Are you excited? I’m excited. The Reds are doing some big things and offering a high potential youngster $2,000,000 to forgo college to play for them professionally is certainly that kind of big thing we want them doing. Obviously, comparing Mike Siani to Mike Trout (who is the greatest) is really stupid, but I’m going to do it because it’s fun. Baseball is suppose to be fun and wishing on prospects is pretty fun. I’m really looking forward to finding out where Siani will start the season. Here’s to hoping it’s Dayton. On to #13.
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.
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.
Jimmy Herget, 25, RHP
Highest 2018 Level: AAA (Louisville)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 9.8 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 3.10 K/BB ratio
Most Worrisome Fact: He’s not overpowering, and he’s not the flashiest of prospects.
Alias(es): Drink To Herget, Jimmy Eat World, Jimmy Hertron
Usually, relievers don’t get hyped up that much and there’s pretty good reason for it. One, most relievers are failed starters that get their stuff to play up in the pen. So, there’s already a level of disappointment. Two, they usually only pitch an inning at a time and for a while were an afterthought in baseball. However, in today’s game relievers are as important as ever and are starting to make more and more noise in prospect settings. While many of the Reds reliever “prospects” haven’t really panned out, and we’ve watched them get slammed in major league games, Herget looks like he could be a guy that busts that trend.
Jimmy Herget was drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 draft, and since a brief stint in Billings his first year, he’s been meandering around the high minors. He hasn’t made his debut (most likely because of 40 man liabilities) but he’s done exceptionally well since being drafted. The difference between Herget and a lot of pitchers is that Herget was drafted as a reliever and the Reds actually didn’t tinker with him. It’s even more weird because before that he spent three years as a starter in South Florida. He’s reliably pitched sixty innings a year while putting up good peripherals and getting guys out.
Herget has a fastball that reaches 97 with good control and he can throw it from three different arm angles. This is deadly for a reliever because batters already have so many limited looks at you that it ups the deception factor dramatically. He couples that fastball with an above average slider that he uses as a put away pitch and a below average change up that he uses to keep hitters honest. To be frank, it’s probably his lack of a real third pitch that kept the Reds from trying him as a starter. With all of those different arm angles and a herky-jerky motion, Herget can cause some serious headaches with hitters. There’s a real good chance he starts the year out of the pen with the Reds.
Keury Mella, 25, RHP
Highest 2018 Level: MLB (Reds)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 3.00 ERA across 108 AA and AAA innings, 8.4 K/9, 3.1 BB/9
Most Worrisome Fact: He’s gotten destroyed at the MLB level, slow development, and can he start?
Alias(es): Hella Mella, Mellow Yellow, Hot Keury
It feels like this guy has been around forever, and he kind of has. The Reds traded for Keury Mella in 2015, when he was 21 years old, as the headliner in the trade for Mike Leake. Adam Duvall was more of the throw in after thought until he started bashing the ball. Mella was the Giants #1 prospect so he was obviously the big snag. Ever since, he’s been toiling around in the Reds minors where he shows flashes of brilliance and at other times frustration.
To be honest, I was unsure about adding Mella to this list even at this point. However, the experts have him slotted around this spot so I’m going to err towards their expertise. Mella is a power pitcher with a hard mid to high 90’s fastball, an above average slider, and an average change up. While that all sounds real nice, he often has problems locating those pitches and can lose his control completely. This tends to lead to higher walks, and in his case getting smacked around a bit too much. Even then, his superior stuff hasn’t always translated to great strikeout numbers.
Mella has helped out the Reds the past two years by coming up when the rotation and/or the bullpen was short and proving so much needed relief for the parent club. However, most of those outings were disastrous for his final line and put some speculation into some as to whether he’s really got the stuff. Still, scouts are pretty high on his arm even if there is more belief in him being a reliever. With the recent moves the Reds have made, and the short time they have to control him, it’s very likely the pen is his new home. Based on his 2018 minor league season and that stuff, there is still reason to believe he could reach that potential of mid rotation starter.
Who is the Reds #13 Prospect?
This poll is closed
Stuart Fairchild, OF
Mariel Bautista, OF
Jimmy Herget, RHP
Keury Mella, RHP