Baseball America’s Reds Top 10 Prospect List Doug Gray January 4, 2017 36 Comments The guys over at Baseball America have released their Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospect List. It’s, once again, written up by JJ Cooper. He’s been covering the Reds system for as long as I can remember. The lists have been quite consistent when looking back due to that. It’s apparently Reds prospect list week with this one, Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus all publishing. The list at Baseball America is quite strong in my mind. While I certainly have a few different rankings with some players, I can make the argument rather easily for each of the rankings put for by JJ Cooper on his list. Here’s his Top 10: Rank Player Pos 1 Nick Senzel 3B 2 Cody Reed LHP 3 Amir Garrett LHP 4 Robert Stephenson RHP 5 Taylor Trammell OF 6 Jesse Winker OF 7 Aristides Aquino OF 8 Sal Romano RHP 9 Vladimir Gutierrez RHP 10 Tyler Stephenson C Now, the first thing to note is that Baseball America includes Cody Reed on their prospect list. He may not show up on other lists because technically, he’s ineligible for the 2017 Rookie of the Year Award. Reed spent more than 45 days on the active, non-September big league roster in 2016. He did not however break the 50 innings pitched mark that many places use for prospect eligiblity on their lists. My list and the MLB.com/MLBPipeline.com lists don’t include him because of his rookie eligibility. Comparing this to my list, and if I were to include Cody Reed, the only player in the Top 10 that we’d have different is Tyler Stephenson for Baseball America and Tony Santillan for me. Both of which would be the 10th player. No surprise that I like the list and can rationalize all of the rankings. What will be interesting is some of the items that will be in the chat later today. I’m most interested in what JJ Cooper has heard about Alfredo Rodriguez. Does it match up with the things I’ve heard? Of course, it will be another 4-5 weeks until I get my hands on the Prospect Handbook. It runs 30 prospects deep for each organization – but we should be able to get some insight into several players not listed here through the chat. To see scouting reports on all of the players you will need a subscription over at Baseball America (though, you could also just get my scouting reports on all of these guys, plus many more, by signing up for a subscription here at RedsMinorLeagues.com for $4 a month). 36 Responses John January 4, 2017 When do the Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com lists all come out? Doug Gray January 4, 2017 Fangraphs is due out today. BP is coming out tomorrow. Not sure on the MLB list. Billy January 4, 2017 Doug, any surprise at Senzel’s speed only getting a 50 grade? You seem to be in the minority in believing him to have plus speed (even though you seem to have evidence that supports your position). How much difference will that discrepancy mean to his placement on top 100 lists? Doug Gray January 4, 2017 That is surprising, but I just can’t do anything else than to say others are wrong. I can prove that he’s a plus runner. This isn’t like guessing someone will hit 25 HR in the future, speed is graded on actual hard data and we’ve got it on his speed. It’s weird, but I guess when I watch these guys play as often as I do, versus other places talking to people who see them a few times, I tend to get better data overall to work with. I don’t think the speed grade will do much to change his place on the Top 100 lists, much. Maybe 5-10 spots at best, but probably not even that. John January 4, 2017 Would you say his speed is a 55? 60? fromcubawithluv January 4, 2017 60 MK January 5, 2017 From my eye test I agree with Doug on the speed and he is also a plus baserunner. fromcubawithluv January 4, 2017 so based on this ranking, we could have 6 or 7 in the top 100? This is based on my assumption that Winker is in for sure. Doug Gray January 4, 2017 While I would absolutely have Winker in the Top 100, I’m not sure he will be here. Greenfield Red January 4, 2017 That’s my question as well. Where does all of this put the Reds related to other teams? I think the farm system is about 10 – 12 overall. Could have been better with additional/different moves. Matthew O'Neal January 4, 2017 This is promising, because we should see at least 4 (Reed, Stephenson, Garrett, and Winker) up in Cincinnati this year. Romano could see some time as a September call up, assuming he does okay at AAA. At the same time though, I could see him staying down all year unless he’s absolutely needed. Let him season another year and play the service time game in 2018. Same with Travieso. RFM January 4, 2017 It’d be interest to know how they now feel about Sal Romano and a bullpen debut. A year ago many seemingly expected him to wind up in the bullpen, then he had this strong 2016 as a starter, all in AA, where he got pounded in a brief debut in 2015. Do they hold Romano in AAA, even if he pitches well, until a rotation spot opens up (despite Reed, Garrett, Stephenson all being ahead of him, both in experience and in rankings), or does he make a late season debut as a power reliever? I think that question stretches into 2018 and beyond. Cam January 4, 2017 Why do you think Winker drops below Trammell, even after a strong season in AAA by Winker? wes January 4, 2017 That is 3 big reviews in a row on Trammell. If he’s above Winker than he’s a top 100 prospect. May have hit oil with him! Excited to see how he progresses this year! Greenfield Red January 4, 2017 He looks really good for such a young age. Let’s hope they find another like him with that competitive balance pick in 2017. RFM January 4, 2017 Can I answer that one? I want to! Winker, despite his great OBP, faces concerns about his power and defense, in both cases lowering his rating. Baseball America named Trammell the organization’s fastest base runner, and best athlete. Trammell seemingly has 4, if not 5, tool potential, while Winker is a bat-first corner outfielders with at best an average arm