Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Reds fall to 17th in semiannual future power rankings


The outlook for the Reds over the next five years doesn't look as good as the previous five years have. Well, at least according to a trio of "experts" over at ESPN.com.

Jim Bowden, Keith Law, and Buster Olney set out on a mission to rank all 30 Major League Baseball teams in a way that projects how well each club is positioned for sustained success over the next half decade. The group did a similar thing back in February as part of their semiannual Future Power Rankings. On Wednesday, they decided it was time to reevaluate.

In their preseason rankings, the Reds fared quite favorably, coming in at No. 7. It was a different story this time around, though. Perhaps concerned about the team's ability to resign current players, coupled with a lack of suitable replacements in the minors, the gurus dropped Cincinnati all the way down to No. 17. 

Ouch. 

As tough as it is to admit, they bring up a few valid points in their reasoning. Namely, how the Reds are realistically going to lock down some of their current stars with the financial limitations they have. Of course, a new lucrative television contract may help out significantly in that category.

Personally, I think the Reds are in excellent shape for the next two or three seasons. But the outlook does get a little hazy beyond 2016. Let's hope the organization has a better plan in place than the ESPN experts give them credit for.

Not surprisingly, the Cardinals topped the rankings (again) with an overall score of 86.9. Their score was over three full points higher than the second-place Red Sox.

Also of note, only one National League Central Division team ranked lower than the Reds. That would be the Milwaukee Brewers, who finished dead last with a score of 14.3, and boasted the second-worst projected minor league system of any team.

However, the Cubs (6th) and Pirates (7th) fared very well. Pittsburgh soared 18 spots from No. 25 in the preseason rankings while Chicago held steady at No. 6.

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