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2016 RR Community Prospect Rankings: Jake Cave is #25!

Jake Cave we hardly know ye, but we picked ye.

He looks like he hung out with Bryan
He looks like he hung out with Bryan
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The former Yankee come Reds prospect has nailed down the #25 spot in what ended up being a close race.  Really, they're all getting pretty close because none of us know what we're doing at this point and we're getting bored.  However, we gotta get to #30!  We must prevail! Whoooopieeeee!!!  He's your choices for #26.

Tanner Rainey, 23, RHP

Highest 2015 Level: Rookie (Billings)
Eye-Poppingest Fact:
Mid 90's fastball. 15 games started in 2015, 8.7 K/9
Most Worrisome Fact: Lack of experience, age, durability
Rainey Skies, Tanner Mom, Danny Tanner Rainey, Tanner I Hardly Knew Her

BB-Ref Page

Tanner Rainey was the Reds 2nd round pick out of West Alabama University with a big arm.  He was a two way player for the Division II West Alabama, leading the division in home runs and slugging percentage, but the Reds plan on using his big right arm on the mound.  Rainey sits in the mid 90's and touches 97 on the radar gun with a potential plus slider.  He also throws changeup that he can throw for strikes but doesn't look to be a great pitch.

Rainey is a big guy at 6'2 235 pounds.  He played 1B at West Alabama which explains where all that power came from.  The things he has working against him right now is his age and lack of a third pitch.  As the Reds have with most college relievers, they'll try and see if he can stick as a starter first.  However, he looks to be a guy you'd look to fast track for a major league bullpen.  He has definite closer potential.

Jose Lopez, 22, RHP

Highest 2015 Level: Rookie (Billings)
Eye-Poppingest Fact:
10.6 K/9 in his pro debut.  1.91 ERA with a 6.14 K/BB over his final 7 starts in 2015.
Most Worrisome Fact: High likelihood of ending up in a bullpen role.

Alias(es): No known aliases.

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Jose Lopez fits the mold of hard throwers with low mileage on their arms that the Reds can't seem to stay away from.  Lopez, a New Jersey native, was taken in the 6th round of the 2014 draft out of Seton Hall, where he logged just 99 innings between his freshman and sophomore seasons.  With a fastball that could touch 98, as well as a power slider, Lopez was predicted to be a high-round pick before he blew out his elbow and ended up needing Tommy John surgery.  The Reds took a risk selecting Lopez in the 6th round, but they hope that with a full recovery, they could end up with a steal in the 6'1" righty.

Lopez made his debut in Billings this past season, and the Reds were careful with the young hurler as he slowly upped his innings after a long break from the mound.  Midway through the short season, the Mustangs let off the reins a bit, and Lopez dominated over the home stretch.  All told, he finished the season with a 3.16 ERA over 57 innings, striking out 67 and walking 19.

He's still a long way from the majors, and the Reds may be a bit more conservative upping his innings year to year if they want to keep him in a starting role.  However, with a high 90's fastball, and an above average slider, they could choose to fast-track him for a bullpen role in the more near future.

Wyatt Strahan, 22, RHP

Highest 2015 Level: A (Dayton)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: 2.79 ERA in 164.1 innings pitched.  2.9 BB/9
Most Worrisome Fact: 7.3 K/9

Alias(es): Wyatt Earp, Wyatt Derp,

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Wyatt Strahan was a 3rd round pick out of USC in 2014, and he spent the entire season in Dayton where he pitched pretty well.  He put up a good ERA and a respectable 1.284 WHIP, though I'd like to see it a little lower.  Strahan is obviously a higher pick who has performed well.  His strikeouts are a bit low for a pitcher who is supposed to be as polished as he is.

Strahan got a lot of innings under his belt and he's a definite candidate to be a starter in the future.  I wouldn't say his ceiling is awfully high, but he could be a quick mover through the organization.  Teams don't typically give former college picks a ton of time if they're doing well.  I'd come up with some scouting reports, but I'm feeling super lazy.

Seth Mejias-Brean, 24, 3B

Highest 2015 Level: AA (Pensacola)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Great defense; 12.8% BB% in AA
Most Worrisome Fact: Power significantly dropped in AA
Alias(es): Brean Burrito, Seth Matthews Band

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Selected in the 8th round of the 2012 draft out of Arizona, Seth showed a lot of promise in his first two seasons in the Reds organization. He crushed the ball in Dayton and Bakersfield, enough so to get the call to AA Pensacola for the second half of 2014. He saw his power significantly drop in 2014 and, while there was a slight improvement, things didn't go much better in 2015 where he posted a .247/.352/.360 line. His plate approach has stayed consistent throughout his minor league career, posting a solid OBP, K%, and BB% at every stop he has made. He also brings solid defense to the hot corner with above average range and a good arm. He turns 25 this season, so his clock is ticking for him to make some serious improvements this year.

Kyle Waldrop, 24, OF

Highest 2015 Level: MLB (Reds)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Can play both outfield spots and is a toosly outfielder.  Put up a very good season as late as 2014
Most Worrisome Fact: Doesn't hit many dingers, adverse to walks, had a very bad 2015
Alias(es): Balldrop, NASCAR, Wallflower

BB-Ref Page

Kyle Waldrop is a prospect that shot up the organizational lists pre-2015 after a very strong showing in A+ and AA ball the year before.  He was dropping hits like they were hot, and keeping pace with Jesse Winker for offensive goodies.  Doing so got Waldrop a 2014 trip to the Arizona Fall League where he continued to perform well.  Prospect watchers started to take notice, but then 2015 happened.  I hate 2015.

In 2015, Waldrop got off to a slow start in AA and things got even worse with a promotion to AAA.  His OPS for the entire season was .605, so I'll let that sink in for a bit.  That's bad.  It was a .300 point drop from the year before.  There were many concerns that Waldrop's 2014 was very BABIP driven, and it looks like some of that luck wore off in 2015.  Kyle did get called up to the big leagues for one plate appearance where he struck out.  Whatever the case may be, Kyle Waldrop is still a guy to watch in the minors and that's why we're including him on this list.  There also aren't many other choices in the minors since Juan Silva is no longer in the organization.