious reasonable ask any Reds owner to throw around the same kind of jack that the Yankees do. Carl Linder may have had more money than god himself, but he didn't get there by throwing good money after bad.

W/ all of that said, the only way I envision the Reds truly competing is to use a modified version of the Twins/As scheme. Draft, sign, trade for and generally acquire top level young talent ready to hit the big league scene around the same time. They must quickly decide which of these young stars are true keepers to be signed to long term contracts while they're still cheap, and which of these players are best to be used as trade bait to acquire more young cheap talent that can developed down the line. I believe the Indians are the best at doing this. They haven't been able to sustain the same pipeline that the As have on a regular basis, but they have managed to identify a core group of young talent and sign them to long term contracts. They did this back in the Albert Belle days, and after time proved this core to become too expensive to keep around, they built up again w/ the current regime and have the making of a potential world series champion w/n the next 5 seasons.

So back to the original question, where does the Reds system rank? I find this to be extremely relavant. Most Reds fan recognize that Marge all but destroyed the lower minor leagues, and Bowden left the sytem relatively bare at the end of his tenure thru injuries and bad signings/draft deals. The combination of Brad Kuhlman, Dan O, and WK have built the Reds system back up to a level closer to what it needs to be. I don't think its all the way there, but I think its getting close. Where they rank in comparision to other clubs would give me a better prespective of where I could/might expect the Reds parent club to lie in comparision to other major league squads in the next 5 seasons.

So thanks again to everyone that posted their thoughts on this whether I agree w/ them or not. If anyone has an honest opinion of who ranks higher/lower than the reds and why, I'd love to hear them. If its too much for the average fan to acuratly gauge and I'd have to turn to BA for that answer then so be it.

medford
09-04-2007, 05:42 PM
It would be interesting to see the minor league systems evaluated on three tiers: Young Major Leaguers (expected to contribute in <1 year), Upper Minors(expected to contribute in 1-3 years), and Lower Minors (expected to contribute in 3+ years). If a guy is already making significant contributions, then he's no longer a prospect -- i.e. Ryan Braun.

This usually seems to be the major flaw in the ranking systems. It's just so hard to properly account for the variability in development.
It would be more informative for me to know that the Reds are...

- 20th in Young Major Leaguers
- 4th in Upper Minors
- 17th in Lower Minors

...than it would be to say 13th overall.

Just like .250/.350/.475 is a lot more informative than any one of those, or even OPS.

Sure, you can debate the definitions for those three groups, but the idea is pretty simple and would do a lot to prevent this run around. Maybe you weight the categories and still come up with an overall rank, however, we seem to be missing this middle level of meaningful aggregation when we jump from individuals to the entire system.

Interesting, I like that idea. Might help give a better gauge of the overall talent level w/n an organization to look at it that way as well as giving us a reference point to determine who might be 2-3 seasons away vs who is at 5 seasons away and would be best served to trade their older expensive vets right now.

M2
09-04-2007, 05:43 PM
Here's a nominal list of the top 4 high minors/not yet established in the bigs kids in each system (note: I'm going beyond the normal rookie status that BA uses).

Mets - Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez, Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Mulvey - solid list, especially with Fernando Martinez and Phil Humber lurking

Phillies - Michael Bourn, J.A. Happ, J.D. Durbin, Greg Golson - is there a worse system at the moment?

Braves - Joey Devine, Jo-Jo Reyes, Brandon Jones, Matt Harrison - pretty meh, Yunel Escobar has pretty much become a regular so he didn't qualify

Nats - John Lannan, Joel Hanrahan, Josh Whitesell, Collin Balester - how ironic to have a team in D.C. that can't seem to get out of its own way

Marlins - Robert Andino, Rick VandenHurk, Daniel Barone, Gaby Hernandez - no one promotes more haphazardly than the Fish

Cubs - Felix Pie, Geovany Soto, Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher - Jeff Samardzija, Donald Veal, Tyler Colvin and Scott Moore have some name value too, though I'm not particularly high on any of them

Brewers - Yovanni Gallardo, Manny Parra, Zach Jackson, Alcides Escobar - Gallardo was real borderline for me, but he's still shy of establishing himself, IMO

Cardinals - Colby Rasmus, Bryan Anderson, Jaime Garica, P.J. Walters - Chris Perez might belong on there, Rick Ankiel too, it's a stronger group than Reds fans would like, get ready for a decade of Bruce vs. Rasmus arguments

Reds - Jay Bruce, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Joey Votto - sweet group, but we knew that

Astros - Troy Patton, Juan Gutierrez, Josh Anderson, Brian Bogusevic - if you're not impressed by that list it's just a case of you having a sane and rational reaction

Pirates - Andrew McCutcheon, Brian Bixler, Neil Walker, Steven Pearce - that's a nice set of bats in the pipeline

Padres - Chase Headley, Matt Antonelli, Josh Geer, Cesar Ramos - loaded in AA, Will Inman's there too

D-Backs - Justin Upton, Max Scherzer, Carlos Gonzalez, Esmerling Vasquez - as strong a group as you'll find, Greg Smith and Alberto Collaspo aren't too bad either, most of the major league team is comprised of young guys finding their way as well

Dodgers - Andy LaRoche, Jonathan Meloan, Chin-Lung Hu, Clayton Kershaw - another highly ranked group, Justin Orenduff, Scott Elbert (if he can come back healthy) and Tony Abreu all have some prospect glitter too

Rockies - Ian Stewart, Ubaldo Jiminez, Chris Iannetta, Franklin Morales - Juan Morillo and Seth Smith aren't slouches either, Greg Reynolds would have made the list except he got injured, deep system

Giants - Nate Schierholtz, Pat Misch, John Bowker, Nick Pereira - Eugenio Velez was named the minor league offensive player of the year in 2006 too, I believe the Giants are fond of William Bergolla too

Red Sox - Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Jon Lester - as noted above, they're supergood, Michael Bowden slots in at #5

Yankees - Phillips Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Alan Horne - I saw Kennedy's first start at Yankee Stadium this weekend, he's got more zip than advertised

Blue Jays - Adam Lind, Jesse Litsch, Brandon League, Chad Mottola - incredibly weak system, Mottola makes the list for career achievement

