While the minor league baseball season ends for some teams next week (rookie level teams) and five weeks remaining for Triple-A (with a bit less for the other full-season teams), we are starting to see “midseason” farm system rankings come out this week. Wording aside, the updated rankings are taking into account the trade deadline moves, the draft, and graduated prospects who no longer qualify for such lists – and the Cincinnati Reds have a lot of those guys at this point.

Let’s start there – the Reds have “lost” Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Andrew Abbott, Spencer Steer, and Brandon Williamson when it comes to prospect eligibility this season. De La Cruz was the top prospect in all of baseball. McLain, Abbott, and Steer were all top 100 prospects on at least one reputable list before graduating their eligibility.

Usually when you lose that many quality prospects your farm system rankings tank. And that’s to be expected. And in Cincinnati’s case it’s not like the year before wasn’t also a big one in which they graduated Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Jose Barrero, Graham Ashcraft, and TJ Friedl – in the last two seasons the Reds farm system has “lost” a very large number of high end prospects and depth to graduating to the big leagues.

Where does that leave the system currently? Well, that depends on who you ask. Sort of. MLB Pipeline came out with their updated farm system rankings on Tuesday and they had the Cincinnati Reds all the way up at #5. That is a strong ranking, even if it still places them 4th (!) within the National League Central division. Pipeline cites the depth of the farm along with what they believe is the best 2023 draft that keeps them where they were when the year began despite all of the graduations.

The crew at Baseball America (editors note: I write a monthly column about the Reds farm for Baseball America but am not at all involved or consulted for any of the rankings put forth by the magazine) came out with their updated farm system rankings earlier today and they had Cincinnati a bit further down the list. You’ll need a subscription to Baseball America to see this list, but they have the Reds at #12.

Like Pipeline, Baseball America notes just how much depth the organization still has on the farm – particularly at the lower levels (which again makes sense given just how many players they’ve graduated in the last 16 months). They still have the organization with four Top 100 prospects, though none within the top 50 (but they had both the #51 and #52 prospects on the list).

As someone who has been covering the Reds farm system for the last 18 years, the current farm system as it stands doesn’t quite feel like a top five system (here’s the updated Top 25 Reds prospect list). But it also feels like it’s a little better than the 12th system, too. Usually a top five system has a for-sure top 25 prospect in baseball to go along with depth. Noelvi Marte is rated that highly some places, but not everywhere. But even despite the graduations, the Reds still have a lot of high-end talent to go along with a ton of depth, which makes that 12th ranking feel a bit low. Somewhere in the middle of those two spots feels more accurate to me based on past precedent, not how it stacks up to other organizations because I honestly do not have the depths of knowledge about the other 29 organizations to make that kind of judgment.

With that said, at this point in time where the Reds farm system ranks doesn’t mean a whole lot to me as far as “the future” outlook goes. Cincinnati’s “future” for the next five years is mostly built around the 1st and 2nd year big leaguers that they already have. The farm will supplement that in the years to come, but if the Reds are going to be good it’s going to be because of the guys that came up in 2022 and 2023 by-and-large.

77 Responses

  1. Klugo

    So… the window has begun. Two questions: 1.) Where does BA have those other three NL Central systems ranked? Are they universally thought of as Top 5? And 2.) How do we keep the window open as long as possible ala Tampa Bay, St. Louis?

    • Doug Gray

      Windows only exist if you stop trying. That’s why St. Louis always wins.

      • Pete

        Reds have drafted five catchers in the last three drafts. Is this typical? If so, what is your read on this? Who of them if any look like they might have what it takes to come up to the Reds somewhere down the line? Thanks.

      • Doug Gray

        It’s very typical. You can never, ever have enough catchers. Most of the time they don’t pan out. Catching is really, really difficult.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        It seems to me that I heard somebody saying the word “sustainability” maybe it is , IDK…

      • Dean Rock

        “Always?” See NLC standings.

      • Melvin

        I doubt the Cardinals will be down there for long. Don’t be surprised if they’re back next year.

