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2019 Red Reporter Community Prospect Rankings: Tyler Stephenson Is #6!

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The former first round pick, a giant of a catcher, takes the #6 spot in Monday’s vote.

When Tyler Stephenson has been healthy he has shown everything the Reds hoped he could be behind the dish. Stephenson looks to build on a good 2018 as he’ll likely get pushed to AA, and possibly AAA by the end of the year, where hopefully plenty of maturation will happen. If we’re lucky, Stephenson could be knocking on the door to be the Reds pitching staff’s battery mate come 2020. Let’s keep dreaming big dreams because that’s what these lists are really all about. Also, they’re to prove to SBN that I do something around here so I can get a little bit of beer money.

Shed Long, 23, 2B

Highest 2018 Level: AA (Pensacola)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: 57 walks against 123 strikeouts in 522 plate appearances. .261/.353/.412 line.

Most Worrisome Fact: Can he stick at 2B? He was a bit streaky during the season with a slight drop in power

Alias(es): Shed My Pants, Tool Shed, Shedric Von Long In The Drawers

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Shed Long has been a guy that’s been hanging around for a while, and it’s funny because he’s the oldest guy on the list so far. He was drafted in the 12th round of the 2013 draft as a catcher. The catcher thing didn’t work out, obviously, but he’s athletic enough to play 2B. Ever since becoming a pro Shed has shown the ability to get on base while providing some very nice pop from a middle infielder position. He’s also good for 15-25 steals a year it seems. The one weakness that has always followed Long was if he has the glove to stick at 2B because otherwise he’d probably have to become a corner outfielder. His bat doesn’t play as well there.

Long had a relatively strong 2018 even if it was sort of underwhelming based on previous seasons. He also represented the Reds in the Arizona Fall League where he had a .644 OPS because he showed pretty much no power but had a OBP of .333. I’m also for some reason thinking that Shed had missed a small amount of time with an injury? Possibly a wrist injury? I can’t bring myself to do the research on it. Either way, Shed Long is a pretty dang good prospect to have kicking around in the Reds system at this point, and for a lot of teams he’d be in their top five. I’d expect him to start in AAA.

Jose Siri, 23, OF

Highest 2018 Level: AA (Pensacola)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: .245 ISO and a 8.3% walk rate in 283 AA at bats. He’s the best CF in the entire Cincinnati Reds system.

Most Worrisome Fact: 32.2% K rate in AA.

Alias(es): No Way Jose, R U Sirious?, Maple Siriup

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Someone asked for Jose Siri in the comments, and while I don’t think he should really be this high, I’ll abide. I also don’t care that much. Siri is probably the most volatile prospect in the Reds system. He’s arguably a Top 10 prospect, but there are also damn good arguments that he’s not a Top 20 prospect. It all depends on your feel and how you value these players in rankings. The one thing that Siri apologists can argue is that he has freakish potential. He’s a true five tool player and the best defensive outfielder (maybe outside of Mike Siani) in the entire system. With everything he can do on defense there are real good arguments he’s gold glove caliber and potentially better than Billy Hamilton was. As with the argument for Billy, can Siri hit Major League pitching?

The answer? I don’t know. Can he? He’s gonna have to show a bunch more. Siri struggles mightily with putting the bat on the ball, as his career strikeout numbers have shown us. When he does make contact, he hits the ball hard and his wheels help get him on base. In 2018, Siri did increase his walk rates to career highs. However, his strikeout numbers rose as well. He was considered an above average hitter in AA based on wRC+ but that is giving him a heavy bump up due to his walk rate and power. His batting average was low and his strikeouts were at a rate that it’s unrealistic to expect him to ever hit pitching at the top level.

Regardless, Siri is an exciting player to follow and watch. He was arguably the best player for Dayton in 2017 and there were high expectations for 2018. Sadly, he ran into a wall in the Reds first Spring Training game and seriously messed up his thumb and didn’t make it back until late May. He’s also been around for a while so if he’s going to make moves with the Reds, and potentially become the CF of the future, he’s gonna have to be serious in 2019 about maturing his approach at the plate.

Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP, 23

Highest 2018 Level: AA (Pensacola)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: 3.82 K/BB ratio, 8.9 K/9, 2.3 BB/9

Most Worrisome Fact: 4.35 ERA in 147 innings and was pretty hittable

Alias(es): Vlad Goots, Gootius Maximus, The Count

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Vladimir Gutierrez was an international signee ($4.75 M bonus) from the 2016 class where the Reds paid a whole bunch of money to some base ballers. I don’t want to go in great detail on those signings because they’re super controversial but Vladimir Gutierrez was not controversial. He is a small guy (6’0, 190lbs) and profiled much like Raisel Iglesias when he was signed. Gutierrez is also considered to be one of the more polished pitchers in the Reds system, and his name has been brought up briefly in trade rumors.

Gutierrez has had a rather up and down professional career so far. Scouts laud him for his control and breaking pitches. His fastball isn’t super overpowering (low to mid 90’s, but has touched as high as 98) but it has decent movement and he can control the pitch. The problem with it so far is that it gets hit well. He also has a curveball that grades out at 60 and a change up at 50. If you go based on his peripherals Gutierrez looks really good and some of his blips are probably just maturation and feel. There has also been some concerns about his endurance at the ends of games and near the end of the season. He did pitch 147 innings in 2018, and as long as he can limit the real bad games the sky is the limit for this kid. His start to the 2018 season was about as bad as it could get with an ERA of 5+ in April and 7+ in May, but he settled down well in the Summer months. I think there’s a real good shot that he starts the year in AAA.

TJ Friedl, OF, 23

Highest 2018 Level: AA (Pensacola)

Eye-Poppingest Fact: .381 OBP over 570 plate appearances in A+ and AA

Most Worrisome Fact: .100 ISO

Alias(es): TJ Of The Hill Friedl, Frield Day, You Got A Friedl In Me

At this point, I think everyone is aware that TJ Friedl came to the Reds as a undrafted Free Agent after some weird mix up in the 2016 draft. Basically, he was playing in an All-Star circuit, didn’t have an agent, and no one knew he was eligible to be drafted. Once it was figured out he was eligible to be drafted, the Reds threw the largest amount of money at him to sign him. I think it was something like $700,000 or so but don’t quote me on that. It’s also not like the Reds were throwing money around. They were the only team that could offered that much because of rules.

Regardless, the only thing Friedl has done since signing with the Reds is get on base, and he definitely did that in 2018. Friedl was putting up a super impressive season with Daytona (.405 OBP, .817 OPS) before being promoted to Pensacola and holding his own (.359 OBP, .719 OPS). Scouts like Friedl because of his dependability and because he’s a bit scrappy. He plays a good center field, and can reliably play all over the outfield, and as long as he gets on base he’ll find himself in the big leagues sooner rather than later. There could be a bit of controversy putting him on the voter list so early because he does lack that big prospect ceiling. But, he’s also one of those players that shows reliable skills that could make him a starter or at least a 4th outfielder type. Honestly, he’s probably one of my favorite prospects in the system so he’s getting a favoritism boost.

Poll

Who is the Reds #7 prospect?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Shed Long, 2B
    (56 votes)
  • 33%
    Jose Siri, OF
    (60 votes)
  • 22%
    Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP
    (40 votes)
  • 12%
    TJ Friedl, OF
    (23 votes)
179 votes total Vote Now