The Cincinnati Reds made some moves last week. It would be a surprise if somehow you missed it. Three of the four players acquired are still eligible for prospect lists. That of course begs the question: Where do the new guys fit in? Let’s look at the original list that came out at the end of October for the Top 25.
|1. Robert Stephenson||9. Raisel Iglesias||17.Seth Mejias-Brean|
|2. Jesse Winker||10. Ben Lively||18. Junior Arias|
|3. Michael Lorenzen||11. Phillip Ervin||19. Carlton Daal|
|4. Nick Travieso||12. Aristides Aquino||20. Jose Ortiz|
|5. Yorman Rodriguez||13. Kyle Waldrop||21. Taylor Sparks|
|6. Sal Romano||14. Alex Blandino||22. Gavin LaValley|
|7. Amir Garrett||15. Jon Moscot||23. Daniel Wright|
|8. Nick Howard||16. Tucker Barnhart||24. Ismael Guillon|
|25. Sebastian Elizalde|
This list has been altered since it was released. Previous #20 prospect Rey Navarro elected to leave via free agency and signed a big league deal with the Baltimore Orioles, so everyone that was behind him moved up a spot. That brings outfielder Sebastian Elizalde into the Top 25. Well, it did until the trades went down. Let’s look at each player and where they now rank among the Reds prospects.
The right hander has 33.0 big league innings in 2014. Some of them went very well. Some of them didn’t go as well. Overall he posted a 6.27 ERA. That ERA is ugly, but his peripherals were strong with just five walks and 26 strikeouts. His WHIP was 1.36. In the minor leagues he posted a 3.78 ERA in 102.1 between AA and AAA (the PCL – extremely hitter friendly league). He had 31 walks and 97 strikeouts at those two levels. He looks like his upside is that of a #3 starter. He has strong control, above-average fastball velocity, an above-average slider and a solid change up. He’s big league ready in some sort of role. While his upside isn’t as high as some guys he is going to jump ahead of in the rankings, he’s got solid upside and he is ready to pitch in the big leagues today. He is the new #8 prospect in the system.
The 1st round pick of the Tigers in 2013 put up a strong ERA in the Midwest League in 2014 as he was near the the top of the league with a 2.85 ERA over 123.0 innings pitched. Despite the shiny ERA he had 50 walks and just 85 strikeouts. That is not good. In April and May he had 14 walks and 44 strikeouts, but in both June and July he had more walks than strikeouts. August was better but he walked 13 batters with 22 strikeouts. There were real struggles in there and it’s likely why despite his 1st round status, age and shiny ERA, he spent the entire season in the Midwest League. With all of that said, there is a lot to like with Crawford. When he is at his best he’s throwing a fastball in the 90-94 MPH range with an above-average slider. There’s also a change up that he throws, but it’s a well below-average offering. He’s got the upside for a #2/3 starter, but he has a ton of work to do in order to see that ceiling as realistic. Right now he looks like a far safer bet to be a quality reliever. He is the new #17 prospect in the system.
Also acquired in the Miami trade the catcher hit very well in his first full season after being drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 draft. Between Greensboro in the South Atlantic League and Jupiter in the Florida State League the right handed hitter posted a .322/.431/.457 line with 62 walks and 46 strikeouts in 408 plate appearances. He doesn’t have much power potential to tap into despite being a bigger guy, but double digit homers isn’t out of the question. Defensively is where he has the most work to do. Wallach caught a little bit in high school, but he was primarily an infielder in high school and he played the infield at Cal-State Fullerton his freshman season as well. As a sophomore he moved to catcher where he split time before taking over fully as a junior. He’s still relatively new to the position with just a few years behind the plate in his life. It still shows as he needs to round out his skills in nearly all assets on the defensive side of the ball. He’s shown the tools to stick at the position long term, but he isn’t likely to be an average defender back there. His bat is certainly much more intriguing at the position than it would be at other spots on the field. He is the new #24 prospect in the system.
The New Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospects List
|1||Robert Stephenson||9||Nick Howard||17||Jonathon Crawford|
|2||Jesse Winker||10||Raisel Iglesias||18||Tucker Barnhart|
|3||Michael Lorenzen||11||Ben Lively||19||Seth Mejias-Brean|
|4||Nick Travieso||12||Phillip Ervin||20||Junior Arias|
|5||Yorman Rodriguez||13||Aristides Aquino||21||Carlton Daal|
|6||Sal Romano||14||Kyle Waldrop||22||Jose Ortiz|
|7||Amir Garrett||15||Alex Blandino||23||Taylor Sparks|
|8||Anthony DeSclafani||16||Jon Moscot||24||Chad Wallach|