ESPN’s midseason Top 50 Prospect List was released this afternoon and the Cincinnati Reds have three players on it. Kiley McDaniel rated Hunter Greene 15th overall on the list. Nick Lodolo wasn’t that far behind, ranking him 23rd on the list. Down at 40th on the list is Jose Barrero. You will need an ESPN+ subscription to see the list and the write ups, but if you’ve got one then here’s the link for you.

Kiley McDaniel only has two pitchers ahead of Hunter Greene on the list. Greene is scheduled to start tonight for Louisville where he’ll be making his 9th start in Triple-A and 16th of the season. Between his two stops this season (Double-A Chattanooga/Triple-A Louisville) he’s thrown 79.1 innings with a 3.06 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, allowed 63 hits, eight home runs, walked 30 batters, and he’s struck out 110. He’s only faced a batter that’s younger than he has in one game this season. The 21-year-old Greene has held opposing hitters to a .216/.300/.332 line on the season.

For Nick Lodolo he’s the 7th rated pitching prospect in the game according to McDaniel, and the top rated left-handed pitching prospect. He was just promoted to Triple-A this week and has now made 11 starts on the season. Blister issues cost him about a month’s worth of starts, and since returning he’s had his pitch counts monitored and they’ve been a bit low as he’s eased his way back into games. That’s limited him to just 46.2 innings pitched this season, but when he’s been on the mound he’s been very good. Lodolo has posted a 2.31 ERA this season while allowing just two home runs, 34 hits, walking just 11, and he’s struck out 70 batters in 10 starts for Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville.

Jose Barrero, like the two pitchers ahead of him, has also split time this season between Double-A with the Lookouts and Triple-A with the Bats. After 40 games with Chattanooga where he hit .300/.367/.481 the Reds sent him up to Triple-A and not only did he not skip a beat, he’s gotten even better. In 31 games since joining the Bats he’s hitting .319/.410/.586. Between the two stops he’s now hitting .308/.386/.525 with 16 doubles, a triple, and 14 home runs. He’s also stolen 14 bases – one off of his career high that he set back in 2019.

30 Responses

  1. Hoyce

    Curious if any of the new drafted players have been placed into the top 50?

  2. MikeD

    Great to see these 3 players in the top 50. Give the Reds credit for not dealing Barrero, he looks to be there shortstop for a good long time. With Stephenson behind the plate, Barrero at short, and India at second, the Reds have a nucleolus of a very good baseball team. Add in a solid young pitching staff and they may be the best team in the NL Central in the years ahead.

  3. Redsvol

    Great to see. Now if we could get a stud center fielder and a corner infielder onto this list we would truly be looking at a good, long competitive window opening. Also glad we didn’t trade any of our top 10 this year for a too-soon run for a pennant this year. We are competitive but we are not world series-ready. Enjoy the next 2 years Reds fans, it should be fun!

    • Alex Reds

      Center fielder Nick Senzel / Matt McLain and Aquino at RF if Castellanos doesn’t re-sign.

      • MK

        I think the Reds should be tired of waiting on Senzel to stay on the field. And when he has been on the field, the wait hasn’t been worth it. I hope they try to move him this off season and hope the change of scenery will be positive for him. I believe Naquin has sealed the deal and made Nick at best a bench player for the Reds in the future.

      • Doug Gray

        Are we talking about the same Tyler Naquin who has hit .239/.299/.379 in the last 88 games since a hot week start to the season?

      • jon vera

        Naquin has not hit in awhile BUT still is way more productive than Senzel has ever been.

      • Doug Gray

        Tyler Naquin currently has a WAR (Fangraphs) of 0.1 on the season. In Nick Senzel’s rookie season he had a 0.7 WAR (Fangraphs). So no.

      • Tom

        Some concern about Senzel’s MLB exit velo, injuries aside. Recently KC GM said they consider Mondesi a support, not every day guy due to injuries. I can see the same role, wisely, for Senzel. He should play 4 days a week.

      • Jefferson Green

        Tyler Naquin got cut by the Indians who were (and still are) in need of outfield production; despite their need they didn’t think his upside was worth even backup money. He has similar injury history and less production and upside than Senzel.

  4. Little Earl

    Doug forgot to mention there are 10 SS ranked ahead of Barrero.

    • Doug Gray

      I honestly didn’t even think to count. At #40 there were going to be a few ahead of him.

  5. Doug Gray

    I have seen it. Obviously I think Greene is underrated on their list, just like I felt he was on their Top 100. Ashcraft is a little lower than I would have had him (and do have him). Always good to see other lists from people truly in the industry to try and see some other perspectives. Problem is – many of the reports are still from the pre-season and that doesn’t really give the perspective of what is behind the number next to the name.

    • Doug Gray

      Outplaying someone doesn’t necessarily make them a better prospect, though. Hinds showed some real different tools in actual games that turned some heads.

  6. NYRedsfan

    Hi Doug, Do you expect these three to have a real chance of opening the season on the roster next year? Odds are they won’t be up this year maybe when they expand the rosters but unlikely all three will be called up.

