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2018 Red Reporter Community Prospect Rankings: Alex Blandino Is #12

Let those sweet, dreamy eyes burn into your soul.

Cincinnati Reds Photo Day Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Alex Blandino takes the #12 spot in one of the closer votes we have seen here. With just one vote, Blandino ripped the #12 spot from the young Cuban shortstop, Jose Israel Garcia. There certainly is a good argument between the two in the lists, but a guy that looks to be able to help the Reds in 2018 won out in the end. On to #13.

Stuart Fairchild, OF, 21

Highest 2017 Level: Pioneer League (Billings, R)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: .393 OBP in 234 PA at Billings

Most Worrisome Fact: .108 ISO despite being an advanced college bat in Rookie League

Alias(es): Stuart Little, Sweet Summer Fairchild, Stuballs

BB-Ref Page

The Reds 2nd round pick in 2017 out of Wake Forest, Fairchild signed for nearly $1.8 million and went to work in Billings, hitting .304 with a .393 OBP in 234 plate appearances.

Fairchild was an All-American as a freshman in college but faded a bit as a sophomore before coming on in his junior season. Fairchild is said to have the speed and athleticism to stick long term in CF with raw strength and bat speed to potentially make him threat at the plate.

There is some questions about his swing mechanics as he advances, as scouts see some swing and miss potential and question whether or not he’ll ever be able to hit well enough to tap into the power potential. Also, he slugged only .330 in 2016 stint in the Cape Cod League.

Regardless, he showed plenty a Billings to keep an eye on for his first full season in Dayton starting this season. If he can make the necessary adjustments, he’ll slot in as a lower ceiling but safer bet to produce in the outfield than some of his fellow, more highly regarded Reds prospects.

Jose Israel Garcia, SS, 19

Highest 2017 Level: Did not play in minors, signed in June

Eye-Poppingest Fact: $5,000,000 signing bonus

Most Worrisome Fact: Not actually played yet, so who the hell knows

Alias(es): Say It Ain’t Jose, Cherry Garcia, Holy Land

Dude doesn’t even have a BB-Ref page

There’s not a lot of tape to go on for the kid, but he was signed to a hefty signing bonus during the Reds spending spree in the 2016-2017 International signing class, joining Alfredo Rodriguez and Vlad Gutierrez as big gets for the team.

The thing you’ll read everywhere based on those who have seen him play in Cuba and at workouts in Mexico is that he’s a supreme athlete whose speed, arm strength, and range will allow him to hopefully stick at shortstop, as long as he doesn’t add too much bulk to his 6’3” frame.

Everything else you’ll read is iffy on the power potential, but he’s said to have a good doubles swing with an advanced hitting approach, with the potential to turn that gap power into dinger danger down the road.

It’ll be a wait and see game for 2018, but Garcia seems to be talented enough. Let’s see if he puts the tools together and makes the Reds look smart with their $5 million gamble.

Jose Lopez, RHP, 24

Highest 2017 Level: AA Pensacola

Eye-Poppingest Fact: Only 114 hits allowed over 147 IP; 8.8 K/9

Most Worrisome Fact: 3 BB/9, not huge “stuff”

Alias(es): “George”

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The Reds drafted Lopez in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. He was recovering from Tommy John surgery and wouldn’t make his debut in the system until 2015, pitching 57 solid innings for the Mustangs, striking out nearly 11 per 9. Things were a bit tougher in 2016 throughout A and A+, as his ERA pushed over 4 and his WHIP nearly 1.300. 2017 was solid, however, posting a 2.57 ERA over his stints in Daytona and Pensacola, with a K/9 near 9.

Lopez doesn’t have overwhelming stuff, probably due to the aforementioned Tommy John surgery. After reaching peak velo in college (upwards of 97 MPH), he hasn’t returned to those levels even three years after the elbow injury. Still, the fastball reportedly sits 90 to 93 MPH, with the capability to reach 95 MPH.

What he lacks in pure physicality he gains back in deception. One scout referred to it, relayed by blog fiend Doug Gray over at Reds Minor Leagues, as an “invisi-ball” because of the way Lopez hid it throughout his windup and delivery. Lopez also features a 12-6 curve and slider that are both average but potentially devastating if honed and used correctly.

We should see Lopez in Louisville sooner than later depending on how the pitching situation shakes out over Spring Training. Regardless, Lopez could be seeing time in Cincinnati this year, depending on how his year (and the team’s health) plays out. He as added to the 40 man roster this offseason, so you could possibly expect to see him in September, regardless.

Jimmy Herget, RHP, 24

Highest 2017 Level: AAA Louisville

Eye-Poppingest Fact: 2.90 ERA in 62 innings. 3.43 K/BB ratio

Most Worrisome Fact: K/9 rate dipped to a 7.8 in his promotion to AAA, but he also limited his walk rate.

Alias(es): I drink to Herget, Jimmy Eat World, Orange Herget

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Jimmy Herget was a 6th round pick out of the University of South Florida in 2015. All he has done since being drafted is eat up the competition out of the bullpen. He’s a guy that shows an ability to limit the walks (3.3 BB/9), keep hitters off balance (7.0 H/9), and strike them out (11.0 K/9) over his limited career. Bullpen arms do not typically make it super high in the rankings, but this just about where you start to see the ones making noise. Jimmy is one of them making the most noise, and getting the most notice from the Reds.

There is a very real chance he starts the season in the Reds bullpen and could quickly become one of the more reliable arms out of that group. He’s a potential great anchor leading up to Raisel Iglesias, and I don’t even think I’m getting ahead of myself. It gets kind of rare to see a relief prospect that shows the type of control and strikeout numbers that Herget has displayed so far. True, his strikeout numbers dipped in AAA, but hopefully that was just a blip in the radar.

Herget shows a fastball that is clocked anywhere from 90-96, but he also throws from multiple arm angles that drives hitters crazy. He couples his excellent fastball with a pretty decent slider and change up that he can throw for strikes. He’s the type of guy that you’d like to see as a starter, but obviously it’s something he’s never really done and shouldn’t be attempted at this point. I’m just a bit crazy for minor league pitchers that display good K/BB ratios in the high minors.

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
  8. Tony Santillan
  9. Vladimir Gutierrez
  10. Jeter Downs
  11. Tyler Stephenson
  12. Alex Blandino
  13. ??????????????


Who is the Reds #13 prospect?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Stuart Fairchild, OF, 21
    (30 votes)
  • 41%
    Jose Israel Garcia, SS, 19
    (89 votes)
  • 19%
    Jose Lopez, RHP, 24
    (41 votes)
  • 25%
    Jimmy Herget, RHP, 24
    (54 votes)
214 votes total Vote Now