The Cincinnati Reds Top 25 prospect list for the 2017 season is now complete. If you somehow missed the list, you can see it in it’s entirety right here.

While I’ve answered and discussed questions with you guys all throughout the week, now the entire list is here and it’s going to bring about more discussion about who made the list, who didn’t and why some guys were ranked ahead of others. From now until 8pm, I will be around to answer any and all questions you guys have. Sort of. There are a few rules to follow along:

  • You get three questions. There’s only so much time in the day, so I’m limiting the number of questions per user.
  • Ask before 8pm and it’ll be answered. After that, you’re risking it.

Leave your questions in the comments section below. When I am answering it, I will delete it from the comments and post it here with the answer. So, if and when it disappears, don’t worry.

Alright, let’s get to it.

Brett S: Where would Dilson Herrera have been ranked if he were still eligible?

Thanks for getting things started, Brett. With Herrera not eligible, I didn’t put in as much research on him as I did the others who were. With that said, I believe that I would rank him somewhere between #4 and #6. Total first instinct was #4 and moving everyone else down a spot.

Scott Nash: Great work as always Doug.

1. Where would Cody Reed have fallen on the list if he had still been eligible?

2. When making the list are you ranking people on potential ceiling or floor? Or a combination of the two? For example are you ranking them on who you think could be the best player or who is most likely to make an impact in the majors? Just curious

3. What player that did not make the top 25 where you most surprised you left out when looking back at the list?

  1. Assuming that he was the only guy available to be added back to the list, he’d either be #4 or #5. As I said with Herrera, I looked at him just a tad bit less since he wasn’t eligible.
  2. I rank on both ceiling and floor. A good example of that is Jose Siri. His ceiling is very high. But his floor is also a guy who won’t ever hit in Low-A because his plate approach/pitch recognition skills are lacking, bit time. If I were ranking on ceiling, he’d be a Top 10 guy, probably. But he’s unranked because his floor is so low. I’m ranking guys based on who I think will ultimately be the best big leaguer when their careers are over. Coming to that conclusion is about weighing their ceiling, how far they are from that, their floor and the likelihood of them reaching each.
  3. Heading into the ranking part, I always have a general idea of the players that will be on the list. It’s more based on what caliber of a player we are talking about and how players like that have ranked in the past. So, in some years guys are higher or lower than that initial expectation due to depth, or a lack of it. To get into how I rank guys, I separate the players by position in Excel. Within each position, I go through and rank the players within each position, that way I am only trying to compare the top player at each position to the other top guys instead of something where I’m going with trying to rank 25 guys against each other. Here is the top guy from each position that went unranked: Jose Lopez, Chad Wallach, Gavin LaValley, Alex Blandino, Blake Trahan, Angelo Gumbs. Jackson Stephens was next on the SP list and would have been in the conversation with the others for the next spot. Calten Daal and Zach Vincej were also guys I thought would be a tad bit higher up the list as well.

redleggingfordayz: Hey Doug, I just wanted to say on behalf of most of the nice people in the community of redsminorleagues (not to put words in peoples mouths), but I love reading your articles and I am always excited to wake up and read new content. You have done a great job growing the site and your hard work is apparent, thanks again and keep it up, just ignore the haters (the internet is a scary place).

Even though we kind of already talked about this. Do you think the Reds have too much outfield depth between the major and minor league roster. I know the easy answer is you can never have too much depth. But we have, Elizade, Aquino, Schebler, Duvall, Winker, Yrod, Billy Hamilton, Ervin . Do you think the Reds deal away some of these that are “near major league ready” to possibly help address their bullpen issues? I just see people like Trammel and Friedl advancing through the system quickly, and have more overall potential for the future. This all not even mentioning the strong OF free agent market this year and next. Do the Reds just let all these players fight for playing time or do they try and trade someone at peak value like duvall or schebler (if he continues his hot second half)?

Thanks for the kind words, I do appreciate them. I don’t think there’s too much outfield depth to be honest. When I look at all of those players, I only see two guys who are for sure every day guys: Billy Hamilton and Jesse Winker. The others have parts that suggest they could be every day guys, but all have a lot of stuff that needs to improve for me to see them as guys to lean on every day. I could see some of these guys having some trade value, but I’m not sure the value upside is there to move any of them. Aquino could be the one with the most upside in a trade value perspective because he’s probably still a year and a half away, but coming off of the season he had, there’s probably plenty of interest in acquiring him. I think they will just let the guys play things out though.

