Fangraphs has been working their way through their organizational prospect rankings and just before Christmas they released their Cincinnati Reds Top 36 Prospects list. Cincinnati was the third team that was covered. As you can imagine, the list wasn’t the easiest to put together given the lack of baseball games being played by many of the players in affiliated baseball. If a player didn’t reach the Major Leagues, then they didn’t play in any games. A handful of prospects in each organization were at their respective alternate sites. There were also instructional league games in October between the complexes in Florida and Arizona, but by-and-large, more than half of the players in each organization didn’t get on a field after early March.

This whole situation meant that for some players we have some updated information, and that for a lot of other players, there’s no new information at all to really be gleaned. The gap between prospect lists that were produced after the 2019 season and the ones produced after the 2021 season are probably going to be wildly different, even beyond players who graduated, because of all the missing information in the middle.

With all of that said, there was some new information of note from some of the guys. A good look from Tyler Callihan from instructional league among the Top 10 prospects, an interesting report on Riley O’Brien in the Top 20 group, and a good breakdown of what we may be able to see from Graham Ashcraft in the Top 30 group.

While I haven’t put together my list yet, it’s getting closer to the time to do so. I’ve been waiting for winter ball to take place with the hopes of getting some more information on guys who didn’t play this year. Unfortunately there weren’t many Reds prospects that participated this year – though not due to any lack of willingness, but without a season, the amount of higher level players who did want to play this year is larger than many of the past years that allowed some lower level guys a chance to get on the field.

With that said, looking at the rankings from Eric Longenhagen, who is Fangraphs lead prospect writer, it feels like I’m going to be a little bit higher on Tony Santillan and TJ Friedl than he is. He’s probably a little higher on Lyon Richardson than I am, but the reports are good and he’ll be moving up a little bit in my rankings from where he’s been in the past. It’s a reasonable list with tons of good information on it. As I always say, pay less attention to the number next to the players name and a lot more attention to the write up below the players name. Go give it a read.

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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10 Responses

  1. RedBaron

    I’m a huge Jose Garcia fan but honestly he showed that he is probably 2 years away from contributing in the majors. I’d put him around 5 IMO after Ty, Austin, Lodolo and Greene in no particular oder.

    • DaveCT

      Given his defensive chops, and with power, let’s give him the development time he needs.

  2. Bourgeois Zee

    What’s interesting in the Fangraphs’ write-up is how glowingly many of the prospects are written up– and the scouting numbers next to their names that indicate serious tools. Then the overall number is tacked down almost universally five – ten points. Hunter Greene, for example, does have a single future tool grade below 55, but his overall future value ranks at 50.

    So perhaps that’s due to injury risk.


    Lyon Richardson has 50’s and 55’s across the board, but a 45 FV. Christian Roa is similarly “undervalued.” Riley O’Brien’s FV is 10 points lower than his lowest tool.

    Hitters are also dinged oddly.

    I guess it may be that so many Red prospects have such a wide variance of outcomes– there are a ton of boom/ bust guys who might break out. And might not.

    Loud hit tools from India, Callihan, Friedl, and Yang give me hope.

    One guy who hit well in 2019 in his brief introduction to pro ball (and seemingly had a nice prospect profile/ pedigree) is 2019 draftee Wendell Marrero. He went .324/ .425/ .490/ .915 as a 19-year-old corner OF.

    • Doug Gray

      The grades are future grades, not current grades. Odds are very good that a guy doesn’t max out his future grades across the board, which is going to give you a slightly lower OFP. Not exactly how you are supposed to do those, but not everyone follows the same rules for how to put together a reports grade – some organizations do things differently than others, so it’s no surprise that outside of the industry we get different things a little bit, too.

  3. Stock

    I loved the write-up. I felt De Leon was under-rated. I would love to see Antone/De Leon tandem for the 5th spot in the bullpen. Both scheduled to go 4/5 innings per start. Start with De Leon and his Fastball/Changeup combination. Then after 60/75 pitches bring in Antone and his Slider/Curveball for 4/5 innings.

    I love Garcia at #1. Viewpoint on India was not what I had heard. Overall very informative

    • DaveCT

      Liked what I saw of DeLeon, too. The exception being when Bell left him in to get hammered and take one for the team. The write up here shows him still rebounding from injury and growing. Hard to call him a sleeper given his past prospect status.

    • MBS

      I wonder if you’re right. Will the Reds need to stack starters, especially after a shortened 2020. I think Castillo, Gray and Mahle will be fine. Miley, Lorenzen, Antone, De Leon, Gutierrez, Santillan all may need to be stacked. I hope not, but it may be tough getting these arms through 162.

    • asinghoff1

      De Leon turns 29 years old during the 2021 season and has only pitched in relief in the big leagues. I don’t know how you can view him as underrated given the ranking of 16.

      • DaveCT

        My take on that comment was of DeLeon being underrated as a 2020 pitching staff candidate. I agreed with that and see him being the same for next season. Outside of his most recent winter league performance (shameless plug for Doug’s Patreon service), I still think DeLeon has more in him than a journeyman reliever.