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2015 Red Reporter Community Prospect Rankings: The Beginning

Put on your prospect voting pants! CPR is back!!!

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

It's that time of year once again for Red Reporter to come together collectively to prove that we know more than the experts.  It's time for Red Reporter to decide who is the best and brightest of the prospects in our system.  Who will be the next great player?  The list, like usual, will go to 25, so hold on to your butts.  I'm only giving you two choices for #1 and you better like it!

Robert Stephenson, SP, 22

Highest 2014 Level: AA (Pensacola Blue Wahoos)
Eye-Poppingest Fact:
9.2 K/9 in Pensacola last year.
Most Worrisome Fact:
Walks, so many walks.  4.9 BB/9

Alias(es): Bob Steve, Treasure Island, Da Steves

Bob Steve is our incumbent #1 prospect from 2014.  The vote between him and Billy Hamilton wasn't even close, with Stephenson picking up 76% of the vote.  Robert has the best arm in the system and the highest ceiling.  This is why he is at the top of the list in 2015, even if he had a rough year at the age of 21.  Stephenson has no problem striking guys out, but has had control issues the past two years.  This was mainly his problem last year.  A 1.376 WHIP and a 4.74 ERA in 136.2 innings pitched isn't pretty.  He has an electric arm with a fastball that has touched 100 MPH and a super wicked bendy curve.  A pitching prospect with a hiccup year isn't a bad thing.  If anything it could turn him into a better pitcher down the line.  It's better to run into mistakes at the minor league level than the major league level.  He has all the ability to be an ace.  it's just about putting it all together.  In most opinions, Stephenson will probably start at AAA Louisville and if he pitches well he could find some opportunities in Cincinnati.

Jesse Winker, OF, 21

Highest 2014 Level: AA (Pensacola Blue Wahoos)
Eye-Poppingest Fact:
A .426 OBP in Bakersfield with a 1.006 OPS.
Most Worrisome Fact:
Uhm, his defense and speed?
Uncle Jesse, Funky Winkerbean, Rip Van Winker

Jesse Winker put up one of the best minor league seasons by any prospect in 2014.  He definitely had the best offensive season of any Reds prospect.  Winker ended up playing in A+ Bakersfield, AA Pensacola, and then in the Arizona Fall League where he continued to tear the cover off the ball.  Winker had 92 PAs in AA, but his numbers weren't as pretty.  Most of that has to do with a horrid BABIP, so I'm gonna ignore them.  At Bakersfield, Winker continued to show the patience and contact ability he'd shown in 2013.  Winker hit .317/.426/.580 for the Blaze in 249 PA.  He had a 40/46 BB/K ratio.  That's pretty.  Basically, what I'm trying to point out that his California League success didn't have as much to do with the inflated run environment and luck.  He did hit 13 homeruns, and hit 15 doubles, but the impressive fact is the patience.  There were even comparisons to Joey Votto and Jay Bruce's minor league numbers.  Winker had a wrist injury following a car accident, missing about a month at the end of the minor league season.  He would recover in time to play in the AFL where he showed no signs of injury and dominated the league.