Cincinnati Reds prospect Tyler Stephenson has been swinging a hot bat lately for the Chattanooga Lookouts. The 22-year-old catcher has spent his entire year in Double-A with the Lookouts this season. And he’s put together a solid season. He’s remained healthy for the second straight season, and he’s shown improvements once again while doing so.

At the plate he’s hitting .281/.367/.399 on the year through 294 plate appearances. That’s would be the highest mark for batting average he’s ever had in a season. And his on-base percentage would be his second best mark, as would the slugging percentage. Over the last three weeks he’s really helped boost those numbers after a bit of a slow start in July. Since July 12th he’s hitting .375. And he’s slugging .521. And he’s walked eight times while striking out just six times, giving him an on-base percentage of .483 in that stretch.

Sunday night saw Stephenson go 3-5 with a run scored and an RBI. It was his third multi-hit game in his last four games as he’s beat up on the Montgomery Biscuits pitching staff so far in August.

Jonathan India’s weird Double-A start

Another one of the Reds top 10 prospects, Jonathan India, is also now in Double-A with the Chattanooga Lookouts. He’s played in 14 games thus far, and it’s been an interesting set of numbers that he’s put up. He’s gone 9-42, hitting just .214 through two weeks. And a guy with plenty of raw power in his bat, he’s not had a single extra-base hit, either. But he’s posted a .419 on-base percentage, too. India has walked more than he’s struck out – 14 times to 11, and he’s also been hit by three other pitches.  Eventually he’s going to start showing more power, and the hits will start to find the grass more often, too. But for now, he’s got a real set of weird numbers on his resume at the Double-A level.

Dauri Moreta continues to dominate in Daytona’s bullpen

Right-handed reliever Dauri Moreta’s always had good stuff. But until this season he’s never found the consistency within one season to really put up outstanding numbers – at least in full-season ball. Over the weekend he threw 2.0 more innings of shutout baseball for the Daytona Tortugas. That lowered his ERA to 1.75 on the season in his 46.1 innings. The righty has allowed just 37 hits, three homers, walked just nine batters, and he’s racked up 51 strikeouts.

26 Responses

  1. Kap

    It’s a toss up for the #1 hitting prospect between India or Stephenson in the system, IMO.

  2. Klugo

    Sounds like India may be working on his approach, which may be leading to more singles and fewer XBH, for now.

  3. wes

    Hard to say reds system as a whole is down this year when you take out the loss of production minus trade. Many guys are breaking out or performing above expected system wide. Stephenson has solidified himself as a top prospect this year- great to see him handling the whole season. Guys like Van Meter and Aquino and sims impacting the big league team with the potential to be long term significant contributes, especially the two with the bats….

    I have been here for four or five seasons now- and there has never been a storybook season where the best prospects just dominate year in and year out. This season has been a lot like the prior imo.

  4. Pete Snow

    I am glad to see you write about Stephenson, Doug. I consistently hear people complain about the catcher situation on the Reds, saying there is no help on the horizon. I also hear people say Stephenson is putting up lackluster numbers. Chad mentioned this on the most recent podcast. I don’t understand the seemingly universal
    apathy concerning him. I feel like people should be talking about him more as the catcher of the near future. He is a 22 year old former #11 overall draft pick hitting well in AA. Is he still progressing on defense as well?

    • CP

      I’m not Doug, but from what I read he is no Tucker B. behind the plate, but he would hold it down. His potential to be an actual offensive threat as a catcher though would be such a huge boost to the team. I hope they push him to AAA, but at this point I bet they just let me finish the year at AA.

      A second half call up in 2020 is not out of the question if Tyler has a good first half in AAA next year. What a great boost that could be for the offense to have a guy like that to pair with Tucker down the stretch run next year!

      • DaveCT

        It’s a tough comparison for either Tucker of Tyler. Tucker’s all of 5’8” and Tyler is 6’4”. It could be an odd couple sort of thing at the least. The reports I’ve seen on Tyler are he’s an average receiver at least. Another big, strong and, especially, athletic kid. His success can’t do anything but help.

