The Cincinnati Reds have the 10th best farm system in Major League Baseball. Or at least that is the case according to MLB Pipeline’s trio of Sam Dykstra, Jim Callis, and Jonathan Mayo. That’s a drop from where they have been at the last two midseason spots when they were 4th and 5th. Of course since the midpoint of last season they graduated a whole slew of players to the big league club.

Cincinnati had five players make the MLB Pipeline Top 100 list (Noelvi Marte, Rhett Lowder, Edwin Arroyo, Connor Phillips, and Chase Petty – who is pictured above), but the crew there not only likes their top end prospects, but the depth that they have throughout the system, too. Here’s a link to check out their rankings for the Reds Top 30 prospects.

The youth movement seems to be turning things around in Cincinnati faster than many expected, with a number of products from the system helping the team finish over .500 after a jump of 20 wins from 2022 last season. There’s more help on the way, with last year’s first-rounder Lowder the kind of advanced college arm who could very well help out the rotation this season. The depth in this system stands out as much as the Top 100 guys.

The rankings came out just before it was announced that Noelvi Marte was suspended for 80 games, so it’s possible that if they were redone today that the club could drop down slightly. In the long run, that suspension likely doesn’t change much. Marte’s future production isn’t likely altered because of this situation – he’ll just have about half of a season less at the end of his career because of it.

While Cincinnati is at #10 on the list, and it’s a solid ranking, that only places them fourth in the division. Chicago is ranked #2 in baseball and has two top 30 prospects and seven Top 100 prospects. The Milwaukee Brewers come in at #3 on the list and have the #2 rated prospect in all of baseball with Jackson Chourio. Directly ahead of the Reds is the Pittsburgh Pirates, and they are rolling with the #3 overall prospect in baseball in Paul Skenes.

36 Responses

  1. Brian

    I’ve always been curious about these lists and what they actually prove or mean. For instance, what is the gap between 10 th and 20th? I have no doubt that there is a gap between 1st and 30th but prospect failure rates coupled with under valued players over a period of time probably produces a razor thin margin.
    The organizations mlb record factors in too so what really do these ratings mean other than a little fun and projected hope for fans? I’m not trying to be a downer, I’ve just always wondered about what it really means and how just one trade can negate any meaning instantly?
    Is it beneficial to the mlb if bad teams have higher ranked minor systems? I just wonder what it all actually means or if it’s much about nothing? 5 years ago we were pumped for greene, Lodolo and Senzel to be leading us to the promise land by now.
    I get that it has some meaning but how much really?

    • Doug Gray

      Generally speaking, teams who are ranking at the top tend to find big league success within a few years.

    • Brian

      I wouldn’t read into it overly much. Some fans like to follow the farm systems and prospects as part of following their teams. If you enjoy that (I do!), then great. But it doesn’t guarantee anything in terms of future results in the big leagues. There are many things that factor into winning MLB games and this type of list only gives you a partial snapshot in time. Winning is a factor of a team’s ability to draft well, develop young players, scout and acquire prospects in other organizations, re-sign your team’s own FAs, sign other teams’ FAs, make smart trades, help established pros to continue to develop, and making good tactical decisions on the field… These lists are only a small slice of the whole picture.

  2. LDS

    The concern with these rankings is that the Reds haven’t beaten Milwaukee or Chicago in the standings for a while and based on prospects, are behind them both at this point. That doesn’t scream a bright future. It’s now or never and the Reds decided it’s not now.

    • greenmtred

      Doug did explain that the Reds ranked lower than they would have if they hadn’t called up EDLC, McLain, Steer, CES, Marte and Abbott. That doesn’t indicate that the Reds decided it’s not now. In fact, that they still rank 10th despite removing all of that talent from the farm system is very encouraging. And Benson, Friedl, Greene, Ashcraft , Lodolo and Diaz haven’t even been mentioned.

    • Steve

      The Reds don’t have a bright future due to placing 10th in a ranking of the current farm system??? We have the 10th best system, EDLC, McLain, Steer, and CES all of whom were rookies last year. We have a starting rotation that is very young (not counting Montas), and hold the number 2 pick in the upcoming draft. It is certainly my opinion that the team has a bright future. Also, I don’t see how the Reds have decided that they are not trying to win now.

    • LDS

      @Steve, @Greenmtred – you are both counting on the young guys flourishing this year. And they may well. However, it’s not a sure thing. The OF needs work. The pitching hasn’t overwhelmed this spring, etc. Quality starting pitching should have been acquired this off season, not another reclamation project. The Reds went cheap. They know the fans will come out for the young guys. At this point, playoff odds aren’t necessarily favorable to their chances.

      • greenmtred

        Of course, LDS. The risks of depending upon untested talent are obvious and apply to the young players on other teams, too. I’m certainly not counting on the playoffs or even a winning season–baseball is too full of surprises for certainty–but I’m expecting more fun and excitement than we Reds’ fans have had in a number of years.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Nothing in life or baseball is a sure thing. Look at the Dodgers and Lux, the Yankees and Cole. Does not always depend on how much money you spend. Things happen. And yes, I will be one of those going out to see the young guys play this year. Go REDS!!!

      • Oldtimer

        The 1968-69-70 Reds had similar (not identical) rosters.

