It’s that time of year again. It’s prospect ranking season and every day this week we are going to unveil five more spots on the list as we work our way through the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List for the 2018 season. You can see the entire list here (once it’s completed at the end of the week). If you were supporting the site on Patreon you would have gotten the entire Top 25 list last week and had early access to this, and all other scouting related articles that show up on the site. Click that orange banner above to see what all you can get for helping keep the site alive.

Just as a reminder, these write ups will not feature full scouting reports. Those will be included with the Season Reviews, which will start in a week – first working my way through the Top 25 prospects before then branching out into another 75 interesting prospects through the remainder of the offseason.

*To be eligible for the list a player must have 2017 Rookie of the Year eligibility (Fewer than 130 at bats in the big leagues, fewer than 50 innings pitches or less than 45 days on the active MLB roster that doesn’t include September)*

21. Phillip Ervin | OF | Age: 24

2017 Teams: Louisville Bats, Cincinnati Reds | Acquired: 1st round, 2013 Draft | Height: 5′ 10″ | Weight: 207 lbs

Phillip Ervin got out to a nice start in 2017, but he fell apart in May. During the 22 games played he posted a .431 OPS. For the remainder of the minor league season he played well. From mid-August until the end of the year, Ervin was with the Major League club. After a quick start, going  5-8 with a double and two home runs, he quickly found himself on the bench for a week without playing. His playing time was limited moving forward. Between the Minors and Majors he would steal 27 bases. It was the first time since 2013 that he hasn’t stolen at least 30 in a season. Ervin hit better in the Majors than he had in the Minors during the season, though that mostly was a result of more power output than anything else.

Biggest Strength: Baserunning. Ervin is deceptively fast. He doesn’t look like he’s running nearly as fast as he actually is. He’s stolen 127 bases since 2014 while being caught just 32 times.

Biggest Weakness: Hitting for average. After hitting .331 in the year he was drafted, Ervin has struggled to hit for an average of .256 at any minor league level since.

Team  PA 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG
Louisville 407 20 2 7 37 83 .256 .328 .380
Cincinnati 64 2 0 3 4 15 .259 .317 .448

22. Gavin LaValley | 1B | Age: 22

2017 Teams: Daytona Tortugas, Pensacola Blue Wahoos | Acquired: 4th round, 2014 Draft | Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 235 lbs

The 2017 season was a tale of two halves for Gavin LaValley. The first baseman began the year in Daytona and he showed off big time power in the pitcher friendly league. In 61 games he hit .288 with 14 doubles and 15 home runs. That earned him a promotion to Double-A. More advanced pitchers were able to hold his power in check as he hit .251 in the second half with 16 doubles and just three home runs. He finished with 30 doubles and 18 home runs, a strong showing of power, but it mostly came in the first half.

Biggest Strength: Power. There’s above-average power in his bat. It’s worth noting that all of his home runs in 2017 were to the pull side.

Biggest Weakness: Defense. He’s a first baseman, and while he’s not a bad one, being limited to first base does hurt the overall value.

Team PA 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG
Daytona 259 16 0 15 15 49 .288 .332 .538
Pensacola 272 14 0 3 19 67 .251 .305 .352

23. Nick Longhi | 1B/OF | Age: 21

2017 Teams: Portland Sea Dogs, Pensacola Blue Wahoos | Acquired: Trade (2017 – Boston) | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 205 lbs

When the year began Nick Longhi wasn’t in the Cincinnati Reds organization. He would spend the first half of the year in Double-A Portland with the Red Sox. On July 2nd he was traded to the Reds for international signing money and assigned to Pensacola. He hit well with the Blue Wahoos for the week he was active. Unfortunately he suffered an arm injury that ultimately led to Tommy John surgery. The 21-year-old hit .266/.314/.410 between his two stops during the season in 69 games. While a majority of his time has come at first base, he’s athletic enough to handle the corner outfield spots.

Biggest Strength: Hitting. While he only hit .266 during 2017, scouts generally believe he will be able to hit for a quality average in the future.

Biggest Weakness: In-game power is something lacking in his game right now. In 354 minor league games he’s only hit 17 home runs. There’s reason to think there’s more in there, but he’s got to tap into it.

