If there’s one thing we are good at here at Red Reporter, it’s ranking prospects. If there’s something that’s enjoyable as ranking prospects, it’s comparing those rankings to those of years past. Prospect rankings can undergo some massive changes from year-to-year. Some players graduate to the majors, others get hurt, and the rest just kinda fall by the wayside. Below you will find the Community Prospect Rankings for the last two seasons, including each player’s change from 2016-2017. These are particularly interesting to look at because, especially in a rebuild, things can really change in the span of a year.
2016-2017 Community Prospect Rankings
|2017 List||2016 List|
|2017 List||2016 List|
|1. Nick Senzel, 3B (Drafted in 2016)||1. Jesse Winker, OF|
|2. Jesse Winker, OF (-1)||2. Robert Stephenson, SP|
|3. Cody Reed, SP (no change)||3. Cody Reed, SP|
|4. Amir Garrett, SP (+2)||4. Jose Peraza, SS/2B|
|5. Robert Stephenson, SP (-3)||5. Tyler Stephenson, C|
|6. Taylor Trammell, OF (Drafted in 2016)||6. Amir Garrett, SP|
|7. Luis Castillo, SP (Acquired from Marlins in Dan Straily trade)||T-7. Alex Blandino, 2B/SS|
|8. Aristides Aquino, OF (+11)||T-7. Nick Travieso, SP|
|9. Vladimir Gutierrez, SP (Signed in 2016)||9. Rookie Davis, SP|
|10. Tyler Stephenson, C (-5)||10. Keury Mella, SP|
|11. Antonio Santillan, SP (+6)||11. Yorman Rodriguez, OF|
|12. Sal Romano, SP (+8)||12. Phil Erivin, OF|
|13. Shed Long, 2B (Not on 2016 list)||13. John Lamb, SP|
|14. Phil Ervin, OF (-2)||14. Eric Jagielo, 1B/3B|
|15. Tyler Mahle, SP (+1)||15. Scot Schebler, OF|
|16. T.J. Friedl, OF, (Signed in 2016)||16. Tyler Mahle, SP|
|17. Alfredo Rodriguez, SS (Signed in 2016)||17. Antonio Santillan, SP|
|18. Chris Okey, C (Drafted in 2016)||18. Gavin LaValley, 3B/1B|
|19. Ian Kahaloa, SP (Not on 2016 list)||19. Aristides Aquino, OF|
|20. Jackson Stephens, SP (Not on 2016 list)||T-20. Sal Romano, SP|
|21. Alex Blandino, 2B/SS (-14)||T-20. Zach Weiss, RP|
|22. Rookie Davis, SP (-13)||22. Jon Moscot, SP|
|23. Keury Mella, SP (-13)||23. Seth Varner, SP|
|24. Gavin LaValley, 3B/1B (-6)||24. Blake Trahan, SS|
|25. Nick Travieso, SP (-18)||25. Jake Cave, OF|
The first thing you’ll notice is how much change occurred in the top 10 in the last year. While in most years this might be a normal thing, it’s pretty amazing considering that 9 of the top 10 prospects from 2016 are still in the system. Four of the newcomers in the top 10 weren’t in the system this time last year (2 draftees, 1 international signee, 1 acquired by trade), and the other (Aristides Aquino) had such a good season that he jumped 11 spots from 2016’s list to make the top 10.
Another thing I noticed is how much we soured on a few guys, especially those who had slow starts to their 2016 season, and got really excited about guys that had monster seasons. Nick Travieso and Alex Blandino each had a down year marked by a horrendous first half, only to bounce back and have a very solid finish to the season. They also both fell the farthest in the rankings, with Travieso making the farthest tumble from #7 in 2016 all the way down to #25. Now there are multiple factors that play into why they fell, and they aren’t all performance-based (prospect fatigue, newcomers, etc.), but it was interesting to see that both guys had similar seasons, were ranked the same in 2016, and fell as far as they did. Similarly, Shed Long and Aristides Aquino both had breakout seasons and had two of the largest jumps between the two years.
Lastly, this system had another year of solid additions. Our top three picks from the 2016 draft all cracked the top 20, while two of them made the top 10. We had a fourth who was draft eligible in TJ Friedl but since nobody knew about it at the time of the draft, the Reds were able to swoop in and sign him. He barely missed out on the top 15. We had two international signings, one of whom made the top 10 and is already drawing Raisel Iglesias comparisons. We also acquired one by trade in Luis Castillo, which threw a wrench in the system and called for a slight re-vote, who was the Marlins top prospect and was able to slot in at #7 in our list before all was said and done.
The system is deep and the future is bright for the Reds. It only took two years to turn a mediocre farm system into one that is deep and full of talent. Are there any other observations to be made? Let us know. It is a Community project, after all.