It’s that time of year again where we look at the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospects. Each day this week we will unveil five more spots on the list as we work our way through the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List for the 2019 season. You can see the entire list here. 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 and kicking.

Just as a reminder, these write ups will not feature full scouting reports. Those will be included with the Season Reviews, which will start next week – first working my way through the Top 25 prospects before then branching out into another 50-75 interesting prospects through the remainder of the offseason.

*To be eligible for the list a player must have 2019 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)*

21. Andy Sugilio | OF | Age: 22

2018 Team: Dayton Dragons | Acquired: Undrafted FA, 2013 | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 170 lbs

After a strong season in Billings, Andy Sugilio was assigned to the Dayton Dragons to begin 2018. The season didn’t start out well for the outfielder, who injured his hamstring in the second game of the year. That led to him missing the next five weeks of the season before returning to the lineup in the second week of May. While he did return, he still didn’t look quite right – still seeming to favor his hamstring and not showing the same kind of speed he had in the past. Through June he had just two steals and was caught four times. A healthy Sugilio is among the fastest players in the entire organization. The health seemed to carry over to the plate, too, where he hit .254/.297/.362 between April and June.

Once July began, and he was seemingly a little bit healthier, the hitting improved. In the final 58 games of the season the switch hitter posted a line of .292/.315/.391 for the Dragons over 248 plate appearances. He still didn’t exhibit the speed that was expected, but he began to look better on the bases and stole 10 bases in 13 attempts in the second half.

Biggest Strength: Speed. When healthy, Andy Sugilio is among the fastest players in the organization and has turned in times from the left side in the sub 4.0 second range from home to first base.

Biggest Weakness: Pitches up in the zone. His swing is much better on pitches lower in the zone. When the pitch is in the upper end of the strikezone his swing can be choppy and less fluid.

22. Hendrik Clementina | C | Age: 21

2018 Team: Dayton Dragons | Acquired: Undrafted FA, 2013 (Dodgers) | Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 250 lbs

The Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers may have a set of walkie-talkies because the two have traded with each other more than their fair share of times in the last year and a half. Hendrik Clementina came over from the Dodgers in the summer of 2017. In 2018 the Reds sent him to Dayton to join the Dragons. The first two months of the year were outstanding for the catcher at the plate. At the end of May he was hitting .333/.412/.675 with 10 doubles, a triple, and 9 home runs.

The league began to pitch more carefully to Hendrik Clementina, though, and over the final 62 games of his season the offensive numbers fell back. He hit just .235/.282/.407 with 12 doubles and 9 home runs. There was a big difference in his walk rate between these two samples, as he walked 15 times in 131 plate appearances through May, but then just walked 15 more times the rest of the season over 245 plate appearances. The power also took a big step backwards, but it was still good in the second half – it just had been incredible in the first two months. There’s still work to do behind the plate on defense, but he did show some improvements. He also threw out 24 runners on the season – good for a caught stealing rate of 30%.

Biggest Strength: Power. He’s a very strong guy who can hit the ball very hard, and very far. He hit two home runs over 450 feet during the season.

Biggest Weakness: Defense. Catcher is the most important defensive position on the field and there are scouts out there who aren’t sold that he can remain at the position long term.

23. Jimmy Herget | RHP | Age: 25

2018 Team: Louisville Bats | Acquired: 6th Round, 2015 Draft | Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 170 lbs

Jimmy Herget has pitched limited innings in spring training with the Reds in the past two seasons. What he hasn’t done is make his Major League debut yet. The reliever turned 25 in September, but didn’t get the call up to the big league roster. Part of that may be that he hasn’t had to be added to the 40-man roster yet, but that time will end in three weeks when he will need protecting from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.

Instead of pitching for the Reds, Jimmy Herget spent his entire season coming out of the Louisville Bats bullpen. The right hander posted a 3.47 ERA in 59.2 innings for the Bats. He would walk 21 batters on the season and strike out 65. Herget faltered a bit down the stretch, struggling in August where he posted a 4.91 ERA after allowing 21 hits in 14.2 innings.

Biggest Strength: Different looks. Jimmy Herget is a mix of Bronson Arroyo and Raisel Iglesias in the sense that his velocity falls in the middle ground of the two, while bringing the same ability to change arm angles and give hitters a different look on multiple pitches.

Biggest Weakness: Jimmy Herget doesn’t seem to have much projection remaining. He is realistically what he is right now. The upside may be the biggest weakness, as he’s polished enough to contribute in the Major Leagues now, but probably projects as a middle relief type these days rather than someone who will pitch at the back of the bullpen.

