Prospect ranking season, and week here, continues today with the unveiling of the next part of the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List for the 2017 season. Yesterday we covered the guys ranked 1-5 and today we will look at the next group of five guys.
You can see the entire list here (once it’s completed at the end of the week).
Subscribers will get to see the top ranking tool for each player (You can subscribe to the website here to get access to all kinds of additional information). All ages listed are as of June 30th of the past season and is the official “age” of a player during the 2016 season.
On Friday afternoon there will be an All Questions Answered thread to take on any questions about the list.
*To be eligible for the list a player must have 2017 Rookie of the Year eligibility (Fewer than 130 at bats in the big leagues, fewer than 50 innings pitches or less than 45 days on the active MLB roster that doesn’t include September)*
6. Taylor Trammell | OF | Age: 18
2016 Team: Billings Mustangs | Acquired: Compensation 1st round, 2016 Draft | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 195 lbs
The Cincinnati Reds had the largest bonus pool to work with in the 2016 draft and they used it to help lock up Taylor Trammell with the 35th overall pick, but paid him the 14th largest bonus in the draft. His season started out a bit slow, posting a .626 in ten games in June for Billings. Things picked up in July as he bumped that up to a .747 mark. They moved up again in August as he posted an .846 OPS, including hitting his first home run as a pro. In a week of play in September he improved again, posting a 1.128 OPS. He’s a terrific athlete and showed improvement all season long. He wound up hitting .303/.374/.421 on the season with the Mustangs, including 24 stolen bases.
7. Aristides Aquino | OF | Age: 22
2016 Team: Daytona Tortugas | Acquired: Non-draft FA, January 2011 | Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 208 lbs
After an injury-fueled down season with a broken bone in his lower arm/wrist area after being hit by a pitch in 2015, Aristides Aquino made up for lost time in 2016. The Reds sent him to the Florida State League and the outfielder began well, especially when we take into account how the Florida State League plays, but it was his final three months that really took him to the next step. From June through the end of the season he hit .284/.330/.585. It wasn’t just his bat that stepped forward in a big way, he also showed off a strong arm in right field and threw out an incredible 28 runners – easily leading professional baseball. He finished second in the league with 23 home runs, fourth in doubles and led the league with 12 triples.
8. Vladimir Gutierrez | RHP | Age: 20
2016 Team: Signed after the season | Acquired: Non-Drafted Free Agent, September 2016 | Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 175 lbs
The 2016 International Signing period could be one that is looked back on as a big one for the Cincinnati Reds. The team went well beyond their allowed spending limit, facing fines and penalties as a result. In September they inked then 20-year-old Cuban right handed pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez to a $4.75M deal (which also resulted in them having to pay that same amount to Major League Baseball as a result). He last pitched in 2014 as a teenager in Cuba where he posted better numbers than both Raisel Iglesias and Aroldis Chapman did in the same league (and at a younger age). While he pitched as a reliever in Cuba, he was doing so at 17 and 18, he’s expected to be a starting pitcher moving forward.
9. Tony Santillan | RHP | Age: 19
2016 Teams: Billings Mustangs, Dayton Dragons | Acquired: 2nd Round, 2015 Draft | Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 240 lbs
The season couldn’t have started much better for Tony Santillan than it did in 2016. Over his first three starts he struck out 27 batters with just four walks in 13.1 innings pitched for the Billings Mustangs. Things slowed down from there, over the next month he had 12 walks and 19 strikeouts in 25.2 innings, but was promoted to Dayton to join the Dragons rotation. While there he battled consistency. He had three strong starts where he combined for 27 strikeouts and just six walks in 18.2 innings. In his other four starts though, he pitched just 11.2 innings and had 18 walks and 11 strikeouts. The fastball and slider combination are outstanding, but he’s going to need to find more consistency moving forward.
10. Nick Travieso | RHP | Age: 22
2016 Team: Pensacola Blue Wahoos | Acquired: 1st Round, 2012 Draft | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 225 lbs
While the 2016 season was successful for Nick Travieso, it was a bit of a step backwards for the right hander in 2016. His ERA took a step backwards, likely in large part because he struggled with his control during the season. His walk rate has always been on the plus side of the ledger, but in 2016 his walk rate jumped up to 4.1 batters per 9-innings pitched. His strikeout rate remained where it’s been for his career. One interesting note is that he performed much better when runners were on than when the bases were empty. With the bases empty he had 34 walks and 42 strikeouts (272 PA), but had just 19 walks and 49 strikeouts with runners on (238 PA). The control problems must improve from where they were in 2016, but it’s the first time he’s shown them – so for now it’s only a small downgrade for his ranking.
Taylor Trammell | While Trammell has a strong set of tools, it’s his plus speed that stands out as his top tool.
Aristides Aquino | His raw power stands out as his best tool, with the potential for 25 home runs in the future.
Vladimir Gutierrez | Gutierrez brings a fastball that has plus velocity at his top end, touching 97 MPH with the pitch.
Tony Santillan | His velocity is the top tool he’s got, sitting in the mid 90’s most days and touching the upper 90’s almost every night he takes the mound.
Nick Travieso | The slider flashes itself as a plus offering at times, though it isn’t consistently that caliber of pitch.