The Cincinnati Reds have the 8th best farm system in all of Major League Baseball according to the experts at Baseball America. Just for reference – I do contribute to Baseball America each month about the Reds, but I was not consulted for this or any other lists that they put out.
Coming into the season the Reds were rated by Baseball America as having the 18th best farm system in Major League Baseball, so they have made a rather big jump. There are a few reasons for that, but in large part it’s due to their top prospects taking steps forward – Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Jose Barrero have all moved up in the Top 100 rankings at Baseball America in their most recent rankings – and a few guys jumping up in big ways from outside of the top 10. Graham Ashcraft has gone from a guy with potential to be a good reliever to a starting pitcher who has had an outstanding season who looks like he could stick as a starting pitcher. Elly De La Cruz has basically come out of nowhere to become a guy worth checking on every day.
Not to be lost, though, either, is that the Reds draft this year has been considered one of the best in the league. Adding in Matt McLain, Jay Allen, Mat Nelson, and Andrew Abbott all in the top 53 picks of the draft goes a long way to adding plenty of talent to the farm system that had already been moving its way upward.
The Pirates are ahead of the Reds in the rankings – they are inside the top five. But the Cardinals, Brewers, and Cubs all rank between 20 and 25. Farm systems are going to go up-and-down as players graduate. What’s good to see, though, is that the Reds system has moved up significantly since the start of the season despite graduations from Jonathan India, Tyler Stephenson, Vladimir Gutierrez, and Tejay Antone.