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TRACK RECORD: From the day he arrived at Tennessee, Senzel showed he was special. He batted cleanup for the Volunteers from his first game as a freshman, starred for three years there and in the Cape Cod League and became the highest drafted player in school history. Senzel’s fast track to the big leagues has been slowed by position switches and ailments. Vertigo ended his 2017 season early. With Eugenio Suarez signed to an extension, the Reds tried Senzel at shortstop and second base in spring training 2018 before junking the shortstop plan when he reported to Triple-A Louisville. A further bout of vertigo cost Senzel much of May. A torn ligament in his throwing hand ended his season in late June. Elbow surgery for bone spurs ruined plans to send him to the Arizona Fall League.
SCOUTING REPORT: The Reds have moved Senzel around the field because they know his bat should play anywhere and he has the kind of easy athleticism that allows him to handle various defensive challenges. He features quick hands and a disciplined knowledge of the strike zone. A plus hitter, Senzel stays balanced with ease and stays short to the ball, allowing him to get the barrel on pitches in all areas of the strike zone. He makes consistent contact and has plus power that would profile at his natural position of third base. Senzel’s approach is aimed toward making hard contact to all fields. He is an above-average runner who runs the bases well. His good instincts and plus arm will be suited to play third base long term, but with that position manned by Suarez in Cincinnati, Senzel could pursue second base, center field or left field in the big leagues. He showed he can be at least an above-average defensive second baseman. Senzel tried both outfield spots at instructional league. His athleticism and understanding of the game should help him grow to be a solid defender at multiple positions.
THE FUTURE: While the Reds will play it safe with Senzel and his injury-riddled past, he should be playing in Cincinnati before long. His maturity and advanced approach both offensively and defensively should allow him to have an immediate impact on the big league club. When the Reds non-tendered Billy Hamilton, Senzel’s path to an outfield job in 2019 cleared, but second base is a logical landing spot once Scooter Gennett’s contract expired after the 2019 season.
TRACK RECORD: The second pick in the 2017 draft, Greene had a rough introduction to low Class A Dayton. He posted a 14.63 ERA in four April starts but turned around his season by throwing more strikes and getting better luck on balls in play. He had to be shut down in late July because of a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He resumed throwing off a mound in mid-December and is expected to be full speed for spring training.
SCOUTING REPORT: Greene topped out at 103 mph in the Futures Game and regularly sat 97-100 in 2018. The righthander throws both a heavy two-seam fastball as well as a four-seamer. Evaluators have worried that Greene’s clean delivery and straight fastball make it too easy for opponents to pick up the ball out of his hand. His mid-80s slider has three-quarters break that features good plane and downward bite. It projects as a plus pitch. Greene has the arm action to be able to throw a future average changeup, but it’s generally his worst pitch and explains in part why lefties hit .298/.397/.567.
THE FUTURE: The Reds will be cautious with Greene, but if he shows he’s fully healthy in spring training, he’s ready for high Class A.
TRACK RECORD: A star running back in high school, Trammell has made a smooth transition to pro ball. He has hit at every level and he starred on the big stage in 2018, earning MVP honors at the Futures Game with a 2-for-2 game with a triple and a 438-foot home run. He ranked among the Florida State League leaders in on-base percentage and stolen bases.
SCOUTING REPORT: Trammell’s athleticism has helped him to be an impact player on both sides of the ball. He is a plus hitter. There will always be swing-and-miss to his game, but he gets to his power even with a simple setup that allows him to stay balanced at the plate. Trammell doesn’t try to do too much, making the most of his skill set while understanding game situations. A strong upper body and quick hands will develop into above-average power in the future. Trammell is a plus runner who is aggressive on the basepaths while also showing plus range in center field. He has improved his defensive play but has a below-average arm.
THE FUTURE: Trammell’s bat and athleticism should help him to be an offensive-minded, first-division outfielder before too long. He fits best in center field, but his bat could profile in left field if needed.
TRACK RECORD: India was part of one the best high school infields ever. At American Heritage High in Delray Beach, Fla., he played with Tyler Frank (a Rays second-round pick) and $6 million signee Lucius Fox. Drafted fifth overall in 2018, India blasted 21 home runs as a junior after hitting 10 home runs in his first two years combined.
SCOUTING REPORT: Coming from a top college program, India has a advanced hitting skills and a polished defensive approach. The game doesn’t speed up on him, and he controls his at-bats like a veteran. He has a sound setup at the plate, allowing him to sync up his lower and upper halves. His above-average power and above-average hit tool are excellent fits at third base. His footwork and average arm are stretched at shortstop, where he played some in his pro debut, but he can be an above-average defender at second or third. India has average speed but isn’t a stolen base threat.
THE FUTURE: Nick Senzel jumped straight to high Class A in his first full pro season, and it makes sense for India to be on a similar timetable. The Reds will have to determine India’s ultimate position with Eugenio Suarez, Senzel and him all sharing similar defensive profiles. India’s bat should play regardless of position.
TRACK RECORD: Santillan geared down his fastball in 2018 and the decision yielded excellent results. He nearly halved his walk rate to 2.3 per nine innings in 2018, showing significantly improved control with little degradation in the quality of his stuff. Santillan has also proven durable. After throwing 128 innings in 2017, he tossed 149 more in 2018.
SCOUTING REPORT: Santillan has a big, athletic body and attacks hitters with an approach that is all about power—even his changeup is hard. There’s some effort to his delivery, but Santillan maintains his stuff for six to seven innings and throws strikes, projecting to have average control if not average command. His plus-plus fastball sits 94-98 mph with late life. It can be a heavy fastball that is difficult for hitters to square up. He works off his fastball with a future plus slider that has good plane and tight break, though it morphs into a cutter at times. While his firm 85-88 mph changeup lags behind the other two offerings, he does show some feel for it and throws it with deception and fade.
