Baseball America just released its updated top-10 list of Reds prospects.

  1. Robert Stephenson RHP
  2. Cody Reed, LHP
  3. Amir Garrett, LHP
  4. Tyler Stephenson, C
  5. Jesse Winker, OF
  6. Alex Blandino, SS/2B
  7. Nick Travieso, RHP
  8. Keury Mella, RHP
  9. Sal Romano, RHP
  10. Tyler Mahle, RHP

Brandon Finnegan and Raisel Iglesias weren’t eligible.

34 Responses

  1. Alex

    OK, Jesse. Time to get off this list next year.

  2. Michael Smith

    Any list that has Tyler Stephson in front of Winker has issues.

    • Bryan E

      I think from a prospect perspective, Stephenson has a higher ceiling than Winker.

      • gaffer

        I have no issue with Stephenson over WInker. Winker will still be a solid player but Stephenson could be a top 5 catcher (which is more valuable). Cody Reed!!!! I know he looked good but if he is that good, we made the deal (steal) of the decade.

      • whodeythinkgonnabeatthemredlegs

        At first I was confused because I didn’t see Reed at the bottom half of the list so I thought he was excluded. Did not expect that!

      • Michael Smith

        All true but Winker is close to major league ready, has plus batting skills. Stephenson still has to prove he can be a catcher. One of the things they mentioned when he was drafted (previews for him) is that he may have to move to outfield due to size.

    • RFM

      Tyler Stephenson’s most promoted tool – power – didn’t show up at all in his first season, yet he’s ranked like it did.

      • jdx19

        I think he is ranked like an 18 year old that posted a .352 OBP in his first professional baseball experience who plays a premium defensive position (for now). If he had hit 10 homers in his 219 PAs or something (instead of 1), he’d likely be a Top 50 national prospect.

    • Michael E

      None of my top pitching prospects, thats for sure. Pitching is the quickest route to contention. If we trade our top pitchers for hitters, we’ll be the Reds of the 90s and early/mid 00s… good at scoring runs, terrible at preventing them and a losing franchise.

      Keep the pitching prospects, trade veteran hitters or marginal prospects, and sign one or two FA hitters.

      Never trade equally good pitching for good hitting …never.

  3. larry papania

    Thanks for the information Steve. I think one or two of these pitching prospects will be traded for a bat (I hope).

    • Michael E

      I hope not, unless its a steal of a deal. One bat won’t move the needle and we were worse at preventing runs, than scoring them this past year. Pitching is gold. I want good hitting, but not if it means trading away our top 3 pitching prospects and then running out a rotation full of less talented prospects that can’t do better than 4.00 ERAs.

  4. WVRedlegs

    I keep telling people that Cody Reed will be the surprise of spring training. He is going to make it difficult for the front office to start him out at AAA next year. But that is a good problem to have.
    70% of this list is pitchers. What other team(s) have as few position players as the Reds in their top-10 lists??

    • Bryan E

      I just scanned the prospect lists which have been published by BA and no other teams have more than 5 pitching prospects in their top 10.

      • CP

        Right, but there are only 7 posted so far. The Reds have 3 in their top 6 (and Winker is posted lower than expected), which is a good sign. Also, I think most rankings will have Ervin and/or Yorman listed in top 10.

        Overall, I’d rather have quality over quantity anyway. I think the one thing the Reds Reds farm system seems to lack is high upside.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I think a lot of lists will have at least one of Yorman Rodriguez and Phil Ervin. Personally I’d rank both in the Reds top 10. Doug Gray has both in the top ten as well on his updated list. At that point it’s a 50/50 split.

    • Michael E

      You make it sound like a bad thing WV.

      It’s not. Yes, we’d all like to have a Kris Bryant or Correa in our system, but so would 25 other teams.

      We have exciting collection of young pitching and our pitching has been awful most of my lifetime, outside a few nice years with a prime Rijo or Seaver or Cueto. We tried the all hitting, poor pitching route and we stunk most of the 90s and early 00s. Top 5 in HRs annually and usually a losing team because our best pitchers were other teams fill-in starters or middle relievers.

      KEEP these pitching prospects, get a top 5 MLB pitching staff and fill in with solid hitters that aren’t that hard to find. Look at the Royals, they didn’t have any superstar hitters, they did it by having a team full of solid hitters, great defense and very good pitching (bullpen moreso than starting, but still).

  5. lwblogger2

    Carlos Quentin is apparently trying to make a comeback. He’d be perfect for LF. He had a horrible 2014, has always been a brutal defender, is coming off injuries that caused him to miss all of 2015, and is a jerk on top of it all.

    On the plus side? He’ll take the occasional walk and can hit the ball out of the yard. I’ve always liked him in the batters box. He’s a born DH and I think IF he can make a comeback, some AL team will probably be the best fit.