Nick: 1). Best guess as to the starting rotations next spring from Cincinnati through Dayton assuming everyone is healthy?
2). Now that you’ve finished the rankings process, who are some players ultimately left off the list that surprise you?
3) In your years of following the Reds minor leagues, is this the deepest the system as ever been? While there isn’t a ton of top end talent, seems the amount of still quality prospects runs deep. Thanks!

  1. Man, you’re killing me here! These are not in order: Cin: Bailey, DeSclafani, Finnegan, Straily, Stephenson/Reed. Lou: Stephenson/Reed, Garrett, Romano, Davis, Travieso/Stephens. Pen: Mahle, Mella, Travieso/Stephens, Antone, Crawford/Varner.  Daytona: Crawford/Varner, Lopez, Bautista, Reyes, Orewiler. Dayton: Gutierrez, Santillan, Boyles, Moss, Kahaloa. That leaves a few guys without a spot, and the odds are not everyone will be healthy and a guy or three may move to the bullpen. Andrew Jordan could push into Dayton, moving Moss or Gutierrez up. Not sure where a guy like Adleman fits in – AAA bullpen/MLB bullpen?
  2. I sort of answered that one above, so feel free to add another question if you’d like.
  3. No, but with a caveat. I think this is probably the deepest they’ve been with talent in the 25-and-under since I started this. But with guys in the big leagues that don’t have prospect eligibility, it weakens things a bit from a “prospect” perspective.

Andrew: 1. What do you think Nick Senzel’s ceiling is? Is he a potential .300/.400/.500 caliber player with plus defense and plus speed?
2. Other reds fans have stated that winker had a down year with no power. I think these fans are undervaluing plate discipline. Winker’s walk rate stayed relatively the same as 2015 (around 13-14%) but his strikeout rate actually dropped almost 3 percentage points in 2016 to about 13%. Winker’s plate discipline combined with the fact that he hit almost as many doubles this year as in 2015 despite playing 17 less games makes me question these fan’s opinion that he is not a top prospect. Do you think winker is an top or even an elite prospect?
3. Do you think winker can be valuable even if he does not hit a lot of home runs?

  1. I think the ceiling for Senzel is something like .310/.400/.525 with 20 steals and strong defense.
  2. Well, I ranked him fairly high, so yeah, I think he’s a top end prospect. In terms of the overall minor leagues I’d have him in that 40-60 range.
  3. Yes, he can. I think he’s going to have to reach the teens with his homers to provide more than average value though. The on-base ability will play. And I think he will hit for average. But he’s also a left fielder, so the bar has to be a bit higher with the bat because the defense takes a hit as a left fielder.

Jim: Which player (s) have all star talent with work ethic?

You’ve met some and seen them play. Who would be as fan friendly as B Phillips?

I’ll see Dayton play when they come to Fort Wayne, IN. Who will probably be on that team that I should look for. 1 or 2 names would be fine.

  1. It’s tough to single out guys here. While I can see what they do on the field, I’m not at the field every day and there’s stuff that goes on off the field that plays into things here as well, and it’s just not stuff that I see.
  2. This isn’t a dig at anyone, and I haven’t really seen many guys that just shrug off the fans, but the guys that I generally see as being the best with the fans tend to be the older guys who have been around longer. Maybe it’s just the comfort of it all, and maybe a little more appreciation simply because they may not be entirely in the mindset that there’s a big, long future in the big leagues ahead of them. I will say that Jermaine Curtis is doing some interesting stuff when it comes to interacting with the fans right now. If you aren’t following him on social media, you may want to check into him. He does a lot of real cool stuff and has a fan club thing.
  3. Well, if Vladimir Gutierrez is on that team, then definitely him. Same for Tony Santillan. I’d expect Tyler Stephenson back as well. Ian Kahaloa should be there.

Dhud: Where would some of the non-prospect eligible players (Peraza, Herrera, Schebler, Reed) fit into this list?

As of right now, what’s your best guess at the Reds starting lineup on opening day 2018?

What’s the rotation on opening day 2017?

