MLB Pipeline, the official prospect portal for MLB.com and MLB Network, released their updated “midseason” Top 100 prospect list. Midseason is a bit of a stretch given that it was published on August 18th, which is one month before the end of the season and 3.5 months after the start of the minor league season. But it’s not entirely the fault of the authors, either. The draft being held in mid-July and the signing deadline being the end of July coupled with a later than usual start for the complex levels added a little reason to push an update a little later than usual.
As for the list itself, the Cincinnati Reds had four players on the list. Hunter Greene came in at #27 overall on the list and was the top rated Reds prospect. You didn’t have to scroll very far down the list to find the next two players from Cincinnati’s farm system. Nick Lodolo and Jose Barrero were rated in back-to-back spots at #32 and #33 on the list. You did need to scroll for a while to find the next player in the organization on the list, though, as Matt McLain was down at #99 on the list.
Those four guys are seemingly the consensus top four prospects for the Reds. It’s not a surprise to see the top three guys on the list. Depending on exactly where you fall on how many draft picks should be included in a Top 100 right out of the gate could put you on either side of the McLain debate. But he’s on this list.
It’s been a good season for the Cincinnati Reds farm system. They are winning more games than they typically have in the minors, and their top prospects, for the most part, have taken steps forward. And they’ve also had a few guys have big breakout years to put them not just on the Reds prospect map, but on the national prospect map, too. Graham Ashcraft has gone from “future reliever with a big fastball” to a guy who is a borderline Top 100 list starting pitcher. Elly De La Cruz has become one of the most talked about prospects of the summer.
Hunter Greene has split his time this season in Double-A and Triple-A with the Lookouts and Bats. He’s made 17 starts between the two stops and posted a 3.16 ERA in 88.1 innings while allowing 68 hits, walking 32 batters, and striking out 124. Nick Lodolo is currently in Louisville, but he’s made just two starts there after making 10 in Chattanooga. In his two stops this season he’s posted a 2.36 ERA in 49.2 innings with 11 walks and 75 strikeouts while giving up just 38 hits.
Jose Barrero has probably had the best season of any player in the farm system this year. Like the two pitchers mentioned above, he split his time this season between Chattanooga and Louisville. In his 80 games he’s hit .303/.378/.532 with 19 doubles, a triple, 17 home runs, and 15 steals all while playing shortstop. He’s currently in Cincinnati where he’s gone 2-4 with a double and a walk.
Matt McLain is just now getting his pro career started. The Reds 1st round pick played in two games in Arizona before he was promoted to Dayton. In those six combined games he’s hitting .381/.435/.762.