    • lwblogger2

      Whoops, was going to post it (tongue in cheek) in the LF and SS thread. Sorry all.

  6. CP

    I’m surprised Winker is down at #5. I guess there is probably some legitimate question about his upside. Still, I thought his surge at the end and his proximity to the majors would make him the #2.

    There are some guys on that list that made serious progress last season (Garrett, Blandino, Travieso). You have to be happy about that.

    • lwblogger2

      I’m thinking that it is his ceiling that is holding him down. His floor is pretty high but his ceiling doesn’t scream All-Star. Also, as a corner OF, his bat is really going to have to carry him as far as prospect status. The Reds AA ballpark and the league in general isn’t doing him any favors as far as making his offensive numbers look impressive. Baseball America still seems to weigh tools pretty heavily too. Aside from a good ‘hit’ tool and an above-average ‘power’ tool, Winker doesn’t have other plus tools. I’d be curious to see Baseball Prospectus’ latest list.

    • Michael Smith

      He was 4th in the southern league in ops, t8th in slugging, 5th in on base percentage. Ill buy the ceiling may not be as high but AA with better production means more than someone with uhh production at Rookie Ball (I do really like Stephenson but we still have no idea what we will get out of him years down the line while Winker is knocking on the door of mlb.)

  7. Jonrox

    What am I missing with Sal Romano? His stats are garbage (low k/9, high WHIP and ERA)

    • brmreturns

      maybe he’s Schu’s long lost cousin and has a ton of ‘grit’ to spare….

    • Jeremy R Howdyshell

      What you are missing is that those are not a good measure of a prospect. What you look for in those is the fact that he has been consistently improving from year to year and then the fact that his pitches have a lot of potential. What they see is that he is a guy who is only 22 with a heck of a lot of upside potential going forward and that his constant progress both statistically and in his ability to throw his pitches looks to him having every bit of potential that the scouts say he does.

      • jdx19

        Strikeouts are always a good measure for a pitcher. Striking guys out is always preferable to not striking guys out at every level. Given 2 pitchers in AA, take the guy who strikes out more guys if that is the only stat you know.

        However, I think what you might mean is that K/9 in A-ball isn’t a good predictor of future performance. If so, I certainly agree!

      • Jeremy Conley

        Eh. I agree with the original poster, there’s no reason he should be on the list. He’s never been very good, at any level. High round pick with incredibly low strikeout rates don’t scream upside. There are lots of guys that throw hard. Curtis Partch averaged 96 MPH last year, and was terrible.

        I hope Sal turn out to be great, but he’s about 10 spots too high in terms of Reds prospects.

    • RFM

      He just turned 22 and throws 97mph. He has plenty of raw talent to work with, even if his numbers are not yet stellar. The minors are about player development, and there’s plenty of reason to hope for him to continue to improve, despite not yet being a MLB-ready product. He’s not as advanced as some of the pitchers ahead of him on the list, despite earning a promotion to AA at age 21.

      He’s one of several Reds pitching prospects to have a realistic fall-back plan of a power reliever.

    • Michael E

      Remember, many prospects are working on things, like a new pitch, and asked to keep throwing it to improve their future, but possibly at the expense of minor league stats. Same with hitters trying a new swing to give them better future upside.

      While I do cringe at awful stats, its nothing to get too worked up over. A pitcher in the west will look bad, while a hitter looks great (PCL and other thin/high/dry air places), but once they leave that league, the stats no longer apply.

  8. Jeremy Conley

    I think it’s great that the Reds have so many pitching prospects. Last year the Reds ranked 25th in Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP). The year before that they were 26th. Both years, losing records.

    In 2013 they were ranked 12th and won 90 and in 2012 they were ranked 7th and won 97. Of course offense is important, and the Reds should try to improve theirs, but there is no way that the Reds can be a successful club if they are in they are among the worst pitching teams in the league.

    • Michael E

      Me too Jeremy. This love affair with trading out top pitchers for hitters is ludicrous. The Reds have been a subpar pitching team pretty much the entire existence of the franchise and yet fans want to fix offense at the expense of the pitching future?

      INSANITY.

      I’d rather have a stud pitching staff and so-so runs scoring, than a shaky pitching staff and top 5 run scoring…if we’re that, we’re just the Rockies, scoring runs, finishing in last place.

      Pitching is still (and has always been) the key to contending. No pitching and you don’t contend..period, save for once every 10 years when all things come together for one season and you outscore everyone by 200 runs (something close to the Blue Jays this year). Even then, you’re quickly outed in the playoffs, because good pitching ALWAYS tops good hitting.

    • jdx19

      Ditto! I bet he’ll post some stuff at his own site, if I had to guess.