It’s prospect list season once again. Today we are looking at the #16-20 spots on the 2023 Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List. Each day this week we will unveil five new spots on the list as we work our way through the Top 25 Prospects heading into the 2023 season.  If you were supporting the site on Patreon you would have gotten the entire Top 25 list last week and had early access to this, and plenty of other benefits for your patronage. Click here to see what all you can get for helping keep the site alive and kicking via support through Patreon.

A reminder that these write ups will not feature full scouting reports. Those will be included with the Season Reviews, which will start next week – first working my way through the Top 25 prospects before then branching out into another 25-50 interesting prospects through the remainder of the offseason.

*To be eligible for the list a player must have 2023 Rookie of the Year eligibility (Fewer than 130 at bats in the big leagues, fewer than 50 innings pitched, or less than 45 days on the active MLB roster)*

All ages listed are as of April 1st, 2023

11. Brandon Williamson | LHP | Age: 24

2022 Teams: Chattanooga Lookouts, Louisville Bats | Acquired: 2nd Round 2019 draft (Mariners), Trade (March 2022)  | Height: 6′ 6″ | Weight: 210 lbs

What to like: When he’s at his best he shows three quality offerings, including a plus breaking ball and he’ll throw plenty of strikes. When he’s in the strikezone he limits hits and power – in 2022 batters hit just .246 against him and slugged just .376.

What he must work on: Consistency, and in several areas. His control took a big step backwards in 2022 as he walked 77 batters in 122.2 innings. It wasn’t just his control that was inconsistent, though, his stuff was inconsistent throughout the season, too.

Video

Stats

12. Ricardo Cabrera | SS | Age: 18

2022 Teams: DSL Reds | Acquired: International FA 2022 | Height: 5′ 11″ | Weight: 178 lbs

What to like: One of the top prospects in the 2022 international signing class and the Reds top signing from the class, Cabrera looked good in his professional debut after struggling for the first couple of weeks. He also showed improved defense as the season went along.

What he must work on: He spent the 2022 season as a 17-year-old, so as you’d imagine with most everyone that age – he has to work on just about every aspect of his game.

13. Jay Allen II | OF | Age: 20

2022 Teams: Daytona Tortugas, Dayton Dragons | Acquired: 1st Round 2021 Draft  | Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 190 lbs

What to like: He’s an athletic outfielder who has the potential to do a little bit of everything on the field. He stole 43 bases in 91 games between Daytona and Dayton this past season and he walked at a good rate.

What he must work on: He struggled to hit for both average and power in 2022, posting a .225 average and a .324 slugging percentage during the season. Hitting the ball with more authority, consistently is probably the biggest area he will need to work on.

Video

Stats

14. Andrew Abbott | LHP | Age: 23

2022 Teams: Dayton Dragons, Chattanooga Lookouts | Acquired: 2nd Round 2021 Draft  | Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 180 lbs

What to like: After spending three years as a reliever at Virginia, Abbott moved to a starter as a senior and was outstanding. That continued after he was drafted in 2021 and into the first month of 2022 when he dominated in Dayton. He’s got several average or better offerings when he’s at his best. The lefty also tends to throw plenty of strikes.

What he must work on: Consistency. After arriving in Double-A Chattanooga he was very prone to go from cruising to giving up a big inning to the opponents. In the first six starts and the final three starts of the season he posted a 0.37 ERA in 48.2 innings. In the middle 16 games he posted an ERA of 6.23. Finding a way to be a little more consistent would go a long way for the lefty.

Video

Stats

15. Rece Hinds | OF | Age: 22

2022 Teams: Dayton Dragons, Chattanooga Lookouts | Acquired: 2nd Round 2019 Draft  | Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 215 lbs

What to like: He has some of the best raw power in the minors, plenty of speed, is athletic, and has a big time arm that’s transitioned well with his move from third base to the outfield. In 2022 he stole 13 bases and had 28 extra-base hits in 79 games played – missing two months after breaking his hamate bone midseason.

