Prospect rankings might not be your thing, and if so, I certainly don’t blame you. We’re inundated with them this time every year, as the period between the calendar turning and the start of actual baseball often features large voids without any real news.
For Cincinnati Reds fans, though, this particular prospect ranking season should be one of particular interest, since the farm system at this point is as healthy as its been in a decade, really. Back to back #2 overall draft picks does have a funny way of expediting a rebuild by bolstering the farm, y’know, and both Nick Senzel and Hunter Greene have found their names among the upper echelon of prospect rankings by most every wonk and guru out there this year.
ESPN’s Keith Law is no different in that regard, as both Senzel and Greene feature prominently in his Top 100 prospect list, which was released in full today. It’s behind a paywall, of course, but I can relay that Senzel checked in at #9 overall, Greene landed at #22, and the duo was joined in the Top 50 by outfielder Taylor Trammell at #41. Add-in Tyler Mahle at #69, and the Reds have a nice foursome on a list that hasn’t exactly been kind to Cincinnati’s farm or developmental system in previous years, and that’s a step in the right direction.
In more Senzel news, the Reds’ top prospect was named as the second best 3B prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, ranking only behind Toronto Blue Jays farmhand Vlad Guerrero, Jr. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon has more on Senzel, including quotes from Cincinnati manager Bryan Price on Senzel’s potential roles with the club once he reaches the big league level (hopefully later this year).
Over at MLB Daily Dish, they attempted to find one free agent fit for every single team in baseball since every single free agent on the market this winter is still seemingly without a team. Interestingly enough, they didn’t just name a no-name reliever on a minor league deal when it came to the Reds - rather, Lance Lynn as a fit to help stabilize the rotation was their choice. While the odds of such a signing actually coming to fruition are absolutely slim to none, it’s an idea I would totally be behind since, in theory, it would be a signing not just for 2018, but for 2019 and 2020, too.
At /mlb, Grant Brisbee has thoughts on the new chaos that pitch clocks will bring to baseball.
It’s the time of year when I find myself staring endlessly at Joey Votto stats. I’m lying. There’s no one time of year when that happens. It happens daily. Every day. Every single damn day, because that’s just how absurd Joey Votto is at baseball. Today, though, I found myself again marveling at how incredible Votto is as a lefty facing left-handed pitching. Over the course of the last three seasons combined, he’s been head, shoulders, and eyebrows above the rest of the lefty swingers in the game in that aspect, as judged by most any single statistic you can find.
Former Johnny Cueto trade-piece John Lamb is still kicking around the game. SBN’s Chris Cotillo reports Lamb is heading back to the Los Angeles Cozarts on a minor league deal.
Finally, the San Francisco Giants signed outfielder Austin Jackson to a 2-year contract last night, likely to man CF for them while flanked by Andrew McCutchen and Hunter Pence. As Chad Dotson of Redleg Nation noted, that should effectively end the Giants’ pursuit of Billy Hamilton and that, in turn, effectively slams the door shut on the only rumor of any validity in the realm of the Reds this winter. What a dumb, dumb, boring offseason for all parties involved.