It’s been a long time since Cincinnati Reds fans had a reason to be excited. It may not be long before their patience is finally rewarded. With names like Hunter Greene, Nick Senzel, and Taylor Trammell, the Reds are hopeful that those names will help bring home the city’s first World Series title since 1990.
If you watched the rise of the Atlanta Braves this season, there’s reason to believe that the team could secure just its fifth playoff appearance since defeating the Oakland Athletics, 28 years ago.
Here’s a look at their 2018 draft picks that jumped into MLB Pipeline’s list of Top 30 Prospects.
No. 4 Jonathan India (3B)
1st Round; 5th overall — Florida
No. 10 Mike Siani (OF)
4th Round; 109th overall — William Penn Charter School (PA)
No. 20 Lyon Richardson (RHP)
2nd Round; 47th overall — Jensen Beach HS (FL)
No. 21 Josiah Gray (RHP)
Competitive Balance B; 72nd overall — Le Moyne College
India is one of nearly 60 active players that have come from the University of Florida. His first year of pro ball started slow, going 0-for-12 in his first four games. His roller-coaster season included an 8-game hit streak as well as six multi-hit games. He raised his average from .184 on August 15 to .229 on September 3.
Drafted after the other players on this list, Siani possessed first-round talent but saw his stock fall due to, what some believe to be, sign-ability concerns. After foregoing his commitment to Virginia, the left-handed outfielder slashed .307/.372/.417 in his 40 games in the leadoff spot. Perhaps most impressive, his numbers improved once he fell behind in the count. Falling behind in 55 at-bats, Siani batted .309 despite the pitcher having the advantage. A fan of Mike Trout growing up, the 19-year-old has the power/speed combo that scouts saw when scouting the Angels superstar.
Playing for the Greenville Reds of the Appalachian League, Richardson and Gray saw differing results this year. Richardson, 18, was roughed up in 11 starts, posting an 0-5 record while allowing hitters to bat .308 against him. Gray, 20, made 12 starts — three of which he held the opposition hitless — while striking out 59 batters in 52.1 innings. Expect his 0.88 WHIP and 2.58 ERA to increase as he progresses through the minors, but the early indication is that Cincinnati may have found a future big-league arm from the Division II ranks.