Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospects Updated

The Reds system may not have the most depth to it but it has a nice mix of high-ceiling players and toolsy, raw players with upside.

Click here for the pre-season Top 10

1. Nick Senzel | 3B | AAA —> Senzel appeared to be on a collision course with the Majors in 2018 but injuries derailed those hopes. He appeared in just 44 games but more than held his own at the big league level. In his prime, Senzel should hit for average, get on base at a strong rate and produce average or better pop. His defensive home has yet to be 100% settled but he could be a solid third baseman. After some lost development time in 2018, this young hitter may not open next year in The Show but he should be there by mid-year.

2. Taylor Trammell | OF | A+ —> Trammell is finally getting some of the recognition that he deserves but he’s still better than most people realize. An extremely athletic player, it’s taken a little time for his skill to translate onto the baseball diamond but he’s now more consistently showing the skills that could make him an all-star. His numbers weren’t as shiny in 2018 but the Florida State League is a tough one to play in. Trammell takes lots of pitches and walks a lot — which is exactly what you want to see from someone with plus speed. Once he starts tapping into his raw power, there is 20-homer potential there. His modest arm could limit him to left field but he has the speed for center.

3. Hunter Greene | RHP | A —> The second overall pick from 2017 due to a 100+ mph fastball, Greene was downright dominating at times in 2018 in full-season ball. He struck out 89 batters in just 68.1 innings despite struggling with consistency and command. He was shut down late in the year with an elbow strain, which often leads to Tommy John surgery. Greene has the potential for a plus-plus fastball and plus slider but the changeup is still a work in progress. He should spend 2019 in high-A ball unless surgery becomes a necessity.

4. Jonathan India | 3B | A —> The fifth overall pick in 2018 after a strong college career, India scuffled a bit in affiliated ball after a long year. He’s expected to hit for average, power and control the zone well. He had some swing-and-miss to his game during his debut but he did show the ability to drive the ball and take walks. He should be no worse than average at the hot corner and has the athleticism to be a very good fielder. India, 21, could be a fast mover.

5. Tony Santillan | RHP | AA —> It’s taken some time for Santillan to start putting things together but he had a very good year in 2018 while splitting the year between high-A and double-A. His fastball command still wavers but he can over-power hitters with the high-90s heat. His control is a head of his command. With some additional polish, he should have three average-or-better offerings. Santillan, 21, will likely return to double-A in 2019 but is well positioned to make his MLB debut later that year.

6. Tyler Stephenson | C | A+ —> A 2015 first rounder, it’s been a slow climb for Stephenson due to lost time from injuries. He showed good pop in 2018 while also getting on base at a good clip. He may not hit for average in The Show due to his strikeout tendencies but those two strengths could be enough to carry him. Defensively, he still needs polish as a receive but he has a strong arm and the athleticism to be an average defensive catcher. Look for him to move up to double-A in 2019.

7. Jeter Downs | SS | A —> An athletic player signed out of high school in 2017, Downs has looked good so far but there are questions over his ultimate ceiling. He doesn’t have any one standout tool but does a little bit of everything. He’s also shown good instincts all over the field — including the base paths where he stole 37 bases despite average (or a little better speed). He should hit double-digit homers in a full season but he may never be a big home run guy so trimming the swing-and-miss tendencies would help.

8. Vladimir Gutierrez | RHP | AA —> Gutierrez should more consistency and improved command in 2018 but he struggles with his delivery, which leads to inconsistent control at times. He has the makings of two plus pitches with his fastball and curveball but the changeup is only so-so. I think Gutierrez could be an excellent high-leverage reliever but he also has a chance to develop into a mid-rotation arm with further refinement.

9. Shed Long | 2B | AA —> Originally a catcher, Long was moved to the keystone to take advantage of his athleticism. His swing-and-miss tendencies limit his overall ceiling but he’s being more patient now and could develop into a solid bench bat. He just needs to branch out and perhaps spend time at third base and even the outfield. He has the bat speed to produce 10-15 homers in a full season if he puts the ball in the air more.

10. Michael Beltre | OF | A+ —> Beltre has been a huge project for the Reds but he might finally be ready to take off after a strong 2018 season — his sixth in pro ball. The 23-year-old has a strong body but he rarely hits the ball in the air which negates his raw strength. He makes a decent amount of contact and has become quite patient at the plate. He also has the speed to steal 20+ bases and be a solid defender in the outfield.

Just Missed:

Mike Siani | OF | Rookie —> Siani could be a fast mover in 2019 if he can quiet concerns about the impact of his hit tool. At the very least he looks like a solid fourth outfielder type who can run, throw and play solid defence.

T.J. Friedl | OF | AA —> Friedl has a great shot at developing into one of the better fourth outfielders in the Majors. His game is a little short for everyday action but he gets on base, limits the strikeouts and can steal some bases.

Stuart Fairchild | OF | A+ —> Fairchild has the speed to nab 20+ bases in a full season but he’s still honing his approach at the plate. He doesn’t take as many free passes as you’d like to see from a speedy player and he swings through too many pitches.



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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7 Comments on "Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospects Updated"

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DustyColorado
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DustyColorado

Where would the Twins Wander Javier rank if he were in the Reds system?

jgaztambide
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jgaztambide

Oh my god, you’re everywhere.