The crew over at Baseball America has updated their Top 30 prospect lists for the midseason point across baseball. The Cincinnati Reds list can be found here (Baseball America subscription required).

Given that you do need a subscription to see the updated list I’m not going to just post the list here. But what I do want to do is highlight some of the movers within their list. Nick Senzel has graduated from the list from the start of the year. Assuming that Baseball America hasn’t changed their eligibility criteria from the past, no other player has graduated from the farm system since the start of the year.

The Missing Prospect

This assumes that the above information is correct on what Baseball America has always used for eligibility, which is 130 at-bats or 50-innings pitched, and not the lesser known 45 active, non-September days on the 25 man roster. If that’s correct, the one guy seemingly missing that jumps out is Josh VanMeter. He isn’t eligible if you count active roster days. Given that Jimmy Herget is listed, being on the active roster doesn’t disqualify someone from the list.

This would seem to be a glaring omission. The 24-year-old has hit .348/.429/.669 this season in Triple-A. And while he’s had limited action in the Majors and hit just .222, it’s a tough sell to say he’s not one of the Reds Top 30 prospects given what he’s done in the last calendar year at the plate and all of the position flexibility that he has.

The Big Riser

Jose Garcia looks like the guy who has jumped up the list the most – at least among those players who weren’t drafted this season who showed up on the list. The shortstop really struggled in 2018 with the Dayton Dragons at the plate, but you could see the tools. He was rated as the 14th best Reds prospect on the list when it came out in December, but that included Shed Long, Jeter Downs, and Josiah Gray who were all rated higher than Garcia was.

This season the shortstop has jumped up to the 8th spot at the midseason point. Jose Garcia has hit much better with the Daytona Tortugas this year, making big strides in hitting for power and showing better plate discipline. In 57 fewer games than he had last season he’s already hit more doubles and just one less home run than he had in Dayton during 2018. And he’s done so in a much more pitcher friendly league. His strikeout-to-walk ratio has gone from 5.9 to 3.6, too. Through 68 games he’s hitting .252/.320/.406.

The Rookie League Addition

Not accounting for draft picks that were added to the list, there was only one player from the rookie-level teams that was added to the list. Allan Cerda, a 19-year-old outfielder who made the jump from the Dominican Summer League to the Greeneville Reds rounded out the list at #30. He’s hitting .244/.350/.512 this season with 11 extra-base hits in 24 games played so far this season while playing center field.

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11 Responses

  1. jbonireland

    Does anyone know what happened to our second round pick. I know he was sent to Greenville, but I haven’t seen him in any games for the last two weeks?

  2. Michael P

    Was really hoping to see big seasons from several of our key top prospects. Taylor Tramell, Tony S, Tyler Stephenson, Jose Siri, Fairchild, Vlad G. were all supposed to be contributing to the big league club in 2020 in some capacity. to date, I can’t say any of them are ‘heating’ it up. Instead, we’ve seen names like Van Meter, Longhi, Aquino, O’Grady, Sims, Mitch Nay all step up… Now, is this good news or bad is the question. Are our prospects taking longer to realize potential and we got lucky to have crop of ‘surprises’ enter the mix or are our top prospects failing us?

    I look at teams like the Cubs and Astros and it seemed for a few years during their rebuild, they had elite guys at the top of MLB best prospects each year. Seems to me that we don’t have this level of ‘elite’ talent. Comments above lead to a previous thread discussion of whether or not we trade MLB talent now. Small market teams must continue buy low and sell high to stay competitive. If we can get elite controllable talent back, you have to listen very close.

    • wes

      If Santillan or Trammell were going to light up AA then they would both be fast tracking to Reds this season. No one in the know expected that from either as neither are elite prospects. Above average prospects take more time to develop and don’t usually hit a productive role in mlb until mid 20’s vs elites can do it at 19 or 20. So stock level on both imo. Guys like Siri and Fairchild have always projected at a highly as highly unlikely mlb regulars. Tysteve and Vlad are 50/50. And its hard to to take any 3A stats serious with the juiced ball but most those guys have nearly no chance to compete for major league every day jobs just due to how competitive the league is right now.