        1968 had 1B May 2B Helms SS Cardenas 3B Perez C Bench LF Johnson CF Pinson RF Rose P Maloney Arrigo Nolan Culver Cloninger CL Carroll Abernathy

        1969 had 1B May 2B Helms SS Woodward 3B Perez C Bench LF Johnson CF Tolan RF Rose P Maloney Merritt Nolan Cloninger CL Granger Carroll

        1970 had 1B May 2B Helms SS Concepcion 3B Perez C Bench LF Carbo CF Tolan RF Rose P Merritt Nolan Simpson McGlothlin CL Granger Carroll

        The Reds young players blossomed in 1970.

      • TR

        It’s a long time ago but I remember it clearly when the young Reds of 1970, early in the season, got a surprising winning streak going and they were on their way, with the L.A. sportswriter labeling them the Big Red Machine.

  3. Klugo

    It’s time to strike now. The division is about to get a lot tougher.

  4. SR

    A little off topic, but did Marte ever make a public statement about his suspension? Usually, they apologize to teammates and fans, or explain circumstances, or own it. Has he said anything?

    • Doug Gray

      He addressed the team the day it was announced. I doubt you will hear from him again until he gets back on the field in June.

  5. Doc

    Is it not possible that Marte’s position could be affected once he returns? How much of how he performed might be attributed to the steroids? Obviously if they didn’t help there would be zero incentive to use them.

    • LarkinPhillips

      I assume his usage of PEDs was more based around recovering from injury than performance enhancement.

      • David

        I think the PED use was unknown last season with Marte. I think it does stem from Noelvi getting bad advice about using them (maybe just once) to help heal his hamstring injury he had to his leg.
        It showed up in a test from a urine sample (likely) taken at the beginning of Spring Training. He probably thought it was all out of his system by then. Uh-no.

    • Doug Gray

      Could it be? Sure. But until that actually happens, it won’t be.

  6. Redsvol

    Plus, we stand to get 2-3 very talented players from this summer’s domestic draft and will have 1 of the largest international player budget to use next winter.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Good point.

      For me, just knowing the competitive window is open and will stay open for what should be a good number of years moving forward is a huge relief. While it will take a few consecutive years of meaningful baseball to tamp down the PTSD the last 20 odd years has inflicted, I can’t help but feel very hopeful.

  7. docmike

    Not bad. Considering the number of players the Reds have graduated out of the minors the last couple years, I wouldn’t have been surprised if we were even lower.

    Look at all the prospects that have moved up the last 2 years:
    2022 – Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Friedl
    2023 – DeLaCruz, McLain, Steer, CES, Williamson, Abbott

    That’s a lot of guys who are going to fill major roles for the Reds this season.

  8. Tom Reeves

    I could have sworn I posted a comment on the thread earlier today.

    • Doug Gray

      You did and it went straight into the trash bin. We don’t talk about that guy here.

      • Tar Heel Red

        Why is that? Is this not a baseball discussion site? Is the player in question not a baseball player? I enjoy reading the comments of others on this site but am often disappointed and put off by the narrow mindedness of the administrator…and I rarely comment on the site because of it.

      • Doug Gray

        Because I’m not dealing with the way the comments about him devolve. This isn’t a democracy.

      • Doug Gray

        And let me come back to add that no, this isn’t a baseball discussion site. This is a baseball news site that allows comments.

      • Tom Reeves

        You know, I comment in good faith. You could have emailed me with a heads up and I would have agreed to withdrawal the comment.

    • Oldtimer

      Doug pays the bills. It’s his site. He makes the rules. It’s only fair. RLN is BY FAR the best Reds fan website and best moderated, too.

      • Brian

        It’s really a weird situation. The articles are usually excellent and always timely with breaking news. The comments always seem to be cordial and mostly intelligent but there does seem to be zero tolerance and a short fuse. I have no doubt that it drives some good viewpoints away but it is his prerogative to do as he pleases.
        There’s an if you don’t like it then go away attitude but once again it belongs to him and he does have that right. I try to get along with everyone in life, it’s just way too short not to. I do know that there’s not one person that knows everything Reds, no matter who they are.
        I enjoy reading the articles to gain knowledge, just as I gain from posters. Peace to all concerned…

      • Doug Gray

        I’ll just respond with this: Between the comments here and the social media replies – what you perceive as a short fuse is probably the 15th time I’ve had to deal with something similar and I’m tired of dealing with it/seeing it. There is a very, very short list of “zero tolerance” things here. The former pitcher, though, is one of them. Absolutely nothing good is going to come out of those discussions, much less the fact that the words that will be used about his past actions showing up on these pages via a search engine. I’m not having that here.

      • Brian

        Don’t get me wrong Doug, I appreciate the hard work that you put into this. Some of us aren’t aware that we can’t post about a certain pitcher. I’m not even sure who that is. I’m guessing it’s the former cy winner…
        I personally had something deleted quite awhile ago. I can’t remember what it was but I don’t believe that I posted anything indecent. It aggravated to the point that I didn’t post for awhile but I got over it.
        I can imagine that some posters can be way out of line and that would get old pretty quickly. Anyways, I enjoy reading articles and interacting on here. I won’t post anymore on the subject but appreciate you hearing me out.

      • Tom Reeves

        Brian, I didn’t know a certain pitcher was off limits either. My comment wasn’t out of line nor was it advocating for him. But that’s not really my issue. If that guy is off limits – fine – it’s not my site and Doug and pick the off limit topics. But I do comment in good faith and simple heads up would go a long way because I didn’t know and it was a legit baseball topic. But the bigger issue we’re not perceiving a short fuse – there’s definitely a short fuse and frankly, Doug, I’m kinda of worried about you. Something has changed. And that’s more important than baseball.

  9. Eddiek957

    Seems like every year gets better the last three years. Happy 311 Day fellow Reds enthusiasts