2013 draft pick Kevin Franklin runs away with the 17th spot on our lovely little list. This teenager has power for days from the right side, but he's super raw. The Reds seem to think his swing is fixable, so let's hope they're right! A familiar name joins the fun this time around.
JUAN SILVA, 23, OF
Highest 2013 Level: High-A (Bakersfield Blaze)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .386 OBP in 2013, .376 career OBP
Most Worrisome Fact: .413 career SLG and durability concerns
Alias(es): High Ho Silva
Not actually property of the Dodgers (thanks, MiLB.com), Juan Silva seems to be one of the more underrated prospects in the Reds system. Injuries have slowed his development, but the kid knows how to get on base. He's played all over the outfield, more in LF than anything else, but he logged 33 games in CF in 2013. His offensive game would profile well in center, but you'd like to see more power if he ends up getting moved to a corner spot. After a full season in Bakersfield, this will be a big year for Silva making the jump to AA.
JUNIOR ARIAS, 22, OF
Highest 2013 Level: High-A (Bakersfield Blaze)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 15 HR/60 SB over 2 levels in 2013
Most Worrisome Fact: .14 BB/K ratio in 2013
Alias(es): Jodi, Junya 2
One of two guys in the system named Junior Arias, this speedy outfielder split the 2013 season between Dayton and Bakersfield. He hit .284/.323/.469 over 72 games in Dayton, those numbers dropping to .257/.283/.396 over 53 games in the California desert. Arias has both speed and power, easily setting career highs in home runs (15) and stolen bases (60) this past season. As is the case with many prospects in the Reds system, Arias refuses to take a walk, and his 4.4% rate in Dayton dropped to a laughable 2.2% in Bakersfield. Couple that with a 25-ish% K-rate, and an OBP-monster he is not. Still, his bat has potential, so look for him to keep slugging and running in Bakersfield to start the year.
ISMAEL GUILLON, 21, LHP
Highest 2013 Level: Low-A (Dayton Dragons)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 9.94 K/9
Most Worrisome Fact: 7.07 BB/9 (!!)
Alias(es): Call Me Ismael, The Guillon-tine, Ismael Afarta
After a promising 2012 which saw Guillon rocket up prospect lists, the power lefty lost all semblance of control as in his first year as a full-time starter in Dayton. His walk rate climbed by almost 5, although he continued to strike guys out an a good clip. If there's any silver lining, it's that Guillon finished out the season with a very good August, going 3-1 with a 1.32 ERA in 34 innings over 6 starts, striking out 27 and walking 15. Maybe he just needed a year to adjust to the rotation, but 2013 was certainly an expectation-tempering season. I would assume that Guillon will start the year in Dayton's rotation again, hoping to carry the August success into a better 2014.
DONALD LUTZ, 25, OF
Highest 2013 Level: MLB (Cincinnati Reds)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .807 career MiLB OPS
Most Worrisome Fact: Lack of power since making the jump to AA
Aliases: The Knockwurst, Herr Lutz, Brauner Hulk
A lot of folks say that the most difficult transition in the minors is the jump from A-ball to AA, and Donald Lutz is no exception to that rule. The Knockwurst blitzkrieg'd his way through Dayton and Bakersfield in 2011 and 2012, before getting a promotion to Pensacola, where he has struggled at the plate in two partial seasons. With his unique path to professional ball, it's not all that surprising that Lutz has taken longer to develop than most, but entering his age 25 season, he needs to take a step forward this year.
DREW CISCO, 22, SP
Highest 2013 Level: Low-A (Dayton)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Career 1.1 BB/9 and a K/BB ratio over 6.
Most Worrisome Fact: K/9 under 7 and he has had Tommy John surgery in the past.