      Winker and Bobsteve been around since 2011/12 and were top prospects the whole time, but took them both until this year and last to find a place of success. From following minor league ball for several years- that’s par for the course. Most guys don’t pan out. Where the reds are vastly inferior to other MLB teams is their international scouting. The breakout player for stros, several former cubs prospects they all traded away came from the ability to obtain international talent. Acuna/Robles/Soto all international and Reds are not competing for any of that top talent.

      Reds should build around this core group they have. They should try to keep this whole offense in tact and work on improving pitching and roll that into 2020. Their MLB caliber players they are willing to trade will bring back so little value it’s not worth trading them at all.

      • DaveCT

        I’d disagree a bit on Tyler Stevenson. He’s doing very well at AA in his first time there, did well last year at Hi-A, and is relatively on schedule. He’s young, 22, playing a demanding position, one of really high value as an asset, and handling it. Elite? No, very, very few are. But I don’t think he’s third tier. These kids catching take awhile.

    • citizen54

      I’d say Tyler Stephenson is doing very well this year. He is hitting 11% above the averge hitter as a catcher in AA. He is also almost 2 years younger than the average player in that league. Not sure how his defense is but offensively he seems to be holding his own.

  3. haven

    I do honestly think the reds seem to not done as well as some other teams in drafting/signing international talent. If you look at Astros and Braves even the padres to some extent have done a pretty nice job while I feel like we haven’t really brought up many great guys,even the ones we do have are at best average guys. Hate being a debbie downer its just true I love senzel but I think we haven’t done as much as some other teams with a similar draft and marketplace.

  4. Norwood Nate

    It’s been a tough year at the top of the rankings. Started with the Greene surgery news, and it’s continued up until now. Trammell has struggled to hit for power at AA, and he’s been relegated to LF to this point in the season. Santillan struggled with walks and unfortunately injuries hit him as well. Vlad has been struggled a lot in AAA with no real signs of moving in the right direction.
    For the most part India’s done well for the FSL but not dominant. He is showing solid power there and that’s always a plus. I also think Stephenson is having a good year in AA. Siri is sort of in a holding pattern and the power hasn’t been there like it has in the past.

    But beyond the top guys there have been some highlights too. Garcia is someone who I was never too down on considering the trajectory of his season last year after a long layoff from baseball. But he’s really improved this year. Siani had a tough start to full season ball but has bounced back, especially of late. VanMeter has put himself into real prospect territory. Aquino has seemed to worked his way back into the conversation for a future OF spot. O’Grady, Longhi, Kuhnel, and Nay have at least peaked an interest in finding a late bloomer/diamond in the rough type of prospect. Naughton has exceeded my expectations this year. Last year I wouldn’t have ranked him in the top 25 and, IMO, I’d think he’s firmly in the top 20 at this point. Moss too, is another one who has pitched well after getting his walks under control at AA. And even though the results are great Richardson has made me more of a believer this year.

    • DaveCT

      I agree, Nate. My greatest surprise has been AlfRod’s hitting, at AA of all places. Still not sure what he becomes but that wasn’t expected at all. As I mentioned above, I’m very pleased so far with Tyler Stevenson also. At 22, first crack at AA, catcher, decent production. All bode well for a solid regular at a key position. Not too terribly surprised at either Vlad or Tony S’s struggles. Santillan’s dealing with some adversity — not always a bad thing, not unexpected in a first time through AA. Vlad, I’m wondering if he has peaked and profiles as a reliever now more than in the past. Last, I think it’ll be interesting to see if Trammel has a better second half. He is truly an elite athlete and IMO stands a good chance to make in season adjustments that lesser athletes may struggle with. We shall see.

    • Oldtimer

      Aquino is in his ninth season of MiLB play. Not impossible but he better hurry up.