Cincinnati Reds 2013 Top 15 Prospects
Bullpen Banter Cincinnati Reds 2013 Top 15 Prospects
Evan Rentschler: I know Hamilton is supposed to be the clear #1, but I’m less excited now that SS is ruled out, as a good part of his value for me was contingent upon his potential to stick at the position. I think Hamilton can be a good every day major league CF rendered special by his displays of speed, but the difference between CF and SS is enough for me to prefer Stephenson’s strong #2 upside. I’m still not sure who Corcino is, as his performance often seems short of his stuff, but the delivery is sound and that stuff is the foundation of a #3 starter with potential for more. His jumping from Low-A to Double-A can’t be ignored either when assessing his numbers. I was a believer in Winker’s bat as a junior and thought he was a victim of prospect fatigue and positional concerns as a senior — in the same way that, say, Travis Harrison was — and was undervalued as a result. The bat has to carry him, but I think it will.
I was ambivalent about Travieso on draft day, and remain so. He’s got the big arm, and a back of ‘pen safety net, but I didn’t love what I saw of the delivery (admittedly on video) and he has the requisite “needs third pitch” tag most HS righties of his ilk seem to bring. Diaz at six is aggressive, but with a system this depleted by trades and graduations, I’ll put my ceiling guys up top. Cingrani and Langfield are two college finds, and the Reds’ scouting staff deserves a lot of credit here. Both have plus fastballs and a chance as back end starters or valuable relievers. Reynoso has the high ceiling but some Yormanesque worries about his ability to optimize his considerable tools. The contact ability and speed are intriguing, especially if he unlocks his power. I think Wright has what it takes to be an everyday 2B, but might have to settle for a super-utility role. A baseball rat who is going to grind his way to the bigs, he still had the smarts to enjoy the Cali league and slug away for his 102 PAs, and should be ready for a major league bench role by 2014. Guillon is a lefty lottery ticket. TJ is out of the way and now it’s a matter of methodical refinement of his delivery, command and breaking ball. Expect a level a year. Waldrop is a favorite as an extremely athletic, trim, but strong COF with a sound swing and solid plate discipline. Has the makings of a breakout player. I was generally happy with the Reds’ HS draftees in 2012, and Rahier was one reason why. Looked like a 3B to me in HS, but I liked the bat and overall actions, and I’m not too concerned with the poor start to his pro career. Rodriguez can swing it, but it remains to be seen how many infield positions he can play competently. Gelalich suffered through a hand injury that obscured any ability to gauge his debut. If he delivers on the promise he showed in college, this ranking will be much too low.
Al Skorupa: While Billy Hamilton will be a dynamic major league player I just don’t know that he’ll hit enough for me to take him over a potential front of the rotation starter like Robert Stephenson. Stephenson has an electric arm that can reach mid to high 90′s. His strong and deep arsenal of pitches continues to improve. Billy Hamilton will be a very fun player to watch but I’m just not all that confident he will hit much. I see him as a player with game changing speed… who is really more of a solid average major leaguer when you add it all up. The move to center field is another ding when comparing him to Stephenson right now, too. I never had much faith in him sticking at shortstop anyway, though, and his speed will play well in center. I am a little puzzled to see the accolades Hamilton receive this winter, but I do think he’ll be a quality major leaguer. As a prospect, I’m not sure he profiles a lot different than Anthony Gose did last year – and Gose was already a plus-plus center fielder with an 80 arm and more pop than Hamilton. Don’t get the wrong idea – I like Hamilton plenty. I just think the enthusiasm should be tempered a bit.
Tony Cingrani and Daniel Corcino are both quality major league arms. I do think both guys fit best in the bullpen, though. I think I was alone among the authors of this article in preferring Cingrani. I’m a fan of what Cincy has done in the last few drafts. I really believe in Jesse Winker’s bat and I think questions about his ability to play an outfield corner are overstated. The BB staff was very high on Winker entering the draft. A few of us were even higher on him at this time last year and last January I thought he had a chance to emerge as a really high pick, perhaps even top of the first round.Its certainly not a large gap between the two. Nick Travieso has a better starter’s profile than Cingrani or Corcino but he’s got much further to go. Got some varied reports on Tanner Rahier. One scout dismissed him as a utility guy but other sources liked him and his approach to the game. I see Dan Langfield as a bullpen arm but he’s improved tremendously since he was a Massachusetts high school pitcher. I’m not sure many will agree, but put me in the camp that could see Jeff Gelalich and Beau Amaral as potentially useful big leaguers (albeit in very limited roles). Ryan Wright was a draft day favorite of mine a couple years back. He could fit well in a utility role or maybe more in the right situation.
This is a solid system. Its been thinned out a bit, but a couple solid drafts have helped. Things might take a couple years to ripen, but I don’t think Reds fans will complain much given the quality of the major league squad.
Jeff Reese: I actually thought it was an easy decision to put Robert Stephenson ahead of Billy Hamilton. Stephenson has a great arm and could conceivably pitch near the top of a rotation; Billy Hamilton’s best tool is one of the least important. Hamilton’s speed is well above the elite threshold and it can have an impact on games; however while his bat did take a step forward in 2012, power won’t even be a rumor in his game. Perhaps if he were already a skilled center fielder, I could see the argument, but being a recent convert, he’s going to be raw in that phase of his game. Exciting does not always equate to a high ceiling. After those two, things begin to get a bit murky. Daniel Corcino lacks ideal height and may eventually make a move to the bullpen, but the stuff and delivery are good enough for him to start successfully. His progress has been steady. Tony Cingrani was spectacular in his first full pro season, but the breaking ball is still a concern that may keep him from starting. His rapid ascension to AA was one of the bigger surprises of the 2012 season. JJ Hoover already established himself as a quality relief man over the course of 28 big league appearances.
The Reds selected Nick Travieso with their first selection in the 2012 MLB Draft — higher than I personally would have selected him. Travieso has a good arsenal of pitches, including a mid-to-high 90s fastball with good movement. Mastering his control and command will be the biggest obstacles. Jesse Winker was one of their two supplemental round selections (Gelalich being the other) yet ranks ahead of Travieso. The profile isn’t ideal, but his mature left-handed bat is good enough to carry his prospect stock. Tanner Rahier is another notable; he’s physically maxed out thanks to an unconventional workout regimen but shows an aptitude for hitting with wood. His work ethic should get him to maximize the tools that he does have. Dan Langfield gives the Reds a quality college arm; he profiles best in the bullpen but has the overall stuff that gives him a shot at the rotation. Gelalich and Amaral are better bets to have a career, but I’m interested to see how Adam Matthews adapts to pro ball. The toolsy South Carolina outfielder never established himself as much of a threat in college, but the athleticism, speed, and raw power are all at least above-average. Amir Garrett is perhaps the most interesting player in the system. A starting sophomore basketball player at St. John’s University, Garrett plays professional baseball during the summer. He’s extraordinarily raw but already shows a mid 90s fastball from the left side; the athleticism and delivery make Aroldis Chapman comparisons inevitable. Keep track of him as a long term lottery ticket.
OF Billy Hamilton (Steve Fiorindo & Peter Wardell)
OF Jesse Winker (Steve Fiorindo)
LHP Tony Cingrani (Steve Fiorindo)
SS Tanner Rahier (Steve Fiorindo)
2B Ryan Wright (Al Skorupa)
OF Jeff Gelalich (Steve Fiorindo)
OF Beau Amaral (Steve Fiorindo)