To see the other parts of the Top 25 Prospect List, click here. A reminder that there will either be a chat or an All Questions Answered topic this afternoon to answer as much as possible about the list.

5. Jesse Winker – OF – 18 Years Old – RK+

Acquired: 1st Round, 2012 Draft

The Good: Winker showed off a plus hit tools in his debut against much older competition. He has some power projection as well.

Needs to work on: Defense isn’t a big issue for Winker, but it is probably the biggest question on his resume at this point. How much his power grows could also be a small question at this point.

2012 Stats

Tm PA 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
Billings 275 16 3 5 35 1 3 40 50 .338 .443 .500

Video – Unavailable

4. Nick Travieso – RHP – 18 Years Old – RK-

Acquired: 1st Round, 2012 Draft

The Good: Travieso has been clocked as high as 99 MPH with his fastball, a potentially plus slider and a change up that has made quick progress.

Needs to work on: Improving his change up and just building up his innings given that he had a limited role as a starting pitcher in high school.

2012 Stats

Tm W L ERA G IP H HR BB SO BF WHIP K/BB BB% K%
AZL 0 2 4.71 8 21.0 20 3 5 14 87 1.19 2.8 5.7% 16.1%

Video - Unavailable

3. Daniel Corcino – RHP – 21 Years Old – AA

Acquired: NDFA, January 2008

The Good: Corcino has an above-average fastball, a good slider and change up that he trusts to throw at any point. He has swing and miss stuff when he is on top of his game.

Needs to work on: 2012 saw his walk rate jump up from previous levels, though he did skip High-A. His control is likely the difference between reaching his ceiling and being a back end starter.

2012 Stats

Tm W L ERA G SV IP H HR BB SO WHIP K/BB BB% K%
Pensacola 8 8 3.01 26 0 143.1 111 9 65 126 1.23 1.94 11.0% 21.3%

Video

2. Robert Stephenson – RHP – 19 Years Old – A-

Acquired: 1st Round, 2011 Draft

The Good: Stephenson ran over competition in Billings with a mid-to-upper 90’s fastball that touches 100 to go along with a potentially plus curveball and potentially plus change up.

Needs to work on: Control was a small issue in Low-A for Stephenson, though it wasn’t on the bad side of things. To reach his ultimate potential as an ACE he will need to improve that aspect of his game as he continues to make his way up the ladder.

2012 Stats

Tm W L ERA G SV IP H HR BB SO BF WHIP K/BB BB% K%
Billings 1 0 2.05 7 0 30.2 22 2 8 37 123 0.98 4.6 6.5% 30.1%
Dayton 2 4 4.19 8 0 34.1 32 4 15 35 150 1.37 2.3 10.0% 23.3%
Total 3 4 3.18 15 0 65.0 54 6 23 72 273 1.19 3.1 8.4% 26.4%

Video

1. Billy Hamilton – CF – 21 Years Old – AA

Acquired: 2nd Round, 2009 Draft

The Good: Hamilton has some of the best speed that baseball has seen in decades to go along with a good understanding of how to use it. He boosted his walk rate and plate discipline in 2012 while also becoming a much stronger hitter thanks to improved mechanics in his swing.

Needs to work on: He is making the transition defensively to center field where he needs to learn the nuances of the position. There are some scouts who still wonder just how good he can be offensively due to his lack of home run power, but it is more along the lines of will he be a regular or can he be a star rather than will he hit enough to stay in the line up?

2012 Stats

Tm PA 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
Bakersfield 392 18 9 1 30 104 21 50 70 .323 .413 .439
Pensacola 213 4 5 1 15 51 16 36 43 .286 .406 .383
Totals 605 22 14 2 45 155 37 86 113 .311 .410 .420

Video

22 Responses

  1. jim t

    Doug, any idea what kind of foot speed Winkler has? Was it difficult for you to put Hamilton above Stephenson? I really like his arm. Billy is making huge strides but ACE stuff is very hard to pass up.

