Vladimir Gutierrez is nothing, if not consistent. For the second straight season, the Community voted for the Cuban right-hander as the Reds’ 9th best prospect. He had somewhat of an up-and-down season in 2018, but the strikeouts and the control were still good enough for him to stay in the top 10. Another pitcher joins the group today, so get out and vote, all ye Redlegs.
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.
Mike Siani, 19, OF
Highest 2018 Level: Rookie (Greeneville)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .288/.351/.386 slash line over 205 plate appearances. He’s like really good at playing the defense.
Most Worrisome Fact: .98 ISO and he didn’t pick up many steals.
Alias(es): Mike Trout Siani, Mike Salami, Say It Ain’t Siani
When picking the new guy to put on the list I kept thinking to myself, “Don’t pick the young guy that’s in lower level rookie ball. Just don’t do it.” Well, I did it and I’m not ashamed. I’m gonna dream big on this kid because he’s got some killer tools in his arsenal. Mike Siani was considered a high potential draft pick that should have went earlier than the 4th round but a lot of teams figured he’d go to college. However, the Reds threw some big money at him ($2,000,000) which almost no youngster turns down. It’s real fun to see what the Reds do with their draft bonus pool money. They’ve been pretty creative.
What is exciting about Siani is that Mike Trout is his favorite player so of course he’s going to turn into Mike Trout. Definitely. Siani is lauded for being one of the best defensive center fielders in not only last year’s draft but probably in all of minor league baseball at any level. He’s got legit, plus skills across the board sporting great range, an amazing arm (90+ MPH pitcher in high school), and a nifty glove. Scouts believe that he’ll also probably keep his above average speed. The only knock on him is that scouts were mixed on how well he would hit. He’s not a real big guy right now, but there is some belief he could put on twenty pounds or so without losing a step.
In 2018, he was promoted to hit against college aged hitters and fared pretty well (see the Eye-Poppingest Facts). He didn’t hit for really any power but showed a mature approach at the plate that I don’t think many expected. Obviously, his talents are in the field but if he can continue to hit (and find some power) he’s going to be a top prospect in no time. The smart bet would be that he starts the year in instructional league and then starts the year in Billings. However, I’d be real interested to see if the Reds are more aggressive and just let him sink or swim in Dayton. They did the same thing pretty much with Taylor Trammell and that worked out pretty good.
Scott Moss, LHP, 24
Highest 2018 Level: A+ (Daytona)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 3.68 ERA in 132 IP in High-A Dayton in 2018.
Most Worrisome Fact: K/9 dropped from 10.3 in 2017 to 7.6 in 2018.
Alias(es): Mo Fossy Fossy, Randy, Butt Floss
After only pitching 23 innings in his final year at the University of Florida, the Reds took a gamble and drafted him in the 4th round of the 2016 draft. He had a breakout year in 2017, pitching 135 innings for the Dayton Dragons and striking out over 10 batters per 9 innings while putting up a 3.45 ERA. That was good enough to earn him a promotion to Daytona for 2018 where he put up another solid season. He pitched another 132 innings for the Tortugas and put up a 3.68 ERA. While he was able to keep runs off the board, his strikeout totals took a big hit. After striking out 156 batters in 2017, he only struck out 112 in only 3 fewer innings in 2018. His walk rate did improve, though, shrinking from 3.2 per 9 innings to 2.8.
Moss relies on a fastball, slider, and changeup. He won’t blow you away with his fastball, as he averages 88-93 MPH on the heater. His main attribute is that he locates his pitches well, which is why he’s had so much success in his young career, even with the shrinking strikeout totals in 2018. Look for him to start the year in AA-Chattanooga this season.
Who is the Reds #11 prospect?
This poll is closed