The corn-fed Oklahoman checks in at number 18 on the list. Will his power return? Can he keep his OBP up if it does? Is there a chance he can stick at third? Why is this font so big? Who knows?!
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, Sloppy 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.
Blake Trahan, 22, SS
Highest 2015 Level: A (Dayton)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 25 BB/24 K in Billings. Very good defense and speed.
Most Worrisome Fact: Power. Looked bad in 35 at bats in Dayton.
Alias(es): Blake Tree-hee-han, Kinder Kid
Blake Trahan was the Reds third round selection out of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He's a high floor player who played with Alex Bregman on the US National teams. He's a very good defensive player at shortstop, with some speed, and he knows how to use the bat. Trahan doesn't have the highest of ceilings. He cruised through Billings and got a short cup of coffee in Dayton where he didn't play very well. Third round picks aren't usually something to get super excited about, but Trahan looks like he can play a little bit of baseball and many scouts liked this pick by the Reds.
Tanner Rainey, 23, RHP
Highest 2015 Level: Billings (Rookie)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Mid 90's fastball. 15 games started in 2015, 8.7 K/9
Most Worrisome Fact: Lack of experience, age, durability
Alias(es): Rainey Skies, Tanner Mom, Danny Tanner Rainey, Tanner I Hardly Knew Her
Tanner Rainey was the Reds 2nd round pick out of West Alabama University with a big arm. He was a two way player for the Division II West Alabama, leading the division in home runs and slugging percentage, but the Reds plan on using his big right arm on the mound. Rainey sits in the mid 90's and touches 97 on the radar gun with a potential plus slider. He also throws changeup that he can throw for strikes but doesn't look to be a great pitch.
Rainey is a big guy at 6'2 235 pounds. He played 1B at West Alabama which explains where all that power came from. The things he has working against him right now is his age and lack of a third pitch. As the Reds have with most college relievers, they'll try and see if he can stick as a starter first. However, he looks to be a guy you'd look to fast track for a major league bullpen. He has definite closer potential.
Aristides Aquino, 21, OF
Highest 2015 Level: A (Dayton)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .919 OPS in 2014 a very high ceiling. Scouts love him.
Most Worrisome Fact: Doesn't like to walk, likes to strikeout, and was awful in 2015
Alias(es): Heiress Titties, Aristides a Little Bit Taller, Aristides a Baller
Aquino was a player that rose high on national rankings in 2015. He has an incredibly high ceiling but is an incredibly raw prospects. In 2015, he beat up Rookie League Billings in his second go around, hitting 16 home runs and OPSing .919 at the age of 20. It was a pretty good year and it was really fun to follow. What's even more fun is when you hear scouts comparing him to Vladimir Guerrero.
Now, the bad part. Aquino started the season in Dayton where he performed horribly. He did break his wrist near the end of April, but he wasn't hitting well before that. His final season slash line was .234/.281/.364 in 249 plate appearances. He struck out 53 times and walked only 11. He did OPS near .900, again, in 54 plate appearances in Billings, but that doesn't mean that much at this point. The potential is there. He just needs to unlock it.
Jose Lopez, 22, RHP
Highest 2015 Level: Rookie (Billings)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 10.6 K/9 in his pro debut. 1.91 ERA with a 6.14 K/BB over his final 7 starts in 2015.
Most Worrisome Fact: High likelihood of ending up in a bullpen role.
Alias(es): No known aliases.
Jose Lopez fits the mold of hard throwers with low mileage on their arms that the Reds can't seem to stay away from. Lopez, a New Jersey native, was taken in the 6th round of the 2014 draft out of Seton Hall, where he logged just 99 innings between his freshman and sophomore seasons. With a fastball that could touch 98, as well as a power slider, Lopez was predicted to be a high-round pick before he blew out his elbow and ended up needing Tommy John surgery. The Reds took a risk selecting Lopez in the 6th round, but they hope that with a full recovery, they could end up with a steal in the 6'1" righty.
Lopez made his debut in Billings this past season, and the Reds were careful with the young hurler as he slowly upped his innings after a long break from the mound. Midway through the short season, the Mustangs let off the reins a bit, and Lopez dominated over the home stretch. All told, he finished the season with a 3.16 ERA over 57 innings, striking out 67 and walking 19.
He's still a long way from the majors, and the Reds may be a bit more conservative upping his innings year to year if they want to keep him in a starting role. However, with a high 90's fastball, and an above average slider, they could choose to fast-track him for a bullpen role in the more near future.