Team PA 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG
Portland 252 15 0 6 13 40 .266 .306 .401
Pensacola 22 1 0 1 3 5 .316 .409 .526

24. Jesus Reyes | RHP | Age: 24

2017 Teams: Daytona Tortugas, Pensacola Blue Wahoos | Acquired: Free Agent, 2014 | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 180 lbs

Jesus Reyes was solid in the first half in Daytona. With the Tortugas he started 15 games and posted a 3.78 ERA in 85.2 innings. That came with 27 walks and 67 strikeouts. In the second half he moved up to Double-A and performed just as well, if not better. He made 10 starts and lowered his ERA while upping his strikeout rate. He also improved his already elite ground ball rate with his promotion, to an insane 69%.

Biggest Strength: His fastball. He throws a moving 2-seamer that generates elite ground ball rate. He also has a 4-seamer that can reach 98 MPH.

Biggest Weakness: The change up lags behind his other two offerings and may lead to him transitioning into the bullpen in the future.

Team ERA IP H HR BB K
Daytona 3.78 85.2 80 8 27 67
Pensacola 3.31 51.2 55 3 20 44

25. Zack Weiss | RHP | Age: 25

2017 Teams: Daytona Tortugas, Pensacola Blue Wahoos | Acquired: 6th round, 2013 Draft | Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 210 lbs

After missing all of 2016, Zack Weiss underwent ulnar nerve transportation surgery in the offseason and missed some of the 1st half of 2017, too. In June he got back on the mound after rehabbing in Arizona. He dominated in Daytona for 10 games, striking out 19 with 2 walks and a 2.08 ERA. The Reds sent him to Double-A Pensacola to finish out the year. With the Blue Wahoos he threw 28.0 innings with a 2.89 ERA. That came with 11 walks and 37 strikeouts. His stuff looked similar to what it was pre-injury. The velocity was down a tick or two at the top end.

Biggest Strength: The whole arsenal. Weiss throws four quality pitches as a reliever, setting him apart from a majority of relief options.

Biggest Weakness: He’s not quite back to his peak velocity on the fastball.

Team ERA IP H HR BB K
Daytona 2.08 13.0 8 1 2 19
Pensacola 2.89 28.0 22 2 11 37

62 Responses

  1. HavaKlu

    Will be interested in your reasoning of why Scott Moss was not in the top 25. He could and should have replaced Nick Longhi.

    • donny

      I believe Scott Moss hasn’t regained his fastball. He might still but hasn’t yet. Last i heard he was only throwing around 90 mph .

    • Doug Gray

      Moss throws in the upper 80’s most nights, and while people with the Reds do expect him to show more velocity in the future, until I see it over a longer period, it’s going to be tough for me to really put him up in the rankings. He’s got a quality breaking ball, but the velocity has to improve with the fastball.

      • The Duke

        I must have seen him on a good night then, when I saw him in Dayton it was mostly 90-91 with a few 92’s. He’s been 92-94, touching 95 in the past. We’ll see if he can regain that kind of velo.

    • Colorado red

      The other thing I would think, is that there are tiers.
      But, once we get to the final tier (21-25) there are a lot of players that could be there.
      Doug had to pick specific ones he felt was best.
      Other might have had a different opinion.
      Sorta like last 2 in the NCAA tournament. Other would disagree.

  2. Mjc

    Scott Moss, Jacob Heatherly, Alf Rod or TJ Friedl and Mella. With these guys missing the list shows how really deep we are. these 5 would have been in the Angels top 10-15. Depth is our organization`s biggest strength as all 5 of those guys are legit prospects . And I predict Moss and Heatherly both top 10-15 for us next year . Decent argument for this years top 20

    • donny

      1. Nick Senzel
      2. Hunter Greene
      3. Taylor Trammell
      4. Tyler Mahle
      5. Jesse Winker
      6. Tony Santillan
      7. Vladimir Gutierrez
      8. Shed Long
      9. Jeter Downs
      10. Tyler Stephenson
      11. Jose Lopez
      12. Jose Israel Garcia
      13. Miles Gordon
      14. Alex Blandino
      15. Jose Siri
      16. Stuart Fairchild
      17. Jimmy Herget
      18. Andy Sugillio
      19. Aristides Aquino
      20. Phil Ervin
      21. Alfredo Rodriguez
      22. Zack Weiss
      23. Gavin Lavalley
      24. Tanner Rainey
      25. Nick Longhi

      • donny

        Didn’t mean to put it under reply , but good enough for me.