      • Dean

        Melvin … I will be surprised, as the Brewers, Reds, Cubs and Pirates are all getting significantly better. I’m guessing Vegas will have them as the longest shots to win the NLC in ’24 after the close of this season, and most reputable publications will have them predicted to finish last.

      • Melvin

        We’ll see. They always seem to find a way. They don’t mind spending money like the rest of the division.

  2. Branch Brown

    Great article Doug. I’m really worried about depth a SS moving forward. Lol, just kidding.

  3. AllTheHype

    Sal Stewart may realistically be the next guy to threaten top 100 lists. Mid season swing change made all the difference for him. And Collier is looking to re-establish a higher position on those lists as well.

    • Pete

      Agree. Dayton has been batting three 19 year olds in a row: Jorge (9th), Arroyo (1st), and Stewart (2nd). To me that is beyond belief, maybe Doug can correct me if it isn’t so rare. You would think as he starts to catch on, Jorge will bump up to the first position and the other youngsters still to follow him. Both Dayton and Chattanooga are a joy to watch play ball.

      I like to hear our opponents play-by-play guys rave about our fellows. Couple of days ago the Birmingham guy was upset and stated “Blake Dunn doesn’t belong at this level” – I think he was implying the Reds are sandbagging! Love it.

      • David

        Blake Dunn has been hurt a lot, and this is probably the first season since he was drafted that he has been actually able to put in a full season playing.
        And yes, he is pretty talented, and probably will start next season at AAA, and maybe be on the 40 man roster.

    • old-school

      Never Seen Sal Stewart play but he is listed as 6’3 215 and seems a bit absurd to see a kid 1 year removed from high school be hitting this well in upper A. IS he a 3b Austin riley type? Could they slide him to corner OF?

      • BK

        Speed is his worst “tool” so moving to the outfield from the corner infield positions is not likely in the cards.

  4. Donovan Wheeler

    Seeing Barrero’s name made me jolt. Snippets of excitement and promise surrounded by large chunks of chased swings and fielding errors…chief among them that horrific collision with Tyler Naquin in shallow center field.
    I hope that the lineup we have now is one that congeals into something stable, but Barrero (and I suppose Nick Senzel for that matter) reminds me that the line ups can still change a great deal between now the day the Reds reach the Promised Land.

    • LDS

      A lot of that depends on health/injury. Senzel has been plagued with one health problem after another. Stephenson and Barrero both have suffered injuries that have set them back a ways. Add India, Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft who likewise have suffered some injury setbacks. So, we’ll see if Steer, EDLC, McLain, CES, et al can avoid the Reds curse.

  5. Hunt4RedsOct

    Lost in the graduations is Benson, I believe he lost prospect status at the end of last season in Cleveland.

    • Doug Gray

      Correct. Benson was not eligible as a prospect by my, and many other lists definitions. Technically, the rule is you must be eligible for NEXT YEAR’s ROY award. That means 130 big league at-bats or fewer, or 50 innings pitched or fewer. But it also means less than 45 days on a big league roster. That takes time to count and figure out instead of just looking it up. So some places don’t use that criteria and rely only on at-bats or innings pitched, so Benson was “eligible” for some lists due to that technicality. But yeah – he wasn’t “technically” a prospect because he was on the roster for more than 45 days last season with Cleveland.

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    Since the Reds theorically isn’t going to be sellers anymore at trade deadline, the key to keep his farm system strong as possible as they can would be an elite scouting on the next MLB and International free agents drafts to come…

  7. SultanofSwaff

    My 4 criteria–high ceiling impact players, quality of depth, viable starting pitchers, ability to graduate meaningful contributors with regularity. Of these 4, you could probably ding the Reds on the lack of starting pitching in the minors relative to the abundance of positional prospects, where there is both quantity and quality. Certainly this season the organization has far exceeded expectations for graduating meaningful contributors which has shifted the rebuild into overdrive.

