The crew over at Baseball America has released their new Top 30 Prospects for each organization in the National League Central Division. The Cincinnati Reds list saw some movement on it, with some big movement upward from a few infielders in the system. You can see the entire list here – but a subscription is required.

Spencer Steer was the only player who was on the list in the spring who spent enough time in the big leagues to this point to graduate from prospect list eligibility (in the case of Baseball America that would be 130 big league at-bats for a career or 50 innings pitched for a career). Steer was the only player to exit the list. The player who joined the list from the unranked was TJ Hopkins, who is now in the big leagues with the Reds after a strong start to the year in Triple-A with Louisville.

The biggest rise on the list comes from Lyon Richardson. The 2018 2nd round draft pick missed all of 2022 after having Tommy John surgery. He’s come out strong this season – while being limited on his pitch counts – and psoted a 2.06 ERA in 12 starts between Daytona (three starts) and Double-A Chattanooga (nine starts). He’s struck out 50 batters with 15 walks in his 35.0 innings, but in Double-A he’s had 14 walks with 32 strikeouts in 26.0 innings (and a 2.42 ERA). His performance, and improvement in his stuff since 2021, has led to him jumping 17 spots and up to #11 on the list.

Outfielder Hector Rodriguez and infielder Matt McLain also made big jumps. McLain, now in the big leagues with the Reds, led the minor leagues in OPS with a 1.181 mark for Triple-A Louisville before he was called up. Improved contact rates, more power, and just an incredible start to the year pushed him into the top five. Rodriguez, who has gone from a guy who reportedly had little-to-no-power to a guy who has led the league in homers most of the season (he’s currently in second) and currently leads the league in slugging, has changed the way he’s viewed in his age 19 season. He’s jumped up 11 spots in the rankings.

Carlos Jorge, like Rodriguez, is also in Daytona and has made a big jump in the rankings. All he’s done is rake at every level and now that he’s once again doing it in full season ball he’s climbing the rankings again. Jorge is hitting .301/.399/.477 and is in the top 10 in the league in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, and stolen bases. That’s pushed him into the top 10.

There are also a few interesting “falls”. Christian Encarnacion-Strand fell a spot in the rankings, but actually improved his overall ranking as he’s gone from not being a Top 100 prospect before the season to being one now. Andrew Abbott simply jumped ahead of him. Connor Phillips, who is leading minor league baseball with 101 strikes (Andrew Abbott is the only other minor league player with 90), dropped three spots, and it’s more like four because Spencer Steer graduated. That’s one of the more interesting movements on the list for me.

Editors Note: I write for Baseball America, covering the Cincinnati Reds farm system. I am not consulted for their prospect rankings.

About The Author

Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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10 Responses

  1. RedsGettingBetter

    How many top 100 prospects could The Reds make in the next lists? I know they already have 7 in the Baseball America’s but that number might increase so would we talk about 10 top 100 prospects is possible? There are new names that we should keep an eye on as Duno, Soriano, Cabrera, Sanchez…The 2023 draft maybe brings another couple of top prospects…Of course , it is likely that McLain, Abbott and even EDLC are going to graduate this year….

  2. DaveCT

    Note for Doug. JJ Cooper addressed and broke down chronological CES’ swing rate(s) on pitches out of the zone in yesterday’s BA Hot Sheet Chat. Now I need you to interpret it for a 6th grade brain …

    • MK

      Dave don’t sell yourself short. 8th grade at least:)

  3. Zach

    Doug- I’m guessing they probably didn’t include Phillips two most recent starts in their analysis. If he continues to perform like the last 2 weeks, he’ll be a top 100 prospect before years end.

  4. DaveCT

    Very, very, very interesting tidbit from the BA article, the idea of moving CES to a corner OF spot, given his average defense, especially when compared with his elite infield peers in the system. That (getting beaten out of an infield position/playing himself out of the infield), combined with his rifle cannon of an arm, and he could head to RF for the next many years and just mash away.

    • DaveCT

      And just like that, CES in RF tonight down in Louisville.

  5. AMDG

    Doug,

    Aren’t you supposed to provide us your BA login username & password so we can read the articles you reference???

    :-)

  6. Redsvol

    I love the #’s the Louisville minor leaguers are putting up – and believe that CES will be a very good major leaguer one day. However, there are 5 non-Louisville players with OPS over 1.0. Four are still playing for their minor league teams with 1 just recently called up by St. Louis. Also there are a further 10 hitting over .900 OPS.

    Now either;
    a) there is a phenomenal level of hitting talent in the IL
    b) the pitching is absolutely horrible.
    and c) the front offices of the other MLB teams with IL clubs don’t believe the hitting in the IL will translate to the MLB level.

    Hopefully CES’s hitting will translate to the big league level but it does make me wonder……