Vladimir Gutierrez was very new to the Community Prospect Rankings list because of his Titanic struggles in 2019. I mean, that season was one of the worst that I’ve seen over 100 innings. But, he’s still a young man with really good stuff, and has shown the ability to limit walks while getting strikeouts over his young career. He is on the cusp of the majors, getting a full season at AAA, and with a good year he could see himself in the Reds rotation or bullpen. They won’t sit around and reminisce on a bad 2019 with a good 2020. Onward and outward.
Jameson Hannah, 22, OF
Highest 2019 Level: A+ Daytona
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .339 OBP. Good Defense.
Most Worrisome Fact: No Power. None
Alias(es): Irish Whiskey, Hannah Barbera,
Jameson Hannah came to the Reds in return for the titan that was Tanner Roark. Actually, if you think about it Hannah is a pretty good return. I think he was a Top 10 prospect in the A’s organization and slots just about right there for the Reds. Hannah is one of those high floor, low ceilings guys. He’s stable but not anything super exciting. He gets on base. He play solid defense. He can get the bat on the ball. He slashed .274/.339/.369 for 2019 playing exclusively at A+. Though, he did only steal eight bases and was caught eight times.
Scouts also aren’t that low on him right now. Even though he hasn’t hit well, he grades out with a 45 power grade. He also has a supposed 55 grade hit tool. All of these should make Hannah a more intriguing player going forward. As of right now he looks like a 4th OF candidate but one that should stick in CF because of his athleticism. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll make some kind of gigantic leap in AA.
Ivan Johnson, 21, SS/2B
Highest 2019 Level: Rookie (Greeneville)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .255/.327/.415 slash line with six dinger and 11 steal.
Most Worrisome Fact: Probably can’t play short stop. Not flashy.
Alias(es): Ivan The Terrible, Ivana Johnson, Russianwurst
Ivan Johnson was drafted in the 4th round of the 2019 draft out of community college. He’s a guy that was signed slightly under slot, about 100k, which helped sign Tyler Callihan and Rece Hinds. But, don’t let that fact fool you about Ivan Johnson. He’s a fun prospect in his own right. He is a guy that can play the middle infielder and is considered a higher floor prospect due to the belief that he can hit. In his first season of pro ball, he did show that he has some plate discipline and power in his bat. He also played at a level that was honestly pretty realistic coming out of community college. You’d like to see a better average but it was a good showing.
The problems with Johnson come from the idea that he’s rather boring. He grades out decently well as a hitter up the middle, but his defense doesn’t really play at short stop. He didn’t even play short stop in community college because they had a better defender than him. Luckily, he seems to be a very coachable kid and was willing to go to second. His bat should help him continue to grow, but we’ll have to see how he matures from year to year. Maybe he’ll start the year in Dayton but that could also be too aggressive. The downside in his development is his age. How patient are the Reds going to have to be?
Joel Kuhnel, 24, RHP
Highest 2019 Level: MLB (Cincinnati)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Career 1.8 BB/9 and 8.2 K/9. Seriously.
Most Worrisome Fact: Future command and third pitch.
Alias(es): Sofa King, Slyde, Big Tex
I’m throwing kind of a wild card in here now. One, I’m getting to the point that I no longer think it matters much, but also because we’re to the point that the prospects left on the list have either performed rather poorly or have pretty low ceilings. While sifting through guys, Joel Kuhnel was a name I just couldn’t ignore anymore. He’s arguably been one of the better relievers in the system for a couple years and now is our prerequisite “could be a future closer” guy of this list. Seth Kuhnel is a big guy, 6’5 and 260 pounds, out of the University of Texas Arlington. He was drafted out of the 11th round in 2016 and signed for almost nothing. This was due to age and the fact while being able to throw hard, he couldn’t strike guys out in college.
Kuhnel has a legit 70 grade fastball. The only other player in the Reds system that can really say that is Hunter Greene. He hits the triple digits pretty consistently. It’s weird that he couldn’t get batters out on his own, but that likely has to do with bad control and no off speed offerings. Well, he found one, and he found it right around 2017-2018 when his K rates went up dramatically from Dayton to Daytona (7.59 to 9.45 K/9). At the time he still gave up a decent amount of hits, with high BABIPs, but has never gave up a bunch of dingers. What has changed is that Kuhnel is throwing what is a 50/55 grade slider that hits 89-93. He’s working on a changeup that I’ve seen graded anywhere from 45/50, but that’s good enough for a third show me pitch. He’ll never be a starter, but he has the looks of a good, power reliever. The highest his ERA has been, outside of Cincinnati, was a 3.04 in Daytona in 2018. He performed better in AAA last year than he did in AA, and even got a small amount of time in Cincinnati where he didn’t crap to bed.
Who is the Reds #15 prospect?
This poll is closed
Jameson Hannah, OF
Ivan Johnson, 2B/SS
Joel Kuhnel, RHP