Aliases: Cisco Inferno, The Human Network, The Thong Song
The Reds took Cisco in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, prying him away from the University of Georgia with $975,000. He promptly repaid the Reds by needing to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2011. He came back to pitch for Billings in 2012 and spent the entire year in Dayton in 2013. Cisco is considered a prospect that already had a lot of polish and is one of those high floor, low ceiling guys. He is considered highly coachable, which makes sense since he is from a baseball family. His grandfather was a major league pitcher, and his father and brother pitched in the minors. Cisco doesn't have an over powering fastball (sits 88-92); he also throws a two seam fastball, a curveball, and a change. His curveball is supposedly already above average. What Cisco lacks in stuff he makes up for with great command. I'd expect him to start in Bakersfield and make the jump to AA by the end of the season.
RYAN LaMARRE, 25, OF
Highest 2013 Level: AAA (Louisville Bats)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Very good CF defense, speed
Most Worrisome Fact: 25 years old, 14 AAA plate appearances
Aliases: Hedy, LaMarre LaMerrier
Here's a name we've seen before. LaMarre has been on our radar since being drafted out of Michigan in the second round of the 2010 draft. He's got speed, a little bit of pop, great defense at a key position, and he seems capable of taking a walk, but for some reason he's never quite put it all together. At this point, LaMarre might break in as a back-up/fill-in OF who will play quality defense and might knock the occasional double and steal a base, but it's looking increasingly unlikely that he'll be a starter or even regular. Let's hope he can put together a nice little season in Louisville.
JEREMY KIVEL, 20, RHP
Highest 2013 Level: Rookie (AZL Reds)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 9.9 K/9
Most Worrisome Fact: 4.1 BB/9
Aliases: Jiu-Jitsu Jeremy, Evil Kevil
Jeremy Kivel was drafted in the 10th round of the 2012 draft and signed for a well over slot bonus of $500K. Kivel was considered by some to be the best high school pitcher coming out of Texas, and was thought to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick before tearing his ACL during his senior year. He has a big arm for his height (6'1"), he was clocked at 96 MPH in high school, though he mostly sits 93-94. Kivel got his first taste of pro ball last season with the AZL Reds, posting a 3.91 ERA in 50 innings. He is also an MMA trained fighter specializing in jiu-jitsu, which is pretty cool. Check out his flying arm bar here.
DAN LANGFIELD, 23, RHP
Highest 2013 Level: None. He spent 2012 in Billings
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 13.1 K/9
Most Worrisome Fact: 4.1 BB/9, age, and injury history
Aliases: Rodney DanLanfield, Dan Wangfield
Dan Lanfield was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft. He is another of the Tony Cingrani mold. He was a part time starter and reliever in college. He was drafted by the Reds and put up a great strikeout rate in his pro debut. Then, Langfield started to have shoulder problems in the offseason. He was diagnosed with shoulder impingement and spent the entire 2013 season rehabbing. This is the same injury that Homer Bailey struggled with in 2011. Langfield has a lot of potential, but will be old for any level he pitches. If he is healthy enough to pitch, I'd look for Langfield to start in Dayton or maybe Bakersfield, if the Reds are being super aggressive. But, being 23 and never pitching past Billings isn't a good start. Some people said they wanted to vote for Langfield, so I figured I'd put him up on the list. Plus, I wanted to say Wangfield.
HENRY RODRIGUEZ, 23, IF
Highest 2013 Level: AAA
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Doesn't strike out much
Most Worrisome Fact: Doesn't walk, like, at all
Aliases: Hank-Rod, Hank the Tank, Sugar Man
This is a big season for Hank. He's far enough removed from a wrist injury that we can't really use that as an excuse for a lack of production anymore. He had a pretty solid .824 OPS in 2012 before getting hurt, and his contact ability has always been seen as above average. His 2013 line of .274/.319/.335 leaves a lot to be desired, though he exploded in August to the tune of .396/.454/.438, which is certainly encouraging. There's not much power to speak of, but I still believe there's a potential major-leaguer here. He's still somehow just 23, too, which kind of always surprises me.