      • Hingle McCringleberry

        great list. #7 is the iffy one in my opinion.

  3. Greenfield Red

    What I like about Doug’s list is the guys who are not on it. Someone mentioned Scott Moss, Alf Rod, Heatherly, Friedl, and Mella.
    there are also a ton of guys who had good years in the lower levels.

    When the Reds traded Cingrani for Clementina in July, most Dodger fans had never heard of the young Catcher. That’s probably because while he is a good prospect, he doesn’t show up on these kind of lists because they have so much talent in their system. He’s too young with too much to prove.

    It seems to me the Reds have built so much quality depth that few, other than us minor league die hards, have heard of him either. Add to it that there are a bunch of guys who all into the same category, and it looks like a nice picture.

    I’ve only been closely watching this minor league stuff for a couple of years. I’m hoping Doug, Duke, or one of the long timers would comment on the historic perspective of how much quality the Reds have now compared to 5, or 10, or 15 years ago. How many of these guys would have been in the top 25 previously?

    Thanks.

    • Doug Gray

      The system is pretty deep – it’s been that way for a while now. Far deeper than it was 10 years ago. Not sure it’s much deeper than it was 5 years ago, though.

      • theRickDeLux

        I don’t think that is true at top level talent. Look at your Post 2007 rankings list and tell me there aren’t some impressive names on it. 5 years ago, meh. Depth has not exactly turned into wins at the major league level for the Reds. People should really be asking Why.

      • Doug Gray

        At the top, 2007 was insane. You probably aren’t going to see that too often. That was 4 Top 25 guys depending on which list you look at, including the #1 guy in the minors. But the overall depth itself, particularly beyond the Top 10 – the farm is much deeper now.

  4. Thom

    Obviously the burning question here is who is unlucky #26 that got got bumped when Winker was added?

    • Bill

      Doug’s entire list, before Winker was inserted, can be found on his Patreon site on his Oct 26 Post where it is available to his financial supporters.

  5. The Duke

    1. Nick Senzel, 3B
    2. Hunter Greene, RHP
    3. Taylor Trammell, OF
    4. Jesse Winker, OF
    5. Tyler Mahle, RHP
    6. Tony Santillan, RHP
    7. Shed Long, 2B
    8. Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP
    9. Tyler Stephenson, C
    10. Jose Siri, OF
    11. Jose Lopez, RHP
    12. Alex Blandino, 2B
    13. Jeter Downs, SS
    14. Scott Moss, LHP
    15. Stuart Fairchild, OF
    16. Miles Gordon, OF
    17. Gavin Lavalley, 1B/3B
    18. Jesus Reyes, RHP
    19. Phillip Ervin, OF
    20. Jose Israel Garcia, SS
    21. Jimmy Herget, RHP
    22. Jacob Heatherly, LHP
    23. Aristides Aquino, OF
    24. Zach Weiss, RHP
    25. Andy Sugilio, OF
    26. Miguel Hernandez, SS
    27. TJ Friedl, OF
    28. Mariel Bautista, OF
    29. Alfredo Rodriguez, SS
    30. Victor Ruiz, C

    Herget looks like he could be a valuable bullpen piece at a reason price over the next 5-7 years, but odds are he ends up middle relief which limits his value. He could be very good middle relief though. I think he’ll start the year off in Louisville, but may be the first callup to the big club for injury/performance issues.

    Heatherly was once thought of as a high first round potential pick in the 2017 draft. He’s flashed the stuff that made him highly regarded before a so-so spring in 2017, but he needs consistency. Not out of the realm of possibility that he adds a little more velo as well. He isn’t likely to get much larger, but a good sized kid could see a little more just as his body matures and adds strength. I like the upside.

    Aquino tumbled down the list quite a bit. He still has plenty of pop in the bat, still has a cannon for a right arm, and is still a good athlete in RF, but it’s all going to hinge on his plate discipline and contact rates. The more advanced pitchers in AA ate him up in 2017. If he can make the adjustment he’ll start moving back up in the Reds eyes, but if not then he likely falls off the list all together.

    Weiss was on a fast track to the Reds bullpen until he was injured. How well he performed in 2017 coming back from that injury is a testament to his talent and hard work. He was a big time closer in college, and while I don’t think he fills that role in the Bigs, I do think he can be a high leverage reliever.

