ESPN is rolling out their Top 100 Prospects list this week. Today it was #81-100 that were published and the Cincinnati Reds placed two pitchers in that range (ESPN Insider required). Right handed pitchers Robert Stephenson and Luis Castillo are both at the back end of the list for Keith Law.
Robert Stephenson entered the year as the #31 prospect on the ESPN list. His 2016 campaign dropped him down the list. He’s ranked as the #99 prospect in baseball this year. Without giving away too much content, here’s the key point that Law makes with the 23-year-old right hander:
It’s up to him now to stop overusing the changeup and work on getting his fastball to the corners of the zone, because there are major-league opportunities in Cincinnati’s rotation and bullpen for the taking this year.
Last week the Cincinnati Reds traded Dan Straily to the Miami Marlins. The main piece that came back was Luis Castillo. The right handed pitcher was unranked entering the year. This year he’s going to come into the year as the #94 prospect according to Keith Law. I wrote about Castillo last week and mentioned that based on other reports I had heard, that his change up was better from the video that I saw than what I expected. It appears that Keith Law is even higher on that pitch, though he’s down on the slider. Here’s what he had to say about the 24-year-old righty:
His delivery works for a starter, and it’s possible he can be a No. 4 as-is, even if the slider never gets much beyond average. Guys with arms this quick should have better sliders than that.
Each day this week another 20 prospects will roll out on the list, and given that the Reds system is pretty strong, we should see guys on the list moving forward. Depending on exactly how high Law is on a few players we could see 4-5 more Reds make the list this week.