Baseball America has released their International League Top 20 Prospects list for the 2018 season. Unlike the team rankings and the Top 100 rankings, players who began the year with prospect eligibility are on this list. Even if they have since graduated from prospect status.

Nick Senzel was the only Bat to make the list. The Cincinnati Reds 1st round pick from 2016 came in at number six on the list. He only played in 44 games this season. He missed some time early in the season as he had a bout of vertigo. Then he would later injure his finger that would cost him the second half of the season. He’s back on the field in Goodyear for instructional league, which is happening right now.

With the Bats this season, Nick Senzel hit .310/.378/.509. He had 12 doubles, 2 triples, and he had 6 home runs. He also stole 8 bases in 10 attempts during the year. His game is very well rounded and doesn’t show a weakness. Looking forward, the issue is more about where he will play. That’s not a knock on his defensive abilities. As noted yesterday, he grades out very well defensively. The issue is that the positions he plays are played by All-Stars for the Cincinnati Reds currently. Senzel is currently working on playing the outfield in instructional league. The plan seems to be in the short term to perhaps play him all around the field to get his bat into the lineup. Long term things still seem to be up in the air.

The other Louisville Bats

The Louisville Bats didn’t have a strong year as a whole. They finished the year at 61-76. They were outscored 627-576 on the season. There were a few strong performances among the team, though. Brandon Dixon and Brian O’Grady both posted an OPS over .900 for the Bats. Both, however, played under 50 games with Louisville. Phillip Ervin played in 48 games and hit .289/.373/.491 on the year. Gabriel Guerrero played in 104 games, and was the only Bat to play more than 50 games to top an .800 OPS. He hit .292/.326/.475 with Louisville after being promoted early in the year from Pensacola.

On the mound several guys found success, too. Robert Stephenson led the organization in ERA among starters, posting a 2.87 ERA in 113.0 innings pitched with 135 strikeouts. In the bullpen Tanner Rainey and Kevin Quackenbush posted ERA’s of 2.65 and 2.68 on the year in 51.0 and 47.0 total innings.

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7 Responses

  1. Billy

    “Only One Red”… The headline suggests that perhaps you expected more than that. Realistically, isn’t Senzel the only one that should have received serious consideration?

    That leads me to another question though… Before the other league lists come out, how many guys do you expect the Reds to have on each list?

    • Doug Gray

      Senzel is the only guy I expected here.

      I’d need to look back at the Southern League to throw a good number out there. Santillan will make it. Beyond him, though, it will depend on the league depth this year. Most top 20 AA guys are Top 100 overall types. That would mean a guy like Shed Long or Jose Siri could be on the outside looking in.

      In Daytona, I’d say that you’ll get Santillan, Trammell and Stephenson.

      In Dayton you’ll have Greene for sure. Maybe you’ll get Jeter Downs. The Midwest League has 16 teams, so you’ve got a whole lot of players for just 20 spots.

      Billings will probably be Bautista.

      Greeneville could land more than a few. Not sure India was around enough to qualify for the list. If he was, he’ll be there for sure. If not, then he obviously won’t. Gray will be there for sure. After that, you’ve got guys like Siani, Hernandez, Willems, Diaz, Thomas who have a chance. Depends on the depth in the league.

      AZL would probably surprise me to see someone get the nod. Big league, and not really sure anyone sticks out on that team this season.

      • Billy

        Thanks. Good reply. How about Vlad Gutierrez for AA? Is he even more of a long shot than Long and Siri?

      • Doug Gray

        I think so, yes. I’d be very surprised if he showed up on the list.

  2. bryant

    Given the comment about Robert Stephenson’s successful AAA tenure this season, do we have any more info on why the Reds gave up on him after just three starts in the Bigs? It seems almost unfathomable unless there is something we don’t know. Attitude problem they are tired of? If I’m another ball club looking for a flyer, I sure think I’d like to have a look at him.

    • Doug Gray

      We do not know. But, even with his success in AAA, it was with the caveat that his walk rate was still very high. Which is what was an issue in the Majors, too. But yeah, if I’m another team and the cost acquisition is low on Stephenson, I’m picking him up 100 times out of 100.

      • Bob Anderson

        Strained rotator cuff. His major stint was irrelevant as he was never healthy.