    Still (and this is the same gripe some of us had around the trade deadline), at some point you run out of places to play everyone and more to the point not all prospects pan out. Certainly next year the Reds will face that dilemma when Marte is pushing to be added to the big league roster. The infield will be overcrowded. To that end I think it’s in the organization’s best interest to consolidate some of the quantity for quality–a single controllable piece at a position of need (helloooo starting pitching). This is where you have to trust your own talent evaluators to identify the prospects who are cornerstones (everyone in Doug’s top 6 imo) and who might have a lower probability of being a solid major leaguer (i.e. Hinds and his 130 strikeouts).

    And let’s never forget we’re not talking a binary choice here–the minor leagues can both graduate talent while also being leveraged to acquire talent.

  8. Melvin

    Rodriguez could turn out to be a pretty good one from what I read recently. He also moved up 12 spots from 24 to 12 in Doug’s mid season list.

  9. Pete

    For the first time I can remember seeing, Austin Hendrick was dropped back to batting seventh in the lineup last night. I kind of feel for the guy as he does play hard, plays enthusiastically, but he has to get a better handle on that strike zone. The guy has incredible power and plays a very good right field. Maybe he’s trying too hard and putting too much pressure on himself. Keeping my fingers crossed for him.

  10. Stock

    A couple of comments.

    Cam Collier does not make the top 100? Really?

    Had he not gone to JC and waited for this year’s draft he would have been a top 5 pick in this draft and as a result, he would have been ranked in the top 25.

    I guess the fact that he hit the ball on the ground mor than 60% of the time early in the dropped him. My take is that this is easily correctable and now that he has made the correction he is tearing up the FSL even though he is one of the leagues younger players. (Doug has an article worth reading in RML.com. ) He is well on his way to being the player of the month in the FSL as an 18 year old. To me this screams top 25 prospect. No way he is outside the top 100.

    • DaveCT

      Stock, same comment in reply to your post on the other ‘ real’ Reds site …

      BA was pretty harsh on Collier in their mid-season reviews. The ground ball rate was front and center. But the other thing, for me is that baseball writers were ga-ga over this draft, especially its depth (given the delay of many 2020 guys from going pro).

      A year ago, Collier was projected as the best ‘get’ of the draft given where we took him. Rafael Devers comps were flowing. This year, after half a season of full season ball — at 18 — he’s practically persona non-grata. What changed?

      Answer: The 2023 draft. This year’s models were new and shiny, as all good sports leagues market their draftees.

      Or, as WB Yeats wrote, “Politics.”

      • David

        The minor league ratings are to a large degree, guesswork. Because NOBODY knows how well a player will progress, being injured (especially TJ surgery for pitchers), and how well his skills will translate to the Majors.
        Barrero was a very highly regarded prospect until he actually arrived in the Majors. And then he broke the hamate bone in his hand, and that set his progress back, and messed up his swing (I believe). He started chasing too many pitches. His return to AAA appears to have him straightened out.
        I recall Jim’s comment about the difference between the strike zone in AAA (which is automatic and seems more consistent) and the strike zone in the Majors, which is VERY subjective. This is really hard for players entering the Majors from AAA.

  11. Stock

    My second comment speaks to the depth of the farm system.

    The Reds are the 5th rated farm. The Reds top 100 prospects per MLB Pipeline are:

    Top 100 prospects: Noelvi Marte, SS (No. 24); Rhett Lowder, RHP, (No. 44); Edwin Arroyo, SS (No. 61); Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 1B/3B (No. 72); Connor Phillips, RHP (No. 73)

    The Padres are the 9th rated farm. The Padres top 100 prospects per MLB Pipeline are:

    Top 100 prospects: Ethan Salas, C (No. 5); Jackson Merrill, SS (No. 9); Robby Snelling, LHP (No. 64); Dylan Lesko, RHP (No. 67); Samuel Zavala, OF (No. 100)

    The last three in each system are close to equal however, the Padres top 2 prospects are much better than the Reds top 2 prospect.

    If the Reds have an inferior top 5 to the Padres but have a better overall system then the Reds must have much better depth than the Padres. This would be easy if the Padres system was empty beyond the top 5. But MLB Pipeline states this about the Padres depth:

    Zavala has broken into the Top 100, and it doesn’t trail off after him with top performers Jairo Iriarte, Adam Mazur, Brandon Valenzuela, Nathan Martorella, Graham Pauley and Jakob Marsee closing in behind.

