In your opinion?
Top 10, not top 5.
I think it's pretty well established that the Royals are #1. Tampa Bay is still up there. Minnesota and Seattle also come to mind. I think Toronto has taken some big steps forward but I'm not sure they're up there yet. I'd be very curious to see who all you have above the Reds, Doug. The Royals are the only team that seems to be without a doubt a stronger organization.
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.
The only problem is that the Reds have a lot of unknown prospects. The Royals have all these high picks that are working out for them while the Reds have guys who are under the radar such as Sapp and Hamilton.
If Chapman counts as a prospect, Cincinnati could claim a spot in the Top Five, but it depends on how you see Mesoraco, Grandal, and Alonso. If all three would make your top 100, the Reds have to be Top Five. (Chapman is a lock, and Hamilton should be.)
If only one or two of those guys are in your personal Top 100, the Reds likely make the Top Ten, if only because of both depth and lower level talent. Few other organizations (he Royals, Tampa Bay, perhaps Boston) can claim replacement level major league talent at pretty much all positions across the board. In Frazier, Alonso, Sappelt, Francisco, Dorn, Cozart, Valaika, Mesoraco, Maloney, and LeCure, Cincinnati can.
(That in itself is often overlooked by prospect mavens when addressing a team's talent level. It shouldn't be. This is one reason Cincy made the playoffs last season.)
The depth behind the AAA team is poor until you hit the lower rungs. This would impact my vote a bit, though I'd also be smart enough (hopefully) to see that many of the young guys who would normally toil away at Dayton or High A have already moved up-- in some cases, twice (re: Sappelt, Mesoraco, Joseph, Hotchkiss). Others (like Thompson, Buck, and Lotzkar) may move up quickly, provided they're healthy and ready.
I'd rank Tampa and Kansas City at the top, with Atlanta just below. The Reds could be mentioned in that next group, along with Seattle and Texas. Rounding out my personal Top 10 would be Boston, New York (AL), Baltimore, and either Oakland or Colorado.
"You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
-- Christy Matthewson
"Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot."
-- Leo Durocher
saw this on deepleagues.com
1. Kansas City Royals
2. Tampa Bay Rays
3. Atlanta Braves
4. Boston Red Sox
5. Cleveland Indians
6. Seattle Mariners
7. Minnesota Twins
8. Philadelphia Phillies
9. Texas Rangers
10. Oakland Athletics
12. Cincinnati Reds—despite multiple graduations, I like the Reds’ system because of its position-by-position consistency and its combination long-term prospects and players ready to help immediately. The team’s best prospect is Aroldis Chapman, the Cuban Left-hander who should assist their bullpen in their playoff run. Two of the team’s best hitting prospects—C Yasmani Grandal and 1B Yonder Alonso—are also elite Cuban Prospects (both attended college at Miami, however). Despite Todd Frazier’s struggles this season, I still think he will eventually provide assistance in a utility role. Former first-rounder Devin Mesorasco re-emerged as one of the game’s better catching prospects. The team’s international focus brought in several great long-term options, most notably OF Yorman Rodriguez and INF Junior Arias. In addition to Grandal, two other decent prospect added by the Reds’ are University of Michigan OF Ryan LaMarre and prep pitcher Drew Cisco.
Top 10 Prospects
1. Aroldis Chapman
2. Yasmani Grandal
3. Yonder Alonso
4. Devin Mesorasco
5. Yorman Rodriguez
6. Todd Frazier
7. Zach Cozart
8. Ryan LaMarre
9. Brad Boxberger
10. Junior Arias
Update (8/31): a player who should be included in this top 10 is Billy Hamilton. I was reading a little about him tonight and I was thoroughly impressed.
Haha. I was the one who made the rankings and you shouldn't take them too seriously. The "top tens" were created off-hand just to provide a basic idea of some of the best players in each system.
Francisco isn't missing due to lack of skill. I was using the definition of "rookie" that disqualifies guys who have been up 45 days, and Francisco was snubbed b/c I forgot September doesn't count.
Even with the mistakes, I think the proper ranking is the back part of the top 10 (3-4 spots higher). Offensively, the system compares to anybody in baseball. To me, the weakness is starting pitching after Aroldis Chapman. But considering the team has Leake, Wood, Bailey, etc, the organization itself isn't really desperate for a young pitcher.
Are you sure September doesn't count? I've never heard that.
Here's the definition. Applying the 45 day rule is a major hassle when you have to deduct September. Btw, we did some positional rankings over the past few weeks. I had a little more time to research b/c the season was over, and I think y'all will like these ratings more. Here is how the Reds ranked:
Catchers: Grandal (5), Mesorasco (10) (some might argue to flip them)
First Base: Alonso (6)
Second Base: Hamilton (4)
Short Stop: Cozart (13), Arias (25)
Third Base: Francisco (8)
Outfield: Yorman (32), Sappeldt (DNR...but close), Frazier (DNR...maybe too negative)
Relief Pitchers: Chapman (1), Boxberger (9)
Starting Pitchers: None
It's worth mentioning Chapman could have been ranked w/ the starters and had he been, he would have made a case for #1 w/ Hellickson, Teheran & Co.