24. James Marinan | RHP | Age: 20

2018 Team: AZL Dodgers, Billings Mustangs | Acquired: 4th Round, 2017 Draft (Dodgers) | Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 220 lbs

When the season began, James Marinan was in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. He would make three starts in the Arizona Rookie League before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds on July 4th, along with reliever Aneurys Zabala for Dylan Floro and Zach Neal. After joining the organization the Reds assigned the 19-year-old to Billings.

Marinan, a former 4th rounder (2017), made 11 starts for the Mustangs after being traded. He posted a 3.98 ERA over 43.0 innings. He allowed just one home run thanks to a heavy fastball that played well during the year. In his 43.0 innings with Billings the righty struggled at times with control, walking 19 batters. He did strike out 39 hitters in his time with the Mustangs.

Biggest Strength: His fastball. It’s got good sink to it and was working in the 92-95 MPH range, touching a tad higher during the year.

Biggest Weakness: Control. His ability to consistently throw strikes right now is the biggest weakness in his game.

25. Jonathan Willems | 2B | Age: 20

2018 Team: Greeneville Reds, Billings Mustangs | Acquired: Undrafted FA, 2015 | Height: 5′ 11″ | Weight: 180 lbs

Jonathan Willems hit .228 and .234 for the DSL Reds and the AZL Reds prior to the 2018 season. The Reds liked what they saw, promoting him each season despite his struggles at the plate. The changes he made in 2018 were rewarded with stronger performance with the newest affiliate in Greeneville. Through the first seven weeks of the season he hit .301/.331/.530, showing off good power and tools.

The final four weeks, though, were a real struggle for the 19-year-old infielder. Willems hit just .157 in the final 22 games of the season between Greeneville and Billings. He would finish the year with a .745 OPS while spending most of his time at second base in the field. The tools stood out at the plate more than in the field, but the athleticism is obvious.

Biggest Strength: The hit tool. Speaking about the raw hit tool, it could project well in the future, but…..

Biggest Weakness: Here’s the but: He’s got to improve his plate approach in order to let the raw hitting tools play up. He’s very aggressive at the plate and struggles staying in the zone. There’s time for him to improve here, but he’s going to have to as he moves up the ladder.

7 Responses

  1. James K

    I treasure these projections. Still, I remember what Yogi Berra allegedly said: “It is hard to make predictions, especially about the future.” When Pete Rose was a 19-year-old in Class D baseball, the equivalent of today’s rookie leagues, he batted .277 with one home run. At that point, I doubt that anyone would have picked him as a top 25 prospect.

  2. Norwood Nate

    Pretty solid group. I had considered all these guys for spots 15-20. Some others I had considered in this range were Juan Martinez (3B), Finol, Santana, Moss, and Diaz. Overall I like the guys listed a little better at this point than the others I would have considered.

    Overall the small differences I would have on the whole list are: Richardson is a little too high, Fairchild a little too low, and I wouldn’t have ranked Aquino. But all of those are minor in the grand scheme of things.

    But as always, great list. Thanks for putting in all the work.

  3. The Duke

    Clementina isn’t a catcher. It’s painfully obvious when you see him catch and then someone like Koloszvary catch. Move him to 1B and let him focus on hitting, because if he makes it, it’s going to be solely because of his bat. Maybe I just saw him on his 3 worst nights as a professional, but I doubt it. Multiple “wild pitches” that a guy like Koloszvary blocks in the dirt without much difficulty.

    • Doug Gray

      Kolozsvary is a very, very good defender. Clementina isn’t very good right now. That said, there are certainly some things to like about what he’s got. As I noted in the article, though, there are some who don’t think he’s going to be able to stick. With that power, first base could be an option assuming he hits a bit more. I’m not ready to write him off as a catcher yet, though. Absolutely has to keep improving, though.

    • MK

      Duke I must admit I was disappointed that Hendrick did not play any first base last season in Dayton. They really played the second half of the season without a first baseman after Montrell Marshall was suspended. Leandro Santana played there most of the time even though he is a third baseman. I sit right behind the catcher and can say you guys had me expecting a Mitch Trees type debacle behind the plate but I was actually pleasantly surprised at his play. And, it got better as the season moved on. I would rate him about average with the other Midwest League catchers in 2018.

  4. Krozley

    Brice and Dixon waived and claimed by other teams. Williams and Herrera not claimed and assigned to AAA, although I believe both will be free agents now. Add Matt Bowman from the Cardinals. Not impressed with him and might have just kept Brice. Leaves them room to add some players though.