The 1st round pick of the Cincinnati Reds back in 2018, Jonathan India rode a .414 OBP through his 34 games in Chattanooga after his mid-season promotion to AA in 2019. That was the lone real bright spot of his year, however, as his power numbers largely took a step back last year.
That said, he was up against a tough offensive environment both in Chattanooga and in Daytona, where he spent the bulk of his 2019 season. The question now, though, is what the Reds have in mind for him in the near future, as they’re locked-in at the big league level now with multiyear contracts at both 3B (Eugenio Suarez) and 2B (Mike Moustakas). Hopefully India can force their decision making in short order with a solid 2020 campaign, one that should see him reach AAA at some juncture with his continued solid play
As for who’s the #6 prospect in this year’s CPR, we’ve got a top pitching prospect, a toolsy high school bat who is still years away, and a polished college product who could be on the cusp of a call-up as early as this year...
Tony Santillan, 22, RHP
Highest 2019 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 2019 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 Greeneville. 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.
Stuart Fairchild, 23, CF
Highest 2019 level: AA Chattanooga
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Hit .285/.374/.484 in final 401 PA between A+/AA; backed that with .353/.405/.471 in Arizona Fall League play
Most Worrisome Fact: Turns 24 prior to Opening Day, so he’s been a bit old for every level; owner of just a .272 average in over 1200 MiLB PA to date
Alias(es): Stu Barnes, Beef Stu, Stubaccah, Fair Pole
After drafting Hunter Greene 2nd overall in 2017, the Reds turned to Fairchild in the 2nd round that year, plucking him as a polished college bat out of Wake Forest. On the surface, you might think they did so to sign him for below-slot value after breaking the bank to sign Greene, but that’s not the case - he got the full ~$1.8 million signing bonus, largely because he’s always been viewed by most as a pretty damn talented two-way player.
2019 was his second full season as a pro, and things seemed to truly come together for Fairchild, even though he stumbled out of the gate a bit in his second stint in Daytona. 15 games into the year, he was hitting just .130/.203/.167 with 2 XBH to his name, but he’d been dealing with some hamstring issues that actually had him begin the year on the IL. Once he returned, though, things were massively different, and he went on to mash to the tune of .285/.374/.484 in final 401 PA split between Daytona and Chattanooga.
Keep in mind that both Daytona and Chattanooga are decidedly pitchers parks, and as a result his efforts as a Tortuga (130 wRC+) and as a Lookout (142 wRC+) look even better against the league averages. Stu is a high walk, low K bat who is plenty competent enough to play a solid CF, and has even swiped over 20 bags in a MiLB season already. That’s the kind of high-floor that makes his eventual big league debut quite likely, though he’s obviously not a super-upside sort of player. Still, that’s all the makings of a solid, attractive prospect, one who just might have a surprise up his sleeve when he reaches AAA and the super-streamlined ball. It’s no surprise that earned him an invite to big league camp in Goodyear this spring as a non-roster invitee.
Who is the Reds #6 prospect?
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