This was kind of a shock win, honestly. In years past, we've seen lists contain a good mix of high floor guys and high ceiling guys, but this one is trending clearly to the former. Most of you would prefer what's close to a finished product, even over guys on this list who have the possibility to develop into a top-of-the-rotation starter and into a 5-tool stud outfielder. That being said, I tend to like Soto more than most, and he's still relatively young enough to make improvements in the part of his game that's lacking right now, namely his plate discipline. Another interesting thing to point out with Soto is that if you're a diligent reader of Farmers Only, you'll remember a period of time where Neftali hit most of his home runs within the span of about a month, including a week or two when he went off. The question we'll have to answer is if he just suddenly figured something out or if he was just on a hot streak. He's likely headed to Louisville.
Another piece of news to pass along, John Sickels of SBN's excellent Minor League Ball site posted his Reds top prospect list. You can read about them here. I've also added Sickels' rankings to the choices too.
Two more choices added to the list today, vote accordingly.
Todd Frazier, UT, 26, BA-#7, Sickels-#8
(Louisville) .260/.340/.467/.807, 15 HR, 46 RBI
(Cincinnati) .232/.289/.437/.726, 6 HR, 15 RBI
Pros: Shown an ability to hit for power, lots of XBH too. Versatile on defense. Good clubhouse guy. Cool nickname and at-bat music.
Cons: Doesn't really have a set position, and isn't above average anywhere. Plate discipline is suspect.
Mariekson "DiDi" Gregorius, SS, 21, BA-#6, Sickels-#7
(Bakersfield) .303/.333/.457/.790, 5 HR, 28 RBI
(Carolina) .270/.312/.392/.704, 2 HR, 16 RBI
Pros: Excellent athlete, has the tools to be a well above average defensive SS. Very good contact skills.
Cons: Very aggressive plate approach, little in-game power so far. Still young, but needs his athleticism to translate into offensive numbers.
Henry Rodriguez, 2B, 22, BA-UR, Sickels-#10
(Bakersfield) .340/.378/.513/.891, 8 HR, 44 RBI
(Carolina) .302/.367/.432/.799, 5 HR, 37 RBI
Pros: Good contact hitter. Doesn't strike out a ton, and will grab you a few stolen bases.
Cons: Unfortunately, the defense. Doesn't walk much, very much a free swinger.
Yorman Rodriguez, OF, 19, BA-UR, Sickels-#9
(Dayton) .254/.318/.393/.711, 7 HR, 40 RBI
Pros: Tool shed--Chance for above average power, speed, contact skills, and defense.
Cons: Durability--has only played 122 games total the last 2 seasons. Very raw both at the plate and in the field.Very aggressive plate approach.
J.C. Sulbaran, RHP, 22, BA-#9, Sickels-#12
(Bakersfield) 4.60 ERA, 137 IP, 155 K, 50 BB, 1.39 WHIP
Pros: Very solid 3-pitch repertoire, with an above average FB and a solid CH and CU. Above average stuff leads to high Ks, and he significantly improved on his previously spotty control in 2011.
Cons: Some question about his unorthodox mechanics remain, although he smoothed them out in 2011. Somewhat of an injury history. Mainly, he needs to repeat his strong season in AA in 2012.
Robert Stephenson, RHP, 18, BA-#5, Sickels-#4
No Professional Stats
Pros: Good size, outstanding velocity (has hit 97), good control, and a potential plus curveball. Supposedly has a very good makeup.
Cons: As a high school pitcher with no pro experience, he's about as risky of a prospect as there is. Can he avoid injury, develop his secondary pitches, and consistently get professional hitters out?
David Vidal, 3B, 22, BA-UR, Sickels-#13
(Dayton) .280/.350/.498/.848, 20 HR, 85 RBI
Pros: Very lively bat, hitting for both average and power. Good defense.
Cons: Still questions about his size (he's listed at 5'11"), and struck out way too much (111 in 454 AB).