Orioles - Garrett Olson, Nolan Reimold, Luis Antonio Jimenez, Radhames Liz - Adam Loewen (when he gets healthy) would be on this list, Jim Hoey's had an interesting season

D-Rays - Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, Evan Longoria, Jacob McGee - Reid Brignac's getting exposed (IMO), J.P. Howell has always been a personal favorite of mine, Chris Mason took a big step forward this season

Indians - Asdrubal Cabrera, Adam Miller, Brian Barton, Jordan Brown - Chuck Lofgren is a solid 5th, ex-Red farmhand Jeff Stevens had a bit of a breakout season, Franklin Gutierrez looks like he's got himself a regular job so he didn't make the list

Tigers - Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin, Jair Jurrjens, Jeff Larish - top flight group

Twins - Matt Garza, Kevin Slowey, Alexi Casilla, Glen Perkins - Scott Baker looks like he's finally seized a rotation slot, there's a pack of pitchers on the heels of this one too

Royals - Kyle Davies, Billy Buckner, Chris Lubanski, Luke Hochevar - they've got a sleeper reliever prospect named Jarrod Plummer too

White Sox - John Danks, Josh Fields, Gio Gonzalez, Jack Egbert - Danks and Fields have been given big league jobs, but have yet to prove they deserve them, Brian Anderson and Gavin Floyd are in similar situations

Angels - Brandon Wood, Erick Aybar, Joe Saunders, Nick Adenhart - this system has spent most of 2007 losing its luster

Mariners - Adam Jones, Ryan Feierabend, Wladimir Balentien, Jeff Clement - there's a good number of interesting AA players behind them (Michael Saunders, Matt Tuiasosopo, Joseph Woerman), there's even more in A ball, this system is having itself quite a flourish

A's - Daric Barton, Dan Meyer, Dallas Braden, Landon Powell - Michael Madsen made the Future's Game too, Kurt Suzuki seems to have seized the starting catcher reins in the majors so I didn't list him

Rangers - Brandon McCarthy, Jarrod Salatalamacchia, Edinson Volquez, German Duran - better group than I'd have expected here, it's easy to forget that McCarthy is so young, David Murphy and Kason Gabbard (the return for Eric Gagne) was a pretty solid haul as well

dougdirt
09-04-2007, 05:45 PM
Medford, let me say that if BP and BA come out with their rankings and the Reds are not in the top 10, I would be absolutely beyond shocked. The top end talent they have is nearly unrivaled by any team in baseball and the talent has been trickling upward this past season.

coachw513
09-04-2007, 06:02 PM
First, great thread...the dissenting views actually bring the "truth" closer to the light...

To me, the added depth in the organization is necessary fodder to bring the starting pitching we so desperately need...FA pitching is overvalued and hyper-risked...deadline deals are hard to make for starting pitching...but if the depth continues to improve in the areas mentioned by many, clearly we should see minor-league value as pawns to improve the rotations #3/4/5 spots given the uncertainty in the near future of Bailey and Cueto...

IMHO, as others have said I am more and more believing we have propped up Votto's AAA season in a desire to move him in the offseason...we hid him from any first-case ML liabilities and difficulties to maximize his stock...and I'm sliding very firmly into the move Dunn to 1B as seamlessly as we moved Griffey to RF a year ago...much machinations about how it wouldn't work (Griffey not accepting the move) but was seemingly no problem whatsoever...

Aronchis
09-04-2007, 06:07 PM
First, great thread...the dissenting views actually bring the "truth" closer to the light...

To me, the added depth in the organization is necessary fodder to bring the starting pitching we so desperately need...FA pitching is overvalued and hyper-risked...deadline deals are hard to make for starting pitching...but if the depth continues to improve in the areas mentioned by many, clearly we should see minor-league value as pawns to improve the rotations #3/4/5 spots given the uncertainty in the near future of Bailey and Cueto...

IMHO, as others have said I am more and more believing we have propped up Votto's AAA season in a desire to move him in the offseason...we hid him from any first-case ML liabilities and difficulties to maximize his stock...and I'm sliding very firmly into the move Dunn to 1B as seamlessly as we moved Griffey to RF a year ago...much machinations about how it wouldn't work (Griffey not accepting the move) but was seemingly no problem whatsoever...


If they wanted to move Dunn to 1st base, they would of. They didn't. Griffey wouldn't work in RF? Mercy no. I think everybody in the Reds world cheered that.

Redman15
09-04-2007, 09:09 PM
From Reds Insider.com
REDS FARM HANDS AMONG ALL MINOR LEAGUE LEADERS
Mike Griffin 171 hits (T3rd)
Jay Bruce 80 extra-base hits (2nd, 1 off the pace), 46 doubles (T7th), 306 total bases (2nd), .587 slugging (14th)
Derrik Lutz 61 appearances (T4th)
Ricky Stone 59 appearances (T9th)
Carlos Guevara 12.63 strikeouts per 9.0ip (13th among all minor league relievers)
Jose Castro - .312 batting average (T14th among all minor league switch hitters)

INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE LEADERS
Joey Votto 92 RBI (2nd)
Phil Dumatrait 3.53 ERA (7th)
Ricky Stone 59 appearances (2nd)
Mark Bellhorn - .382 on-base pct. (5th)
Aaron Herr 55 extra-base hits (4th)

SOUTHERN LEAGUE LEADERS
James Avery 11 wins (5th)
Luis Bolivar 9 triples (4th)
Drew Anderson 8 triples (5th)

FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE LEADERS
Mike Griffin - .303 batting average (8th)
Derrik Lutz 54 appearances (1st)

MIDWEST LEAGUE LEADERS
Justin Turner - .311 batting average (3rd)
Justin Turner 145 hits (2nd)
Juan Francisco 25 home runs (1st)
Juan Francisco 90 RBI (4th)
Juan Francisco 143 hits (3rd)
Juan Francisco 50 extra-base hits (5th)
Travis Webb 3.45 ERA (8th)
Rafael Gonzalez 13 wins (T1st)
Drew Stubbs 93 runs scored (1st)

PIONEER LEAGUE LEADERS (*season still active)
Luis Montano - 3.51 ERA (7th)
Luis Montano 8 wins (1st)
Enerio Del Rosario 3.97 ERA (10th)
Brandon Waring 20 home runs (1st)
Brandon Waring 61 RBI (T2nd)
Brandon Waring - .614 slugging (1st)
Brandon Waring 39 extra-base hits (T2nd)
Brandon Waring 63 runs scored (1st)
Mike McKennon 25 doubles (2nd)
Mike McKennon 37 extra-base hits (4th)

D-Man
09-04-2007, 10:10 PM
Medford: I think most will rate the Reds overall farm system as top 6-10 at this point in time, although we should be cautious to note that this is a snapshot in time. And RedsManRick is right, that a ranking without a meaningful context is not particularly helpful.

