The Cincinnati Reds made some trades on Monday at the deadline. And in making those trades they moved several prospects, along with Josh VanMeter, to get the deals done. Stuart Fairchild, the Reds #8 prospect at the time, and Packy Naughton were moved in deals along with a player to be named later.

We don’t know who the third prospect moved in the deals will be, but we can discuss what the farm system looks like now without Stuart Fairchild and Packy Naughton.

When looking at the big league roster, the Cincinnati Reds are loaded with outfielders. Jesse Winker is making an argument for best hitter in the league. Nick Senzel is a former top prospect and has performed solidly in his big league career and shown flashes of a lot more. Nick Castellanos is a well above-average hitter (121 OPS+ over the last five seasons). Then there’s guys like Shogo Akiyama and Aristides Aquino behind those three. Right now, the team has big league options, and good ones.

In the minor leagues the Reds top outfield prospect is 2020 1st round pick Austin Hendrick. But he’s also a teenager who has yet to step onto a field as a professional. Stuart Fairchild was the highest rated outfielder beyond that, coming in at #8 on the Reds prospect list. They were the only two outfielders in the Top 10. Both TJ Friedl and Michael Siani were in the Top 15, but then you get down into the 20-30 range before seeing another outfielder. If we were going to give the farm system a grade when it comes to their outfield prospects, it would probably be a B- at this point, at best – and it’s almost entirely there because it has Austin Hendrick. There simply isn’t much depth on the farm when it comes to outfielders that have performance under their belt now that Fairchild has been traded.

The Reds starting pitching depth at the Major League level is another area where they’ve got a lot of quality options. Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, Anthony DeSclafani, Tejay Antone, and Wade Miley provide the Reds with more depth than most teams in the game, and at the top of the rotation they match up well with just about anyone (even after last night’s debacle of a start from Sonny Gray). Among that group, though, only Antone still qualifies as a prospect.

Packy Naughton was not in the Top 25 Reds prospects, but he was in there before the midseason update – coming in at #24. A few draft picks moved onto the list and pushed the left-handed starter off, but he’s considered a solid prospect.

The depth of starting pitchers is stronger for the farm system than it was with outfielders. At the top of the list are Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo. Both are Top 100 prospects as well as being the top Reds prospects. Tony Santillan and Christian Roa also join them in the organizations Top 10. But after that the depth certainly takes a bit of a hit. You’ve got Tejay Antone (who would rate higher today than he did at the time the last update was made), Noah Davis, Lyon Richardson, and the currently suspended Vladimir Gutierrez in the 15-20 range, and then Miguel Medrano at #25 in the organization.

From that group, Tejay Antone sticks out like a sore thumb. He’s a bit older than the majority of that group, but there are other reasons he sticks out, too. He’s dominated in the Major Leagues in limited exposure, and at this point the stuff he’s shown in 2020 is just on a different level than anyone else here. He’s severely underrated right now on the list given his outbreak both in terms of stuff and performance. The rest of the list, though, has some unanswered questions.

Losing Packy Naughton doesn’t put a huge dent into the overall grade of the starting pitching in the system. The lefty looked more like a back end of the rotation kind of guy. But where the loss of Naughton does come into play a little bit is the depth at the upper levels of starters. That is lessened a little bit by the fact that is actually where a lot of their depth is. Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Tony Santillan are all at the alternate site at Prasco Park and a part of the 60-man player pool right now. Antone is already in the Major Leagues. Vladimir Gutierrez has spent a full season in Triple-A. When it comes to more immediate needs of a starter, Naughton could have been an option for Cincinnati (in a normal year, anyways, as a guy with success in Double-A). But he was also far from the only option, too.

The farm system overall took a hit. They traded a top 10 prospect in Stuart Fairchild and they moved a solid prospect in starting pitcher Packy Naughton. Both players were close-ish to the Major Leagues, having had success in Double-A in the 2019 season. The Reds, though, traded from areas that they had depth at the big league level, and in Naughton’s case, an area where they had a lot of depth in the minors, too.

11 Responses

  1. Aaron

    Where do you fit in the pitcher that we got from Tampa in our current system? Do you see him as an upgrade over Naughton?

    • DaveCT

      Not Doug, but Riley was the number 8 guy out of the number 1 minor league system (BA).

      Given our current placement at or near the bottom of MiLB systems, his talent should help, even if he’s likely a reliever In the ML’s

    • Doug Gray

      I’m honestly not too sure just yet. The problems are multi-fold. One, I haven’t seen him pitch. Two, no one in the organization has seen him pitch (I mean, they have but not like they’ve seen the Reds guys pitch). Three, I have only talked to two scouts about him. Combine it all and I’m still just unsure. I’ll be doing a deeper dive shortly to get a much better feel (hoping to be able to go back and watch some of his good, and bad starts from 2019 to see both the strengths and weaknesses – but that’s also like a 10 hour deal and that’s not something I can just do in a day or two).

      That said, he’s a bit more well thought of from the outside than Naughton is. Here’s my thing: Is he a better prospect? Yeah, he is. But is he a better STARTING PITCHING prospect? That much I don’t know. I’ve got a lot more confidence that he could be a real good reliever than Naughton. I’m not sure I’ve got confidence, based on the little bit I know and have heard, that he’s a better starter.

      • DaveCT

        Re your last point, Doug, you are nothing if not highly consistent, in this case putting higher value on a starter rather than reliever.

        It’s hard to believe we are having a true minor league discussion rather than, well, I don’t know what.

  2. Drrobo

    I expressed disappointment that Votto began the season in the crouch when he experienced success at the end of the season in a stance resembling pre-crouch. I tweeted every reporter or talk show host to ask if they knew why. No response from anyone. I know contact with players is limited. In a game prior to being benched he had one AB when he was out of the crouch and it was an out but hard hit. Now he is back to a stand up stance getting hits and hitting home runs. Confusing to me. With Senzel, if COVID affects him like it did me it will take awhile for him to regain strength. I had no lung issues but I was + for 4 weeks and have been – for 3 weeks and walking across the room is a chore. Hope his age is in his favor. Is DB as motivating to the players as he appears in interviews? I don’t care whose feelings are hurt, get a lineup and play it. Analytics is fine if it is working. Shogo can be defensive replacement. I hope Goodwin can get ABs. Cardinals will have difficulty with schedule. The Reds must beat the Brewers.

  3. DaveCT

    Doug, Mac Wainwright adds to the OF depth, and given his size and athleticism, Rece Hinds may as well. Seems Freidl and Siani pretty quickly slot right into Fairchild’s depth spot, though as noted, not at his organizational level.

  4. Doug Gray

    Nick Senzel isn’t below-average offensively in center, though. He just hasn’t played. And whatever you want to feel about Senzel and his availability – no one is taking his job away from him anytime soon.

    Left field, same thing – without the DH moving forward, and we shouldn’t count on it being there moving forward – no one is taking that job from Winker, who is an above-average hitter.

    Castellanos – who knows? I know that I don’t have any faith in teams opening up their check books this offseason, so we’ll have to see how that plays out.

  5. MK

    Friedl and Fairbanks are basically the same player from opposite sides of the plate. Either would be a 4th, 5th or 6th outfielder and don’t need both.

    • DaveCT

      Friedl will do fine. Do we still have Narcisso Crook? I’d love to see Siana come fast.

      • Doug Gray

        Crook is still in the organization, but I’m also pretty confident he’s a free agent after this year.

  6. Colorado Red

    Kevinz,

    1 problem, you assume the Reds had any clue how to develop them.
    I am beginning to doubt that.