It has been a year since the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List was updated here at RedsMinorLeagues.com. Even that update didn’t quite feel right given that the information we had was incredibly limited due to no season for anyone at that point, and only a select few guys had notable information from very limited action in spring training. But with 2021’s season now in the second half, we’ve got plenty of information on most guys, new draft picks, and some limited information on guys who are in the complex leagues who are a month into their season now.

1. Hunter Greene | RHP | AA/AAA

Why he’s here: He’s got the highest upside of any player in the organization’s farm system. Toss in that he’s posted a 3.07 ERA in 73.1 innings while having a 1.15 WHIP, 29 walks, and 103 strikeouts and you’ve got a guy with outstanding performance on top of what feels like an ace upside. Stock Up.

Stat of the Year: Half of the home runs he allowed this season came in his first start in Triple-A this season.

Prior Ranking: 1

2. Nick Lodolo | LHP | AA

Why he’s here: Lodolo has been dominant when on the mound this year. The Reds 2019 1st round pick has a 1.58 ERA in nine starts with Double-A Chattanooga. He’s missed about a month due to a blister issue this summer, but he’s back on the mound and he’s breezing through the Double-A South. He’s allowed 27 hits, walked just seven batters, and he’s struck out 62. Stock Up.

Stat of the Year: His 8.86 strikeout-to-walk ratio is the best in the organization.

Prior Ranking: 2

3. Jose Barrero | SS | AA/AAA

Why he’s here: An above-average defensive shortstop who is really starting to show his offensive upside in the upper minors. Barrero began the year in Double-A, but was promoted to Triple-A a month ago and has not missed a beat. Between his two stops he’s hitting .296/.376/.492 with 12 doubles, a triple, and 11 home runs. Stock Up.

Stat of the Year: If we include the home run that he hit in the Futures Game, Jose Barrero has 50% more home runs in 2021 than his previous career high in two minor league seasons.

Prior Ranking: 4

4. Matt McLain | SS | 2021 Draft

Why he’s here: The 2021 1st round pick from the Reds was expected to be a Top 10 pick but slid down to Cincinnati at #17. He has not yet signed, though there’s no reason at all to think he won’t be signing. A potential above-average hitter with fringe-average power and the ability to remain at shortstop gives McLain plenty of upside. Stock – Just Drafted.

5. Graham Ashcraft | RHP | A+/AA

Why he’s here: A breakout year for the 2019 6th round pick has seen Graham Ashcraft throw 44 consecutive innings without an earned run before the streak came to an end two weeks ago. He followed up with two more shutout appearances. He’s made 14 starts and nine of them have featured no earned runs this season. Oh, and he can also throw 100 miles per hour. His ERA is now at 2.11 between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga with 90 strikeouts and just 24 walks in 72.2 innings. Stock Up.

Stat of the Year: He’s made nine starts since May 26th and one of them contained earned runs.

Prior Ranking: Unranked

6. Tony Santillan | RHP | AAA/MLB

Why he’s here: He’s on the big league roster right now, though not in the role perhaps envisioned when the year began. As a starter this season in Triple-A he had a 2.51 ERA in six starts with 12 walks and 45 strikeouts in 32.1 innings. He then made four starts in the big leagues, holding his own and posting an ERA of 3.78 with 20 strikeouts in 16.2 innings. He’s been transitioned to the bullpen for now, though he may get back into the rotation in the future. Stock Up.

Stat of the Year: He struck out a career high 13 batters in his final start in Triple-A this season.

Prior Ranking: 7

7. Austin Hendrick | OF | A

Why he’s here: The 2020 1st round pick has plus power potential and a solid all-around set of tools beyond that. But he’s fallen in the rankings a bit because he’s struggled mightily to make contact this year. While he’s hitting better in July, he’s currently posting a .211/.386/.390 line with 59 strikeouts in 157 plate appearances. That’s a 37.6% strikeout rate. He’s walking a ton, and the power is beginning to really come around, but the strikeout rate has to come down significantly. He’s dealt with some time missed, and the Low-A Southeast has him playing half of his games with an automated strikezone and half of them with an umpire making the calls, leading to two very different strikezones to deal with. Still, that only accounts for so much of the struggles at the plate. Stock Down.

Stat of the Year: He entered July hitting .183/.391/.305 (in 26 games). He is hitting .268/.375/.561 (in 11 games).

Prior Ranking: 5

8. Christian Roa | RHP | A

Why he’s here: It’s been very limited action this season for the Cincinnati Reds 2nd round pick in 2020. He exited his start on opening day for Daytona after one inning and didn’t return to the mound for two months. But when he has been on the mound he’s been quite good, striking out 20 batters with five walks in 15.1 innings. He was up to 97 MPH in the spring with his fastball, though he hasn’t quite gotten there yet since the season began. Stock Up.

Stat of the Year: We don’t have much given the 15.1 innings, but let’s go with that he’s struck out 33% of the batters he’s faced this season.

