The last two votes have been the first switch up we’ve really see from where national ranking are putting prospects, and that’s not a bad thing. What we’re mostly seeing from these votes is a valuing of offensive production coupled with defensive positional strength and versatility. I don’t think it means that anyone has really soured on Jonathan India but rather people still have high hopes for Tyler Stephenson and are seeing some real potential from Jose Garcia. We’re still in the parts of the Reds system that is showing good depth/potential so let’s just keep on rolling. It’s not until we get into 10-15 that things will begin to get way more murky.
Jonathan India, INF, 23
Highest 2018 Level: AA Chattanooga
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 15.2% BB% and 17.9% K% in 145 PA in AA. Decent career power.
Most Worrisome Fact: Laid and egg in the AZL, power evaporated in AA, and his future position is murky.
Alias(es): Bollywood, Johnny Baseball, The Delhi Dinger
Jonathan India was drafted 5th overall by the Reds in the 2018 Amateur Draft. So, he’s automatically going to be a top prospect. That’s how this works, duh. But, since becoming a Cincinnati Reds, India, has been nothing but stable and reliable in the minors. He’s walked a decent amount (>10%) and hit for decent power (ISO > .150) and played mostly third base. There have been some small trials at short stop, I believe, but those have mostly been scrapped due better defenders at the position. Right now third looks like India’s position, which blocks him, but he could also likely handle second. Consider the levels and leagues that he’s hit in he’s fared very well, but we expect that from a guy drafted where he was.
The one thing that India has going for him is the improvements he’s made in plate discipline. With each level, he’s increased his walk rate and decreased his strikeout rate. That’s good. I mean his .414 OBP in AA is outstanding. But, it also coincided with a drastic drop in his ISO by about fifty points. He also hit .133/.254/.333 in 71 plate appearances in the Arizona Fall League though that was likely pretty unlucky. A knock against him from scouts is his ability to make contact going forward. I would expect to see him get another year in AA and hopefully with a mid season promotion to AAA.
Tony Santillan, 22, RHP
Highest 2018 Level: AA Chattanooga
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 8.1 K/9, 0.7 HR/9 in 102.1 IP
Most Worrisome Fact: Control: 4.7 BB/9 Hittable: 9.7 H/9 WHIP: 1.603
Alias(es): Santigold, Tony The Tiger, Sizzillan
This is where the talent of the farm system starts to grow some question marks while staying very interesting. Tony Santillan is one of those pitchers that has all kinds of potential. He throws hard (sitting 93-97 with good movement), and has arguably pretty decent off speed pitches. But, control has been a struggle most of his career. He’s seemed to dial it down a bit to try and get it over the plate. That worked for him 2018 where he had ERAs of 2.70 in Daytona and 3.61 in Pensacola. Those came with much lower walk rates that helped keep runners off the bases even if it was coupled with lower strikeout rates. Basically, he was learning to be a better pitcher. This got his K/BB ratios above three which is always really good to see. It also made him much more hitable, but he did a good job limiting that damage.
Obviously, his 2019 wasn’t one to write home about. His WHIP was atrocious and won’t keep him around for long if he can’t figure that out. He was able to limit the damage a little bit. He didn’t give up a ton of deep balls and kept his ERA below 5.00. Those are crappy silver linings, I know. However, based on his 2019 season, you’ll likely see a repeat in AA to see if he did figure it out. He also didn’t have the healthiest of seasons last year, which is evident in his numbers and innings pitched. But, like I said, he’s still an exciting pitcher who was cracking Top 100 lists just last year. He’s slid a great deal but is only 22, and I see no reason to sour on him yet.
Tyler Callihan, 19, 2B/3B
Highest 2018 Level: Rookie (Billings)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .172 ISO in 217 PAs in Greeneville. Good hit and power tool.
Most Worrisome Fact: 4.1 BB% and 21.2 K% in Greenevill. Maybe not the best defender.
Alias(es): Tyler Boy, Callihan Auto, Paint Chips
Tyler Callihan was drafted by the Reds in last year’s draft in the third round out of Florida. At the time it was deemed a hard signing for the Reds because Callihan was well thought of and had a strong commitment to South Carolina. Instead, the Reds threw $1.5 mil at him to sign and were obviously lauded for doing so. Callihan is viewed by scouts as being a prospect that will be able to hit (55+ possible hit and power tool) with passable defense at 2B and 3B. Basically, he’ll find a place to play because the kid can hit. His only negative tool is that he isn’t very fast. Because of these facts, Callihan could be a fast riser on prospect lists with a good season. He’s not your typical high school draftee because there aren’t quite as many question marks about the kid.
In 2019, Callihan started the year in Greeneville where he got off to a slow start. He had a .250/.286/.422 slash line in 217 PAs. The bigger issues is Callihan didn’t show much of a propensity to take a walk with a walk rate less than 5%. But, it was also his first taste of pro ball and was facing a decent amount of college pitchers. Callihan did finish the year in Billings where he got a small sample size taste of success by hitting .400/.429/.650 in 21 plate appearances with a dinger and a triple. Obviously, the kid has decent power but will need to refine his approach going forward. Kudos for the Reds for continuing to be creative with the draft bonus pool and throw money around at high school kids with serious talent. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Callihan go to Dayton to start the year, but the Reds may be more cautious.
Who is the Reds #5 prospect?
This poll is closed
Jonathan India, INF
Tony Santillan, RHP
Tyler Callihan, 2B/3B