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Cincinnati Reds Top 20 prospects for 2018: mid-season review

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SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Continuing with our mid-season organization reviews, we turn our attention to the Cincinnati Reds system.

This list was originally published January 18th, 2018 and revised on March 13th, 2018.

*****THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST******

THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE PRE-SEASON LIST

THESE ARE NOT NEW GRADES

1) Nick Senzel, 3B, Grade A-/A: Age 23, first round pick from University of Tennessee in 2016; hitting .310/.378/.509 through 171 at-bats in Triple-A until tearing a finger tendon, will miss rest of season; was living up to expectations and nearly ready for a major league trial until he got hurt.

2) Hunter Greene, RHP, Grade A-: Age 19, first round pick in 2017, second overall, from high school in Sherman Oaks, California; got off to a poor start in April but righted the ship by June, 4.48 ERA in 68 innings in Low-A with 89/23 K/BB, 66 hits; ERA was coming down steadily but went on disabled list last week with strained elbow ligament; out the rest of the year; unfortunate as his secondary pitches were showing consistent improvement to go with his 100 MPH heater.

3) Taylor Trammell, OF, Grade B+: Age 20, compensation round pick in 2016 from high school in Georgia; hitting .277/.373/.404 with eight homers, 51 walks, 92 strikeouts, 19 steals in 354 at-bats in High-A; extremely impressive to see in person, top-notch tools and skills have shown blossoming; he’s cooled off over the last month but an elite prospect.

4) Tyler Mahle, RHP, Grade B+: Age 23, seventh round pick in 2013 from high school in California, 4.95 ERA in 109 innings in the majors, 105/50 K/BB, 120 hits; got off to a good start but has been struggling lately and was sent back to the minors a couple of days ago, however he doesn’t really have much to prove down there and more opportunities in the majors will come.

5) Jesse Winker, OF, Grade B+: Age 24, first round pick from Florida high school in 2012, hit very well in the majors at .299/.405/.431 in 281 at-bats until going down with shoulder injury; this is his true level of ability and he should remain successful provided health issues are properly resolved.

6) Shed Long, 2B, Grade B-: Age 22, 12th round pick in 2013 from high school in Alabama, hitting .257/.350/.407 with 10 homers, 15 steals, 47 walks, 104 strikeouts in 366 at-bats in Double-A; contact and batting average could be an issue but patience, power, speed should make him valuable secondary average contributor.

7) Tony Santillan, RHP, Grade B-: Age 21, drafted in second round in 2015 from high school in Texas; strong season, 2.43 ERA in 122 innings in High-A/Double-A, 109/30 K/BB; solid all-around and improved as season has progressed, 1.69 ERA in last 10 outings; stock rising.

8) Jose Siri, OF, Grade B-: Age 23, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2012; hitting .251/.303/.477 with 11 homers, 19 steals, 21 walks, 92 strikeouts in 279 at-bats between High-A and Double-A; another intriguing power/speed combination; stock holding or slightly upward.

9) Jeter Downs, SS, Grade B-: Age 20, compensation round pick in 2017 from high school in Florida, one of my favorites from 2017 class; hitting .262/.348/.416 with 11 homers, 29 steals, 42 walks, 86 strikeouts in 382 at-bats in Low-A; shortstop defense very rough but better at second base, another multi-category contributor type, went on disabled list July 30th with undisclosed injury.

10) Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP, Grade B-: Age 22, Cuban, signed in 2016 for $4,750,000; 4.25 ERA in 121 innings in Double-A, 117/32 K/BB, 115 hits; overpowering and dominant at his best but inconsistent; stock holding.

11) Tyler Stephenson, C, Grade B-: Age 21, first round pick in 2015 from high school in Georgia; hitting .270/.351/.420 with 10 homers, 38 walks, 83 strikeouts in 326 at-bats in High-A; staying healthy after injury problems last two seasons; has thrown out 30% of runners, other catching metrics have improved rapidly; coming along well, stock up.

12) Jose Lopez, RHP, Grade B-: Age 24, sixth round pick in 2014 from Seton Hall; 4.51 ERA in 108 innings in Triple-A, 93/31 K/BB, 103 hits; neither impressive nor terrible at this point, talents may play up if he moves to the bullpen.

13) Jose Israel Garcia, SS, Grade B-: Age 20, Cuban, signed for $5,000,000 last summer; scouting reports when signed indicated right-handed hitter with 60-65 speed, 60-grade arm, chance to stay at shortstop, mature hitting approach; actual production is .233/.286/.316 with 19 walks, 88 strikeouts in 377 at-bats in Low-A, seven steals; defense seems solid enough but bat may have been oversold, granted it is too soon to know for sure given age and background.

