Midseason 2017 Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospects List Doug Gray July 10, 2017 132 Comments Now that the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft is behind us and everyone has signed that is going to, it’s time to update the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospects List. There are a handful of new additions, several graduations and plenty of movement for those who remain on the list. 1. Nick Senzel | 3B | 2017 teams: Daytona & Pensacola Nick Senzel is hitting .305/.373/.473 between Daytona and Pensacola this season to go along with 28 doubles, two triples and six home runs. He’s done nothing since being drafted #2 overall to suggest that he’s not everything you want from the pick. Strengths and Weaknesses: There’s not really a weakness in his game, but if you had to nitpick, you’d have to say that his home run power needs further development. He’s been a doubles machine this year and some of those are going to turn into home runs in the near future. When it comes to strengths, he’s got them across the board. 2. Luis Castillo | RHP | 2017 Teams: Pensacola & Cincinnati When the Reds acquired Luis Castillo in the offseason for Dan Straily it was viewed as a steal. Now that he’s been in the system for over half of a year it seems like an even bigger steal. He posted a 2.58 ERA in Double-A Pensacola before getting called up to the big leagues where he’s made four starts with a 3.13 ERA. He’s struck out 30 batters in 23.0 innings for the Reds and has shown good control outside of his Major League debut, walking just 18 batters in a combined 98.1 innings (not counting the debut). Strengths and Weaknesses: The biggest strength for Luis Castillo is his ability to throw strikes. His fastball control is very strong and he’s able to throw both his change up and slider in the zone frequently. The thing he needs to work on the most is probably finding consistency with his slider. The quality of the pitch can vary from start-to-start. 3. Hunter Greene | RHP | 2017 Teams: Has not played yet The Cincinnati Reds spent the #2 overall pick in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft on Hunter Greene. The 17-year-old signed at the last minute, literally, but he’s now in the organization and getting ready to go. He’s currently in Arizona, but is expected to join the Billings Mustangs in short order. Strengths and Weaknesses: The biggest strength is his fastball, which sits in the upper 90’s and has touched 102 MPH. He’s also one of the best athletes in the organization. His weaknesses are similar to most 17-year-old pitchers – he’s got to refine his secondary stuff and simply show he can handle a full-season workload. 4. Sal Romano | RHP | 2017 Teams: Louisville & Cincinnati It’s been an up-and-down season for Sal Romano so far. After getting out to a nice start in Louisville he got a call up to Cincinnati in April, but struggled in his debut and went back down to Triple-A the next day. After a few starts he then hit the disabled list with a shoulder issue. He returned after missing five weeks and made his way back to Cincinnati last week where his second big league start went much better than his first, picking up his first career win with a walk and six strikeouts against the Rockies. Strengths and Weaknesses: Like Luis Castillo, perhaps his biggest strength is his ability to throw strikes. He can throw all of his pitches for strikes and has generally avoided walking batters over the last two years. Where he could improve is in his consistency with his secondary stuff. The breaking ball is ahead of his change up at this point. 5. Jesse Winker | OF | 2017 Teams: Louisville & Cincinnati The 2017 season has been fairly similar to the 2016 season for Jesse Winker. He’s once again hitting for a good average in Triple-A and walking nearly as often as he’s striking out. The power, too, isn’t jumping out at you. He’s hitting .305/.386/.391 on the season with Louisville with 16 doubles and two home runs. He’s also seen some action with the Reds, though mostly as a pinch hitter, racking up just 13 plate appearances. Strengths and Weaknesses: The biggest strength for Jesse Winker is his plate approach. He understands the strikezone incredibly well and it shows up when it comes to his walk and strikeout rates. Where he needs to improve is hitting for mroe power. While he’s hit for plenty of power in the past, since he injured his wrist the power hasn’t returned to where it once was. 6. Vladimir Gutierrez | RHP | 2017 Team: Daytona The 2017 season has been an inconsistent one for Vladimir Gutierrez. He’s posted a 4.85 ERA in Daytona over the span of 15 starts. His peripheral stats are strong, walking just 16 batters and striking out 83 over 81.2 innings pitched. The 21-year-old is in his first professional season after signing out of Cuba last August. He is also making the move to starting pitcher after being a long reliever as a teenager while in Cuba. Strengths and Weaknesses: There’s a lot to like with Vladimir Gutierrez. He’s got multiple pitches and he throws plenty of strikes, walking just 16 batters so far this season. He also has missed plenty of bats. His biggest weakness that he needs to work on is his consistency. When he’s on, he’s untouchable at times. but when he’s not he can really struggle. 7. Tyler Mahle | RHP | 2017 Teams: Pensacola & Louisville If there were a player of the year award handed out on July 10th it would go to Tyler Mahle. He’s posted a 2.08 ERA over 17 starts between Pensacola and Louisville. In 99.1 innings he’s walked just 21 batters and he’s struck out 103. Oh, and he also has a perfect game under his belt this season. Strengths and Weaknesses: His strength is that he’s able to pound the strikezone with an outstanding fastball that he can vary speeds and movement on. He could improve on his secondary stuff, where none of his offering stand out – but all are solid-ish. 8. Taylor Trammell | OF | 2017 Team: Dayton After a slow start to the year in April, Taylor Trammell has turned things around in a big way since May began and is now up to .277/.352/.442 on the season. He has also stolen 24 bases in 31 attempts while racking up a good amount of extra-base hits. The outfielder has 17 doubles, eight triples and six home runs. Strengths and Weaknesses: The biggest strength for Trammell is probably his plus-plus speed. He’s got all kind of speed to burn and he uses it well. His biggest weakness is his arm strength. It’s led to several scouts I’ve spoken with to wonder if it won’t push him to left field in the long run. He’s got more than enough speed to handle center field, but their concern is that teams may be able to really run on him in center without it improving. 9. Tyler Stephenson | C | 2017 Team: Dayton The 2017 season has been about as opposite of the 2016 season as possible for Tyler Stephenson. Most of 2016 was lost to injuries and when he was on the field, playing injured, he struggled. Healthy once again, he’s hitting .270/.364/.407 with 41 walks and 57 strikeouts on the year with Dayton. Behind the plate he also looks better in all aspects. Strengths and Weaknesses: Tyler Stephenson does a lot of things well right now, but his plate approach may be the biggest strength he has now, though I believe his power will eventually be his biggest strength. His biggest current weakness is probably controlling the running game. While that’s certainly something that’s beyond the control of just the catcher, he’s only thrown out 21% of opposing base runners this season. 