2018 Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List Update Doug Gray July 9, 2018 143 Comments The 2018 Major League Baseball Draft signing deadline has come and gone. That means that it’s time for the midseason update to the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect list. Those who support the site through Patreon got a sneak peak at the list over the weekend. If you would like to help support the site and all of the work that goes into it for a few bucks a month, click on that orange logo above and sign up for some cool perks related to the website. 1. Nick Senzel, 2B/3B, Triple-A Louisville Bats The season is over for Nick Senzel. He suffered an injury to his hand a few weeks ago in Louisville and it required surgery. There’s a chance that he could return for fall ball during instructional league or the Arizona Fall League if the Reds want to go down that route. Currently 23-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: There’s not really a weakness in the game of Nick Senzel. He’s got above-average tools across the board and the production to back it all up. When healthy, he’s Major League ready at both third base or second base. Previously ranked: 1 2. Hunter Greene, RHP, Low-A Dayton Dragons The season has had a hiccup or three this season for Hunter Greene, but by-and-large, he’s dominated the Midwest League as an 18-year-old. His ERA is bloated by a few real tough outings in April, and sits at 4.69 on the year. In his last 11 starts, though, it’s sitting at 3.02 in 53.2 innings. He’s walked 20 batters with 80 strikeouts in 63.1 innings on the year. Currently 18-years-old Strengths/Weakenesses: The strengths are apparent for Greene. He’s got a fastball that works 97-100 MPH, and has been up to 102 MPH this year. His slider and change up both show themselves as above-average to plus offerings. I wouldn’t categorize it as a weakness – he’s 18-years-old – but if you had to nit pick, you’d point to his change up as a pitch he needs to use in games more often. But, that is being nit-picky. He’s incredibly advanced for an 18-year-old pitcher and he’s generally dominated guys much older than he is in the league he’s pitching in. Previously ranked: 2 3. Taylor Trammell, OF, Advanced-A Daytona Tortugas Just named to the Futures Game, it’s been an outstanding season for Taylor Trammell in the Florida State League. The left-handed hitter has a .307/.405/.444 line in the pitcher friendly league to go along with 12 steals and 19 extra-base hits. Currently 20-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: Let’s start off with the lone weakness – his arm strength. It’s improved since he was drafted, but it’s still below-average. In my opinion it’s not a big deal, though some scouts do think it could limit him to left field. I don’t agree with that because I believe the ability to catch the ball is far more important than controlling the run game on balls that can’t be fielded for outs. The strengths for Trammell are everywhere else. He’s hitting for average, he’s showing some pop (and there’s more in there), he’s got speed, and he can play center or left field with plenty of range. Previously ranked: 4 4. Tony Santillan, RHP, Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos The Cincinnati Reds just promoted Tony Santillan up to Pensacola this past week. In his 15 starts in the first half with the Daytona Tortugas he posted a 2.70 ERA. Over his 86.2 innings pitched, the 21-year-old righty walked 22 batters and had 73 strikeouts. Currently 21-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: The biggest weakness entering the season for Tony Santillan was his control. He’s taken a big step forward this season in that regard, lowering his walk rate from 10.5% in 2017 to a well above-average 6.1% in 2018. When he’s at his best, he’s working with a fastball in the mid-to-upper 90’s, while also flashing two plus offspeed pitches. He’s got big time stuff, and with the control coming around like it has, he could really start to get people talking outside of Reds circles. Previously ranked: 7 5. Jonathan India, 3B, Rookie Greeneville Reds The Cincinnati Reds drafted Jonathan India a month ago with their 1st round selection. The 5th overall pick has only played in two games thus far with Greeneville, so there’s not much to talk about when it comes to performance as a professional. But, he had a breakout season for the Gators in 2018 while in college. Currently 21-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: Power and athleticism stand out for Jonathan India. The infielder spent most of his time at third base while at Florida, but some scouts believe there’s an outside chance he could play shortstop in the future and they almost all think he could be a good second baseman if he winds up making that move. There doesn’t seem to be a glaring weakness in his game. Previously ranked: Unranked 6. Tyler Stephenson, C, Advanced-A Daytona Tortugas So far in 2018 Tyler Stephenson has been able to avoid what’s plagued him the previous two years: injury. And it’s paid off, as he’s currently got the highest OPS of his career despite playing in easily the toughest league to hit in that he’s ever played. He’s currently hitting .268/.353/.438 on the season with 14 doubles and eight home runs for Daytona. Currently 21-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: Tyler Stephenson can hit. He uses the entire field, and shows off power from line to line. His eight home runs are already a career high. Defensively he’s got a very strong arm. There’s still things to work on behind the plate, as there is for nearly every 21-year-old catcher in the history of baseball – but he’s shown improvements across the board behind the plate over the last two seasons. Previously ranked: 6 7. Shed Long, 2B, Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos On Friday night Shed Long was hit by a pitch in the head/face and didn’t play in the games either Saturday or Sunday. Prior to that, though, he was hitting .265/.360/.425 on the season for Pensacola. In just over half of a season played he has hit 14 doubles, three triples, and eight home runs. He’s also stolen 13 bases for the Blue Wahoos. Currently 22-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: Shed Long has pop to all parts of the field. Being short doesn’t hold him back – he’s very strong, has a quick bat, and swings to do damage. He’s also an above-average runner. If there’s a weakness, and it’s a bit nit-picky, it’s that he’s only viewed as a solid defender at second base. Previously ranked: 8 8. Jose Siri, OF, Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos The year got out to a rough start for Jose Siri, who was injured in the first game of the spring and missed the next two months and a half months. He joined Daytona on May 10th and spent the next six weeks with them before joining Pensacola on June 22nd. He’s struggling at the plate a little bit, hitting just .240/.275/.423 currently through 46 games played. Currently 22-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: In terms of pure upside there probably isn’t a single player with a higher upside than Jose Siri, except maybe Hunter Greene. Siri has above-average to plus raw tools across the board. His current strengths are his speed, defense, arm, and his power. All play very well right now. But, his weakness is his pitch identification and plate discipline as a result of that – and it is showing up against more advanced pitching right now. He has 10 walks and 61 strikeouts this season. Previously ranked: 9 9. Jeter Downs, 2B/SS, Low-A Dayton Dragons The full-season debut for Jeter Downs has gone quite well with the Dayton Dragons. The 19-year-old is hitting .265/.347/.429 in 83 games played with 19 doubles, two triples, and 10 home runs. He’s also stolen 25 bases in 32 attempts for the Dragons. Currently 19-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: At the plate, Jeter Downs looks like he’s going to hit for both average and power, particularly for a middle infielder. His power is mostly to the pull side, and I’d expect it to remain that way – but he’s got 15-20 home run pop in his bat if he continues to develop as expected. The biggest weakness in his game isn’t truly a weakness, but it’s probably that he’s going to be a second baseman and not a shortstop in the long term. Previously ranked: 11 10. Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP, Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos The 2018 season has been an inconsistent one for Vladimir Gutierrez. You could say that for each of his two professional seasons thus far since signing with the Reds. On the season he’s posted a 4.67 ERA in 90.2 innings with 23 walks and 83 strikeouts. But, as pointed out yesterday, he’s been performing significantly better of late (1.50 ERA in his last six starts). Currently 22-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: Vladimir Gutierrez has multiple above-average pitches, and he throws plenty of strikes. He’s a guy who can generally pound the strikezone, but at times he will struggle with consistency in the zone and it does get him in trouble at times. That consistency is possibly his biggest weakness right now. Previously ranked: 10 11. Stuart Fairchild, OF, Advanced-A Daytona Tortugas In the first half of the season with Dayton, Stuart Fairchild hit .277/.377/.460. His game was well rounded as he also stole 17 bases in 21 attempts and that helped him earn a promotion two weeks ago to the Daytona Tortugas. He’s had a slow start there, but it’s just been 13 games played. Currently 22-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: As noted above, Stuart Fairchild has a well rounded game. At the plate he looks like a guy who should hit for a solid average with solid pop in his bat. He’s got above-average speed and can use it well on the bases and in the field. The biggest weakness for Fairchild isn’t exactly a weakness – it’s that he doesn’t really have that one standout tool to his game. There’s nothing wrong with having 5 solid-average tools or better, though. Previously ranked: 13 12. Keury Mella, RHP, Triple-A Louisville Bats Keury Mella was just outside of the Top 25 entering the season. He’s now in the top half of it after a strong performance with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. In 16 starts he posted a 3.07 ERA over 85.0 innings with 31 walks and 87 strikeouts. That earned the 24-year-old a promotion to Triple-A, where he made his 1st