Prior Ranking: 9

9. Bryce Bonnin | RHP | A

Why he’s here: Much like Roa, Bryce Bonnin hasn’t pitched much this year. He began the season on the injured list. The 2020 3rd round pick by the Reds made one rehab start with the ACL Reds at the end of June before joining Daytona. In his four starts he’s allowed six hits and walked four batters in 18.0 innings while striking out 28. His fastball has been up to 98 with Daytona and has above-average spin rates on top of that. Stock Up.

Stat of the Year: He’s allowed four hits in 14.0 innings so far with the Tortugas.

Prior Ranking: Unranked

10. Jay Allen | OF | 2021 Draft

Why he’s here: Unlike 17th overall pick Matt McLain, Jay Allen has put ink to paper and is officially a Cincinnati Reds prospect as I type this. The high schooler has 5-tool potential and was rated as one of the best athletes in the entire 2021 draft class by Baseball America. A multi-sport athlete, Allen could see a focus only on baseball really take his skills to another level. Stock: Just Drafted

11. Tyler Callihan | 2B | A

Why he’s here: The season came to an unfortunate end for Tyler Callihan back in June when he suffered an elbow injury in the field. Through 23 games he was hitting .299/.351/.437 with eight walks and 13 strikeouts. He was making tons of contact and showing some pop in his bat prior to being injured. The 2019 3rd round pick has plenty of offensive tools at his disposal and he just didn’t get a chance to show them off for very long before he hit the injured list. Stock Remains the Same.

Stat of the Year: Small sample size, but his strikeout rate dropped from 21% in 2019 to 13% in 2021.

Prior Ranking: 11

12. Mat Nelson | C | 2021 Draft

Why he’s here: The catcher was the 35th overall pick in the 2021 draft. While at Florida State he was arguably the best defensive catcher in college. He also was among the NCAA leaders in home runs this season, hitting 23 of them. There were a lot of strikeouts to go with all of those home runs, but there’s upside for an above-average catcher with Nelson who could provide pop, on-base ability, and very strong defense at the most important spot on the field. Stock: Just Drafted

13. Rece Hinds | 3B | A

Why he’s here: No one in the farm system has more power potential than Rece Hinds does. Unfortunately he simply hasn’t been able to remain on the field to show it. The 2nd round pick in 2019 played in three games the year in which he was drafted before missing the rest of the season with a quad injury. This season he only played in 22 games before a knee injury placed him on the injured list. He hasn’t played since June 2nd and had surgery for torn meniscus. At the time he was placed on the injured list he was hitting .229/.319/.458 with 10 extra-base hits in 94 plate appearances to go along with nine walks and 24 strikeouts. Stock Remains the Same.

Stat of the Year: His max exit velo was 109.4 MPH in his limited action this season.

Prior Ranking: 10

14. TJ Friedl | OF | AAA

Why he’s here: 2019 was a bit of a down season for TJ Friedl after hitting .235 (but solid peripherals) in Double-A before an ankle injury cost him the second half of the season. This year he’s turned things around after a slump to being the year in Triple-A Louisville. Friedl is currently hitting .266/.379/.410 with 34 walks and 41 strikeouts in 273 plate appearances. Not the highest upside in the farm system, but he feels like a very safe future big league contributor with good defense, a good approach, and plenty of speed. Stock Remains the Same.

Stat of the Year: Began the season by going 2-23 with 10 strikeouts. Since then he’s hit .286/.397/.447 with 32 walks and 31 strikeouts.

Prior Ranking: 12

15. Alejo Lopez | 2B | AAA/MLB

Why he’s here: Always known as a good hitter, Alejo Lopez took things to a different level in 2021. Between his time in Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville he has hit .351/.426/.476 with 24 walks and just 19 strikeouts in 237 plate appearances. His contact rate was at elite levels in the minors and he began to show more extra-base hit power as a 25-year-old this season. In Cincinnati he’s been limited mostly to pinch hitting opportunities and has picked up five singles in 18 trips to the plate. Stock Up.

Stat of the Year: Despite playing in just 52 minor league games this season he’s already matched career high for extra-base hits in a season with 22.

Prior Ranking: Unranked

16. Andrew Abbott | LHP | 2021 Draft

Why he’s here: The lefty was the 2nd round pick in the draft earlier this month. He finally got a chance to start at Virginia as a senior and threw 106.2 innings with 162 strikeouts and a 2.87 ERA. He’s been up to 98 MPH as a reliever, but as a starter threw more in the low 90’s and touched 95 this season. An above-average to plus curveball mixed with change up gives him a chance to remain a starter in the long term. Stock: Just Drafted.

17. Lyon Richardson | RHP | A+

Why he’s here: After a solid season in 2019 with Dayton when they were the Low-A affiliate, Lyon Richardson is back in Dayton now that it’s designated as a High-A affiliate. He’s struggled with his control this season, walking 30 batters in 50.1 innings after walking just 33 in 112.2 innings in 2019. That’s resulted in a 5.72 ERA this season. His velocity has been up this season, but it may have come at a bit of a cost, too. Stock Down.

