With the 2018 Minor League Baseball season coming to a close its time to take a look at which prospects took the biggest jump in 2018, as well as who took the biggest step back.
In this new series, I’ll be taking a look at six players per system—three of whom rose the most in 2018, while the other three fell the most in 2018.
Next up are the Cincinnati Reds.
"I'm very happy my family got to see me perform today. I'm glad I got to showcase what I had to the world."#Reds prospect Taylor Trammell put on a show and was rewarded with the #FuturesGame MVP award: https://t.co/bIhTWPHo7X pic.twitter.com/s2QNXA3os7— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 16, 2018
Drafted in the compensation round of the 2016 draft, Taylor Trammell emerged as one of the Reds top prospects in 2018.
Spending all of the season in High-A, Trammell burst onto the scene, hitting .277 with eight homers and 41 RBIs in 110 games. Trammell also scored 71 runs, while stealing 25 bases and hitting 19 doubles.
Trammell made headlines in the July All-Star Futures Game with a two home runs showing, earning him the MVP award for the game. Trammell’s performance, while it may be misleading when it comes to his power potential, exemplifies his successful 2018 season.
While he’ll likely spend all of next season in Double-A, the emergence of Taylor Trammell as a potential franchise-cornerstone was a prime development for the Reds in 2018.
One of the hardest-throwing pitchers in the Reds system, 2015 second-rounder Tony Santillan put up huge numbers in 2018.
In 26 starts between High-A and Double-A, Santillan went 10-7 with a 3.08 ERA. In 149 innings, Santillan struck out 134 batters while walking just 38. Opponents hit just .253 off of Santillan.
While the Reds have one of the most potent lineups in all of baseball, the lack of pitching has been what has kept them in the cellar of the National League for the past few seasons. Santillan now looks like one of the future aces in what could be a deadly Reds pitching staff, albeit one that’s a couple years away from materializing.
Like Santillan, Scott Moss emerged in 2018 as a potential future key cog in the Reds pitching staff.
The 2016 fourth-rounder had a very productive 2018 season, going 15-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 25 starts at High-A. In 132 innings, Moss struck out 112 batters, while walking 41. Despite lacking good ‘stuff’, Moss found his way as a finesse lefty, keeping his ERA in the mid-3s despite allowing 135 hits.
While Moss may not end up as a starter, especially considering his lack of explosiveness and the other future pieces of the Reds rotation, his production throughout a full season is a good sign for the Reds, who as aforementioned, have a serious lack of young, productive pitching.
A consensus top-ten prospect in the Reds system heading into 2018, Jose Siri had a disappointing 2018 season.
In 96 games between High-A and Double-A, Siri hit just .239 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs. Siri walked just 28 times, while striking out 123 times in 372 at-bats.
Additionally, his lack of power was a disappointment, as Siri hit just 17 doubles to go along with his 13 home runs. While speed has always been his top tool, the lack of development of power is concerning for Siri.
Aristides Aquino is one of the toolsiest prospects in the Reds system. However, Aquino failed to successfully utilize those tools in 2018.
In 114 games in Double-A, Aquino hit just .240 with 20 home runs and 20 doubles. In 404 at-bats, Aquino walked just 35 times while striking out 112 times.
After struggling in his Double-A debut in 2017, Aquino showed little improvement in 2018, failing to adjust his plate-discipline, as well as not taking another step forward with his power potential.
Time isn't up just yet on Aquino, but at the age of 24, he must show some improvements if he wants a shot at playing in Cincinnati in the future.
Drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft, Chris Okey has failed to live up to his draft stock, furthering his struggles with an abysmal 2018 season.
In 86 games between High-A and Double-A, Okey hit just .199 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs. In 292 at-bats, Okey struck out 79 times, reaching base at just a .259 clip.
While Okey has been solid defensively behind the plate, his bat has to produce if he wants a chance at the majors. Tyler Stephenson looks like the clear catcher of the future in Cincinnati, and unfortunately Okey’s struggles aren't doing anything to challenge that.