What he must work on: Making contact. Hinds struck out in 38.8% of his plate appearances in 2022, and it’s been a little higher in the AFL through 17 games, too. There’s likely going to be plenty of strikeouts in his game, but he’s going to need to find a way to cut down on the strikeouts moving forward.

Video

Stats

Click here to see the rest of the list

30 Responses

  1. Tom

    Hinds seems like one of the prospects that scouts love that eventually pulls through despite their numbers during development. It doesn’t always work that way but when it does the wind in the sails was from the scouts and talent evaluators.

  2. Tom

    11 through 25 on this list feels very dynamic in the sense that by mid season 11 could be 25th and 25th could be 11.

    Overall so far I’d like the depth of potential in the farm system. A lot of youth. At this point they all have much to work on to reach us starting lineup in the major leagues. I’m sure the top 10 will yield a lot of promise and potential.

  3. MBS

    It’s crazy Williamson was a top 100 prospect, and is sitting at #11 on the list here. Even with a down year, you’d still guess top 10. We’ve got a very deep system. I’d love to see him Abbott and Stoudt make the Reds at some point this season. Obviously there would have to be some improvement from this trio.

    • Jonathan Linn

      I think he could end up being a #5 SP by mid season. You?

      • MBS

        Maybe, He’s seemed to be Lodolo lite when we traded for him. MLB prospect rankings has him with a 60 Fastball and a 60 Curveball. If his control improves that’s a good combo. Also the fact that some of the guys ahead of him might graduate from the list could help to.

      • Optimist

        Yes – all the classic signs, LH with late development, inconsistency, size, etc.. Get 10-12 starts in AAA, then spot starts or a callup after the break, long relief in Sept.. Do NOT make him a reliever.

        Much the same for Stoudt, though he is closer to converting to relief to find a role.

        Phillips, Petty and Abbott are right behind him.

        By the end of next year they will have plenty of young SP depth with extended experience at AA-AAA. Time to sort it out.

      • MBS

        @jonathan Ha, just reread your comment, I thought you said #5 prospect. I do think Williamson and Stoudt will both gets shots at a starting role. Only time will tell if either can keep it.

  4. SultanofSwaff

    I’d have Abbott higher than Williamson. Imo the probability of Abbott sticking as a back of the rotation starter makes him more valuable than a guy with better stuff but seemingly destined for the bullpen because he can’t throw strikes consistently.

    Big fan of Jay Allen.

    I’d make Hinds available if I’m making trades. His ceiling seems to be a BB/K/HR outcome guy…..let some other team dream on him and assign more value right now than maybe is there in the future. Same goes for Austin Hendrick, whom it appears won’t make the top 25 (Doug is selling low! lol). I’m curious why a #12 overall pick who has the same issues as Hinds at the same level and age gets left off.

    • Scott

      BB/K/HR for Hinds? Look again at his stats, not BB. Major Power/high K’s/Strong Arm/Good speed and hasn’t played a full season yet due to injuries. So, a full season with all those reps will tell a better story.

  5. MK

    Excited to see the improvement from Abbott at the close of the season.At a time you would think fatigue would be showing up he became more dominate. He would not be the first to struggle in AA but few make the adjustments so fast. He could be a dark horse for 2023.

    • DaveCT

      That was impressive. Fits his profile of having a pretty good pitching IQ, too.

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    Well, Just 10 prospects left at this point. I wonder if Bryce Bonnin, Christian Roa and others that recently were ranked actually made this list. I guess aside EDLC, Cam Collier, N.Marte and McLain, should be included Stewart, Stoudt, Steer, Encarnación-Strand in the top 10…

  7. Stock

    Here is where I start to differ from Doug. I have Williamson at 30 on my prospect list. He would be higher if I knew he was attempting to pitch through an injury last year. Since I don’t the 9K/9IP coupled with 5.6 BB/9IP does not work for me. It is easy to say this is a double standard based upon yesterday’s Joe Boyle comments. Williamson’s 8% K% – BB% just does not work for me.

