Just goes to show you the ESPN big market bias. I still think that baseball analysts are the least bias among the major sports covered on ESPN, but it is still evident.
How can our majors rank be 9th? We have a relatively young team of core guys going into the prime of their careers. Not to mention this team is very competitive in an injury plagued and underperforming year. Finally, this is essentially the same team who had the second best record in MLB last year. We have possibly the best rotation in all MLB, best right side of the INF, top 5 RF, and one of the smartest C in Hanigan.
While our minors are a little bare at the top, we have plenty of budding stars coming through the system who will likely be some part of picture in 5 years. Hamilton, Stephenson, Soto, Travieso, Corcino (if he puts it together), Winker, Irvin, Lorenzen, SMB, Yorman, and Barnhart all look to be solid contributors of the future. Again, our minors are replenishing quickly with budding stars, just not the depth most people would like. Still, I think a 12 out of 30 is low considering the star power up and coming.
Finance rating of 12 out of 30 seems pretty fair, maybe slightly low for me too. I think being maxed out is tough, but it is not like we are throwing stupid money away. Yes the Phillips, Votto, Arroyo, and Chapman contracts could have been handled differently, but they are all performing relatively well. Sometimes not so much, but still they are all having nice seasons. We are not like some teams like the White Sox who still owe Dunn $15 M and the Yankees who owe so much money to so many aging, hurting, and likely suspended players. Other teams like the Phillies, Brewers, Dodgers, Angels, and Rangers all have money in dumb places.
Management rating of 13 out of 30 seems fair too. I know a lot of gripes against Dusty and Walt for countless reasons, but one thing has stayed pretty consistent since 2009 and 2010 and that the Reds are actually fielding a very competitive team every year (2011 was full of injuries). I think this number could go up this off season if we figure a way to keep Choo and possibly sign Arroyo cheap (I know he likes the $, but I think he likes the city just a bit more).
Mobility rating of 12 out of 30. Not sure what to think here as the category title is a bit vague. Does this mean speed on the team or the ease to travel? Not sure.