The Cincinnati Reds have landed two prospects on the Top 100 Prospect list that came out this morning from Baseball America. You will need a subscription to see the entire list, but if you’ve got one, you can check it out here.
Jose Garcia is the first Reds player on the list. The shortstop comes in at #79 on the list, just behind new San Diego Padres signee Ha-seong Kim. During the 2020 season, Cincinnati got a taste of what’s to come from Garcia on the defensive side of the ball as he showed strong up the middle defense, including a plus arm. But they also got to see a young prospect who wasn’t quite ready to hit big league pitching. Garcia struggled at the plate, getting 67 at-bats but hitting just .194/.206/.194 without any extra-base hits and only one walk. There’s some power for Garcia, but he was just overmatched in his debut and didn’t get a chance to show it.
The only other Reds prospect to make the list came near the end. 2020 1st round pick Austin Hendrick rounded out the Cincinnati players on the list, coming in at the 97th spot. The 12th overall pick in the draft did see some limited action late in the year at Prasco Park at the Reds alternate training site before he wound up in Goodyear with Cincinnati for instructional league. Reports from both were promising. Hendrick, known for his big time power, will turn 20 midseason in 2021. Expect him to wind up in Daytona with the Tortugas – now the Reds Low-A affiliate.
Notably missing from the list among the Reds prospects are guys like Tyler Stephenson, Jonathan India, Hunter Greene, and Nick Lodolo. All of those guys, along with Garcia and Hendrick, are regarded as being close in where they rank. JJ Cooper noted at the time that the Baseball America Reds Top 10 list came out that you could make the case that any of those players could have ranked first in the organization.
Without there being a 2020 Minor League Baseball season it’s made prospect ranking a challenge and a half. With each organization only having about 10-15 prospects at their alternate site, and without those being viewable to the public for the most part (some teams actually had live broadcasts from their sites for fans), it gave no real data/stats to look at to see how players were developing from that standpoint. Look no further than a guy like Tejay Antone this year. While it’s unlikely that many others took the step forward like he did, it’s possible that some guys did take big steps forward along the same lines and we just never saw it happen because it took place at their local training center, or their backyard, or their local high school.
Things will be interesting to look back on in a few years with regards to how prospect rankings coming after the 2020 season turn out. The sheer amount of unknown is likely to make some things look quite strange down the line when it comes to guys that were seemingly “missed” at the time.