Looking forward to seeing a full season of Hannah in the Reds’ system. On to your choices for #18!
Tejay Antone, 26, RHP
Highest 2019 Level: AAA Louisville
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Extreme ground-ball tendencies
Most Worrisome Fact: Still finding his footing after Tommy John surgery in 2017.
Alias(es): Tejay Antone
Tejay Antone was the Reds’ 5th round pick allllll the way back in 2014. After working his way up to AAA in 2016, he tore his UCL and had to have Tommy John surgery. He started back from Daytona and has worked his way back up since then, culminating in 14 appearances for Louisville last season.
He’s finally on the Reds’ 40-man roster, but it’s unlikely he’ll break into a crowded rotation in 2020. Does he have the stuff to be a midseason callup for the bullpen?
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?
Ryan Hendrix, 25, RHP
Highest 2019 Level: AA (Chattanooga)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Career 12.2 K/9, 6.9 H/9, 0.4 HR/9
Most Worrisome Fact: Not great control. 4.0 BB/9 over career.
Alias(es): Jimi, King Hendrix, Guitar Hero, Petey
Ryan Hendrix was drafted by the Reds in the 5th round of the 2016 draft out of Texas A&M. They originally had him slotted in the 2nd round due to arm talent, but had their concerns about his control. When he fell to the 5th round they couldn’t wait any longer due to the arm this guy has. Like Joel Kuhnel before him, Hendrix has one of those electric arms from the pen. He has a legit 70 grade fastball and a power curveball that rates above average. He’s just your standard two pitch reliever and that’s all he’ll ever be. However, his numbers in the minors are pretty eye popping, and he’s worth a close watch.
Obviously, he’s always struggled a bit with the walks. He was also hurt in 2019 which limited his innings to just about 20 overall. Those innings came at AA Chattanooga where he gave up a 2.33 ERA with a 10.7 K/9 with a 3.7 BB/9 while limiting the hits and allowing no dingers. The guy has an exciting arm and is standing at the cusp of the majors. He’ll very likely start the year in AAA where he’s only one injury or reliever imploding from being called up.
Who is the Reds’ #18 prospect?
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