Phil Ervin slides into 12th place on our esteemed prospect list. After an up-and-down 2015 that saw him eventually graduate from A+ to AA, Ervin will start the 2016 season in Pensacola with his eye on making the trip to Louisville before year's end.
Eric Jagielo, 23, 3B/1B
Highest 2015 Level: AA (Trenton)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 18 home runs and .351 OBP in 385 plate appearances
Most Worrisome Fact: 94 strikeouts, injuries, and can he play 3B?
Alias(es): Juggs, Juggalo, Eric Jagielo Male Jigolo, Jam Jam Jagelow
Eric Jagielo wasn't the second piece (with Rookie Davis) in the Aroldis Chapman trade. Jagielo was a former first round pick that brings good power to his game and is willing to take a walk. He hit 18 home runs in 2015 in less than 400 at bats and put up a .284/.347/.495 line in 248 plate appearances. He does strike out quite a bit, but he makes up for that with his power and eye. He was originally drafted for his advanced college bat.
Now, I need to tell you about the bad. He strikes out too much, but I don't think that is awful. He's been injury plagued for most of his career, including 2015 with a knee injury. He's also been rated by scouts as being a poor third basemen defensively. Many think his future home is at 1B, which we know Joey Votto will hold down for another eight years.
Sal Romano, RHP, 22
Highest 2015 Level: AA (Pensacola)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 3.46 ERA in 104 A+ innings, 2.9 BB/9
Most Worrisome Fact: 1.3 WHIP, 6.8 K/9
Alias(es): Sweaty Sal, Slippy Sal, Used Car Salesman Sal, Romano Cheese
Sal Romano has been a pitcher slowly making his way up the prospect rankings year to year and is either over valued or under valued each year, in my opinion. Last year, Sal made it AA at the age of 21 years old. He did horrible, and that's why I didn't add his numbers to most worrisome fact. They weren't just worrisome, they were scary bad. He did put up a respectable year in Daytona, though.
Sal has a fastball that sit in the low to mid 90's, and he can control it well. He tries to limit walks and keep batters off the bases, and that has led to some relative success so far in his career. His one big draw back is he hasn't show much of a strikeout pitch in his short career.
Tyler Mahle, 21, RHP
Highest 2015 Level: A (Dayton)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 2.43 ERA, 1.5 BB/9, 8.0 K/9, 5.40 K/BB in 152 innings pitched
Most Worrisome Fact: Average stuff
Alias(es): Darth Mahle, Poppin' Mahle, Good Golly Miss Mahle
I'm super biased, but I think Tyler Mahle is one of the more interesting and exciting pitching prospects in this system once you get out of the Stephenson, Garrett, Reed group. He's 21 years old and just finished A ball in Dayton. And when I say he just finished it, I mean he completely dominated it. He destroyed it. Mahle is a former 7th round pick that has picked apart every single level of baseball he has played in, and he's done it with a very average arm.
Mahle is considered to be an already well polished prospect and intelligent guy. He doesn't throw hard (sitting in the very low 90's) and has an average slider, curve, and change-up. However, he can throw all those pitches for strikes and does it often. Plus, he has some kick ass nicknames. Also, how many A ball pitchers do you see throwing 150 innings? It's because he was so incredibly dominant..
Scott Schebler, 25, LF/RF
Highest 2015 Level: MLB (Dodgers)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Power, speed, and willing to take some walks. .285 ISO in 2013, .276 ISO in 2014
Most Worrisome Fact: .169 ISO in 2015. Strikes out s a lot.
Alias(es): Ned Schneibly, Scotty Doesn't Know Schebler, Schebler, I Hardly Knew Her
Scott Schebler was the second piece received in the Todd Frazier trade. He had been one of the best power bats in the Dodger's system for quite some time and received a cup of coffee in Los Angeles in 2015. Pre-2015, Schebler was rocketing up the Dodger's prospect lists, showing good power, a willingness to take a free pass, and stealing some bases. Scouts think his power comes more from his strength and less from his bat speed, which is worrisome.
He didn't do so hot in 2015 with lower power numbers, a down tick in BABIP, which all led to lower batting averages and slugging percentages. One thing Schebler has done every year is lower his strikeout rates while still walking around a 7 or 8 percent. Schebler will look to compete for the starting left fielder's job in Cincytown in Spring Training, and his power bat could look really good in GABP.
John Lamb, 25, LHP
Highest 2015 Level: MLB (Reds)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 10.5 K/9 over first 10 MLB starts.
Most Worrisome Fact: 1.550 WHIP and 5.80 ERA in those same 10 appearances.
Alias(es): The Wooly Bully, Lambchop, The Shorn Identity
Back in 2011, John Lamb was a hard throwing 20-year-old that Baseball Prospectus ranked the #11 prospect in all of Baseball. That same year, Lamb tore his UCL and had season-ending Tommy John surgery. It took longer than usual, but John Lamb finally made it to the Major Leagues in 2015 after being traded to the Reds as the third piece of the Johnny Cueto deal.
Lamb's fastball, which used to sit in the upper 90's, now tops out at 94 mph and averaged 91.1 mph in 2015 and is merely an average offering at this point. But he features three offspeed pitches - a change, a cutter, and a slow curve - of which the changeup is a true out pitch.
Lamb went through some growing pains in 2015, but bad BABIP luck and a slightly inflated HR/FB rate made his ERA swell more than 2 runs over his xFIP. Lamb is out of options, so he will get every chance to make the rotation out of spring training, and stay with the big league club this season.