    If the Padres have a far superior top 5 to the Reds and great prospects after the top 5 and the Reds still have a better overall farm that speaks to what the MLB Pipeline thinks about the Reds depth.

  12. Eddiek957

    Wow I wasn’t expecting to see anything on here being no game today. Informative post and informative comments. I seen Norris the lefty who pitched against us last night was DFA today. Do we have anyone at Louisville who’s a LHRP? Seems the guys they have been shuttling are RH

    • Laredo Slider

      Eddie, big guy named Evan Kravetz, 6’8″ 240, 26 y/o. Has had mixed results, looks like a project. Out of Rice Univ.

  13. doctor

    A couple of weeks ago, Fangraphs site did a review of Reds prospects and they were kinda of down on the Reds best prospects and system overall. Hopefully they were just being too critical/picky because some of it was a bit jarring to read in comparison to MLB pipeline evalutations.

    • Amarillo

      Fangraphs is the least credible at prospect evaluation of the major publications. Their rankings are only worked on by 1 or 2 people, so they often have incorrect information about the mid-level prospects, and the high level prospect rankings are mostly just one person’s opinion.

  14. Gregmlb

    I’m starting to think these rankings are just meaningless. Take the last 2 seasons: TJ Friedl was around that 20 range, but now is a productive starting CF. No one saw what he was capable, but what he wasn’t capable of. 4th OF was all you ever read. McClain wasn’t even ranked in the top 100, but now he’s one of the best all around players the Reds have produced since maybe Barry Larkin. EDLC didn’t really get the recognition he deserved outside of this website. Abbott wasn’t even thought of but now he’s probably a cornerstone of the Reds rotation for the next 5 years. Marte and Arroyo got a ton of recognition from the national media and I would say they’re about 8-9 range with the other guys mentioned above. Collier was ranked pretty high, but had a bad 1st half of a season at the age of 18 in single A and now he’s tearing it up and should be 2-3 in the reds system. Heck Joey Votto was never really that highly ranked especially compared to Jay Bruce and we know how thats worked out.

    • Harry Stoner

      That you bring up the Beaumont Bomber and the uncertainty of ‘prospects’ makes me reflect who the Reds got in trade from the Mets for Jay Bruce.

      Dilson Herrera.

      At the time of the trade Herrera was putting up very impressive MiLB / AAA numbers and I recall a brief (very brief) bit of anticipation amongst Reds’ fans that he might translate that into an exciting MLB career.

      An ur-Matt McLain. Small with a good swing, good eye and some occasional punch.

      We know how that worked out.

      He disappeared fast.

      As of May 2023 still playing in the Mexican League.

      Still only 29.

      • old-school

        IIRC, Jocketty had Bruce for Brandon Nimmo in the hours before the deadline, but something came out about the medicals on one of the peripheral players in the trade and Jocketty was able to leverage that and “upgrade” the return from Nimmo to Herrera. Yikes.

  15. Indy Red Man

    So the consensus is that Lowder is the most major league ready pitcher out there but he’s 44th? How does that compute when 70% of these guys don’t do squat in the bigs? Unless his major league ready is Brady Singer level or something, which it won’t be.

  16. Dean Rock

    Anyone have any theories as to what went wrong with Nick Senzel? It sure seems the Reds bungled their treatment of him, though Senzel seems like a crybaby who can’t stay healthy, either, so there is disgust toward both ends.
    Frankly, moving him around the outfield and infield should not have hindered his “growth” at the plate, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded this offseason for next to nothing and then go on to have a good MLB career as an everyday player (when healthy, which I know is a big if).
    Missing on a #2 overall pick is unacceptable, but I’ve read that was a bad draft class overall, and I don’t think the Phillies pick (HS center fielder) every did anything, either.
    Anyway, thoughts on why Senzel can’t’ hit?

