Miles Gordon rang in at #24 on the Red Reporter Community Prospect list, which is good, because he’s a promising young talent far down in the system that could use some recognition.
But mainly what it means is that there’s only one spot left. Which means that this vote is very important, because whoever doesn’t make our list and is left over in the poll actually gets fired into the sun. I bet you didn’t know that, huh? The decision is in your hands.
Gavin LaValley, 1B, 23
Highest 2017 Level: AA (Pensacola)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Solid power hitter, hit 18 dingers and 30 doubles in 2017.
Most Worrisome Fact: 24.6 K%, .101 ISO in Double-A.
Alias(es): Gavin “As I walk through” LaValley, Lily of LaValley, Mountains and LaValleys
Although he was drafted as a third baseman in the 4th round of the 2014 draft, Gavin LaValley made the switch to first base full-time in 2017. While the good news is that he found a position where he can stick, the bad news is that he is blocked by a guy named Joey Votto. LaValley started the first half of the year in High-A Daytona where he put up solid numbers. He hit .288/.322/.538 with 15 dingers and 14 doubles in Daytona, which was by far his best start to a season. That earned him a call-up to Pensacola in June where he saw his power drop off, as he had a meager .352 SLG% for the second half.
While LaValley has the ability to spray the ball all over the field, his best tool is his power. While he struggled in that department in his first two minor league seasons, balls started leaving the yard and finding gaps at a much higher rate in 2016 and 2017. He has also shown solid pitch selection over his four minor league seasons, posting a career BB% of 8.4%. While his defense wasn’t good enough for him to stick at third, he is capable of staying at first base in the long run. Look for him to start the year in Double-A Pensacola.
Aristides Aquino, OF, 23
Highest 2017 Level: AA (Pensacola)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Walk rate actually went UP, highest it’s been (7.7 BB%)
Most Worrisome Fact: He still struck out a ton (28.8 K%, .282 OBP)
Alias(es): Heiress Titties,
Aquino was a big riser in our prospect rankings a year ago, as a toolsy younger who socked the shit out of the ball and showed all of the athleticism you’d want to see out of a 22 year old, having signed and played in the organization since 2011.
He’d finally gotten a taste of pro ball past the rookie level and mashed. There were concerns, to be sure...
AA ball didn’t treat him so well, however, and he’s fallen out of favor not only here but nearly everywhere else you’ll read. His .216/.282/.397 line is basically everything the doubters predicted; his wont to swing tanking anything resembling plate discipline, and not being able to tee off on higher level pitching as a result.
He’s been somewhat of a slow riser, and he’s failed to adjust at the next level upon immediately arriving. He finally blasted the hell out of rookie ball and then struggled at Dayton (though he did immediately mash Daytona pitching).
So maybe something will click when he starts his second full try at Pensacola (he did have his lowest BABIP in years, for instance). And all of the physical tools are still there. Regardless, the hot “under the radar” name from 2017’s list has fallen way back. Can he right the ship?
Jacob Heatherly, LHP, 19
Highest 2017 Level: Rookie League (Billings)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Lefty that can throw in the mid-90’s.
Most Worrisome Fact: 4.5 BB/9 in 2017
Alias(es): Heavenly, Roll Tide, King Jacob
Jacob Heatherly is the 3rd round pick in the 2017 draft out of Alabama. He is a lefty that was drafted straight out of high school, and the Reds paid him $1,000,000 not to attend the University of Alabama. Pretty sweet deal. Heatherly is a prospect that offers a lot of potential, but didn’t have the best senior season. That coupled with what was seen as a firm commitment to Alabama caused him to slide in the draft. At one point before the draft, he was seen as maybe the best left handed prep pitcher in the entire draft.
Either way, the Reds have shown again they are willing to throw money at prospects to improve the team, and Heatherly is definitely one to watch. He throws low to mid-90’s. There have been some slight concerns about his command during his final high school season. However, he also throws three pretty decent off speed pitches in a slider and a curveball. I would expect the Reds to have him scrap his curveball in favor of the slider,and immediately have him work at improving his change up. It’s a legit belief the Reds may have gotten a 1st round talent in the 3rd round just because of some control hiccups last spring.
Nick Howard, RHP, 24
Highest 2017 Level: Is still alive
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Has a heartbeat
Most Worrisome Fact: isn’t dead.
Alias(es): Sinus Rhythm, Frankenstein, Nick “I Was Worth This Pick”
Nick was a first round pick of the Reds back in 2014. You probably don’t believe that, but you can totally look it up if you’d like. It happened, I promise.
He was drafted at a time (especially at a time) when the Reds were trying to find athletic, two way, relievers to turn into starting pitchers. And he was a really good two way player in college, garnering places on the John Olerud Two-Way-Player of the year watch list in both 2013 and 2014, while being in the running for Stopper of the Year and Pitcher of the Year by the NCBWA.
Howard turned it into the 19th overall pick in 2014.
Unfortunately, as you’ve all read since then, Nick Howard* actually* died*
*Nick Howard didn’t die, he’s alive and well, but his prospect status has been super dead for a while despite everything I’ve mentioned above and because of his shoulder. Read this in a Ron Howard voice if you will.
This listing is obviously a joke. And I don’t mean to say that because Nick himself is joke. The fortune that’s befell him is less his fault and mostly his body’s.
That said, he’s still 24, and assuming his doctors ever stitch that arm back to it’s shoulder, he could still... I dunno... contribute? It’s a long road and this entry has kind of made me feel bad. Please vote.
Up to date Community Prospect Rankings for 2018:
- Nick Senzel
- Hunter Greene
- Taylor Trammell
- Jesse Winker
- Tyler Mahle
- Jose Siri
- Shed Long
- Tony Santillan
- Vladimir Gutierrez
- Jeter Downs
- Tyler Stephenson
- Alex Blandino
- Jose Israel Garcia
- Stuart Fairchild
- Jimmy Herget
- Jose Lopez
- TJ Friedl
- Scott Moss
- Chris Okey
- Phil Ervin
- Tanner Rainey
- Keury Mella
- Ariel Hernandez
- Miles Gordon
Who is the Reds #25 Prospect!
This poll is closed
*NICK HOWARD*CLICK HERE