start of 2018 at the level on Sunday afternoon. Currently 24-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: Keury Mella shows off two above-average pitches and a solid third offering that give him a chance to start. After watching his strikeout rate decline in 2017 at the Double-A level, he began to miss bats at a high rate once again in 2018 and continues to show solid control. He’ll still battle consistency every so often, and some scouts still think he’ll wind up pitching out of the bullpen. Previously ranked: Unranked 13. Lyon Richardson, RHP, Rookie Greeneville Reds When the year began for Lyon Richardson he was in high school and facing off against kids who were playing their final year of baseball of their lives. Fast forward a few months and he’s now a 2nd round draft pick pitching in Greeneville, Tennessee against guys that, for the most part, are 2-4 years older than he is with a lot more baseball experience. Currently 18-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: His biggest strength is clearly his name, right? I mean, his name is LYON. That’s great. Jokes aside, when he’s at his best he’s got a mid-90’s fastball that’s touched 98 and a potentially plus breaking ball. The 18-year-old is also considered to be very athletic, which should bode well for making adjustments as he develops in the future. His biggest weakness, as it is with most high school pitchers, is an unrefined change up at this point in his career. Previously ranked: Unranked 14. Josiah Gray, RHP, Rookie Greeneville Reds Much like his teammate, rotation-mate, and also 2nd round draft pick, Josiah Gray was not a Red when his 2018 baseball season began. Gray put together a big junior year at Le Moyne College, posting a 1.25 ERA in 93.1 innings with 20 walks and 105 strikeouts. He had previously only thrown 23.0 innings in college and was a quick riser in the draft throughout the year. Currently 20-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: The biggest weakness for Josiah Gray is probably just the lack of experience by comparison to other pitchers his age. He hasn’t pitched as much as many guys have because he was not really a pitcher full time until this season. His strengths include an above-average fastball, a strong slider, and good control. Previously ranked: Unranked 15. Andy Sugilio, OF, Low-A Dayton Dragons It hasn’t been a good season in 2018 for Andy Sugilio in Dayton. Early in the year he injured his hamstring and after missing over a month, he returned. He’s been hampered by it a little bit since, though and at times you could notice it in his speed. The 21-year-old outfielder is hitting .247/.284/.344 in 39 games played. Currently 21-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: When healthy, Andy Sugilio is among the fastest players in the organization and he can show off plus-plus speed. That allows him to have range in center field, and run the bases well. There’s more power in his game than he’s shown this year, and he projects as a better hitter for average than he’s shown this season, too. The tools are there, but the production hasn’t been to this point in the season. Previously ranked: 15 16. TJ Friedl, OF, Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos The season began for TJ Friedl with a return to Daytona where his 2017 season ended. Things went much better this time around with the Tortugas as the outfielder hit .294/.405/.412 with 11 steals and nearly as many walks as strikeouts. That earned him a promotion after the All-Star break to Double-A Pensacola where he’s posted an OPS that is 1 point higher. Currently 22-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: This season has seen TJ Friedl show stronger plate discipline than he has in the past. And that has in turn allowed his hitting abilities to show up more, and it’s particularly been stronger against lefties than in the past where he’s hitting .275 with a .431 on-base percentage against them this season. Defensively, and on the bases, he uses his speed to his advantage. He can cover plenty of ground in center field – and that is the best fit for him in the future. If there’s a weakness to point to, it’s probably that outside of his speed/defense, he doesn’t really have that above-average tool to lean on – giving him a profile more like that of a quality 4th outfielder who can play everywhere. The strides against lefties this season could change that profile. Previously ranked: Unranked 17. Jose Garcia, SS/2B, Low-A Dayton Dragons The Cincinnati Reds spent the last of their international money before the new rules went into effect on Jose Garcia last year. The Cuban shortstop didn’t play in 2017, but he showed well in spring training and was sent to Low-A Dayton. He got out to a slow start, but has been hitting well over the last few weeks and has his line up to .218/.270/.295 on the year. Currently 20-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: He’s athletic and looks like he can handle shortstop long term. His arm strength stands out. Offensively, you can see the parts are there for him to hit, but the tools are not yet consistent. There’s more power in his game than he’s shown so far. He was probably not quite ready to start the season in Dayton – even though I was very impressed with what I saw from him in Goodyear – but the tools are there, and I’m a believer that those tools will catch up soon enough and the production will begin to show up in the stat line. Previously ranked: 12 18. Mariel Bautista, OF, Rookie Billings Mustangs In 2017 Mariel Bautista hit .320 with 16 steals in 17 attempts for the Arizona League Reds. This season he got a promotion to the Billings Mustangs. Early on, just a few weeks into the season, he’s hitting .266/.329/.438. He’s already walked more times this season, six, than he did last season in less than half as much playing time. He’s also cut down on his strikeout rate, granted it’s just three weeks worth of playing time. Currently 20-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: He’s potentially got five average or better tools. He’s got above-average speed and can handle center field, and he also uses the speed well on the bases. While he hasn’t hit for power yet in his career, there’s power to be tapped into. Last season he walked just five times in 157 plate appearances, which was a rate that needed to be improved upon. This season he’s drawn six walks in 73 plate appearances, so that’s a big improvement so far. Previously ranked: Unranked 19. Hendrik Clementina, C, Low-A Dayton Dragons The Cincinnati Reds picked up Hendrik Clementina in a trade last summer with the Dodgers. He struggled a bit when he came over, hitting just .240/.302/.365 with Billings in 27 games. This season things have gone quite a bit better. The recently turned 21-year-old has hit .286/.359/.542 for the Dayton Dragons with 11 home runs and 14 doubles in 56 games played. Currently 21-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: The biggest strength for Hendrik Clementina is his power. He’s got above-average to plus power potential, and he’s already showing it in games with power to all fields. There’s some swing-and-miss in his game right now, which could limit what kind of average he may hit for in the future. Behind the plate he’s made improvements, and he’s thrown out 33% of attempted base runners this season. But, there are still questions among some scouts as to whether he can remain behind the plate in the long run. Previously ranked: Unranked 20. Miguel Hernandez, SS, Rookie Greeneville Reds After a season that saw Miguel Hernandez hit .299 between stops with the DSL Rojos and Arizona League Reds, the shortstop is now in Greeneville with the organizations newest affiliate in the Appalachian League. He’s only played in 15 games, and hasn’t played in a few days since exiting a game after appearing to suffer a leg injury running out a ball. Currently 19-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: Miguel Hernandez shows off good defensive tools at the shortstop position where he could be an above-average defender in the future when his tools become skills. He’s got a chance to hit for average in the future and there’s some speed to his game. How much power he will hit for in the future is a bit of a question mark to his game right now. Previously ranked: 20 21. Ryan Olson, RHP, Advanced-A Daytona Tortugas The season got out to a very strong start for Ryan Olson in Daytona, but a few starts before he hit the disabled list really ballooned his ERA. It jumped up to 4.64 in 52.1 innings with 18 walks and 46 strikeouts with the Tortugas in 10 starts. He’s currently rehabbing with the Greeneville Reds. Currently 23-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: Ryan Olson is already 23-years-old and has made just 16 appearances in his professional career. Injuries kept him off of the mound most of the 2017 season. His big strengths are a sinking fastball that works up to 96 MPH, and he shows good control. He’s got the repertoire of a starter pitcher with four different offerings – with his change up being the best of the secondary pitches. His biggest weakness has been staying healthy and on the mound. He missed most of 2016 in college, then most of 2017, too. Previously ranked: Unranked 22. Jose Lopez, RHP, Triple-A Louisville Bats It’s been an inconsistent season in Triple-A for Jose Lopez. On the year he’s posted a 4.68 ERA in 84.2 innings. He’s shown good control, walking just 26 batters and striking out 69 on the season. He has given up 15 home runs – after giving up just 12 in 147.0 innings last season. Currently 24-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: The biggest strength for Jose Lopez is his ability to throw multiple pitches for strikes. His fastball doesn’t have huge velocity, but he hides the ball well and it let’s the pitch play up at times from it’s low 90’s velocity. His slider flashes itself as an above-average most of the time. He’s had struggles with allowing home runs this season. Previously ranked: 16 23. Aristides Aquino, OF, Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos For the second year in a row Aristides Aquino is in Pensacola. He’s improved his output this season across the board, but not by as much as you would hope. He’s hitting .244/.292/.416 on the year in 71 games played. His power is still his calling card with 14 doubles, a triple, and nine home runs on the year. Currently 24-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: As