Stat of the Year: He’s only recorded more than one out in the 5th inning once since May 16th.

Prior Ranking: 19

18. Michael Siani | OF | A+

Why he’s here: Still one of the best defensive players in the organization, Michael Siani didn’t spend much of the year playing defense. An injury kept him from taking the field in spring training and for much of May, too, serving mostly as the designated hitter for Dayton during the month. The injury may have effected his hitting a bit, too. He’s hitting just .215/.329/.310 this season. He’s walking frequently, but he’s also striking out 29% of the time this season. Stock Down.

Stat of the Year: He had eight sac bunts in 2019 but has yet to record one in 2021 through 57 games played.

Prior Ranking: 13

19. Jackson Miller | C | ACL

Why he’s here: The 2020 2nd round pick has only played in three games this year. He began the season on the injured list with an oblique injury and was just recently activated. A potential 5-tool catcher, no particular thing stands out for Miller but he could have average to slightly better ones across the board. Stock Remains the Same.

Prior Ranking: Unranked

20. Mark Kolozsvary | C | AA

Why he’s here: They always say the bat is late to develop with catchers because of all of the things they have to take on to develop defensively. Currently with Team USA in Tokyo for the Olympics, Kolozsvary has 16 extra-base hits in 34 games with Double-A Chattanooga to go along with his .238/.345/.434 line this season. A very strong defensive catcher, an offensive step forward gives him more of a future role in the big leagues. Stock Up.

Stat of the Year: His 16 extra-base hits are already closing in on his career high of 20 which came back in 2018 when he played in 82 games.

Prior Ranking: Unranked

21. Braylin Minier | SS | ACL

Why he’s here: The top signing in the Reds 2019 international class, Minier got the largest signing bonus from Cincinnati on the international market given to a non-Cuban player since 2008. The shortstop has only played in 13 games in his career so far and is hitting .191/.278/.319 with six walks and 13 strikeouts. Stock Remains the Same

Stat of the Year: Tough to find one in just 13 games, but how about this one – he’s yet to face a pitcher that’s younger than he is.

Prior Ranking: 22

22. Joe Boyle | RHP | Injured List

Why he’s here: The Reds 5th round pick last year had big time control problems while at Notre Dame. But he also showed incredible raw stuff. During spring training this year he looked like a different pitcher and only walked a few hitters across multiple outings while in Goodyear. Unfortunately he was injured towards the end of spring training and hasn’t made his debut yet. With elite stuff and a history of control problems he’s down on the list, but the reports out of Goodyear were so good that he has to be at the back end of the list. Stock Up.

Prior Ranking: Unranked

23. Malvin Valdez | OF | DSL

Why he’s here: The top signing out of the most recent Cincinnati Reds international draft class, he got a $1.9M signing bonus. He’s got plus to plus-plus speed and is a potential 5-tool player with a well-rounded game. The 17-year-old has walked more than he’s struck out through seven games played this season for the DSL Reds. Stock Remains the Same.

Prior Ranking: Unranked

24. Elly De La Cruz | SS/3B | ACL/A

Why he’s here: The 19-year-old has come out of nowhere this season. He’s only played in 19 games since he began the season with the complex level ACL Reds, but has since moved up to Daytona. Between the two stops he’s hit .330/.366/.648 with 10 doubles, three triples, and four home runs. He’s shown multiple plus tools in games already. He’s not drawn too many walks and he’s racked up plenty of strikeouts, but there’s a lot to like with how his season has began from both a statistical standpoint as well as what he’s shown from a scouting standpoint. Stock Up.

Stat of the Year: He’s had seven games without an extra-base hit this year and 12 games with one.

Prior Ranking: Unranked

25. Ariel Almonte | OF | DSL

Why he’s here: One of the top signings in the most recent international signing class, Ariel Almonte got a $1.85M signing bonus – second most for the Reds in the class, just behind the $1.9M given to fellow outfielder Malvin Valdez. A right fielder with a big time arm, Almonte is a left-handed hitter with plus power potential as he continues to fill out his frame and develop. The 17-year-old is hitting .250/.429/.438 with eight walks in 10 games for the Dominican Summer League Reds to begin his career. Stock Remains the Same.

Prior Ranking: Unranked

Players who have graduated prospect eligibility

In order to be eligible for a prospect list a player must be eligible for the following season’s Rookie of the Year Award. In order to be eligible for that a player must have less than 130 at-bats, less than 50 innings pitched, or fewer than 45 days on the active non-September roster. These players began the year with prospect eligibility but no longer have it:

  • Tyler Stephenson
  • Jonathan India
  • Vladimir Gutierrez
  • Ryan Hendrix

*Editors note: This list was updated on July 29th after then 16th rated prospect Noah Davis was traded. That bumped everyone behind him up a spot and we’ve added outfielder Ariel Almonte to the list.

