The Cincinnati Reds organization has openly stated they’re in a rebuilding phase. They’ve had the second worst record in baseball each of the last 2 years. This has allowed for one good draft and the stock piling of near-ready MLB prospects. While they’ve chosen to go near-MLB ready instead of high ceiling, which isn’t as exciting, it has moved them up the rankings in overall farm system quality.
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster
Tier 2 1. Nick Senzel, 3B DOB: 06/29/1995
Known for his OBP and feel of the strike zone, Senzel has great plate discipline. His ceiling may not be great, but he was as close to a sure thing as there was in the 2016 draft.
2. Amir Garrett, LHP DOB: 05/03/1992
The Reds took a chance on Garrett, a former collegiate basketball player at St. Johns University. Taken in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft, he was given a million dollar signing bonus to lure him to baseball. It seems to have paid off as the LHP is in line to be a solid addition to the rotation within the next year.
3. Jesse Winker, OF DOB: 08/17/1993
Winker never fully recovered from a wrist injury last year, which zapped his power as he failed to hit many long balls. His plate discipline has not failed him though as he’s averaged a 1:1 K/BB ratio over the last 463 plate appearances.
4. Cody Reed, LHP
Cody’s first half season in the MLB was hard to watch. A high ERA of 7.36 has knocked him down the list. He still owns a mid-90’s fastball and a plus plus slider, plus he gets the bonus of being a LHP.
5. Robert Stephenson, RHP DOB: 02/24/1993
Control. Stephenson has a plus fastball, but his secondary pitch, a 78-80 MPH curveball is inconsistent at best. He still holds a high ceiling, but patience is wearing thin within the organization and from MLB scouts in general.
Tier 3 6. Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP DOB: 09/18/1995
The best prospect the Reds signed last year off of the international market. During his last season in Cuba(2014) he had an impressive 23.4% strikeout rate.
7. Tyler Mahle, RHP DOB: 09/29/1994
Pitched a no hitter last year for High-A Daytona. Has plus control and a mid 90’s fastball with a decent curve.
8. Taylor Trammell, OF DOB: 09/13/1997
Potential superstar with double plus speed and plus bat speed. Natural athlete but will need good development to become all around baseball player.
9. Nick Travieso, RHP DOB: 01/31/1994
Travieso has been consistent throughout his career and projects well to make it as a starter at the next level. He has a live fastball, nearly great slider, and a workable change up.
10. Tony Santillan, RHP DOB: 04/15/1997
Currently a starting pitcher, Tony could end up as a closer by the time he reaches the show. He lacks a third pitch, but when he has control it may not matter due to his electric fastball and nicely spun curve.
11. Chris Okey, C DOB: 12/29/1994
Okey is a good all-around catcher. While his numbers don’t thrill scouts, he looks like he’ll be able to stay behind the plate for a long career. Expect around a .250 avg, with some power and decent OBP. The one thing he lacks is a weakness, which is a good thing.
12. Tyler Stephenson, C DOB: 08/16/1996
2016 was hard for Stephenson who had 2 major stints on the DL. He is still young and very raw, it’s a legitimate concern that he won’t last at catcher but if he does he could be valuable in 3 to 4 years.
13. Aristides Aquino, OF DOB: 04/22/1994
Aquino was signed as a 16 year old Latin prospect. It’s taken him awhile to break out, but last year he did that with 23 homeruns in the big ballparks and high humidity of the Florida State League. If he can shrink his strike zone being slightly less aggressive he could be a monster MLB RF prospect very soon.
14. Alfredo Rodriguez, SS DOB: 06/17/1994
Rodriguez plus defense and plus speed will allow him to get to the MLB level. The question is can he hit? As of right now, I’m not sold on it and eager to see him make his professional debut in the states.
15. Sal Romano, RHP DOB: 10/12/1993
Last year was a tale of two halves for Romano. His stat line the first half was 4.93 ERA with hitters at .313/.352/.445 slash line. Over his final 15 starts he was 2.49 ERA while only issuing 16 walks in 90.1 innings.
Tier 4 16. Keury Mella, RHP DOB: 08/02/1993
2016 was a huge step backwards for the former Giants prospect. His control and strike rate both were not as good as previous years.
17. Phillip Ervin, OF DOB: 07/15/1992
Ervin only managed a .239 average in 2016, but all of his other stats say he still has major league potential. His 65/88 BB/K ratio shows promise while his .362 OBP and 36 SB total make him a well-rounded player.
18. TJ Friedl, OF DOB: 08/14/1995
Friedl was undrafted in 2016 as teams didn’t realize he was draft eligible. Signed as an undrafted free agent and while only playing 5 weeks of pro ball, made his presence felt. Friedl likens himself to Lenny Dykstra and with a .347/.423/.545 slash line, maybe he’s right?
19. Ian Kahaloa, RHP DOB: 10/03/1997
Only 18 years old this past season, Kahaloa pounded the strike zone. His 2.93 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 52 innings is impressive, especially for a kid of his age.
20. Rookie Davis, RHP DOB: 04/29/1993
At 6’5″ 245 pounds, Davis has the size of a big league pitcher. Unfortunately he doesn’t strike a lot of people out (5.44 K/9) and he’s a fly ball pitcher, which won’t play well in Great American Ball Park. Perhaps a switch to the bullpen will be in order.