and average speed. I’m still very optimistic about Winker’s bat, but I’m not at all surprised by the ranking. Champ Summers January 4, 2017 Me either. It’s unfortunate that he’s had issues with the wrists/hands. Hopefully he’s full strength this spring and we see the 15 to 20 hr power come back. If you look at the BA projected 2020 line up Winker is absent. RFM January 4, 2017 With all due respect to Baseball America, when has their projected future lineup been accurate? :) From 2013, the projected 2016 lineup was: C Devin Mesoraco 1b Joey Votto 2b Brandon Phillips 3b Todd Frazier SS Zack Cozart LF Shin-Soo Choo (remember him???) CF Billy Hamilton RF Jay Bruce SP Johnny Cueto SP Aroldis Chapman SP Mat Latos SP Robert Stephenson SP Homer Bailey Closer Daniel Corcino Okay, that’s more accurate than I expected, but not by much! Notice their 2020 lineup excludes DeSclafani. What does that mean? Nothing, it’s a guess. In my opinion it’s nice they listed 4 of the young arms as starters rather than more predictable Disco. gaffer January 4, 2017 The projected lineups never assume trades, so BA acknowledges the innacurracy. But leaving Winker off is insane, even if he hits for low power he is still an average 2 hole hitter. Would anyone not play a .295/.370/.410 player? Bill January 4, 2017 To me the most interesting part of their 2020 roster projection is not the omission of Disco, but the inclusion of Reed, Garrett, Finnegan and Stephenson. If all four prove to be effective starting pitchers at the major league level, that will be quite a boon for the Reds. Greenfield Red January 4, 2017 Who are the Reds 3 primary outfielders in 2020? Duvall, Hamilton, Schebler, Winker, Trammel, Aquino, maybe Jaren Kendall… or others? Thoughts Rick Thompson January 4, 2017 Hamilton’s last year under contract is 2019 I’d add Ervin and Friedl as possibilities Greenfield Red January 4, 2017 Good call. That’s 9 good prospects for 3 openings. Like you, I think Hamilton will not be here by then. I think Winker and Trammel are the top two at this point. If they draft Kendall, he will probably be at the top of the list too. earmbrister January 5, 2017 While I’m a Billy fan, I’d say: Winker, Trammel, and Aquino (from left to right). Arnold Ziffle January 5, 2017 The 3 Of positions in 2020 will be manned by LF=Jesse Winker, CF=Taylor Trammell, and RF= Aristedes Aquino. The INF will be 1B=Joey Votto, 2B=Ernie Clement, SS=Jose Peraza, 3B=Nick Senzel, C=Chris Okey. Clement will be a 1st round-supplemental pick in the 2017 draft, the Competitive Balance pick. Clement is currently the 2B/CF for the defending national champion UVA Cavaliers. He was also the MVP of the 2016 Cape Cod League. Keeps tabs on this guy this spring at UVA. The Duke January 5, 2017 He’s 6′ 160 lbs 2B with a sub .100 is who doesn’t walk much. Love the low K rate (24 K in 491 collegiate at bats) but that doesn’t profile as a top 50 pick. He’s not fast either, he’s been caught stealing more than 50% of the time. On the Cape of his 59 hits, 6 went for extra bases. His value is totally tied to his batting average. Arnold Ziffle January 5, 2017 Ouch, Duke, Pull back another layer or two for your examination. He has speed. In his 2015 summer league (Wisconsin) he had 17 SB’s, only 2 CS in 132 AB’s. In the Cape Cod league in 2016 he had 19 SB’s and 5 CS’s in 167 AB’s. At UVA last year he had 13 2B’s, 4 3B’s, and most importantly had 62 runs scored in 60 games. Just last year at UVA, he had a line of .351/.383/.443/.826 in 60 games, and at Cape Cod League, he had .353/.400/.395/.795 in 40 games. That is fairly consistent through 100 games of play. The Duke January 5, 2017 In the Cape you get pitchers and catchers who aren’t used to working together. I’m trust his base running numbers in normal play over those. It looks like he had elite bat on ball skills, but the stats don’t reveal another carrying tool. Admittedly, I’ve never focused on him playing (I did watch a few Virginia games last year, but I don’t remember him from those), and will keep an eye on him this year, but the statistical profile doesn’t scream 1st Rd pick. Closer to Jameson Fisher from last year, who I think went in Rd 4 IIRC. Greenfield Red January 6, 2017 I gotta think Herrera or Shed Long will be the 2B by then unless they draft someone in the 1st round this year. Greenfield Red January 6, 2017 I know Duke isn’t a huge Jeran Kendall fan, but I believe, if the draft were today, the Reds would take whichever of Greene and Kendall is still there. I don’t know which way Minny will go with the first pick. Norwood Nate January 4, 2017 Good list overall. I think Winker’s too low. I understand Trammell has tantalizing tools and had an impressive debut. But, he’s only played a short season in RK ball. I’d give it some time before I’d say he’s overtaken Winker as a prospect. Many a slip twixt a cup and lip. Tyler Stephenson is the outlier. I’m still under the belief he’ll turn into a good hitting catcher, but I can’t find justification for him in the top 10. Ervin, Santillan, Mahle, Friedl, and Travieso would all rank higher for me at this juncture. Cam January 4, 2017 A different commenter under the same name brought up this topic, above, but I’m also mildly surprised that Winker fell behind TT. Could make the argument either way though, depending on whether or not you value Winker’s floor or TT’s ceiling more. All in all, a good list. Interested to see 10-25 in the handbook, where I think there could be some real movement and surprises. The Duke January 5, 2017 A LF with an average arm, below average speed, and average at best defense who isn’t showing power isn’t going to be high on many lists. If he can show more power in 2017 while maintaining his contact and walk rates, then he’ll be highly thought of again. Have to stay healthy though. Bill January 5, 2017 It’s pretty cool to contemplate a lineup with on-base machines like Senzel and Winker joining Votto. Michael W. January 5, 2017 Totally agree Bill! MK January 5, 2017 Interesting BAs scouting report on Romano call him a closer to be.