10. Tony Santillan | RHP | 2017 Team: Dayton Opposing hitters are only hitting .209/.286/.312 against Tony Santillan this season. In 16 games this season for Dayton he’s posted a 2.70 ERA in 86.2 innings. That’s come with 33 walks and 85 strikeouts. His pure stuff rivals anyone in the organization, Major or Minor Leagues. Since May 8th, spanning 10 starts he has a 2.11 ERA with 15 walks and 60 strikeouts. Strengths and Weaknesses: The biggest strength for Tony Santillan is his fastball. When he’s at his best, he’s sitting 96-98 MPH with his fastball. The biggest area he needs to improve on, and he’s certainly already done so this season, is to continue to find consistency, particularly when it comes to throwing strikes. 11. Shed Long | 2B | 2017 Teams: Daytona & Pensacola The 2017 season got out to a nice start for Shed Long, who hit .312/.380/.543 for Daytona in the first half. In a league known to sap power, Long didn’t seem to care as he had 30 extra-base hits with the Tortugas before being promoted to Double-A. He’s gotten out to a slow start in the first two weeks with Pensacola. Strengths and Weaknesses: The biggest strength for Shed Long is his bat. He’s a guy that can use the entire field and despite being on the shorter side of the spectrum, can produce power to all parts of the field, too. There’s not a big area that jumps out as a place where he needs to improve, but if you had to pick one, he could cut down on his strikeout total a little bit. 12. Jeter Downs | SS | 2017 Team: Billings The Reds compensation 1st round pick in 2017 has gotten out to an outstanding start in his professional debut. Jeter Downs only has eight games under his belt, but he’s hitting .370/.485/.593 with as many walks as strikeouts for Billings. He’s hit two homers and stolen two bases. Strengths and Weaknesses: The biggest strength for Jeter Downs seems to be his bat. Scouting reports coming out of the draft were glowing about how advanced he was at the plate and the early returns are there. It’s very early in his career and there doesn’t seem to be something obvious that he needs to work on other than your normal 19-year-old baseball player kinds of things of just figuring out how continue to progress. 13. Stuart Fairchild | OF | 2017 Team: Billings The 2nd round pick for the Cincinnati Reds has gotten out to a solid but unspectacular start in Billings through the first two weeks of his career. HE’s hitting .283/.345/.358 with six stolen bases. The former Wake Forest outfielder has struck out just five times in 13 games. Strengths and Weaknesses: The biggest strength for Stuart Fairchild might be the overall well roundedness of his game. He’s a potential 5-tool guy who has shown all of them on the field at various times. It’s tough to peg an exact area where he needs to improve on given his limited time as a professional, but looking back at his college career, improving his plate discipline may be the one if you really wanted to nitpick at something. 14. Jose Siri | OF | 2017 Team: Dayton There probably isn’t a player with a better overall set of tools than Jose Siri in the entire system. After a slow start in April, the 21-year-old outfielder has gone on a tear through the Midwest League. Since May began he’s hit .308/.349/.540 with 10 doubles, three triples and 12 home runs in 57 games played. He’s also shown himself as an outstanding defender in center field. Strengths and Weaknesses: The biggest strength for Jose Siri may be his ability to play center field, though his power may overtake that soon. The biggest area he needs to improve on, and he’s taken big strides there already this season, is his plate discipline. 15. Aristides Aquino | OF | 2017 Team: Pensacola After winning the Hitter of the Year award in the Reds organization for his 2016 season, Aristides Aquino has struggled at the plate in 2017. April was really tough for the outfielder. Aquino hit .163/.223/.256 in the month with 31 strikeouts and just five walks. Things have gone better since, posting a .731 OPS in 57 games since the start of May with much better plate discipline. Strengths and Weaknesses: The biggest strength for Aristides Aquino is his power. While he’s not showing the same kind of in-game power that he did last season, it’s still in there and you can see big time power on display at times from him. His area that he needs to improve on the most, and it’s been a work-in-progress over the last few seasons, is his pitch recognition and plate discipline. 16. Jose Garcia | SS | 2017 Team: Has not played yet The Cincinnati Reds made one last splash on the international market in June as they signed Jose Garcia to a $5M bonus out of Cuba. He hasn’t yet played, but is assigned to the Dominican Summer League Reds. Strengths and Weaknesses: Information hasn’t exactly been abundant on Jose Garcia, though from the reports we have gotten, he sounds relatively well rounded as a player. For a more detailed report on him, you can check out what I wrote about him when he was signed. 17. TJ Friedl | OF | 2017 Teams: Dayton & Daytona After a wild 2016 year that saw him burst onto the college baseball scene, go undrafted amidst plenty of confusion, tear up the summer circuit with Team USA and then sign the largest undrafted free agent contract in history, TJ Friedl has carried that forward into 2017. In the first half with Dayton he hit .284/.378/.472 with 14 steals. In 19 games with Daytona he’s struggled a bit early on, hitting just .221 so far. Strengths and Weaknesses: The biggest strength for TJ Friedl is probably his speed. He’s a plus runner and he uses his speed on the bases and in the field. His biggest area of weakness that needs improvement may be his ability to hit left handed pitching. He’s struggled against lefties this season. His OPS against lefties is nearly 200 points lower against them than against righties. 18. Gavin LaValley | 1B | 2017 Teams: Daytona & Pensacola Last season saw Gavin LaValley take a step forward offensively, spending most of his year in Daytona. He returned there this season to start the year and this year he’s taken another big step forward. In 77 games between Daytona and Pensacola the first baseman has hit 18 home runs and 19 doubles. Overall he’s hit .284/.332/.534. Strengths and Weaknesses: The biggest strength for Gavin LaValley is his power. He’s a big, strong guy who can barrel up the baseball. His raw power is really starting to show up in games this year. The area that he could improve on the most would probably he drawing a few more walks. This season he had 19 walks in 322 plate appearances. 19. Jimmy Herget | RHP | 2017 Teams: Pensacola & Louisville It’s been more of the same for Jimmy Herget in 2017: dominating the opposing hitters. The right hander has a career 2.29 ERA since being drafted in 2015. This season his ERA is 2.50 between Double-A and Triple-A where he’s raked up 20 saves. Between the two stops he has 14 walks (3 intentional) and 55 strikeouts in 39.2 innings. Strengths and Weaknesses: There are a lot of strengths for Jimmy Herget. He throws strikes, he misses bats, he knows how to attack hitters. The only weakness on his resume is that he’s a reliever and not a starter, and that’s not exactly a weakness. As a reliever there doesn’t seem to be anything that is holding him back. 20. Zack Weiss | RHP | 2017 Teams: Daytona & Pensacola It’s been a long road to coming back for Zack Weiss, who missed all of the 2016 season and almost all of the first half of 2017, too. When he came back this season he rehabbed with Daytona before joining Double-A Pensacola. He’s pitched in 14 games so far this season, covering 16.2 innings. He’s walked six batters and has 24 strikeouts and a 2.70 ERA between the two stops. Strengths and Weaknesses: The stuff seems to be back for Zack Weiss after missing so much time and eventually having surgery (ulnar nerve transportation surgery). His action has been limited due to time since he’s come back, so it’s tough to peg exactly what he needs to improve on at this point. 