The Cincinnati Reds have landed four prospects on the CBS Sports Top 100 Prospect list. The list itself is a “Fantasy Baseball” prospect list, which means players with big time defensive contributions are probably a bit devalued on it, but the list isn’t just for the 2021 season for fantasy baseball purposes. The Reds were represented by four players on the list.
Cincinnati’s first player on the list is all the way down at the #76 spot. That’s where left-handed starting pitcher Nick Lodolo landed. Scott White, who is the author of the list, notes that Lodolo performed well in his debut after the draft in 2019, but that his time at Prasco Park was “less than complementary”. I’ll note that I didn’t quite hear anything like that. It’s also worth noting, of course, that the alternate sites were mostly full of guys who would have been Triple-A caliber players and that’s a decent sized jump for even a player of Nick Lodolo’s pedigree to make the year after being drafted. If he did indeed run into some struggles, well, that should probably have been expected.
Austin Hendrick is the next Reds prospect to show up on the list. The 1st round pick this past summer for Cincinnati. Without a season to really look on, though Hendrick did spend a short amount of time at Prasco Park before heading to the instructional league held by the organization from late September through early November, the write up reads similar to just about any draft report from the summer does.
Infielder Jonathan India’s step forward at the alternate site at Prasco Park didn’t go unnoticed, even though we couldn’t actually see it with our own eyes. The 2018 first round pick came in at #88 on the list with the write up noting that his power began to play better this year. His health certainly could have played a factor here as he had battled numerous injuries in the past that weren’t enough to keep him off of the field, but were nagging enough to limit some of what he was able to do while on the field.
The final Reds prospect on the list was also the very next prospect on the list. Jose Garcia came in at #89 overall. The shortstop was in the big leagues for the final month and a week of the regular season. His defense played very well as he showed off good range and a big time arm. But his bat simply wasn’t ready to go against the more advanced big league pitching he faced as he managed just a .194/.206/.194 line in 24 games played. He had just one walk and no extra-base hits.
Two Reds prospects were notably missing from the list. Catcher Tyler Stephenson and right-handed pitcher Hunter Greene did not show up on the list. And neither was just on the verge of making the list, either. White was asked about guys that were “left off” and he rattled off nine players who weren’t either of those two. One user asked specifically about Hunter Greene not being on the list, to which White replied “yeah… seeing is believing with him at this point.”
Had we not had reports from Prasco or seen video of Greene hitting 102 MPH after his Tommy John surgery, this could be a tad more understandable. But we did hear about Greene from Prasco and we did see him get back to 102 MPH after the surgery. Not to mention that Brendan McKay is sitting at #80, where White notes he lacked a standout pitch before he had labrum surgery. While labrum surgery has gotten better over the years, shoulders are still very messy and players don’t return from them with anywhere near the success rate of guys coming back from Tommy John surgery. McKay did had strong performance when he was on the mound in 2019 in the minors, and that should count for something. But if seeing is believing with Greene, the write up plus not seeing McKay post-surgery seems a bit strange.