Yesterday we kicked off the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List by looking at the players ranked 21st through 25th. Today we take a look at the next group of five players between 16 and 20 on the list.

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Just as a reminder, these write ups will not feature full scouting reports. Those will be included with the Season Reviews, which will start next week – first working my way through the Top 25 prospects before then branching out into another 50-75 interesting prospects through the remainder of the offseason. For the entire list you can click here (each day it will be updated as the next piece comes out).

*To be eligible for the list a player must have 2020 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)*

16. Ryan Hendrix | RHP | Age: 24

2019 Team: Chattanooga | Acquired: 5th round, 2016 | Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 185 lbs

When he was selected out of Texas A&M by the Cincinnati Reds, Ryan Hendrix was considered to have big time stuff, but had control issues to go with it. While in college he had walked 52 batters in 93.0 innings and posted a 4.74 ERA. His final year in school saw him walk 20 batters in 25.1 innings while working exclusively out of the bullpen. His ERA was 6.39 that year. That combination is what allowed a guy with plus stuff to fall to the 5th round, and the Reds felt the risk was worth it there and selected him.

Since turning pro things have gone a bit better for Ryan Hendrix. In 2017 his ERA was 2.90 between Dayton and Daytona. In 2018 that number dropped to 1.76 – all in Daytona. This past season he got out to a strong start in April, not allowing a run in 10.1 innings with 15 strikeouts. But he then missed the next three months with a right elbow strain. After a week of rehab games in Goodyear he returned to Double-A Chattanooga for the final month of the season with the Lookouts. On the year he posted a 1.85 ERA if you include his rehab stint in Arizona. That came over 24.1 innings where he had eight walks and 31 strikeouts.

Biggest Strength: His power curve is a plus offering that he uses to put hitters away.

Biggest Weakness: Control. While it has improved from where it was in college, he still battles with consistency at times in throwing strikes.

2019 Season Stats

17. Lyon Richardson | RHP | Age: 19

2019 Team: Dayton | Acquired: 2nd round, 2018 | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 192 lbs

The Cincinnati Reds selected Lyon Richardson in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft out of Jensen Beach High School. The transition to professional baseball wasn’t a pleasant one for the then 18-year-old right-handed starter. He posted a 7.14 ERA in 2018 for the Greeneville Reds over his 11 starts and 29.0 innings.

Things were quite a bit better in the first full season for Richardson as he moved up a level to pitch for the Low-A Dayton Dragons. It didn’t appear that way immediately though, as his ERA was 5.19 through the first two months of the season. He corrected things moving forward. In the final 16 starts over the next three months his ERA was 3.49 – giving him a 4.14 mark on the season in 113 innings to go with 33 walks, 10 homers allowed, and 106 strikeouts.

Biggest Strength: Currently his biggest strength is his ability to throw strikes. He didn’t walk more than eight batters in any month during the season, and can throw strikes with three pitches.

Biggest Weakness: While it’s not technically a weakness, the question that keeps coming up is where did the velocity he had in high school go? He’s topped out at 95 MPH as a professional in two seasons. Coming out of high school he was as high as 98 MPH.

2019 Season Stats

18. Mariel Bautista | OF | Age: 22

2019 Team: Dayton | Acquired: International FA 2016 | Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 194 lbs | B/T: R/R

From 2016-2018 Mariel Bautista went out and hit at least .320 every single season. The Dominican Republic native really busted out in 2018 with the Billings Mustangs where he hit .330/.386/.541, showing a big step forward in the power department. He also flashed a good ability to steal bases, going 45 for 53 in that 3-year stretch.

Things didn’t go as well as that for the outfielder in the 2019 season. Beginning the year with Dayton, the then 21-year-old had a solid April, but then had an up-and-down season the rest of the way – struggling in the second half where he posted an on-base percentage below .300 in the final two months of the year. The tools were still present and flashed often enough, but the consistency simply wasn’t there like it had been in the past few seasons.

Biggest Strength: The overall set of tools for Mariel Bautista is strong. He can run, he can hit, he can hit for power, he can throw – those tools are all there. They aren’t all skills on a consistent basis yet, but the underlying tools are there.