21. Ariel Hernandez | RHP | 2017 Teams: Pensacola, Louisville & Cincinnati There are guys with great stuff and then there are guys like Ariel Hernandez. After breaking out in 2016 he’s continued down that same road in 2017. Splitting his time between Double-A, Triple-A and the Major Leagues he has thrown 46.1 innings pitched and has an ERA of 1.93. That’s come with 28 walks and 55 strikeouts. Strengths and Weaknesses: His stuff is nearly unrivaled in baseball. He throws 97-100 MPH consistently and may have the best curveball you’re going to see – and it’s coming in at 89 MPH. The area that he needs to continue to improve on, and he’s taken big steps there over the past 18 months, is cutting down on the walks. 22. Jackson Stephens | RHP | 2017 Teams: Louisville & Cincinnati The 2017 season has already seen Jackson Stephens reach the big leagues and pick up his first win. He only made one start, but he had a good showing as he racked up a season best eight strikeouts with just one walk in 5.0 innings. After a slow start in April for Louisville he has posted a 3.62 ERA in his last 14 starts. Strengths and Weaknesses: The strength for Jackson Stephens may have been his curveball, which is a good looking offering. However, in his Major League debut he decided to come out and throw 97 MPH, something he’s never done before and that may have changed things a little bit. In a system with a bunch of starting pitching options, Stephens may eventually get pushed to the bullpen and if he can throw 97 in shorter outings and mix in that curveball, things could get real interesting real quick. The biggest area that he could work on is just being more consistent. 23. Phillip Ervin | OF | 2017 Teams: Louisville & Cincinnati It’s been an inconsistent season in 2017 for Phillip Ervin. He’s hitting just .250/.315/.368 in Louisville, but he’s hit well in three of the four months so far. May, however, was a real struggle as he posted an OPS of just .431 and that stretch has really kept down his overall numbers. In the 209 plate appearances outside of May, Ervin has hit .283/.351/.444 with 19 walks and 40 strikeouts. Strengths and Weaknesses: The biggest strength for Phillip Ervin may just be the overall package of his game. He’s mostly solid or better across the board when it comes to his set of tools. He can run well, there’s a little bit of pop in his bat, he can play around the outfield. The biggest area of weakness in his game for the last few years has been his ability to hit for average. 24. Alfredo Rodriguez | SS | 2017 Team: Daytona To say that Alfredo Rodriguez is a good defensive shortstop would be an understatement. He’s got outstanding range and hands and in my recent trip to Daytona he made six highlight reel caliber players over the course of four games. It was about as impressive as it could be. He also hit the ball well while I was there, but overall on the season he has had some struggles at the plate. He’s hitting .256/.294/.294 on the year with the Tortugas. Strengths and Weaknesses: The strength is clearly his defensive abilities. He has range, quickness, good hands and a strong arm at the shortstop position. The weakness, however, is also clear. He’s struggled to hit the ball. While I believe there’s more in the bat than he shown, it is an area that he must improve on as he moves forward. 25. Alex Blandino | 2B | 2017 Teams: Pensacola & Louisville After two years of struggling to hit in Pensacola it was May of 2017 when Alex Blandino seemed to put things together. In the 57 games since April ended, Blandino has hit .268/.369/.481 between Double-A and Triple-A with 21 doubles and six home runs. He’s played all around the infield, too. He’s gotten time at shortstop, second base, and third base this season between his two stops. Strengths and Weaknesses: For Alex Blandino his biggest strength may be that he’s showing himself to be well rounded. He can play multiple positions on the infield, he gives you a quality at-bat when he’s at the plate and there’s a little bit of pop and speed in his game, too. Where he could improve on things is finding some more consistency. While he’s been hitting well over the last two months his recent history has shown a lot of inconsistency at the plate. That’s it, guys and gals. That’s the updated list. I will do my best to answer any of your questions below over the next few days. Remember, though, I’m in Pensacola watching the Blue Wahoos. That means that from about 3pm until after the game is over, that I will be sporadic in replying, or possibly non-existent as my focus will be on things taking place at the ballpark. Players who have graduated: Amir Garrett, Robert Stephenson, Austin Brice. 132 Responses Doug Gray July 10, 2017 I’m going to be away from the computer for the next hour or two. I’ll start answering any questions when I get back. Reply Bellhead July 10, 2017 Deep is the best way I can describe the depth of the system. When you have 3 relievers who will be MLB7th/8th/9th inning guys in the bottom of your rankings, that is a deep system. Reply ephram July 10, 2017 Regarding Taylor Trammell… “He has also stolen 24 baters in 31 attempts” I’m not quite sure what that kid is doing stealing baters, but 24 of them seems like a lot :) Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Hey man, I know what words are! Thanks for the heads up. Reply Scott C July 10, 2017 I was wondering if you think Ervin is a potential call up to back up Hamilton in CF? Seems to be a good candidate for that with the ability to play CF and the corners. Do you think he would be a better option than Kivlihan or Alcantara? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 I think it’s possible he could be at some point. I think he’s definitely a better defensive option for CF than Kivliehan. And his bat, I’d absolutley take in favor of Alcantara. Reply ephram July 10, 2017 It’s kind of telling how strong the pitching is in the organization that former 1st rounder Travieso didn’t crack the top 25 prospect list. Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Shoulder surgery is one of those things that’s going to knock you off the list until you get back and show how recovery has gone. Reply davidmac84 July 10, 2017 This top 25 list I am in almost complete agreement with- I would move A. Hernandez up about 8 spots. Although with his track record you do have to be concerned his control may go completely south again but with his pure stuff he can easily carry a 5 BB walk rate and be extremely effective in a RP role. I was pessmistic about Castillo’s ability to miss bats coming in to the season- but he has been a major revelation. A SP that sits at 98 MPH- is crazy- also crazy he throws harder than Chapman did as a starter. Crazier is if the Marlins didnt believe he was a starter they should have just converted him to a RP and they could have traded him this year for a nice prospect package. This system I still believe is a little underrated with strong depth and with the MLB lineup being both highly productive and cost controlled- the Reds are 2-3 SP from being back in the playoffs. Reply Max July 10, 2017 Just wondering why Friedl is so low? I would have thought he’d be more around the 10-12 ranking. While he’s struggled a bit in Daytona, combined with Dayton this year in 85 games he still has 6 HR, 14 SB, and a .362 OBP. Reply Stock July 10, 2017 Interesting. I thought Friedl was high. I would flip him and Rodriguez. With his glove all he needs to do is bring a .250 BA to the majors and he is an asset. Reply Stock July 10, 2017 I would take 4-6 and move them to 11-13 moving everyone else up 3 spots. Siri needs to be in the top 10. Maybe move Mahle to #3. Greene is #1 in my book. Stenzel #2. I feel Mahle is #3 but Castillo has surprised me thus far. Not sure Romano will ever get 30 starts in a year in the majors. Not sure Winker has enough power to play LF/RF in the majors on a daily basis. Gutierrez has far too many off days to make this years top 10. Debby Santana and Miles Gordon have more to prove but would make a lot of teams top 25. I think Mahle, Trammell, Stephenson, Siri, Santillian, Long and Downs all have a shot to be in post-season top 100 lists. Unless Romano, Winker and Gutierrez have great second halves I don’t see them in any top 100 lists. I could see Mahle, Downs and Santillian joining Senzel and Greene in the top 50 with a solid 2nd half. Best #10 prospect I have seen for the Reds. Tough to beat the 2008 class though. With 4 studs at the top. Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Yeah, that 2008 class is tough to be on pure top end ability. Depending where you looked, there were four guys who were all considered Top 25 guys and they were all in AA/AAA at the time, too. Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Is he really that low? The system is incredibly deep. I mean, heck, I’ve got Shed Long at #11 and I think you can argue that he’s a borderline Top 100 in all of baseball kind of prospect. There’s tons and tons of depth in this organization. But, with Friedl, I’m just not sure he’s not more than a good 4th outfielder. I think there’s a chance he’s a starting caliber center fielder, but I’m not convinced of it yet, either. Reply Jonathan Linn July 10, 2017 How many players do you think could make the top 100 or 150? From my perspective, this seems like the best list the reds have had in a decade Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Well, I don’t know about a Top 150 because no one is putting those out that I know of. But, I’d guess the Top 13 would for a lot of places. A Top 100 – well, we have that answer, at least right this second because Baseball America has their list out and they had four guys. Reply Josh July 10, 2017 Doug – I thought that you said that when the Reds signed Vlad G earlier this season that he would be ranked up above any pitching prospect in the upcoming draft. I would have thought he would be higher…… Has his performance regressed from the beginning of the year? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 When I said that, Kyle Wright probably hadn’t gone on the run he went on at the end of the college season. But, I had him ranked higher up the list when I started and then talked myself into moving him down some. I felt that given he hasn’t pitched a full season yet, that I’d like to see how he responds in the second half, once he reaches that 100 inning mark before throwing all my chips into that. The stuff, though, it’s still impressive. Reply Greg July 10, 2017 With Scott Moss not making the list it shows a really deep group. There really isn’t one person that doesn’t belong on this list. Moss in most systems would be top 25 for sure imo. Love the list and as always great job Doug and thanks for all you do on this site. Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Yeah – he was one of the guys who just missed out on the list. And normally, he’d be a for sure guy. The numbers are great and his stuff has been solid. Reply ephram July 11, 2017 I suppose it depends if we are talking about the Scott Moss from the first 12 starts of 2016 with the 2.14 ERA, and the 0.184 OBA, Or if we are talking about the Scott Moss of the last month with the 7.45 ERA, with 5 bad starts out of his last 6 outings. Joe July 10, 2017 Where would Stephenson, Garrett and Reed rank if they were eligible for this list? Just curious to see how you view them in comparison to the pitchers who are listed. Each has obviously gone through some struggles in the last year or two. Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Stephenson would be #4 probably. Garrett somewhere right around Mahle. Reed, I don’t know. I would have had to talk to some people about him to comfortably rank him. Reply Cameron July 10, 2017 Is Rookie Davis eligible? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Yes. Reply mark l July 10, 2017 no Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 As far as I can tell, he is. He hasn’t spent 45 days on the 25-man roster and he doesn’t have 50 innings pitched. mark l July 10, 2017 yes Heyclammy July 10, 2017 Interesting how many top thirty guys from past lists have been passed up due to injury, mediocre performance or just the acquisition of better talent. Just off the top of my head names like Rookie Davis, Jagielo, Mella, Howard, Traviseso, Okey, Trahan, Daal, Wotel, Sparks, Kahaloa, Crawford were on the mlb’s top 30 list (2015, 16) I would guess none of them make Doug’s top 30. Reply Zach July 10, 2017 Thanks Doug. What is your qualifications for prospect status? I would think Reed would still qualify. If they did, where would you rank Stephenson and Reed right now? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 You’ve got to be ROY eligible for next year. That means 50 innings pitched for pitchers (or less), 130 at bats for position guys (or less), or 45 days on the 25-man roster (does not include September days or disabled list days). I addressed the rankings up a few spots. Reply LB July 10, 2017 Great work, Doug! My question is, do you think maybe it’s time to give Tony Santillan a shot at Daytona? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 No. I’d keep him in Dayton all year. He’s made strides this year, but he’s still finding that consistency with the strikezone. No need to push him, either. Reply fatboy567 July 10, 2017 Curious, can you breakdown the top 25 as tiers ..is senzel in his own tier , are guys 2-8 in another tier where they are close to each other etc Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 For me, I think Senzel and Castillo are in their own tier. Hunter Green in that next one. Then guys from 4-11 in one. Reply Wes July 10, 2017 Doug I’m guessing you like 2017 draft better than 16? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 I really like both of them, but at least for now, I’ll stick with the 2016 one. Senzel/Trammell is pretty tough to top at this moment. They’ve both gone out and shown they can absolutely get it done. Downs is out to a great start, but it’s been 8 games. Greene hasn’t played yet. Makes it a lot easier to side with the previous group. Reply Alfredo July 10, 2017 It feels like Jackson Stephens came out of nowhere, do you think he has the potential to be an adequate starter at the Major league level, maybe as a Tim Addlemen type? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 I think he’s more of a BOR guy, which means that with all of the arms the Reds have, he might not be getting too many chances. He didn’t really come out of nowhere, so to speak, but him throwing 94-95 and hitting 97 absolutely did. Reply MK July 10, 2017 Doug, Is this list a change in your position on the value of relief pitchers as prospects? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 No. There’s only a few relievers on the list and they are all toward the bottom of it. Reply GT July 10, 2017 Does Mahle get a September start in for the Reds? Or perhaps multiple? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Possible, but if I had to lay down my own actual money on it, I’d say no. Reply Fainsniners July 10, 2017 Wow that’s a good looking top 25. If everybody progresses the 2nd half We hav to be ranked right up there behind braves Yankees n brewers in th top5 by end of the yr Reply Fainsniners July 10, 2017 Only thing I’d change is move Mahle and trammel up where Romano and winker are. But I understand Romano and winker have been around lil longer and shown lil more in the higher levels Reply HavaKlu July 10, 2017 The only argument I would have with your 25 is ranking Gutierrez ahead of Mahle, Weiss ahead of Hernandez and putting this year’s draftees so high. Until they and Garcia establish some sort of track record I would I would rank them in the lower third of the 25. Also, Ryan Hendrix would have made my list instead of Ervin. Reply Andy July 10, 2017 Interesting you have the 3 relievers 19-20-21 with Hernandez 3rd, even considering Weiss’ injury and time off. He’s proven he not only belongs at MLB level but can dominate there, to me he’s got to be ahead of those guys until they prove the same. Admittedly, you’ve seen Weiss and Herget pitch, and I haven’t. I know you go by rookie eligibility rules when selecting the list, but selfishly I’m more interested in your list to follow the minor league guys on your daily update. That means I’d take Castillo and Hernandez off the list and consider them graduated (and shame on the Reds if they send either back down), and make sure Reed/Garret/Stephenson/Herrera are on your daily update. Assuming they’re all still top-25? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 At some point walking 5+ guys per 9 innings is going to catch up to you. It always does unless you’re also striking out 14+ per 9 innings. I’m a huge Hernandez fan, but with the walk rate where it’s currently at, the odds of him pitching 8th/9th innings without improving it are small. Reply Brett July 11, 2017 I agree with the logic but I disagree with the current representation of him. He is currently sporting a 4.6 BB/9 and with the obvious elite stuff his K% has a decent chance to increase. If he lowers his BB/9 to 4 he was essentially David Phelps last year, who was a top-30 RP based on WAR. Extending it further, his peripherals exceed A.J. Ramos last year who again was a top-30 RP. I think Ariel is a lot closer to a high-leverage reliever than given credit far, and that isn’t factoring in any improvement to his current numbers. Doug Gray July 11, 2017 Brett, he’s got 28 walks in 46.1 innings this season across all levels. That’s a 5.4/9IP walk rate. I’m a huge fan of his, but he’s got to cut the walk rate down some or he’s not going to continue getting high leverage situations. Kindell July 10, 2017 Was this the most difficult Top 25 list you have done since starting this site? If its not, it has to be close. It’s so incredible to think about the upside guys sitting outside the top ten like Long, Downs, and Fairchild. I wouldn’t be shocked if one of Tyler Stephenson or Taylor Trammell end up as the best player out of this group, and they are at the bottom of the top 10. Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 I’m not sure if it was the toughest or not. They are all tough because I’m not just mailing it in, I’m trying to distinguish why one guy is better than the other guy, even when the difference is incredibly small. The difference this year was the amount of depth compared a few years since I started doing things. Reply Greg July 10, 2017 If Garret, Reed, and Stephenson can be a 4/5 type guy in the MLB rotation then we have to feel very good going forward. With Mahle right be them as well. Then you have a stocked MLB BP with 3/5 back of the BP types coming in the next 11/2 to 2 years. Curious if you are looking at the current MLB team with all the minors guys which organization would you pick? Reds would have to be a team on a lot of people’s list. Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 I don’t know other organizations nearly well enough to answer that question. Reply sultanofswaff July 10, 2017 Good list overall. I think Fairchild is waaaay too high though. He’s barely doing what he should be doing in Billings with no track record to fall back on. Much of how I compare outside the top 10 is to say which guy would I bet money on to simply make it to the bigs, whether that is as a backup, reliever, whatever. Guys never rated that high like Tucker Barnhart, and from this list guys like Herget and Ariel, who would be in the 11-15 range for me. If you were betting— AlfRod or Aquino? LaValley or Fairchild? Vincej or Blandino? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Fairchild hit awfully well in college this year to say he has no track record. He just went in the top 50 of the draft. And he’s been in Billings for two weeks. Remember what Nick Senzel did in his two weeks in Billings? Don’t pay attention to the numbers at all right now. My rankings tell you who I’d bet on. I’d be making a terrible list if I picked someone I ranked lower. Reply Gaffer July 10, 2017 The better question is not who makes the majors but contributes. Aquino has no chance to stick as long term as AlfRod will because of defense but neither is better than replacement level. LaValley is the best hitter in this group but no defensive value so probably not a full time player. Hence, Fairchild is the only guy likely to be a 10 year starter so ranking higher is reasonable. The last 2 are backups and should not be ranked. A top 20 was all that was necessary. Doug Gray July 10, 2017 I’m more worried about career value than sticking around longer. If you stick around for 12 years as a glove only guy and OPS .560 is that better than a guy who starts for 4 years and is an average-ish contributor, then sticks for 2 more as a back up before being done? William Kubas July 10, 2017 Vincej or Blandino : interesting question………I believe I have listened to three Bats games since Blandino’s call up. Vincej is more respected by DeShields…..never misses a start at short stop….provides power……consistent bat. Blandino on the other hand has not shown power yet at Louisville….last two starts are 0fers. Blandino does have the advantage of being able to play third base, second base or short stop ” well”. I was very surprised to see Blandino on Doug’s list…..he is, somewhat deservedly, the forgotten player. Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Zach Vincej provides power? The same guy that’s slugging .350? Vincej plays every day, just about, because he’s the only true shortstop on the roster. He’s got a chance to be a utility guy in the big leagues. Nothing wrong with that. Krozley July 10, 2017 Gotta love the depth. I would probably give more credit to the guys in the upper levels and have Long, Aquino, and Ervin a little higher while Fairchild, Garcia, and Siri a little lower. Those last three are talented, I’d just like to see them produce a little longer before I’d put them in the top 16. My question is why Stephens over the likes of Rookie Davis and Keury Mella? None of them have great stats this year and all may end up in the bullpen, but I was just curious why you believe Stephens has more potential. Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Up the middle guys > Non up the middle guys. Stephens over Davis because I like Stephens breaking ball better than any secondary offering from Davis, and I think both probably wind up in the bullpen (with the Reds at least). Stephens over Mella because he’s got more control. Reply RedsKoolAidDrinker July 10, 2017 Mella sucks. Ill take Stephens any day especially now that he’s shown he has some gas. Reply Doug Gray July 11, 2017 When did you last see Mella pitch? Steve July 10, 2017 Doug, how close were Vincej, Elizalde, Beltre, Gordon, M. Bautista and Case to making the list? You’re especially high on Beltre and Bautista. Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Beltre was closest. The others weren’t in the top 30, but Bautista and Gordon could move into the Top 25 with how their seasons play out. Reply Hoosierbadger July 12, 2017 Elizalde intrigues me. Perhaps his ceiling is a 4th outfielder, but the guy seems to consistently hit the ball at a decent clip with some extra bases production. Reply Bryce July 10, 2017 I believe Trammell will be a fantastic player for the Reds, at only 19 and playing as well as he has. Seems to have tools to be very good. So much depth. Lot of pieces to possibly trade when Reds begin contending again, could be sooner rather than later. Great job Doug. Do great work for all Reds fans Reply Tim Red July 10, 2017 Alfredo Rodríguez is after Phillip Ervin and Jackson Stephons? Ouch!! Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 It’s all close in the range, but I think you might be sleeping a little bit on Stephens and Ervin. Reply Nick July 10, 2017 Romano has thrown only three change ups in his first two MLB starts. How concerned are you that he won’t develop the change well enough and his fastball/slider combo ends up in the bullpen? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 I’m not overly concerned. It’s a pitch he’s got, but it’s definitely his third pitch. It will need to improve for him to reach his ceiling, but it’s not like the pitch doesn’t exist. Reply Norwood Nate July 10, 2017 As always, a good list. It’s the one I’d go by first compared to the others. I like that it’s released all at once this year. Thank you for doing this for us. From what I was thinking the other day, our top 12 are the same, although some in a different order. I think there’s a clear separation after those players. I had Greene at #2. I really think he’s a special talent and I’m excited we have him. I can understand why Romano and Castillo are ahead. Their readiness, stuff, and control could swing it. I suspect this may be their last ranking. Winker is the clear #5 of a clear top #5 for me. I differed some on 6-10 but both had Mahle at #7. Those guys are all so close I can see any reason to rank them in any order. Long and Downs were my 11 and 12. The next four that had separated themselves to me were Hernandez, LaValley, Herget and Moss. Which are 21, 18, 19, and NR on your list. What Hernandez has shown this year has really impressed. The fact that he’s ready to contribute now is why I rated him this high. LaValley to me is a near-ready bench piece that checks off many of the boxes you’d want. He can play (passably) at the two corner INF positions, he’s got real power, and a solid hit tool. Herget was here due to his dominance of the minor leagues and quick ascension as well as his “near readiness”. I am surprised to see Moss not on this list. I think he’s been pretty impressive in his first full season of ball. Everyone else fell into the guys I couldn’t sort out but I knew would be ranked in this range. You ranked Fairchild and Siri a little higher than I would have guessed. But I know Siri’s got excellent tools. I just don’t know enough about Fairchild yet to know much, but it’s good too see he has some esteem with you. Garcia was a guy I didn’t know enough about either, but the little video I’ve watched, I came away impressed. I’m excited to see him stateside. Thanks again for putting this out. Great work. Reply Mjc July 10, 2017 Doug, I think this list is on the money. Can’t even find anything to henpeck about last year I disagreed with in a few back and forth over Y. Rodriguez being several spots above Scot Schebler. But this list I totally agree with nice job. Reply William July 10, 2017 I’m a little surprised Nick Longhi didn’t make the list. Could you have a different evaluation of him that gets him into the top 25, after you watch him in Pensacola this week? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 It’s possible, but a little bit unlikely. We will see, though. Reply Shamrock July 10, 2017 I’m a little confused about Longhi not being on here too. MLB Pipeline had him as the #9 prospect for the RSox. Is our system really that much better than theirs? Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Yes, it is. But, I don’t know their system well enough to know how over/under ranked he was within their system. I can’t see where he fits into the Reds Top 25 right now though. A first baseman who needs to still develop power? That’s not a Top 25 guy. Look at where Gavin LaValley is ranked. LaValley is hitting the snot out of the ball. He’s barely inside the Top 20. Reply Brett July 11, 2017 Doug, First, great list and thank you for your work. You do a fantastic job. As far as this point, how is this any different to Winker, who you have at #5, when Longhi is basically Winker-lite? Both could play a mediocre/passable Corner-OF and have significant power concerns. This might be more towards the point of Winker being over-ranked, but I am curious for your thoughts behind this. To me, #5 is too high for a one tool Corner-OF. Doug Gray July 11, 2017 I trust Winker to hit for a good average/OBP at the big league level a lot more than I do Longhi. I’ve also seen Winker hit double digit home runs in the past. And, while Winker isn’t exactly a defense first guy, he’s got more defensive value than Longhi. Basically, he’s a little bit better across the board, at everything and more than a little bit better at a few things. And he’s also closer and more ready for the big leagues. Greenfield Red July 11, 2017 Look at their list on the official Reds page. Boston does not have enough 45 level prospects to fill out their top 30. I don’t know, and maybe someone who knows this stuff better than me can weigh in, but I bet the Reds have at least 50 prospects that would rate a 45 or more. Reply donny July 10, 2017 WOW, already 65 comments as i am writing. I’am going to do my top 25 here. I know mine means nothing but i have fun with it when Doug does his top 25 or so. Mine is based on overall talent. Not just, well wait for a year and see what he does before giving him to much credit. Writing this because Doug reminds me,Example; giving shed Long to much credit a few years back and look at him now. but i am not going to do mine with the status quote. So mine is going to be a bit different . Doing mine on talent and projection not where they are based on how close they are to the bigs. Mine will only be a little bit of that when its a toss up on who ranks ahead of who. So remember guys, i am just having fun with it. So no bashing please. Keep it civil. 1. Nick Senzel 2. Luis Castillo 3. Hunter Greene 4. Sal Romano 5. Taylor Trammell 6. Tyler Mahle 7. Jeter Downs 8. Jose Siri 9. Shed Long 10. Aristides Aquino 11. Tony Santillan 12. Jesse Winker 13. Vladimir Gutierrez 14. Gavin LaValley 15. Stuart Fairchild 16. Jimmy Herget 17. Tyler Stephenson 18. Jackson Stephens 19. Ariel Hernandez 20. TJ Friedl 21. Miles Gordon 22. Mariel Bautista 23. Jose Garcia 24. Alfredo Rodriguez 25. Andy Sugilio Honorable mention ; Reshard Munroe Raul Juarez Carlos Rivero Zack Weiss Wennington Romero Reply Steve R July 10, 2017 Where was Tanner Rainey close to making top 25 seems like he had a chance to be a nice bullpen piece? Reply donny July 10, 2017 He has good potential , but he has struggled a bit. And his age compared to where he is at this point in time in his career . That’s my thought . Reply donny July 10, 2017 He’s is not quite there with Jimmy Herget, Ariel Hernandez, or maybe Jackson Stephens yet, but i think he can get there for sure. Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 He was probably the next pure reliever that was on my list, but just outside the Top 30. The stuff is really, really good, but he’s got some control problems he’s got to work through. Reply ian July 10, 2017 Without Castillo’s recent mlb success, would he be ranked #2? Reply Michael Smith July 10, 2017 I think yes. He was in the same realm as Mahle with amazing stuff. Reply Wes July 10, 2017 To dougs credit he had Castillo @2 then he pitched that gem. He released his list early to patrons Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Without question. I’ve made the argument that if Hunter Greene turns out to be everything people seem to think he can be, it’s basically what Luis Castillo is right now when it comes to pure stuff. Reply Brett July 11, 2017 Which is why it is a borderline crime Luis Castillo isn’t cracking any top-100 list and Hunter Greene is regularly updated in the top-50. Doug Gray July 11, 2017 Well, Castillo cracked the Top 100 BA midseason list, and we will see him on more if he’s still eligible when others come out. Cguy July 10, 2017 Could Phil Ervin be the new Yorman Rodriguez? I can’t imagine Ervin making Doug’s top 25 next spring, but I didn’t think he would best out Scott Moss, Miles Gordon, Nick Longhi, or Rookie Davis this time. Reply Wes July 10, 2017 I’d be interested in seeing Ervin playing in bigs as forth outfielder. He may have some value there. Outside of that he’s a cut player imo if he’s got to be on 40 man roster. I’d be playing him over winker if you aren’t going to put winker in line up. That way you got a better idea of what you got and see if he’s worth keeping on 40 or open to rule 5. Reply Doug Gray July 11, 2017 Ervin is still a guy that I believe is a quality 4th outfielder right now at the big league level. He may not hit for a good average, but he’s got enough of everything else to be a quality bench guy today. Scott Moss had real good numbers until yesterday when his ERA took a big hit. But, his stuff hasn’t exactly been outstanding. His fastball velocity has been average at best this year, and often below-average. When that’s happening in Low-A, I’m going to be a little hesitant. Love what Miles Gordon is doing in Billings, but I’d like to see him do it for more than a few weeks, too. Longhi – first baseman who needs to develop power still. Rookie Davis – More likely a reliever. Generally, they’re all fairly close, but when push comes to shove, it’s easier for me to see Ervin providing more value. Reply Cguy July 11, 2017 Great reply Doug. I’m not sure about Ervin, but I’m sure that you’re sure. As things stand now, the Reds probably don’t have 25 prospects that rank higher than Phil Ervin. Maybe after the trading deadline? Shawn July 10, 2017 Doug, Why has Cody Reed fell out of the top 25. We have all seen the struggles. Just wondering. Love your work, will be a supporter soon. Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 He is no longer eligible for prospect lists. If he were, he’d absolutely be in the Top 25. Reply Tampa Red July 10, 2017 Great list. I haven’t seen a single player play yet that hasn’t played for the big league team, so I defer to your evaluations. I will say this though. I’m not as big a believer in Winker as you are. He has two problems, neither of which are not likely to change. 1. He plays in the national league, with no DH. 2. His bat profiles as a middle infielder, but he can’t play any of those positions. I’m not sure exactly where I’d rank Winker, but there are more than four guys I’d rank ahead of him. Reply Doug Gray July 10, 2017 Well, I’m not ranking players based on how they fit in for the Reds. When I rank players it’s based on the idea that there could be a spot open for them whenever they are actually ready to play in the big leagues. If the Reds had the best 1st base prospect alive I wouldn’t rank him less because Joey Votto exists. Winker is a solid enough corner outfielder. I believe Winker is going to hit for more power than he has been showing lately. But, and this is also big for me, he’s incredibly safe to be a big leaguer. Reply Bryce July 10, 2017 Doug, do you see Aquino figuring things out? Know you’re in Pensacola now. Such a good year last year. Odd to see struggles. Reply Doug Gray July 11, 2017 I think he’s currently working his way towards figuring some things out. In April, he was very poor and it was mostly K/BB related. He’s been much better in that aspect since then, so now it’s just taking that next step on top of that to get the hitting thing down. There’s always going to be risk with a guy who has had strikeout-to-walk ratio issues in the past when they go to a new level because the pitching is just better, and they tend to struggle a little bit more. He’s been adjusting, but he needs to keep it going in the right direction. Reply Aflredo July 11, 2017 Is Dilson Herrerra not eligible as a prospect anymore? If he was eligible, where would he rank on this list? Any updates on his health/performance this year? Reply Doug Gray July 11, 2017 He’s never been eligible as a Red. He had too much time with the Mets big league club. Tough to say where he’d rank because I honestly didn’t put any thought at all into him. With that said, it’s definitely behind Shed Long, so, at best, 12th. Over the last 5 weeks he’s hitting .316/.359/.484 in 103 plate appearances. You have to wonder if he wasn’t completely healthy coming out of spring training. I mean, we know his shoulder wasn’t 100% because he wasn’t playing in the field on back-to-back days for the first month of the year. But, he also wasn’t hitting much at all. He’s got a good track record of hitting, so it’s been surprising that he’s struggled, but if that shoulder wasn’t quite right, then it makes some sense. He’s hitting again, though. Reply Tampa Red July 11, 2017 That’s a fair point, he does have big league talent. I just don’t see him being a regular starter at any position at this time and that’s a shame because he can hit. greg July 11, 2017 Doug, Chris Okey dropped from 12 after last season to completely off the top 25. Do you see things that are just fundamentally wrong with his game, or is this more a function of the depth of the system combined with his poor play so far? Reply Doug Gray July 11, 2017 I see it as he’s a guy who is supposed to be more of a hit-first catcher and he’s simply not hitting right now. Reply Steve July 11, 2017 Doug, just wondering why you chose the pic of Mahle for your prospect list and not Senzel, who is your top prospect. I know you have pics of every prospect listed. Reply Doug Gray July 11, 2017 I had used pictures of Senzel recently for the Futures Game stuff, so instead of repeating another photo, I went with one of Mahle, who was a riser and a guy well known to Reds fans. Plus, I really like that photo. Reply simon cowell July 11, 2017 This is by far your best prospect ranking to date. Hard to find fault with any of it. Easy to understand why this website has become the #1 source to find information on Reds prospects. I am somewhat surprised you ranked so many relievers. I would have done the same but typically a career reliever isn’t going to crack the rankings. The 40 man roster at the end of the year. Who do you see on it? Who are we going to be surprised by not being there? Reply Doug Gray July 11, 2017 Ask me about the 40-man after the trade deadline. That changes, or could change a lot of the math involved on guys. As for the relievers, unless I’m missing something I’ve got the same three relievers on there as I did when the season started. The weird part is that I’m not sure any of them actually moved up despite all of them improving. Reply Hingle McCringleberry July 11, 2017 Doug, at some point, the reds know some of these players are gonna have to be moved right?. Sorta like what pittsburgh and atlanta used to do. Do you think they’ll start swapping these players for some from another organization? I’m not talking about top tier players but if some of these players can get us a few more castillo’s wouldn’t you have to pull the trigger? Reply Doug Gray