noted above, power is the big strength for Aristides Aquino. He’s got above-average to plus raw power. Defensively his arm also shows off as above-average to plus. He’s struggled to hit for average with the jump to Double-A as pitchers have been able to get him to expand the strikezone a bit more than he had in the past. He’s struck out 28% of the time he’s stepped up to the plate this season. His walk rate is just 5.6% on the year. Previously ranked: 18 24. Jonathan Willems, 2B/3B, Rookie Greeneville Reds The 19-year-old is out to a strong start for the Greeneville Reds in 2018. He’s only played in 14 games with the season beginning a little more than two weeks ago. In that time he’s hitting .333/.379/.550 while playing both second and third base. Currently 19-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: Let’s start off by talking about the weaknesses. The track record for Jonathan Willems is non-existent. He struggled to hit in the Dominican Summer League in 2016 as a 17-year-old. He struggled to hit in the Arizona League last year, too – granted that was for all of 69 plate appearances, which is three more than he’s had this season in Greeneville. Willems has also struggled a bit on the defensive side of the ball when it comes to errors. On the flip side, he’s got tools to work with. He’s very athletic, has a chance to hit for both average and power, and the few scouts and evaluators I’ve spoken to about him had good things to report on him. My views have been limited, but he passed the eye test. Previously ranked: Unranked 25. Mike Siani, OF, Rookie Greeneville Reds The Cincinnati Reds drafted Mike Siani in the 4th round earlier this year and signed him to a well overslot bonus to keep him from going to college. He’s only played in two games at this point with the Greeneville Reds, but he’s already made an impression on the defensive side of the ball. Currently 18-years-old Strengths/Weaknesses: Scouting reports coming out of high school basically scream about his speed and defensive being at the top of the charts. He’s considered a plus to plus-plus runner with defense in center field to match. Offensively, the speed will certainly play on the bases. The weaknesses to look at with Mike Siani would be that a swing change prior to his senior year of high school. That led to less than expected production. Scouts seemed to be split on exactly what kind of hitter he profiled as – with some grading him as below-average in both the hit and power tool, while others had him as a potential above-average hitter for average with slightly above-average power potential. Previously ranked: Unranked Players who graduated from the preseason list: Tyler Mahle, Jesse Winker, Alex Blandino, Phillip Ervin. Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditPocket 143 Responses Doug Gray July 9, 2018 Alright guys, it’s currently 3:55am and I just finished writing all of that. I didn’t allocate my time very well for the site today – I didn’t expect this to take as long as it did, either. I’ll be around to answer questions you have – but, don’t expect me to be around much at all in the morning because I’m going to be sleeping until at least 11 if I get my way. Let’s try to treat this as a bit of an All Questions Answered topic – but let’s try to keep it to the rankings. Whether that’s about guys that are ranked, or why guys aren’t ranked is fine – but if you’ve got questions about something else, try to save that for another day. Wes July 9, 2018 On the patron article you made a comment I have never seen before. I have always thought 3rd base is a more highly touted position than 2nd and teams prefer the better prospects at 3rd than 2nd. Is that not the case? Can u explain that a little deeper ? Gaffer July 9, 2018 Third base is a less difficult position, mostly from a range perspective. Guys that beef up and outgrow SS can go there. Second base requires SS tools but not the top quality arm. A big hitter at second is Rare. An average hitter at third is kinda of lost opportunity. Doug Gray July 9, 2018 The defensive spectrum is as follows: C, SS, CF, 2B, 3B, RF, LF, 1B. If you can play defense (and hit enough) at that spot, that’s the order in which teams would prefer you to play. The further right you go on that list, the more you need to hit and the less your defense matters. Players can *usually* move left to right on that list defensively, and play that following spot (except catcher) defensively without much issue. Players typically can’t move right to left on that list defensively because the skillset is just more difficult and if they could do that, they would have probably started out there. Zac July 9, 2018 I noticed no Heatherly. I thought he’d crack the top 25 w the velocity uptick and potential, LH, etc. Doug Gray July 9, 2018 He was one of the guys I had on the “potentially a top 25 prospect” list that had 35 guys on it. But he didn’t quite make the cut. Need to see him throw a few more strikes to jump onto the list. Like the stuff, for sure – but has to cut down on the walks. Hanawi July 9, 2018 Interesting list Doug. Thanks! Thought there were a few more pitchers that we would see on here (Rainey, Herget, Moss being the biggest omissions for me). Doug Gray July 9, 2018 Rainey’s got to throw more strikes. Herget and Moss were among those who were on the list of 35 that were in contention but fell just short. Randolph Dupree July 9, 2018 Where would you theoretically place the pitcher we just got from the Dodgers (James Marinan) on this list? The Reds seem to like him a lot and the Dodgers paid him 2nd rd money for his 4th rd slot in last years draft. Joe July 9, 2018 On paper marinan looks to be in the 22-25 range for me until see up close view Doug Gray July 9, 2018 He’s in the top 35. But where exactly he is after #25 I didn’t put a ton of thought into it. I stopped at 25 and once I got the 25 guys into the list I stopped really debating the remaining 10 guys. The reason that kept him off of the list for me was a lack of track record. He’s got 27 innings in two seasons thus far and he’s considered to be quite raw. So between being that raw, and having so few innings, he’s on the outside looking in. I’m looking forward to seeing how he does in Billings – he should get more work there than he was seemingly getting in the AZL with the Dodgers. Matt V July 9, 2018 Kind of surprised to see Siani so low since it sounds like consensus is he was a late first round talent who only fell to the fourth round due to signability concerns. Stock July 9, 2018 Agreed Matt. Siani is one of the two huge outliers from my group. Michael Smith July 9, 2018 I think that says a lot about the depth in the system i.e. Friedl is 18th and his a high floor The Duke July 9, 2018 That was my first thought as well. Lyon Richardson was an athletic prep player who is more tools and projection than current skills right now who signed for $2 million. Mike Siani is an athletic prep player is who is more tools and projection than current skills right now who signed for $2 million. One is ranked 13, the other 25. Doug Gray July 9, 2018 Hopefully this answer can address all of the replies here re: Richardson/Siani/bonuses/skills and all of that. For me, I have more faith in athletic pitchers turning raw flashes of tools into future skills than I do with guys learning to hit. With Siani specifically, the questions of needing to rework his swing just leaves me wanting to see it happen. With Richardson, and pitchers in general, you’ve seen the flashes of the good secondary pitch(es) – even if it’s not consistently there. To me, there’s a difference there. One is already showing up and just needs to be more consistent. The other isn’t showing up and it’s just a hope that changes can come. I’ll get eyes on Siani this weekend, and maybe things change. With the high school guys, I’m relying a ton on scouting reports from others because I’ve either barely seen them (I saw Richardson throw 30 pitches last week), or I’ve only seen limited video of them. Joe July 9, 2018 I’d put Gabby Guerrero hitting well in Louisville at 24yrs old and Scott moss in for Olson and Willems other than that good list definitely not as strong looking as the beginning of the yr but hard to replace a Mahle and winker on the list Cguy July 9, 2018 True, it’s hard to replace Mahle (#3), but overall, I like India (#5), Mella (#12), Richardson (#13), & Gray (#14) instead of Mahle (#3), Winker(#5), Blandino (#17), & Ervin (#21). I didn’t expect them to be on Doug’s list but S. Moss, G. Guererro, & M. Nay would have to be close. Maybe? Doug Gray July 9, 2018 Those last three weren’t too close. There’s things to like with each guy, but it wasn’t much of a decision to have them on the outside looking in. Moss would be the closest of those three. Doug Gray July 9, 2018 I think the Top 3 guys on this list right now is the strongest group of 3 guys the Reds have had in a decade – since that group of Bruce/Bailey/Cueto/Votto. Jeff Dunn July 9, 2018 Great stuff as always, Doug. Two questions. Who would be the next five “bubbling under” these rankings? And where would you put Debby Santana? Gotta love the name! Doug Gray July 9, 2018 I didn’t rank guys beyond the top 25 – so I’m not entirely certain who would be the next five. But off of the top of my head here are some of the guys that were left on the outside, but still on the spreadsheet I was using to list possible guys: Cash Case, Reniel Ozuna, Jacob Heatherly, James Marinan, Alexis Diaz, Jimmy Herget, Tanner Rainey, Scott Moss, Joel Kuhnel. Doug Gray July 9, 2018 With Debby Santana – It’s impressive that he’s 17 and in the AZL. And the power he’s showing at that age is also quite impressive. But he’s so raw at this point that it’s tough to really put him in the Top 25. He’s certainly on the “keep a close eye on” list, but his track record in the US is small at this point, so he wasn’t really in consideration at this point for the top 25. Wasn’t among the next 10 guys either. That could change in the next 2 months, of course, but for now, he’s not in that group just yet. Dan July 9, 2018 IF the Reds were willing to put together a major trade – say for a Noah Syndegaard type of return, which players do you think would be considered untouchable? I know that fans (including myself) fall in love with players like Greene and Senzel, but do you think the Reds’ front office has the mentality to part ways with such players to get a return that will get that back to playoff contention quicker? I am not saying I want to trade anyone in their top 5 – 10, but I do hope the front office at least considers it if they get an offer as such. Colorado Red July 9, 2018 To Get Noah, it is going to start with Nick or Hunter. The Mets are not going to trade him. Might even take 2 of the top 3. May be too pricey. For the right starting pitcher, no one is untouchable. Doug Gray July 9, 2018 I think that Hunter Greene would be off limits in a trade. I’m not sure that it’s because he’s so much more valuable than a guy like Nick Senzel or Taylor Trammell, but because of his position, it may make it tougher to let him go. I think the organization would be open to trading anyone in the right situation – but I don’t think they would be exactly proactive in trying to move any of the top 3 guys. Stock July 9, 2018 Thanks for doing this Doug. We have 2 major differences. 