Thursday morning saw Kiley McDaniel release his version of the Top 100 prospects in baseball list over at ESPN. You need to be an ESPN+ subscriber to see the whole list. The Cincinnati Reds have three players on the list, and just like nearly every other list we’ve seen from reputable publications this offseason, the Reds top prospect is someone that another place rated behind several other of Cincinnati’s prospects.
Kiley McDaniel tabs catcher Tyler Stephenson as the organization’s top prospect and ranks him as the #35 prospect in baseball. That’s the second highest ranking for any of the organization’s prospects this offseason – Hunter Greene was rated 28th overall by Keith Law of The Athletic. Greene also made the ESPN list today, as did shortstop Jose Garcia. Both players were on the back half of the Top 100.
For Tyler Stephenson, McDaniel notes that there’s a high floor for the catcher, but that if he gets the most out of his tools that he could be one of the better catchers in the entire league. He’s even higher on the upside of Hunter Greene, suggesting there’s “front-line starter, if not an ace” upside there. For Jose Garcia he wonders about the contact skills and how that could ultimately eat into the raw power – but likes the overall package of tools that he’s bringing to the table.
This is just another showing that leads one to believe that the top six or seven prospects in the Reds organization are all pretty close when it comes to how the industry views them. In some places a publication has a guy rated as the top prospect that another publication has rated as the organization’s 7th best prospect. ESPN, Baseball America, The Athletic, Baseball Prospectus – they all had a different prospect from the Reds organization as the top guy.
Cincinnati has depth at the top of the farm system. For the most part, the belief is that there isn’t a true “elite” level prospect in the organization right now, though. Many believe Hunter Greene could (again) be that guy, but they prefer to wait and see what he looks like post-surgery in games that count this year before placing the right-handed starter back into the top 50, top 25 of their lists.
The Reds system could rise in 2021
Yesterday we saw farm system rankings come out from Baseball America and The Athletic that ranked the system as a middle of the park farm. Today Baseball America listed the Reds as a team that could see their farm system jump up the rankings in 2021 due to the depth they have that could see more than a few guys jump into the Top 100 with good performance in the upcoming season.