Cincinnati Reds' Top 10 Prospects Heading into Spring Training

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Cincinnati Reds' Top 10 Prospects Heading into Spring Training
David Kohl/Associated Press

The Cincinnati Reds farm system isn't quite what it used to be. Over the past five seasons, what was once a deep system—from top to bottom—has dropped into the middle of the pack.

The system suffered from numerous prospect graduations, including players like Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey and Tony Cingrani.

This year, the Reds' system looks as though it's starting to rebound. The back end of this list is loaded with intriguing arms—though all of them are right-handed—and the top half is comprised mostly of young outfielders.

Former top prospect Billy Hamilton is still here, but he'll graduate out of this list very quickly as he exhausts his rookie eligibility.

Even so, the Reds still have some good prospects, including Robert Stephenson—a fringe-top 20 overall minor-league prospect—and Phillip Ervin, who could find his way onto a top-100 list this season.

The Reds have a decent system, but a lot depends on the development of those young arms at the back end of the top 10. If they pan out, the Reds could have enough to replenish their pitching staff for years to come.

The outfield prospects are much closer to being considered sure things, and with Billy Hamilton and Jay Bruce already at the big-league level, the Reds have the potential to build one of the best outfields in Major League Baseball.

If those back-end pitching prospects flop into the bullpen or turn into back-end starters, then the Reds will likely stay right around the middle-of-the-pack in terms of system rankings.

So, with that said, here's my take on the top-10 prospects in the Reds' farm system for 2014.

 

All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted.

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