21. Alex Blandino, 2B DOB: 11/06/1992
The Reds have recently acquired several middle infielders and Blandino seems to be a man forgotten. His low batting average, high strikeouts, and lack of a true position may be the reason.
22. Jimmy Herget, RHP DOB: 09/09/1993
Herget had a breakout year, confusing Florida State League hitters and racking up 24 saves. A potential future reliever he managed a 1.78 ERA with 83 strikeouts in 60.2 innings.
23. Blake Trahan, SS DOB: 09/05/1993
Trahan impressed last year at Spring Training. It didn’t help his season though, as he put up average numbers that stopped him from fast tracking up the ladder.
24. Max Wotell, RHP DOB: 09/13/1996
Acquired via the Jay Bruce trade, Wotell is very unorthodox. His slider is his best offering but could be dangerous if he gets better control and maybe moves to the pen.
25. Alejandro Chacin, RHP DOB: 06/24/1993
A Southern League All-Star currently dominating in Venezuela with a spring training invite. If he impresses there he could realistically start the season on the big league club.
26. Eric Jagielo, 3B DOB: 05/17/1992
A former Yankees first round draft pick had a bad 2016 with a .205 average in double A. Jagielo has his issues of a high strikeout rate and poor defense. He needs to turn things around this year or he’ll be gone.
27. Calten Daal, SS DOB: 08/01/1993
Daal lost most of 2016 to injury, but managed to hit well when playing. Selected as a potential breakout star last year, he’ll get his chance to come back strong in 2017.
28. Shed Long, 2B DOB: 08/22/1995
Winner of the Reds Minor League Hitter of the Year award, Shed has been on fire the last year and a half. He did have surgery on his hamate bone (wrist) this off season, but his stock is rising and he is one to watch this year.
29. Zack Weiss, RHP DOB: 06/16/1992
In 2015 was the top reliever in the Reds system. Unfortunately he missed the entire 2016 season due to an injury in his elbow. He did avoid surgery and if healthy and returning to form, could be on the fast track to the big leagues.
30. Tanner Rainey, SP DOB: 12/25/1992
In his first full pro season Rainey had a high ERA of 5.57. He issues a lot of walks, but he does strike out plenty of hitters. Control is his main issue.
31. Taylor Sparks, 3B DOB: 04/03/1993
A good defender, but not sure his bat will get him where he needs to be.
32. Ariel Hernandez, RHP DOB: 03/02/1992
High velocity, maybe best curveball in all of baseball, but walks way too many hitters.
33. Ismael Guillon, LHP DOB: 02/13/1992
Had a dominant 2016 but still hasn’t played in the upper minor leagues.
34. Ty Boyles, LHP DOB: 09/30/1995
Boyles had a decent 2015 followed up by an average 2016.
35. Zac Correll, RHP DOB: 01/28/1996
Young with a good strikeout rate and lots of promise.
36. Gavin Lavalley, 1B DOB: 12/28/1994
Switched from 3B to 1B last year, solid average hitter.
37. Sarkis Ohanian, RHP DOB: 08/06/1993
Former Duke Pitcher went winless in 2016 but had a solid ERA with some of the best K/9, WHIP, and OPP AVG in the Reds organization.
38. Ryan Hendrix, RHP DOB: 12/16/1994
Drafted in the 5th round out of Texas A&M, high velocity out of the pen.
39. Tony Renda, 2B DOB: 01/24/1991
Still technically a prospect he did make his MLB debut in 2016 and projects as a utility infielder.
40. Sandy Lugo, RHP DOB: 03/26/1994
His 12.9 K/9 was the second best in the Midwest League.
Tier 5 41. Alex Powers, RHP DOB: 02/26/1992
Went 9-0 this year with good numbers.
42. Jackson Stephens, RHP DOB: 05/11/1994
Added to the Reds 40 man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.
43. Scott Moss, LHP DOB: 10/06/1994
High ceiling with a big frame, only pitched 24 innings in college after 2 surgeries.
44. Barrett Astin, RHP DOB: 10/22/1991
Arizona Fall League All-Star, added to 40 man roster, 2.26 ERA in 2016.
45. Nick Hanson, RHP DOB: 06/10/1998
6’6″ RHP drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 draft.
46. James Vasquez, 1B DOB: 11/08/1992
In 2015 almost hit for the AZL triple crown, struggled in 2016.
47. Andrew Jordan, RHP DOB: 08/03/1997
Drafted in 2015, looks effortless with 3 pitch approach.
48. Nolan Becker, LHP DOB: 06/13/1991
Has put up 3 decent years in a row in middle relief.
49. Adrian Rodriguez, RHP DOB: 08/08/1996
Mexican pitcher with a good first 2 seasons.
50. Jesus Reyes, RHP DOB: 02/21/1993
Gave up plenty of walks, but kept the ball in the yard only giving up 3 HR’s all season.
Thanks for the heads up Greg! I’ve removed Yorman from the list and added Cody Reed who fell just 2 1/3 innings from graduating from Prospect status last year. All other players have been moved down one spot until reaching Yorman’s previous spot of #23 on the list.