So here is my rough, thumb-in-the-wind estimate. . .
Lower Minors: 25th
Upper Minors: 3rd
Young Major Leaguers (pre-arb): 12th
Young Major Leaguers (arb-eligible): 8th

This may be different how others define young major leaguers. For purposes of this discussion, I assume all players prior to free agency are "young" because they are controlled by the club.

What I see as the strengths of the Reds system:
*Top four prospects
*Bevy of AA-AAAA relievers
*2007 draft class overall value
*Corner OFers

And the weaknesses:
*Starting pitching depth
*Players at premium positions who can both defend and hit (particularly upper minors)
*Talent pipeline after the big four
*Righthanded power
*Lefty pitchers


Bruce and Votto don't stand out?

This may not have been clear, but my entire response was intended to talk about the farm system beyond the top four. I wasn't taking issue with any of the top four prospects. I attempted to illustrate how--beyond the top four--the pipeline lacks overall top-shelf talent and lacks immediate help once the big four graduate to the bigs.


If you read around, you will find that I have never been high on Maloney due to his stuff, or lack there of. That said, Aaron Harang is not a soft tosser. The guy works 88-92, but can hit 94 when he wants to. That isn't soft tossing unless we have differing opinions on that one.

Harang was a fringe pitcher when he came to the Reds, and he definitely didn't throw 94 at that time.

My point was that Maloney has a similar body type and might add a few MPH, as Harang has done.

GoReds33
09-04-2007, 10:28 PM
D-Man, I agree with most of your assesment. The only thing I disagree on is the lack of starting pitching depth. I think this system has plenty of starters once they develop. You could make a rotation out of first year MLB players this year, and minor leaguers.

Homer Bailey
Johnny Cueto
Bobby Livingston
Elizardo Ramirez
Jon Coutlangus

I understand there is a huge drop off after the first two, but Livingston and Ramirez could be pretty good MLB pitchers. We have yet to see what Coutlangus can do as a starter. I do however think that he would be more comfortable against left handers when he is starting.

SteelSD
09-05-2007, 12:39 AM
I was saying thats where BA ranked him <Strait> at. I just mistakenly left out that BA ranked him there.

Becuase they, like me, expected him to continue to hit in the .260-.270 range and not drop off the face of the Earth offensively this year. It isn't like he performed well and fell because others took his place, he fell off because his OPS dropped nearly 200 points.

Here's the thing...

I actually like Paul Janish a little bit as a potential backup middle infielder with enough plate discipline to contribute at a better-than-Juan-Castro level. The kind of guy who could possibly hang around for a couple years in the Show while cheap and potentially give a team a better than expected performance during one of his age prime seasons. Not a lot to ask for as a ceiling. But I've never considered Paul Janish as a guy who projected to give a whole heck of a lot with a wood bat in his hands primarily because he's had a difficult time getting the ball out of the infield, excepting a 98 AB Dayton run at age 23 (1.047 OPS) where he looked like the master of your, my, and everyone else's domain. In short, I've never actually hated Paul Janish. At the same time, he wasn't anywhere near a sure "above average" MLB starter in my mind and I'd suggest that both BA and BP would concur even when they were ranking him as a "Top 10" guy in the Reds' system.

But, when I see Paul Janish on a "Top 10" prospects list, I see that as an indictment of a system's overall quality level. And I'd be MUCH more comfortable if someone else's performance actually did push Janish off such a list rather than just see him drop off because generally that means he was just taking up space on said list in the first place.

Fast forward to Chris Valaika. He's a guy who's seen his OPS drop over 200 points from Dayton to Sarasota (.847 to .641). That is basically dropping off the face of the Earth after a promotion. But that's not enough to move me away from seeing him as a low "B" prospect considering his previous 575 AB power output even though he doesn't have the walk rates I'm looking for. However, if he moves off Shortstop, he drops way down.

I'm not as unfair with prospect evaluation as you might think.


So you don't think the Reds can reach down next year and pull out talent next season? Or the next season?

doug, you might not realize that I think the only way the Reds have a MLB window for opportunity by 2009 is if the Reds can get all their top guys into the show by next season. Yeah, I do believe the Reds NEED to reach down and pull out talent. Problem is, the chances of getting the necessary performance from Bailey/Bruce/Votto/Cueto on the cheap over the next two years isn't a given. One or more of those players is likely to struggle over the next two seasons or get hurt. For all of them to perform well enough sans a learning curve during their initial seasons to, as Scrap Irony put it, have "...four ROY candidates for 2008..." would require a confluence of events so historically significant that we might as well just confirm the existence of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the existence of aliens without further search.

And after those players make the Reds' roster, where does the system "rank"? Probably pretty darned low considering that any current "high" ranking is primarily based on those four not qualifying as MLB players.

SteelSD
09-05-2007, 01:08 AM
D-Man, I agree with most of your assesment. The only thing I disagree on is the lack of starting pitching depth. I think this system has plenty of starters once they develop. You could make a rotation out of first year MLB players this year, and minor leaguers.

Homer Bailey
Johnny Cueto
Bobby Livingston
Elizardo Ramirez
Jon Coutlangus

I understand there is a huge drop off after the first two, but Livingston and Ramirez could be pretty good MLB pitchers. We have yet to see what Coutlangus can do as a starter. I do however think that he would be more comfortable against left handers when he is starting.

