FanGraphs’ top-100 prospect rankings will enrage Reds fans

What are they watching?

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Connor Phillips (34) throws in the ball
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Connor Phillips (34) throws in the ball / Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

Prospects ranking are an inexact science. Some players are viewed more favorably than others depending on who's scouting the talent. But there's generally a consensus when it comes to the Top 100 players.

Sure, some publications may list a player at No. 35 while others have him ranked at No. 47. Other outlets may place a particular player they're very high on at No. 86 while others don't see him as a Top 100 prospect. Sometimes that's little more than splitting hairs in the eyes of the scouts. But if you think the Cincinnati Reds only have two of the top prospects in the game, you haven't been paying attention.

FanGraphs recently came out with their Top 100 prospects and there were only two Cincinnati Reds players listed; Noelvi Marte and Rhett Lowder both ranked among the Top 50. However, missing from list are right-handed pitchers Connor Phillips and Chase Petty, shortstop Edwin Arroyo, and infielder Sal Stewart.

FanGraphs’ top-100 prospect rankings will enrage Reds fans

First, both Marte and Lowder belong in the Top 100; so at least FanGraphs got that right. MLB Pipeline has both Marte and Lowder among the Top 50, while Keith Law of The Athletic (subscription required) has the duo among the Top 60 prospects in baseball.

Both MLB Pipeline and The Athletic list five Reds prospects among their Top 100. Even Bleacher Report graded three Reds prospects among the best in the game. The one name who showed up in every ranking except FanGraphs was Edwin Arroyo. Almost every other outlet concludes that the Reds shortstop prospect is one of the best.

Some outlets are more favorable toward Petty, while others see Phillips as a Top 100 prospect. Even Cam Collier, the Reds 2022 first-round pick who struggled at times during his first full season, received some love.

Reds SS Edwin Arroyo is a Top 100 prospect

If you've watched Connor Phillips pitch, you can see why some scouts are apprehensive to put him in the Top 100. There's definitely some reliever risk given his command issues. Watching Cam Collier struggle in 2023 warrants some reconsideration, however, he's one of the youngest prospects who played in the Florida State League last season.

But to leave Edwin Arroyo out in the cold is ridiculous. Some fans, and apparently scouts, seem to forget that he was 19 years old throughout almost his entire 2023 campaign. He just turned 20 in late August and made his way to Double-A at the end of last season. Collectively, Arroyo hit .252/.324/.433 with a 21.3% strikeout-rate.

Arroyo will be ticketed for Double-A this spring, but as a non-roster invitee, the infielder will get to showcase his talents against big league pitching in the Cactus League this season. Arroyo has some work to do, as his defense was a bit shaky at times, and he lacks that big-time pop that you'd like to see. But at just 20 years old, there's plenty of time for Arroyo to grow into his frame. Look for the Reds prospect to have a banner year in 2024 and be knocking on the major league door by September.