    Sugilio makes my list for all the reasons why Doug had him twice as high, but I was to see it proven a little more in full season ball before I buy in. He was pretty mediocre in years past in the DSL/AZL, but he did have a very nice 2017. The contact rate was excellent, but I’d like to see the walk rate increase a bit. He’s a guy who could rocket up this list if he repeats what he did in rookie ball in Dayton.

    I added an extra 5 as well. Hernandez has a nice glove and did better in the AZL than he did in the DSL in 2017. I’d like to see him in Billings next year at age 19. Friedl struggled after his promotion to Daytona, but all the tools are still there. He may end up a 4th OF type, but I still think he has the potential to be a lead off man with solid CF defense. Bautista is much in the same mold as Sugilio, just a year younger at the same level. Lots of tool, but he didn’t show the production Sugilio did, but I think he is capable of it. Excited to see what he does in Billings in 2018. AlfRod was pretty much what we all thought he would be. Superman with the glove, but Clark Kent with the bat. If he can up his walk rate enough to be a .650 OPS guy, then his glove will play at the MLB level. Victor Ruiz had a nice little offensive season in the AZL at the young age of 17. The walk rate was atrocious, but just a 17 year old making that much contact and at the C position is very intriguing. He makes my top 30 as a wait and see prospect.

    Only one on Doug’s 21-25 who wasn’t in my top 30 in Longhi. Part of that is my unfamiliarity with him, but he’s also been an inconsistent guy who may be a 1B only if he doesn’t stick in a corner OF spot. He was fairly well regarded at one point, so I wouldn’t count him out, just not quite as high on him.

    Great list Doug, it’s the Reds prospect list I always anticipate most each year!

    • wes

      I’m pretty high on Heatherly too. Like the hype coming into his senior year! Plenty of time to get it straightened out.

    • Doug Gray

      Re: Longhi – he was more athletic than I was led to believe when he was acquired. Looked like he could easily handle the corner spots and showed a very nice arm out there. We’ll see how it is after TJ surgery, but there’s no reason to think it’s not going to be there.

  6. Billy

    Curious about Friedl… I’m not sure that he belongs in the top 25, but he was ranked 21 last season, and after a strong start to the year at Dayton had moved up to 17 by midseason. Then he really struggled after his promotion to Daytona. Did his stock drop simply because he had a bad half season, or were there reports that suggested that his skills and/or talent level have regressed?

    • Doug Gray

      A little bit of both. I still think he’s got some 4th outfielder to him, for sure. But more people I spoke with this season, even when he was in Dayton, were rather hesitant about just what kind of prospect he was. Don’t write him off, he’s got some skills. But it just seems more and more people are thinking possible bench piece rather than possible starter.

  7. Shamrock

    Whoever’s bright idea it was to sign ALF deserves to be fired immediately. Would someone please remind us once again as to how much that signing set the Reds back, not just financially but also crippled on the international market?

    Also, I keep hearing about how our Top 4 draft picks from this year are doing……but how about an update on Mr. Cash Case? (he of the whopping $1M signing bonus)……..are the Reds already regretting this one??

    Thanks

    • Norwood Nate

      I’ve never been a fan of the Alf-Rod signing. I thought it was a drastic overpay, especially when it seemed no other club was going to come even close to what the Reds were offering. I don’t believe in his bat either, so in my opinion it was a lot of money for an elite glove.

      At the same time, the Reds were going to go into the penalty by the time they signed Gutierrez and Garcia regardless. They spent nearly $10m on those two guys which would have put them easily into the penalty. I don’t think the penalty money really set the Reds back. By my calculations it’s a little less than $12m total in penalties, and they would have been out of the IFA market anyway.

      • Alex

        Seem like not many people were high on Alf rod even before the 10 mil signing. Really wish we could have used that money on a couple of other guys with more upside.

      • The Duke

        Problem with that Alex is that he Buscones had pre-worked deals with most of the top guys well before July 2, often times for less money than they could have made otherwise. Kevin Maitan only got $4 million, and was widely regarded as the top international prospect that year. I’m all for the international draft with hard slots like the rule 4 draft, as that would essentially neuter the power of the Buscones in Latin America, and it gets the top guys to the worst teams.

