The crew at Baseball America took the time to update their 2020 Top 100 Prospect list with the addition of draft picks from this year. The new list features three Cincinnati Reds prospects – all three of which represent the Reds 1st round draft pick in three of the last four seasons.
Coming in on top of the list for the Reds is their latest 1st rounder, outfielder Austin Hendrick. Technically still unsigned, though expected to put pen to paper, the outfielder went 12th overall to Cincinnati two weeks ago in the draft. Known for his big time power potential, he’s also got strong grades for his hit tool and his arm that should play quite well anywhere he winds up on the defensive spectrum.
Two spots later we see the next Cincinnati prospect with right-handed pitcher Hunter Greene showing up at #86 on the list. This feels quite a bit lower than it should be in my opinion given that he’s back to throwing 102 MPH and we don’t have to worry so much about him being one of the outlier types who doesn’t quite return to his previous self following Tommy John surgery, especially since after the 2019 season he rated 49th on the list – so what’s caused him to drop nearly 40 spots while showing he’s definitely got it back certainly causes some confusion with this particular writer. While he hasn’t pitched in games since undergoing the elbow reconstructive surgery, we’ve seen plenty to suggest there’s nothing going on that would keep him from not being the same guy who absolutely obliterated the Midwest League for 2.5 months before he suffered the injury in late 2018.
Directly behind Greene on the list is another pitching prospect for the Reds. Left-handed pitcher Nick Lodolo lands at #87 on the list. The 2019 1st rounder didn’t spend much time on the mound after being drafted out of TCU with the 7th overall pick. While he did pitch in eight games after the draft between Billings and Dayton, the lefty only threw 18.1 innings in those starts while posting a 2.45 ERA with no walks and 30 strikeouts. Following the 2019 season he was rated 90th by Baseball America.
My Cincinnati Reds Top 25 prospect rankings haven’t been updated since November of 2019. Once the draft picks are signed, I will update them to include as many of the six draft picks as I deem fit to make the top 25.
I predicted Hunter Greene wouldn’t get any respect— just a gut feeling. To me it’s preposterous for this guy not to be considered a top tier prospect. I understand he’s been injured but he’s rebounded extremely well. There’s nothing guaranteed with prospects to begin with, so with HG’s makeup as a person and his physically gifts, he’s pretty much untouchable unless it’s for someone who’s extremely high profile. If he was a Yankee he’d been top 25.
I feel very strongly about Lodolo as well. In addition, how does Tyler Stephenson not make anyone’s top 100?
The best prospect in the system may be Jose Garcia yet not even mentioned as possible top 100. It seems the baseball world has written off Jonathan India as well.
I knew I forgot someone— Garcia.
Their list appears to have some recency bias. Lodolo was considered the best pitcher in last year’s draft. I’m not sure how he drops behind a HS outfielder taken several spots later in the draft.
This years draft was considered better, so there’s that. But, I’d also argue that Lodolo has a better track record, and while the upside may not be quite as high, the downside between the two is worlds apart right now. For me, Hunter Greene’s ranking is the one that just doesn’t make sense to me.
Exactly. It’s also difficult to make a qualitative assessment about this year’s draft class as we have a lot less data from which to compare this class to others. It’s really the first time BA has left me scratching my head to understand how they rated any of the Reds.
I am torn on who I feel the Reds best prospect is but feel that both Greene and Garcia are top 25 overall. I also feel command is very under rated and hence Lodolo is too. Stephenson has not showed power yet but he has it. Both should be 50-75 in my opinion.