Jose Peraza nabbed the #4 spot in the 2016 edition of the Red Reporter Community Prospect Rankings. He did so because we said he did, in part because the poll and voting process melted into a pile of goo and no longer was discernible enough to provide a clear outcome.
So, we made an executive decision, and that means Peraza - the prime acquisition in the Todd Frazier trade - comes off the board next. His high contact, high average game will likely be starting the season in Louisville (thanks in part to Brandon Phillips' veto of a trade that would've sent him to the Washington Nationals), but there's no doubt that the speedy former Los Angeles Dodger will be making an impact with the Cincinnati Reds in short order.
To the candidates for spot #5...
Amir Garrett, SP, 23
Tyler Stephenson, C, 19
Alex Blandino, SS/2B, 23
Keury Mella, RHP, 22
Nick Travieso, RHP, 21
Phil Ervin, OF, 23
Highest 2015 Level: AA (Pensacola)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .409 OBP in 66 PA in AA; 34 SB between A+ and AA
Most Worrisome Fact: .379 SLG in 541 PA in 2015
Alias(es): Mr. Magic, Phlerv
Ervin was the 1st round pick of the Reds in 2013 out of Samford University, and at times in his two years in the system he has dazzled with his raw talent. Prior to the 2014 season, Baseball Prospectus saw enough in his game to rank him the #63 prospect in the game, but since that point he's fallen a bit in the eyes of many prognosticators, and it's somewhat easy to see why.
The OF owns a cumulative .253/.341/.406 batting line in his 1302 career MiLB plate appearances, and while he's not yet spent time in any league known for promoting offense, that's still not the haughtiest production. He's stolen 78 bags in that time, however, and that's emblematic of the kind of speed that has some scouts convinced he can cover CF. And, if that's the case, that overall batting line becomes significantly more palatable.
Parts of Phlerv's 2015 season showed distinct promise, as he bookended the season with a pair of stints that somewhat masked how unproductive the middle portion had become. He bashed 7 dingers in April alone, slashing a stellar .346/.429/.692 in 91 PA in Daytona at the time, but hit just .217/.316/.300 in 384 PA there for the rest of his time before being called up to Pensacola. Still, his 12 dingers ranked as the sixth most in the Florida State League, and finished his season with a flawed, yet decent .235/.409/.412 line in 66 PA in his first taste of AA ball in Pensacola.
With that said, we're going to try a slightly different voting method this time around. Instead of a poll, we're going to use the comments section to tally things, since our polling attempts have gone haywire to this point. So, do that.