    • CP

      Not Doug, but yeah I would think they all have a chance. I could see Barrero having the path of least resistance to be honest. Depends on how FO handles the SP’s going into next year. If they pick up Miley’s option, which they should, then they will have all 5 SP’s returning, barring them trading anyone away, which they shouldn’t. If this year should have taught the FO something, trading away pitchers, and not preparing for inevitable injuries is a mistake. I think Greene/Lodolo are the first options if/when someone in the rotation needs some rehab time. They potentially compete with Vlad for the #5 spot right away, but I think he should have the inside shot at that with the experience he always has gained this year. It always takes 5-7 SP’s to get through the big grind of 162 anyways. The Reds will be in the enviable position of having that set going into next year.

      • Tom

        Trading one of Gray, Mahle, or Castillo may be the right thing depending on arbitration/payroll/the-right-offer. 2 years of control left on each of them. If you can get a high level A ball pitcher who is ready in 3-4 years, that is how you stay relevant as a “broke” team.

      • Doug Gray

        Trading good starting pitchers is how you continue to suck.

      • AllTheHype

        @Tom, I wouldn’t trade Castillo, he’s your ace. But Gray particularly makes some sense to move in an effort to free up payroll dollars (to be spent elsewhere on the roster) and also get a couple prospects that might contribute down the road. You’ve surely got that rotation spot covered with either Greene/Lodolo/Antone.

      • Tom

        It all depends on the offer, but philosophically I think the best time to trade those guys, throw Winker in there too, is when they have 2 years remaining.

        The deep temptation is to run out the string, a la 2013-2015. It may be worth it if you have payroll to heap onto the team like LAD and WAS have been able to do to some effect to polish off a championship. But in my observation, this is a KC, PIT, TB, OAK style team that only deludes itself thinking it’s big enough. It hurts to say but why complain, just do what’s the best value-wise.

        With the right trade(s) and shrewd FA signings the window of success can stay open much longer than the spastic 2-3 years on / 7 years off that many teams have.

        The pipeline is quite healthy really needs to stay that way by keeping an eye 2-4 years down the road.

      • AllTheHype

        Rays have been employing that strategy for years, and it enabled them to remain competitive over the long haul. It’s what small market teams should do. I’m surprised more teams don’t follow their blue print. Some teams try.

        But it’s not what the Reds have ever done. They’ll trade prime talents in a walk year when they have no choice but to tear down, and at that point it doesn’t restock talent in the system to keep the MLB team’s motor running.

    • Doug Gray

      Rosters only expand to 28 players, so unless there’s an injury that opens up a third spot (or one is called up prior to roster expansion), then all three aren’t getting called up.

      I do think all three have a shot at making the roster next spring, though I do think it would be unlikely that they all make it as things stand now. Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Wade Miley, and Tyler Mahle should all be back next year and if healthy, should all have a spot in the rotation locked down. That just leaves one spot in the rotation available. Does Tejay Antone get a chance to start? What about Michael Lorenzen? If they are getting a chance to at least try to start, that doesn’t help the case out of spring for Lodolo or Greene.

      • Doug Gray

        Lorenzen is a free agent. That’s my bad.

        If the team doesn’t bring back Wade Miley then there should be riots in the streets in front of GABP. He’s been easily the best pitcher on the team this year and his option is for good reliever money.

      • Doug Gray

        Wade Miley has been the best pitcher, to this point, in a full season, since Johnny Cueto was competing for a Cy Young Award. Letting him walk when you have an option on a team friendly deal is crazy talk. I want to win a World Series. I’m not letting one of the best pitchers in the league leave when I could just pay him $10M to stay.

      • Doug Gray

        Assuming that everyone is healthy: Castillo, Gray, Miley are in the rotation, no questions asked. Mahle’s got a head start on the field from there, but his spot isn’t guaranteed (if I get to make the decisions – but I don’t and I’d bet his spot is guaranteed unless something wild happens between now and then). After that, I’m letting it play out. Antone, Greene, Lodolo, Santillan, Gutierrez, Ashcraft, and Mahle can pitch for their spots. Mahle, if he loses his spot, I’d probably put in the bullpen or maybe even get crazy and pair him up with Wade Miley as a tandem starter situation. Antone would go to the bullpen if he doesn’t get a rotation spot. Everyone else? Back to the minors to be starting pitching depth/options.

        And I’d let Tucker test the free agent waters and hand the #1 gig to Stephenson. Who his backup is is a good question that right now I don’t have the answer for. Maybe it’s Barnhart if he is willing to re-sign at a lower price. Maybe it’s another free agent. Maybe you just go with Koloszvary as a 2-starts per week guy because the defense is that good and you don’t worry so much about the bat (which is improving still) and let Stephenson get 5 starts a week (the DH would be beneficial here to allow his legs to get some rest but still keep the bat in the lineup an extra time per week).

  7. Anderson

    Question Doug I may be wrong but when Jose Barrero was first in the minors he was a defensive first hitting second this year he has shown power not sure if he shown it in previous years but do you see him continuing that power in the majors

    • Doug Gray

      He will always be “defense over bat” because his defense is that good. But he’ll probably be power over hit, too. He’s got 20+ HR pop in there.

  8. paul olbert

    1_ Time to trade Sonny after the year –no way Greene or Lodolo would be ready to start 35 games for the Reds –Let the start in the minors (and hold onto them another year) and have one or both come up when needed.