I’m going to take a look at the Reds top level minor league depth at seasons end.  This week I’ll cover the starting pitchers.  I’ll move on to the relievers and then position players in subsequent weeks.  This will be more of a who is closest to helping in the majors type of ranking rather than who has the most top side prospect ranking.  I’ll only be covering players who played at least as high as AA this season.

Starting Pitchers

Dylan Axelrod – Acquired from the White Sox during the season, he had prior ML experience (30 starts and 5.20+ ERA) and a 4.50 ERA in 16 AAA starts this season.  The 28 year old righty then put up 2.98 ERA in 6 starts at Louisville and a 3.12 ERA in 4 starts for the Reds.  He’s positioned himself such that he could be competing for a back end spot in the rotation next spring should the Reds deal a starter this offseason.

David Holmberg – Acquired from Arizona in the Ryan Hanigan trade last offseason, the 23 year old LH was coming off of a 2.75 ERA in 26 starts at AA in the 2013 season.  He struggled mightily this year posting a 4.66 ERA in AAA and was shelled hard in two early starts with the Reds.  He has rebounded this September with 4 strong performances lowering his 2014 ML ERA to 4.80.  With the advantages of being the return for Hanigan, being a prospect, and being LH, his recent success has probably positioned him similarly to Axelrod such that he could be in the mix for a back end spot in the rotation next spring should the Reds deal a starter this offseason.

Jon Moscot – The 22 year old RH put up a very good year at AA with a 3.13 ERA over 25 starts before earning an August promotion to AAA.  There he continued to pitch well with a 2.89 ERA over his first two outings before being shelled in his final start to end with a 5.71 ERA over 3 GS at AAA.  He is likely destined for AAA next season and if he continues pitching well could be ready to help the Reds by midseason.

Daniel Corcino – Corcino was once a top prospect but stalled at AAA in 2013 posting a 5.86 ERA over 23 GS.  The 23 year old RH was demoted to AA Pensacola to start this season where he posted a subpar 4.13 ERA over 25 GS mostly due to allowing 70 BB over 143 IP.  He also got one start in AAA where he allowed 4 R over 5 IP.  Corcino has amassed 3 starts and 3 relief appearances with the Reds this season where he has a 4.34 ERA over 18 IP.  He’s shown flashes of his former top prospect talent and is most likely slated to start next season at AAA and could be a help in the bigs if he shows some success there.

Robert Stephenson – The Reds top pitching prospect stumbled a bit this year at AA posting a disappointing 4.74 ERA over 26 GS.  The 21 year old RH struggled with control as he allowed 74 BB over 136 IP.  While it’s possible that he begins the year back at AA again next season, I believe he will move on to AAA to start the year since his H/9 and K/9 numbers were still very good this year.  He could provide help to the Reds by midseason if he shows he’s relocated the strike zone and has some success at AAA.

Michael Lorenzen – The 22 year old RH did remarkably well at AA in his first year as a SP.  He posted a very good 3.13 ERA over 24 GS.  H K/9 rate dropped a bit this season, but he continues to get a lot of ground balls.  He should start the year at AAA as he builds innings and he too could be of use to the Reds at midseason with continued success at AAA.

Ben Lively – The Reds 2013 4th round pick dominated at Rookie Billings in 2013 by posting a 0.73 ERA over 12 GS and then allowed 1 ER over 4 IP in a single start at Dayton.  The Reds then assigned the 22 year old to A+ to start the 2014 season where he once again dominated with a 2.28 ERA in 13 GS.  Promoted to AA at midseason he posted a very solid 3.88 ERA over 13 GS.  He is probably destined to begin next season back at AA, but he could be promoted quickly if he continues to excel and could see the big leagues by the end of next season.

Raisel Iglesias – Signed by the Reds to a Major League contract he’s rumored to be slated to pitch in the Dominican Winter League after spending some time in the Instructional League.  He was a reliever in Cuba, but the Reds see him as a starter.  He’s a bit of a wild card, but the 24 year old is rumored to throw 94-96 MPH and have a curve, slider, and working on a change up.  With his age and tools it may not be far fetched for him to begin the season in AA and see some time with the Reds by the end of next season if he pitches well.

With the starting pitcher depth above, including several top prospects, the Reds appear to be in a position to be able to deal one of their soon to be expensive major league starting pitchers for much needed help in other areas.