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2017 Red Reporter Community Prospect Rankings: Gavin LaValley Is Your #24 Prospect!

Swings so hard you can hear the thunderclap from miles away.

Gavin LaValley has slid down the list a little bit since last year, but that has more to do with the depth in the system than this play in 2016.  LaValley put up the best numbers of his young professional career, and looks to continue his improvement into 2017.  Gavin will probably get to spend some time this summer in Pensacola and if he tears the cover off the ball it will be on to Louisville.  With Joey Votto manning 1B it doesn't look like there will be room for him in Cincytown in the future but you never really know.

You'll be voting for the #25 prospect and then we'll be mercifully ending this experiment for the 2017 year.  No one knew is added but you'll still have four choices.

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

BB-Ref Page

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

BB-Ref Page

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.

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

BB-Ref Page

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. Gavin LaValley

25. ????????????????????