The Cincinnati Reds farm system has not been viewed with high regard this offseason by the national publications. Both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline previously rated the Reds farm system as the 28th best (or 3rd worst depending on how you want to look at it) in Major League Baseball. Keith Law of The Athletic just released his farm system rankings for 2020 and has the Cincinnati system at #23 on the list.
For Law, he notes that the trades of Josiah Gray, Jeter Downs, Taylor Trammell, and Shed Long that the farm system would be rated much higher. And he’s right – it would. There was a trade in there that didn’t quite work out with the Dodgers. But there was the trade with the Yankees that so far has gone as good as one could possibly imagine, too. The Indians trade is still up in the air.
While I still believe that a farm system that has the top six prospects that the Reds have is a bit better than the national publications are suggesting, Law’s ranking feels quite a bit closer than the 28th spot does.
The Cardinals are the top system in the division according to Law, coming in at #9 on the list. Pittsburgh is next up on the list. The Reds find themselves in the middle of the division, with the Cubs and Brewers being among two of the last three spots in baseball on this particular list.
Shawn Pender shares some insight for 2020
During the Cincinnati Reds broadcast Jim Day spent an entire inning talking with Shawn Pender, the VP of Player Development for the Reds. There were a lot of interesting things said, but a few of them stood out more than others.
Perhaps the biggest news was that Hunter Greene, assuming he remains on schedule, could start throwing in extended spring training games in mid-to-late May. From there he would then join either Dayton or Daytona, where he would piggy-back with another starting pitcher and throw limited innings as he continues to come back from Tommy John surgery.
Nick Lodolo, while in big league camp, isn’t going to throw in big league camp and that’s by design. He’s going to the minor leagues and they don’t want to start him throwing too early. He’s in camp to be around the staff and the big leaguers, work on things with the coaches there – but don’t expect to see him pitching in games on the big league fields.
It sounds like these will be the assignments for opening day, and none of them are really surprising:
- Alfredo Rodriguez – Triple-A Louisville
- Tyler Stephenson – Triple-A Louisville
- Jose Garcia – Double-A Chattanooga
- Jonathan India – Double-A Chattanooga