The prospect lists keep on coming, and last Friday evening MLB.com put out their Top 100 list.
Not much new for fans of the Cincinnati Reds as all five Reds that were represented on Baseball Prospectus's list were also represented on MLB.com's list. Of course, they're not listed in the same order, and MLB.com likes Jesse Winker (just slightly) more than Robert Stephenson.
Winker slots in at #34 on MLB.com's list, directly in front of Robert Stephenson at #35. It seems like the Rankers in Chief at MLB.com weren't too worried with WInker's up-and-down year.
It's often said that adversity can be the best teacher. Winker enrolled in a master class during the first half of 2015 in Double-A. How he finished the year shows just how well the outfielder can make adjustments.
The 2012 supplemental first-round pick had just a .700 OPS in the first half of the 2015 season, but Winker had a .941 OPS in the second half of the Southern League season. The key for the left-handed-hitting outfielder was he didn't chase results and get out of his game plan.
The scouting report mentions how advanced Winker's approach is, regardless of how much of a question the home run power is. It also notes that, despite the offensive struggles, Winker worked on and improved in his fielding and base running.
Right behind Winker sits Stephenson, and the scouts at MLB.com tend to have a similar approach to his developments as those here at Red Reporter.
More than anything, it comes down to fastball command for Stephenson. When he hits his spots, he still looks like a future frontline starter with three plus pitches at his disposal. Just 23 for all of 2016 and with Cincinnati in rebuilding mode, there's no reason to rush Stephenson or to change his developmental path as a starter.
The next three Reds on the list are clustered toward the bottom third, where Cody Reed checks in at #66, Amir Garrett at #69 (nice), and Jose Peraza at #71.
Of note here is that while they ranked him as Cincinnati's best prospect just a few months ago, MLB Pipeline is no longer all that high on Peraza. The former top prospect in Atlanta's system and top four prospect in Los Angeles's system, the oft-traded 21 year old prospect is now fifth in Cincinnati's system (one that doesn't feature a Corey Seager, Julio Urias, or Jose De Leon) by their standings. He tumbled from a top 25 prospect in their eyes to #71 in just one year.
His low strikeout rate really appealed to Cincinnati, as did his line-drive rate, though he doesn't have much power. Peraza does need to improve his on-base skills to fit the profile as a top-of-the-order catalyst. He has plus speed and should continue to be a basestealing threat. Initially a shortstop, Peraza moved to second because of Andrelton Simmons in Atlanta, and he saw some time in the outfield in 2015. The Reds think he has the chance to be a plus defender at second when all is said and done.
Peraza is ready for a longer look in the big leagues after his 2015 debut was cut short by a hamstring injury. What his ultimate role is remains to be seen, but Cincinnati feels he has the upside of a big league regular at second base.
Not exactly a shining report, but Peraza is still young and could be making an impact sooner rather than later. There's certainly upside here, even if it seems the entire world is souring on his prospect status.