  1. I addressed two of those guys already, so let’s tackle Peraza and Schebler. Peraza showed he can hit in the big leagues, and I think his defense is enough at shortstop. So it’s hard for me to rank him any lower than #2 or #3. I still think there’s some risk involved with him, but I think there’s enough in the all around game to be an above-average player for quite a while. With Schebler, I’m still not sure he’s more than a platoon guy, but I’d have him in that 10-15 area.
  2. Mesoraco, Votto, Herrera, Suarez, Peraza, Winker, Hamilton, unknown right fielder. Starter: Bailey.
  3. Answered above – feel free to ask another question if you’d like.

James Kalat: 1. Will Zach Weiss be fully healthy by next spring?
2. Tyler Mondale stopped pitching after some point in July, presumably because of injury. What is his status for 2017?

  1. That’s the hope. I’m not a doctor but the Reds are hoping he’s ready to go for spring training.
  2. He was shut down because it’s been a long season, not because of an injury. He’s expected to be ready to go.

Arnold Ziffle: It was smooth sailing through the top-10. Not much to disagree about except RStephenson. The middle 5 was good. The bottom 10 was a very bumpy road to navigate. With the exception of Long and Friedl, the bottom 10 was terribly disappointing. Nonetheless, thanks for your arduous work on putting such a list together.
1. Do the Reds have a top tier (top-5 or top-10) farm system? Your list would suggest no, that it would be rather middling in the 11-15 range.
2. Other than Senzel, Garrett, Winker and Trammell, what player on your list would the other ML teams salivate to get their hands on?

  1. I think it depends on exactly how one is looking at it. With my rankings, no. But my rankings don’t include Cody Reed, which is a difference maker in a farm system ranking (he’s a top 100 guy if you count him). Either way, it’s definitely not a Top 5 system, but I think you could argue it’s a Top 10 system if your rankings will include Reed (which Baseball America and John Sickels will).
  2. Despite your lack of faith in Robert Stephenson, I’m betting a large percentage of teams would love to have him over some of the guys you listed. I’m sure some teams would also love to get their hands on a guy like Vlad Gutierrez and Aristides Aquino for their raw abilities.

Havaklu: 1) Why is Alejandro Chacin so undervalued? His performance at Pensacola was every bit as good as Weiss in 2015. Mark Melancon doesn’t have elite stuff but is very successful.
2) You once mentioned that you wouldn’t want Larkin as Mgr—–can you be specific why?
3) Do you think Duvall will be able to duplicate this season?

  1. Because projection is more important than minor league results, and a majority of guys with a fastball in the range of Chacin don’t turn into Melancon, they turn into fringe 6th inning relievers. I think Chacin could be more than that, the movement he’s got on his fastball is very, very nice. But the history of guys like him isn’t a list of who’s who, either.
  2. I want a manager that’s more forward thinking than what it seems like Larkin is. He’s been an analyst and his chosen analysis is awful 1980’s baseball. Sac bunts, moving runners over.
  3. Not really, no. He’s a very aggressive swinger who saw his power disappear when pitchers started to adjust to him. He may still be a 20-25 HR guy, but he’s also probably going to also be a .240/.290 hitter and that’s just not going to be enough to keep him in the lineup every day in my opinion.

Dhud: What’s the most likely scenario that gets Winker into the lineup next year? Schebler and/or Duvall regress? One gets hurt? How does Winker get ABs if neither happens?

Rake in Louisville. With all due respect to Schebler and Duvall, if Winker is hitting in Triple-A, the Reds are going to find a spot for him unless those two are performing well over what’s expected from them at this point.

Gaffer: Interesting that you think Stephens and Travieso fight it out for Louisville 5th starter or long man. That is two guys you ranked fairly differently (one unranked but close) and both behind Davis who you don’t think was that near the rankings.

Current readiness doesn’t always reflect future ability. It’s also that it’s what I think the org will do, not what I’d do. Also, I don’t think Stephens/Travieso will be a long man in the minors. One will be in AA and one will be in AAA. Just not sure which one is where.

James Walker: Hey Doug, Maybe you’ve hit this and I missed it; but do you see Senzel getting a September call to the Reds? When do you think he plays in Cincy for real; and, will it be at 3B, if not where?

