The people of Red Reporter continued to let their voices be heard, and their voices went with one of the more exciting prospects in the system. While it was a tough choice between the center fielder who lit up the Futures Game, or the pitcher who lit up the radar gun...also at the Futures Game, the people chose Taylor Trammell. I’m excited to see what he can do in 2019, and I’m excited to see who the rest of you choose to be #3!
Hunter Greene, RHP, 19
Highest 2018 Level: Class A (Dayton)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 11.7 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 in 68 innings.
Most Worrisome Fact: His frickin’ elbow.
Alias(es): John Deere Greene, Hunter “I Hardly Know Her!” Greene, Duck Hunter
Hunter Greene may have the highest ceiling of all the prospects in all of baseball. He’s tall, lanky, and whipped up a 103 MPH fastball in the Futures Game. This young man has a ridiculous amount of talent, and it’s up to the Reds to make sure they polish it. Greene’s fastball is obviously the catchy part of his game but also has an average to above average breaking ball and a change up that’s ok. It’s kind of funny how you can ho hum a guy’s off speed stuff when he has such freakish velocity and the ability to command it. When Greene was drafted, there was some talk about possibly having Greene prepare as a SS too, but all that nonsense has been scrapped.
Greene had a real rough debut in 2018 but was able to largely turn it around as the season went on. He didn’t throw a ton of innings but that’s fine, and finished the year with a 4.61 ERA. Considering it was like 9+ at the end of April, that’s a good thing. Greene was shelved before the season was over with a strained UCL, which must not have been of the severe grade because he’s already declared himself 100% and ready for 2019. To put that in perspective, it’s the same injury that sometimes requires Tommy John surgery and cost Anthony DeSclafani the entire 2017 season (he didn’t have surgery, just had to rest). So, knock on wood. Hunter Greene also reported to be a super cool and down to Earth kid which is awesome.
Tony Santillan, 21, RHP
Highest 2018 Level: AA (Pensacola)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 2.3 BB/9 at both A+ and AA over 149 innings. 8.1 K/9
Most Worrisome Fact: Can he continue to show that control without diminishing his stuff?
Alias(es): Santigold, Tony The Tiger, The Seguin ‘Stache
Tony Santillan had one of the most impressive, and honestly more surprising 2018 campaigns for a Cincinnati Reds farm hand. The young man was a former 2nd round pick in 2015 out of Texas, and it feels like he’s been around forever. But, the kids is only 21 years old and will turn the double deuce in April. Santillan was so impressive last year that he advanced two levels and held his own against every players real test in AA. In fact, his strikeout rate increased (8.8 K/9 vs. 8.1 K/9) while keeping an identical walk rate. Santillan was a bit more hitable in 2018 vs. 2017 but he drastically improved his control which was the one thing really holding him back.
Santillan sports a fastball that is reliably in the high 90’s with a 55 grade slider and change up. What scouts, and fans, will be looking for in 2019 is if that control improvement is for real. I think we saw a real maturation in Santillan which should really put him in Top 100 discussion on prospect lists. There’s some good argument that Jonathan India and/or Tyler Stephenson should be put up for a vote before Santillan but screw that. I’m excited for Santillan and it would be huge for the Reds if he continues to shine.
Jonathan India, 3B/SS, 22
Highest 2018 Level: Class A (Dayton)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Has a ton of power and is an above-average defender with a strong arm.
Most Worrisome Fact: 28 strikeouts in 27 games in Dayton last season.
Alias(es): Bollywood, Johnny Baseball
As one of the best all-around bats in college baseball in 2018, Jonathan India was selected 5th overall by the Reds in last June’s draft. While he entered the Spring as a projected 2nd or 3rd round pick, he destroyed SEC pitching last season to the tune of a .350/.497/.717 line with 21 dingers which vaulted him up the draft boards. After waiting until the last week before the signing deadline, India struggled a little in his first taste of professional baseball. He hit .240/.380/.433 with 6 home runs while walking 28 times and striking out 44 times between Greeneville, Billings, and Dayton. It’s always difficult to read into those first seasons for college draft picks, though. College seasons start in mid-February and last until June, and that post-draft break before he begins playing in the minors makes for a weird timeline.
India’s best attribute is his power, as he hit 21 home runs in his final season at Florida and another 6 in the minors. Defensively, he primarily played third base in college but split time at third and shortstop in the minor leagues. He is a great athlete with an above-average arm, so the Reds are hopeful that he can play multiple positions around the diamond. Look for India to start in Class-A Dayton in 2019.
Who is the Reds’ #3 prospect?
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