When it comes to the prospects, especially the prospects of my favorite team, I can be quite biased. First, I typically think our prospects are better than everyone else's, and I think our farm system should be ranked higher. Second, I usually have pet prospects that I will rank higher than others. So, maybe you can't trust me? Whatever.
If I can find one fault with Baseball America it is they will put potential and tools above all else. I'll admit I'm usually wrong, at least more often than not. However, even the experts are often wrong when they rank prospects. That's why prospects are so cool! I am definitely no expert, but here is my buy and sell on Baseball America's list.
#1: Robert Stephenson, SP
On most lists this is where Bob Steve will rank. He is the one guy in the system that has the most potential, the best arm, and is very close to the majors. You can argue that Winker should go here, as many at RR have done, but this isn't an egregious placement.
#2: Rasiel Iglesias, SP/RP
In our weird, nicknaming minds, I'm sure we can come up with plenty of reasons why Iglesias should be higher up on the list. Raise Hell Eagle is a damn good nickname. I still like Tiny Dancer, but the world is our oyster when it comes to names for the little pitcher out of Cuba. That is the problem I have with this ranking. Iglesias is small. He is 5'11, 160lbs. That's how big I was in seventh grade. He has all the pitches. He can throw it hard. However, no one knows if he can stick as a starter. He's never done it before. He hasn't thrown more than 7 innings in American professional ball. I'd have him around #5 at the highest, but probably around 7 or 8 until we see more. It's not like he is Aroldis Chapman coming from the island looking like a giant with a 100 MPH fastball.
#3: Jesse Winker, OF
He is #1 here at Red Reporter, but #3 isn't a bad ranking. It's not bad if you are saying that is Lorenzen is #2 and you want to look down at Winker for being a left fielder. He still has one of the best bats in the minors. I think he should be #2, but that is no reason to get bent out of shape.
#4: Michael Lorenzen, SP
Again, this is a buy based on shuffling. If they don't have Iglesias ranked too high at #2 then Lorenzen fits in nicely at #3. It's funny because I'm going to assume they're putting Iglesias in their Top 100 (I wouldn't). I think Lorenzen is a top 100 prospect based on potential and what he showed in AA Pensacola. Does Baseball America put four Reds in the top 100? I don't think they do, and that's a shame for Lorenzen.
#5: Nick Howard, SP
I don't necessarily have a problem with this. I think it's a bit high myself, but a lot of other experts are putting Howard around #5. He has a power arm, a good slider, good frame, and in all accounts I've heard a smart kid. Should he be ranked higher than Travieso? I don't know, but there are so many good right handed arms they are starting to become interchangeable. Ben Lively, who? My biggest problem with such a high ranking is he hasn't started much. Lorenzen was a first round pick, but was lower on lists last year because he never started. Why does Howard get such a bump up with so many good arms around? It was only his first professional season, and it was just so-so. Either way, it's hard to argue this is a bad ranking, so it gets a Buy.
#6: Anthony DeSclafani, SP
Maybe, I should use a different word when I can't decide between buy or sell. Indifferent? Steady? No change? I like DeSclafani at #4. #5 is a good call, but they put Howard there. It, again, comes down to the over ranking of Iglesias that is screwing things up. DeSclafani had a rough time in his short stint at the Major League level, but his peripherals were really good. He's excelled at almost every level. I like him and expect good things from him, but he isn't flashy. His best tool is his control.
#7: Amir Garrett, SP
This is a guy that has been rocketing up prospect lists and rightfully so. He just quit basketball to focus on baseball. He's left handed, big, lanky, and can dial it up in the mid to high 90's. Amir put together a good season at Dayton, especially the second half. I'm not saying I'm not excited for this kid, even if I've been down on him in the past. I just need to see more before I give him a high ranking. I need to know that 2014 wasn't a fluke because he had never looked good before. I'd think about ranking him in the 12-15 range. That's huge compared to where he was last year, which just an honorable mention of the 2014 Community Prospect Rankings.
#8: Nick Travieso, SP
Put him where you want. We have so many right handed pitchers that look the same on paper. I think you could slot Howard, Iglesias, Travieso, and Crawford anywhere from 5-10 and not look like a fool. It's pretty awesome to have this many good arms and have them all in the AAA, AA, A+ range.
#9: Aristides Aquino, OF
I don't like this one at all, even if I think Aquino has all the makings of a good player. He made Farmers Only a lot of fun last season, but my biggest gripe is he has never played above rookie ball. His walk rate was below 5% and his strikeout rate was above 20%. He played with a guy named Alex, The Great, Blandino who deserves this ranking. I need to see what he can do in Dayton. He's a big kid, and the scouts love him, but I don't want to start rushing and calling him the next great thing and watch him turn into Juan Duran. Top 20? Sure. Top 10? Nope.
#10: Yorman Rodriguez, OF
This is a sell just because he is below Aquino. Yorman is every bit as talented as Aquino, maybe more, and he is sniffing the majors. He has improved at every level, albeit slowly, but still he improves. His 2014 numbers were tempered because of injury early on, but his numbers were awesome in the second half. Maybe he isn't top five, he isn't in mine, but he should be higher than 10. Even if you want to put him at 10, putting him behind Aquino is just silly.
Welp, this is my analysis of the BA Top 10 list for the Reds. Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments. I'm up for an argument and have nothing better to do.