Thanks

No, I don’t. It’s not that I don’t think he won’t be ready for it, but I just struggle to find a good scenario to make it happen. I believe he starts out in Daytona. Even on a very aggressive schedule that means he’s going to get to Triple-A in what, late July at best? That gives him five weeks or so of time there. He’s not on the 40-man roster, so to call him up it means they need him to fill a role. If the Reds are going to start his service clock, it’s going to be because they absolutely need him. What’s the scenario in which they absolutely need him? The only one that makes sense is that they are truly competing for a playoff spot. That’s unlikely as much as I want it to happen. And, if somehow they are competing for a playoff spot, it’s probably because Eugenio Suarez is playing quite well and there’s no need for Senzel to come up as reinforcements. I think at some point in 2018 is more realistic and I do think it will be at third base. What that means for Suarez, I don’t know.

Cam: 1. Is Shed Long one of those guys who will always rank in the back half of prospect lists and will have to continue to rake at every level to prove he belongs?

2. How much does Phil Ervin need to improve the hit tool to take his prospect status to the next level (or what we’ve hoped he’d be since he was drafted)?

3. I’m really excited to see Vladimir Gutierrez play. Where does he start?

  1. If he’s producing at Double-A, at least for me, he’s going to push into the upper half of the Top 25.
  2. I’d like to see hi hit .270 before thinking he’s more than a very good 4th outfielder/fringe starter that you’re looking to upgrade from.
  3. I’m thinking Dayton, but wouldn’t be surprised if it were in Daytona.

JM: Is there any players in the reds system that are off your top 25 list that you see could be there very soon with another full season under their belt?

Does Taylor Trammel make it up to High A this year?

What level does Shed Long ended up at the end of next season?

  1. Lots of guys have the raw talent to find themselves in the top 25 with either better or more consistent performance. Some guys, like Gavin LaValley, who had good but not outstanding performance, can move into the list just by moving up a level and performing at a similar level (well, his numbers would have to improve since the Southern League is more hitter friendly than the incredibly pitching friendly Florida State League).
  2. No. I don’t remember the last time that the Reds sent a 1st-full season player out of high school to Advanced-A in that season. Jay Bruce was absolutely destroying the Midwest League through July (I don’t have the exact numbers, but he was hitting well over .300 and doing so with plenty of power – then an injury that he played through crushed his season numbers after hitting .160 something in August) and they didn’t promote him. I just don’t see a scenario where they would promote a guy like that up, short of Mike Trout-ian Midwest League Numbers (.362/.454/.526 with nearly as many walks as strikeouts and 45 steals in 81 games).
  3. Double-A.

Dennis Saylor: 1. If you had to bet the farm, what player not in the 25 would you bet on to have a respectable major league career? Respectable = 4 to 5 career WAR
2. Of the top 25, who would you bet on to flame out and never get a cup of coffee?

  1. Chad Wallach. If he can catch some games and hit at all, WAR is going to be favorable to his value.
  2. Michael Beltre or Alfredo Rodriguez. I think Rodriguez may eventually get a cup of coffee because of his money, but both are the furthest away from the Top 25, and thus making them more likely to flame out than the rest. There are just more hurdles to climb. Ariel Hernandez’ control is also a big hurdle he will have to overcome. His walk rate will have to come down before he’s going to get called up.

Norwood Nate: Vincej won the SS GG for all minor leaguers. Who has the better glove between he and Alfredo?

Who are you surprised to find on the 40-man roster still?

Where do you see Antone fitting into the future as well as current rankings. Certainly seemed to show a starter’s durability this past season.

  1. Reports say Alfredo Rodriguez. But, I should note that Vincej is certainly more sure handed – he’s just not quite as rangy/athletic.
  2. Quite a few guys that are on there today, I don’t expect to be in 15 days (40-man must be set for the Rule 5 on the 18th). This is a much better question to ask on November 19th when we have a better idea of exactly where the Reds are leaning on who is worth keeping/risking.
  3. Just don’t see him missing enough bats as a starter to remain there in the long run. Groundball machine that throws strikes – stuff may play better in the bullpen.

KyWilson1: 1- Why are the Reds so much more willing to spend big on Cubans in the international market, especially pitching that seems to always in up in the BP?
2. Say the Reds start next year completely healthy, what kind of record do you see as a best case and worst case scenario with the current talent?
3. Is the poor plate approach of most Reds hitters something that is a organizational teaching problem or is it the type of player that the Reds draft/aquire?