1. I have Friedl at # 9. You have him at 16. From where I sit Friedl has to be ahead of Fairchild. He has always been a level above him (at least) and has performed higher at that level even though six months younger at the time. 2. I have Siani at 14 (one slot behind Richardson) and you have him at 25. My thought was his regard coming out of the draft matched that of Fairchild and received the same bonus as Richardson so should be in the same area, ranking wise. 3. I don’t have Mella in my rankings. I view him as a RP. That said SP turned RP seem to be working with Garrett, Lorenzen and Iglesias. I think all three of Garrett, Lorenzen and Iglesias had better stuff than Mella so don’t see that he will be as good in relief as these three and don’t see how he can be good enough to start in the major’s but Lorenzen is not. I do think Iglesias and Garrett could start in the majors. Doug Gray July 9, 2018 1. With Friedl/Fairchild the big difference is power. Fairchild has some and Friedl doesn’t. Most scouts I’ve talked with see Friedl as more of a 4th outfielder, while more think that Fairchild can be a starter. Outside of the power, the two are similarly skilled, though – good defense, can play center, can run, can hit a little bit. 2. See above for my answer with Siani. 3. I see enough with Mella to think he can start, but also think he could be very good in an 8th inning kind of role if that doesn’t work out for him. He’s throwing a little bit harder this season than he has in the past from what I’ve seen, too. At least in terms of where he’s sitting at. MK July 9, 2018 Having watched Fairchild and Friedl practically everyday for half a season the difference I see is it appears Friedl has to give 100% effort constantly while it seems it comes a little more smoothly and naturally for Fairchild. That 100% constant effort can be exhausting and lead to injury over a long season. An old coaching saying we had was “Smooth will improve.” Stock July 9, 2018 The power difference between Friedl/Fairchild sure does not show up in the game. At Billings Friedl had an ISO nearly twice that of Fairchild. They had similar ISO at Dayton but in Daytona it is not even close again. Friedl has a higher career BB% (10.07% vs. 9.57%) and a lower career K% (17.2% vs. 20%). Finally, I know we are talking about a very small window here but stats tell me Fairchild is not ready for the FSL. This is spite of the fact that he is not young for the level. Hopefully, the coming months will prove me wrong or at least right because Friedl continues to tear up the SL Norwood Nate July 9, 2018 The beginning of my list looks very similar. I had Santillan and Stephenson flipped at 4 and 6, but otherwise top 7 the same. That was my top tier. The next four are the same in slightly different order, I have Gutierrez at 8 with Siri and Downs one spot lower. Then 13 of top 15 the same. I kept Garcia (12) high and also still had Lopez (14) there over Mella (16) and Sugilio (UR). 18 of top 20 were the same, I had Herget (18) as well as Lopez instead of Sugilio and Bautista. Siani is the only other to make my list (23), where I had Moss, Marinan, Nay, Isabel round out the last 5 spots. Questions: What made Garcia drop further than Sugilio? After the slow start Garcia seems to have turned it around. What’s the gap between Olsen and Moss? He’s someone I have been consistently higher on it seems. Marinan not in the system long enough to be ranked or just outside the top 25? Thanks Doug Gray July 9, 2018 1. I think Sugilio’s numbers have been effected by the hamstring issue, where as I think Garcia’s have simply been because he’s more raw. And I actually like Sugilio’s tools more than Garcia’s (Garcia has good tools, this is just me speaking highly of Sugilio’s tools). 2. Olson throws quite a bit harder than Moss. That’s the difference for me. Moss has been able to stay on the mound as a pro, which certainly works in his favor – but I’m just betting on the stuff for Olson over Moss. 3. Outside looking in – addressed it a little more in depth above in responding to someone else. MK July 9, 2018 Don’t you think Garcia would have been better served in the Rookie Level this year? Wes July 9, 2018 Here is my top 3: Greene Trammell Senzel Greene has the best tool of group at most prized position and he has been on an absolute tear of late. If he continues his dominance through rest of season he will be ranked top 10 going into next year- possibly 2 behind vlad jr. Trammell just keeps rolling with little trouble hindering his projection. Not only has he ended up being best high school OF of his pretty deep class he’s been better then the best in most classes including Dahl/meadows. He also plays CF and that’s mainly why I have higher than senzel. Senzel- I really hope his struggles are building character. I’m not concerned about finger nor do I believe he’s injury prone but the vertigo does carry some weight in ranking him 3rd. That and moving to 2nd where it’s less impressive than 3rd. All 3 ahould be in top 20/25 going into next season giving reds a top 3 system at worse and rivaling for top spot. Been a long time coming w this rebuild- glad to see the fruits of the labor Stock July 9, 2018 Good post Wes. My initial thought is the next two months should really clarify who is one, two and three but now I think it will be even more unclear. They are all so close and may get closer. But your thoughts are appreciated. RedsKoolAidDrinker July 9, 2018 Wes are top 3 are exactly the same. Stock July 9, 2018 5 in my top 25. #19 – Cash Case. Went over slot last year and is hitting .300 this year as a just turned 19 year old in Greeneville. Is it safe to say that you agree with me that players such as Cash Case, Mariel Bautista, Jonathan Willems, (and possibly include Reshard Munroe and Nate Scantin in this group) can be viewed of similarly? Bautista and Willems have a better BB/K ratio than Case but Case is younger. #20 – Alexis Diaz. Diaz was not even on my radar Friday night and Saturday night he is in my top 20. Am I getting too hyped up about Saturdays game? I love Greene’s K% – BB% of 8.53%. Diaz makes Greene look silly at 13.85%. I would not be surprised if 13.85% is the best K% – BB% in professional baseball among SP. I know small sample size. Is it safe to say that Diaz is the favorite to be the one to make the biggest move up your rankings between now and YE? #21 – James Marinan. Did well for the Dodgers in AZ. thought high enough by the Dodgers to give him 2nd round money. Sickels gave him a C+ last winter so that is a good sign. #22 – Debby Santana. Age 17 and in the USA. Shows potential with 3 HR already. He is only hitting .197. #24 Tanner Rainey. If he ever discovers the plate he will be one of the best closer’s in baseball. Three of these (Case, Santana and Rainey) have tools but scream bust because of their K% or BB%. What are your thoughts on these 3? Marinan has not even pitched since the Reds aquired him. Did this have an impact on him not making your top 25 or was he just outside your top 25? Diaz has come out of nowhere. What are the chances of him being in your top 10 come October? Doug Gray July 9, 2018 Case was in that next 10 – I liked what I saw when I was in Greeneville. He’s in Billings now, so it will be interesting to see how he keeps hitting in a more friendly environment now. Diaz has a legit arm. If he keeps starting and performing, he could climb quickly. It’s not impossible he’d climb into the top 10, but I do think it’s probably unlikely without just an insane kind of season. I’ve heard some good things though – hoping to see him pitch this upcoming weekend, as he didn’t pitch while I was with them last week. I talked about Santana, Marinan, and Rainey above – so scroll on up for thoughts on those guys. Hanawi July 9, 2018 Padres have a guy (Chris Paddack) who had an 83/4 K/BB ratio in A+. Just moved him up to AA. abado July 9, 2018 I’ve been intrigued by the performances of 3 big outfielders this year: Narciso Crook, Michael Beltre, and Gabby Guerrero. They are all fringy OF prospects with some interesting tools that are showing up this year. Were any of them in consideration for your list? What does each player have to do to be viewed as a solid prospect? Doug Gray July 9, 2018 I’m more sold on Crook than Guerrero than Beltre – but there’s stuff to like with each. Crook and Beltre are better athletes than Guerrero is. With Crook, I’d like to see a few more walks. When you look at him, he checks a lot of boxes. He’s physically gifted. He can hit the ball very hard. He can run. He can throw. The tools are there, and he’s having a good season. With Beltre, he’s got to get the ball off of the ground. He hits ground balls at an incredibly high rate. For a guy who is 6′ 3″ and 220 lbs and can hit the baseball 450 feet, that’s not an ideal situation. He’s an athletic guy, and like Crook, he’s got tools. But if he’s hitting ground balls 60% of the time, he’s going to struggle to hit for an average. Gabby Guerrero looks like a right fielder to me. Has some power, and there’s more in there than he’s showing in the games, and he’s got a very good arm – but I’m not convinced he’s going to hit enough to be more than a 4th/5th outfielder. The plate discipline worries me here. Billy July 9, 2018 I guess my questions are more focused on the graduations. The Reds had five, four of which now have established roles on the 25 man roster. Yet those rookies have only contributed about 2 WAR collectively so far. Is that disappointing? How does the number of graduates (five) and the amount of WAR compare to past Reds’ teams and/or other organizations at this point in the season? Stock July 9, 2018 I think Ervin and Blandino are not considered anything more than bench depth. That is what they have provided. Winker is in a difficult situation but has adjusted and done well recently. Mahle just keeps getting better. I think the class has met or exceeded expectations. Billy July 9, 2018 Jeez… I should read more closely. It’s only four players who have graduated, and only Winker and Mahle are major contributors. For some reason I was thinking Garrett and Romano were also rookies. The Duke July 9, 2018 Thought a bit, and I think this would be my updated top 30 1. Nick Senzel, 2B 2. Taylor Trammell, CF 3. Hunter Greene, RHP 4. Tony Santillan, RHP 5. Jonathan India, 3B 6. Tyler Stephenson, C 7. Shed Long, 2B 8. Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP 9. TJ Friedl, CF 10. Jeter Downs, 2B 11. Stuart Fairchild, OF 12. Keury Mella, RHP 13. Lyon Richardson, RHP 14. Mike Siani, CF 15. Josiah Gray, RHP 16. Jose Lopez, RHP 17. Jose Siri, CF 18. Hendrik Clementina, C 19. Miguel Hernandez, RHP 20. Scott Moss, LHP 21. Jacob Heatherly, LHP 22. Jimmy Herget, RHP 23. Jose Israel Garcia, SS 24. Bren Spillane, RF 25. Mariel Bautista, OF 26. Tanner Rainey, RHP 27. Andy Sugilio, OF 28. Victor Ruiz, C 29. Jesus Reyes, RHP 30. Ryan Hendrix, RHP SultanofSwaff July 9, 2018 I like that list a lot Duke. If pressed, I’d swap 4 and 6. Big believer in TStephenson at a key position. The Duke July 9, 2018 After a red hot start in April (.959 OPS) his May (.659) and June (.685) make me think he’s having issues making adjustments to the adjustments pitchers have made on him after seeing him multiple times. And it makes sense given his limited AB’s in his career because of the injuries. He’s going to need a full year at each stop for both his offense and defense to mature. Ceiling is still sky high and he has had a nice start to July (.969 OPS), so hopefully he is figuring things out and stays healthy. Stock July 9, 2018 I like this list Duke. We have an obvious disagreement on the placement of Siri but I can see where you are coming from. I don’t have Mella in my top 25 but can understand why one would include him. I love that you have finally placed Friedl in front of Fairchild. The Reds obviously feel he is a better prospect. My one question is why Heatherly over Marinan? Seem to be thought of about the same coming into the draft except Marinan has demonstrated more control this year. The Duke July 9, 2018 I know nothing about Marnian as of yet, so I’m going to hold off until I can see some clips, read up on him, and maybe listen in on a start if I can. Heatherly has a lot of promise, and he’s a guy who showed control in high school, so I still believe he can recapture that to go with his improved velo. Heatherly was thought of as a round 1 guy heading into his draft, he just struggled a bit. He’s shown more projection so far than expected as well. Now, if he keeps walking everyone and their mother he’ll drop at the end of the year, but the upside there is more than what most people believe in my opinion. The Duke July 9, 2018 Until Siri shows significant improvement in plate discipline, I just can’t believe in the bat. Unless you’re Vlad Guerrero (Sr), you just aren’t going to make it with that kind of approach at the plate. That I have him ranked at all is a testament to his power/speed/defense. Tony July 9, 2018 Great list Doug! I know this is a lot of hard work and I appreciate it! My 2 cents: Hunter Greene would be my #1 and Senzel 2 simply because his ceiling is higher and he’s only 18. TJ Friedl is too low, I would flip him and Richardson. Richardson has a great arm but his delivery needs a lot of refinement and it will take a lot of time to develop him and Friedl to me is a surefire everyday CF. Aristides Aquino would not make my list and I would replace him with Jacob Heatherly. If Heatherly can improve his command, a big if admittedly, he has tremendous stuff and is still only 20 years old and a lefty and could top out as a #3 starter. Again thanks for the list Doug! Alex July 9, 2018 I was thinking about friedl and Brett Gardner is a guy that come to mind as a comparison to me. Very solid major leaguer. I believe friedl can be that guy as well. Brad July 9, 2018 Thoughts: 1) Love the balance at top of list: MIF Senzel, RHSP Greene and CF Trammell. Premium positions with balance. 2) Concerning to only have 8 pitchers in top 25. 3) 7 of 25 and 5 of 25 are in Rookie ball and Low-A. Nearly half the list is a minimum 3 years away. 4) Wish Reds would spend International pool money instead of trading it. I see a balance between the two. 10/25 players on list were signed as IFA either by Reds or other teams before trades. I dont believe any of the 7 signed for more than 300k (Miguel Hernandez the exception + Cubans Gutierrez and Garcia). Brad July 9, 2018 Questions: 1) Where are you at with RHSP Marinan and CF Cedrolo after recent trades? Too early to tell? Not worthy of Top 25 list? 2) With 7 CF and 4 SS in Top 25, is this the best quality and depth the Reds have had at the premium positions in your time following Reds minor leagues? 3) With RHSP Greene and RHSP Santillan near the top of the list, the high-end SP seems to be there but there is a lack of quality depth in system. Is that due to draft capital being spent on position players, guys like Mahle/Garrett/Romano/Stephenson/Reed/Stephens/etc all graduating in last 2 year or a fundamental development issue in Reds system? Doug Gray July 9, 2018 1. I addressed Marinan’s exclusion above, so scroll for that one. With Cedrola – he’s 5′ 8″ and 152 lbs. At that size you have to really put up big stats to make the Top 25 and he’s not there yet. 2. I’d say that the Gregorius/Cozart years were better at short simply because they were both performing in the upper levels. There’s more guys now than in that group, but those guys were more advanced/closer. With center fielders – yeah, this group has to be the best. 3. I’m not really sure why there’s a lack of that “mid-to-back end of the rotation” group. Injuries probably don’t help. Graduations have taken some stuff away, too. Andy July 9, 2018 Reds are trading international pool money because they can’t spend any more than 300K on any one player this year. They are in penalty for exceeding the spending cap in 2016. They have a spending cap of ~$6M this year, rather than finding 20 different players worthy of $300,000, they are trading bits of it away for prospects from other systems. Brad July 9, 2018 I understand all that. And both sides. I’d rather see 15 guys signed at 300k and others with remaing $. Always a chance. Guys Reds have traded space for are not currently in Doug’s Top 25 prospects. Like I said before, there’s a balance. The Duke July 9, 2018 Wherever the Reds pick next year (likely in the 10-15 range in my opinion) I bet we target a second tier college SP. Someone who might profile towards the back of the rotation, but someone with a high floor who could get to the majors within a couple years. In this years draft they guys who went 10-25 were Logan Gilbert, Brady Singer (who I’d feel a lot better getting at 18 vs 5), and Ryan Rolison. SultanofSwaff July 9, 2018 The Reds have a lot of minor league depth in pitching and up the middle. This gives them many options, namely to package a few of these guys outside the top 6 to improve the big league club while not losing the long game. The team is ready to compete for the playoffs next year and the front office owes it to the fans to put their chips on the table. Nick Lauth July 9, 2018 Theoretically if you had to put Ibandel Isabel somewhere, where would you rank him? Doug Gray July 9, 2018 Probably in the 40’s somewhere. That strikeout rate is just so high, and as a first baseman, you’ve got to hit and get on base to go along with the power. That power is real. Andy July 9, 2018 I’ve never understood how prospect rankings ignore so many minor league players who have “graduated.” I wonder if these rankings should just include any player who hasn’t yet accrued 1 year of MLB service time? Rookie eligibility seems too restrictive to me. Anyway, where would Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed, Dilson Herrera, Philip Ervin, and Brandon Dixon fit here? B-town Fan July 9, 2018 Andy yes it doesn’t make any sense. I agree with what you said and the players you mentioned. Doug Gray July 9, 2018 Dixon would be outside the top 25. The rest would be in, but where, I’m not entirely sure because I didn’t take the dive on breaking them down versus everyone else. Prospect ranking eligibility, in case you didn’t know, is always whether or not a player is rookie of the year eligible for the following baseball season (130 at bats, 50 innings pitched, or 45 days on the active MLB roster in a non-September month). Hoosierbadger July 9, 2018 I was wondering too about Robert Stephenson. I’ve not given up on him yet. It seems like he’s making improvements at AAA this year. If eligible, he would seem to fit somewhere on the list. Patience seems to where so thin these days. The Duke July 9, 2018 Posted this trade scenario on another, wonder what Reds fans would think about it. Reds get: RHP Noah Syndergaard Mets get: 2B Nick Senzel, C Tyler Stephenson, SS Jeter Downs, RHP Keury Mella I think I’d do it. Syndergaard has some injury history (so does Senzel, the clear headliner in this deal), but he is a legit MLB ace, and still has 3 years of control left, albeit he will start to get pricy. Maybe try to work out a 5 year deal and not deal with arbitration at all? 2019 rotation: Noah Syndergaard Tyler Mahle Anthony Desclafani Luis Castillo Robert Stephenson Hoyce July 9, 2018 I’d much rather trade for degrom and extend immediately at around 3 yrs $75M But the logistics of that are very difficult to say the least I’d guess the Mets won’t trade either pitcher until there is a half yr remaining on their contracts But personally I’d give up about anything reasonable for an ace pitcher. Ur trade package included. The Duke July 9, 2018 DeGrom probably has a higher price tag, even with a year less of control and being older. I think he’d require 2 of Senzel/Greene/Trammell, and I’m not sure I’d want to pay that hefty of a cost for a pitcher now in his 30’s. Gaffer July 9, 2018 I have to admit that it’s probably a better value for the reds. I would do it without Stephenson in a second. Senzel is at best what Suarez is right now! The problem is 1) Thor will get expensive 2) we still don’t