On Thursday the Cincinnati Reds had the day off, but the two farm system teams still playing were both on the field. The farm system entered the day at 298-292 with seven games left on the schedule. In the early afternoon the Dominican Summer League Reds won 10-0 and secured themselves a guaranteed winning season as they moved to 29-26 with two games remaining. Their win also moved the organization to 299-292 with just six games remaining on the schedule and guaranteed the farm system a winning year. Later in the day the Louisville Bats won 5-3 and pushed the farm to 300-292 on the year.
It’s the first winning season the Reds farm system has had since 2011 when they went 420-415. It was only the third winning season on the farm since 2005. I can’t go back any further to check because that’s as far back as Baseball Reference has records for the Dominican and Venezuelan Summer League teams. Here’s what the overall record of the Reds farm system has been since 2005 – with the note that 2021 still has five games remaining:
Here is how the organization did on a team-by-team basis in 2021:
*Louisville and the DSL Reds are still active*
More recognition for Elly de la Cruz
A day after Elly de la Cruz was named the top prospect in the Arizona Complex League by Baseball America, the crew over there dropped the Low-A Southeast Top 10 rankings and de la Cruz found himself on that list, too. The 19-year-old infielder came in as the 6th best prospect in the league ($$).
Narciso Crook’s big 2nd half continues
In his first 43 games this season with the Louisville Bats, Narciso Crook had plenty of struggles. On July 30th he was hitting .174/.296/.322 in Triple-A on the season. But when the calendar flipped to August something flipped on at the plate, too. The outfielder has played in 40 games in August and September with Louisville and he’s hit .325/.426/.588 with 20 walks and 32 strikeouts in that span.
A rising tide lifts all boats. I love it. Now keep the progress growing. I think the 2019 thru 2021 drafts, as well as the international efforts are going to provide a lot of progress in the next few seasons.
I agree Tom. in past years I struggle to fill out my top 25 with players I think have a chance to be of value. This year I have about 10 players not in my top 25 that feel maybe should be or would be in prior years.
TJ Friedl, Mike Siani, Lyon Richardson, Jackson Miller, Dauri Moreta Braylin Minier, Malvin Valdez, Mark Kolozvary, Lorenzo Cedrola, Johnny Ascanio, Brian Rey, Jered Solomon and possibly Carson Spiers would be considered in prior years or even locks in prior years. In fact 7 of these 12 players made Doug’s mid-season top 25.
I forgot Brian Rey and Crook
Also although Iverson Espinosa and Gabriel Aguilera do not merit consideration for the top 25 yet. They are worth watching. I am interested to see what Aguilera does in the fall league.
Finally get going in a good direction. The Reds: let’s change that direction.
Hopefully, the parting ways occurred days ago involving Boddy and Gillman don’t hurt this progress…
Hope is not a strategy.
My opinion, the Reds parted ways with coaches who should have been retained, and extended a Manager who should have been let go. Reeks of cost cutting. May very well limit or even destroy all the good that has been done.
Agree with Tom. Drafts have come a long way. Beginning in 2019 the drafts suddenly became much better. Prior to 2019 the new class was lucky to have 3 players in Doug’s top 25. In 2019 the Reds had 4 draft picks make it into Doug’s 2019 YE top 25. In 2020 the Graham Ashcraft joined this group and gave the 2019 class 5 of Doug’s top 25 Reds prospects. I think all 5 will remain in Doug’s top 25 this year.
The 2020 Class was even better. 5 Reds appeared in Doug’s top 25 at YE. This year I think Miller falls out to leave this draft class with only four players in Doug’s top 25. But still a quality class.
The 2021 Class seems better yet. I think 6 players will make Doug’s top 25 at year end. McLain, Allen and Abbott are locks. I currently have Nelson at 25 so that is a tough call. Farr’s problem in college was his control. I am hoping the Reds have corrected this problem. If so his stuff is better than Abbott’s and I have him ranked at #19 with Abbott at #23. Finally Jose Torres was supposed to be a glove 1st SS. If his defense is as good as stated then his .977 OPS with an 8.4% BB% and 16% K% make him appear to be a steal in the 4th round of the draft. And these stats are in pitcher’s parks.
But the major change is internationally. From 2016 – 2020 the Reds had exactly 2 international teenagers make Doug’s top 25 (Minier and Triana). In 2021 I expect 5 or 6.
Minier, Almonte and Valdez made Doug’s top 25 at mid-season. I think only Almonte (#23) survives. Too much competition for top 25 spots for Minier or Valdez to be included.
Carlos Jorge is 2nd in the DSL in OPS and has improved so much that he easily makes my top 20. he has more BB than K the last month or so. I have him at #16.
Leonardo Balcazar missed nearly half the season with injuries yet is still among the leaders in HR. He is second in the league in ISO. He is doing this as one of the youngest players in the league. I have him at #20.
Yerlin Confidan comes in at #24.
Elly De La Cruz is the stud in the group and he will be anywhere from #3 – #6 at the end of the month depending upon how well him, Allen and McLain do in the fall league.
Finally there is Ricado Cabrera. I have him slotted for #12 when he signs (or if).
A fantastic job of acquiring international talent the last 3 years.
Re: international talent…..
Tough to have guys leap onto the list for a few years there when the org wasn’t allowed to spend money in the market.
Not really sure the drafting got any better, or worse, really. Where guys rank/how many guys rank after the draft has just as much to do with the draft picks as it does the non-draft picks.
I agree with the international side. But even prior to signing Gutierrez, Barrero and Rodriguez not many younger prospects ever made your top 25.
Also no cheap players such as Balcazar, Ascensio, Espinosa ever surfaced before. Jorge and Serrano were only 500,000 signings. I think the limit before was $600,000 so no players like these two either.
In short the class of Valdez, Almonte, Serrano, Jorge, Balcazar, Espinosa and whomever else is looking really good right now.
I also agree that 3 first round picks this year means there should be more players in the top 25. However, if you look deeper the only players to make your top 25 in the year they were drafted or the year after they were drafted are Graham Ashcraft and Joe Boyle. This year I think Thomas Farr is added to that list.
If Farr makes it this year or next that is three years in a row a player outside the top 4 rounds of the draft has made your top 25. Ashcraft should be in your top ten. Boyle could be. If Farr continues to maintain control he will be in 2022.
Farr and Boyle are similar picks. Neither had any control in college and their stats backed this up. But both have such good stuff that if they can control it then the sky is the limit. Boyle is still struggling with this. Farr (in very limited innings) is not. I also view the fact that Farr went to Dayton instead of Daytona as a positive. While Farr and Boyle both had limited walks in AZ, the Reds must have felt Farr had good enough control to send him to Dayton instead of Abbott or Boyle. Maybe he is ahead of them developmentally. I think ahead of Abbott but Boyle offspeed stuff is fantastic so if he can start throwing it for K’s he will zoom up the prospect lists.
Well yeah, because before then the Reds didn’t spend in the international market much, either. After the Rodriguez and Duran 7-figure signings the team went 9 years without another one.
I personally think the farm system is stronger than ever. This is amazing considering we had a great group of minor leaguers lose their eligibility this year. I love how we are getting a minor leaguer thrown in when we are upgrading major league team. We have gotten Farmer and Sanmartin in trades like this and they will most likely end up being the best part of each trade. The Yankees just flat out got killed on the Sonny Gray trade. I think we should see what kind of youth we could get for Miley. We need to start trading players on a high more often. When we flipped Dan Straily for Luis Castillo that trade has made a huge difference for our organization. It’s so frustrating when we traded Chapman and Iglesias on downturns. The Rays have done an amazing job trading people when their value is at a peak.