Yesterday saw the crew at Baseball America release their Top 100 prospect list for 2021. The Cincinnati Reds had just two players on the list – shortstop Jose Garcia and outfielder Austin Hendrick. When the Reds top 10 list came out, JJ Cooper noted that any of the top seven players could have an argument to be the organization’s top prospect. With the Top 100 list featuring only two Cincinnati prospects it was worth asking the question of just how close the other five prospects in the top seven were to making the list.
Today we saw Baseball America release an article about which prospects received votes in the compilation of the list. To note, though, each person involved with the list submits their own Top 150 list. That gives the crew a starting point of discussion and they begin to work from there. That means that that while all of these players listed below received votes, they may not have received Top 100 votes – it’s possible they could have gotten votes in the 101-150 range. The number of votes is not listed.
We know that none of the Cincinnati Reds prospects were among the “10 who just missed”, though former Reds prospect Taylor Trammell was among that group. There were 198 players that got votes inside at least one Top 150 list. Six Reds who didn’t make the Top 100 were the recipient of at least one vote. That would include pitchers Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Tejay Antone. It also includes infielders Jonathan India and Rece Hinds, as well as catcher Tyler Stephenson.
For the Reds, that would, in theory at least, give them eight overall Top 200 prospects. How does that stack up to the Reds of the National League Central? It puts them at the top of the division with the St. Louis Cardinals.
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It’s nice to be near the top of the division since that is who you will be competing against in the future, at least for the easiest path to the playoffs. But where to the Cincinnati Reds rate out against all of Major League Baseball in terms of “Top 150 prospect vote receivers”? They are tied for 7th in baseball, with the Padres and of course, the Cardinals. Tampa Bay is atop the list and significantly ahead of everyone with 15 total prospects – they had five in the Top 100 and then 10 more get votes beyond that. Only the Dodgers with 10 total vote receivers cracked double digits among the rest of baseball. At the very bottom of the list are the Astros, Phillies, and Rockies with just three prospects receiving votes among the Top 150.
This kind of thing shouldn’t be substituted as a farm system ranking, though. A prospect that is in the top 5 overall is probably worth more than having three players rated in the 80-100 range. The gap between the top rated prospect and the 25th rated prospect is a lot larger of a gap than the one between the guy rated 75th and 150th.
Cincinnati doesn’t have a single Top 75 prospect according to Baseball America. But from that point forward, they have eight guys in the next 125-ish prospects. They don’t have anyone that is considered to be an elite prospect. But they’ve got a lot of guys that are considered to be very good prospects. There’s depth there, and there are certainly a few guys in that group who have what it takes to develop into an elite prospect (or get back there – Hunter Greene was once considered that kind of guy before his injury).