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Cincinnati Reds 2013 Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

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Tony Cingrani
Tony Cingrani

Onward! Now we turn our attention to the Cincinnati Reds farm system. Remember, this is the PRE-SEASON 2013 prospect list. It is NOT a new list. These are pre-season rankings and grades.

This list was originally published January 13, 2013 and updated January 14, 2013.

1) Billy Hamilton, OF, Grade A-: Hitting .245/.306/.333 with 33 walks, 83 strikeouts in 375 at-bats for Triple-A Louisville, 60 steals in 72 attempts. As fast as ever, but lack of power and marginal plate discipline have caught up with him in Triple-A. Stock down, but way too soon to give up on him. Don't do the reverse bandwagon.

2) Robert Stephenson, RHP; Grade B+: 2.52 ERA with 107/20 K/BB in 89 innings between Low-A Dayton and High-A Bakersfield, 69 hits allowed. Looks great, upper-90s, secondary stuff coming along. Elite prospect.

3) Tony Cingrani, LHP, Grade B+: 3.18 ERA with 79/29 K/BB in 71 major league innings, 52 hits. A fine major league debut and doesn't look like a fluke to me.

4) Daniel Corcino, RHP, Grade B+:
Eeek, real WTF season here, 6.21 ERA with 63/54 K/BB in 100 innings in Triple-A, 116 hits, 13 homers. Full collapse in all ratios compared to Double-A. Unusual to see everything fall apart like this without an underlying cause.

5) Jesse Winker, OF, Grade B:
Borderline B+. Very solid campaign in the Midwest League, .273/.370/.466 with 14 homers, 51 walks, just 64 strikeouts in 348 at-bats for Dayton. Expect a breakout in the California League next year. Note the low strikeout rate.

6) J.J. Hoover, RHP, Grade B-:
An effective major league relief pitcher, 3.30 ERA with 48/19 K/BB in 44 innings, 32 hits. I think he can close eventually if his command tightens up a bit more.

7) Nick Travieso, RHP, Grade B-:
5.24 ERA with 36/16 K/BB in 46 innings in Low-A, 50 hits. 2012 first-rounder was expected to be more dominant than this, but he's only 19. Solid outings mixed with poor ones at this point.

8) Kyle Lotzkar, RHP, Grade C+:
Still bedeviled with command problems, 7.57 ERA with 37/35 K/BB in 36 innings between High-A and Double-A. Change of scenery might help; trade bait?

9) Dan Langfield, RHP, Grade C+:
Has not pitched this year due to shoulder injury.

10) Henry Rodriguez, 2B-3B, Grade C+
:Hitting .247/.286/.315 with 17 walks,55 strikeouts in 372 at-bats for Louisville. Disappointing and very similar to what he did last year at the same level. I thought he could improve, but he hasn't.

11) Ismael Guillon, LHP, Grade C+: 6.37 ERA with 99/77 K/BB in 82 innings for Dayton, 75 hits. Serious control problems at this stage. Stock down.

12) Jeff Gelalich, OF, Grade C+:
Hitting .266/.351/.329 with 18 steals, 44 walks, 72 strikeouts in 331 at-bats for Dayton. Good speed with some OBP skills, but lack of power is a problem.

13) Jonathan Reynoso, OF, Grade C+:
Uber-tools player stole 30 bases and hit .311 in rookie ball, but his plate discipline is quite poor and power is under-developed. Extremely high ceiling but the Reds haven't had a lot of luck with these guys of late. Hitting .254/.283/.342 with five walks, 21 strikeouts in 114 at-bats in the Pioneer League, seven steals in 11 attempts. Fits the pattern with what happens with these types of players.

14) Jon Moscot, RHP, Grade C+:
4.59 ERA with 112/36 K/BB in 116 innings for Bakersfield, 109 hits. 2-14 record is ugly, but still has some sleeper potential if the K/BB is any indication.

15) Ryan Wright, 2B, Grade C+:
.274/.323/.404 with 24 walks, 59 strikeouts in 354 at-bats for Bakersfield, not great for this level at age 23. Skirting line between prospect and good organization guy.

16) Tanner Rahier, 3B, Grade C+:
Hitting just .240/.269/.361 with seven walks, 51 strikeouts in 296 at-bats for Dayton. Decent glove, but has supposed to be a polished hitter with good plate discipline coming out of high school. So far, those reports were inaccurate.

17) Seth Mejias-Brean, 1B, Grade C+:
Hitting .301/.375/.451 with eight homers, 40 walks, 62 strikeouts in 366 at-bats for Dayton. Solid performance from University of Arizona product, but would like to see him at higher levels.

18) Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Grade C: .258/.327/.437 with 10 homers, 36 walks, 111 strikeouts in 380 at-bats between High-A and Double-A Pensacola. Another guy with big raw power but held back by inability to make contact.

19) David Vidal, 3B, Grade C:
Combined .213/.296/.292 with 29 walks, 75 strikeouts in 267 at-bats between High-A and Double-A. Good glove, but that won't matter unless he takes a big step forward with the bat. No sign of that.

20) Kyle Waldrop, OF, Grade C:
More high-profile tools held back by a problematic approach: .245/.294/.441 with 15 homers, 14 steals, 25 walks, 90 strikeouts in 383 at-bats in High-A.

James Allen, RHP; Beau Amaral, OF; Tucker Barnhart, C; Sean Buckley, 1B; Drew Cisco, RHP; Carlos Contreras, RHP; Josh Fellhauer, OF, Amir Garrett, LHP; Stalin Gerson, RHP; Drew Hayes, RHP; Jeremy Kivel, RHP; Donald Lutz, 1B-OF; Curtis Partch, RHP; Brent Peterson, SS; Chad Rogers, RHP; Sal Romano, RHP; Gabriel Rosa, 3B; Steve Selsky, OF; Neftali Soto, 1B; Pedro Villarreal, RHP.

Important components of the major league team are home-grown, so I'd say the Reds know some things about player development although the process can be uneven and talent has thinned out after the promotions of recent years.

Rookie Cingrani has been strong.The development of Robert Stephenson into one of the very top pitching prospects in baseball is good news of course. Outfielder Juan Silva has performed well in High-A (.285/.391/.462) and will actually take a walk. Jesse Winker has also performed very well in Low-A, solidifying his status as an offensive prospect, even if he lacks the speed and athleticism of some other system talents. College basketball player Amir Garrett is just getting started but the 6-5 lefty has rare stuff for a lefty.

Pitchers Carlos Contreras, Chad Rogers, Daniel Renken in Double-A all have a chance to contribute something positive as role types.

The Reds like strong toolsy power hitters but most of them have contact and pitch recognition issues and never seem to work out as hoped. An exception looks like Phillip Ervin, 2013 first-round pick out of Samford who has power, speed, controls the strike zone, and is crushing the Pioneer League. He will stand next to Stephenson at the top of this list heading into 2014.

Unfortunately the collapse of Daniel Corcino and disappointment of Henry Rodriguez and Billy Hamilton in Triple-A cuts into the depth of reinforcements ready to help immediately in the majors.

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