  1. They are much safer than 16-year-olds that still have tons of development to get through. They are also closer to the big leagues, which may be an easier sell to an owner who doesn’t have much patience.
  2. Best case? 88 wins. Everyone stays healthy all year and the rookies/young guys all perform at least as average caliber players. Worst case? 78 wins unless that health all goes to crap at some point in the season.
  3. I generally don’t think that pitch recognition can be taught. It’s about eyesight and ability to process information quickly enough. Generally speaking, the guys that have it at 18 have it at 30, and the guys who didn’t have it at 18, still don’t at 30. There are exceptions to the rule, but that rule generally holds true. I think part of it is the types of guys that they target. With high school and international guys it’s a lot tougher to get a feel for that pitch recognition since you aren’t seeing them facing good offspeed stuff 99% of the time.

Jonathan: Thank you for running this site. Great work!

How many players do you think the Reds end up having in the Top 100 and Top 150? How does the Reds under 25 talent compare to the rest of the National league?
Could YomR turn into EE part 2…that he puts it all together outside of the Reds org?

  1. I think we will see Senzel, Winker, Garrett, Stephenson and Cody Reed show up on various Top 100s. Reed won’t be eligible for all of them because of how various places account for eligibility, but the places that do count him he will be a Top 100 guy. Outside chances for a guy like Trammell or Aquino. Don’t know of a Top 150 ranking worth looking at, so I can’t comment on that. Tough to answer the NL under 25 thing too as I’m just not into other teams enough to give a good and honest answer.
  2. Yes and no. I do think that he’s got a chance to put it all together with another organization, for sure. But I don’t think he’s ever going to be the hitter that Edwin is/has been. Encarnacion was a better hitter at every step of the way. While we never expected 40+ home runs from him, not many doubted 25 from him and it was always the defense that was the issue – he was expected to, and did hit pretty much everywhere.

DaveCT: Johnny Cueto credited a lot of his success to his physical conditioning regimen. With all due respect to guys throughout the system, are there any Reds minor leaguers that demonstrate a similar drive to excel?

What was your greatest surprise when crunching data on this year’s 25?

If you had to choose one or the other, would you take mashed potatoes or stuffing on Thanksgiving?

  1. It’s tough to say, honestly. I’m not around for the time in which some guys are putting in this extra work. More often than not, I hear about the guys who don’t put in as much work, not the guys who put in the extra work.
  2. Honestly, outside of the guys I expected to be on the list, there wasn’t much. Maybe that I expected the second tier of prospects to be a little bit deeper/safer than they were.
  3. Stuffing, no contest. I love it, and unlike mashed potatoes, I don’t get to eat the often enough.

bellhead: Unless I missed him, biggest omission to me was Rookie Davis.

Rookie turned 23 on April 29th this year and was promoted from AA to AAA, which to me says the Reds like him and he is young for AAA. We know there were some issues with his SO to BB this year in AA, which per reports was due to injuries and when he was fully healthy at the end of July he starting having some really dominating games.

Any reasons to be off the 25 or did you brainfart?

You didn’t miss him. He didn’t make the Top 25 because I just didn’t see a second big league offering from him. The peripherals improved in the second half, which was nice to see, but his stuff, even when healthy later in the year, just didn’t stand out.

Brad: 1. Who would be your bench players for 2017? Assuming starting lineup of Mesoraco, Votto, Phillips, Peraza, Suarez, Schebler, Hamilton, Duvall. Assume Cozart is moved prior to Opening Day 2017.

2. Bullpen seems to have 4 of the 7 spots filled with Iglesias, Lorenzon, Cingrani and Wood. Would you have anyone currently in system or sign FAs to fill other 3 spots?

3. Draft in general, picking #2 overall, all things equal, what position do you draft and is it a HS or College player? What about 2017 Reds #2 overall? Same or different based on system.

