Thanks to Nasty N8's suggestion, here's part one of a two part series, catching you up on how the Top 25 prospects from our Community Prospect Rankings have fared so far this year:
1. Billy Hamilton - CF
2012 Stats: .311/.410/.420, 22 2B, 2 HR, 155 SB in Bakersfield/Pensacola
2013 Stats: .248/.316/.330, 8 2B, 2 HR, 30 SB in Louisville
Like many of the Reds farmhands, Cool Papa Bill started off the year mired in a slump. After an outstanding 2012, Billy stumbled out of the gate in 2013, slashing .205/.278/.307 in the month of April. His May numbers look much better, .280/.344/.347, but still not on par with where he finished last year. By all accounts, he looks to be taking the center field transition very well, and he's on pace for another 100+ stolen base season, but those aspects of his game were never in doubt all that much. With Hamilton, the concern was always whether or not his bat would play at the MLB level. I think we should exercise some patience before starting to worry about Billy, as he's been rather unlucky this year, sporting a .292 BABIP, which is way too low for someone with his speed.
2. Robert Stephenson - RHP
2012 Stats: 3.18 ERA, 65 IP, 72 K, 23 BB, 1.185 WHIP in Billings/Dayton
2013 Stats: 3.32 ERA, 59.2 IP, 77 K, 16 BB, 1.089 WHIP in Dayton
I think we've got a good one here, you guys. Aside from a rough outing in April, where he gave up 6 ER in 2.2 IP, Bob Steves has been slicing up eyeballs in Dayton. He has a 1.96 ERA in the month of May with a timber shivering 5.45 K/BB, and if he keeps this up, he might force the organization to move him up sooner rather than later. It will be interesting to see if the Reds elect to skip the pitcher's nightmare that is the Cal League and send him straight to Pensacola like they did with Daniel Corcino. Regardless of where he finishes the year, if he keeps his production close to this level, you may see him crack some Top 20 prospect lists come 2014.
3. Tony Cingrani - LHP
2012 Stats: 1.73 ERA, 146 IP, 172 K, 52 BB, 1.027 WHIP in Bakersfield/Pensacola
2013 Stats: 0.37 ERA, 24 IP, 40 K, 11 BB, 0.781 WHIP in Louisville
3.27 ERA, 33 IP, 41 K, 9 BB, 1.030 WHIP in Cincinnati
Tony Spaghetti (Hoo Wee!) has definitely silenced the doubters this year, myself included. The third round draft pick out of Rice has been damn near untouchable in Louisville, allowing only 1 run, holding opposing hitters to a .103 average, and striking out 14.79 batters per 9 innings. Cingrani filled in admirably for Johnny Cueto when he went down, and it looks like he's ready to be a full time member of the Reds starting rotation next season. His heavy reliance on his fastball is a bit concerning, but that fastball is a hell of a pitch, and if he can refine his breaking ball in Louisville, look out.
4. Daniel Corcino - RHP
2012 Stats: 3.01 ERA, 143.1 IP, 126 K, 65 BB, 1.228 WHIP in Pensacola
2013 Stats: 7.53 ERA, 43 IP, 32 K, 27 BB, 2.093 WHIP in Louisville
Welp, it appears Lil' Cueto has become Lil' Volquez. Everything about Corcino's season has been horrific at this point. His K rate is down, his BB rate is up, and he's seen more wangers than Raven Riley did in her last picture. If there isn't some sort of injury that he's not reporting, he might need to try and simplify his somewhat sloppy mechanics in order to regain his control. He's only 22 years old, so there is still time for him to figure things out.
5. Jesse Winker - OF
2012 Stats: .338/.443/.500, 62 games, 16 2B, 5 HR in Billings
2013 Stats: .305/.410/.511, 48 games, 9 2B, 7 HR in Dayton
Jesse Winker turned in one of the best performances by a teenager that the Pioneer League has seen since Prince Fielder posted a 1.209 OPS in 2002. The Teenage Riot has picked right up where he left off last year, showing even more pop by trading some doubles for dingers. His walk rate has remained steady around 14%, and he's actually lowered his K% so far this season. Winker won't turn 20 until August, but he already looks like one of the best pure hitters in the system, and he could climb the minor league ladder rather quickly.
6. J.J. Hoover - RHP
Hoover has been up with the big league club the entire year, and in hindsight it was kind of silly to put him on this prospect list. He doesn't suck.