    • Melvin

      The biggest mistake the Reds made with Senzel in my view is messing with his service time that first year. It’s been down hill ever since. Thankfully it would seem the Reds learned their lesson and have stopped doing that kind of thing.

      • Dean Rock

        Senzel got back at them, though, last year, by refusing his assignment to Louisville and saying he was still too hurt to return. The relationship has been ugly. But damn … I thought he would contribute more than what he has at the dish.
        I looked up Phillies #1 pick Micky Moniak, who is now with the Angels. He’s been worse than Senzel. It happens.

    • Dean Rock

      Nick Krall should have a simple “To Do List” this offseason:
      Trade Marte and Arroyo and get MLB-ready pitching. In fact, I’m guessing if we had Sonny Gray this year instead of Chase Petty, we would be in first place by few games.
      Can’t blame Krall for unloading too much pitching in hindsight, as no one predicted the Reds young talent to be MLB-ready this soon. But when I see guys like Gray, Lorenzen, and Miley having success, and having endured all those horrible starts by Weaver …
      Anyway, surely we can get someone who can help our rotation next year, as opposed to having 2 shortstops who have nowhere to go the next 6 years in the organization. I will never count on Greene, Ashcraft, Abbott, Lodolo and Williamson all pitching 175-plus innings. Just won’t happen.

      • Indy Red Man

        We could one solid starter with experience, but they a bunch of top grade young arms. I think I’d rather have a couple of experienced guys in the pen. We need a co-closer 8th inning type badly. Maybe you move Lodolo or someone in time? We really need a big bat too, but they’ll only spend so much

      • Melvin

        “We need a co-closer 8th inning type badly.”

        I think Chapman will be a free agent. Something tells me Big Bob doesn’t want him back. That’s why we didn’t try to hard this year if at all. Just a hunch.

    • Mark Moore

      Just my opinion, but here goes …

      They screwed around with his position because he was “blocked”. That happens and will always happen. The move to CF was because he was/is very athletic, but I’d say it was rushed and part of the mishandling.

      They screwed with his swing early on and, from what I saw, he never really recovered from that. I think that was probably the biggest missed opportunity of all with him. But that was in the heyday of “3 true outcomes” and that’s what you get more often than not, or so it seems.

      His bout of vertigo was a big issue as I see it. That’s a tricky thing to deal with as I understand it. I think that kind of pushed him back a long way and, by then, things had moved on.

      Add to that what you noted about the draft not being elite, and here we are. Sometimes the 1st round pick doesn’t pan out. We’ve seen that more than a few times here in RLN-land. So have other organizations.

      • Dean Rock

        He had vertigo, too? I know he had CoVid 19 about 12 different times, and injured every other body part conceivable. I googled images for most injured athletes and Evel Kenievel and Nick Senzel were side by side.

      • Old Big Ed

        “They” didn’t do anything to Senzel. In 100% of his MLB swings, it was Senzel and and Senzel alone who swung the bat. No coach ever required him to change his swing. The player has the bat; the player receives the bonus money and paycheck; and the player is the one responsible for how he swings and the results therefrom.

        All players make periodic adjustments. Votto has adjusted his swing and approach a handful of times. His bat, his swing, his results.

        Senzel just isn’t good enough. He was the second pick in a very poor draft class. If he was so fragile that he can’t move on from a swing adjustment that didn’t work, or not making the team out of spring training, then he was too fragile to make adjustment after adjustment that he would have needed to make to be a productive player. I don’t believe that he is particularly fragile. He is just not talented enough to be a regular MLB player.

      • Harry Stoner

        I see.

        So poor coaching doesn’t have any effect on how an athlete performs?

        Not for a baseball player, or in basketball, tennis, football, synchronized swimming?

        I’m not suggesting that others are somehow responsible for Senzel’s poor performance.

        Only that your take on it shows little or no understanding of the relationship between coaching and athletic performance, be it good or bad.

        Right, I know, you were a star badminton player or coached JV curling years ago and that provides your certainty about Senzel’s experience with the Reds.

