Fangraphs Reds Top 30 Prospect List Doug Gray January 5, 2017 15 Comments Eric Longenhagen released the Cincinnati Reds Top 30 Prospect list at Fangraphs earlier today. It sticks out among the other lists that have been published thus far. Here’s the Top 10: Rank Player Pos 1 Nick Senzel 3B 2 Amir Garrett LHP 3 Jesse Winker OF 4 Aristides Aquino OF 5 Shed Long 2B 6 Taylor Trammell OF 7 Robert Stephenson RHP 8 Chris Okey C 9 TJ Friedl OF 10 Tyler Stephenson C It seems that as more lists come out, Shed Long continues to rise up them. Longenhagen ranks him all the way up at #5 on his list and believes he has a chance to be an above-average second baseman in the big leagues. The Top 10 doesn’t seem too different from the other lists. It’s the 11-30 where we start to see some strange things. Rookie Davis is ranked ahead of guys like Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle, Tony Santillan, and Vladimir Gutierrez. Davis didn’t crack my Top 25, while the rest of that group was in the Top 12. JJ Cooper said that Rookie Davis didn’t even crack the Reds Top 30 on his list. Despite many of the rankings that seem a bit off, as I always say, read the information and pay attention to that instead of the number next to the name. There’s a lot of good information here, so be sure to check it out. Here’s the system overview from Eric Longenhagen: This is an excellent system despite a lack of star power up top because it’s extremely deep with a healthy middle class of likely big-league contributors. This club had a good draft and added two of the bigger name international free agents available while stumbling into T.J. Friedl, who fits in snugly in a system with quite a bit of up-the-middle talent. In addition to the three catchers listed above, Jake Turnbull, Pabel Manzanero and Ryan Cassidy-Brown are all potential backups. This system is also full of more plus fastballs than I’ve overviewed here. Dauri Moreta was up to 95 with an average changeup for me during instructs for God’s sake. One of those guys might pop up next year. The Reds will have the chance to add to the top of this list with the draft’s No. 2 overall pick. I expect the top of the draft to be dense with college pitching but Jeren Kendall and Hunter Greene are probably coming off the board up top, as well. I think the lack of star power up top could be a tad deceiving. While I’m confident that there’s not a Joey Votto/Kris Bryant caliber player in the group, I do believe there’s plenty of “All-Star” potential in the group. Maybe it’s semantics, though. The depth in the system is very, very strong. The “sureness” of the group, however, isn’t. That is what I believe holds the system back from being a true upper-tier system right now. The Top 10, just about any way you slice it, stacks up well against most teams when it comes to that upside. The questions around many of those players though push it down a tick or two. Kourage and I sat down and talked a little bit about the various lists that have come out in the last two days. Give it a watch/listen. 15 Responses Bradkon21 January 5, 2017 I find it interesting that FanGraphs lists an estimated WAR for prospects. Yet, the list is not an accurate assessment of the WAR and likelihood of reaching that potential. Seems inconsistent. Have not seen new MLB list, but can imagine it will look at a lot like this one. Odd balance with 8 position players and 2 pitchers. Doug is 6-4 Pitchers, BA is 5-5, BP is 6-4 Hitters. I like Reds depth of pitchers more than I do hitters. But it is more balanced than recent years. Especially when Peraza, Herrera are factored in, plus Reed for pitchers. Patrick Jeter January 6, 2017 The WAR figure is from the KATOH projection, run by Chris Mitchell. It is based on performance and other measurable (like someone’s height, interestingly enough). The prospect list is done by Eric Longenhagen in a more traditional scouty way. The two are not supposed to be consistent. sultanofswaff January 5, 2017 I agree—the certainty is lacking. 2017 will go a long ways toward knowing what we have and whether the corner has been turned. As uncomfortable as it is, it’s good to read about the knocks on a lot of these guys. Nice to hear viewpoints from guys who see the entire baseball landscape. Boy, Chacin can’t get no love even on a top 30 list!!! Doug Gray January 5, 2017 Because he’s a reliever who doesn’t profile as a set up/closer. Those guys never get prospect love. DaveCT January 5, 2017 That’s a great point on getting information regarding the knocks on our guys. For one thing, it makes the comments on existing strengths get re-affirmed or even play up. Norwood Nate January 5, 2017 I figure it’s an oversight, but they have Ariel Hernandez’s highest level as R, but an ETA of 2017. He definitely played at A and A+ last year. Also have Elizalde as highest level AAA which he’s only reached AA and Juan Perez (AAA all last year) as R level. It’s not a big deal but it’s hard to put a lot of faith in a list that has three level listings wrong when they could literally go onto their own site to look that information up. Beyond that clerical error, it’s surprising to me to see Tyler Stephenson get top 10 love in another list. Maybe I’m just missing something, and I like the guy as a prospect, but for me he’s more in the 12-18 range. Long, Friedl, and Okey are guys I’d like to see more from, at higher levels, before I’d move them up in this range. Especially over guys like Romano who went out and pitched very well in AA. It is strange to see more hitters show up when we’ve been so pitching dominant lately. But that’s a good thing in my opinion. Bill January 5, 2017 Some of these list do seem to favor the upside of lower level players with less professional experience over upper level players that have had a weakness or two exposed. DaveCT January 5, 2017 On Tyler Stephenson, I get the feeling he is viewed as such a superior athlete that his athleticism alone puts him in above the Okeys of the world. And I’m very high on Okey. His plus tools must just be that much more plus, or in a more challenging area. This is similar to the dialogue on Santiliian’s rating in Doug’s list, where there were some higher floor guys outside the top ten. I always assumed these choices came down to the personal preference of the writer (ceiling vs. floor), but seeing the projected WAR from Fangraphs leads me away from that. DaveCT January 5, 2017 Haha. Duh, check the list first — Okey above Stephenson here! Doug Gray January 5, 2017 Also had Keury Mella’s highest level as A+ when he pitched in AAA. Granted, I understand that given it was a 1-off deal to end the year, but still. Colt Holt January 5, 2017 Gotta love the likely outcomes graph on Aquino. 75% chance he achieves less than 1 WAR. 15% chance he achieves 1-7 WAR. 0% Chance he achieves 7-20 WAR. and 10% chance he achieves 20+ WAR. Sign me up for the latter! Gaffer January 6, 2017 It is odd but accurate I bet. If he hits in MLB like he did this year it’s a 20 WAR careear, but that seems rather unlikely. More likely he Tops out in AAA. Troy January 5, 2017 Interesting comments on Stephenson’s curveball. His offspeed stuff was what was encouraging to me during his MLB stint. Both pitches looked like swing and miss pitches to me. Gaffer January 6, 2017 Doug, you mention there are no Votto types. I don’t remember him being more than a top 75 prospect and that was after playing a whole year at AAA, so Reds likely didn’t see him as elite either. Being a Canadian catcher clearly hurt his early rankings. Also, Kris Bryant was a 2nd overall pick like Senzel so it’s disappointing no one things we have a comparable elite prospect. Doug Gray January 6, 2017 Votto topped out around 25th on a few lists. No one saw him being elite though, that’s true. The difference between Bryant and Senzel is the upside of about 10-15 more home runs. Not every draft is the same – so both being 2nd overall picks doesn’t do much for the comparison. Bryant just hit .292/.385/.554 as a 24-year-old. He’s probably going to get better than that. Senzel, for as good as many believe he can and will be, most think it’s more like .300/.400/.500 for him with good defense and base running. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, it’s a perennial All-Star – but it’s not quite Kris Bryant/MVP either.