make the playoffs. But, I bet we could get equal value back by trading him in 2 years. RedsinWashst July 10, 2018 Unless he is injured. Stock July 9, 2018 I think that may be overpay for Syndergaard because he is so injury prone. Trading for Syndergaard is a great idea though because the Reds need SP. I would take it one step further. Syndergaard and DeGrom for Senzel, Stephenson, Downs and Iglesias. Starting: Syndergaard DeGrom Disco Mahle Stephenson Closing: Castillo Castillo may be a better closer than Chapman. The Duke July 9, 2018 Why would the rebuilding Mets trade for a closer? Even then, not enough for both of them. Hoyce July 9, 2018 Stock- I think that trade scenario barely gets u one of those 2. No where close to both. Just my opinion Fish July 9, 2018 No way mets do that deal, they’re looking for 3-4 prospects for both pitchers, even if the reds emptied the system, I don’t think they’d get both. Tom July 9, 2018 Helps in 2019, but by 2020 and 2021 I’d expect Senzel to be close to equal in WAR to Thor. Not to mention in 2021-2023 your major league depth at C and 2b/SS just got thinner. Better to spend real money on a healthy FA some time in 2019 or 2020 to equal Thor. RedsinWashst July 10, 2018 I agree, you throw the farm at 2 pitchers and in 3 years we are right back where we started. If we start playing better that will be where the pressure will be. Stay the course think small market. Norwood Nate July 9, 2018 I proposed a Syndergaard/Senzel trade when it first came out that the Mets would make him available. I believe I had Long/Herrera as a possible second piece. But I think it takes Senzel, another of our top 7 and probably another prospect in the mid-teens. I’d hate to give up Stephenson though and I think Downs and Mella would be too much with Stephenson involved. But that’s pretty close to what I thought it would take. I’d be very interested in a deal along those lines. Kap July 9, 2018 I agree. Mo egger had an article out recently stating that senzel shouldn’t be untouchable. Only trade him someone like degrom or syndergaard and that’s it, assuming scooter stays put. That would be huge for the organization. Don’t get me wrong. Senzel looks like the real deal, but two things are present. First, we already have a second baseman now and may have his replacement in a year or two (India, long, and maybe Herrera). Not to mention the weird vertigo issue that still remains. Second, the reds top need is starting pitching. Why not get the best available? Gotta give up talent to get talent. Probably won’t happen, but it’s not impossible to think about Colt Holt July 9, 2018 No way I do that. I would hold to my approach of Suarez for Thor and DeGrom. Getting two aces “should” offset some of the injury risk, not to mention make the rotation a serious threat. Suarez has immense value, but we would get great value back. To me, Thor on his own is too risky for the price, especially if that is the package referenced above. Far too much for the injury risk in my opinion. Colorado Red July 9, 2018 Mets not going to take Suarez for Thor and Degrom. They will hang up the phone in a NY minute. Colt Holt July 9, 2018 @colorado. I am not saying a 1 for 2. There could be some throw ins, but any throw ins wouldn’t be Greene/senzel/trammell. When considering contract, there is no doubt in my mind that Suarez is most valuable of the three (v Thor/deGrom). Without dealing them together, there is no way they get a player as valuable as Suarez coming back. Colorado Red July 9, 2018 I would do it Duke. Not sure the Mets would. Would be tempting. PickleRiiiick July 9, 2018 Yup – not sure that gets it done though… wes July 9, 2018 I think Reds need to be buyers. Market is as low as I have ever seen as long as I have been following it! Right now, MLB is saying Dodgers are balking at trading a catcher prospect (ulitmate fool’s gold) for Machado. Crazy?!? Time to stock up on MLB talent and be ready to rollout for a competitive 2019! I like the Thor trade idea, but I think it’ll cost Trammell or Greene and I wouldn’t trade for either one of them. Senzel has missed significant time twice in past 12 months for a potentially career ender- doubt he can be that center piece while on DL; however, Dukes offer is very strong! If something like that works out- I’ll be a fan. Reds have a very deep system- get creative and add a frontline controllable talent where possible. Fulmer is a nice consulation prize if they can do it with a trade that revolves around Herrera/Long/Stephenson centerpiece. Long/TySteve/Mella for Fulmer? SF Reds Fan July 10, 2018 Doug, what are your thoughts on a trade with the Rays for Blake Snell. He still has ~5 yrs of control left and is crushing it in the AL East (2.02 ERA, 12-4). That is a guy I could let a robust package go for. Thoughts? Doug Gray July 10, 2018 You’d have to give up something like 3 of the top 5 guys I’d imagine. Hoyce July 9, 2018 Doug- I’m interested in where u think the reds top prospects rank nationally. I think Trammell is flying up the charts I’d guess: Senzel: top 5 Greene: top 10 (might still be a little optimistic) Trammell: top 15-20 India: @ 75-85 Santillian: 90-100 Ty Stephenson: @125 What does anyone else think? Tony July 9, 2018 I’ve seen some national lists and India is in the 95 range and Santillian and Stephenson aren’t on any lists that I’ve seen. Hoyce July 9, 2018 I have seen India as high as #45 (fantrax) Stock July 9, 2018 With his promotion to AA I could see Santillan in the top 50 come October. Depending upon performance I could see India, Siri (#108 in Fangraphs mid-season rankings), Long (#78 in Fangraphs mid-season rankings), and Stephenson all have a solid shot to be in the top 100 at YE. Gutierrez, Jeter Downs and Friedl are long shots at making the top 100. I think Senzel, Greene and Trammell are locks. Super long shot to be in the top 100: Alexis Diaz. Doug Gray July 9, 2018 I think Senzel is a top 10 guy. How high and where someone puts him in there doens’t really matter much. For me, Trammell and Greene are Top 25 guys but not top 10 guys yet. For me, Santillan has the feel of a guy in that 75-100 range right now. India, right now in that 85-100 range. Doug Gray July 9, 2018 I’ll add that I think I may be high on Santillan compared to other guys who do rankings nationally – but I’ll contend they’re missing out. jman July 9, 2018 Are you concerned about Santillan’s low strikeout rates? I think that would be the “potential” knock on him when you look at his performance. Can’t think of too many top level pitching prospects that ended up being successful with sub 9 K/9 ratios. Just lends itself to the thought that his stuff is not top level if he’s not missing bats at A+/AA. kevinz July 9, 2018 Nice list Doug not really much Disagree with. I am in the Boat that Siani is more Advanced on Offense than being said. I believe Siani will be a above average Hitter and has a better feel than what was written. Not quite on Trammell Level but he will show has more feel for game than he gets credit for. Zac July 9, 2018 Anyone else at least slightly surprised about not seeing Heatherly? Has he not popped up in Doug’s top 25 previously? Stock July 9, 2018 Never been in Doug’s top 25. 15.43 BB/9 IP kept him outside of my top 25. Plus there are just so many quality prospects in the 15 – 35 range. Joe July 9, 2018 Hey Doug any word on nick Hansen from your travels to Greeneville ?I feel if he can get good 10-12 starts in this yr n show wat he’s got he’d make it in the back half of top 25 by yr end Doug Gray July 9, 2018 Update on him and a few others coming later this week (probably tomorrow). Coming off of TJ, we will have to see what his stuff is like when he gets out there. But if he’s like the guy he was before the injury, then yeah – he could find his way into the Top 25. Stock July 9, 2018 Sometimes forget about Nick Hanson. Between Hanson, Heatherly, Solomon, Marinan, Richardson, Gray and Diaz the Reds have 7 SP in rookie ball worth tracking. That is a pretty strong rookie ball core. Stock July 9, 2018 I was really excited about the number of offensive players I followed in rookie ball last year. Miguel Hernandez and Cash Case in AZ and Downs, Gordon, Sugilio, Fairchild and Clementina in Billings. This year however their is a lot of pitching to follow and I find myself following: Billings: Case, Munroe, Bautista, Spillane, Zeke White Greeneville: Brian Rey, Scantlin, Siani, India, Willems, Hernandez, Finol and Victor Ruiz AZ: Reyes, Lantingua and Santana This is 16 hitters to go with the 7 pitchers I mentioned earlier. Do all these players really have potential? I hope the rookie ball depth has improved this much. It just seems like a fantastic improvement. Of course that means some tough decisions next year on who plays in Dayton. Which three make Dayton’s OF next year. You would think all would be deserving: Munroe, Zeke White, Spillane and Bautista from Billings seem worthy but difficult to leave Siani, Rey and Scantlin in Billings if they perform. stock July 9, 2018 there not their Doug Gray July 9, 2018 I keep looking at Reyes and Lantigua, almost daily, when looking at the AZL box scores. Both are out to strong starts. I didn’t ask much about either, though, if I’m being honest. If they keep things going I’ll do a bit more of a deep dive on them. Among that Greeneville group, Finol is the guy I’d like to gather more info on because he’s the one I don’t have as much on as the others. There’s a lot of time between now and next year to worry about figuring out the Dayton outfield. But if I had to bet actual money on it, I’d say Bautista, Munroe and Spillane would be the starters. Lots of time for that to change, though. Brent July 9, 2018 Doug— You have listed 4 guys on your “Next 10” list already. Can you provide the whole “Next 10” or at least to the Patreon subscribers? Doug Gray July 9, 2018 Scroll up – one of the answers I had listed off most of the guys, though I was winging it off of the top of my head. PickleRiiiick July 9, 2018 Hi Doug – and forum, first off – really good read – I love a good list! I wouldn’t argue with anything you’ve got here – I have far less data. One dimension that I would enjoy would be grouping the players into value tiers. For instance, using whatever scale you prefer, if 11-22 were all in same value tier then people wouldn’t get so caught up in who was 14 vs 19 as they had the same approximate value. And the gap between 6-10 to #11 would also communicate something. Anyway – great read – I love the site! Doug Gray July 9, 2018 1-3 is their own tier. Pretty big gap right now to the next tier because these guys are all elite prospects in the top 25 in all of baseball. 