Baseball America released the Midwest League Top 20 Prospects list earlier today. As always, it’s worth noting that the league lists are more based on what coaches throughout the league are saying and less about what scouts are saying. Sometimes the two are the same, but not always.

The Midwest League has 16 teams in it, making it a very deep league in most seasons and tough to land multiple prospects on a Top 20 list where the average organization would get just one. The Cincinnati Reds have two players that made the list. Taylor Trammell led the way for the Dayton Dragons players. He came in as the 6th best prospect in the league. Trammell hit .281/.368/.450 for the Dragons during the 2017 season. In 570 plate appearances he had 24 doubles, 10 triples, 13 home runs, 71 walks and 123 strikeouts. The 19-year-old also stole 41 bases in 53 attempts (77%). In the field most of his time came in left field, though he also saw time in center field at times during the year.

Tyler Stephenson was the other Reds prospect that cracked the Top 20 list. He came in ranked at #17 on the list. The 20-year-old catcher hit .278/.374/.414 with the Dragons during the season. In his 384 plate appearances he had 22 doubles and six home runs to go along with 44 walks and 58 strikeouts. Behind the plate he threw out just 21% of the attempted base runners during the year, though he did show off a strong arm.

Two surprising omissions

What is surprising is that both Jose Siri and Tony Santillan missed out on the list. While it was mentioned that it’s tough to crack the Top 20 because of the pure depth of teams and players in the league, Jose Siri and Tony Santillan were both among the players with the best tools in the league and both put up good numbers, too. Siri hit .293/.341/.530 with 24 doubles, 11 triples, 24 home runs and stole 46 bases while playing an outstanding center field. Santillan posted a 3.38 ERA in 128.0 innings with 56 walks and 128 strikeouts while showing some of the best pure stuff in the league.

While there is some concern over the strikeout-to-walk ratio for Jose Siri, it’s a real tough sell for me to say that he’s not a Top 20 prospect in that league, especially when it is supposed to be based more so on what the managers are saying. Those same managers named him the best defensive outfielder and fastest base runner in the league – and his performance on the field went far beyond just showing tools. He was arguably the best player in the league during the entire season (some guys were better for half-seasons before being promoted).

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17 Responses

  1. theRickDeLux

    Maybe real baseball people don’t think that highly of them?

    • RedsKoolAidDrinker

      Maybe you should find somewhere else to troll then.

    • Doug Gray

      As someone who talks to real baseball people all of the time (meaning, people who get their paychecks from Major League Baseball teams), that’s inaccurate.

    • theRickDeLux

      I stand by my comment. It may sound crazy… but maybe, just maybe, the people who play the game, coach the game and watch the game every single day don’t have as high opinion on these players as someone collecting data on their own. And let’s be honest, everyone on this site has rose colored glasses for Reds prospects. Including it’s owner that I have followed for nearly a decade and contributed money toward.

      And I don’t troll for arguments. This is a legitimate comment.

      • Doug Gray

        We all have some biases, even the people watching the game from the dugout and stands every day that get their checks from Major League Baseball teams. I’ll just say this much, though – I talked with a few scouts this year that had Tony Santillan as the best prospect on the Dayton team. A few others had Siri as the 2nd guy behind Trammell. It’s not just Reds fans out there with that thought process. I can’t speak to how many people that the crew at BA spoke with when generating this list, but generally speaking – the scouts I talked to this season in Dayton had lots of good things to say about Siri and Santillan.

  2. Wes

    I haven’t been too impressed with BA of late. I don’t like how they changed their website format where it’s more of a search for articles vs just displaying new material at the top. They also seem to be wanting you to have a subscription for more and more of their material….

    As far as Siri goes- I am bullish still, but he was black balled off this list. No way you can find 20 guys in that league that are better prospects with his intangibles. Just another grain of salt to BA.

  3. Hoyce

    coppolello?? Out in Atlanta. Because of international drafting issues. I’m gonna guess it has something to do w Kevin maitan. Never understood how the Braves got him so cheap. When reds spend double in someone half as good.
    Stunk then, stinks now

  4. Kap

    Hey Doug, any chance there will be a post about possible trade ideas in the future this off season? Think it will be fun for everyone to contribute, similar to the outfield post a couple days ago. Just an idea…

    • Doug Gray

      I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunity for that to come up in various topics, though I doubt I’m going to start a specific post for people to share their trade ideas.

  5. DaveCT

    With 16 teams and so many players to evaluate, my guess is just what Doug is saying, that a quick look at the K’s did the trick for Siri. The lower st also resembles a who’s who of guys in the league, a bit disappointing for BA. I think JJ Cooper will give us a more accurate take on both he and Santillian. That said, Siri did have an all star season at Lo-A along with Trammell.

  6. Norwood Nate

    Not really sure how you can leave Siri off the list considering the type of season he had, setting a record for the league in hitting streaks. Add in all the tools he has and the numbers he put up and something doesn’t add up.

  7. Hunt4redsoct

    I haven’t seen the whole list. Is there anyone else his age on there. Might be his age working against him

  8. MK

    Having watched the two play side-to-side as much as anyone I agree that Trammel is the better prospect but it would be impossible for me to leave a guy off the list that led the league in 6 major categories(including one of the big three, slugging) and was second in three others (including OPS). Guess it means performance is secondary. I’m sure Jose irritated many experts with his flamboyant style and temper tantrums.

  9. dbfromnva

    I am not to concerned about him not being ranked. He was 21 for most of the season which is what college players are when they are drafted. It is all about how much he cleans up his BB/K rate next year. If he does that with his other abilities he will pass a bunch of those ranked guys and if he doesn’t he is going to have struggles like Aquino and then are we going to care if he is ranked? He will always be boom or bust. This year just gave us more hope that he will be boom.

  10. BA

    Do any of you guys watch the Dragons games, it does not sound like it. Mk knows, he has an extra tool he shows every night.