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2017 Red Reporter Community Prospect Rankings: Taylor Trammell Is Your #6 Prospect!

Now, we'll just have to wait and see if the kid can build on this momentum.

Taylor Trammell continues to impress, and there is no doubt of his potential ability.  In fact, Baseball America stated a few days ago that if we were just basing prospect on their future potential only, Taylor Trammell would be the #1 prospect in the system.  Obviously, we don't base lists off only ceiling as it's highly volatile, but that's pretty dang cool.  Trammell will probably start the season in Dayton where we'll see if he can continue to raise that floor to match his ceiling.

On to #7.

Tyler Stephenson, C, 20

Highest 2016 Level: A (Dayton Dragons)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: .356 OBP in his first season of professional ball.

Most Worrisome Fact: Only 8 extra-base hits in 39 games last season.

Alias(es): Ty Steve, The Bat Flip

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Taken 11th overall in the 2015 draft, Tyler Stephenson was hoping to build off a mostly successful first professional season. He came into 2016 with plenty of hype, as MLB.comranked him as their #2 overall catching prospect heading into the season. Unfortunately for Ty Steve, concussions and wrist injuries pretty much derailed his 2016. He was limited to only 39 games in Dayton, hitting only .216/.278/.324. Considering how well he hit in 2015 against mostly college pitching, we can probably chalk up his poor performance to his poor health. The one thing that is worrisome is that he hasn’t shown much power since he was drafted. He only hit one home run in Billings in 2015 and followed it up with three in Dayton in 2016. Again, it is hard to read much into his 2016 numbers due to the injuries. Hopefully a healthy Stephenson in 2017 gives us a much clearer picture of what we should look forward to down the road.

Vladimir Gutierrez, SP/RP, 21

Highest 2016 Level: Has not played in an American pro league

Eye-Poppingest Fact: #4 International Prospect in 2016. Grade 60 Fastball and Curveball

Most Worrisome Fact: Has primarily pitched out of the bullpen.

Alias(es): Dracula, Gooter, The Impaler

Vladimir Gutierrez is an international prospect that was signed out of Cuba for $4.5 million. Note: Alfredo Rodriguez was given even more money. With the signing of both the Reds went over their international signing bonus allotment, which turned that $4.5 mil in to really $9 mil. So, they gave up quite a bit to get Vlad, and there is a good reason for that. Vladimir Gutierrez comps out pretty well to former Cuban player, Raisel Iglesias.

Vladimir Gutierrez is 6'1 and 172 pounds. While that's about as tall as Iglesias, he's actually about 10 pounds lighter. He's only a bit bigger than Billy Hamilton. Gutierrez packs a punch in such a slight frame. He sits in the low to mid 90's with a hammer curve and good control. He also throws a changeup that has shown some life. Given his size and history there is a real risk he will end up in the bullpen, but there are some scouts outside the Reds that believe he has a pretty good shot to be a starter. With that kind of upside he has to be placed rather high even if we don't know much about him.

Aristides Aquino, RF, 22

Highest 2016 Level: A+ (Daytona)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: 23 HR, .519 SLG in FSL both ranked 2nd of those with at least 300 PA.

Most Worrisome Fact: 6.5% B%; at 22 (23 in April) and having not played above A+, he’s not getting any younger

Alias(es): Heiress Titties

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Aquino’s been hyped before; after a strong and powerful break out 2014 season at Billings, you all were astounded enough by his potential to vote him into the number 11 spot on 2015’s list (just behind Nick Howard, but let’s not go to those dark thoughts). He would struggle through 2015 with an underwhelming season marred by a wrist injury suffered in late April. The prospect shine had faded.

He returned to our conscience in a big way in 2016, providing loads of offense in a league that does its best to temper it and was named Reds minor leaguer of the year. Aquino is who he’s always been: amazingly gifted with power for days. His K% fell and his B% rose slightly over 2016, but neither stand out as good traits, and both will need refinement going forward for Aquino to reach his true ceiling. His adjustment to AA Pensacola will be one of the more interesting minor league storylines to follow this season.

No longer a mysterious 20 year old like he was when he first appeared on this list, Aquino has some fascinating abilities, but he cannot afford a 2015-like stumble in the coming year.

Sal Romano, 23, RHP

Highest 2016 Level: AA (Pensacola)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: 8.2 K/9, 2 BB/9 in 2016 was a career best.

Most Worrisome Fact: Still lacks a 3rd pitch, the bullpen looms

Aliases: Sloppy Sal, Mad Man, The Real Salvatore

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Romano reached Pensacola late in 2015 and got crushed, and it looks like because of that we left him off of our rankings last season. Sal took note, because he came back with a vengeance in 2016, limiting AA batters to a 3.52 ERA through 156 IP, leading to a career best K and BB rate.

Romano’s a big dude that throws a good mid-90s fastball, and compliments it with a hard breaking slider. Sal’s started nearly every professional game in his career, and he’s done well, once he adjusted to each level. Problem is, he lacks a sufficient third pitch needed to be a top level starter, despite having a bulldog work ethic.

Perhaps he’ll find a good changeup in Louisville. Perhaps not. Scouts believe he has the capability of being a shutdown late inning reliever, when he’s able to run the fastball up into the triple digits.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

Alfredo Rodriguez, SS, 22

Highest 2016 Level: DSL Reds
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Defense! Cuba's Rookie of the Year in 2014-2015
Most Worrisome Fact: The hit tool is, uh, lacking
Alias(es): Alf-Rod, Pasta-Rod,
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The Reds spent a long time to make this deal official, but finally got this signing done in early July 2016. The Reds gave him upwards of $7 million to sign, the largest in the class, but will actually cost around $9 million since the Reds exceeded their pool money to pull it off.

Rodriguez is raw with a flashy glove. He was honored with the Cuban League's Rookie of the Year award in 2015, and the Reds value him as a future everyday SS in MLB. The bat is still a major question, however. Rodriguez spent all of his time in the DSL after having visa issues last season, and he didn't exactly light up the scoreboard despite playing against less-experienced talent.

The Reds did a lot of scouting here and are very confident in Rodriguez's ability, but he's very much a question mark in the organization. His glove is going to give him a leg up, but he still has a lot to prove once he comes stateside.


1. Nick Senzel

2. Jesse Winker

3. Cody Reed

4. Amir Garrett

5. Robert Stephenson

6. Taylor Trammell

7. ????????????