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2017 Red Reporter Community Prospect Rankings: Keury Mella Is Your #23 Prospect!

I still don't know how you're supposed to say this guy's name.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

What do you do with Keury Mella?  Is he a top 10 prospect or in the 20's range?  Most prospect gurus have him all over the place and that has to do with his obvious arm talent but inconsistency when he pitches.  I remembering being excited when we got Mella for Mike Leake, but what he's shown since coming to the Reds organization has tempered that excitement.  It seems it has for you as well.  The nice thing is Mella does have a lot of talent, and can prove us all wrong in 2017.

Blake Trahan, SS

Highest 2016 Level: High-A (Daytona)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: .337 career OBP over 2 seasons. 25 SB in 2016.

Most Worrisome Fact: Power, .360 career SLG% over 2 seasons.

Alias(es): Blake Tree-hee-han, Kinder Kid

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Blake Trahan was drafted by the Reds in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft out of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. After smoking the ball in 47 games in Billings, the Reds promoted him to High-A Daytona where he really struggled. Going into 2016 the Reds kept him in Daytona and he initially struggled, hitting .128/.198/.186 over the month of April. He finally turned things around and had himself a solid year at the plate, slashing .263/.325/.321 in his first full season in Daytona. He is a high floor player who relies on speed, defense, and plate discipline as his biggest assets, demonstrated by his 25 steals and 49/73 BB/K in 2016. His biggest issue is his power, as he only has 5 home runs in his 2 seasons. He should see time at Double-A Pensacola in 2017.

Zach Vincej, 25, SS

Highest 2016 level: Double-A (Pensacola)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: .309/.353/.434 after June 1 in 2016. Only 4 errors in 105 games at shortstop in 2016.

Most Worrisome Fact: Turns 26 in May and has not played higher than Double-A

Alias(es): Soft J, Cincy

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Always known for his defense, the former 37th-round pick out of Pepperdine finally had his breakout season in Pensacola in 2016. After hitting just .207/.270/.234 through May, he went on a tear starting in June, going .309/.353/.434 the rest of the way. He would follow that performance up by slashing .352/.425/.676 in the Arizona Fall League, good for the third-highest batting average in the league. Vinej has always made consistent contact and showed great plate discipline throughout his career, but his power was always lacking. While his strikeouts increased last season, he showed more power at the plate, doubling his extra base-hits from 15 in 2015 to 30 in 2016. He is getting up there in age (he turns 26 in May) so time is starting to run out for the shortstop, especially with the crowded infield situation in the Reds system at the moment, but the improvement at the plate combined with his exceptional defense is certainly encouraging for the Reds.

Gavin LaValley, 22, 1B/3B

Highest 2016 Level: Daytona (A+)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: 195 ISO, .334 OBP

Most Worrisome Fact: Can he play 3B? It sounds like it's a no.

Alias(es): Deep in LaValley, LaValley of Death, Big Boomer Sooner

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Gavin LaValley has now been with the Reds since 2014 when he was drafted as a 1B that they thought had a chance to stick at 3B. He was a very big kid that lost a ton of weight to get ready for pro baseball. In all reality, he would have been a higher pick but concerns about his college commitment and his weight pushed him down to the 4th round of the draft. The Reds continued to be interested despite those concerns because scouts raved about his tremendous bat speed. Gavin is/was strong.

The strength and power had not shown up previously to this year, but he had shown a rather advanced approach to hitting for such a young player. The ball wasn't flying over the fence or into the gaps with any kind of regularity but he was still finding himself on base. After an injury slowed his start to 2017, LaValley showed he has some of that pop scouts fawned over. He kept rather similar walk and strikeout rates, but his ISO rates spiked up about 100 points from his career average. His final batting line for the season was .275/.334/.470. He hit 11 dingers, 29 doubles, and 2 triples in 374 plate appearances. The downside is he played 2/3rds of his games at 3B. Gavin should start the 2017 season in AA.

Austin Brice, 24, RHP

Highest 2016 level: MLB (Miami)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: 89/30 K/BB, 1.098 WHIP in AA and AAA in 2016.

Most Worrisome Fact: 7.07 ERA in 14 MLB innings.

Alias(es): Austin "City Limits" Brice, Austin Brice "Harper", "Cold as" Brice

BB-Ref Page

Austin Brice is a newcomer to the Reds organization in 2017. In a trade that has already shook up these rankings once, Brice was one of three prospects sent from Miami in the Dan Strailydeal. He was the Marlins 9th round pick in 2010 and, up until the 2016 season, spent all his time in the minor leagues as a starter. After compiling a 4.67 ERA as a starter in his first season in Double-A Jacksonville, he split time as a starter and a reliever in 2016 and fared much better. He put up a 2.89 ERA over 93.1 innings with 79 strikeouts and 29 walks, earning him a short call-up to Triple-A New Orleans before making his Major League debut in Miami at the end of the season.

His short stint in the majors could have gone better, as he complied a 7.07 ERA over his cup of coffee. He gave up a lot of runs in 14 innings, as young pitchers tend to do sometimes, but had some solid peripherals that were encouraging. He struck out 14 batters over those 14 innings while walking only 5.

Brice throws a fastball that sits at 90-95 with a slider that reaches the high 80s. He also throws a solid curve and a changeup. Control has been his biggest issue throughout his career and it plagued him as a starter. His move to the bullpen seemed to alleviate those issues, though, as he went from walking 5-6 per 9 each year to a 2.6 BB/9 in the minors in 2016. Don’t be shocked if he is competing for a spot in the bullpen in early 2017.

Nick Travieso, 23, SP

Highest 2016 Level: Pensacola (AA)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: 3.84 ERA in 117.1 AA innings.  2.45 ERA with a 8.2 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9 in the AFL.

Most Worrisome Fact: Only average stuff but scouts say it's improving.  4.1 BB/9 in AA

Alias(es): Naughty Nick, Krampus

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Travieso is one of those pitchers that is always a conundrum.  He's a former first round pick, which means he has some obvious talent.  However, he never seems to fully put it together.  He's posted decent ERA's over his career, but he's never been overpowering.  For most of his career he's been known for limiting walks and mistakes when hitters do hit him.  That probably has something to do with his skill set.  He can throw a mid 90's fastball and has decent control, but you never hear much about his secondary pitches.

Travieso was striking out more batters in AA to start the 2016 season but that also translated to higher walk rates and he was giving up a lot of runs.  His ERA sitting through June was hovering right around 5.00.  Then in July he just decided to quit walking guys.  In that month he posted a 2.05 ERA, and in August he continued with a 3.91 ERA.  All of that culminated to when he completely dominated the Arizona Fall League, and that was pretty cool.  Nick combines the talent of a 1st round pick with that of a finesse pitcher.  It's only a matter of time until we figure out if his future is in the starting rotation or the bullpen.

UP-TO-DATE COMMUNITY PROSPECT RANKINGS FOR 2017:

1. Nick Senzel

2. Jesse Winker

3. Cody Reed

4. Amir Garrett

5. Robert Stephenson

6. Taylor Trammell

7. Luis Castillo

8. Aristides Aquino

9. Vladimir Gutierrez

10. Tyler Stephenson

11. Antonio Santillan

12. Sal Romano

13. Shed Long

14. Phil Ervin

15. Tyler Mahle

16. T.J. Friedl

17. Alfredo Rodriguez

18. Chris Okey

19. Ian Kahaloa

20. Jackson Stephens

21. Alex Blandino

22. Rookie Davis

23. Keury Mella

24. ????????????