  2. The Duke

    My 1-25

    1) Billy Hamilton, CF, AA
    2) Robert Stephenson, SP, A-
    3) Dan Corcino, SP, AA
    4) Tony Cingrani, SP, AA
    5) Nick Travieso, SP, AZL
    6) Jesse Winker, LF, Rk
    7) Ismael Guillon, SP, A-
    8) Mariekson Julius Gregorious, SS, AAA
    9) Henry Rodriguez, 3B, AAA
    10) Kyle Waldrop, OF, A-
    11) David Vidal, 3B, AA
    12) Ryan Lamarre, CF, AA
    13) Tanner Rahier, 3B, AZL
    14) Kyle Lotzkar, SP, AA
    15) Tucker Barnhart, C, AA
    16) Donald Lutz, LF, AA
    17) Jeff Gelalich, OF, Rk
    18) Chad Rogers, P, AA
    19) Dan Langfield, P, Rk
    20) Drew Cisco, SP, Rk
    21) Seth Mejias-Brean, 3B, Rk
    22) Ryan Wright, 2B, A+
    23) Bryson Smith, OF, AA
    24) Pedro Villareal, P, AAA
    25) Theo Bowe, OF, A+

    Travieso has a long way to go, but you have to love his raw tools and the way the Reds have drafted the last 6-7 years, they get a little benefit of the doubt.

    Cingrani was one of the best pitchers in the minors this year. If he can gainnsome command of his off speed pitches he yas #2 upside, and I think even his floor is a high leverage late inning reliever.

    Corcino gets the edge over Cingrani with his more polished off speed pitches and reaching the same level at a younger age. His ceiling may only be a 3, but that is still dang valuable and I think he has a good shot of reaching it.

    Stepehnson propbably would have been #1 had he been able to maintain his hot start in A-, he has true ace stuff, and is very smart on the mound to boot. I think he just needs more innings to develop and he’ll be #1 next year whether Hamilton is eligable as a prospect or not. Just needs more consistency and to prove it.

    Hamilton improved the areas he needed to most offensively, plate discipline and showing he has enough gap power to keep defenses honest, to go along with his game changing speed. What’s even scarier about his 155 stolen bases, is that he still has roomnto imporve as a base stealer.

  3. Krozley

    List tidbits:

    -6 of the top 17 were from the 2012 draft; another 6 on the list from the 2011 draft
    -6 more were international signings, but all of whom have been in the organization for 4+ years.
    -For the 3rd straight year, all 25 were original Reds signings (i.e. none received from trades).
    -Even though half of the list are from the last two drafts, the prospects should be pretty spread out amongst the levels at the start of 2013. By my rough projection, 6 will be in AAA, 7 in AA, 2-3 in High-A, 6-7 in Low-A, the rest (3-4) still in Rookie.

    This list seems more swayed towards tools than performance to date, but that is not a bad thing in regards to draft strategy considering the graduations to the big club over the last few years. As has been pointed out, there are still a number of potential big leaguers in the upper levels of the minors that didn’t make the list. The overall strength of the system is evident when the list has no room for any relief pitchers (there are usually a couple each year in Doug’s list).

    • jim t

      Nice post Kroz. Also we are getting a lot of power arms in the system. Player developement has come along way.

  4. Greg

    Does anyone else think Justin Verlander by the way that Doug was describing his stuff? I know thats really going out there but this guy could have that ceiling! Im not sure but isnt that the same aresnol that Verlander uses with that mid to upper 90s FB that touches 100 with a plus curve and Change Up.

    • Terry M

      Yes…He could be the starter that can stop a four game losing streak…

  5. mdccclxix

    Gosh, I’m thinking about switching my #1 to Stephenson. That curveball is so nice. He has the makings of an overpowering pitcher. OTOH, from the video, Hamilton was taking a lot of bad pitches. They pitched him high a lot, why? To pop him up? Move his eye level? I think mlb teams will be less afraid of his speed, will pitch him honest, and he may struggle more than I’d expected. I’m pretty sure I’d go with Stephenson #1. I don’t know where I’d rank Hamilton.

  6. Sultan of Swaff

    I LOVE Hamilton, but Stephenson is special. It scares me to say it, but he reminds me of Verlander. You have to applaud the Reds for taking their time with him, only throwing him 65 innings. I would figure he’s on track to finish 2013 at Bakersfield, then hit AA as a 21 year old. I’ll be curious to hear what his innings limit will be next season. Say, 125-150 innings?

    Verlander’s stats from Old Dominion, where he played 3 seasons:
    IP H BB K ERA
    2002 113.2 83 43 137 1.90
    2003 116.1 94 43 139 2.40
    2004 105.2 90 43 151 3.49

    He dominated at A+ and AA in his only minor league season and was a September callup at 22.

  7. Ed from P-cola

    Doug, i enjoyed reading the prospect lists. As a newby to reds minors, i really look forward to seeing these guys work their way through pensacola.

    I think it would help Billy Hamilton progress to spend some time in pensacola this spring and work with windy conditions in outfield.