87 Responses

  1. James K

    Mariel Bautista used to be a highly regarded prospect, but this year at Dayton he has become a reserve outfielder, not often used. Wish I understood why.

  2. Redsvol

    Great list Doug. I think you’re low on the Kolosvary (sp?) kid but I know you’re looking at more than most. Starting to develop some depth – in years past it was obvious once you got past top 5 that our list wasn’t making it to the league. Now it looks like several in the top 15 will make it in some capacity. Even more impressive that we’ve graduated 5 to the big leagues this year. I am a bit concerned there are no pitchers in the upper levels that look like solid bullpen contributors in next 2 years. Front office and development folks better start focusing on that. Small market team can’t buy a whole new bullpen each offseason.

    • Redsvol

      and please, please Front office – don’t go trading a bunch of this depth for a misguided attempt at winning the division this year. We are a year away from competing with the likes of Dodgers and Padres.

      • jon vera

        100% agree. Sims,lorenzen,warren and antone will be back.

      • Shawn

        I believe Lorensen will be a free agent next year

  3. weigarp

    I’m happy to see that Alejo Lopez has received some recognition. Over the years, Doug, I’ve enjoyed reading your content. You have superb insight on all things Reds. I’ve noticed on these prospect lists you seem to grade much higher prospects who are high draft choices or have had high international signing bonuses verses players on minor league teams that have consistently produced. I’d personally like to see more recognition given to the guys that have produced even if they were not high draft picks or high price international signings. Hence, in your view, what is holding back the following players (all from Chattanooga.)

    Lorenzo Cedrolla has hit well at every level. Age 23. Doesn’t walk or strikeout much.

    TJ Hopkins, age 24, made the jump from rookie ball in Billings all the way to AA Chattanooga and is having a fine season with a good amount of extra base hits.

    Brian Rey, age 23, has had a stellar season like Lopez and has shown a good hit tool at every level with lots of extra base hits.

    • Jer-B

      Age, tools and ceiling typically factor into prospect rankings. I’m sure that’s part of the reason Doug didn’t have those guys ranked.

    • Doug Gray

      Cedrola doesn’t walk and doesn’t have any power. It’s very, very difficult to carve out much value there. He’s quite fast and he can play center, so there’s a chance he winds up being a 5th outfielder because of the contact/speed/defense side of things. But that feels like the upside, and when that’s the upside it means until you’re carving up Triple-A (think Alejo Lopez kind of carving up Triple-A), it’s hard to make the case that you’re a top 25 guy.

      TJ Hopkins was closer for me. Age is a weird one for me this year because of how last year played out – or didn’t at all. But he’s a little bit older. Hopkins has some pop in his bat – more than he’s shown overall this year. Good speed, too. More upside than Cedrola for sure, in my book. Was among a group of outfielders that were in the discussion for the last few spots on the list.

      Brian Rey is one of those guys who could be an interesting utility guy down the line. He can, and has, played a lot of positions. There’s more pop in his bat than he’s shown in Double-A this year (.357 SLG despite a .286 AVG), but he’s not really a power guy. Lots of contact, not much walking. Still, feels like there’s not much of a chance to be an every day guy, and as such it’s hard to rank a guy like that as a Top 25 prospect until they are beating up Triple-A.

      Recognition is fine. I try to highlight guys that are performing as much as I can. But a prospect list is about who, when we look back in 15-20 years, had the most valuable big league career. It’s why you’re going to see them lean on upside, even for super young and unproven players, over some performers who might be a bench guy for a few years.

    • Stock

      I have Rey and Hopkins at 24 and 25. I love how Hopkins transitioned from rookie ball to AA so seemlessly. The power Rey showed in Dayton has me ingrigued. Have me hoping for an Altuve without the wheels.

  4. Eric

    Whatever happened to Jacob Heatherly? Haven’t seen or heard much from him in a couple of years

  5. RedsGettingBetter

    Excellent work. It’s fun to know who would rank 25-30 if the list gets longer… Moreta, Rey, Cedrola, Urbaez could be in there?

      • MK

        I would have to have Francisco Urbaez on my list as well. He is a little undersized but has speed and an excellent hit tool as well.

    • Doug Gray

      Unless a guy is going to be a future closer caliber reliever, and is also absolutely a reliever (not a guy who is starting today who might be a reliever), it’s a tough sell to me to include them. I’m a big fan or Moreta. He’s a big leaguer. But he’s also probably a middle reliever. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. But the value of 50-60 innings of middle relief isn’t something that stacks up well as more than an ok bench player. I just hesitate on non-closer caliber relievers.

  6. Michael {

    Great list Doug. Reds added 4 prospects to the top 25 in this draft alone. Curios, would you be able to add a line at the bottom of each prospect and give your projections ie. 20/20 guy, high average top of line up guy, mid rotation starter, late inning defensive substation, etc.. Also, expected ETA to the majors.. Few big names that just missed the cut has me ever more excited. Going to keep an eye on Jose Torres, Alen Cerda, Urbaez, and Justice Thompson!

