FINALLY! For the better part of the last year, and for almost all of the 2019 baseball season I was screaming that the industry as a whole was underrating Cincinnati Reds shortstop prospect Jose Garcia. In 2018 the numbers didn’t match the tools, but if you watched him play at all, you could see it. In 2019, the numbers started to match up with the stats. While we’ve seen Top 100 lists from Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and from MLB Pipeline, Jose Garcia was nowhere to be found. But Fangraphs has come to the rescue of this particular prospect evaluators sanity and given Garcia his due. Eric Longenhagen, the new Fangraphs lead prospect evaluator, has the Cuban-born shortstop rated as the #82 prospect in all of baseball on their just released list.

Jose Garcia wasn’t the lone Cincinnati Reds prospect on the list, though. Catcher Tyler Stephenson was the top rated prospect from the organization here, coming in at #73 overall. Not too far behind the Reds future backstop was right-handed pitcher Hunter Greene, who came in at #77 on the list. Garcia was next at #82, as mentioned above. And rounding out the list for the Reds was 2019 1st round pick Nick Lodolo. The left-handed starter came in at #92 overall.

Hunter Greene 53 76 77
Jose Garcia 82
Nick Lodolo 48 77 59 92
Tyler Stephenson 73

If you head over to the Fangraphs link above, you can read their scouting reports on each player. The last two sentences of the report on Jose Garcia read as follows:

If Garcia’s tools were installed in a 21-year-old college shortstop, he’d be very famous. Power, speed, arm strength, and flashy defense are all here, and Garcia has a chance to be a star if his approach isn’t his undoing.

That sounds pretty accurate from where I stand. Longenhagen might even be a little bit higher on the raw power than I am. But he’s also a tad lower on the hit-tool, too. Still, the overall package of skills and tools that Jose Garcia brings to the table is strong and at least one national publication is taking more notice.

Fangraphs list has the Reds 2019 1st rounder Nick Lodolo lower than everywhere else, with Longenhagen noting that the industry and his sources seem higher on the left-handed pitcher than he is. Still, the difference between a ranking of 50 and 100 is relatively small in the grand scheme of things.

Tyler Stephenson is making his lone appearance on a Top 100 list, just like Garcia. The 2015 1st round pick had a strong season in Double-A with the Chattanooga Lookouts, posting a 131 OPS+ during the year. That, along with the tools he brings behind the plate, was enough to have him land the top spot among all of the Reds prospects. The Fangraphs report is similar to mine, particularly with regards to the in-game power and how there may be an adjustment needed in the future to really tap into his raw power.

Overall this was easily the best showing for the organization this offseason in the prospecting arena. For a team that supposedly is the 3rd worst farm system in Major League Baseball, having four Top 100 prospect that doesn’t include a 5th guy who nearly made the Baseball America Top 100 list, the team seems to have a good crew of players at the top of the organization.

30 Responses

  1. Optimist

    Interesting given this winter’s activity how Santillan has dropped off the radar. Yes, he had a down year, but if the system-wide coaching revamp takes hold he may be the biggest beneficiary. It will be great if he is everyone’s surprise return to top 5 prospect status by mid-year. With good health and good luck it could be fun to see him move up to the Bats mid-season.

    • MK

      Tony was added to 40-man roster and in the long run that is the most list he could have made this offseason.

      • Optimist

        True enough. Just hope he’s well past the injury bugs he’s had, and last season was just an off year. Still plenty of upside available, but this is the year he needs to show it in AAA. If so, makes the 2022 and forward projections interesting.

  2. Sweetness

    Trammell Downs and Gray all in the top 70. What a disaster of moves.

    • Oldtimer

      Not necessarily. Reds have SP Trevor Bauer and INF/C Farmer (forget his first name) to show for it.

      Bauer is a frontline SP who had an off year in 2019. Farmer was Reds best utility player overall last year.

      • RojoBenjy

        If Bauer leads them deep into the playoffs, it’s worth it. If he flounders, fans won’t be happy.

        It was a gamble. The odds in favor of the known commodity (Bauer).

        The Downs and Gray losses look bad but how can you have predicted that Puig would lay and egg at the plate for two months, or that Wood would have a bad back? (Although my skeptical opinion is that the Dodgers had an inkling of the bad back.)

        Don’t miss Diva Downs. Won’t miss him even if he becomes an all-star.

