Baseball America is set to release their annual preseason Top 100 prospect list this Wednesday, per usual. What we do know at this juncture is that the Cincinnati Reds will see five of their prized farmhands featured on the list, which is a pretty healthy endorsement of their overall farm system, especially since they’ve been making trades to acquire big league talent for much of the offseason.
What we don’t yet know, though, is which prospects will be included.
It’s a pretty safe assurance that the likes of Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell, Hunter Greene, and Jonathan India will be four of the five. Each has featured on at least one Top 100 overall prospect list (or update) since the most recent MLB Draft, and their recent performances haven’t done anything to dent their respective statuses. The only real question remaining is which other Cincinnati farmhand will be the fifth to be included?
It could be Tyler Stephenson, the Reds 1st round pick from back in 2015 who formerly cracked BA’s Top 100 at #98 overall prior to the 2016 season. He fought through a series of injuries that derailed a pair of seasons since then, but a healthy (if so-so offensively) 2018 season might well see him included once again.
Tony Santillan could well make his debut on BA’s Top 100, as the 2015 2nd round pick of the Reds has continued to progress successfully through the minors since being signed out of high school in Texas. 2018 saw him pitch to a 3.08 ERA and 1.23 FIP between A+ and AA, and the hard-throwing righty has continued to refine his control - his 2.3 BB/9 in 2018 was his best yet in a professional season.
Heck, it could well end up being 2B Shed Long, who has been the rumored piece in the drawn-out Sonny Gray trade with the New York Yankees. Long slumped to just a .765 OPS in his first taste of AA in 2018, but his excellent production through A-A+, athleticism, and solid plate discipline have had him ranked among the best prospects in the Cincinnati system for a few years running by most outlets (our Community Prospect Rankings included).
We’ll have an update on Wednesday with the specifics, but it’s safe to say that the Cincinnati farm system appears to be in a pretty good spot at the moment, even while the front office has begun making additions of big leaguers at the expense of prospect depth.