    Joe Boyle is a unique prospect though. Doug stated yesterday that there are 10,000 pitchers who give up 7 BB/9 and never make the majors. I went through every minor league team for 2022 and created a list using these criteria:

    1. Starting pitcher: More than 50% of appearances must be as a SP.
    2. 6.2 BB/9IP or more
    3. ERA less than 3.50
    4. At least 63 IP in their league

    The list of pitchers that met these criteria:
    1. Joe Boyle: 2.17 ERA, 74.2 IP, 7.11BB/9

    I then added players I know met these criteria:
    2. Randy Johnson 1986: 3.16 ERA, 119.2 IP, 7.07 BB/9 IP
    3. Nolan Ryan 1966: 2.36 ERA, 202 IP, 6.2 BB/9

    I then decided to do a further review. I went through the Midwest league stats as far back as I could go. Here is the list of players who met this criteria in the Midwest league beginning in 2005 through 2022.

    1. Joe Boyle: 2.17 ERA, 74.2 IP, 7.11BB/9

    Three players came close and all three pitched in the majors:

    1. Blake Snell 2013: 4.23 ERA, 99 IP, 6.6 BB/9
    2. Sean Reid-Foley 2015: 3.63ERA, 63.3 IP, 6.1 BB/9
    3. Henry Owens 2017: 3.91ERA, 69 IP, 7.8 BB/9

    All three were top 100 prospects. All three were starting pitchers in the majors and Snell has a Cy Young. Henry Owens should probably be excluded but included him for full disclosure. He was pitching in the majors prior to his demotion in 2017 after he got the yips and could not throw strikes.

    60% (or 80% if you exclude Owens) of the players finished in the top 2 of the Cy Young and top 15 in MVP. This is pretty good company. If you went through all of the other minor league seasons back through 2005 you could possibly find as many 10 other players who met this criteria. All that said Joe Boyle is in pretty select company.

    • Stock

      I just went through the Southern League from 2005 – 2022 and no pitcher met the criteria.

      • patrick

        Well I guy like this was Bobby Witt but he spent little time in minors.
        11 bb 10k in AA 6.43 era 6.5 h
        thebaseballcube website has older stats

    • Doug Gray

      Here’s the problem with your search criteria: It misses guys who played (or went to college as players) who had terrible control and never figured it out and never made it to the professional side of things. There are so many guys like that.

      • Stock

        Any player I left off my list was either never successful in the minors or the team did not have the confidence in him to use him as a SP.

        My point is Joe Boyle has a major control problem but his stuff is so good that in spite of this he was the pitcher of the year in our system. These other players who sucked and did not make it don’t have the stuff Boyle does.

        It is not like I pegged my stats so Boyle makes it and others don’t. I did not set my ERA limit at 2.25. I set it at 3.50.

        I am looking for players that were successful in spite of their control. That is how I categorize Boyle. If a player is successful in spite of his control he has a chance to be a stud if he figures it out.

        If a player stinks and has no control there is a good chance that his stuff is not good enough to make the show even if he obtains control. I am not concerned about these players. Many of these would suck in the minors even if the developed average control. Joe Boyle should not be compared to them.

      • Doug Gray

        You are starting with a solution and looking for data to back it up. That’s not how one should look at data.

      • Doug Gray

        And if a players control stinks but they are still a professional, then you can bet that there’s a good chance they’ve got plenty of stuff because teams don’t keep guys around with ok or bad stuff if they walk a bunch of guys.

      • Stock

        Whenever I have data in excel that I need to tell me something, I start with the solution (hypothesis) and build the spread to help me determine if my solution (hypothesis) is correct.

        I remember clearly learning in science that you make a hypothesis and then verify it using science. Only difference in the business world is you verify your hypothesis using data.