  1. Barnhart, of course, as the backup catcher. Beyond that, I honestly don’t know. The 40-man roster is going all kinds of places right now, so I’d be looking into guys that could possibly come in to compete for spots. Who are the 4th/5th outfielders going to be? Is there a chance Winker pushes one of Duvall/Schebler to the bench out of the spring? Who is the 5th guy, the center field backup? That guy doesn’t exist on the 40-man right now. He probably won’t exist on there in three weeks either. The backup infielder or two, same boat. Right now you’ve got Tony Renda, but I’m not convinced he’s still around on the 40-man in a few weeks. Alcantara could be that guy, but is that really the guy you want to go with given his history? I’d be looking at bringing in some guys on minor league deals to compete with guys in the organization for pretty much every spot on the bench.
  2. I’d head into 2017 with Jumbo Diaz penciled in. He’s coming off a 3.14 ERA last year and while his overall peripherals don’t look good, he had 12 walks and 31 strikeouts in 33.0 innings after returning to the big leagues in June. It wouldn’t shock me, though it would be a slight surprise, if the team didn’t tender a deal to Blake Wood or Tony Cingrani. I would look at Sampson and Adleman in spring training as options. If Zack Weiss is healthy, even though he missed last year, I’d look at him for a spot. I’d absolutely sign a free agent or two, though. I wouldn’t spend more than $5M a year on anyone, but I’d definitely bring people in from the outside.
  3. Drafting in the top 3, I’m almost always leaning college guys unless it’s a Bryce Harper/ARod/Griffey situation where it’s painfully obvious you’re looking at a superstar, better than everyone else high school guy (I know that Harper was technically a college guy, but he was a 17-year-old JUCO kid). When you’re going that high, you’re getting an elite talent (or, well, you should be) and with the college guy it’s going to be someone who steps in rather quickly. Position wise, I’m avoiding first basemen and corner outfielders (for sure corner guys, not necessarily center fielders who may one day wind up in the corner – this is a case-by-case basis). Aside from that, it just depends what’s available. It would be tough to draft another catcher, but if it’s clearly the best guy available, I’d take one. I think the Reds will want to go starting pitcher, but the board has to play itself out. If the guys not there, he’s just not there.

Sean: 1. Do you think there is any chance the NL will add the DH in the near future?

2. Also, what are your thoughts about potentially adding a DH in the NL? It seems like adding a DH would make it easier to build a team especially with the Reds and the Joey Votto contract since he will still likely be a good enough hitter to play in his late 30’s but the D may be worth an upgrade. (even if it is 1st base)

3. Assuming the reds are going to contend in 2018 do you think it would be a good idea to sign a Jon Lester type pitcher to be our Ace? (I noticed Jake Arrieta will be a free agent that season not sure how you feel about him) To me this would make a lot of sense since our team currently lacks high end SP talent.

  1. I believe I will see it well before my time on this planet is up (or at least I hope I live that long).
  2. I’m not really pro, or anti-DH. But I am “play by the same rules”, and I don’t believe the MLBPA will ever give up the DH, so I want to see it come to the NL. I don’t really care how it effects the Reds and Joey Votto (or another player) directly. What I do care about is that I believe that it gives American League teams an advantage in free agency, because they can offer that extra year to position guys on a deal because they can move a guy to the DH down the road, while an NL team doesn’t offer that, say, 6th or 7th year, because they know they’ve got to keep playing him in the field.
  3. No. The Reds probably should avoid adding another 20+M contract.

Brian Snow: 1) Have heard the Reds are high on the arm of Andrew Jordan. I know his numbers didn’t totally wow, but what are you hearing about his stuff?

2) Is Jose Siri someone who shows any ability to be a breakout player? Seems the OF in Dayton will be crowded with young and athletic players

3) Is Jose Lopez still someone you think can advance as a starter, or is he destined for a bullpen role?

  1. I’ve heard some good things from those inside the organization on Andrew Jordan as well. The Reds certainly like him. Solid stuff right now, but a chance he could pick up some velocity moving forward.
  2. Tools wise, yes, absolutely. He’s got some of the better tools in the system. But, I wouldn’t be counting on the breakout given how his strikeout-to-walk ratio has looked over the past two seasons.
  3. I think he’s got a chance to be a quality #4 starter, but definitely could see him finding himself in the bullpen as well. He’s probably the guy I would have had at #26. I like the FB/CV combo that he brings to the table. If he can find even the slightest bit of additional velocity (that he showed in college before TJ) then he could really start moving up the list.

Jonathan: Follow up my other question: Any chance Sal Romano has a chance to make the top 100 prospects?

I doubt it, but I think that the consensus is just slow to catch up on what Sal has been doing the last two years.

Rick in Boise: 1) Down to 33 on the 40-man – does that include the 2 FAs, Simon & Ohlendorf? If not, DG’s “Gang of 9” looks prescient? :)

2) Assuming Selsky, Renda next? Jumbo or Sampson? One of the latter could get picked up. (I know, I know… we’ll know soon enough, lol)

3) Serious question: Should the Reds try again to pick 1-2 players themselves in Rule 5?