        You’d be the last one to acknowledge how unconvincing your argument actually is.

      • AllTheHype

        @Old Big, excellent take, spot on.

      • Tampa Red

        @Big Ed 100% agree with you. Senzel just isn’t a good big leaguer. No one did that to him, he just isn’t. He’s never hit for much power, or average. He’s a good 3rd baseman, not great, who can also play a decent OF. He could have a pretty good career if he’d embrace the utility role. I think that’s his ceiling.

    • AllTheHype

      Senzel underperformed. No other way to explain it. Not every player lives up to expectations.

      The first round of 2016 in general was pretty pathetic. The worst first round in the last 20 drafts, probably. So the Reds didn’t miss out on much be selecting Senzel.

      Is what it is.

  17. Melvin

    Senzel hit a triple in the 8th and Barrero drove him in with a double to tie the game. Barrero hit a sac fly to drive in Marte with the go ahead run in the 10th. Bats won 6-5. Barrero also stole 3rd.

  18. Rednat

    important article Doug. I think it is interesting to reflect on the position players that we have on the roster. I would categorize them as follows.

    1. sure bets- Spencer Steer and Will Benson- I think these guys are going to be really good players. they have a plan at the plate, have good plate discipline and just seem to have a good understanding of the game to me.

    2. Check all the boxes , but can their bodies hold up- Jonathan India, Tyler Stephenson, T.J Friedl, Jake Fraley, Matt Mclain. i know Mclain hasn’t been injured but he just reminds me a lot of India. all these guys have had good moments but can they stay healthy?

    3. the wild card/high ceiling players- EDLC/Barrero. obviously all the athleticism in the world but can the reds develop them into perennial all stars or will they follow the course of Hamilton, Stubbs and Aquino?

    4. the “are what they are players”- Senzel, Votto, Fairchild. for Joey the all or nothing approach seems to be working pretty well. he will probably hit 20 homers in 80 games this year. don’t see why he couldn’t do the same next year. Senzel has finally developed a niche as a good defensive third basemen and a good platoon hitter against lefties. Fairchild- the classic ” 3 and D” guy. gives you some power and speed and good defense.

    5. the enigma- CES-. i followed him a lot at louisville. there are days he looks like Babe Ruth and other days he looks totally lost and confused at the plate. Just not sure what to make of him yet.

    6. the others- Ramos, Newman, Maile– I really like Maile.

    7. the pitching is fine- we will have plenty of pitching for the next few years to be competitive.

    8. I think for us to really be able to compete against the likes of the dodgers and Braves we are going to have to get some veteran position players (as many as possible in my opinion). either by trade or free agency. Not even sure who is available and who would even want to come to Cincinnati. maybe a couple of local guys like how we got Griffey and Parker. i just don’t think we have enough home grown talent though to be that top tier team right now.

    • Stock

      Great post RedNat.

      I agree with most of the post. I think McLain belongs with Benson and Steer. In fact I think he is better than Steer. Him and Benson are close.

      I agree with CES. He should not be in Cincinnati. He is not ready. I was against bringing him up. He does not help offensively and hurts defensively.

      I love Friedl. He reminds me of Rose with his grit. It has been a long time since I have seen a player with his willingness to bunt. It is an important part of his offense.

      McLain and Benson are similar offensively. Friedl and Steer have different styles, Steer a bit more power but Friedl bunts. Offensively they produce similar results. Because of defense I would rank them McLain, Benson, Friedl and Steer. Like you I am convinced about all of these except Friedl. Elly De La Cruz is behind these four offensively but he improves year to year more than any player I can recall. 3.5 years ago he was a nobody. Wasn’t in Dougs top 50. He showed up on the rader in July 2021. I put him with these 4 in 2024.

      The remainder:

      India – over-rated. He will not sign long term especially after this DL stint. He needs to be traded this winter for prospects.

      Stephenson – His defense is not ML acceptable. He needs to be traded also. Maile and D’Arnaud or Garver would be a huge upgrade via FA and the Reds payroll can absorb this.

      Fraley is what he is. A great strong side platoon. Him an Fairchild in RF works for me.

