When John Sickels released his Cincinnati Reds prospect list two weeks ago, it was an interesting list. It was a bit different than the other lists from national writers. Today Sickels released his Top 200 prospect list and much like his Reds list, it’s not a strong look for the organization.

There were only six Reds prospects who made the Top 200 in total. Here’s where each of the Reds prospects rank:

While there weren’t comments for every player, several of the Reds players did get comments within their “sub-group”. Here’s the comment on Amir Garrett:

Garrett may seem a bit high here but he will be ready to help soon.

I’d agree that Amir Garrett will be ready to help soon. I don’t agree that he’s a bit high being ranked 50th. But, that does bring up the question of, if Amir Garrett is ranked at 50 and is ready to help soon, how is Cody Reed, who easily outperformed Amir Garrett at Triple-A last season, with similar or better stuff, ranked 138 spots lower?

Cody Reed absolutely, unequivocally, got his brains beat in at the big league level. No one is going to argue that. But when we look at the entire picture between Garrett and Reed, the stuff is very similar, though most believe that Reed has stuff that’s ever so slightly better. His minor league numbers have also been quite a bit better, too – particularly when it comes to throwing strikes. If someone wants to make the argument that Amir Garrett should be ranked higher than Cody Reed, I think you can make that argument. But, the gap shown here between the two is so large that it’s hard to really understand.

There is a big gap in how people seem to feel about the Cincinnati Reds, and in particular, their prospects. Let’s take Luis Castillo as an example once again. When he came over from the Marlins he was ranked 12th in the organization by John Sickels. That ranked behind five other Reds prospects that also didn’t make the Top 200 prospects in baseball. Yet, Keith Law ranked that same player inside his Top 100.

In the long run, none of these rankings mean anything. In five years it will have all played itself out and we will have forgotten all about our initial reading of these top prospect lists. But, in the middle of a rebuild the wild variance in rankings among nationally respected sources leaves a lot of questions for how well the organization is doing. There’s a wide array of opinions – with some places thinking the Reds are doing much better in the prospect department and some that seem to think that things aren’t going nearly as well.

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