  1. Yes, that does include them. I still think we may see another guy or two removed.
  2. I can’t imagine there’s any chance Jumbo Diaz gets removed. He just posted a 3.14 ERA. I’d say, Selsky, then Renda, then Sampson, if there had to be an order.
  3. No. I think there are just too many guys to protect of their own. Obviously, that could change depending on who is available, but given what is generally available, no.

Cameron: 1. What is Ismael Guillon FB velocity when he pitches in relief? Does he get an increase compared to when he starts?

2. Any injury updates on Mark Armstrong, Jonathan Crawford or Nick Howard?

3. According to your sources in the Reds organization, besides Alfredo Rodriguez, who is/are the prospect(s) that the Reds are higher on than you?

Thanks for all the work you do. This site is a must read!

  1. He was in the low-to-mid 90’s in both roles.
  2. Armstrong had TJ in 2016. Not entirely sure if he will pitch in 2017 or not – depends on the rehab schedule. Crawford returned this year and got some innings down the stretch. It didn’t go well, but let’s see what it’s like next year. No clue on Nick Howard.
  3. Tougher to say. When I talk with the guys, I don’t really give my opinion on the guys I’m asking about unless they ask me in return (which doesn’t happen much from the Reds people – though happens very often with other teams scouts). I’d imagine the team is higher on Rookie Davis than I am (as are a lot of you guys).

MK: The Arizona Fall League markets itself as the league of baseball’s top prospects. Do you think any other organization sent eight players none of whom were considered one of their top 25 prospects as none of the eight Reds sent are in your top 25?

The Pirates only have one Top 30 MLB.com prospect out there and it’s their #29 guy. So, it’s not just the Reds.

Ryan: If you had to predict one prospect to break out/significantly raise his value this season, who do you pick?

Have you considered doing tool ratings for prospects? With 50 being average, how would you grade out and compare pitches/tools for Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson? (Fastball, Breaking ball, change up, control, command)

How do you like the Reds’ chances in 2018? This depth is great but I just don’t know how we are going to compete with all the Cubs’ high upside, young talent that’s already at the major league level for the foreseeable future. How can we do it?

  1. Honestly, is it cheating to say Taylor Trammell? He’s obviously a top end prospect, but I could see him going out next year and putting together a big season.
  2. Yes, I’ve thought about it, and internally, I pretty much do. In terms of the raw grade, I’d put a 60 on the fastball for Reed, and a 65-70 for Stephenson. 60 on both breaking balls. Change/splitter – 65 for Stephenson, 50 for Reed. Control is tougher – Stephenson is probably a 35-40 now, but I think he’s got a 50 raw grade. Reed is like a 50 now, but maybe a 60 in the future. Command, purely future grade: 45 for Stephenson, 50-55 for Reed.
  3. I think that 2017 is the year they go for the .500 mark and 2018 is the year they truly compete. I don’t think they are going to compete with the Cubs without an insane amount of luck. The Cubs have everything. They’ve got more money than almost everyone. They’ve got an incredibly smart front office. They’ve got outstanding scouting and development. Pretty much they’re the model you wish you could be, but there’s very little chance you can be.

David: Sarkis Ohanian put up some eye-popping numbers at Dayton. What is your general feeling about him?

All Wennington Romero does is get batters out at a very young age. Any thoughts on him?

Thanks.

  1. The numbers were incredible, no doubt. He’s not a velocity guy, so he’s going to have to keep proving it as he goes up, but there’s enough there to keep an eye on, for sure.
  2. He’s got solid, but unspectacular stuff right now. Where he really shines is his execution. Despite his young age, he understands how to attack hitters very well. He’s certainly someone to keep an eye on moving forward.

Mustang John: Reds fan since 70.Heart breaks to hear Smith waived.Housed him in Billings.Nothing but a Pro. Never got the due respect for all he did for the orginization.Cant believe who they still kept. Oops, yes I can,I talked to Walt a few times here in Billings.

Norwood Nate: So long Josh Smith, wish you luck in Oakland. A little surprised to see DeJesus outrighted all things considered. I thought he was a useful, if not unexciting, bench piece.

I’m glad someone picked him up. He deserves it. The big parks in the AL West could do some very good things for Smith, who generally throws lots of strikes. We will see how it goes for him, but this could be quite a good move for his future in my opinion.