We promised you earlier this week that Baseball America’s most recent Top 100 update would include a handful of Cincinnati Reds prospects, and today we found out exactly which farmhands were included.
Unsurprisingly, the Cincinnati contingent was led by 3B/2B/CF/PG/RW/CB Nick Senzel, the top prospect in the Reds system by pretty much every single reputable source. And despite a second instance of vertigo, a busted finger that ended his 2018 season prematurely, and a cleanup surgery on his elbow, Senzel managed to remain in the Top 10, checking in at 10th this year after previously being ranked 9th (pre-2017) and 7th (pre-2018), respectively.
Following Senzel on the list is Taylor Trammell, who checks in at #33 - up from 48th in last year’s BA rankings. It’s at that point where BA’s rankings of Reds prospects gets a bit of a jolt, as Jonathan India - not Hunter Greene - is next on the list at #51. Greene landed at #57 after his UCL scare and slow start to the 2018 season, which is quite the mighty fall from the #29 ranking he held just last year. That’s certainly not a ripe endorsement of the fireballing teenager’s prospect status, but I’d say there isn’t a pitcher on their entire list with a greater chance to rise rapidly up the rankings than Greene given his rarely seen talent.
Finally, Tony Santillan checked in at #69 on the list, a nice ringing endorsement of the former 2nd round pick’s steady rise through the Cincinnati system. It’s interesting to see Santillan more or less on-par with Greene’s ranking given the disparity in rankings of the two in previous years (and by other publications), especially given how far away Greene is to the majors relative to how close Santillan is at present. In fact, if Santillan pitches as impressively in AAA in 2019 as he did in A+ and AA in 2018, the 21 year old likely stands a chance to make his big league debut at some point this very season.
In other rankings news, Baseball Prospectus similarly released their Top 101 prospect list today, and Senzel again cracked a Top 10 - this time at #9. Of more importance, I guess, is how high on Trammell B-Pro is at the moment, as he checked in just behind Senzel at #11 overall. Similarly, they’re quite high on India - he landed at #35 - while Greene slid all the way to #75 after being ranked 39th overall this time a year ago.
Moving on, FanGraphs’ Jeff Sullivan looked closer at what the Reds have been up to this winter from a bit of a big-picture view, and it’s quite the good read. Essentially, he notes that while the Reds still project to be the worst team in the NL Central, even the projection systems seem to think the Central is going to be uber-competitive to a fault this year - and that the Reds might well have ample chance to make some serious noise given their additions this offseason. Personally, I tend to agree with him, with the lone caveat being what they choose to do when the July 31st trade deadline rolls around. With so, so many important pieces currently in their final years under contract - Yasiel Puig, Scooter Gennett, Alex Wood, Tanner Roark, Matt Kemp, David Hernandez - what the Reds choose to do at the deadline relative to where they are in the standings could have massive ramifications both for this year and for the future of their farm system. It’s been an incredibly interesting strategy in team-building in that regard, one that I’m anxious as all hell to see play out - both on the field and in the front office in a few months.
Ace podcaster and RR lifer Coop Everlasting picked up on an interesting tidbit from recent unanimous Hall of Fame inductee Mariano Rivera’s illustrious career, in case you want to make yourself feel like you’ve been punched in the heart for an hour.
Over at The Athletic, Lindsey Adler took a closer look at new Red Sonny Gray’s connection with current Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson, including some interesting quotes from Johnson detailing their time together at Vanderbilt University. Yes, you might see me referencing that a time or thousand over the next few years. And yes, I sure as hell hope those spin-rates translate well for Gray as a Red, as they should.
Speaking of which, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon chimed in on those spin rates and more in his own chronicle of Gray’s arrival with the Reds.
Bryce Harper is still a free agent.
Manny Machado is still a free agent.
Dallas Keuchel is still a free agent.
Our friends over at Redleg Nation have an updated look at the 2019 Reds payroll after the Gray acquisition, and while it is, in fact, set to be a ‘record’ for the Reds, it still checks in substantially lower than the average MLB payroll. Perhaps that’s an indication that there still might be a few more fireworks this winter...?
Finally, the baseball Hall of Fame has turned itself into a #domb over the last decade, but Grant Brisbee is certainly, categorically not a #domb. Grant provided us all with the only would-be correct ballot for this year, and per usual it’s worth a read.