And there you go, Nick Lodolo is your top prospect. It wasn’t really that close either. Based on your assessment the other two choices, Hunter Greene and Jonathan India, have enough warts to get Lodolo to surpass them with only 19 professional innings under his belt. It helps that scouting reports absolutely love the guy. This also shouldn’t be a bad thing for Greene or India. We just haven’t seen enough of Lodolo to really knock him yet. 2020 will be a big test for him to see if he’s real or not, and they have every opportunity to prove this blog of idiots wrong. Anyhoo, how about #2?
Hunter Greene, 20, RHP
Highest 2018 Level: Didn’t play. Pitched in Single A Dayton in 2018
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 103 MPH fastball while being a starter. He’s tall and lanky. 11.7 K/9 in 2018
Most Worrisome Fact: His elbow exploded in 2019 Spring Training. His off speed stuff isn’t fantastic.
Alias(es): John Deere Greene, Hunter and Gatherer, Two Way
Taylor Trammell would likely be topping this list but Trevor Bauer happened. So, let’s move to the next guy. Hunter Greene is someone everyone knows. He’s someone that everyone is excited about. He’s also the one prospect everyone is terrified of what could be because we’re all pessimists. When you look at the list of awesome there is no reason for Hunter Greene to not be one of the top prospects in all of baseball and definitely for the Reds. He can hit 100+ with his fastball. He has above average control. He’s 6’4, 215 lbs and could get bigger and stronger. He’s a young 20 years old. He can also swing the bat a bit, but the Reds plan on him never doing that except for when he pitches. Alas, there is always a but..
His UCL shredded in 2019 during Spring Training and he needed Tommy John surgery. This was coming from a 2018 where he was shut down due to another UCL issue they believed was rehabbed. It’s believed his UCL was fully healed and tearing it was just random but who knows? That all really sucked and currently sucks. It sucks because we probably have to wait a bit longer to see Greene and he hasn’t pitched much outside of 2018. He sat out most of his Senior year before being drafted and signing a huge contract with the Reds. He also doesn’t have the greatest off speed stuff. He relies heavily on that fastball, which obviously makes sense, but it’s a straight fastball with almost no movement. Luckily, he’s an exceptional athlete, an apparent excellent young man, and very coachable.
But, with all the good and all the bad Hunter Greene is still a tantalizing prospect that Reds fans will patiently wait on or could be a headliner to bring in some MLB ready talent for what looks to be a win now franchise. If he pitches this year he’ll likely start the year in Dayton outside of games in Arizona to loosen up.
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.
Who is your #2 prospect?
This poll is closed
Hunter Greene, RHP
Jonathan India, INF
Tony Santillan, RHP