    • Michael P

      Looking at 2022 and 2023 rosters and see a lot of valuable assets to the big league team. Having hard time with projections though.

  7. RedBB

    No Brian Rey love Doug? I’d have him on my list

  8. Brent

    Doug- How does this list compare to past lists? The depth of the system feels as good as it has been in years while still retaining some star power with prospects 1-5

    • Doug Gray

      The list felt a little bit light towards the bottom as I was doing it. At the same time, I felt like there were about 15 players who I could argue were worthy of being ranked in that 20-25 range, too.

      The top of the system is quite strong IMO, and really, that’s where you want to be strong.

  9. Brad

    How do you compare/contrast Valdez and Almonte from last years INTL signing class? I believe Valdez is the CF and Almonte is a RF profile. How do they project?

    • Doug Gray

      Almonte actually was on the first draft of the list at 25. But then Elly De La Cruz happened and more information started coming in. Someone had to go cut to make room. I went with the corner guy instead of the up the middle guy.

      Both of those guys have played a handful of games. They’re still high-school aged kids. Tough to truly evaluate that in great detail. Just leaning on reports. Valdez has the overall better toolset, Almonte’s got the better bat. Lots and lots of time for those things to change.

  10. AllTheHype

    Nice list, great leap by Ashcraft from obscurity to #5. Looking in anticipation for progress by Roa and Bonnin. Can’t wait to see how McLain does, assuming he gets some reps in Daytona before end of year. Allen too, but we’ll have to wait til next year to get viable reports or stats I’d expect.

  11. Norwood Nate

    Good list. I always have trouble sorting out rankings in my head in regard to tools vs production. Especially if that production comes at a higher level with some good tools as well. Guys like Roa and Bonnin are tough for me to judge based on limited time on the field. Any of the ACL guys are tough too because they’re so young and far away from actualizing many of their talents. When I looked at the list I tended to give a bit more consideration to guys like Cedrola and Urbaez. Those are the two guys I’d have ranked in the 20-25 range.

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah – when I was working on the list I spoke about this scenario over on twitter. It really is tough on how to weigh stuff like that. Roa and Bonnin are a bit easier for me. College guys, higher draft picks, limited time on the pro field but both are throwing harder today than they were a year ago today. But the Cedrola/Urbaez, and to a lesser extent an Alejo Lopez type – where the ceiling is probably a bench guy if things continue to go very well in their development, how do you weigh that versus an actual kid, who has a chance to be an above-average big leaguer based on their tools, but also has a high likelihood of not getting out of A-ball? It’s not easy.

      At the end I guess we need to wonder aloud: Do you want to be sure to put the future utility guy on the back or your list and be able to say “nailed it!” or be the guy who didn’t put the future All-Star on your list because a utility guy was having a hot season? Missing out on one of those types is something that will never really be noticed. Missing out on the other is a problem. And if you miss on both, it’s no big deal.

      • AllTheHype

        On the flip side, you could also have low to mid ceiling guys, such as Antone or Justin Turner from Reds system past, who look like they are missing tools to be viable MLB starters, yet bust thru that ceiling unpredictably. That doesn’t happen often but sometimes those tools just show up magically over time. I’m sure it is a tough call, to rank the guy who shows potential to have all the tools, or another guy who has some tools but doesn’t show potential to get beyond the utility (or reliever) label.

      • Doug Gray

        Turner was long gone before he showed those kinds of tools.

        Antone got ranked as soon as he started showing those kinds of tools.

      • AllTheHype

        I should more appropriately say, “or rank the guy who seems to excel at some tools but doesn’t possess the other tools that will get them beyond the utility/reliever label”

      • AllTheHype

        Yeah but my point on Turner is, when he was in the Reds system, he would have fallen into the “utility guy” label, even though he did perform well in the Reds system with his hit tool.

      • Doug Gray

        I guess I can say that I’ll let anyone slide on that kind of miss when a guy finally stops being a utility player when they are 29-years-old.

      • Norwood Nate

        Thanks for the response. You do a good job sorting it all out. And I think you’re right in valuing star upside over utility-type prospects. I think some wishful thinking occurs in my mind hoping to catch lightening in a bottle. I use your rankings as the gold standard for Reds prospects. Thanks for putting in the work.

  12. Bubba Woo

    Doug,

    I’m curious on how you separated Greene/Lodolo/Ashcraft.
    1. Greene – 1.5 yr. younger than Lodolo/Ashcraft, and cu?rently competing at higher level, but worst stats of the 3.
    2. Lodolo – LHP (would that increase his value?) great stats, but lacks the innings pitched of Greene/Ashcraft, and doesn’t throw as hard as the other 2.
    3. Ashcraft – Great stats, but worrisome college injury history. Also, does the fact that he was only a 6th round pick factor in?

