Raisel Iglesias is kind of an unknown quantity right now, but he dominated his 7 innings in the AFL, projects to have 4 useable pitches, and is close to major league ready. That, to you dear readers, warranted the #4 spot on our list. There's still questions as to whether Iglesias will spend his time this year in a AAA rotation or the major league bullpen, but it'll be fascinating to watch his first full year stateside, and I know we here at Farmers Only are quite excited about it. One more name added, and spoiler alert: it's another pitcher.
Anthony DeSclafani, SP, 24
Yorman Rodriguez, OF, 22
Phillip Ervin, OF, 22
Nick Travieso, SP, 20
Highest 2014 Level: A (Dayton)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 3.03 ERA in 142 innings
Most Worrisome Fact: 3.93 FIP
Alias(es): Naughty Nick, Krampus
Nick Travieso was a bit of a surprise pick when the Reds selected him 14th overall in the 2012 draft. His first full season in 2013 where he threw 81 innings of 4.63 ERA ball had people questioning the selection. 2014 saw Travieso break out in a big way in his second year in Dayton. He increased his innings to 142, dropped his ERA to 3.03, lowered his walk rate and increased his K rate. He finished off the season strong, posting a 1.22 ERA in his final 9 starts, holding the opposition to a.164/.280/.232 line. Travieso should start the 2015 season in Daytona.
Aristides Aquino, OF, 20
Highest 2014 Level: Rookie (Billings)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .285 ISO in 307 AB
Most Worrisome Fact: 4.9% walk-rate
Alias(es): Aristides a Little Bit Taller, Aristides a Baller; Skee-Lo; Heiress Titties
I'm a fan. Guys like this might be my favorite type of prospect to follow. Tantalizingly gifted, raw, flashes of brilliance, lots of refining needed. This 6'4/190 Dominican power-speed threat put together a really nice 2014 season in Billings: .292/.347/.577 with 16 HR and 21 SB in a mere 71 games, facing mostly college pitchers. Fangraphs' Kiley McDaniel hears from a Reds exec that Aquino is the "most advanced Latin hitter the organization has had in a long time." There are potential contact issues, evidenced by a 21.5% K-rate, and a puny 4.9% walk-rate is far from ideal, although his solid defensive track record suggests he'll likely end up a RF. Scouts are raving about him, and with another big season he could have some serious helium in future top 100ish lists. He'll start in Dayton.
Nick Howard, SP, 21
Highest 2014 Level: Low-A (Dayton)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 1.16 WHIP
Most Worrisome Fact: 6.1 K/9 (SSS, these stats mean very little)
Alias(es): Richie Cunningham
2014's 19th overall first-round pick out of Virginia, Nick Howard is another college reliever-cum-starter drafted by the Reds. Howard has three potential pitches (fastball, slider, change) that could eventually play at the major league level, with the changeup being the weakest of the three. He managed 33.2 innings of 3.74 ERA ball at Dayton before the season ended, then started 6 games in the AFL to a less appetizing but equally meaningless 4.43 ERA. His ceiling isn't as high as some of the other pitchers in the system, but he looks to be at worst case a solid relief option. He'll likely start in the rotation for the newfangled Daytona Tortugas.