I like Livingston less than M2 does, but the labrum surgery makes me like him even less. When/if he comes back, I still envision him as a guy who can only survive with a very good defense behind him and, even then, only sporadically. I held out hope for Ramirez for a rotation back end slot, but he's another defense-dependent guy who ended up on the 60-day DL last season after Narron decided he really needed to pitch in relief the day before his next start. We all know what happened. Jon Coutlangus has never started a professional game. You'll never see him take the mound as a Starting Pitcher for a professional game. He has his uses, but Starting Pitcher is not among them.

fearofpopvol1
09-05-2007, 01:53 PM
I think another interesting way of ranking the farm systems would be pitching vs. position players. I have to believe that the Reds would be much lower in the pitching ranks than the position player ranks.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 02:01 PM
I think another interesting way of ranking the farm systems would be pitching vs. position players. I have to believe that the Reds would be much lower in the pitching ranks than the position player ranks.

Well, coming into the season Kevin Goldstein of BP ranked the Reds hitting at 9th and the Reds pitching at 16th in baseball. Going from just what the Reds have done from February until right now, I would say that both the hitting and the pitching in the system has gotten better.

You have the strides taken by Jay Bruce going to easily one of the two best hitters that are still ROY eligible for next season (with Upton being the other one, who may get his 130 at bats this season), Joey Votto has stayed roughly the same in terms of prospects from last year and then you have the guys stepping forward like Dorn, Rosales, Griffin, Francisco mixed in with Frazier, Waring, Mesoraco (who while he didn't show much hitting ability, is still considered a very good prospect).

Then you get the pitching, where Johnny Cueto moved from a prospect in the 95-110 range to a prospect in the 15-30 range, while Bailey probably dropped, but still sits in everyones top 15 or 20 at the lowest, but added a little more high minors depth and added solid bullpen help at the upper levels mixed in with Kyle Lotzkar and Scott Carroll who have both pitched quite well this year.

M2
09-05-2007, 02:39 PM
Did the pitching improve overall? Cueto's up and Bailey's down are a bit of a wash (though evaluators may not penalize Bailey for it quite yet). Wood's injury was fairly major because he was a well-rated prospect. There really isn't anyone replacing him at the moment. Maloney's nice, but he's a net loss when it comes to prospect rankings (compared to where Wood ranked). There's 29 other teams with their own versions of Carroll and Lotzkar. Until they get to full season ball and do something, I doubt they're moving the needle much. They're sort of where Josh Ravin was last season.

So you're really talking about two prime starters and a lot of middling to fringe guys with some extremely green arms about whom no one knows much yet. The thing that might move the needle is relievers like Roenicke and Viola. Those two had eye-popping years and, while I wouldn't have sent them there, they could rise in prominence in the AFL.

I'd say the Reds have been in a holding pattern on the pitching end.

RedsManRick
09-05-2007, 06:23 PM
Saying the system has improved overall is a bit like saying everybody could be a .500+ team if things break right. It's difficult to accurately assess both your gains and your losses.

It's why the White Sox are wondering what the heck happened. They banked some gains that were temporary and assumed certain negative things would rebound.

Who disappointed this year for the Reds? Who's hurt? Are we assuming they'll be back at it? Who succeed beyond their track record would suggest was possible?

GoReds33
09-05-2007, 06:26 PM
Is it just me or does it seem like the 2006 season where we had basically no minor league injuries of signifigance wass the turning point for this organization? Before that we would lose a prospect a year to injuries.

M2
09-05-2007, 07:17 PM
Is it just me or does it seem like the 2006 season where we had basically no minor league injuries of signifigance wass the turning point for this organization? Before that we would lose a prospect a year to injuries.

Injuries, washouts, the Reds seemingly had the supposed top prospects in the system crash every season from 2002-2005.

This year's been a bit of a mixed bag. There's been the spectacular (Bruce) and the very good (Cueto, Votto, Frazier, Roenicke and Viola), but there's also been plenty of disappointment -- Bailey, Stubbs, Wood, Watson (got hammered in high A), Loo, Janish, Valaika (who's been far less of a natural than we'd hoped after his torrid 2006 and April) and Mesoraco (having about the worst debut a top pick can have).

That's 7 of the team's top 10 who took a step backward or who failed to distinguish themselves, plus the team's top pick in 2007. That doesn't mean that any or all of them won't rebound and become good players, but 2007 has not been a repeat of 2006, when almost everything went right.

The Reds should still rate high because they'll probably have four top 100 prospects on the BA list and that sort of thing tends to garner attention, but the 5-10 slots are a real fluid situation at the moment.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 07:31 PM
M2, I know you are going to disagree with me, but I don't think Drew Stubbs had a disappointing season at all.

M2
09-05-2007, 07:50 PM
M2, I know you are going to disagree with me, but I don't think Drew Stubbs had a disappointing season at all.

I think you're setting the bar way too low on him. Dude should be crushing low A. He's recovered to only be about 100 OPS points behind where a top prospect ought to be, but he's still way behind. He won't get to the major leagues having seasons like this. Like Valaika, you can't put too much stock in his highs or his lows. There is a middle there and it's below where it needs to be for a kid who hopes to progress at higher levels. Stubbs needs to play better, period.

It's fine that you're hoping for better from him next year. I am too. The difference is I'm not taking it for granted, just like I didn't take his 2007 season for granted when I was told I should.

I think it's important to keep high standards when it comes to prospects because the kids who don't meet them generally don't pan out.

lollipopcurve
09-05-2007, 07:56 PM
This year's been a bit of a mixed bag. There's been the spectacular (Bruce) and the very good (Cueto, Votto, Frazier, Roenicke and Viola), but there's also been plenty of disappointment -- Bailey, Stubbs, Wood, Watson (got hammered in high A), Loo, Janish, Valaika (who's been far less of a natural than we'd hoped after his torrid 2006 and April) and Mesoraco (having about the worst debut a top pick can have).

That's 7 of the team's top 10 who took a step backward or who failed to distinguish themselves, plus the team's top pick in 2007.

I think it's been better than average, easily.

1. Only 1 significant injury, and we're not even sure it's significant -- Wood. Well, and 1 desertion.

2. No important performance collapses, with the exception of Ravin, I'd say.

3. Most importantly -- excellent progression from 3 of the top 4 (Bruce, Votto, Cueto all proving they can move up and excel). After all, what you're most hoping for is that your top talents can turn in to core players, and these 3 gave strong indications they have a good chance of doing that. It should be noted that Valaika raked in low A at age 21. Sarasota constituted a level jump for him.

