2013 Community Prospect Rankings: Robert Stephenson Makes Other Players Walk the Plank, Plunders #2 Spot

Breathe easy, Bryan. Big arms on the way. - Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

High upside trumps major league closeness

With 66% of the vote, teenage dirtbag fireballer Robert Stephenson is your Cincinnati Reds Number Two prospect. Though there was some heated debate as to whether or not he deserved the top spot over Billy Hamilton, most would agree that they're 1 & 2, with a smattering of Cingrani love mixed in. Couple new faces on the list this time 'round. Let's get to it, shall we?

Highest 2012 Level: MLB
Eye-Poppingest Fact:
.824 OPS before getting hurt in 2012
Most Worrisome Fact: Career high walk rate of 8%; usually hovers between 5 and 6.5%
Aliases: Hank-Rod; H-Rod; Hank the Tank; Sugar Man
Best Case Scenario: Martin Prado with a tick less defense, perhaps?

By now, most of you have heard of Henry Rodriguez. He moved from second to third base after the Brandon Phillips extension, and it looks to be a plus for his defensive abilities. A switch hitter, Hank-Rod has a very good hit tool, and though he doesn't strike out a ton, scouts worry he might be a bit too batting-average dependent since he doesn't take a lot of walks either. He struggled in AAA last year after returning from a hand injury, but he was absolutely tearing up AA before he got hurt, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. His .244 / .264 / .333 post-injury line is the clear anomaly in his stats (plus it was his first taste of AAA). He's also a good baserunner, despite average speed.

Highest 2012 Level:
AA (Pensacola Blue Wahoos)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Career LOW K/9 of 9.8
Most Worrisome Fact: Injury-prone; walked 13.5% of batters faced in AA
Aliases: Lotzkar of the Hill People; That Other Canadian
Best Case Scenario: Man, this one is tough. Let's dream on health and command and say solid 2/3 starter.

Lotzkar is somehow only 23 years old, despite being drafted in the supplemental first round in 2007 (bonus trivia question: who was the free agent the Reds let go to get Lotzkar's comp pick?). 2012 was Kyle's first injury-free season, during which he threw a career high 112.2 innings between A and AA. Despite flashes of brilliance and a healthy K-rate of 24.4%, Lotzkar struggled with control for the Wahoos, walking 53 in just over 83 innings. His fastball is plus, and his slider is above-average when he can control it, but yucky mechanics (causing all the injuries) and lack of a true third pitch could see him destined for the pen. There's a lot to like, but a lot of question marks too. Hopefully, he can get his control together while maintaining that awesome K-rate and stay healthy again.


Highest 2012 Level: Rookie League (AZL Reds)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Has hit 97-99 on the gun as a teenager
Most Worrisome Fact: TNSTAASPP, very raw pitcher, will take a long time to develop
Aliases: Do we have any yet?
Best Case Scenario: Solid number two starter.

Highest 2012 Level: Rookie League (Billings Mustangs)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .943 OPS in his first taste of professional ball
Most Worrisome Fact: Lack of home run power
Aliases: Uncle Jesse, Rip Van Winker, Jesse "Brown Eye" Winker, The Fonz
Best Case Scenario: Yonder Alonso in the outfield

Highest 2012 Level:
AA (Pensacola Blue Wahoos)
Eye Poppingest Fact: 1.23 WHIP
Most Worrisome Fact: 4.1 BB/9
Aliases: Lil Cueto; Cuetinho; Corcinogen
Best Case Scenario: Diet Johnny Cueto

Highest 2012 Level:
Eye Poppingest Fact: No professional K/9 below 10
Most Worrisome Fact:
Lack of a third pitch
Aliases: The Strikeout Swami; Tony the Cingrificent; SinGranny
Best Case Scenario: #3 starter with flashes of brilliance

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