Tuesday over at Baseball America saw Ben Badler write about the top 16 power and speed prospects from the 2019 international signing class. Among that group was one Cincinnati Reds signing, outfielder Deivid Alcantara. The outfielder got the third highest signing bonus among the 2019 class for the Reds. Here’s what we had on him from signing day:

Deivid Alcantara, an outfielder from the Dominican Republic. Born in Puerto Rico, but has been in the Dominican Republic for several years. “Super athletic, has very good speed. There’s a chance for him to be very physical in the future. He can really swing the bat well. Has a very good arm – very exciting, toolsy prospect. He’s performed in games, too,” said Reds International Scouting Director Trey Hendricks of Deivid Alcantara.

Badler’s article got me to thinking about some of the guys in the organization that have potentially above-average speed and power in their game. Until last week the name at the top of the list would have been Jose Siri. But he was claimed on waivers by the Seattle Mariners and is no longer in the organization. A handful of months ago Taylor Trammell would have been near the top of the list, too, but he was traded in a 3-team deal that brought back Trevor Bauer. The same thing could be said for Brian O’Grady, who had 30 home runs and 21 steals in 2019 between the Major Leagues and Triple-A. He was traded to Tampa Bay in November.

Those moves have really left the organization’s farm system a little bit light on true power/speed prospects. During the 2019 minor league season there were only 15 players who had 15 or more steals on the year. While steals aren’t truly indicative of speed, you don’t often see guys with above-average speed not stealing bases.

When looking at the farm system for players who may have both above-average speed and above-average raw power, the options are limited. Mariel Bautista, the Reds #18 prospect checks both boxes. So does Stuart Fairchild, who is the organization’s #7 prospect. Allan Cerda joins the other two outfielders who is above-average in both categories. Danny Lantigua is far more raw than the other three outfielders, but when looking at just the raw power and speed, he’s there.

That, though, is about where the list ends. Some players are close, having average in one category, and above-average in another. Guys like #4 prospect Jose Garcia, Andy Sugilio, Jonathan Willems, Fidel Castro, TJ Hopkins, and Michael Beltre fall into this category. For some of those guys the in-game power is a lot more playable than some of the others – but the raw power is there. Sugilio is probably the fastest player in the organization, and you can see where there could be some future power, but he has struggled to tap into it in his career.

Looking at the 10 players that were listed above, you’ve got three guys ranked in the Top 25 Reds prospects, and two inside of the Top 10. Four of the players have not yet reached full-season baseball, and another one only saw about six weeks in full-season ball in 2019.

You don’t need to have power and speed to be a quality big leaguer. While you have guys like Mike Trout, Christian Yelich, and Mookie Betts at the top of the game – the game is getting further away from stolen bases. Trout only stole 11 bases in 2019. Betts only had 16 steals. Of course, speed is useful for more than just steals. Being able to go first to third, or first to home when others may get the stop sign can make a difference. Having that extra step in the field on defense can make a difference. Those things are a little bit harder to measure.

Power and speed certainly help make a player more well rounded. But last I checked Anthony Rendon just signed a contract worth $245,000,000 with his slightly below-average speed. Guys with five average or better tools are actually quite rare. Even rarer are the guys with five average or better skills on the baseball field.

20 Responses

  1. gregteb

    No Isabel? Do you consider him a non prospect or do they have to have both speed and Power to make it? Rendon does not have speed.

    • Doug Gray

      Have to have both, which was the point I was making about Rendon – he doesn’t have speed but you don’t need to have both to be an outstanding baseball player.

  2. Daryl

    Do the Reds make a play for Rengifo? Seems like a good fit for us and he is not needed in LA.

    • Stock

      I was kind of hoping this deal is a prelude to a Seager trade. I think the Dodgers took on a lot of salary yesterday in Price and Betts. Dumping Pederson and Seager makes sense.

  3. Dbfromnva

    The Red’s trading of excellent prospects for 1/1.5 year rentals have left very almost no hitting to get excited about in the system.

    • Stock

      Do they need it.

      Galvis creates a hole at the end of the year but there is no need for another infielder until 2025 That means outside of Garcia no need to have a player in class A or above.

      Shogo and Senzel won’t need to be replaced until 2026. Castellanos has options but he may very well be locked in until 2025. Winker will not need to be replaced until 2024.

      The only two holes over the next several years have Garcia and Stephenson waiting. My concern is not that we don’t have options but rather will Votto win comeback player of the year

      • Oldtimer

        Votto won’t be producing at age 40 like he used to produce. 1B needed.

        Pete Rose did (at age 40) except for power. Rose > Votto.

  4. Bill H.

    I’m surprised by no mention of TJ Friedl . . . too early to tell based on last year’s injury?

  5. Oldtimer

    I don’t see any Speed & Power prospects in Reds MiLB who might be ready in next 2-3 years.

    Vada Pinson (RIP). Eric Davis. Wish we had someone like those guys.

    • Doug Gray

      I wish the Reds had Hall of Fame caliber players in the farm system, too. That would be great.

      • Oldtimer

        Joey Votto was/is. But that was 13 years ago. I daresay none since. Greene and/or Lodo maybe someday.

  6. B-town fan

    Thought I would re post this here since it didn’t really belong on the nation site.
    Doug, I just happened to flip the TV channel to MLB last night and saw the Betts trade. Ken Rosenthal mentioned that the Dodgers hadn’t given up any of their top prospects like “Gavin Lux and Jeter Downs” in the trade. Those are the only two that he mentioned, it kind of surprised me. I guess my question, is Jeter Downs really that good of a prospect? I know that the Reds essentially traded Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray and Trammel for Bauer and Framer, so I don’t want to get into that part of it. But is Downs really that highly rated of a prospect? The Dodgers farm system is considered to be stacked. Did he improve that much since he left the Reds.

    • Oldtimer

      Yes, Downs is rated among Top 50 MiLB prospects overall by MLB. Somewhere in mid 40s (I think).

      • Hanawi

        Downs is 44 overall by MLB.com. Ahead of both Greene (53) and Lodolo (48). Gray is 67 and Trammell is 45.

        As I mentioned on the other site, Downs is a power hitting SS that outplayed India over multiple levels last year and is younger. Seemed to do ok at SS all year, though the Reds were trying to turn him into a 2B.

    • Doug Gray

      I haven’t seen Downs play since he left, so it’s tough to really know. He held hit well in the Cal League, but did go on a tear in a short stint in Double-A last year which probably boosted his stock a bit more. The big rub against him when he was in the Reds organization is that he wasn’t a shortstop defensively. I can’t imagine that part has changed. The Reds always liked the bat.

  7. Martino

    The thing is we never quite know which youngster may or may not hit paydirt at the right time. Over the years we’ve seen relative nobodies emerge and to the contrary, sure things do not so sureness. If I had to bet on every young man I’d completely stop betting on anyone.