TJ Friedl scrapped his way not only into the Reds farm system a few years ago, but into all of your hearts and minds. Friedl is limited in some ways, to be sure, but he does a lot of things very well. And for that, he breaks into the top ten of the RR CPR.
But this farm doesn’t need CPR (/buh dum tiss), because there are still plenty of good players available. Let’s dive right into the choices for number 11!
Stuart Fairchild, OF, 22
Highest 2018 Level: A+ (Daytona)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .377 OBP in Dayton
Most Worrisome Fact: Hit tool waned against more advanced pitching
Alias(es): Stuart Little, Sweet Summer Fairchild, Stuballs
Stu was drafted by the Reds in the second round of the 2017 draft, 38th overall. Out of Wake Forest, a strong junior season wiped away a so-so sophomore year. The Reds saw potential, and drafted him early in the 2nd, though a little under slot, at 1.8 million dollars.
Fairchild did plenty in Billings in 2017 to earn a spot on the Dayton Dragons to begin 2018. He continued to hit there, racking up a .277/.377/.460 line. He stole 17 bases in the Midwest League, while walking 31 times and striking out 65 times in 276 plate appearances.
Daytona was not as friendly to the second rounder, where he only slashed .250/.306/.350 in 242 PA at the higher level, striking out another 63 times as opposed to only 17 walks. The FSL is an adjustment, to be sure, but I’m sure the Reds would like to see some more plate discipline as the second round junior draftee rose up the ranks.
Still, Fairchild does a lot of things well. While the tools don’t necessarily jump off the page, he still has plenty of speed, and it shows both on the basepaths and in the field. If he sticks in centerfield, he can make his fringe-average power work. If he improves on his swing and miss tendencies and also taps into his power a bit more, he should be able to stick anywhere.
Regardless, he’ll probably get another go with the Tortugas to begin the season.
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.
Mariel Bautista, OF, 21
Highest 2018 Level: Rookie (Billings)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: K% (12.4%) with a .211 ISO is yee-fuckin’-haw
Most Worrisome Fact: He’s not yet played full season baseball at this point, and is now 21 years old.
Alias(es): Maury, Drax the Destroyer
Mariel was signed as a 17 year old out of the Dominican Republic way back in 2014, and, you know, he’s been slow to really put himself on the Reds prospect map. He’s done so now.
Mariel’s jumping in here because it’s worth it, based on what little we’ve seen. He was listed 21st on MLBPipeline’s list as late as whenever they updated that thing (probably mid-season?). He got 233 PA as a 20 year old at Billings this season and hit 8 HR with a .330/.386/.541 slash line. That’s right in line with a +.300 average for his “pro” career, but he finally tapped into his power in a meaningful way, bopping 24 extra base hits as well.
The athleticism put him on the Reds radar to begin with. At 6’3” and a frame to build on, with what’s reported as speed for days, he seems like the Reds next five-toolsy player to dream on. Except, in this case, he doesn’t necessarily have to fix a strike out problem.
Who is the Reds #11 prospect?
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