      CES or Votto should be the DH. I think CES will be good but he is not quite ready.

      I would place Marte at 3B with Barrero ready to replace him. Would opening the season with Marte at 3B be a mistake similar to what they have made this year with CES and to a degree EDLC? Maybe open the season with Barrero as the everyday 3B. Marte should be ready by May.

      Senzel. His attitude seems to have gone south. Maybe it is time to trade him but he will have 2 more options after this year. Great backup plan at 3B.

      Starting lineup for 2024:

      CF: Friedl
      2B: McLain
      LF: Benson
      SS: EDLC
      1B/DH: Steer
      RF: Fraley (Fairchild bats 9th and everyone else moves up one spot)
      DH/1B: Votto (last year)
      C: Garver or D’Arnaud
      3B: Barrero

      Bench: Newman, Maile, Fairchild and FA.
      FA hitter I would really love to bring in Cody Bellinger as the RF. This would give the Reds a 10 player rotation suggested by MBS (I think) in an earlier post. Upgrade offensively and defensively.

      Depth in Louisville: Marte, Senzel, CES, Hopkins and Dunn.

      I say go get Garver and Bellinger and get ready to win.

      • greenmtred

        CES may not be fully ready, but does sending him back to AAA help? He seemed to have solved the problems posed by the pitching there, so now it’s a matter of adjusting to sophisticated MLB approaches. The same is true of EDLC, though if you consider his stats without factoring in the very high expectations, he’s not doing badly. He’s remarkably streaky, obviously.

    • Dean

      “The pitching is fine.”
      Huh? What is this based on? Team ERA of 4.76 puts us in the bottom 5 with Oakland, KC, Colorado and Washington. Four very poor teams. We’ve given up the most homers and are near the top in walks allowed.
      You can site injuries, contributing to the poor numbers, but they are a huge part of the game, and frankly, should be expected with today’s pitching staffs.
      Our lack of pitching is the reason we are only 4 game above .500. Remember, Ashcraft had a long, horrible stretch this year. Williamson and Lodolo and Greene are unproven and average at best based on this year’s numbers. Greene is the most consistent, but he gives up too many home runs and needs 100 pitches to get through 5 innings. Abbott is likely our ace, and is truly the only guy I trust to have a sub-4.00 ERA and more than 150 innings pitched.
      The bullpen has been much better than expected in ’23, and I’m not sure I would expect as positive results in 2024, even if the same crew returned.
      Pitching is not “fine.” Nor is there any reason to believe it will transform from 5th worst to even reputable if healthy. Connor Phillips and Brett Kennedy will likely be counted on, but I think we need to turn Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo into a dependable #2 starter under team control for 3 or 4 years.
      I know Krall envisions Cincy as being like Tampa Bay, and always having a stacked farm system, but is it really prudent to stockpile minor league shortstops when that position is solidified for the next 6 years at least? And while I don’t mind moving guys around “out of position,” how many middle infielders are going to post corner outfielder/infielder-like power numbers?
      Pitching wins in baseball. Judging from the depth and knowledge of your post, I’m sure you recognize this. That’s what makes it even more surprising that you glossed over that pivotal area with an “it’ll be fine” comment.

  19. Indy Red Man

    I’d feel warm & fuzzy next year with these guys 2 thru 6 next year:


    Fraley is a platoon, but who knows with Benson? Freidl is a solid player, but his obp has dropped from .382 on July 6 to .346. Too many flyballs? India? Solid at leadoff, but maybe we should move on?
    Votto…same thing. Wouldn’t be against bringing him back, but not at $20 mil/year.
    Stephenson is another one. I’d trade him and feel pretty good with Maile.

    Lastly their current lineup vs lefties is pretty ugly. They could really use a big righty bat like Rhys Hoskins, but then Votto would need to go or trade someone and move Steer to the OF full-time

  20. doofus

    I am impressed with Sal stewart’s bb/k ratio for a 19 year old. Imagine what Elly could do with that.