    • Doug Gray

      Nate covered most of what the Rodriguez case is, but I’ll also add this much: If he turns into a true backup infielder, he’s worth every penny they paid to sign him. Unfortunately, I think that’s all they’re going to get from him. I hope I’m wrong and that he’ll hit some, but I’m not much of a believer that he will hit enough to make that happen as a starter.

      With Cash Case – no, they aren’t regretting it. Guys take time. Not everyone enters professional baseball and goes nuts. He walked 11.3% of the time with an 18.7% strikeout rate. No power, and he was crushed by BABIP in a small-ish sample size. It doesn’t seem like he was necessarily overmatched – or his walks/strikeouts would have been very different. Obviously, there’s something there that needs to improve – but I don’t think anyone is regretting that one yet.

  8. Kybly50

    Phil Erwin and Jarrod Dyson could cover center field. We could some top pics for Hamilton.

    • Norwood Nate

      C. Trent believes Hamilton is our 3rd most valuable trade chip (not counting guys like the Reds aren’t trading like Castillo/Senzel etc) behind Iglesias and Suarez. Said on the podcast he knows teams have asked about Hamilton for a few offseasons and thinks he would bring more value to a west coast team with a big stadium.

      It’s an interesting thought, and he may be right, especially about defensive value as GABP has a pretty small OF. Maybe a team like Seattle, Colorado, or SF would be interested as they could use a CF. I believe Texas has been a team that’s checked in on Hamilton in the past, if trade rumors are to be believed at all.

      I’d love to flip Hamilton for Profar. Profar is controlled an extra year (thanks Rangers for not calling him up in Sept) than Hamilton and will address a big weakness by creating competition for Peraza at SS. I also don’t think a rotation of Ervin/Schebler in CF would be a step back, in fact I think the increased offense makes up for whatever defense and base running bonuses Hamilton brought.

      • Colorado Red

        One thing for sure, he is not going to Colorado
        Charlie Blackmon is a beast out there.

      • HavaKlu

        Don’t see how anyone would consider giving up Hamilton for just Profar. You just don’t give up a guy who may be the premier defensive OF in all of baseball, in addition to baseball’s best base stealer for someone so unproven as Profar. It would take 1 or 2 of their top 15 prospects in addition to Profar to interest me. But actually, I think DeShields has become their man anyway.

      • The Duke

        I’m hoping Jeter is stupid and thinks Hamilton is a major piece in return for Yelich. Something like Hamilton, Garrett, Trammell, and Shed for Yelich. Jeter probably isn’t an idiot though.

  9. Norwood Nate

    This year certainly highlights the depth of the system. The top ten is very solid and full of good prospects and the remaining 15 are either high upside guys or guys with high floors with specific skillsets that can be useful.

    My 21-25: Aquino, Reyes, LaValley, Friedl, Heatherly
    Top 25: Senzel, Greene, Mahle, Trammell, Winker, Santillan, Gutierrez, Stephenson, Long, Siri, Downs, Fairchild, Lopez, Ervin, Gordon, Blandino, Garcia, Sugilio, Moss, M. Hernandez, Aquino, Reyes, LaValley, Friedl, Heatherly

    I do not have Herget, Longhi, or Weiss on my lists. I do have Moss, Friedl, and Heatherly on my lists instead. Moss is the highest at #19. I did consider Herget and Weiss both for this list, as well as Clementina, Ruiz, Lopez, Ozuna, Bautista, and Stephens. I didn’t consider Longhi too much, but he should probably be in this group of just missed it.

    As always a good list, and good discussion about the list. Thanks for doing these Doug!

  10. Arnold Ziffle

    Omitting Scott Moss is as ludicrous as having Jose Garcia on this list, let alone in the top-15. Its a very good top-25 with just a few disagreements. It is a Goldilocks top-25. Some are ranked too high, some are ranked too low, but most are just about right.
    Too high: Greene, Gutierrez, Garcia, Downs, Sugilio.
    Too low: Siri, Lopez, LaValley, Moss, Heatherly.
    Hopefully 4 or 5 of these top-25 players will be traded this winter for needs at the Big League level. That also will shake up the pre-season top-25 list for next year.

    • Doug Gray

      There’s not one person in baseball that would take Scott Moss over Jose Garcia. That’s not a knock on Moss at all, but Garcia’s just a different level of prospect. There’s a reason the Reds spent $10M to sign him and referred to him as a Top 15 caliber draft pick.

