ESPN’s Keith Law has a couple of interesting pieces up ranking the top prospects in the majors (they’re both free to the public, I think). The first is this one, ranking the top five prospects at each position. The Reds have some of the usual suspects listed: Jay Bruce is the top corner outfield prospect (is that exciting, or what?), Homer Bailey is the 3rd ranked RHP, and Joey Votto is 5th among first basemen.
Next, Law ranks his Top 100 prospects in the league. The Reds have two players named in the top nine. Surprisingly, Jay Bruce is number two, behind some Devil Ray farmhand, and Homer Bailey is ranked #9. Johnny Cueto is number 30 and Joey Votto is 56.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
UPDATE: My brother, who lives in China (don’t ask), writes in to complain about this line about Homer Bailey:
His changeup remains a show-me pitch, but the real obstacle for him is fastball command, and there are no mechanical reasons why his command won’t eventually be above-average, at which point he’ll give the Reds the true No. 1 starter they’ve been looking for.
I agree that there’s no reason why Bailey shouldn’t be a #1 starter, but c’mon, what is Aaron Harang? Chopped liver? If Harang isn’t a “true number one starter,” I don’t know who is.
What does Aaron Harang have to do to get some respect?