There has been some good work happening in the prospect landscape at Fangraphs for quite some time now. Over the last decade they’ve really jumped into what I consider a place in the conversation among the national publications that are trustworthy and reliable when it comes to writing about, and valuing prospects. In the last month they’ve released a new way to attach a dollar value to prospects based on how similarly rated players eventually turned out in the Major Leagues. They also began to release their Top Prospect Lists for each organization. Kiley McDaniel and Eric Longenhagen have made their way through the National League Central, and the Cincinnati Reds stack up quite well within their division.
At the time of the release of the new value system there were farm system rankings published by Fangraphs. But, those were based off of values from the midseason update and not current prospect valuations. While they are still working through all of baseball, the Cincinnati Reds division has been completed. Let’s take a look at what the rankings all add up to for the division:
The Reds are clearly the front runners in the division. Their positional prospects alone are more valuable than any other franchise in total. The Reds pitching prospects are also worth more than any other team’s pitching prospects. To be clear – the Reds have the most valuable farm system overall, the most valuable farm system when looking at just position players, and the most valuable farm system when looking at just the pitchers. Here’s the exact breakdown of each team:
That’s good because the Reds finished in last place in 2018 at the Major League level. They have the most ground to make up. Being at the top in both position players and pitchers is good to see. There’s always the issue of getting the players to go from good prospects to Major League performers, but that’s the case with every team. It’s better to have the guys that are believed to be better now – and that’s where the Reds are at.
As the offseason continues Fangraphs will keep releasing their organizational lists. When they are complete, I will create another post that shows how Cincinnati stacks up to all of baseball. The consensus seems to be that the Reds are a Top 10 system, but probably just outside of the Top 5. For now we only know how they stack up in the division – but the outlook is good.