Five Cincinnati Reds Make Up MLB Network’s Top 100 Players


MLB Network has released their annual list of top 100 current players and five Cincinnati Reds made the cut:

#91: Devin Mesoraco (Rank among catchers: 7th)

Mesoraco’s breakout 2014 earned him a spot on the list for the first time. At No. 91, he’s ranked just behind former NL Central foe Russell Martin. If Mesoraco continues to improve — and there’s no reason to think he won’t — his spot on the list could climb by next year. MLB Network’s rankings match ours in regards to NL Central backstops, as Mesoraco is ranked as the third best catcher behind Yadier Molina and Jonathan Lucroy.

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#74: Todd Frazier (Rank among third basemen: 7th)

Frazier finds himself in the same boat as Mesoraco, as he earned a spot in the top 100 for the first time after his breakout season last year. Frazier is rated as the second best NL Central third basemen behind Josh Harrison, who also broke out in 2014 with the Pirates.

#61: Aroldis Chapman (Rank among relief pitchers: 4th)

This is the only Reds ranking I have any real issue with. For some reason, Chapman dropped from 35th on the list in 2014 to 61st this year, which is puzzling. I’m not sure who exactly decides on this list, but I’m really curious as to why they deemed Chapman as the fourth best reliever in baseball. No disrespect to Wade Davis (39th overall) and Greg Holland (40th), who are two outstanding members of the Kansas City Royals’ top-notch bullpen and are deserving of being on the list, but outside of maybe Craig Kimbrel (34th), there’s no other reliever as dominant as Chapman, in my opinion. Chapman is the only NL Central reliever to make the top 100.

#32: Joey Votto (Rank among first basemen: 4th)

Votto was ranked No. 8 on last year’s list, but after an injury filled season, he dropped nearly 25 spots. His ranking seems pretty fair, as it’s clear he’s still a respected hitter, but dropped due to the time missed in 2014. He is the fourth ranked first baseman behind Miguel Cabrera, Jose Abreu, and Paul Goldschmidt. Votto is still the top-ranked NL Central first baseman.

#16: Johnny Cueto (Rank among starting pitchers: 7th)

The Reds’ ace finds himself in the top 20 after somehow being unranked last season. I was a bit surprised to see him as only the seventh best starting pitcher, but at least he forced people to pay attention to him with his dominant year after getting snubbed from the list entirely in 2014. Cueto is ranked as the second-best pitcher in the NL Central behind Adam Wainwright.

Dropping from the list are Jay Bruce (36th last year) and Brandon Phillips (99th).

The full list can be found here.