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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.




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.


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!