      I’m curious though, since you feel confident enough to use the word ludicrous, what’s your scouting report on Greene, Gutierrez, Garcia, Downs and Sugilio? You’re very confident they are overranked, so you must be very in tune with their skills.

    • donny

      I don’t know that much on Jose Garcia, except what Doug said about some scouts liking him and some might have a bit of a different opinion .

      So i believe in what Doug said based on the info he got, but i will say this also. I like big shortstops and he has athletic ability and have the potential to play multiple positions.

  11. CP

    Great stuff Doug! Have you ever considered expanded your Top 25 to a Top 30? Seems there would be plenty of good candidates for those next five spots….

    • Doug Gray

      I used to do a Top 40. But a couple of years ago I went to a Top 25 for a few different reasons. There are plenty of good candidates for the next 15 spots, to be honest. But no matter how far you go, there’s always going to be someone for that next spot.

  12. Stock

    This is the best group of 21-40 group of prospects that I can remember. I just think that several of the ones not in the top 20 will be in the majors and a couple will be regulars. You can’t say this most years. The best depth that I remember. Championships are won with the top of the list however and the 2007 class with four top 50 prospects was the best. After these four (Bruce, Bailey, Cueto and Votto) you had Stubbs, Frazier, Travis Wood and Meso. The beauty of this group (and the drafting of Mike Leake) was they were all ready to hit the majors and by 2010 they were division winners. This year’s group is close but not quite there. Also, this group has three top 100 players knocking on the door and two with years until they are ready. Question is what is better. 5 top 100 prospects, a solid 6-12 group of prospects and a lot of depth in prospect 21-40 or 4 top 50 prospects, 4 other top 150 prospects and very little outside of that. I think I lean to the 2007 class but not by much. This is easily the best class we have had since 2007 though.

    • The Duke

      This group doesn’t include Castillo, Stephenson, Romano, Garrett, Reed, or Herrera who all still have 6 years of team control either. Now the latter three I’m not so confident on, but Castillo looks like he could be a star, Stephenson has shown tremendous upside if he can get his control under control (and he HAS made progress in this department, just has more to go), and Romano looks like he could be a steady backend pitcher who can eat up 200 IP every year with a 4.00-4.50 ERA.

      The three biggest things that need to happen for the Reds to be a legit contender are:

      1) Castillo ends up being an ace
      2) Stephenson learns control and becomes a second front end guy
      3) Senzel is everything we think he is

      If those 3 things happen, we’re a contender for the next 6 years.

      • Stock

        I think offensively we will be much better. Senzel and Suarez are an upgrade over Rolen and Phillips. Duvall, Winker and Schebler are an upgrade over Gomes and Bruce. SS was a mess back then and may still be. CF had Stubbs.

        The question is pitching. Those teams had Cueto, Bailey, Leake, Latos and Arroyo. I always viewed it as an ace and 4 #3 SP.

        Castillo could very well be an ace. Tough to be as good as Cueto was as a Red though. Disco is a solid #3 if healthy. Bailey could return. Romano is a #5 but possibly #4. Better off him and others being similar to LeCure. Stephenson was getting results the last two months but was still walking 4.5/9. The 2.5 ERA looked good though. I hope you are right and he can gain control. If he does I think he is a #2. I like Garrett’s chances too. Finally I think Mahle will be a #2. This staff has the potential to be as good or better than the staff that made the run 5-7 years ago but….

        My outlook for the 2017 Rotation would be:

        Castillo, Disco, Mahle, Bailey, Finnegan, Garrett, Stephenson, Romano and Reed (what happened to his control). I would not even look at anyone else until mid-season unless you get a quality arm in FA. If these are not working and Lopez/Gutierrez look ready give them a shot after the break. It is time to figure out what you have because in 2019 you want to be able to fly.

        Sign Cozart for 3 years and trade for a quality CF (Buxton (I am dreaming), Blackmon, Yelich, Cain (available as a FA), Herrera or Bradley). Hope several players step up and others avoid injury. Suddenly we are in contention but it is a deep difficult division.

      • wes

        I’d be cool w Buxton, but not like they are going to trade him for market value- they will want an enormous return.

        Trammell
        Billy
        Stephenson
        lower tier guy they like prob gets it done.