14) Stuart Fairchild, OF, Grade B-: Age 22, second round pick in 2017 out of Wake Forest, solid in Low-A (.277/.377/.460, 17 steals, 31 walks, 65 strikeouts in 235 at-bats) but going more difficult in High-A (.216/.282/.269, five steals, 12 walks, 46 strikeouts in 134 at-bats); power decline after moving up to Florida State League very noticeable and it isn’t all context; reports on defense are positive.

15) Jimmy Herget, RHP, Grade C+: Age 24, sixth round pick in 2015 from University of South Florida; 2.77 ERA in 49 innings in Triple-A, 54/20 K/BB, 42 hits; ready willing and able for MLB bullpen trial.

16) Tanner Rainey, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, compensation round pick in 2015 from University of West Alabama; 1.17 ERA in 38 innings in Triple-A, 53/25 K/BB; hit hard due to control problems in MLB trial, 13 hits, 12 walks, and 19 run in seven innings split over four MLB trials; too good for AAA but clearly needs more polish.

17) Keury Mella, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, acquired in trade with San Francisco Giants in 2015; 3.09 ERA in 102 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 97/37 K/BB, 86 hits; allowed one run in 4.1 MLB innings; talented but inconsistent in past seasons, seems more polished this year, long-term role remains uncertain.

18) Alex Blandino, INF, Grade C+: Age 25, first round pick in 2014 out of Stanford; hitting .234/.324/.289 in 128 major league at-bats, versatile glove and (I think) capable of better with the bat, but now out with torn ACL.

19) Ariel Hernandez, RHP, Grade C+: Age 26, from the Dominican Republic; was traded to Los Angeles Dodgers in April; has 2.52 ERA with 49/29 K/BB in 50 innings in AA/AAA this year.

20) Scott Moss, LHP, Grade C+: Age 23, fourth round pick in 2016 from University of Florida; 3.63 ERA with 87/31 K/BB in 107 innings in High-A, 104 hits; nice year with 13-3 record in 20 starts but sophisticated metrics aren’t overly impressed, need to see at higher levels, stock holding.

OTHER GRADE C+:

Jesse Adams, LHP; Out with hip injury.

Aristides Aquino, OF; .243/.311/.445 in Double-A, 16 homers, 31 walks, 96 strikeouts in 346 at-bats.

Rookie Davis, RHP; Missed most of season with hip injury, has 6.95 ERA in 22 innings since returning.

Phil Ervin, OF; Strong year, .289/.373/491 in Triple-A, .308/.371/.436 in 78 major league at-bats; older now at age 26 but seems to have turned a corner.

TJ Friedl, OF; nice season, .292/.395/.394 with 25 steals, 58 walks in 391 at-bats between High-A and Double-A, possible fourth outfielder.

Miles Gordon, OF; Just .211/.290/.324 in 204 Low-A at-bats, now on disabled list.

Jacob Heatherly, LHP; Rough start for 2017 third-rounder, 8.31 ERA in 22 innings in rookie ball, 27/29 K/BB

Ryan Hendrix, RHP; Fine bullpen season in High-A, 1.93 ERA in 42 innings, 64/21 K/BB, 10 saves, needs to lower walks as he moves up.

Miguel Hernandez, SS; Holding his own in Appy League, .268/.318/.384, age 19.

Gavin LaValley, 1B; Poor campaign in Double-A, .197/.291/.321, nine homers but that doesn’t matter if you can’t break Mendoza Line.

Nick Longhi, 1B-OF; Hitting .257/.313/.336 in AA/AAA, a rather blah season.

Packy Naughton, LHP; 4.66 ERA in 120 innings in Low-A, 100/27 K/BB, 138 hits, gets blown up occasionally but there’s still some promise.

Jesus Reyes, RHP; 3.86 ERA in 68 innings in AA/AAA, 57/27 K/BB, just promoted to majors; middle relief option if he throws enough strikes.

Alfredo Rodriguez, SS; Hurt most of the year, hitting .193/.260/.284 in 88 at-bats between rookie ball, Low-A, Double-A.

Mac Sceroler, RHP; 3.81 ERA in 59 innings between Pioneer and Midwest Leagues, 55/19 KBB, 61 hits.

Jackson Stephens, RHP; 4.82 ERA in 28 major league innings, 23/9 K/BB, but 40 hits; capable of better but needs to rehab knee injury first

Andy Sugilio, OF; .259/.296/.331 in Low-A, 13 walks, 50 Ks in 263 at-bats; reports lukewarm.

Randy Ventura, OF; .329/.391/.367 with 16 walks, 32 strikeouts in 158 at-bats in High-A; hit for average and runs well, lacks power.

Zack Weiss, RHP: Hurt most of the year, 5.73 ERA in 22 innings between Double-A, Triple-A, and rookie ball rehab, 23/19 K/BB, control an issue obviously.

****

Large number of injuries has tested system depth. Discuss!