We are nearly completed with the updated Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List for the 2017 season. Today we will look at spots 16-20. You can see the 1-15 spots here.
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)*
16. Ian Kahaloa | RHP | Age: 18
2016 Teams: AZL Reds, Billings Mustangs | Acquired: 5th round, 2015 Draft | Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight | 185 lbs
After two starts in the Arizona Rookie League that essentially just got him caught up to the rest of the guys from extended spring training, the Reds promoted Ian Kahaloa to the Pioneer League to join the Billings Mustangs rotation. The right hander pitched incredibly well for Billings and that’s before we even take into account the fact that he was 18-years-old all season long. In 10 starts he never allowed more than three earned runs in a single on and posted a 2.39 ERA between his two stops in 52.2 innings. He also struck out 52 batters and had just 14 walks on the season while giving up just 40 hits.
17. Shed Long | 2B | Age: 20
2016 Teams: Dayton Dragons, Daytona Tortugas | Acquired: 12th round, 2013 Draft | Height: 5′ 8″ | Weight: 180 lbs
Shed Long burst onto the scene in 2015 with an outstanding final month with the Dayton Dragons. He carried that forward with him in 2016 as he returned to Dayton to begin the year. With the Dragons the second baseman hit .281/.371/.457 with 16 steals, 24 doubles and 11 home runs. That earned him a promotion in late July to the Florida State League where he joined the Daytona Tortugas. He didn’t stop hitting, in fact, improved his line there to .322/.371/.503 and stole another five bases along the way. He finished the year with 50 extra-base hits and 21 steals to go along with 54 walks and 120 strikeouts.
18. Keury Mella | RHP | Age: 22
2016 Teams: Daytona Tortugas, Louisville Bats | Acquired: Trade from Giants for Mike Leake, 2015 | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 200 lbs
Things didn’t start out well for Keury Mella, who struggled in the spring and returned to Advanced-A to start his season despite pitching at the level, with success, the year prior. He walked 15 batters with 20 strikeouts in April, with many of his struggles coming in the 1st inning before settling in. He rebounded well in May, but June and July were both struggles as he had 27 walks and 33 strikeouts between the two months. The numbers, and the control, weren’t consistent in any fashion throughout the year. His stuff didn’t back up, but his execution did. His control is going to have to improve from where it was if he’s going to be a starter in the long run, but his #1 and #2 pitches are outstanding when he’s around the zone.
19. Jimmy Herget | RHP | Age: 22
2016 Team: Daytona Tortugas | Acquired: 6th round, 2015 Draft | Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 170 lbs
If Jimmy Herget wasn’t the best pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds organization in 2016 he’s got to be in the conversation. He spent the entire year with the Daytona Tortugas and racked up 24 saves. That came along with a 1.78 ERA over 60.2 innings pitched where he allowed just three home runs. The right hander also had 83 strikeouts and just 22 walks on the season. He dominated from the first game through the end of the season. August/September was the month in which he had his worst ERA of the year and in that stretch he posted a 2.57 mark.
20. TJ Friedl | OF | Age: 20
2016 Team: Billings Mustangs | Acquired: Non-Drafted free agent, 2016 | Height: 5′ 10″ | Weight: 170 lbs
What a whirl-wind year for TJ Friedl. He entered his red-shirt sophomore season at Nevada after having not played in 2015 after limited action in his freshman year. He hit over .400 in college, but went undrafted due to the fact that many teams didn’t realize that he was draft eligible. After performing well with Team USA on the international circuit over the summer, teams began to figure out he was a free agent and eligible to sign, leading to his agent contacting the Reds, who had the most draft pool money remaining (because they had the most to start with, their amount before having to give up a draft pick was larger than everyone else in baseball) and the two sides worked out a deal that gave him the largest signing bonus for a domestic amateur free agent in history. Then his first game as a pro happened, in which he hit two home runs while going 3-3 and reaching base four times. In 137 plate appearances for the Billings Mustangs he would hit an impressive .347/.423/.545 with seven steals mixed in.
Ian Kahaloa | His top tool is his fastball, which he generally controls well and can run it up to 95 MPH.
Shed Long | With a nice set of tools to work with it’s his surprising power that sticks out for a second baseman where 15-20 home runs isn’t out of the question.
Keury Mella | His fastball still works in the 93-96 MPH range and touches higher.
Jimmy Herget | His fastball touches 97 frequently.
TJ Friedl | His plus plus speed is his top tool that he brings to the table.