Baseball America released their 2018 Farm System rankings on Monday afternoon. They ranked the Cincinnati Reds farm system as the 9th best in Major League Baseball. That’s the top spot among all teams in the National League Central division.
After the Milwaukee Brewers traded for Christian Yelich, it’s no surprise that the Reds took the top spot in the division. But, they still came in at #11 on the list despite losing two Top 100 prospects and some good depth behind that. The write up for the Reds notes that they’ve benefited from drafting near the top. That’s helped them bring in Nick Senzel (and the money with that slot value, also Taylor Trammell) and Hunter Greene.
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Keith Law, who despite being shown that Jesse Winker is still a prospect days ago (and eventually accepted that he was incorrect when Jonathon Mayo told him), forgot to go edit his article on the National League Central farm systems that was released this morning. In it, he still notes that Winker is not eligible for the lists.
You can see the entire list for the division, and Reds here. But, you will need to be an Insider to see any of it. The biggest thing that stands out from what Keith Law wrote, though, was about Chris Okey.
Chris Okey was the Reds’ second-round pick in 2016, but the Clemson catcher broke his hamate bone in March and didn’t tell anyone, playing through it to a .185/.265/.249 line in 93 high-A games.
That could go a long way to explaining most of the things that happened in 2017 for Chris Okey. Power was a selling card for the catcher coming out of the draft. And while the Florida State League is a place that saps power, Okey hit for no power at all. On the bright side, while his bat was clearly struggling, his defense took big steps forward. If his bat can recover, and his defense stays, or even improves, he could rocket back up the prospect rankings within the organization.