The Reds are pretty locked and loaded at the second base position at the Major League level with Brandon Phillips signed through 2017. Injuries or decline in play could always open up a spot for someone before that time frame though.
The Reds have some depth at the second base position throughout the farm system, but there really isn’t a stand out prospect at the position. Ryan Wright leads the way among the second base prospects. The former Louisville product split his time between the Dayton Dragons and Bakersfield Blaze. In Dayton he hit .285/.343/.424 with solid plate discipline and solid power output in 429 plate appearances before earning a promotion. In a short period of time in Bakersfield he showed off quite a bit more power, matching his home run total in Dayton in 25% of the time. However with the better power came poor plate discipline as he walked just twice while striking out 17 times in 102 trips to the plate. Overall, he had a solid season, but he will need to show better plate discipline moving forward than he did at the end of the year in Bakersfield if he wants to continue to move up the ladder and keep his prospect status. After Wright, there is a drop off among the guys in full season ball to a group of guys who seem to have shown things here and there, but haven’t quite had the resume that Wright had.
Devin Lohman probably is the next guy in line. He has had an up and down career, getting off to a very poor start before turning things on in the second half of 2011 as he split time between Billings and Bakersfield. He spent 2012 in Bakersfield where he hit an unspectacular .257/.353/.401 as he showed off solid power and good plate discipline while also swiping 34 bags (9 CS). Lohman has a solid glove and also spent part of his year at shortstop, though he is more of a second baseman. Brodie Greene had a similar year to Lohman’s 2012 when he was in Bakersfield in 2011, but he regressed significantly in 2012 as he hit just .244/.319/.329 for Pensacola. He showed off solid plate discipline, but saw his power all but disappear in 2012. If he can regain a bit of power then he could get back on the right track.
In rookie ball the Reds saw several guys show off something during the 2012 season. Brandon Dailey began the year in Dayton, but struggled in 102 plate appearances and found his way to Billings where he hit .308/.355/.528 as he showed off pretty good power, but he had just 9 walks compared to 48 strikeouts in just 175 plate appearances. Improvement in his plate discipline is a must for Dailey to continue to develop. Down in Arizona there were two guys worth talking about. Ty Washington saw limited action due to an injury cutting his season short, but a toolsy middle infielder hit .270/.351/.429 with 9 walks and 12 strikeouts to go with 6 steals (2 CS) in just 76 plate appearances. Hopefully he can put together a full and healthy season in 2013 to get a better read on what he can do. Avain Rachal was taken in the 22nd round out of high school in 2012 and hit .297/.364/.415 in 132 plate appearances for the Arizona Reds while showing off solid plate discipline with 12 walks and 24 strikeouts. He did post an .899 fielding percentage at second base though, so he does need to sure up his defense some.
The Reds certainly has depth at the second base position in the minor leagues, but as noted in the beginning of the article, they are lacking that premium prospect at the position right now. A guy like Ty Washington with his athleticism may change that down the road, but there is still a long way to go for him. Ryan Wright seems like the most sure thing of the group, but he seems to have limited upside, has been a tad old for the leagues he has played in and has only had solid results. The position is probably a C+ because of the depth and some guys who were able to perform at least solidly throughout the system.
For other State of the Farm posts, check out the series here.