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Cincinnati Reds Top 20 2016 PRE-SEASON prospects in review

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Cody Reed
Cody Reed
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Moving forward with our summer prospect reviews, we turn to the Cincinnati Reds farm system.





This list was originally published February 12th, 2016

1) Robert Stephenson, RHP, Grade A-/B+: 21 starts in Triple-A with 4.29 ERA, 104/61 K/BB in 122 innings; two starts in the majors. Reds have avoided temptation to rush him, a wise decision given his still-erratic command, but I have to imagine we'll see him get some innings in September. Still love his upside.

2) Jesse Winker, OF, Grade B+/A-:
Hitting .299/.387/.376 with two homers, 46 walks, 47 strikeouts in 314 at-bats in Triple-A while fighting injuries. Love his approach and I still believe more power will come in time.

3) Jose Peraza, INF, Grade B+:
Hitting .269/.321/.347 in Triple-A, hit .250/.290/.284 in the majors, albeit with 10 steals in 11 attempts over just 88 at-bats. Seems like he's been around forever but is still only 22. Lack of power is an obvious hindrance but way too soon to give up on him.

4) Cody Reed, LHP, Grade B+:
Mississippi Reed was strong in Triple-A (3.20 ERA, 63/17 K/BB in 65 innings) but hammered in 10 MLB starts (7.36 in 48 innings with ugly 67 hits, 43/19 K/BB) and was sent down to the minors this morning. He'll be back and remains one of the more promising young lefties in the game.

5) Amir Garrett, LHP, Grade B+/B:
Blew away Double-A (1.75 ERA in 77 innings, 78/28 K/BB) but command has wobbled in Triple-A (3.77, 32/21 in 43); needs more time with the secondaries and overall command but should be ready for a trial next year. Another high upside southpaw arm.

6) Tyler Stephenson, C, Grade B:
Limited to 39 games in Low-A by wrist injury, hitting .216/.278/.324; means little given sample size and injury though of course a faster start would be preferable to this; defense has been weaker than expected but still just 19 years old, still has tools that made him a first round pick and young.

7) Keury Mella, RHP, Grade B:
3.76 ERA with 87/53 K/BB in 120 innings in High-A; holding his own overall but reports indicate continued inconsistency with secondary pitches, an observation reflected in relatively low strikeout rate. Maybe fits best in relief down the road.

8) Alex Blandino, INF, Grade B/B-:
Hitting .229/.325/.343 with 42 walks, 100 strikeouts in 332 at-bats in Double-A; I really liked him coming out of Stanford in 2014 but his hitting has been unimpressive since reaching Pensacola; it is true he has been hot lately but we need to see more. Versatile glove.

9) Rookie Davis, RHP, Grade B-/C+:
104 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 3.55 ERA, 64/29 K/BB with 98 hits allowed; fine control but more strikeouts would be nice; whiffs may be fascist but it gives him a larger margin for error. Should be ready for a trial next year, potential fourth starter.

10) Eric Jagielo, 3B, Grade B-/C+
:  Hitting .205/.303/.319 with seven homers, 38 walks, 111 strikeouts in 317 at-bats in Double-A, extremely disappointing season especially given success at this level last season; at age 24 he needs to pick it up again soon.

11) Nick Travieso, RHP, Grade B-/C+:
19 starts in Double-A, 4.18 ERA in 93 innings, 71/43 K/BB; he's not getting killed but as with Davis the component ratios are unimpressive. Could be more dominant if moved to bullpen?

12) Tyler Mahle, RHP, Grade B-/C+:
This guy really needs more attention; age 21, 13-5 in 23 starts between High-A and Double-A, 2.92 ERA, 122/32 K/BB in 133 innings, 111 hits; excellent pitchability and stuff may be underrated; stock up.

13) John Lamb, LHP, Grade C+:
6.43 ERA in 70 major league innings, 58/31 K/BB, 84 hits; currently on Triple-A disabled list. He was terrible but with injury history it is hard to know what to think; thankfully he is no longer a rookie so I don't have to try and predict him any more.

14) Scott Schebler, OF, Grade C+:
Strong in Triple-A (.311/.370/.564) but could not hold job in majors (.167/.248/.304 with 32 strikeouts in 102 at-bats). We already know he can hit Triple-A pitching and I think there are too many tools to give up on here despite being 25.

15) Wyatt Strahan, RHP, Grade C+:
Age 22, third round pick in 2014 from Southern Cal, made four starts in High-A before going down with Tommy John surgery.

16) Blake Trahan, SS, Grade C+:
Age 22, third round pick out of Louisana-Lafayette in 2015, hitting .248/.320/.339 in High-A; impressive defense will keep him in the picture long enough to see if his bat can improve.

17) Phillip Ervin, OF, Grade C+:
Hitting .237/.355/.406 with 11 homers, 31 steals, 53 walks, 76 strikeouts in 350 at-bats in Double-A; maintaining excellent speed production and draws walks but with less power than originally anticipated and a low batting average.

18) Sal Romano, RHP, Grade C+:
23 starts in Double-A, 3.87 ERA with 119/32 K/BB in 128 innings, 139 hits; throws strikes but hittable, another potential back-end starter.

19) Antonio Santillan, RHP, Grade C+:
Age 19, second round pick from high school in Texas in 2015, 3.92 ERA in 39 innings in Pioneer League, 46/16 K/BB; promoted to Low-A but 9.00 ERA in first three starts with 15/11 K/BB in 14 innings; lots of upside here but needs time.

20) Tanner Rainey, RHP, Grade C+:
Age 23, college senior drafted from West Alabama in 2015,  6.19 ERA with 97/63 K/BB in 93 innings in Low-A with 100 hits; quite ugly except for the strikeouts; likely belongs in the bullpen.

OTHER GRADE C+: Stephen Johnson, RHP; Ian Kahaloa, RHP; Jon Moscot, RHP; Seth Varner, LHP

OTHERS OF NOTE: Aristides Aquino, OF; Jake Cave, OF; Alejandro Chacin, RHP; Jimmy Herget, RHP; Shedric Long, 2B; Jose Lopez, RHP; Chris O’Grady, LHP; Jake Paulson, RHP; Yorman Rodriguez, OF; Taylor Sparks, 3B; Kyle Waldrop, OF; Zach Weiss, RHP

Remember, that's a review of the pre-season list. Discuss current events in the comments.