The Cincinnati Reds continue to show well in Baseball America’s league top 10 prospect rankings. After landing two prospects in the Arizona Complex League’s Top 10, including the top prospect – Elly de la Cruz – the organization has three prospects in the Double-A South’s Top 10 prospect list ($$).
Cincinnati just missed out on the top spot in the league as Jose Barrero came in at #2 in the league. He was joined on the list by the pitching duo of Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene. Reminder here that this year the league top prospect lists are cut in half and are only 10 players deep now instead of the normal 20. Also a reminder that while I do get compensated by Baseball America for writing a monthly column on the Reds farm system that I am in no way consulted or involved in their prospect rankings.
Jose Barrero spent time at three levels this season, but the first half of his season was spent in Double-A with the Chattanooga Lookouts. In 40 games with the Lookouts he hit .300/.367/.481 with 9 doubles, a triple, and 6 home runs. That production, and of course the eye test, was enough to get the managers around the league to give him plenty of recognition as he rated behind just one other player in the league. After leaving the league, Barrero headed to Triple-A where he hit .306/.392/.594 with 10 more doubles and 13 more home runs in 45 games before he was called up to Cincinnati where he played sparingly down the stretch for the Reds.
Nick Lodolo spent time in both Double-A and Triple-A this season, but 10 of his 13 games did come with Chattanooga this year. And while he was in the Double-A South with the Lookouts he was dominant. The 23-year-old lefty posted a 1.84 ERA in 44.0 innings with 31 hits allowed – just 1 home run – 9 walks, and he struck out 68 of the 173 hitters that he faced. That’s a 39% strikeout rate for those keeping track at home. He spent some time on the injured list as he battled blister issues with Chattanooga. After heading to Triple-A he was limited in his innings early on, and made just three starts and threw just 6.2 innings total before hitting the injured list for the final month of the season.
The third prospect from the organization on the list was Hunter Greene. Like Lodolo, Greene split time between Chattanooga and Louisville. And like Lodolo, he was dominant with the Lookouts. The then 21-year-old made 7 starts in the Double-A South and posted a 1.98 ERA in 41.0 innings, allowing 27 hits – 2 home runs – walked 14 batters, and he struck out 60 of the 162 that he faced. That’s a 37% strikeout rate for you non-human calculators out there. Unlike Lodolo, Greene stayed healthy while in Louisville and made 14 more starts there. He wasn’t as consistent with the Bats as he was with the Lookouts and posted a 4.13 ERA in 65.1 innings where he allowed 59 hits – 11 homers – walked 25, and struck out 79 of the 276 hitters he faced at the Triple-A level (29% strikeout rate).