John Sickels has unveiled his Cincinnati Reds Top 20 Prospects list over at Minor League Ball this morning. Let’s compare his Top 10 to the other well known prospect ranking establishments:
|Reds Minor Leagues||John Sickels||Baseball America||Baseball Prospectus|
|1||Robert Stephenson||Robert Stephenson||Robert Stephenson||Robert Stephenson|
|2||Jesse Winker||Jesse Winker||Cody Reed||Cody Reed|
|3||Nick Travieso||Jose Peraza||Amir Garrett||Jesse Winker|
|4||Amir Garrett||Cody Reed||Jose Peraza||Amir Garrett|
|5||Cody Reed||Amir Garrett||Tyler Stephenson||Jose Peraza|
|6||Yorman Rodriguez||Tyler Stephenson||Jesse Winker||Tyler Stephenson|
|7||Jose Peraza||Keury Mella||Alex Blandino||Keury Mella|
|8||Phillip Ervin||Alex Blandino||Nick Travieso||Nick Travieso|
|9||Alex Blandino||Rookie Davis||Rookie Davis||Alex Blandino|
|10||Sal Romano||Eric Jagielo||Keury Mella||Antonio Santillan|
The big outlier on his list is having Eric Jagielo in the Top 10. His defensive issues seem to be holding him back on the other lists. Sickels likes the power quite a bit, but does worry about his defense. That didn’t keep him from ranking him higher than other publications though.
What Sickels does that’s a little bit different from other places is that he grades players along with their ranking. While his prospect list only goes 20 players deep, he does list all players that he grades as a C+ or better. Beyond the Top 20, he gives out a C+ grade to four other players, giving you a list of 24 players (with the last four in no particular order) as well as a list of 12 others in the “others of note” section.
He leaves his article with this, speaking highly of the system:
I like this system a lot, maybe too much, but I don’t think the Reds get their full due when elite systems are discussed.
With the Baseball America and ESPN farm system rankings coming out in the last week and both ranking the Reds farm system as the 12th best in baseball, it would seem that Sickels is higher on it than those two places are. Every year I rank the farm systems based on John Sickels grades that is based on some fun math you can read about here that uses historical grades and rankings to assign value for players with similar grades in the past. With that said, I ran the value of the current rankings Sickels has for the Reds players (and they are subject to change before he publishes his book) and stacked that up against last years teams to see roughly where it would rank (since he hasn’t completed all of the teams this year). The Reds this year would rank 5th overall among the 2015 farm systems based on the grades he gave out.
While John Sickels does admit that he’s very high on the system, and perhaps too much, them ranking 5th sounds a lot more accurate to me than the system ranking 12th as we’ve seen in the last few days from both Baseball America and ESPN. Go give the full article a read over at Minor League Ball. There’s a write up on each of the Top 20 guys with some good information mixed in there for most of the guys.