Keith Law of The Athletic recently put out his farm system rankings for all 30 teams. The Cincinnati Reds rank third in the NL Central, but 23rd overall.
According to Keith Law of The Athletic, the Cincinnati Reds have the third-best farm system in the National League Central. Now, before you get overly excited, third-best in the division still puts you at No. 23 overall. That’s right, while Cincinnati’s farm system may fare well against their division rivals, the Reds are lacking in terms of elite-level prospects.
At this time last year, Cincinnati was ranked in the Law’s Top 10, but several trades and the promotion of Nick Senzel to the majors hit the Reds farm system pretty hard. Cincinnati lost Jeter Downs, Shed Long, Josiah Gray, Taylor Trammell, Scott Moss and Jose Siri.
In addition to the multiple trades that took place over the past calendar year, Hunter Greene was also absent from the baseball diamond in 2019. The former first-round pick underwent Tommy John surgery, but is expected to begin throwing in the minor leagues later this season.
Another prospect who rated highly but has fallen off lately is Jonathan India. India didn’t make the cut in Law’s Top 100 prospects and was leapfrogged by shortstop Jose Garcia. The 21-year-old from Cuba has been tearing it up in Cactus League play while India has been floundering.
Law commends the Reds for their drafting, noting that the low ranking is due to selling off so many highly-touted assets. Long made his MLB debut last season for the Seattle Mariners, Downs was a big part of the Mookie Betts trade to LA earlier this offseason and Gray put up a 2.28 ERA last season.
The highest-rated team among the Reds NL Central rivals are the St. Louis Cardinals who come in at No. 9 according to Law. Dylan Carlson and a bevy of catching prospects help to elevate the Cards. Pittsburgh comes in at No. 14 with a lot of young talent stockpiled within the Steel City’s farm system.
Reds fans will hate to hear this, but the Chicago Cubs rank near the bottom of Law’s rankings. Coming in at No. 28, Law cites the decisions by the Cubs front office to draft pitchers higher than some position players. Unfortunately for the Milwaukee Brewers, Law ranks them dead-last. Shortstop Brice Turang was the only Brewers player ranked in Law’s Top 100 prospects.
If Garcia continues to climb the ladder, Green returns from injury and India finds his swing, the Cincinnati Reds farm system could slowly climb into the upper echelon of Keith Law’s rankings. For now, they’ll have to settle for No. 23.