4. The emergence of another significant prospect in Juan Francisco. I know opinions are divided on this player, but I am bullish.

5. The brewing of several young, if unheralded, quality arms at the back of games -- Roenicke, Viola, Pelland, McBeth, Lutz, Asadoorian (young in terms of pitching-years), Guevara. Gone are the days of Jake Robbins and Chris Booker, though, well, there was that Stone guy...

6. What looks to be a very solid draft class in Frazier, Lotzkar, Soto, Waring and, for my money, Mesoraco. Keep in mind that this kid plays catcher and was already at the end of a long high school season. Take a look at first-year GCL numbers for high-schoolers Chipper Jones and Derek Jeter -- it happens. Offensively, you have to like that the kid controls the strike zone pretty well, and he gives the organization a player with promise at a position that's hard to fill.

If you would have told me back in April this would be how 2007 would go, I would have taken it, hands down.

fearofpopvol1
09-05-2007, 08:30 PM
I think what most of the pessimists about the farm system are saying (correct me if I'm wrong) is that the problem is that AA and AAA are pretty weak beyond Bruce, Votto and Cueto. Just because players excel at the A level and the rookie level doesn't mean necessarily that they're going to be studs, though it doesn't mean they'll be duds either, they're just question marks.

I just really feel like the Reds need to take a good hard look at the pitching situation in the minors and really step up their drafting with a better focus on pitching.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 08:38 PM
I think you're setting the bar way too low on him. Dude should be crushing low A. He's recovered to only be about 100 OPS points behind where a top prospect ought to be, but he's still way behind. He won't get to the major leagues having seasons like this. Like Valaika, you can't put too much stock in his highs or his lows. There is a middle there and it's below where it needs to be for a kid who hopes to progress at higher levels. Stubbs needs to play better, period.
I think maybe you are setting the bar too high on him. Centerfielders don't need to mash the ball to have value. The average centerfielder has a .750 OPS in the major leagues. Outside of June, Drew had an .870 OPS. In his most recent 250 plate appearances, he had a .911 OPS. Now I agree that you can't put much into ones highs and ones lows, so I removed Drews June and July, which were his highest and lowest months in OPS and did the rest of his year, he hit .292/.370/.460. If Drew Stubbs can continue to do that when you don't count a bad month or a good month out of a season, then he will be just fine.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 08:40 PM
I just really feel like the Reds need to take a good hard look at the pitching situation in the minors and really step up their drafting with a better focus on pitching.

If you focus on pitching, you take players that you think have a lesser chance to succeed in certain cases, and when you start doing that you are turning a crapshoot into an absolute throwing a dart at a dart board while driving 100 MPH and hoping you get a bullseye.

REDblooded
09-05-2007, 09:09 PM
I really found it interesting today that Jay Bruce's agent, on 1530 with Mo and Gregg, made mention of how he's the agent for the entire Florida Marlins staff, and with the talent the Reds have in the minors, he'd love to move into GABP and sleep on the mound.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 09:22 PM
I heard that redblooded, and I honestly don't know exactly what he was trying to say with those comments.

M2
09-05-2007, 09:24 PM
1. Only 1 significant injury, and we're not even sure it's significant -- Wood. Well, and 1 desertion.

Wood was the #6 prospect in the organization and could have been top 100 with a good season. Now the Reds probably don't have a starting pitcher outside of Bailey and Cueto in the top 200, maybe 250. I'd say that's significant.

Loo might have been the breakout player in A Dayton this year. He was being tipped for it.


2. No important performance collapses, with the exception of Ravin, I'd say.

Watson collapsed in Sarasota (for the record I never cared for him as a starter and I'm on the fence about him in relief). Janish collapsed in that his prospect status has evaporated (though I agree with Steel that he could still be a serviceable bench glove in the majors at some point).


3. Most importantly -- excellent progression from 3 of the top 4 (Bruce, Votto, Cueto all proving they can move up and excel). After all, what you're most hoping for is that your top talents can turn in to core players, and these 3 gave strong indications they have a good chance of doing that. It should be noted that Valaika raked in low A at age 21. Sarasota constituted a level jump for him.

Bruce, Votto and Cueto were certainly the high points and I agree that it's most important that the organization's top prospects do well. That said, it's mildly disconcerting to put all your eggs in a small basket.

Valaika did not rake in low A. He had a solid season and he was certainly raking early on, but he got progressively colder as the season wore on and then flopped in high A, a level which people were insisting he'd own earlier in the season. There's questions now about his stick that weren't there after his MVP turn in Billings.


4. The emergence of another significant prospect in Juan Francisco. I know opinions are divided on this player, but I am bullish.

I couldn't be more bearish on him. A .301 OB in low A? I'd trade him to someone drooling over his power output so fast, it would leave peel out marks on the commissioner's desk.


5. The brewing of several young, if unheralded, quality arms at the back of games -- Roenicke, Viola, Pelland, McBeth, Lutz, Asadoorian (young in terms of pitching-years), Guevara. Gone are the days of Jake Robbins and Chris Booker, though, well, there was that Stone guy...

Some of those guys have a lot more in common with Chris Booker than we'd like to admit (mid-to-late 20s, throw hard, shaky track record). I agree that Roenicke and Viola were revelations. Hopefully they keep it up. Pelland's switch was needed, but the results weren't so great. My guess is he's a LOOGY. McBeth took a step forward this season in that he moved successfully to AAA and that's good. Asadoorian, I'm not holding my breath on that one. I've always like Guevara, I wish the Reds did too.


6. What looks to be a very solid draft class in Frazier, Lotzkar, Soto, Waring and, for my money, Mesoraco. Keep in mind that this kid plays catcher and was already at the end of a long high school season. Take a look at first-year GCL numbers for high-schoolers Chipper Jones and Derek Jeter -- it happens. Offensively, you have to like that the kid controls the strike zone pretty well, and he gives the organization a player with promise at a position that's hard to fill.