THE FUTURE: Santillan has put in the work to better control his front side. That improved control is important for him to reach his ceiling as a mid-rotation starter.
TRACK RECORD: The most important statistic for Stephenson in 2018 was his total of 97 games caught. His 2016 season was derailed by a concussion and sore left wrist, which ultimately required surgery. He missed much of the second half of 2017 with a sprained thumb. So he and the Reds were thrilled to see Stephenson lead the high Class A Florida State League in games caught, putouts and fielding percentage (.996).
SCOUTING REPORT: Stephenson’s big frame works behind the plate because of his strength and athleticism, though his size means he’s less nimble than a smaller backstop. He still has work to do with his game-calling. His arm grades out as plus, even though his footwork and release can hinder his throwing from time to time—he threw out 24 percent of basestealers in 2018. At the plate, Stephenson has the potential to be an average hitter with average power. His swing starts with a minor leg kick leading into a modest load of the hands before driving the barrel through the zone.
THE FUTURE: With a big arm and enough athleticism to play every day at catcher, Stephenson is one of the rare prospects who can contribute both offensively and defensively as a catcher.
TRACK RECORD: Long’s pro career got off to a slow start, but he took off at the plate once he moved from catcher to second base, where his athleticism plays better. He has steadily worked to improve his defense at second while consistently providing solid-average power and a discerning batting eye.
SCOUTING REPORT: Long is a bat-first player, using special bat speed and barrel manipulation to hit the ball to all fields. While he has had some issues with making consistent contact, his lefthanded bat shows signs of being above-average with future average power. His hands are very strong, which allows him to generate his bat speed. Long’s actions in the field need work, but his athleticism and average arm have helped him improve to the point where he’s a fringe-average defender. He is an average runner.
THE FUTURE: Long should see regular at-bats at Triple-A Louisville in 2019, when he will face pressure to produce because of a probable glut at second base in Cincinnati. The Reds’ deep inventory of infielders includes recent first-rounders Nick Senzel and Jonathan India, both of whom could be forced off third base to second base once Scooter Gennett leaves the Reds.
TRACK RECORD: Cincinnati signed Gutierrez for $4.7 million in September 2016. Since then, he has developed a little slower than expected for a pitcher with experience in Cuba’s top league, Serie Nacional. At the time of his signing, Gutierrez was seen as a potential power reliever, but he has proven to have more feel and a little less stuff than expected.
SCOUTING REPORT: Gutierrez isn’t overpowering but gets hitters out using an effective three-pitch mix that he throws form a three-quarters arm slot with future above-average control. His delivery adds some deception with a slight turn of his back before exploding toward the plate. His average fastball sits comfortably in the low 90s while touching 96 mph. He flashes a future above-average 12-to-6 curveball that ranges from 78-83 mph. It has very good break and he can land it for strikes while also bending it out of the strike zone. His low-80s changeup is also a solid-average pitch. It has deception and fade.
THE FUTURE: Gutierrez is ready for Triple-A Louisville. With his stuff and control, he has shown that he can reach the big leagues as a back-of-the-rotation starter in late 2019 or 2020.
TRACK RECORD: The Reds went over slot to ink Siani in 2018, signing him for $2 million—a full $1 million more than any other fourth-round pick. He highlighted his 2017 amateur season by helping USA Baseball win gold at the 18U World Cup. He showed a well-rounded game in his pro debut at Rookie-level Greeneville, hitting .288/.351/.386.
SCOUTING REPORT: For a recent high school pick, Siani shows an advanced understanding of the game, especially when he roams center field. He stays under control and shows poise. He gets a good first step on his reads and takes solid routes. He is very athletic, and it shows on both sides of the ball. Siani’s plus arm and speed make him a safe bet to remain in center field. He uses a small leg kick with minimal loading to stay short to the ball, though his contact ability suffers from a tendency to get big and swing for the fences. Siani’s bat is relatively well refined for a young hitter and he projects to have average productive power to go with an average bat.
THE FUTURE: Siani will head to low Class A Dayton in 2019. Center field is one of the thinnest positions in the Reds’ system, so the path is clear for his advancement. He’s more solid than spectacular, but he has few glaring flaws.
TRACK RECORD: Siri has long flashed exceptional tools that have been hindered by poor plate discipline. His 2018 season was more of the same. He started the season on the disabled list with a thumb injury after crashing into a wall during a spring training game, which affected his power early in his return. Siri earned a promotion to Double-A Pensacola, where he showed the plus tools that have long enticed scouts and the below-average approach that leads to too many empty at-bats.
SCOUTING REPORT: Siri is unlikely to ever be better than a below-average hitter as he tends to swing and miss outside of the strike zone–his 32.2 percent strikeout rate was among the worst in the Southern League. When he does make contact, he does drive the ball, which is why there is still reason for hope. Siri is an excellent defender and has a plus arm that will help him in center field. He is also a plus runner, which helps him to have good range in the outfield. His mentality is aggressive, as he is always looking to push the envelope and take the extra base when possible.
THE FUTURE: Siri saw his batting average and on-base percentage take a dip at Double-A, so it’s likely he returns there to get some more at-bats. But he should make it to Triple-A Louisville this year. Siri has the tools to be an everyday outfielder, but unless his selectivity improves he’s unlikely to live up to those hopes.
-- Reports written by Justin Coleman
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