On Wednesday MLB Pipeline released their updated rankings of the Reds top 30 prospects. You can read the entire list here. Red Reporter has already covered a number of preseason prospect lists this month (Keith Law, John Sickels, Scout). What was noteworthy from the MLB Pipeline list?
Jesse Winker is #1
Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus both have Robert Stephenson at the top of their Reds organizational rankings. However, MLB Pipeline has put the 22 year old outfielder in the top spot. They were very impressed by the adjustments he made after a difficult start to 2015. Ultimately they see Winker as "an extremely advanced hitter" who will "hit for a high average" with a "ceiling of 25 homer seasons." Bryan Price has already stated that Winker will have an opportunity to make the Reds Opening Day roster. If Cincinnati can find a willing trade partner for Jay Bruce it becomes even more likely that Winker gets his shot in the big leagues this season.
The Arrival of the Newcomers
Cincinnati used the trades of Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Todd Frazier, and Aroldis Chapman to bring back a number of prospects. So how did these newcomers stack up against the rest of the Reds prospects?
Cody Reed - 3
Jose Peraza - 5
Keury Mella - 6
Rookie Davis - 12
Eric Jagielo - 14
Scott Schebler - 16
John Lamb - 21
What About Jose Peraza?
Peraza was the centerpiece of the Todd Frazier deal for Cincinnati. Since that trade analysts have been split on his potential. As Derek already noted Keith Law left Peraza off his top 100 prospect list, and ranked him 8th in the Reds organization. MLB Pipeline ranked him as Cincinnati's 5th best prospect, and he landed at #71 on MLB Pipeline's top 100 prospects list.
MLB Pipeline noted that Peraza's "low strikeout rate really appealed to Cincinnati." His speed gets graded out as his best tool (70), but that is qualified with concerns about his on-base skills. He'll likely spend time at 2B for Cincinnati, and MLB Pipeline notes the Reds hope he can be a "plus defender."