Sure bad debuts happen and kids rebound from them, but it doesn't mean that I'm going to be happy about the bad debut. If Mesoraco rebounds, then I'll be happy. In the meantime, let's call a turd of a start a turd of a start and acknowledge that it is disappointing. I'm not writing the kid off by any means, but given the historical performance of first-round catching prospects, it does make me a little uneasy. I know how wrong these picks can go. Also, Mesoraco had a relatively short HS season given that he hails from central PA.

Frazier jumps out as the early stud of the group. A) He played enough to show something and B) he apparently rolls out of bed and starts hitting. He's my #5 prospect in the system and I normally don't like to rate guys until they've played a year of full season ball.

I like Waring's power, but he's got a less well-rounded plate approach than Frazier. I like what Soto did, but, as I noted, Willy Jo Ronda did pretty much the same thing in 2003. William Bergolla was a rookie ball sensation too (and it was a level higher at Billings).

Lotzkar? Who knows. Chris Gruler had a good start. Justin Gillman was even better. Travis Wood (the guy whose injury you're not even sure is significant) was off the charts. My hope is they take it real slow with Lotzkar, because it ain't a race, and that he gives us something to get excited about after his first year of full season ball in 2009. Right now I'm a lot more interested in Carroll.

Though if we're talking 2007 draft class, we'd be remiss not to mention the stinkbomb that was Zach Cozart and the Pioneer League beatdown that was issued to Drew Bowman.

I'd like to add that Justin Reed (a 2006 draftee) deserves some praise. I've got some hope that he can make a splash in Dayton next year.


If you would have told me back in April this would be how 2007 would go, I would have taken it, hands down.

I'm guessing you'd have hoped for better back in April. I know I did. It had its ups and downs. I'm not really interested in estimating which carries more weight (which is a largely pointless exercise). I like the ups. I'm not so thrilled with the downs and I'm hoping for nothing but success in 2008.

Development is complicated and demands almost constant re-evaluation. The gauntlet these kids have to run is incredibly difficult and almost none of them, even the supposed sure things, make it. As such, it's hard to know exactly where the system is at any given point in time. The Reds, thankfully, aren't bereft of talent, but they also aren't overflowing with it. It's interesting times. Some kids are going to go haywire. Let's hope some kids have surprise flourishes too.

M2
09-05-2007, 09:40 PM
I think maybe you are setting the bar too high on him. Centerfielders don't need to mash the ball to have value. The average centerfielder has a .750 OPS in the major leagues. Outside of June, Drew had an .870 OPS. In his most recent 250 plate appearances, he had a .911 OPS. Now I agree that you can't put much into ones highs and ones lows, so I removed Drews June and July, which were his highest and lowest months in OPS and did the rest of his year, he hit .292/.370/.460. If Drew Stubbs can continue to do that when you don't count a bad month or a good month out of a season, then he will be just fine.

Cherrypicking which parts of a guy's season count is pointless. The answer is it all counts. If you want to subtract out the highs and lows and figure out what the actual middle of Stubbs' season is then the answer is the .785 OPS he current carries, no more, no less. He's done what he's done and it's nothing all that exciting.

While the major league OPS average may be .750, major league CFs did a whole lot better than a .750-.800 OPS in the minors. The pitchers get better as you move up. Stubbs right now is a three true outcomes guy without the over-the-fence swing (which I suppose makes him a two true outcomes guy). We should remember that the Reds' current TTO poster boy had a .304 BA in the minors. Stubbs is somewhere around .263 and, as mentioned, his power hasn't shown up yet (Dunn hit 77 homers at ages 21 and 22).

Stubbs isn't going to make the majors by just hanging in there. Guys who just hang in there get dropped along the way, they finally find a level where they can't cut it. Stubbs has got to thrive and soon. Hopefully his late season flourish will become a full season trend in 2008. Those swoons will only get larger and swallow him whole if it doesn't become his norm.

I'm setting the bar where successful major league players set the bar in their minor league apprenticeships. Stubbs either measures up or he doesn't. So far, he doesn't and that is the very definition of disappointing.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 09:56 PM
Travis Woods injury is not significant or he wouldn't be throwing baseballs still at this point of the year, and he is.

As for Stubbs M2, we are going to have to agree to disagree. I happen to think the most recent part of his season counts, becuase it shows that something may have clicked with him. You aren't convinced of it at all. We dont agree and that is that on the subject of Drew Stubbs.

fearofpopvol1
09-05-2007, 09:58 PM
If you focus on pitching, you take players that you think have a lesser chance to succeed in certain cases, and when you start doing that you are turning a crapshoot into an absolute throwing a dart at a dart board while driving 100 MPH and hoping you get a bullseye.

I understand what you're saying, but it's clear that the drafting up until this point with regard to pitching has been weak and deprived. You have to take a risk to get a reward. The Reds could've had Porcello if they wanted this year, but passed. I'm not saying they shouldn't draft any position players, but the focus should be stronger (than it is) on pitching.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 10:08 PM
I understand what you're saying, but it's clear that the drafting up until this point with regard to pitching has been weak and deprived. You have to take a risk to get a reward. The Reds could've had Porcello if they wanted this year, but passed. I'm not saying they shouldn't draft any position players, but the focus should be stronger (than it is) on pitching.

And what happens when you take that risk and it blows up in your face, when you could have had someone like Ryan Braun or Prince Fielder? Can you say, well we took the guy with lesser potential because he was a pitcher? Well yeah, I guess you can, but it sounds very bad. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it blows up in your face (2002, Bryan Bullington went #1 overall. Prince Fielder and BJ Upton were both selected in the top 10 as well, both of those guys are having MVP type years.... Bullington has an ERA of 4.00 in AAA as a soon to be 27 year old).

fearofpopvol1
09-05-2007, 10:18 PM
And what happens when you take that risk and it blows up in your face, when you could have had someone like Ryan Braun or Prince Fielder? Can you say, well we took the guy with lesser potential because he was a pitcher? Well yeah, I guess you can, but it sounds very bad. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it blows up in your face (2002, Bryan Bullington went #1 overall. Prince Fielder and BJ Upton were both selected in the top 10 as well, both of those guys are having MVP type years.... Bullington has an ERA of 4.00 in AAA as a soon to be 27 year old).

