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2016 Red Reporter Community Prospect Rankings: Robert Stephenson Is Your #2 Prospect!

Who does #2 work for?!

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Things are going eerily similar to 2015 as Robert Stephenson takes over the #2 spot on our prospect rankings.  2016 looks to be a big year for Stephenson to test his mettle against AAA and maybe make some noise at the major league level.  He's certainly taken his licks and learned a lot from minor league baseball, and hopefully he'll be able to make the big jump this season.  Here's to #3.

Jose Peraza, SS/2B, 21

Highest 2015 Level: MLB (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .
293 batting average, 45 strikeouts, and 33 steals in 521 plate appearances.  
Most Worrisome Fact: .316 OBP, 17 walks, 4 home runs.
Marco Polo, LOL WUT, Don't Walk This Way

BB-Ref Page

Peraza was the headliner return from the Dodgers in the trade that sent Todd Frazier to the Chicago White Sox.  He's a high ceiling player that has had scouts very excited for a while now, and has found himself incredibly high on numerous prospect rankings (Top 25's).  Peraza can do a lot of things well (handling the bat, defense, and running), but isn't too attuned at taking a walk.  He's like the anti-Billy Hamilton as in he is 6'0, 180 pounds, and doesn't get the bat knocked out his hand and still plays infield.  His game is putting the ball in the play and letting his legs get him to first base.  Kinda of like Ichiro, but he's obviously not Ichiro (at least not yet).

The one big draw back to his game is his complete inability, or unwillingness, to take a walk.  He looks to hit the ball, which keeps his strikeout incredibly low.  This also keeps his walk rates almost hysterically low.  He hasn't had a walk percentage over 5% since 2013, and it's hovered around 3.5% the past two years.  To put that in perspective, Billy Hamilton walks almost twice as much in the majors, and posted 10%+ numbers in the minors.  So, I'm not really sure how this is going to translate.

Peraza does almost everything else well except for hitting home runs.  He has some decent gap power, can steal bases in bunches, and can play either SS or 2B.  The only reason the Braves moved him from SS is because of Andrelton Simmon, who is an other wordly defensive shortstop, still played for them.

Amir Garrett, SP, 23

Highest 2015 Level: A+ (Daytona Tortugas)
Eye-Poppingest Fact:
140 innings pitched, 2.44 ERA, 3.5 BB/9
Most Worrisome Fact: Not much.  8.5 K/9?  Meh, that's pretty good.  His age and option situation is sort of worrisome.  
Mr. Basketball, Michael Jordan, Amir Cat

BB-Ref Page

Everyone knows the former basketball player turned prospect darling, Mr. Amir Garrett.  After screwing around for a few seasons playing an inferior sport, Garrett decided to focus 100% on baseball and it's been very good for his career.  The Reds originally spent a boat load of money on Garrett as a 22nd round pick because of his obvious upside.  Being a D-I basketball player means that Garrett is an athletic freaking, and has a tall, lean frame that is very conducive to pitching.

Amir pitched 140 innings last year, showing he has some durability, and will be able to continue to go up the ladder.  What is even more impressive was his 2.44 ERA, which was just dominate at the A+ level.  Boosting him up to AA will present Garrett with new challenges, but he has finally proven himself to be worthy of being high up on the prospect lists.  Good for him.

Tyler Stephenson, C, 19

Highest 2015 Level: Rookie League (Billings)
Eye-Poppingest Fact:
.352 OBP
Most Worrisome Fact: 1 home run in 219 plate appearances
Ty Steve, The Bat Flip, Kennesaw Mountain Stephenson

BB-Ref Page

Tyler Stephenson was the Reds 2015 first round pick, taken 11th overall.  He's a big, powerful kid that was being rumored to be the first overall pick in the draft before graciously falling to the Reds at #11.  Honestly, it's one of the more exciting picks in recent memory.  Scouts love Stephenson for his athleticism, abilities behind he plate, and tremendous raw power.

I love him because of bat flips in State tourney games.

Stephenson held his own as a high school draftee starting his career in Billings.  His batting average and on base percentage were decent.  However, he didn't show much power.  I'd say it isn't a super big concern since he was hitting against college age pitchers.  Stephenson is already being highly ranked nationally, with speculation of being a Top 100 prospect, and naming him their #2 catching prospect in all of baseball.

Cody Reed, SP, 22

Highest 2015 Level: AA (Pensacola)
Eye-Poppingest Fact:
8.9 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 3.43 K/BB in 145 innings pitched.
Most Worrisome Fact: I can't necessarily find any?
Big 'Un, Four Eyes,

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Cody Reed was a part of the return from the Royals for Johnny Cueto.  At the time of the trade, he was speculated to be the steal of the transaction.  Reed is a former 2nd round pick who has a big body, good velocity, and really turned it on in 2014.  Overall, he posted a 3.03 ERA for the season and was even better when he was traded to Cincinnati in July.  He would put up a 2.17 ERA in 49.2 innings with a 10/9 K/9.  Reed is quickly moving up the ranks in the farm system and could see himself cracking some Top 100 prospect lists.  I'd expect him to spend the whole season at AAA, and if he continues to kill it, he could be a top prospect in 2017.  That would be super duper awesome.