    • Doug Gray

      Greene has better stuff. He’s more athletic. He’s younger, has far less experience pitching to higher level players (college/pro ball), and despite that he’s ahead of both of them in the ladder (granted I do believe that Lodolo’s blister issue is why he’s not also in Triple-A right now). And really, the “stat comparison” is basically trying to choose pizza toppings….. you’re still about to eat some pizza, so you are winning no matter what.

      Lodolo’s ahead of Ashcraft because of the control. While he doesn’t throw as hard, he throws plenty hard enough, may have the better secondary stuff (probably does), and his control is better. Not that Ashcraft’s control is bad, just that Lodolo’s is very, very good.

      With what Ashcraft has shown on the field his draft status has no bearing at all on his ranking. What matters is that he’s throwing 96-98, touching 100, has a quality breaking ball, big ground ball numbers, misses plenty of bats, and is flat out dominating dudes in the upper minors.

      • James N. Walker Jr

        Are you concerned that Greene seems to be having issues getting out of innings clean when things don’t go well for him right off in an inning?

        Watching him at AA, I never would have guessed he might have this issue at AAA but it seems he does.

      • Doug Gray

        Not even the tiniest bit. We’re talking about a 21-year-old in Triple-A who has less than 150 career innings pitched.

  13. Shawn

    I think my biggest surprise on your list was Nelson. I wasn’t real high on the pick because of his K rate. I know he has great power but that worries me. Could you compare the 3 catchers? Why you have them in the order you do.

    • Doug Gray

      Nelson is an elite defensive catcher who could also hit 25 home runs. Those guys are very rare. He’s very clearly ahead of the other two for that reason, even if he’s going to probably strike out a bunch. Catchers aren’t asked to hit much. If he can provide a ton of power (for a catcher at least) and be a big time defender, that’s incredibly valuable.

      Kolozsvary seems like your typical 2nd catcher. Miller has some upside, but has shown next to nothing on the field (not his fault). He’s also got a very, very long way to go defensively (again, not his fault, you can say that for almost every teenage catcher in the history of baseball).

    • Stock

      I like Nelson’s potential. I think of Mike Zunio when i read up on Nelson. Zunio has had a long career playing great defense and hitting .200 (or less) but with lots of pop.

  14. Tim

    Based on this list, I think the Reds need to evaluate their physical training approach. A lot of guys injured

    • Doug Gray

      Tim, injuries are up by over 30% in MLB this year compared to the same point in 2019. The same thing was happening in the NBA this past season, too. The missed time last year was disastrous for professional athletes. It’s not a Reds thing – it’s a professional sports thing.

  15. Danillo

    Doug, you somewhat answered the Almonte question, where is Triana? I would give him more props than Siani, Friedl, and a few of these other guys. I expected him to struggle based on his signing date, pandemic, etc. If Siani doesn’t get it together I think he might become one of the all time draft busts just based on bonus.

    • Doug Gray

      Triana is a 1st baseman. He’s certainly got some leeway to work with given just how much time off he had to go through, but a first base prospect that’s striking out over 30% of the time and has 2 home runs in 49 games just isn’t going to make the list. He can rebound and get back onto it, but right now I just can’t do it. Siani and Friedl can play center field, and in Siani’s case can play it at a very, very high level. That’s going to give him a ton more wiggle room on finding a spot on a big league roster than a first baseman who can’t hit.

      As for draft busts….. gotta get back to reality: After you exit the top 10 draft picks the average outcome of the rest of the 1st round is the value of a bench player or middle reliever. Big bonus or not, if Siani never played another game, he wouldn’t be anywhere near a list of “all time draft busts”.

      • RedsMonk65

        Reading this, I cannot help but wonder: who (if anyone) stands out as the “heir apparent” for Votto when the time comes? Seems like we’re light on 1B prospects. Or maybe the next Reds’ 1B doesn’t come from the Reds minor league system at all. Just wondering….

      • Doug Gray

        Maybe it’s Tyler Stephenson. Maybe it’s Jesse Winker (if they sign him long term). Maybe it’s a free agent. Fact is that 1st base is the easiest spot to fill.

      • RedsMonk65

        Yeah, I just wondered. (I am always fixated on 1B, I guess, because that’s where I always played as a kid in the backyard — because I wanted to be Tony Perez!)

        Even Votto, if I recall correctly, came up originally as a 3B.

        I do kind of like the idea of Stephenson there, or Winker — when the time comes, of course.

      • Doug Gray

        You do not recall correctly. Votto played 1st base almost exclusively in the minors beyond his 18-year-old season. He played 40 games in left field in 2007 and two others in right. Every game besides those after his 1st pro season when he was 18 was either at first base or designated hitter.

      • RedsMonk65

        I didn’t mean that he mostly played 3B in the minors. I meant that he came into the system originally as a 3B. He played 19 games in rookie ball as a 3B — others at 1B or in the outfield. After that first year, yes, he was almost exclusively at 1B. I also remember a video of him shortly after being drafted where he introduces himself as “Joey Votto, Third Base.” So, I meant that he came up from high school into the Reds minor league system as a 3B, not that he came up as a 3B in the Reds’ system.