  8. Sultan of Swaff

    The more I look at the developmental pace of our top prospects who could fill a need on the team next season, the more I’m inclined to sit tight this winter. Yeah, you take a deal for a position of need if one presents itself (i.e. Madson for one year, a stopgap for CF), but by mid-season there will be much more certainty about what we have in Hamilton/Cingrani/HRod/Didi. We’ll be well positioned to deal from a position of strength in July compared to this winter. No one is going to run away with the division (except maybe us!), so it makes sense to sit tight and let things ‘marinate’.

    • jim t

      Sultan, I coudn’t agree more. Look if we continue to pitch and I have know reason to think we won’t,actually are starting staff should be deeper and better with Bailey showing real signs of dominating and a couple of are best prospects in AAA, Cingrani and Corcino waiting in the wings. If we get good pitching and good production out of LF and adquate production from 3rd we will be very good.If you look at 2010 and 2012 Gomes and Ludwick were key producers to the offense. Now no one is saying that we couldn’t be better with some OBP guys in the front of the order but if Walt finds a LF who can gives us those kind of numbers with Frazier giving us more than Rolen we will score eonough to win. The bull pen should be a strength again. With Hamilton’s arrival getting closer and closer I don’t spend a lot to fix something that we may already have in hand. I think we live another year wiht BP as the lead off hitter and find a bat to replace Gomes/Ludwick type production and let Frazier replace Rolen’s numbers. This also fits financially. If Hamilton forces his way on to the big club early all the better. We need to solve are LF issue and wait for Hamilton to replace Stubbs.

      • Alan Horn

        I also agree Sultan. It looks promising that we will resign Ludwick. Wait on Hamilton(Stubbs and Heisey in CF in the meantime). Hang onto Didi for the time being. Corcino and Cingrani should be ready sometime next season as well as Hamilton. Our main challenge will be to build a bench. Keep Heisey , Paul and possibly Mesoraco(or send him to AAA). It still leaves us without a lead off hitter initially, but we don’t need to burn a lot of talent and money on a lead off hitter with Hamilton so close.

  9. Greg

    Would anybody in this site be in for trading for Dan Haren? If so what would you give up for his services for 1 year? It sounds as though the Angels really want to deal instead of declining his option and for 1 year you would think that the risk isnt that high. The only thing is if you trade for him you are picking up $15 million. That would mean the 5 starters would be unbelivable and Chapman could go back as the closer.

    Also what about signing Jeff Keppinger to play 3rd and bat 2nd and Frazier to LF. Or maybe sign Ludwick back and Frazier is super sub

    • Sultan of Swaff

      Keppinger would be nice, but a lot of teams will be bidding for his services. I’m afraid HRod will have to do….anyone except Valdez!!!

      Call me crazy, but after looking at all the available LF free agents out there, the one that makdes the most sense to me in terms of age, OPS, and team friendly salary would be Melky Cabrera. I get that the Reds are loathe to take on ‘bad character’ guys, but he’s only 28, will probably take just a one year deal to build up his value, plus he switch hits. His K/BB ratio has always been very solid, so I seriously doubt his production was solely due to PEDs. We weathered the fallout from Volquez, we can weather this.

    • jim t

      Greg, absolutely no way. We are taking on his salary. Pitching was not our issue and we have two trying to kick the door in with Cingrani and Corcino. We also have Chapman if we decide to use him as a starter. We need a LF or 3rd who can drive in runs and hit in the middle of the order. We also need a lead off hitter but I hope that is filled by Hamilton sooner rather than later.

  10. Joered

    Doug

    how does winker compare to some of our recent postional prospects (Alonso, grandal, Mesoraco, maybe even votto/ Bruce)just taking into consideration hitting. The numbers he put up are promising especially his OBP

    Thanks

  11. Stock

    1 Hamilton
    2 Cingrani
    3 Stephenson
    4 Corcino
    5 Winker
    6 Travieso
    7 Didi
    8 Guillen
    9 Rogers
    10 Soto

  12. Jon Ryker

    I don’t care if he ever hits one homerun…..if he steals 70-80 bases a year and plays good defense, he’s a star….

    • Doug Gray

      Not if his OBP is .280. Home runs and contact rates matter because your average and OBP depends on them because BABIP works. At some point there is a break even point with everyone. If he turns into Michael Bourn with 20 more steals, is he a star? No, he isn’t. But does he have the value of a star? Absolutely. But if he turns into a guy who hits .250/.300/.330, no amount of defense and steals is going to make him have star value.

  13. Jim delaney

    Doug great stuff with the list,.

    In regards to the Reds major league roster, I am hopeful Walt and crew are as tired of watching Stubbs as I am and move him in the off season. My thought is the Reds biggest needs are top of lineup bitters, they need to improve OBP at top of lineup. Hopefully Walt can solve this in the off season.