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Reds farm system takes a tumble in new rankings

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Less than a week ago the Cincinnati Reds were rated as the 7th best farm system in baseball by Baseball America. It’s Baseball America that’s long been considered the gold standard of prospect ranking. Part of that is that they’ve been around for over four decades now, while many other publications didn’t enter the prospect ranking landscape until the digital age and the turnover at those publications has been very high. Keith Law, now at The Athletic, has been doing prospect rankings for a while, and on Monday morning he released his latest farm system rankings. The Cincinnati Reds came in at 19th on his list. One place says 7th. Another place says 19th. That’s a very large gap. So what’s the deal? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than "This place is full of smart people and Keith Law is a jabroni and hates the Reds". Baseball America considers shortstop Jose Barrero as prospect eligible. Keith Law does not. The crew at Baseball America doesn’t consider service time as a "qualifier", just the thresholds of 130 at-bats, 50-innings pitched, or 30 relief appearances. Service time, however, is a threshold that makes a player a rookie, and Law uses that in his rankings and that disqualifies Jose Barrero from technically being eligible as a prospect.

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