Biggest Weakness: During the 2019 season the breaking ball was an issue for him, and if he’s going to get back to showing off the tools at the plate he’s going to have to learn to lay off of the breaking ball that starts in the zone and sweeps out of it.

2019 Season Stats

19. Braylin Minier | SS | Age: 16

2019 Team: Did not play | Acquired: International FA 2019 | Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 160 lbs | B/T: L/R

The Cincinnati Reds did something in 2019 during the international signing period that they hadn’t done in over a decade: They spent more than $1,000,000 on a non-Cuban born player. Braylin Minier signed with the Reds on July 2nd for $1.8M – the most the team had given out to a non-Cuban international signee since 2008 when they signed both Juan Duran and Yorman Rodriguez for $2M+. Out of the proverbial “penalty box” for going over their spending allotment in the 2016 signing period the Reds made use of their ability to spend money once again, with the teenage shortstop Minier being their top get.

Like with an overwhelming majority of players that were signed in the current international signing period, Braylin Minier signed a contract for 2020 and didn’t play in games this season. He’ll start out his professional career next year.

Biggest Strength: Without any actual play on the field, and having never seen him in person before, this is me relying completely on multiple reports from trusted sources – but he’s a shortstop with a chance to hit for both average and power down the line.

Biggest Weakness: Without any actual play to look at, there’s not much to write here other than he’s got a complete lack of professional experience. Nothing wrong with that – he’s 16-years-old after all.

20. Jameson Hannah | OF | Age: 22

2019 Teams: Stockton (OAK) & Daytona | Acquired: Trade 2019 (A’s 2nd round pick, 2018 Draft) | Height: 5′ 9″ | Weight: 185 lbs | B/T: L/L

When the 2019 season started for Jameson Hannah he was on the opposite side of the country, playing in Stockton, California. And he was playing with the Oakland Athletics organization. The former 2nd round pick was having a solid, but unspectacular season in the California League – hitting .283/.341/.381 for the Ports at the end of July. But the Reds and Athletics made a trade, sending Tanner Roark to Oakland and bringing Hannah into the Cincinnati organization.

The Reds sent the former Dallas Baptist outfielder to finish out the season with their Advanced-A affiliate in Daytona. Jameson Hannah would play in 18 games for the Tortugas down the stretch. He hit just .224, going 15-67 in that span, and slugged just .299. But he did draw plenty of walks in his time in the Florida State League, boosting his on-base percentage to .325 despite the low average.

Biggest Strength: He’s got plus speed and can handle center field on the defensive side of the ball.

Biggest Weakness: While there’s some raw power in there, he’s been a very high ground ball rate guy since being drafted and it’s been tough for him to show much in-game power as a result.

2019 Season Stats

You can see the entire Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect list here (once it’s completed at the end of the week)

15 Responses

  1. Norwood Nate

    Interesting section here. I’m not as high on Hannah. In fact, (and I’m just speculating that these guys won’t show up higher), I like Sugilio and Crook better as OF prospects in the system.
    I think I’m a bit higher on Richardson, as I’d have him safely top 15. A guy who improves through the season and throws strikes with three pitches as a teenager in full season ball is pretty good in my eyes.
    Hendrix is higher than I expected as well.

    Reply
    • Doug Gray

      Honestly, I expected to catch some heat for having Hannah this “low”. I remain the highest guy around on Sugilio – no one else thought he was a Top 25 guy among those that I spoke with. I originally had him in the list near the end. Ultimately I decided to push him off because he’s a little bit older (he’s 23 now), has a low walk rate, the strikeout rate popped up this year for the second straight season, hasn’t shown any power in games in his career – at this point I kind of just want to see the tools translate at the plate a little more into skills.

      Richardson is an interesting guy. I’ll dive into it a little bit more in his season review/full report in a few weeks when I get around to his profile. There are some things to like there, and I’m on board if someone wants to have him in that 10-15 range – I can make that argument. But I’ve got some questions with it a little bit, too.

      With Hendrix – it’s just about the stuff. It’s just that good, and if he had been healthy all year, he probably would have been higher. I had two people I reached out to who said they would have had him higher.

      Reply
      • Norwood Nate

        Thanks for the response. I don’t know why, but nothing about Hannah’s profile excites me. He walks at a solid but not great rate, he strikes out a little much for a guy who will rely on speed and hits the ball on the ground too much to find many XBH. He’s about 10 months younger than Sugilio, but that’s not much of a difference for me. I just see more potential for Sugilio than Hannah and will give Sugilio a tiny bit of a pass for dealing with injuries most of 2018.

