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2018 Red Reporter Community Prospect Rankings: Shed Long Is #7!

That’s Shed “Ding Dong” Long to you!

MiLB: APR 28 Florida State League - Tortugas at Yankees Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Don’t call him Shedric, cause his name is Shed, Long picked up the 7th spot in our Community Prospect Rankings. We’re looking forward to a good year from ya, kid. Please, don’t disappoint. Another second baseman is being added to the list because why not?

Antonio Santillan, RHP, 20

Highest 2017 Level: A (Dayton Dragons)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: 9.6 career K/9.

Most Worrisome Fact: 4.4 career BB/9.

Alias(es): Santigold, Guns Up Tony.

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The Reds selected Santillan in the 2nd round of the 2015 draft out of Seguin, TX. While the right-hander has been known as a fireballer that will blow people away, he struggled with command during his first two minor league seasons. His first full season in MiLB showed why the Reds thought so highly of him back in 2015, as he put up his best season of his young career with Low-A Dayton. He improved his command and posted a career-best 3.9 BB/9 in 2017 while still striking out 9 per 9 innings. His best start in 2017 came back on May 8, where he dominated Cedar Rapids by striking out 10 over 6 innings while giving up only 1 run and no walks.

He will be 21 for most of the 2018 season, so he has plenty of time to continue to work out his control issues. Hopefully he uses his strong 2017 to continue to improve in 2018. Santillan will most likely start the 2018 season in Daytona.

Vladimir Guttierez, RHP, 22

Highest 2017 Level: Class A+ (Daytona)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: 8.2 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 4.95 K/BB ratio

Most Worrisome Fact: 4.46 ERA in 103 innings pitched.

Alias(es): Gooter, Little Vlad, Vlad The Impaler

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At the end of the 2016 season, the Reds signed the 6’0 190lb right handed pitcher out of Cuba for $4.75 million. He’s recently just pitched his first season in the Reds organization, and outside of some late season wearing down did nothing to show the signing wasn’t warranted. In fact, he’s one of the more exciting arms in the system.

Guttierez is a pitcher who sits in the 92-95 MPH range, but can dial it up to 97 if he needs to. Scouts have stated his curveball is a plus pitch, but he needs to refine a third pitch to be successful in the majors. I’ve heard he’s a lot like Iglesias in that he will throw his curveball at multiple angles and speeds. That may lessen his need for a improved third pitch, but it wouldn’t hurt to add one. Vlad is also known for his wonderful control, which was on full display last year. Only Tyler Mahle has shown a better grasp at getting batters out while still striking them out and limiting walks.

The one concern about Guttierez is whether or not he’ll be able to stick in the rotation. He has all the stuff, like Iglesias, but he also gets all the negative comparisons of Iglesias. Vlad is slight of size for what you’d normally consider a starting prospect, and he did tend to wear down near the end of the season. I’d like to chalk that up to him being younger, and it does appear the Reds are being much more cautious with the young man. They also have the time to do so. Coincidentally, Gutierrez’s ERA’s went down with each month last year, until his last start, but so did his strikeouts. Going from a 11.7 K/9 to a 5.2 K/9 average in July and August. Even with all the concerns, you can’t ignore his upside, which is why you find him as a choice at this point.

Tyler Stephenson, C, 21

Highest 2017 Level: Low-A (Dayton Dragons)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: 12.6% walk rate and .374 OBP in 2017.

Most Worrisome Fact: Has not been able to stay healthy over the last 2 seasons, power has dropped since arriving in MiLB.

Alias(es): Ty Steve, “Kennesaw”, “Bat Flippin’”

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Tyler Stephenson was drafted in the first round of the 2015 draft as the 11th overall pick. Profiling as a catcher who could hit for both average and power, he came into the Reds’ system with plenty of hype. He was even slated as the number 2 overall catching prospect heading into the 2016 season by

The biggest issue facing Stephenson so far has been his ability to stay healthy. His 2016 season was pretty much derailed by injuries, as he suffered a concussion early in the season and then hit the DL three other times with left wrist issues. A drop in power was also an issue in 2016, as he only collected 8 extra-base hits over 39 games in Dayton. How much of that had to do with his wrist issues would remain to be seen.

Thankfully in 2017, we got a glimpse of what he could do when he was healthy. In 80 games in Low-A Dayton, he hit .278/.374/.414 with 6 home runs and 22 doubles while walking 44 times against 58 strikeouts. Unfortunately, in the middle of July when he was going on an absolute tear at the plate, his season ended with a torn ligament in his right thumb that required surgery. Hopefully 2018 will bring better luck on the injury side and we can see what he can do over a full season. Look for him to start in High-A Daytona this year.

Alex Blandino, 2B, 25

Highest 2017 Level: AAA (Louisville)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: 32 walks against 37 strikeouts in 237 AAA plate appearances (.390 OBP). 49 total extra base hits in 2017.

Most Worrisome Fact: He’s getting a bit old for a prospect, there is still concern about his “Stanford” swing, and his defensive ability.

Alias(es): The Great Blandino, Blandiyes, The Standford of Swat, Alex The Great

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Alex Blandino has been around for a while, and has been all over the prospect rankings. Right now you’ll see him lower on most, but that mostly has to do with his age. Here at RR that may concern us too, but he’s shown enough in the minors that we’re willing to wipe it away. Mostly, it has to do with his 2017 season which was the best of his career and came at the most opportune time.

Blandino has shown good plate discipline in the past and swats quite a few extra base hits as shown above. His detractors hate on him for where he went to school. If you didn’t know, Stanford hitting coaches usually change the swing of their players to fit a certain mold. They basically change everything to hit the other way, and are really big into small ball. When in reality you should never bunt and always hit dingers. That did not keep from Blandino from being the 29th overall pick in the 2014 draft. He was the compensation pick (when there was such a thing) for Shin Soo Choo signing with Texas.

Blandino has also been knocked for his ability to stay at 2B, but he’s also played all over the field since becoming a pro. As of right now, it seems the Reds have definitely noticed as Blandino has been instructed to get reps at a variety of different positions, including the outfield. There is a realistic shot to see him make the club out of spring training as a super sub bench bat. That would be pretty sweet. Blandino makes the list at this point because he looks to be a player that could add some real value right now, even if that isn’t top end value. He’s an extremely high floor player, while the upside potential may be limited, and so will his position in the field. It doesn’t help they’re telling Senzel to do everything they’re telling Blandino to do.

Up to date Community Prospect Rankings for 2018:

  1. Nick Senzel
  2. Hunter Greene
  3. Taylor Trammell
  4. Jesse Winker
  5. Tyler Mahle
  6. Jose Siri
  7. Shed Long


Who is the Reds #8 prospect?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Antonio Santillan, RHP, 20
    (70 votes)
  • 27%
    Vladimir Guttierez, RHP, 22
    (49 votes)
  • 23%
    Tyler Stephenson, C, 21
    (43 votes)
  • 10%
    Alex Blandino, 2B, 25
    (18 votes)
180 votes total Vote Now