      • Andrew

        I can’t find game logs for Vottos early minors career, but I could have sworn he was drafted as a catcher? No?

      • Doug Gray

        He was drafted as a catcher, but only played 7 games behind the plate in 2002, then never did so again.

  16. donny

    i would have Even Kravetz at 14 for now and Andrew Abbott right behind him at 15

  17. kevinz

    Nice List Doug.
    Top 3 the Main Prospects for me.
    Notice the utility types and depth throughout.
    Which I like them to Have.
    Good for trades and for Injuries when they happen.

  18. Shawn

    Any more international players close to making your list? I’m familiar with most of the American born players. Not so much the international players.

    • Doug Gray

      Daniel Vellojin was in the running, Almonte (already mentioned in the comments here), Allan Cerda, Mariel Bautista, and Lorenzo Cedrola were all in the group of about 50-ish guys I had as “worth considering” for the top 25 list when I started placing names into the spreadsheet. There are probably some guys playing in the ACL who could join the conversation by the end of the year. Maybe even the DSL depending on how things go.

  19. Bred

    What is the difference in profile between Nick Madrigal and Alejo Lopez? Similar age, no power, but advanced hit tool. Is Madrigal a better fielder or have better wheels? Sox fans I know love Mardrigal because gets on base.

    • Doug Gray

      Tons of speed, better defense, better hit tool. And 324 big league plate appearances of hitting .317.

  20. Greg Niemeyer

    I enjoyed the updated list Doug!

    Here is an interesting note on one of the prospects…This rise by Ashcraft was predicted by…(this will be surprising)
    Former Reds GM Jim Bowden – wait-what…
    In an article for the Athletic in January Bowden picked one Underrated prospect for each team and for the Reds he picked Ashcraft.
    Leather pants points out that…
    Ashcraft made great strides in the Reds’ early camp last year before the shutdown, profiles as a mid-rotation-type starter with three major-league pitches, touches the upper 90s with above-average movement, and he has arguably the best curveball in the organization and the Reds will benefit if they don’t rush him and wait on his control and command to arrive.

    It looks like it has arrived – and so has Ashcraft!
    I guess JB really did his homework.

  21. Hoyce

    Very nice that the reds have a guy ranked nationally in top 100 at #97 (Hendricks) that only ranks #7 on this list. That really exemplifies the depth and high quality depth this organization has rn

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think you’re going to see Hendrick ranked in any updated Top 100 list. Baseball America’s update just came out today and it’s only got 3 Reds on it – Greene, Lodolo, and Barrero.

      • Hoyce

        Bleacher report just came out like 2 days ago. Had Hendricks at #97

      • Doug Gray

        The next time I take anything serious from Bleacher Report will be the first time.

      • Doug Gray

        The guy who wrote that list has less than 1000 followers on twitter. He’s been the lead BR guy for years now. He will go a week without tweeting anything. Often.

        I’m not saying that would make it impossible that he should be lumped in with the Baseball America, The Athletic, ESPN, or Fangraphs prospect guys….. but it does mean it’s almost impossible. I follow darn near every prospect writer I can think of. Not a single one of them follows that guy.

        I feel like I’m trashing this guy. He might be the nicest dude ever. But nothing about his profile suggests his list should be presented as something of value within the industry.

    • RedBB

      Hendrick is starting to come around and is still only 20. Last 7 days 1.220 OPS and last 28 days .857. Overall .776 isn’t terrible either. His numbers remind he a lot of Yasmani Grandal’s line.

      • Doug Gray

        That strikeout rate is insanely high. Even in July where he’s hitting .268/.375/.561 he’s striking out 35% of the time he’s stepping to the plate. .776 isn’t terrible, but how you’re getting there is really bad when it’s A-ball and not the Majors, because pitching is going to get a lot better along the way. Right now his entire OPS is built around the fact that he walks a ton. He’s not really hitting this season – small sample size, of course.

  22. Stock

    I have one guy ranked in my top 21 that you don’t have in your top 25. I have Jared Soloman at 18. Iooked through your historical top 25 and you never had him ranked.

    One guy receiving no love that I have ranked 23. Gabriel Aguilera. He is striking out 15/9 IP in AZL and walking about 1.7/9 IP. Did Aguilera or Arij Fransen get any consideration in your top 25?

    • Doug Gray

      I wavered back and forth with Solomon. He was the only reliever that was truly considered that isn’t on the list. The injury made me ok with leaving him off until he gets back out there.

      Aguilar and Fransen weren’t in the conversation for right now. Gonna need to see more before they get there. Could happen in the second half – we’ll see how the performance and reports come in for a lot of the younger guys.

  23. Stock

    I love your list. Pretty similar to mine. Major differences are that I am way to excited about Elly De La Cruz and have him at #7. if his power is true and he can stick at the MI (probably 2B or 3B) then that power suits him. Am concerned about the lack of BB in Daytona though.

