Keith Law's prospect rankings came out today for ESPN, and he has 4 Reds in his top 100 list. You'll have to have Insider access to see the full list, but it fits with his theme of the Reds' system getting mixed reviews.
Robert Stephenson is the Reds' highest-ranked prospect on the list, ranking #31 in baseball.
The Lighthouse, as he's called, had sort of a mixed-bag season in 2015, introducing a new pitch that turned out to be a real weapon for him but one that he threw too often when he probably should have been working on fastball command. That said, the new weapon, a changeup with split-like tumble, addresses one of the biggest questions about his ability to be a starter.
I have never heard anyone call Robert Stephenson "The Lighthouse", but this is one of the more generous rankings we've seen for Bob Steve. (MLB.com had Winker ahead of him)
Speaking of, Jesse Winker is next at #41. It sounds like Law thinks that it's more a matter of "when" than "if" for Winker taking over the LF spot, and suggests that it should happen sooner rather than later.
Dan Szymborski's ZiPS project Winker to post a .333 OBP in the majors in 2016, higher than any current Reds hitter other than Joey Votto, and I can't disagree with that assessment. Winker would make their offense better right away, even as he continues to grow into his power and work on his defense.
Cody Reed also makes the list right around where you'd expect him to, at #54. He's someone who could easily move up quickly in rankings like these, too:
Reed needs more consistency on the slider; it's 82-85 but only an average pitch at the top end of that range, below which it gets a little slurvy and loses its bite, especially when he lets his arm drop a little and gets on the side of the ball. Despite that, he has been very tough on left-handed hitters because of his quick arm and extension out over his front side.
Checking in at #86 is Amir Garrett, and it's a lot that we've already known about him. Still, it's interesting to hear about how his repertoire has developed:
Garrett is primarily a two-pitch pitcher now, with a live 92-96 mph fastball that comes from a tough angle to see it, a little below three-quarters, and an improving slider that has good tilt as long as he doesn't drop down and get on the side of it. His changeup is still a work in progress and he can lose arm speed when throwing it, but it's light years ahead of where it was when he first signed, so there's some reason to believe it'll eventually be an average pitch.
Notably absent from this list is Jose Peraza, who was #71 on the MLB.com list and #52 on the Scout.com list. I think that's a pretty clear oversight, considering Law ranked him #24 on last year's list, it's hard to believe that he dropped that far in a season where he hit .293/.316/.378 as a 21-year-old in AAA, but I digress. I'd love to hear his reasoning there.
Anybody you think he missed?