Cincinnati Reds 2020 Midseason Top 30 Prospects Update
STATE OF THE SYSTEM
After the graduation of Nick Senzel and trades—like the three-team deal that sent OF Taylor Trammell to San Diego and brought in RHP Trevor Bauer—to try and help the big league club compete now, Cincinnati’s system is one of the weakest in baseball, thinning out quickly after a few exciting but far away prospects.
1. Austin Hendrick, OF
Hendrick ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the 2020 draft class thanks to massive raw power and some of the best pure bat speed we’ve seen in recent years. He has plenty to prove obviously, but comes with significant upside as a classic, middle-of-the-order right field profile.
2. Hunter Greene, RHP
Some in the Reds front office believe Greene is the most talented prospect in the system, but he comes with significant risk after not having pitched in a game since July, 2018. He’s fully healthy now after Tommy John surgery, but needs to show everything is back in-game. Top-of-the-rotation upside remains.
3. Nick Lodolo, LHP
The most polished player at the top of Cincinnati’s prospect list, Lodolo was invited to the team’s secondary training camp after he cruised in his professional debut to the tune of a 2.45 ERA and 30-to-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the low minors. He should be a fast-mover.
4. Jonathan India, 2B/3B
India’s natural position is third base, and that’s where he spent the bulk of his time during the 2019 season, but the Reds are expected to play him more at second base moving forward where he has all the tools to defend the position adequately and be an offensive-minded player.
5. Tyler Stephenson, C
Stephenson has been one of the most impressive players in Reds minicamp this summer. After injuries slowed his first two years in pro ball, he’s made steady progress over the last two years on both sides of the ball, with solid production with the bat in Double-A and a short Arizona Fall League stint in 2019. Stephenson received his first big league callup when 2B Mike Moustakas was placed on the 10-day injured list.
6. Tony Santillan, RHP
A missed season hurts for Santillan, who struggled to stay healthy and throw strikes in 2019 and was looking to establish more consistency in 2020 and finally make the break through to Triple-A. At his best he has the look of a middle or back-of-the-rotation starter.
7. Jose Garcia, SS
Along with Stephenson, Garcia has opened the most eyes in camp for the Reds this summer and has a chance to jump to the top of Cincinnati’s system with continued performance. He was likely ready for Double-A in 2019 after hitting .280/.343/.436 in high Class A Daytona, but the Reds opted to move him slowly.
8. Shogo Akiyama, OF
A career .301/.376/.454 hitter over nine seasons with the Seibu Lions in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league, the 32-year-old Akiyama will have an immediate impact with the Reds this season in the outfield and likely at the top of the lineup.
9. Lyon Richardson, RHP
Cincinnati was looking for Richardson to take a jump this season and while that won’t be the case in game looks, he’s reportedly pitching 95-97 in workouts and spinning a plus slider. It’s easier for pitchers to develop in workout environments than hitters, and that seems to be the case with the athletic Richardson.
10. Stuart Fairchild, OF
Fairchild was invited to the Reds’ secondary training camp after making several nice adjustments at the plate in 2019, which helped him improve his timing and cut down his strikeouts, while playing all three outfield spots in Double-A Chattanooga.
11. Mike Siani, OF
12. Jameson Hannah, OF
13. Christian Roa, RHP
14. Rece Hinds, 3B
15. Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP
16. Tyler Callihan, 3B/2B
17. Jackson Miller, C
18. Michel Triana, 1B
19. Noah Davis, RHP
20. Packy Naughton, LHP
21. T.J. Friedl, OF
22. Joel Kuhnel, RHP
23. Bryce Bonnin, RHP
24. Yan Contreras, SS
25. Jared Solomon, RHP
26. Tejay Antone, RHP
27. Ivan Johnson, SS/2B
28. Hendrik Clementina, C
29. Graham Ashcraft, RHP
30. Jacob Heatherly, LHP
It’s hard to pin down one specific strength in Cincinnati’s system, but the top of the group has a lot of potential and balance. OF Shogo Akiyama and 2B/3B Jonathan India should be able to show their stuff this year, and guys like Nick Lodolo and Tyler Stephenson might not be as far away as they would be in a normal season. RHP Hunter Greene’s return from Tommy John surgery is a major wild card. If he can show stuff similar to his pre-surgery form, the system could get a huge boost.
Cincinnati’s system, frankly, is not very deep. The group drops off quickly after the Top 10, but additions like 2020 first-round OF Austin Hendrick (the system’s new No. 1) will go a long way toward helping the Reds climb back up the ranks.
PLAYER POOL TIDBITS
Just two players on Cincinnati’s top 30 prospects were in the team’s Great American Ballpark training camp—Shogo Akiyama and Joel Kuhnel—with most of the club’s top 10 prospects instead working out at the alternate Prasco Park site.
RHP Joel Kuhnel has been dealing with shoulder soreness this summer and is day-to-day.