July 11, 2017 I don’t think any of the non-top tier players are going to get you more Castillo types. There are only so many Marlins out there and their ownership seems like it’s going to change after the season is over. But, at some point, yes, they will probably have to cash in a few chips. I think we are still a ways away from that point, though. Reply All the Hype July 11, 2017 Not understanding the Romano love. Someone please explain to me. He has no track record of dominating stuff, at any time to date. Yes, he can command. But if he can’t dominate lower levels, he’s going to get shelled eventually in ML. To me, he’s fringe top 10 or 12 but definitely not top 5. Reply sultanofswaff July 11, 2017 He was sitting in the upper 90’s late into his start with a wipeout slider. No ‘stuff’ in that? AT WORST, that’s an 8th or 9th inning guy. With a marginal ‘show me’ changeup, he’ll stick as a starter. Lots of value there that is deserving of this ranking IMO. Reply Jasonp July 11, 2017 The second half of last year he dominated AA. Then has been good so far this year. 2016 stats in AA for the months of July and August. (He started once in September giving up 4 runs in 6 innings but just did stats for the last 2 full months) July — 36 innings 24 hits 6 walks 36 strikeouts 2.25 ERA 6 starts August — 39.1 innings 34 hits 4 walks 34 strikeouts 1.83 ERA 6 starts. So 75.1 innings 58 hits 10 walks 70 strikeouts 2.04 ERA last two months. Averaging a little over 6 innings a start. Reply ephram July 11, 2017 “Not understanding the Romano love…he can’t dominate lower levels” So, one thing to consider with him dominating the lower levels is that he was pitching on average, about 3 years younger than his counterparts. He didn’t jump straight from high school to Dayton and blow away every batter he faced, but his development is trending well to possibly stick on a major league roster as a starter. Reply Doug Gray July 11, 2017 Sal Romano from July through the end of last season, in Double-A, at age 22: 76.1 innings, 9 walks, 69 strikeouts, 56 hits, 2.12 ERA. He absolutely dominated. So, that he hasn’t dominated comment doesn’t hold much water. As for his stuff not being dominant – I do think that his breaking ball isn’t dominant, but it certainly flashes above-average. It’s just not consistent yet. He’s 23, so odds are he’s not quite a finished product there. But, he’s also got a 95-97 MPH fastball that touches 99 and a workhorse build. Three pitches. Throws strikes. He’s only made two starts in the big leagues. In his first one he averaged 96.1 MPH with his fastball. In his second start it was 96.4. While it’s true that the velocity is up for everyone around baseball pretty much there are only TWO starters in baseball this year that average a higher velocity than that. Reply All the Hype July 11, 2017 If you consider 2 months of good pitching (Jul Aug 2016) to be indicative of a dominant performance trend, then I guess Sal is your guy. But prior to that, and even after, his peripherals are very meh. I’d like to see a more extended period of great pitching (more than 2 months) at lower levels before jumping on the Sal bandwagon. Doug Gray July 11, 2017 Why does what he did at the lower levels matter? He’s been in AA/AAA/MLB for the last year-and-a-half. What he did in Dayton doesn’t mean a whole lot at this point. EF Hutton July 11, 2017 “Not understanding the Romano love. Someone please explain to me. He has no track record of dominating stuff, at any time to date.” What choo talking about Willis? Come in out of the dark, brother. Come in and see the light. Come in and be educated on the facts and all that is Big Sal. Go to Fangraphs and check out the game log on Big Sal from mid-2015 through end of 2016. Reply Hingle McCringleberry July 11, 2017 When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen. Reply asinghoff July 11, 2017 I’m a big Romano fan and think he could be a bulldog in the rotation. I guess the only nitpick I would have with him is that he has had a consistently high WHIP throughout his minor league career. That really didn’t come down much until last season in AA. Reply Doug Gray July 11, 2017 What’s more important: What someone did three years ago, or what someone did far more recently? For me, the number of hits Romano was giving up in Dayton three years ago doesn’t really matter too much. Hingle McCringleberry July 11, 2017 Yeah I tend to agree. I think his last start is what he needed. His arm angle stayed the same so they couldn’t distinguish the pitch types. He looked dominant. Not scared. Not a rookie. I’ll predict sal and luis will stick in the rotation for the rest of the season. EF Hutton July 11, 2017 Very nice rankings. I wrote down a top-20 last week to see how close I would come to your new rankings. Right on a few, close on a few, and way off on a few. 1. Nick Senzel 3B 2. Luis Castillo RHP 3. Taylor Trammell OF 4. Jesse Winker OF 5. Hunter Greene RHP 6. Tyler Mahle RHP 7. Sal Romano RHP 8. Shed Long 2B 9. Tyler Stephenson C 10. TJ Friedl OF 11. Tony Santillan RHP 12. Vladimir Gutierrez RHP 13. Scott Moss LHP 14. Gavin LaValley 1B 15. Aristides Aquno OF 16. Ariel Hernandez RHP 17. Jimmy Herget RHP 18. Michael Beltre OF 19. Ryan Hendrix RHP 20. Miles Gordon OF The Reds have a boat load of RHP’s and OF’s. Need more INF’s and LHP’s to step up. I didn’t include Downs, Fairchild or Garcia yet as they have not displayed much (small sample sizes) or anything yet as pros. Funny though, that didn’t apply to Hunter Greene for some reason. Downs and Garcia could help out the INF with good seasons. Heatherly could as well for the LHP’s. Reply Hingle McCringleberry July 11, 2017 Herget is too low. I think he’s better than advertised. Ryan Hendrix is anther guy nobody’s talking about. Good job putting him on that list. Reply Shawn July 11, 2017 What do you all think the eight position players would look like if they were built from the farm system. They can come from any level, but you are going to field them after the break. Doug feel free to chime in. I know your in pennsecola, so if you don’t I understand. I just feel this would be a good indicator of the system. Reply Bryce July 11, 2017 C- Stephenson/ nearly only one in system, way better than Okey imo. 1B- LaValley/ guy has mashed all season, and will continue to get better. 2B- Long/my favorite prospect. So much talent, hit everywhere he’s been. SS- Alfredo Rodriquez/bat may not be fully there yet, but man o man, this guy gloves it. If he can be an Andrelton Simmons, be awesome 3B- Senzel/ the obvious one, great love for the kid. Absolutely hits LF- Trammell/ doug projects this guy as a left fielder because of his arm, I believe he hits well coming through the system and becomes good major leaguer CF- Siri/ Toolsey, can go get it, has seemed to develop his swing, love his upside RF- The infamous Winker/ the guy can hit, plain and simple. He’s hit everywhere he’s been and the power will translate to GABP. Hope I did well! Good idea. Reply Shawn July 11, 2017 Pretty nice list. Wouldn’t it be fun if we could see them play one together. Nice job. Anyone on additions and subtraction. Bryce July 11, 2017 Go with a lineup of Trammell 7 Long 4 Senzel 5 LaValley 3 Winker 9 Siri 8 Stephenson 2 Rodriguez 6 Hoosierbadger July 12, 2017 Clearly, the Reds have great depth overall. I was wondering if position-wise, there are any particular weaknesses in the system that could impact trade priorities going forward. The one thing that I see is that the Reds lack any real catcher prospects in the high minors. Couple that with Mesoraco’s injury history and it makes sense that the Reds have been so persistent in keeping Stuart Turner. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.