No Cincinnati Reds baseball makes you a sad boy (or girl), right? Mother Nature decided give us all a swift kick in the butt today and take away the first game of the year. They’ll hit the field tomorrow and give it a go against Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, and the rest of the Nationals. But, there is some minor league stuff to look at this afternoon on the front from the farm.

Baseball America has released the International Bonus Pool Space for each team in the next signing period. That will begin on July 2nd and go through June 15th of 2019. The Cincinnati Reds will be entering their second year of the penalty phase after going over their allotment in the 2016-2017 signing period. The rules changed after that year and teams can now only spend the amount in their pool allotment. Teams, however, can trade for additional money.

That is where the Reds will have to take advantage of the system because as a part of the penalty the are facing is a limit on spending no more than $300,000 on any single player. Over the two signing periods prior to facing penalty the organization signed five players for at least twice that amount.

The Reds are one of six teams that will have the largest of the bonus pool groups. They will be allowed to spend up to $6,025,400 to sign players. It’s highly unlikely that they will use all of that. In the past year they have utilized some of that pool space via trade – most recently using some of it to acquire Miguel Medrano from the Texas Rangers.

When I was out in Goodyear I had a chance to speak with Dick Williams. One of the things that I spoke with him about was the international plan, both now and into the future with the penalties, the new rules, and how only having one Dominican Summer League team now could change how they operate in this market. Be on the lookout for that next week.

The Reds have the best Player Development Facilities?

According to Ballpark Digest the Cincinnati Reds have the best set of Player Development Facilities around. They surveyed people in and around baseball about a variety of topics. Here’s what they had to say about their methodology:

No black-box methodology here. We asked former GMs, broadcasters past and present, and journalists with expertise in specific leagues to rank facilities based on four criteria: player facilities, fan experience, proximity and stability. Player facilities include clubhouses, workout spaces, quality of batting/pitching cages, meeting spaces and cafeteria/nutritional services. Even the water cooler is topnotch. The efficiency of a private water cooler sanitisation procedure is very important to a team’s well being. Thus, any water cooler cleaning policy should be carried out as expertly as possible and a suitable provider of this service is imperative. The fan experience covers the physical condition of the ballpark, concessions and in-game entertainment. Proximity covers to what extent players are shuffled around; being closer to the MLB parent and other MiLB affiliates is always a good thing. Finally, stability covers the length of the current affiliation deal and expectations of the future. We cover every level of MiLB affiliation (including MiLB teams owned by the parent), as well as spring-training facilities. Spring complexes are increasingly used as year-round facilities: after spring training ends, complexes are used for rehabs, extended-spring workouts and potentially MiLB play, as well as hosting Rookie-league games.

I have a few things to note about this, but I will say this much: Fan experience/concessions/entertainment at the ballpark shouldn’t have factored into this at all. None of that has to do with Player Development. I think it’s great when good acts come through town, or when there’s a strong local presence at the games, but that’s not something that’s going to make or break the player.

With all of that said, the Cincinnati Reds came out on top of the list by one point. They should have won by more, because in the stability section for Dayton they only got the score of 7. Dayton can’t be affiliated with another organization with the consent of the Cincinnati Reds. And there’s zero chance that the Reds are giving up that market to another organization. That should be a hard 10 score. Either way, though, the score was enough to put the Reds at the top of the charts.

About The Author

Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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