7. Nick Travieso - RHP
2012 Stats: 4.71 ERA, 21 IP, 14 K, 5 BB, 1.190 WHIP in Arizona
2013 Stats: N/A
Naughty Nick just got the call up from extended spring training and looks to make his first start of the year in Dayton on Monday night.
8. Henry Rodriguez - IF
2012 Stats: .282/.310/.370, 89 games, 17 2B, 5 HR, 8 SB in AZ/Pensacola/Louisville
2013 Stats: .262/.311/.359, 52 games, 11 2B, 3 HR, 2 SB in Louisville
Hank Rod started out hot in 2012, OPSing .824 in Pensacola, but saw a hand injury sap his power and drag down his overall numbers. As did his teammate Billy Hamilton, Hank struggled mightily in April before turning it on of late, slashing .295/.339/.420 in May. He has yet to play a game in the outfield in his pro career, he doesn't have the defensive chops to play SS in the majors, and with BP, Frazier and Hannahan blocking him next year, I wonder if Walt may decide to shop Rodriguez at the deadline.
9. Yorman Rodriguez - OF
2012 Stats: .241/.274/.371, 88 games, 21 2B, 6 HR, 11 SB in Dayton/Bakersfield
2013 Stats: .220/.296/.409, 48 games, 12 2B, 7 HR, 5 SB in Bakersfield
If it feels like we've been waiting forever for Our Man to take the next step, it's because we have. This is his 5th season in the organization, but he's still not of legal drinking age yet. Yorman is having more success in Bakersfield than he did last season, but he's been scuffling a bit as of late, OPSing only .608 in May as opposed to .832 in April. He has already eclipsed his wanger total from last year, and he's hit 4 of 7 off RHP, which has been a bugaboo for Yorman most of his career. He's always going to be a high strikeout guy, but his walk rate is getting better, and his .274 BABIP suggests there is some room for improvement.
10. Kyle Lotzkar - RHP
2012 Stats: 4.55 ERA, 112.2 IP, 123 K, 63 BB, 1.438 WHIP in Bakersfield/Pensacola
2013 Stats: 7.63 ERA, 15.1 IP, 15 K, 14 BB, 2.217 WHIP in Bakersfield/Pensacola
TNSTAAPP is the moral of this story. Had we known at the time we were doing the rankings that the Hurt Lotzkar would end up being relegated to the bullpen to try and save his arm, he wouldn't have made it this high on the list. It's a shame to see injuries derail a career before it begins, but it's starting to look like that might be the case. Lotzkar started the year in the Pensacola pen, where he could not find the strike zone with a road map, walking 11 batters in 8.1 innings before being sent down to Bakersfield. He's looked much better there, sporting a 2.57 ERA with 7 K and 3 BB in 7 innings.
11. Ismael Guillon - LHP
2012 Stats: 2.38 ERA, 75.2 IP, 90 K, 31 BB, 1.216 WHIP in Billings/Dayton
2013 Stats: 7.16 ERA, 44 IP, 60 K, 49 BB, 2.045 WHIP in Dayton
After a breakout year in 2012, Ismael Guillon has been haunted by walks so far this season. The southpaw needs to figure things out quickly, as his unique contract status has him running out of time. When Guillon was originally signed, it was found out that he needed Tommy John surgery, the Reds voided his original contract and signed him to a cheaper second contract. This means that he was immediately eligible for the Rule 5 draft, and the Reds protected him by putting him on the 40-man roster this offseason. Therefore, every year he starts the season in the minors, he will burn an option. Guillon is striking out 12.3 batters per nine innings, which is great, but he's allowed more free passes than innings pitched and that's caused him to have a Moby Dick sized ERA.
12. Dan Langfield - RHP
2012 Stats: 2.68 ERA, 37 IP, 54 K, 17 BB, 1.189 WHIP in Billings
2013 Stats: N/A
Dan "Rodney" Langfield has been rehabbing a shoulder injury that he first felt back in January. He's started long tossing, but is still a month or so away from returning. Langfield should join the Dayton rotation later this year, barring any setbacks.
13. Tanner Rahier - 3B
2012 Stats: .192/.266/.311, 51 games, 9 2B, 4 HR, 5 SB in Arizona
2013 Stats: .221/.270/.412, 35 games, 5 2B, 6 HR, 0 SB in Dayton
Tanner Rahier is starting to get his footing after a rough start to the year. The 19 year old found his power stroke in May, slugging .471 with 5 dingers this past month. DJ Tanner could stand to learn a lesson from Uncle Jesse on patience, as Rahier has drawn only 5 walks in only 141 plate appearances.
Tune in next weekend as Weezy rounds out the rest of the Top 25.