The only thing of note going on in Redsland, currently, is seeing where the top Reds farmhands rank on the various preseason prospect rankings. Everyone and their brother has one, and we've been following them closely here at Red Reporter (and we're about to complete our own, as well).
Tomorrow, ESPN's MLB Insider Keith Law will unveil his Top 100 but before that, as a bit of a preview, he ranks all of MLB's clubs in order from best to worst overall systems. Last year, the Reds clocked in a number 17 in the list. In the aftermath of the Reds trade deadline sell off, along with the subtraction of Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman this offseason, the Reds have climbed to the twelfth best minor league system in Major League Baseball. (Insider Required)
Law comments on the Reds:
I haven't been a huge fan of the returns on the Reds' recent trades other than the Johnny Cueto deal (which yielded just one prospect for these rankings), but the aggregate result is a big influx of talent on top of a system with a couple of first-round and supplemental-round picks that are looking very promising.
In general, the ranking is fine, though I'm sure many Reds fans would've like to have seen the Reds move up more than five spots considering all of the talent that they have shed over the last year-plus. The caveat, of course, is due to the Reds experimentation with their all rookie rotation, there are several guys who are young and very much in the long term winning plan for the Reds that aren't considered for this list. Brandon Finnegan, for instance, isn't considered for these lists despite still young and a work-in-progress, and fresh off a top 100 ranking just a year ago. The same goes for Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias, among others.
That doesn't lend itself to a high ranking in these exercises.
On a more concerning note, all but one of the Reds division rivals rank higher than the Reds on Law's list, lead by the Cubs at number four and the Brewers (who previously ranked 28th) at five. The Pirates slot in a number eight, while the Cardinals slid from 13th to 19th.
Law also reveals how many minor leaguers from each team he's ranked in his top 100 and, curiously, he only has four Reds making the cut. Almost every other list we've tracked has at least five Reds among the top 100, so it'll be interesting to see who Law leaves out.
The Braves rebuild, bolstered by the insane prospect haul received for Shelby Miller, lead the list while the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim round out the pack at number 30. Law comments that the current iteration of the Angels farm system is the worst he's seen in the eight years he's been doing these rankings, and that "they had no one remotely close to top-100 status."