      • victor vollhardt

        Puig was never going to be anything with the Reds–What was amazing is that he did as well as he did while he was with the Reds. I gave all the links to the LA articles at the time, but nobody wanted to believe them .Again he was on pretty good behavior and for the most part was not a distraction in clubhouse. That was way more than I expected. Both Wood and Kemp (don’t forget him) were out of shape and or hurt, but were both playing out their contracts (large part of Kemp’s paid by someone else)–so not so bad. BUT in that deal the Dodgers took Bailey’s albatross contract. Without that move the Reds could not have done this off season’s deals. Bailey has had modest success with KC and Oakland (2020 now with twins), but he would have never had those chances had the Dodgers not (and still)been footing the bill. Yes Downs and Gray appear to be top notch prospects, but neither has ever been in a MLB game–meanwhile the Reds were able to do a lot with that trade. So to SWEETNESS don’t be too hard on the Reds over Downs and Gray.

      • Oldtimer

        Puig has a career OPS of .823 and OPS+ of 122. Averages 25 HR and 78 RBI per season.

        Bailey had a better season in 2019 than Trevor Bauer. AL might be a better spot for him.

      • Oldtimer

        Puig had second most HR and second most RBI on 2019 Reds and he only played 2/3 of season as a Red.

        It was Joey Votto who laid an egg as a hitter in 2019.

    • Armo21

      Agree in retrospect that loosing Gray, Downs and Trammell seems like an overpay for what the Reds got out of their prospect value. Trade did not work out. Trammell for 1.4 years of Bauer seems about right. Now Bauer has to be 2018 version for this to work in the Reds favor. Obviously, the Reds rolled the dice last year and it did not workout. The Reds took a much different approach for 2020 and signed significant upgrades to FA contracts, #get the hitting. In hindsight, its easy to be critical of the Reds moves, they spent a lot of “prospect” capital without much to show for it in the Dodger deal. Trammell for Bauer, I say worth the risk. Shed Long for Sonny Gray, definitely worth it. Signing Moose, Cast, Shogo, Miley; these moves put Reds in great position for 2020 IMO.

      • Oldtimer

        The Reds improved greatly in 2019 over 2018. It didn’t work out perfectly but the Reds were better.

    • DaveCT

      Downs has already been traded again, to Boston. Not sure if that means his value is spiking up, or if there are issues. Could be either.

    • Hanawi

      Yep. Dodgers trade was a complete disaster from the moment they made it. Then they compounded it by making another terrible trade with the Indians. Not sure how any Reds fan could defend either of them.

      • citizen54

        Gotta hand it to the Dodgers front office. Perennial contenders, good mix of veterans and young talent and they still have 5 players in the Top 100. Meanwhile, the Reds annual bottom dwellers, current team has a one or two year window. Bottom tier farm system. And the people are cheering the front office for signing mediocre free agents to long contracts.

      • Oldtimer

        Dodgers haven’t won WS since 1988. Even Reds won WS in 1990.

        LAD FO not as great as you might think. Back in 1960s and 1970s yes. Lately good but not great.

      • citizen54

        Results oriented thinking at its best. Once you get into the playoffs it’s all luck. I’m tired of Reds fans acting like the Reds organization is better than the Dodgers organization simply because they haven’t won a WS in a while. W/L record is a much better metric than WS titles. The Dodgers organization is superior to the Reds FO in every way. And ya team that has won its division for the last seven years and still has a great farm system is merely “good”

  3. Bred

    Gray is the one that stings. I recall Doug being high on him. I wish the FO would have valued him more. I don’t know if Doug would have let him go, but I did not like it.

      • RojoBenjy

        You have a good point. He was one to watch. I was surprised they let him go.

  4. Oldtimer

    Reds signed Derek Dietrich to MiLB contract with ST invite today. For those who look at analytics, he had .790 OPS and 100 OPS+ in 2019 despite shoulder injury the second half of season. Versatile INF/OF reserve. If healthy, who knows?

    • MK

      I hope he has a nice season in Louisville or wherever he ends up, other than Cincinnati. Not sure the bodies of his teammates will hold up when he decides to show off and show up a pitcher.

      • RojoBenjy

        If he would go Davy Concepción on a couple of those pitchers that serve the bean balls to his teammates, I’d feel better about it.

      • BK

        Wasn’t it really just the classless Pirates that couldn’t handle serving up 3 gopher balls to a career bench player?

        Even if healthy, DD will have a tough time cracking the 26-man roster. Nice, no-risk signing.

    • victor vollhardt

      Two other ways to look at the Dietrich signing–(1) giving a former player an opportunity to showcase his skills and or health in spring training so that he might be able to catch on with another team and (2) this thought: Suarez might not be back until late April or early May and the new second baseman Moustakas will open the season at 3B (this is pretty much a given) and there are lots of outfielders and it would seem logical that Senzel would man 2B, but if we are into a couple weeks of spring training and the only word on Senzel is that “he is working out on the back fields”(ie not playing in ST games)—Remember he went down with a shoulder injury also. Them this might be a very important signing. And of course Dietrich has to be healthy as well.