I think the Reds need to be taking risks and trying different things. It's clear that what they've done (or have been trying to do) has failed up until this point. You can have all the offense in the world but pitching is going to win games (see the Reds dead last ERA in the majors for 2007 and by a large margin).

lollipopcurve
09-05-2007, 10:35 PM
I'm guessing you'd have hoped for better back in April. I know I did. It had its ups and downs. I'm not really interested in estimating which carries more weight (which is a largely pointless exercise). I like the ups. I'm not so thrilled with the downs and I'm hoping for nothing but success in 2008.

Sure, you always hope for the best. But, objectively speaking, I think the system moved forward a lot more than not -- in the ways I described. There is always attrition -- all your best prospects don't pan out, so it is unreasonable to think that an entire top 10 is going to advance without a hiccup. Hopes are not expectations, and while I cultivate a lot of hope, some in the shadows, I also expect a fair share of failure. It's baseball. I'll say it again -- I'll take what happened in 07 in the minors, as a whole, and would take similar developments every year. Though, if I could request one thing of the baseball gods, it would be more pitching.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 10:36 PM
I don't think anything the last two GM's have done has shown any failure to this point. Their drafts just haven't had much time to grow into anything. The problem is, the previous GM left nothing. Of course, some of his guys ended up getting hurt. Jim Bowdens final 3 drafts consisted of these guys as first rounders, all pitchers, Jeremy Sowers, Chris Gruler and Ryan Wagner. That didn't exactly work out so well for us, and regardless of whether Sowers signed or not, he didn't work out so well for the Indians either.

GoReds33
09-05-2007, 10:38 PM
I don't think anything the last two GM's have done has shown any failure to this point. Their drafts just haven't had much time to grow into anything. The problem is, the previous GM left nothing. Of course, some of his guys ended up getting hurt. Jim Bowdens final 3 drafts consisted of these guys as first rounders, all pitchers, Jeremy Sowers, Chris Gruler and Ryan Wagner. That didn't exactly work out so well for us, and regardless of whether Sowers signed or not, he didn't work out so well for the Indians either.Bowden ruined the Reds. Him and Lidner were a horrible tandem. Now he's ruining the Nats. Way to go Jim bo. Hey that rhimed.:D

M2
09-05-2007, 10:42 PM
As for Stubbs M2, we are going to have to agree to disagree. I happen to think the most recent part of his season counts, becuase it shows that something may have clicked with him. You aren't convinced of it at all. We dont agree and that is that on the subject of Drew Stubbs.

I think the most recent part of his season counts. I think the earlier part of his season counts. I think it all counts. You're the one being selective about what counts and what doesn't.

FWIW, I fully admit it's possible that maybe something clicked with Stubbs in the latter part of the season. I also recognize that maybe nothing clicked with him in the latter part of this season and that we won't really know until well into next season. You're the one pushing certitude here. So, yeah, I disagree that there's any justification for certitude in this case. Like I said, there was a lot of certitude last year that Stubbs wouldn't be where he is now. Yet he is.

I think we both can agree that you need to be right about something having clicked or that something needs to click next year. Stubbs needs to have an easy season or two on his way up if he intends to get to the show.

GoReds33
09-05-2007, 10:46 PM
I would put Brandon Waring third. I know it is way early. I just feel like his power if rediculious. If he can get his strikeouts down, and his walks back up he will be a beast.

Patrick Bateman
09-05-2007, 11:53 PM
Waring shouldn't be third. The Reds have 4 guys that should be unquestionably at the top.

Waring isn't a huge tools guy. His prospect status has been boosted by his monster success in rookie ball. You can't rank a guy ahead of elite prospects solely on their success at that low of a level. He is very intriguing though. The question is what kind of success will he maintain.

Jay Bruce
09-06-2007, 02:58 AM
I would put Brandon Waring third. I know it is way early. I just feel like his power if rediculious. If he can get his strikeouts down, and his walks back up he will be a beast.

While his power is unquestionably intriguing, I don't like the 21/83 BB/K ratio, especially in only 267 at-bats. Not even Adam Dunn struck out at that kind of rate in the minors. He has some adjustments to make before I could rate him above the big four, Stubbs or Frazier.

Redman15
09-06-2007, 12:20 PM
If you rate them by their performance on the field after two seasons, Dorn would have to rank higher than Stubbs. Forget how many tools they have. There has been plenty of five tool players that can't get it done when they step on the field. Rate the players on their accomplishments on the field, not what round they were drafted. Dorn was a 32nd rounder and has out played the 1st
rounder for 2 straight years.

dougdirt
09-06-2007, 01:10 PM
If you rate them by their performance on the field after two seasons, Dorn would have to rank higher than Stubbs. Forget how many tools they have. There has been plenty of five tool players that can't get it done when they step on the field. Rate the players on their accomplishments on the field, not what round they were drafted. Dorn was a 32nd rounder and has out played the 1st
rounder for 2 straight years.
But you can't do that though. If you rated guys off of just their numbers, Craig Brazell would be one of the best prospect in the minor leagues probably.

RedsManRick
09-06-2007, 01:13 PM
While the major league OPS average may be .750, major league CFs did a whole lot better than a .750-.800 OPS in the minors.

I'm curious just how true this statement is M2. I think we all work on that assumption, but I've never really seen the data on it.

It's not like you're gauranteed to lose 50 OPS every level you move up, or else we'd see guys OPSing 1200 in A ball. Pujols had a .921 minor league OPS and has a 1.039 major league OPS.

I agree that given Stubbs' level and age, he should probably be hitting much better. That said, guys develop and improve. Sometimes they go up a level and do better than the year before. Especially in the first year or two, I'm much more inclined to listen to what the scouts are telling me. Most of the scouts still seem pretty high on Stubbs. Like you, I'll be happy when he actually does turn the corner, but let's just be really careful about using stats to judge guys in the steepest part of their development curve.

PuffyPig
09-06-2007, 01:19 PM
You can have all the offense in the world but pitching is going to win games (see the Reds dead last ERA in the majors for 2007 and by a large margin).

The Devil Rays have the worst ERA in the majors, and by a large margin.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 02:10 PM
If you rate them by their performance on the field after two seasons, Dorn would have to rank higher than Stubbs. Forget how many tools they have. There has been plenty of five tool players that can't get it done when they step on the field. Rate the players on their accomplishments on the field, not what round they were drafted. Dorn was a 32nd rounder and has out played the 1st
rounder for 2 straight years.

