With a whopping 74% of the vote, Billy Hamilton ran away with the number one spot. This is not the least bit surprising, though it very well may be wrong (/nods at KMiB). Snax is one of the most exciting and enigmatic prospects in all of baseball, and it should be a ton of fun watching him fine tune his skills in Louisville this year before his eventual center field takeover in 2014.
Two new names are added to the list today, both youngsters from this year's draft class. If there is anyone you'd like to see added to the list in the coming days, let us know in the comments.
JESSE WINKER, OF, 19
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
Winker was a supplemental first round pick for the Reds in 2012, and it's looking like a pretty good one so far. Despite facing older, more advanced competition, Uncle Jesse went out and posted one of the best years by a teenager in Pioneer League history. His line of .338/.443/.500 was awesomegoettaballs, but his plate disciplne (40 BB, 50 K) is incredible, and pretty unheard of for a teenager.
As of now, he's a corner outfielder, and I reckon that he'll be given every opportunity to stick there rather than moving to 1B. I imagine that he'll start the year in Dayton, and could make it to Bakersfield if all goes well. Regardless of where he ends up, his 2012 season has made him one of the top hitting prospects in the system.
NICK TRAVIESO, RHP, 18
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.
Travieso was seen as kind of a surprise pick for the Reds in the first round of last year's draft. He was not on any first round boards that I had seen floated around, but the Reds had scouted him heavily and apparently like what they saw enough to drop $2 million and a first round pick.
Travieso was a reliever until his senior year, when he made the switch to the rotation. He made a lot of progress his senior year with his command and mechanics, which buoyed his draft stock. His fastball, as mentioned above, has hit 97-99, but sits in the mid 90's, with an above average slider and a changeup that still needs refinement.
His AZL numbers were a bit pedestrian; 4.71 ERA, 1.190 WHIP, 6.0 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, but in a small 21 inning sample size. It will be interesting to see if he starts the year in Dayton, or if they keep his innings down and wait until the Billings season starts.