    • Greg S.

      I didn’t like the Stephenson puck from day one. I hope he works out, but I have my doubts.

  5. NLP

    Apparently India wants to be another Adam Dunn, with a high OBP and a low batting average.

    It remains to be seen if he can hit Dunn’s level of HR’s and K’s though.

    • Jasonp

      I would love it if he ended up like Adam Dunn. In his 8 years with us his average was .247 with a OBP of 380. Add that to someone would could play much better defense and who is much better on the base paths. I would take that all day.

      • Gaffer

        I doubt anyone wants to hit a low average. It’s probably not even that important for hitters to worry about. If you can put most balls in play with authority that’s a success.

      • Justin

        you realize guys like Adam Dunn are exactly who teams want now. Its all about analytics now.

        hitting HR’s are all the craze.

  6. Gaffer

    Tyler is IMO the single most important prospect for this team right now. Until now that was reserved for Trammell, but that ship has sailed.Sure the others matter too but the only position that an offensive upgrade would actually move the needle is C. Let’s say Tyler hits for 2.0 WAR, that is a big improvement. If he hits 3.5 then we could be a borderline wildcard.

    Peraza needs to not play (or forgive it out fast) and Votto still needs to get back to .800 OPS or higher but who else really needs an upgrade?

    • DaveCT

      It’d be great to have Tyler finish a full AA season strong and then get some Arizona Fall League experience.
      Developmentally, finishing strong can’t do anything but help a kid especially heading into his AAA season and possibly an invite to ML camp.

  7. Krozley

    Kevin Gausman?? I guess they think they can turn him around and could fit in a slot for next year. His peripherals aren’t as bad, but that is a bit of an expensive pick up, although I suppose he just assumes what they would have been paying Roark. If he doesn’t work out, they can just cut bait after the year.

  8. Cguy

    I’m seeing that Gausman has 1 option. I wonder if that option has been used this year? Low risk pick-up with some serious upside potential.

  9. wes

    If Reds are going to make a playoff push- now is the time. They have a very favorable rest of February. Love to see two big weeks out of this team and then be right back in the discussion.

  10. reds

    This is a must hit prospect for us imo. Catching is weak in the system. Plus in that draft if we just would have lost a few more games, we could have gotten Benintendi. Tyler Stephenson is a must hit for me

  11. MikeD

    After coming off a couple injury plagued seasons, Tyler has steadily improved his offensive numbers. I am a believer in his chance to be an above average all round catcher. His personality seems to be of high quality and that should help his role as a leader.

    Tucker has regressed behind the plate in my opinion. It frustrates me when he practically stands up for a letter high target. It most definitely tips the pitch and also blocks the umpires view. Welch has commented on it multiple times. I know he got a big hit yesterday and has hit a little better since returning, but overall, he’s not much of a threat. By 2021 season, I believe Stephenson will be ready to take over. If Tucker stays on as a mentor/ backup, it would be a good situation.

    All just my opinion.

    • DaveCT

      Another note. When Casali catches, I notice he’s very quiet in his setup.

  12. MikeD

    I like the Gausaman pickup. He is not that far removed from some success. Maybe the Reds can get him turned around. Good move!

  13. Redsvol

    I was a fan of the moves to get Roark and Alex Wood and be willing to pay their arbitration figures. It makes no sense to pay 2.8Million $ and potentially his 4th arbitration year with Gausman’s 2019 performance. Unless there is an injury to one of our starting pitchers, I don’t understand this move at all.

    • Bill

      I anticipate we’ll see him in the pen. His career splits are actually better as a reliever. Also, his FIP is 4.20 or about 2 runs below his actual ERA. I’m pretty excited about this signing. The Reds didn’t avoid the expense of picking up his contract, Gausman gets to work with our amazing pitching coach, and if he shows progress down the stretch, we have another solid rotation piece for next year. I think Gausman is about is likely of a bounce back candidate as there is.