I think Dorn is getting less recognition than he deserves at this point. Not sure the comparison to Stubbs is 100&#37; appropriate in that a good bit of Stubbs' value is in his defensive ability. Maybe, Redman, you know a little more about Dorn -- how's his defense?

dougdirt
09-06-2007, 02:25 PM
I think Dorn is getting less recognition than he deserves at this point. Not sure the comparison to Stubbs is 100% appropriate in that a good bit of Stubbs' value is in his defensive ability. Maybe, Redman, you know a little more about Dorn -- how's his defense?

For what its worth, I know a guy who does a stat based prospect ranking system and he ran Dorn through it. He guesses the number it spit out would rank Dorn in the 150-225 range.

Patrick Bateman
09-06-2007, 02:25 PM
While his power is unquestionably intriguing, I don't like the 21/83 BB/K ratio, especially in only 267 at-bats.

Great point. This is generally a great indicator that unless his plate approach changes, he's going to have some major problems moving up. That's the line of a player with poor on base abilities. The power is nice, but a more patient approach would make much better use of it.

Waring has a long way to go.

Redman15
09-06-2007, 02:32 PM
Dorn has three errors in his 2 seasons to Stubb's 12. Dorn gets good jumps on balls. His arm isn't as good as Stubbs. He is a corner guy. I would give the defensive edge to Stubbs (CF) and Dorn the offensive edge. I don't understand how most people say you can't use stats. The people that really matter (Reds player development) move players up or down solely based on their performance. I believe thats why Dorn is in AA and Stubbs is in Low A. This is not a knock on Stubbs. I like Stubbs and think he will be a great player. I just don't see him in the top 4 yet based on his 1st 2 seasons.

IMO tools are only good for the draft. You can get the best player, with the best tools, but you still have to develop that player. Once these players are in the system, you have to rate these players by their performance on the field, not their tools or draft position.

Doug where does Stubbs rank in his stat based system?

nate
09-06-2007, 02:34 PM
For what its worth, I know a guy who does a stat based prospect ranking system and he ran Dorn through it. He guesses the number it spit out would rank Dorn in the 150-225 range.

Hey, here's an off the wall question.

Approximately how many minor leaguers are there? Both with the Reds and pro baseball in general.

dougdirt
09-06-2007, 02:45 PM
Hey, here's an off the wall question.

Approximately how many minor leaguers are there? Both with the Reds and pro baseball in general.

Lets just guess at 28 players per roster (which is probably a low number given DL'd players and rookie level rosters which have up to 40 or so players on some teams). According to Milb.com there are 182 Minor League teams in the USA. 28*182 = 5096. So there are over 5000 minor leagues.

nate
09-06-2007, 03:18 PM
Interesting. It makes sense although I never thought the number was that high. Combined with some 750 major league guys (25 man roster * 30 teams) you're looking at around 5800 dudes that play pro ball.

Sorry to derail the thread, just something that was a curiosity.

Redman15
09-06-2007, 07:25 PM
For what its worth, I know a guy who does a stat based prospect ranking system and he ran Dorn through it. He guesses the number it spit out would rank Dorn in the 150-225 range.

So I would guess his system would put Stubbs in 250-325 range?

dougdirt
09-06-2007, 07:37 PM
I didn't ask him to run Stubbs numbers, but given that his program is all offensively based, it wouldn't surprise me if it ranked him 300+.

Redman15
09-06-2007, 07:48 PM
I think next year will be a good year to see how Stubbs really measures up. He should get his toe problem taken care of in the off season. He has had a very good 2nd half of the season. I would say that he is the best defensive CF in Reds organization. He is fun to watch patrolling CF.

fearofpopvol1
09-06-2007, 08:47 PM
The Devil Rays have the worst ERA in the majors, and by a large margin.

Pardon me, the NL. My mistake. 5.02 ain't pretty any way you look at it.

fearofpopvol1
06-13-2009, 10:49 PM
I have not been around since the days of the Big Red Machine or anything...

But, the Reds farm system now easily has the most depth and is the richest it has been I think in my lifetime. I would say really starting back with 2007 to the present.

I think this year was overall a very good draft for the Reds. At least talent wise. We'll see how many of these kids sign...but I think Dan-O had a better scouting team in place that he gets credit for and I think Buckley is doing a really nice job overall (even though I hated the Mesoraco pick).

Benihana
06-14-2009, 02:36 AM
I have not been around since the days of the Big Red Machine or anything...

But, the Reds farm system now easily has the most depth and is the richest it has been I think in my lifetime. I would say really starting back with 2007 to the present.

I think this year was overall a very good draft for the Reds. At least talent wise. We'll see how many of these kids sign...but I think Dan-O had a better scouting team in place that he gets credit for and I think Buckley is doing a really nice job overall (even though I hated the Mesoraco pick).

Maybe not in terms of depth, but I would say the Reds system was a lot richer at the top 18 months ago, with the "Big Four" of Cueto, Bailey, Votto and Bruce all on the verge of the big leagues. That was four Grade A prospects, whereas today one could argue whether or not there is one in the entire system.

However, in terms of depth, I agree that this is the best the system has looked in a long, long time.

fearofpopvol1
06-14-2009, 02:47 AM
Maybe not in terms of depth, but I would say the Reds system was a lot richer at the top 18 months ago, with the "Big Four" of Cueto, Bailey, Votto and Bruce all on the verge of the big leagues. That was four Grade A prospects, whereas today one could argue whether or not there is one in the entire system.

However, in terms of depth, I agree that this is the best the system has looked in a long, long time.

Well, that's true...it was definitely more "top heavy" in terms of talent. But the thing is...I don't think most people at RZ considered Votto as "A" grade talent while he was in the minors. There certainly wasn't a unanimous agreement on that at least. Same goes with Cueto. While he pitched pretty well in the minors...he kind of came out of nowhere. He was never previously regarded as "A" talent.

Alonso is "A" talent and some say Stewart is (who I don't think most people would've considered "A" last year). I think several of the guys that the Reds signed last year and this year could end up being "A" grade. It's just still too early to say.