      • Oldtimer

        Hannah doesn’t look like a power hitter. SLG is about same as OBP. But LH bat and speed & defense in CF may present MLB opportunity down the road.

      • DaveCT

        Nate, I agree, on Crook especially. It’s probably a gut level thing but I would not be surprised at all if he broke out at AAA next year and forced the club’s hand.

  2. jbonireland

    The 16 year old at #19 prospect to me is a stretch, I hope all of your contacts are right, but can he even play in this country at 16. I thought international players had to be 18. Can you help me out with this Doug.
    I look forward to the top five who don’t make the top 25 list and to compare against what you wrote up about Milnar. Keep up the fantastic work on these prospects and all you do.

    Reply
    • Barry Bonds

      At least he has potential. The rest of the guys listed so far are organizational fodder. Nothing at all on Doug’s list(it’s good), just the state of the farm.
      It shouldn’t be this way with all the losing, but that’s what happens to a hopeless franchise.
      Loving the list Doug

      Reply
    • Oldtimer

      The young man may play in DSL this summer. Nothing says he has to play in USA in 2020.

      Reply
    • Doug Gray

      Yes, he can play in the US at 16. Yorman Rodriguez did it a decade ago, and a handful of non-Reds prospects have done it, too. It’s rare because unless you are born in a stretch of about 3 months, it’s impossible to actually do given the signing dates and the season.

      That said, it’s likely that he plays in the DSL next year, then things will be dictated from there based on his performance.

      Reply
  3. Stock

    Under rated pick of the day: Lyon Richardson

    I loved the picks of Gray and Richardson last year. These two had little experience pitching but big time arms. Given time their ceiling would be much greater than their draft position and they will break out in a very positive way. Gray showed that this year.
    Unfortunately, he is a Dodger now. Richardson started to show that this year. He averaged 7.58 K/9 and 2.73 BB/9 in the first half but 9.45 K/9 and 2.53 BB/9 in the second half. As Norwood Nate suggests this is good for a 19 year old. Compare his 2nd half age 19 season to Santillan’s age 20 season at Dayton. Santillan averaged 9.0 K/9 and 3.94 BB/9 and was ranked 10th in the system. I have Richardson at #5 in the system right now and ahead of Tony Santillan (#10). If Gray were in the system right now he would be #1 on my list. Downs would be just ahead of Richardson.

    Reply
    • Doug Gray

      The difference to me between Richardson and Santillan is rather large. Santillan’s got two (some will say three) plus pitches. Richardson…. he doesn’t have one.

      Reply
      • Stock

        Richardson throws strikes and Santillan doesn’t. Stephenson spent years in the minors trying to learn to throw K’s. Santillan had numbers in AA this year that looked so similar to Stephenson. This doesn’t bode well for Santillan. Santillan’s K% this year was 20%, his BB % rate this year was 12% and his GB rate this year was 35%.

        From my estimated calculations based on stats on MiLB.com Richardson’s GB % in the first half was 31%. In the second half it was 45%. His ERA his last 10 starts was 3.22. This along with 9.45 K/9 and 2.53 BB/9 is pretty impressive for someone who has zero quality pitches and is 19 years old in A ball.

        Remember that he just started pitching in 2018. He will develop a quality pitch in time. He had to be doing something right the 2nd half of last year. Hard to be that good with no quality pitches.

        I think he will do quite well in Daytona next year and assuming he spends the entire year in Daytona, his 2nd half will be better than his first half.

      • Doug Gray

        Don’t confuse “he doesn’t have the stuff Tony Santillan has” with he doesn’t have any quality pitches. The difference is that Tony Santillan might have three plus pitches, while Richardson doesn’t have one. The difference there is one guy has stuff that could make an ace, while the other has the stuff that may make a middle of the rotation guy.

        Santillan had nagging injuries most of the year and his performance suffered for it.

      • DaveCT

        I think the jury may be out on Santillan for at least another year, given it was his initial jump to AA, being one of the more difficult if not most difficult jump in pro ball, not to mention some nagging physical issues.

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