This morning the crew at Baseball America released their 2020 Top 100 Prospect list and for the Cincinnati Reds, it wasn’t the best showing. The Reds landed just two players in the Top 100 list, and both were in the bottom fourth of the list. Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo were rated back-to-back on the list, coming in as the 76th and 77th best prospects in baseball according to the list.

For Hunter Greene, he’s coming off of Tommy John surgery and having missed all of the 2019 season. After a tough start in 2018 with Dayton in the first five weeks of the season, he dominated over the next two months before an injury to his elbow cut his season short. After opting for rehabbing the injury he went into spring training feeling good and was throwing off of the mound, but in what was the final week of the spring he tore his UCL and then decided that Tommy John surgery would be the path to a comeback.

Nick Lodolo was drafted just last season out of TCU. After a dominant junior season with the Horned Frogs, the Reds took Lodolo as the first pitcher of the 2019 draft. They limited his game action following the draft, but in the 18.1 innings he did throw in his eight starts, he was very good. He posted a 2.45 ERA, allowing just five earned runs, and he struck out 30 batters without allowing a single walk.

Neither of those two players making the list was a surprise. They were both on the last list that was released by Baseball America in the second half of 2019. Greene dropped from the 49th spot and Lodolo moved up from the 90th spot. But they weren’t the only Cincinnati prospects that were on that one. Jonathan India was also on that list at #51. But he dropped out of the top 100 in the most recent update. It was noted yesterday that he just missed the cut.

For some background on how the list is made, the editors at Baseball America all create a Top 150 Prospect list, and they then use an AP style point system where #1 is worth 150 points and #150 is worth 1 point. They then tally up the numbers to create a Top 150 list as their starting point of a list before sitting down and discussing, debating, and re-working the list into a final Top 100 list. Among those Top 150 lists, the Reds had three prospects get votes from at least one editor, but didn’t make the final Top 100. Jonathan India, as noted above, just missed the list and had some votes. Catcher Tyler Stephenson and pitcher Tony Santillan both also received votes on Top 150 lists, but were on the outside looking in at the Top 100.

27 Responses

  1. Chris

    This isn’t surprising. India hasn’t shown enough to justify his draft spot let alone enough to earn a place on this list.

  2. Eric

    This is off topic but what do you think of trading Packy Naughton to the Twins for Nick Gordon?

    • Doug Gray

      I’m sure the Reds would do it, but I don’t think the Twins would.

  3. Jefferson Green

    What does it take for a catcher like Tyler to make the list? Are there 100 better or more valuable prospects than Stephenson? It seems like a catcher with his success at A+ and AA, with a relatively high floor and high ceiling and rather close to the majors would be ranked. Is there an inherent bias against catchers because they develop more slowly and are older than some of their peers?

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t get a vote, so I can’t say. But to me, he’s a Top 100 prospect.

  4. Bred

    Great work yesterday, Doug. I did not think of this yesterday. Hunter Green drafted in 2017 and shut down for arm problems and then TJ surgery. Does all that time count regarding team control? Do they really only have him for 5 more years?

    • Oldtimer

      I don’t the answer but if he played (pitched) in 2017, 2018, and 2019, then those three years probably count.

      • Bred

        Thanks. I counted wrong. I was not counting 2017 so he has 3 down and only 4 years of control left.

    • Big Ed

      No. Others can fill you in on the specifics, but there is a limit on how long the Reds can keep him in the minors before putting him on the 40-man roster, without exposing him to the Rule 5 draft.

      The six-year control rule kicks in when a player makes his debut on the MLB 25-man roster. So, if Greene made the Opening Day 2022 roster, he would be eligible for free agency after the 2027 season.

      Combining the two, it is possible for a guy to be tethered to the same team for 12 years, but it rarely works like that, because a player good enough to be wanted by the MLB team for 6 years typically does not apprentice in the minors for 6 years.

      • Bred

        Thanks for the information. I was all wrong twice here today. If I weren’t a Patreon subscriber, Doug would probably ban me from the site due to my ignorance.

    • Krozley

      The Reds don’t have to worry about team control at this point. Hunter would need added to the 40-man after the 2021 season. They then have up to 3 option years to keep him in the minors and then 6 years in the majors. I think that adds up to having potential control through 2030, although he hopefully won’t need to stay in the minors fully for all of those 3 option years. The new CBA may change things, however.

      • Moses

        Except that the three option years are a subset of the six years so it won’t be 2030…

      • Doug Gray

        In theory, this is how things could play out for the longest possible timeline:

        Greene is in the minors for all of 2020. Then he stays in the minors for all of 2021. He’s then added to the 40-man that offseason. He uses up all three option years and never reaches the Majors – 2022, 2023, 2024. Then he’d stick in the Majors for six seasons before reaching free agency after 2030.

        That isn’t the likely way that it will play out, but it’s the longest potential outcome without him reaching minor league free agency.

    • AllTheHype

      MLB service time dictates free agent and arbitration eligibility. Hunter Greene does not have any MLB service time yet. So his “clock” hasn’t started with respect to free agency or arbitration.

  5. Jefferson Green

    Doug, how much does previous ranking bias or first impression bias seem to impact the rankings? Based upon their 2019 seasons and trajectory with high ceiling, it seems that Stephenson and Garcia would get more love. That said, it is easy to see how India fell off.

    • Doug Gray

      I think that it both matters and doesn’t matter. The actual ranking itself probably doesn’t matter. But what got the player that original ranking does – because it’s about the belief in the tools/upside that the player showed, and for the most part, those things are probably still present.

  6. Brad

    Hurts seeing guys like Downs, Gray and Trammell included.

    Part of becoming a contending team I guess.

    I see Stephenson, Garcia, Lodolo and Greene as key pieces for Redlegs either in a competitive roster or as trade value.

  7. AllTheHype

    Curious Doug, where does BA have Taylor Trammell in relation to last year?

    • MK

      After watching him a season play short and second I really think Jeter is better suited for second. Garcia, defensively is much better at short. So if he has stayed a Red he would not have been a shortstop.