FanGraphs wildly disrespects top Reds' prospect with absurdly low ranking

Are you kidding me?
Cincinnati Reds infielder Sal Stewart
Cincinnati Reds infielder Sal Stewart / Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies/GettyImages

Some of FanGraphs' latest prospect rankings for the Cincinnati Reds are downright laughable. Per FanGraphs, Sal Stewart, who's rated as the Reds' sixth-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, ranks as the 35th-best prospect in the entire organization.

Ranking prospects is not an east exercise, especially when you're talking about players that are sometimes 20 years old and younger. But if FanGraphs rated Stewart among the Reds' top-25 prospects a year ago, how in the world can he drop 10 spots after putting up the type of numbers that he did in 2023?

Stewart was the 32nd-overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. The slugger was committed to play for Vanderbilt, but the Reds shelled out over $2 million to sign him. Stewart was taken in the same draft along with Cam Collier who FanGraphs has ranked all the way down at No. 18 within the organization.

FanGraphs wildly disrespects top Reds' prospect, Sal Stewart, with absurdly low ranking

Stewart appeared in 117 games last season while splitting time between Low-A Daytona and High-A Dayton. At 19, Stewart hit .275/.396/.415 with a higher walk rate (16.2%) than strikeout rate (14.9 %). Even FanGraphs' favorite metric (wRC+) saw Stewart post a 128 wRC+ in 2023. With all of that as a backdrop, how in the world can Stewart fall in the rankings?

There are aspects of FanGraphs' Reds farm system rankings that make sense. Rhett Lowder is sitting atop the organization, which is in line with what most other scouts and experts believe. Noelvi Marte, Chase Petty, Alfredo Duno, and Edwin Arroyo are all in the Reds' top-5. No one is really going to dispute that group of Reds prospect.

Keith Law of The Athletic (subscription required) thinks so highly of Stewart that the 20-year-old infielder actually cracks his top-100 rankings. Stewart was just wildly consistent last season, and to remove him from the Reds' top 10-15 prospects is lunacy.

But at the end of the day it's all about production on the field. If Stewart feels the same way as the Reds fanbase, perhaps he'll use it as motivation and turn his 2024 campaign into an opportunity to prove the doubters wrong.

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