        For me though- to get ready for next few seasons I’d be trying to keep Stephenson and Castillo and then add a pitcher with same upside and less risk than Stephenson. Someone like Blake Snell. Or whomever out of Atlanta’s system you are real high on. Get a guy and pay the price for a star hoping they become a star. That way you have several years of team control. Even if Bailey Disco and Finnegan come back and produce at a high level- there time will be limited due to arbitration cost

      • DanD

        Duke and/or Doug,

        I would love to hear both of your thoughts on how the Reds compare to the Astros on the rebuild.

        Doug I was thinking this would be a great article after the Astros won the World Series to give us a little hope.

        Duke, on your trade scenario of getting Yelich I would not want to give up on Trammell unless we were an ace away from getting to the World Series like the Astros trading Cameron for Verlander. Your thoughts?

      • Doug Gray

        It’s way too early for that kind of article in my mind. But, I’ll say this: I don’t think the Reds are on the same path as the Astros became. Not to say they can’t be, but right now, it’s tough to see the Reds being a 100 win team. Not that it’s easy to see anyone else being that kind of team until they actually go out and do it.

        My guess: You aren’t getting Yelich without Trammell unless you are giving up Senzel instead. The great thing about Yelich is that he’s got 5 years of control. You don’t need to be ready today. Just sometime in the next 3 years and you’re still getting tons of value after that.

  13. Michael Parker

    So I’m sure this will get highly scrutinized but what about this scenario for our 25 man roster in 2020. 15 of the 25 are in our minor league camp and have yet to make it to the big league. In this scenario we’ve made trades to secure middle relief and rebuild some farm talent. Trade would be for Billy Hamilton, Scott Schebler, Homer, Meso, Peraza, Scooter, etc.. from big league roster. We use prospects to help make the trades such as Rookie Davis, Deck McGuire, Alex Blandino, Ervin, Cody Reed, Aquino, Jose Garcia, etc… The 2018 and 2019 drafts we try to pick up a stud OF bat and #2/#3 starters. This scenario keeps Doug’s top 11 guys in the system.

    1 C Tyler Stephenson
    2 1B Joey Votto
    3 2B Shed Long/Suarez
    4 SS Eugenio Suarez/Jeter Downs
    5 3B Nick Senzel
    6 LF Duvall
    7 CF Taylor Trammel
    8 RF Jessie Winker
    9 OF Stuart Fairchild
    10 OF Nick Longhi
    11 POS Chris Okey
    12 POS Jeter Downs/Shed Long
    13 POS Jose Siri
    14 SP1 Luis Castilla
    15 SP2 Disco
    16 SP3 Hunter Greene
    17 SP4 Tyler Mahle
    18 SP5 Sal Romano/Robert Stephenson
    19 P Tony Santillan
    20 RP Scott Weiss
    21 RP Wandy Peralta
    22 RP Jimmy Herget
    23 RP Jose Lopez
    24 RP Vladimir Gutuerrez
    25 CP Rasiel Iglesius

    If we make the trades above using some/most of those players we will still have the next two year drafts picks to strengthen / rebuild our system plus pick up some upside draft prospects in exchange for trade. Is this a line up that can produce championship results if they perform as expected?

    • Stock

      Like the list but my changes would be:

      1. Barnhart will still be here
      3. Suarez
      4. Garcia/Downs/A Rodriguez as SS.
      7. Trammell/Siri/Ervin
      8. Winker/Schebler
      9 & 10. Two outfielders in 7 & 8.
      11. Okey/Stephenson
      12 & 13. Long and SS from 4
      14 – 18. Disco, Castillo, Stephenson, Mahle, Garrett (hopeful top 5)
      RP 7 from Finnegan, Reed, Lorenzen, Iglesias, Romano,Gutierrez and Lopez + MiLB RP Herget, Weiss, Bender

      On the Brink: Greene, Gordon, Sugilio, Fairchild, Heatherly, Kolosvary, Clementia, Naughton, Miguel Hernandez and many others.