  21. Mark Moore

    So no baseball again tonight!!! Stupid money-grubbing MLB and Apple unholy alliance.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Ugh! That’s awful news to start a weekend on. That’s 3 days this week of no reds baseball. Getting us prepared for the off-season I guess.

    • wkuchad

      That’s absolutely horrible news. Ugh.

    • MBS

      “Stupid money-grubbing MLB and Apple unholy alliance.” Lol, how is Apple the bad guy. Apple TV is $6.99 a month Most cable bills are $100+ a month. I wish all the games were on Apple.

      • Doug Gray

        Apple is always the bad guy.

        Guy who is still mad about their Mac vs PC commercials from 1999 which were full of lies

      • Jim Walker

        I somewhat agree with you; but, I also get the frustration.

        MLB needs to do whatever it takes to make their site the front where we can pay 1 consolidated fee and have access to all their team’s games. Let the backroom bean counters parse out how much $$ goes where.

        While they are at it, set up a single login point and have it send folks to the correct feed to see the commercials and promos Apple or whoever is paying MLB to have access to their fans

      • Mark Moore

        Not Apple as the bad guy. MLB for robbing me of the game I paid for.

        I don’t want or need another streaming service with no content I give a crap about. I’m pretty sure they added this on the fly as well. That’s dirty pool.

        I may find a way to watch on my laptop. At least I can get a free trial for tonight.

    • Melvin

      I think you can get a free subscription if you have T-Mobile. “Stupid money-grubbing MLB” I agree with that.

  22. west larry

    Who will be the reds starter tonight? I hope not a bull pen game- they are worn down.

    • LarkinPhillips

      I am thinking it is going to be Brett Kennedy with the hope he can go 4-5 innings. Pure conjecture from me. I would say then he is DFA after the game and off the 40 man to make room for HG.

  23. Eddiek957

    Garver has a tough time staying healthy. Stephenson may improve when he puts last year’s injury further behind him. I’m surprised Newman isn’t sharing time with Elly like he did with barrero. Not like I’m advocating that but just from historical data

  24. Mark Moore

    Well, for all my grousing, I did a trial subscription and can watch tonight’s game (probably on my laptop connected to the TV). I really dislike in the strongest words having to give out personal information and CC number for this crap.

    Cheers to all.

    • LarkinPhillips

      I’m going to do the same, despite my own complaining the entire year.

    • Jim Walker

      I’m with you. I had used my free trial back in May/ June when the Reds had two Apple games in close sequence then canceled before I was billed for July. However today I saw on the X (fka Twitter) a blurb for a free trial for new and “returning” members and tried to sign up for it only to be told I was already signed up when I logged in. I was able to drill through to the game page. Guess I will see what happens when I try to choose the game itself.

      • Jim Walker

        Didn’t say I stream Bally about 90% of the time anyway either on a PC or a tablet via my cable subscription because my wife is a nonsports person. Tonight being a Friday, I’ll probably have one eye and both ears on the big TV watching Foyle’s War on our local PBS and the other eye on the Reds via iPad.

  25. Redgoggles

    Big KC fan at the moment. CHC plays KC, while we get TOR and MIL plays at TEX. Seems like momentum/opportunity is on their side, but we’ve been disappointed in the past with our record against a “softer” schedule.

  26. Greenfield Red

    To me, the impressive thing about the Reds farm system is all the young talent (Cabrera, Duno, Phillips, Petty, Stewart, Lin, Pineda, Sanchez, Balcazar, Rodriquez, Acosta, Aguiar, Showenwetter, Stafura, Jorge, Collier and others) who are very young, not yet in the top 100 who probably will be in the next year. This is not just “depth”. This is mostly high end young prospects like ELDC, Steer, CES, and others were up until this year.

    The Reds had a ton of graduations, an import graduation (Bensen), 4 guys still in the top 100, and all this up and coming talent. Somebody is doing a great job at acquiring young talent. They may be ranked somewhere between 5 and 12, but I have my doubts NK and the others would trade this system for anyone else’s, and I expect the Reds system to be the envy of everyone by 1 year from now.