4-5 is their own tier. 6-9 is their own tier. 10-15 is their own tier. 16-25 in their own tier. Bubba Woo July 9, 2018 Doug, we’ve heard a lot about whether Trammell has the arm for C.F. My question is, do scouts project how much arm strength might improve between ages 18-22? You here all the time about undrafted HS pitchers adding 4-5 mph on there fastball to become top prospects by the time they’re juniors. Wouldn’t this also be the case with a position player? Doug Gray July 9, 2018 You usually don’t hear/see much about that. But no, it’s a different thing with pitchers than position guys. Pitchers work on that full time. Position guys don’t. Both tend to get a little bit stronger/bigger, and that does help – but it’s just a different animal. With that said, there are times when it does happen. And with Trammell, it has happened. It’s been a small improvement, but it did improve. Midwest Red July 9, 2018 Hello, New to this site. My questions would be… Where are the Reds at in the rebuild? Would we be buyers or sellers at the deadline? Personally I believe rebuild or in contention, the Reds being a small market club has to keep the farm system stocked with high level talent. It offsets financial short comings at many levels. I’d be leary of trading away talent at this point. I would not mind being sellers this year if and this is a huge if….In the off season we become buyers to fill out rotation spots and other areas to improve the team. I like and I am impressed with everyone’s lists. I appreciate the time and thought put into them. Also just as impressive is how the talent level has risen in just a couple of drafts. Jasonp July 9, 2018 Long reply and sorry if this isn’t really the post to make under a new top 25 list. We should be sellers but not everyone. We have a few players we should try to sell and a few if we got the right deal should sell as well. Next year we might be buyers. I am in the trade of Gennett boat. I think the best version of our team is going to be 2-3 years from now and I think the best seasons from Gennett are going to be before that. I think the defense + offense of Senzel will make up most or all of what Gennett is giving us now. Other reasons are Gennetts age and money/length of a deal he would sign. I have not noticed many second basemen who stay good into their 30’s. He will be 29 when next season starts. If he gets 15 mil (or more) a year in a new deal I would rather have the 14 mil+ extra you would have in each of the next 3-4 years, from playing Senzel, to be used to improve other parts of the team. Harvey should be traded. He is a free agent next year. If you want to bring him back as a free agent you can but we aren’t going to get into the playoffs this year with him so it would be good to get something for him. I would be up to trading David Hernandez. I would keep Jared Hughes. I think he is good for the young pitchers we have and could also move into the closer spot if we trade off Iglesias. If we can get a elite prospect + a few other good prospects for Iglesias I would trade him off. I again think our best team is 2-3 years away and he might only be around for a year of that team. If we don’t get that offer this trade deadline then I would hold onto him and look for that trade in the off season or next years trade deadline. I would not mind trading or keeping Duvall, Hamilton, Lorenzen. Duvall trade will just keep Winker playing full time and he has been great higher up in the lineup. We don’t have a great center replacement for Hamilton but he isn’t a player that should be in our future. Lorenzen is having such a great year someone might offer something good for him but out of those three he the one I would most like to keep. After next year Bailey and his 20 mil comes off the payroll. I think that is the year we go out and sign or trade for what we need to complete our team. If you don’t pay Gennett we might have 30+ mil to spend that year on improving the team. Colorado Red July 9, 2018 I agree (iggy), but the market for players does not seem to be high this year. I doubt any offers an elite (top 10) prospect. So I would keep him Doug Gray July 9, 2018 Should the Reds be buyers or sellers? Yes. If the right deal is there, then buy. It the right deal is there, then sell. If there’s a Justin Verlander type deal out there for the Reds, then they need to buy. Always be looking for ways to move forward. Sometimes you can do that in different ways. The team shouldn’t be ignoring either side. I think there’s enough talent on the team now that if the right piece becomes available, you don’t just not go for them. But I believe that piece needs to be a legit difference maker, not just a solid acquisition. If that person isn’t available, then that’s fine. Have to sell Harvey. Have to strongly look at selling Gennett. Have to at least consider selling Iglesias. Hoyce July 9, 2018 I could see an Iglesias/scooter package to Indians for McKenzie and Bieber. Clammy July 9, 2018 fwiw http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2018?list=cin has Marinan at #17 in the Reds system. Take that with a grain of salt as they still have Alf Rod (#15) and Okey (#18) in the top 20. Rookie Davis (#22) and Blake Trahan (#26) are over valued there as well. This might have to wait until the off season, but I think a ‘where are they now’ piece on players who were once in Doug’s top 25 but dropped off due to poor performance, injury or tougher competition would be interesting. How many of those like the names above are still relevant to this teams future? Colorado Red July 9, 2018 Also, do not have the recent picks. The Duke July 9, 2018 They haven’t done their midseason update yet. I imagine most of those you mentioned fall out, but MLB Pipeline does tend to hold high draft picks and high dollar signings in the rankings longer than they should. Johnny Weez July 9, 2018 Any concern at all about the lack of LHP depth in the system? Tons of live arms, but they’re almost all righties. Thanks for all the great work! Doug Gray July 9, 2018 I’m never, ever concerned about which arm a guy throws with. Get outs. That’s all that matters. Michael P July 9, 2018 Great stuff Doug. This annual list is always my go to as far as player rankings. Have a few questions. – Where would you place Isabel. Has to be on the radar with that much pop. What does it take for him to enter top 25 – Miles Gordon was listed as your number #14 last year. Has it been that bad of a year of have you list faith in his tools? – Who are the next 5 to graduate from this list? – What two players could move the furthest up the list by end of season? – Does India have the tools to be a top 25 talent by end of next season? Stock July 9, 2018 I am thinking his two biggest potential movers are Alexis Diaz and Siani or Heatherly. Will be interested to see who Doug lists though. Doug Gray July 9, 2018 Addressed Isabel above. Gordon is still a guy to keep an eye on, but the production hasn’t been there, and the questions about his swing are things that I have seen pop up more throughout the year. He’s still plenty young enough that it’s far too early to think about writing him off, but he will need to show some things to climb back into the rankings. Outside of Senzel, I don’t know who would be next in line to graduate from the list because I don’t know who will be the opportunities next. I’m not sure on India to be honest. I’m hoping to get a better look at a few very specific things this weekend in Greeneville. Guys that could jump up the most with strong second halves: Pretty much any of the rookie ball guys. Most of their ranking is based on scouting and past performance since they’ve got like 2 weeks of the season under their belts. Put up a big season wherever you are, and keep showing tools, it’ll get you up quicker than the guys who have already spent their year in full season and probably aren’t going to be showing something new this season because they’ve already been out there for 3 months. Doug July 9, 2018 Did everyone else see Floro pitch 2 innings last night for the Dodgers? He could’ve been used in the Cubs series and would’ve pitched well considering he used to play on the Cubs. There are a lot of potential trades floating around but think where this team would be without Gennett, Suarez, or Votto? That’s the heart of this team and no coincidence they all play in the infield. We should look at ways to improve the outfield and at the very least see if Yankees take Iglesias and Duvall for Justus Sheffield, Clint Frazier, and Shane Greene. That way you get a productive LF, a guy who needs a change of scenery in Greene who could work multiple innings in the bullpen, and a starter in AAA ready to contribute in Sheffield. For what it’s worth Reds were scouting AAA game between Yankees and Red Sox Stock July 9, 2018 Unless you are talking about someone else Shane Greene was traded to the Tigers several years ago. Why is Clint Frazier an upgrade over Winker? Surely not enough to have the Yankees include him in a trade. Sheffield I like Doug July 9, 2018 Move Winker to Right. He demonstrated his arm strength over the weekend. Also, yes you are right about Greene. I thought he had gone back to the Yankees. They should target AAA closer Cody Carroll. You tell Yankees we want Sheffield and Carroll for Iglesias and if you don’t get an acceptance you’re sending it to Red Sox or Astros for their offer. Reds should pit these teams against each other. They were so stupid for not taking Dbacks offer of Drury and Bradley for Chapman. They can’t miss again. CP July 10, 2018 If you move Winker to right where do you put Schebler? It would have to be CF, because he has more than proven himself to be a starting caliber OF this year. But I’m not sure Schebler is an everyday CF. Trading for a starting LF is redundant at this point I’m afraid. Team needs CF and SP. Jury is still out on SS, but I’m starting to hold out hope that Pereza can stick there… MK July 9, 2018 Doug, In your draft tracker what is the signing dollar figure for Brenden Spillane? Doug Gray July 9, 2018 597,500. I fixed it. Mk July 9, 2018 Thanks, that is what I thought PickleRiiiick July 9, 2018 Isn’t Hamilton’s arm far better than anticipated? Effective arm strength should be aided by elite speed and read – if you get to it earlier you require less arm net. So the arm in the absolute can be below average but it can play up a grade. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it…. Doug Gray July 9, 2018 No, it’s not – IF you listened to the right people. I always contended that the scouting reports on Hamilton’s arm at shortstop were bad information because when he didn’t need to let the ball go, he threw sidearm and slung the ball – but when he needed to beat someone to the bag, he used proper mechanics and the ball was a laser. Problem was, that arm didn’t show up a ton, so a lot of scouts who were in town for 3 games at a time may not have seen it. Krozley July 9, 2018 With Marshall’s suspension, Dayton is down to four infielders. Could we see India there soon? Also, AlfRod hasn’t played in 4 weeks. Is he hurt or just inactive? Plus, Byrne needs added into the draft tracker. Doug Gray July 9, 2018 Rodriguez is hurt again – wrist again. Not sure if it’s the same injury or not – but earlier this year he had a hamate injury. Not sure what the plan is for filling the roster spot vacated by Marshall. It’s certainly possible that they could slide Santana to first and play India at third. Thanks for the heads up on Byrne – updated! MK July 9, 2018 Clementina played some first base in 2016 with Dodgers system and would love to see him not lose so many at bats sharing time at catcher. Piatnik has played some middle infield in the past. I think the added versatility would help both their careers. john July 9, 2018 What about Wennington Romero? He’s only 20 and has a career 3.70 era. Has a 3.80 this season in Daytona. The Duke July 9, 2018 An 88 mph fastball and a small stature which doesn’t suggest more physical projection Doug Gray July 9, 2018 Basically what The Duke said. He needs to be perfect with his fastball location, and that’s a lot to ask of someone. It’s not impossible, but it’s something that he’s going to have to prove at each level as he moves up if he doesn’t pick up velocity from where he’s at right now. I’m a fan of his breaking ball – I think it’ll play. john July 9, 2018 Wasn’t aware of his lack of velocity. He’s had solid k numbers until this season. Unrelated – what sites do you use to collect advanced stats on minor league players? Is there heat maps, spray charts, etc? Doug Gray July 9, 2018 I create my own, but you can use MLBFarm.com for that stuff if you want. Just know that their spray charts are not created the same way as the ones in the Majors. In the minors they are being created with data that’s just a guy clicking on a field to estimate where he thinks the ball landed. It’s not completely inaccurate, but I just wanted to point out how they are calculated/figured. Gregorio July 10, 2018 Living near Greeneville I’ve seen all home games and a few on the road, as well as Dayton & recently Pensacola and it appears there’s more legit MLB prospects here than @ any other affiliate, perhaps, because the Reds are trying to create a fan base here. * Jonathan India – Though India is 0-9, w/ 3 K’s and 90% of BIP being grounders to the pull side & he struggled the last part of the year w/ Florida, you have to bet he’s gonna make it. * Jacob Heatherly – I think Heatherly merits the T25, because he’s got velo, with movement. He’ll figure out his control. He’s out of high school, so it’s typical to have control issues at his age. Seemed to have excellent makeup after some horrendous outings, which is a big positive. Other Greenvillers of note are: * Miguel Hernandez (elite SS, but his swings and results have been very bad. If he ever hits, he can be Cincy’s SS. Saw him make a heckuva web gem. His only 2 E’s occurred on one play. Other than that he’s been perfecto. Best defensive SS prospect in org., but, again, the swing is problematic and he has to put some weight on his bones). * Cash Case – Neat story, but I don’t care that the Irish commit is a Renaissance Man, who’s a multi-instrumentalist & multi-linguist (allegedly Chinese & Russian), but I do care that a Pro scout in Pulaski, who I greased w/ a beer, said that Cash Case’s swing is as good as it gets (the many MLB and HS videos online support that) & he was 1 of the top ’17 HS bats and that a bad car accident early in his senior year affected his movement on the field & cost him in the draft. Seconds after he said that, Case pulverized a blast off the very top of that super-high wall in right-center that would’ve been a HR anywhere else. Scout added that Cash Case is a plus-baserunner & he played in the All American game. Tried to play with an injury last year in AZ and made it so bad it cut his season short, which explains his 2017 stats. Heard he couldn’t do a thing until Spring Training. Unsure if it was related to the accident. Understandably, teams don’t like to divulge injury info on guys, but I’d like to know. Has been the most impressive hitter so far, considering his swing & stats. He’s 2nd in BA & OPS, for guys with 45 or more AB’s, behind Brian Rey. In the Top 10 in Appy Lg. in RBI’s, with more than games played. I asked the Pro scout about his “D” and he said he saw him play every position well – including catcher – in some MLB Jupiter event. Good to know uncertainty of where he’ll end up is not based on lack of ability & he’s an athlete. Suppose Reds wouldn’t have given Cash big moola ($1M) if he was otherwise. Would be cool if Cash (“Cool” Cash Case is a neat, Cool Papa Bell sounding name) becomes our Zobrist type. His K/BB ratio concerned me, but I see his history is strong in that area, and he’s only K’d a few times in his last 40 or so at bats, so it was just a “case” of him getting his timing early in the season. Note that Pro scouts are looking for players to acquire and that scout was all eyes on Cash, and was timing him home to first and on the bases and watching his every move on defense. * Nate Scantlin and Brian Rey both have been impressive and have been at or near the top of the league in BA. Not enough history to give a fair evaluation yet. Interesting follows! * Zeek White was an R3 with Miami and only had about 30 at bats before getting promoted to Billings, but he knocked 2 dingers and hit over .400. Will be interesting to see how he does in his return to Billings. He’s underwhelmed the past 2 years, but I heard he also has had injury woes. Took great routes for balls, has speed. White may prove to be worthy of his 3rd round draft selection. Has all the tools. In first game in Montana he got his 3rd HR. * Jonathan Willems – Doesn’t merit the Top 35 and nothing in his past suggests otherwise. Below average defender, bad hands. Had a good start but is fizzling. * Rylan Thomas – Set a UCF HR record. Has 3 thus far. When he gets a hold of a ball, they go a long way. Strictly a first baseman. Can’t understand why he isn’t a catcher, because he’s short for 1B, but can pick’em, and has a strong arm. Saw that he was a pitcher in HS and college. PG had him at 93 in HS. Could catcher be in his future? * Mike Siani – Runs & throws well, but his swing is a big project. He may be young enough to correct it. That’s the advantage of signing HS’ers. Not a T25 at this point, because he’s got swing issues and had a very unimpressive senior season, struggling vs. weak Pa. pitching, on short fields. Case was a 4th rounder, like Siani, who also got 2nd round $, but his swing is optimized & he’s producing. Siani’s a draft and hope toolsy guy. Looks very over-matched. He’ll likely get promoted to Billings next year, but can’t break through the others for a Dayton spot. The Reds won’t even touch Siani’s swing until Fall Ball at the earliest, as is standard with drafted players. This is a long term project. Regarding TJ Friedl, I agree that he comps with a young Brett Gardner very much so. TJ is an excellent OF. Saw him make a Jim Edmonds type diving play going back to the CF wall. Plays full throttle, all the time. Gritty gamer! Better than Sugilio. As for Jose Garcia, take away the $5M & Jose Garcia is, as a scout said, an absolute NP (non-prospect) on both sides of the ball. He’s been an error machine and been horrendous offensively. Just because the Reds screwed up and gave him crazy $ does not mean he’s a prospect. Miguel Hernandez, Cash Case and Jeter Downs are MIF prospects, Garcia is an expensive mistake, as is Alfredo Rodriguez that someone will likely get axed for. Garcia is a better hitter than AlfRod, so what does that tell you? Aquino cannot be a prospect any longer if he’s going on 25 and has hit only .244 the past 4 seasons. If India, Rylan Thomas, Siani, Rey & Scantlin remain in Greeneville about a month there’ll be some interesting stat comparisons between them & others. Either way, Greeneville has the most future Cincinnati players of any Reds farm teams and I’m pumped about it. One thing they don’t have are catchers. I’ve never seen so many missed catches of pitches. Heatherly was charged with 4 WP’s so far that were simply and completely missed by the catchers, which may be a good indicator for Heatherly. Gregorio July 10, 2018 So sorry that I forgot to mention Josiah Gray at Greeneville. Extremely impressive and very poised. Seems like a deal under slot. Also seems like a super dude. Kid has velo, multiple pitches and impeccable control. The Reds future is looking very bright and Gray is one of the reasons. RedsinWashst July 10, 2018 Thanks Gregorio, nice to have someone on the ground in Greeneville. ArizonaRedsOne July 10, 2018 Taking India was odd given he’s blocked by Suarez and did nada before this year. Only had 1 HR in 2 years on the Cape. Should’ve taken a college P, but if they wanted a 3B, Nolan Gorman was the wiser pick. Saw him out here and he’s got a special swing and barrels up balls. Only 18 and he’s hit 6 jacks in the Appy, where India – 3 years older – hasn’t had a hit. I realize it’s early, but FanGraphs shows India at 83% in both pulled balls and ground balls, in 12 PA’s, which is not a good indicator and may explain why India wasn’t one of the Gators top 3 hitters the last part of this season. Except for P’s Richardson and Gray, I’m fearful that this draft will prove to be weak. Hoping I’m wrong! kevinz July 11, 2018 I am a little Sketchy to about India only Performing well for one year. I still think it to early to worry though Senzel Struggled in Billings then Raked in Dayton. I am probably the Highest on Siani but i think he will Become a Steal. Get his swing back to his Soph year then will be Fine. I feel like have a better feel to the game than he gets credit for.