The crew over at Baseball America has released their Appalachian League Top 20 Prospects list for the 2019 season. On the list there were three (subscription required) Greeneville and Cincinnati Reds prospects. In a league that has 10 teams, the numbers say that there should be two per team in an even distribution of talent. Greeneville had the worst record in the league, finishing up at 26-41.
Tyler Callihan was at the top of the list for the Reds, but was only the #11 rated prospect in the league. The 3rd round pick out of high school this season, Callihan signed for $1.5M. Most of his season was spent in the Appalachian League with Greeneville. He did get a late call up to Billings at the end of the year.
He split his time defensively at second and third base. Callihan played in 22 games at second and another 31 at third during the year. At the plate there was a mixed bag. He hit .263/.298/.442 overall. There was some power in there as he hit 10 doubles, six triples, and six home runs between his two stops. And he also stole 11 bases. But his approach could use some tightening up as he walked just 10 times in 238 plate appearances while striking out 50 times. The strikeout rate is fine where it’s at, just 21%. The walk rate, however, is very low and will need to improve.
The next prospect on the list for Greeneville was shortstop Ivan Johnson. He was the Reds 4th round pick out of Chipola Junior College this season. The switch hitter posted a .255/.327/.415 line in 46 games played for the Reds. He had 10 doubles, a triple, six home runs, and he stole 11 bases on the season. He showed more pop from the left side than the right side, but only had 50 at-bats from the right side during the year. Defensively most of his time came at shortstop, but he did play in 11 games at second base.
Rounding out the list was left-handed pitcher Jose Salvador. The final prospect to be ranked in the league, the 19-year-old had some good and some bad numbers in his stat line. In his 11 starts in the league he posted a 5.05 ERA. That’s not exactly what you want to see. On the flip side he only walked 16 batters and he struck out 57. Those are numbers that you do want to see.
He moved up to Billings for three starts at the end of the year, posting a 3.86 ERA with 15 strikeouts and three walks in 11.2 innings. He dominated right-handed hitters. They had an OPS of .622 against him on the year. Left-handed hitters had an OPS 450 points higher with a 1.071 mark against him this season.