It’s that time of year again. It’s prospect ranking season and every day this week we are going to unveil five more spots on the list as we work our way through the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List for the 2018 season. You can see the entire list here (once it’s completed at the end of the week). If you were supporting the site on Patreon you would have gotten the entire Top 25 list last week and had early access to this, and all other scouting related articles that show up on the site. Click that orange banner above to see what all you can get for helping keep the site alive.
Just as a reminder, these write ups will not feature full scouting reports. Those will be included with the Season Reviews, which will start in a week – first working my way through the Top 25 prospects before then branching out into another 75 interesting prospects through the remainder of the offseason.
*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)*
11. Jeter Downs | SS | Age: 18
2017 Team: Billings Mustangs | Acquired: 1st round, 2017 Draft | Height: 5′ 11″ | Weight: 180 lbs
The Cincinnati Reds picked Jeter Downs with the 32nd overall pick in 2017. He was said to be an advanced hitter for his age and from an approach standpoint, that held true. The Reds sent Downs to Billings for his first assignment. The teenager hit .267/.370/.424. Most impressive, though, was 27 walks and just 32 strikeouts in 50 games. After a three week slump from mid-July through early August, Downs hit .328/.412/.552 over the final 20 games of the year to finish out his debut in a big way.
Biggest Strength: His advanced approach at the plate. He’s got a strong understanding of the strikezone. He also uses the entire field in his approach at the plate.
Biggest Weakness: While most believe he can remain at shortstop defensively, there’s work to do. He made 18 errors, posting a .911 fielding percentage for the Mustangs in 2017. 15 of his 18 errors were of the fielding variety.
12. Jose Garcia | SS | Age: 19
2017 Team: Did not play | Acquired: Free Agent, 2017 | Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 170 lbs
Cincinnati doled out $10M to sign Jose Garcia in June of 2017. Half of that money went to Garcia, while the other half goes to Major League Baseball as a penalty. There were some conflicting reports given to me on Garcia. Everyone seems to think he’s a quality prospect, but some sources were higher on him than others. The best reports equated Garcia to a Top 15 prospect in the draft. Strong hitter, strong arm, can remain at shortstop and shows good speed. The other reports were concerned about how raw he was both at the plate and in the field, but generally did like the overall set of tools. Speaking with multiple people who did see him in 2017, they were far more impressed with Garcia than those who had seen him when he was still in Cuba/playing with the Cuban National Team.
While he was assigned to the Dominican Summer League Reds in June, he never played with the team. He would eventually arrive in the Dominican after getting things in order, but by the time that happened the season was winding down. He remained in the Dominican Republic to participate in their version of the instructional league. It’s expected that Jose Garcia will be in the United States to start next season.
Biggest Strength: His plus arm strength combined with short arm action and quick release really let’s his arm play well.
Biggest Weakness: There’s still a lot of unknown with Garcia since he hasn’t played in a while. From reports, though, there are concerns about him sticking at shortstop. Not everyone has those concerns, but some do.
13. Stuart Faichild | OF | Age: 21
2017 Team: Billings Mustangs | Acquired: 2nd round, 2017 Draft | Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 190lbs
With the 38th overall pick in the 2017 Draft the Reds took Stuart Fairchild. After a big season at Wake Forest he was assigned to Billings. With the Mustangs he showed off a well-rounded skillset, but his power didn’t quite show up. He hit 17 home runs for the Demon Deacons in 2017. In the Pioneer League he hit just three over 56 games played and slugged just .412. Fairchild would hit .304 and he walked 19 times with just 35 strikeouts. That also came along with 12 steals and quality defense in center field.
Biggest Strength: He’s a strong defender in center field where his speed plays well and his arm is plenty for the position.
Biggest Weakness: While there’s plenty of raw power to tap into, he struggled to do so in his debut. Despite playing in a very hitter friendly league he showed next to no in-game power.
14. Miles Gordon | OF | Age: 19
2017 Team: Billings Mustangs | Acquired: 4th round, 2015 Draft | Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 175 lbs
The 2016 season came to an end for Miles Gordon after just 22 games due to a shoulder injury. After crashing into the outfield wall, he separated his shoulder. The now 19-year-old returned to Billings in 2017 and made up for lost time. In 61 games played he hit an impressive .319/.389/.530. The Canadian product had 15 doubles, five triples and eight homers on the season. In the field he split time between center and right field, though he can handle center field just fine.
Biggest Strength: Nothing with Gordon truly jumps off the page at you as a plus tool, but the closest one may be his speed. He’s a fast runner who can use it well in center field.
Biggest Weakness: With his speed you would like to see him steal a few more bases than he has to this point in his career.
15. Andy Sugilio | OF | Age: 20
2017 Team: Billings Mustangs | Acquired: Free Agent, 2013 | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 170 lbs
Andy Sugilio had a breakout type season in Billings during 2017. The switch-hitter posted a .345 line with 17 walks and 33 strikeouts in 254 plate appearances. The splits were pretty even, hitting .344 and .347 from each side of the plate. He would double 13 times, triple four times and hit three home runs. That also came with 20 stolen bases in 24 attempts. In the field he would see action in all three spots, and he’s capable of handling all three spots defensively.
Biggest Strength: He’s a very good athlete who has a full array of tools to work with.
Biggest Weakness: It’s tough to find a stand out weakness, but getting more of his raw power potential to turn into game power is probably the biggest step forward that he needs to take.