    • Doug Gray

      Oh, and you continue to ignore things like you did with Blake Snell and a bunch of guys yesterday: They had one outlier season with a high walk rate. Blake Snell had a fine walk rate every single year of his career except for one.

      Joe Boyle has never had anything but atrociously bad walk rates everywhere he’s ever pitched.

      You simply are not actually finding comparable pitchers.

      • Stock

        I think Ryan and RJ qualify as comparable pitchers.

        Snell has a career BB/9 of 4.0. He followed up 2013’s 6.6 BB/9 with a 4.4 BB/9 in 2014. Well below average especially for #1 or #2 SP.

        I picked Snell out because he approached the criteria I set out.

        My criteria is SP who are successful in spite of a BB% greater than 6.2/9.

        It makes no sense to compare Boyle to a pitcher who walked 7 per 9 and has an ERA of 10. By only comparing Boyle to others with control problems who are successful makes sense to me. The question is what ERA do you draw the line? I chose 3.50. You could have chosen 4 and not changed much.

        I excluded reliever’s because the organization that moved the player to the pen in the minors has conceded he is not a ML SP because teams (and you) live by the rule to keep them in the rotation until they prove they can’t start at the ML level.

      • Stock

        Where is Zack Wheeler’s one year blip? Looks to me like he made steady progress every year. You are making it sound like Zack Wheeler’s progress from 2017 to 2018 is not due to his improvement in 2018 but rather that he had a bad year in 2017. The stats agree with me here.

        2010: 5.8
        2011: 4.1
        2012: 3.6
        2013: 3.8
        2014: 3.8
        2015: DNP
        2016: Pitched 1 inning
        2017: 4.2
        2018: 2.7
        2019: 2.3
        2020: 2.0

        Same with Snell. The data on Snell above is in his first season of full season ball. Complex league stats are not as accurate (see Joe Boyle’s Complex league BB%).

      • Doug Gray

        When the heck did Zack Wheeler ever have control problems that remotely resemble those of Boyle? What I’m saying to you is that A guy like Wheeler is not at all remotely a comparison for Boyle because his control was multiple levels better at the very start and in just one season he had was it even bad.

        I can’t believe we’re trying to discuss Ian Snell as some comparison to Joe Boyle. His minor league walk rate was 2.6 batters per 9 innings. Joe Boyle’s is 3 times that high.

        Again, for the 100th time: You keep bringing up players who improved their control as some sign that Boyle can do it, but aren’t finding guys who had anywhere near the poor ability to throw strikes that Boyle has consistently shown since he was a college freshman. You are finding guys that had so-so control who improved it, not guys who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn kind of control.

      • Stock

        I have no idea where you get Ian Snell. Blake Snell was the one who walked 6.6 per nine innings in his first season of full season ball.

      • Stock

        I never said Zach Wheeler’s BB% resembled Boyle’s. Yesterday I stated that Wheeler, Kershaw, Darvish and others came into the league as good pitchers but dramatically improved when they lowered their BB%. Go back and read my post if you like.

        Hard to deny that the players I mentioned did not improve when they lowered their BB%. Additionally, logic dictates if you improve your BB% you should improve your ERA.

  8. Optimist

    The more I follow this thread, the more I come back to Dalkowski – Boyle apparently has a much, much better second pitch, and likely much better developmental support generally, but the numbers are very similar – I haven’t done the BRef research, but there must be a few other outrageously super-stuff prospects out there, with one enormous flaw, other than Sidd Finch.

    Dalkowski was right at the edge of MLB when the injury struck. They need to avoid the injury with Boyle, and he may be there by the end of this season.

  9. Redsvol

    Boyle intrigues me- I’ve never seen a pitcher with such poor control that also gave up so few runs.

    I’ve never seen how Boyle pitch other than some clips that show his good performance. Anyone in here seen him in a full game? Is he just missing the zone or is he well outside of it? Seems like if he’s just missing that one could make an argument that he could lower his walk rate to become passable (4 bb per 9 up).

    I guess I see both sides of the debate.