    • The Duke

      2021? I’ll take a stab at it:

      1. Taylor Trammell, CF
      2. Joey Votto, 1B
      3. Nick Senzel, 3B
      4. Jesse Winker, LF
      5. Eugenio Suarez, RF (extension before 2018 season)
      6. Shed Long, 2B
      7. Jose Peraza, SS
      8. Tucker Barnhart, C

      BN: Tyler Stephenson, C
      BN: Alex Blandino, Inf
      BN: Phillip Ervin, OF
      BN: Scott Schebler, COF
      BN: Alfredo Rodriguez, MIF

      1. Luis Castillo
      2. Robert Stephenson
      3. Tyler Mahle
      4. Tony Santillan
      5. Sal Romano

      LR: Jose Lopez
      MR: Wandy Peralta
      MR: Zack Weiss
      MR: Jimmy Herget
      MR: Brandon Finnegan
      SU: Vladimir Gutierrez
      CL: Raisel Iglesias

      Top Hitters waiting to come up: Miles Gordon, OF; Stuart Fairchild, OF; Jeter Downs, SS; Jose Garcia, 2B; Andy Sugilio, OF
      Top Pitchers waiting to come up: Hunter Greene; Casey Mize (2018 1st rd pick); Jacob Heatherly; Scott Moss; Tyler Mondile

      Of course that won’t be right, we’ll pick up a couple minor FA pieces along the way, and probably make some sort of trade at some point, but we’ll largely be a home grown team I think.

      • Stock

        Good.

        No faith in Disco, Garrett, Lorenzen, and Reed? Or do you think they will be traded by then?

  14. Carrie Okey

    I would approach the LA Angels with a Hershel Walker type of trade proposal for Mike Trout. Instead of draft picks you have prospects.
    Offer up California natives Robert Stephenson, Hunter Greene, and Alex Blandino, along with Amir Garrett, Taylor Trammell, Vladimir Gutierrez, and Jeter Downs for Mike Trout. That’s 4 that could be on the ML roster and 4 fast risers. It would all be negotiable.

    • Carrie Okey

      Somebody got left out. That would be Scott Schebler added on this list.

    • wes

      If you threw in Senzel or Castillo- that would be enough to get it done. Angels still may not trade him but that would be enough. That said- bad trade for reds. You will only have Trout for 3 years then he goes to yankees or cubs and you are paying him some 33 million a season while trading away a 1/2 a dozen quality players that are more controllable.

      • Stock

        Agreed. If you could get 5-6 years of Trout maybe but not just 3.

  15. Norwood Nate

    Vincej and Wallach did not clear waivers. Claimed by the Mariners and Marlins respectively. I’m not sure I saw either of those claims coming, but good for those guys stirring up interest. A return to the Marlins for Wallach.

    Reds roster now sits at 35, I believe. Room for Blandino, Lopez, Long, Weiss, and Siri to be added. I wonder if any other waivers moves will be made.

    • Norwood Nate

      And just like that, Kivlehan and McGuire have been out-righted. Both can elect FA if they should choose. Roster now at 33. Reyes and LaValley get the next looks to be added?

      • MikeinSoCal

        ouch. Thought Kivlehan was a good bench player. Was hoping Vincej would get a look, bridging the way to the next Reds SS. McGuire could have been an innings eater until the younger kids are ready.

  16. MikeinSoCal

    Hamilton would be my number one trade chip. He needs a change of scenery anyway. Maybe another team would let him bat righty only. Hamilton could bring us a SS. Don’t tie up money on Cozart. Save it for a starter next year. The Astros and Dodgers did ok with their young guys.

  17. Mjc

    Great job, Doug. And some great posts and points by fellow readers. I think I may have mentioned it before but a like button by the posters names would be nice if it wasn’t a big deal to do

    • Doug Gray

      I try to keep the number of add-ons to a minimum. Things like that are nice for the site, but do slow it down. And they also make it more vulnerable to attacks/hacks. While I’m on top of keeping everything up to date, it only takes one coder not keeping their stuff up to date in the add-on to cause real problems. Nerd talk, I know…. but I’ve been trying to keep the add-ons to “need only” for a while to keep the site faster.

  18. willy

    Most of you are missing the boat on Longhi. First year, as an 18 year old, he hit .330 for 30 games before surgery on his thumb. He hit .282 in both his second and third years. During spring trainning of his fourth year the red sox changed his swing, knowing he would take a step back to take two steps forward. During April he hit nothing (maybe .170 if I recall) and then hit .290 from May 1st on in Portland (red sox) and Pensecola for a .266 season. For four years he has been a solid .282 hitter, other than the April 2017 swing change, while moving up one level each year. He will be going into 2018 as a 22 year old with a good, but not great, future.