    I thought I was so high on Bonnin. I guess my positioning of him at 19 is conservative. Maybe I dinged him for age but as you said this year is a difficult year for age. I also left Friedl off my list because of age.

    Ashcraft has had only 1 inning where he has given up any runs in his last 10 starts. I have him behind Hendrick. You are probably right to have him at #5.

    Love your rankings. More important I love that you are so high on Ashcraft and Bonnin. I also like that Boyle is in your top 25

    • DaveCT

      Bonnin is reportedly very athletic so I think you may be correct in considering your 19 spot as conservative. He seems like he could move really fast.

    • Hanawi

      The fact that Friedl was DFAd and no one claimed him makes me think he is way too highly rated in these rankings. I think he’s reached his ceiling and I’m not sure that is a MLB player.

      • Hanawi

        Sorry, he was left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft. The point remains.

      • Doug Gray

        The point doesn’t remain. There’s a very big difference. And the bullet points matter, too. When he went unselected, twice, he was coming off of ankle surgery, and then he was coming off of a 2020 season in which the season didn’t actually happen.

  24. Stock

    Loving the pitching in the organization right now. I think it is the best list of pitching prospects in the history of RML.com. Since the quality of the farm is heavily skewed to the top I have always considered the post 2007 prospect class of Bailey, Cueto, Travis Wood and a bunch of question marks as the standard.

    Maybe I am under-rating the individuals in the 2007 class but think this class is much better.

    Bailey equals Greene
    Cueto equals Lodolo
    Wood is not as good as Ashcraft
    Roenicke, Lotzcar, Maloney, Lecure and other do not compare to Bonnin, Richardson, Roa, Santillan, Abbott, Soloman, ….

    Do you think this is the best class of pitcher in the history of RML.com? Do you think any class is close? Maybe I am over rating Greene by calling him equal to Bailey (but personally I think Greenee is better). I do think Cueto is a slightly better prospect than Lodolo but not by much. I do not think Lodolo’s first 6 years will be as good as Cueto’s though.

    Does the midseason class of 2021 displace the 2007 class as best pitching prospect class ever or did the YE 2020 or YE 2019 classes already do it?

    • Doug Gray

      Hindsight always helps here.

      While I think it’s crazy that Hunter Greene is ranked 48th on the Baseball America list right now, he is. That means that right now he’s not equal to Bailey, who was either the #1 or #2 pitching prospect in the game at his peak depending on where you happened to be looking (it was him or Phil Hughes). Lodolo, though, might be a little more highly rated now than Cueto was. That one is close.

      I’d say it’s probably close. Not really sure which way I’d lean.

      • Stock

        I think BA had Bruce at #1, Bailey at 9 and Cueto and Votto in the 40’s prior to the 2008 season.

        I don’t think it is unreasonable to have Greene in the top 10 right now. It may be a reach for Lodolo to be in the top 50.

      • Doug Gray

        Oh, I’d have Hunter Greene in the top 10 without question. But the industry leader does not, which means that it’s tough for me to say that he’s on par with where Bailey was at his peak according to the industry even if I think the industry or at least someone(s) in it are way off of the mark with regards to Greene.

  25. DaveCT

    Doug, if Urbaez sustains his hitting through the season, and/or gets a late bump to AA, does he then move into the top 25?

    • Doug Gray

      Who knows? Where everyone falls on the list isn’t just about what they do, it’s about what others do, too. Let’s just hope it happens and we can have the discussion.

  26. MK

    The talk of utility types. Couldn’t it be said that Farmer, Suarez, Moustakas, and Senzel have Utility typed?

    • DaveCT

      Ben Zobrist comes to mind. Matt Carpenter.

      Seems with the shift, guys who are strong defensively all over the infield and can hit will become more valuable.

  27. Matt O'Neal

    By my count, Santillan is up to 36 days active, so he just barely made the eligible list. Will he remain in your top 25 for the rest of the season or do you have a 26th player ready to slide in?

    • Doug Gray

      I will not be altering the list for graduations. I will alter it if there are trades this week.

      • Vic

        Are you hearing any reports on Yassel Pino? He has a 26% walk rate and 8% strike out rate.

      • Hoyce

        Doug- what does ur inside info tell u. I gotta know. When/who are the reds trading? Spill it, Doug

  28. MK

    Doug your contention that some of Hendrick’s slow hitting start has to do with switching from live umpires to robo umpiring because of strike zone inconsistency. After years of sitting behind inconsistent Low A umpires in Dayton I would say Hendrick has had the advantage of having consistent strike zones 50% of the time, a real advantage over previous years of a different strike zone every night.

  29. Indy Red Man

    Ryan Weathers for the Pads is 21 and has 16 starts (pitch count) I think. Cueto came to the Reds at 22 and put up 170+ innings

    The Reds need to use their talented trio next year! They have the talent so let them sort it out! Are they going to be worse then the dumpster fire they have now? Atleast 150 innings combined