It’s pretty hard to argue against your voting for Austin Hendrick because he’s the Reds most recent 1st round pick and probably has the best ceiling of any position player in the Reds system. It will be exciting to see where he starts the 2021 season, especially with the minor league team adjustments that were made and the fact that he did not get to play actual ball in 2020. I’m expecting him to knock the freaking cover off the ball because he has a pretty swing.
Tony Santillan, RHP, 24
Where he spent 2020: Alternate site.
What excites you: The stuff. Santillan throws hard (upper 90’s) and has some decent secondary offerings. When he’s on top of his game, he’s one of the best pitchers in the minors.
What scares you: Control. He’s been hot and cold with this in his entire career. More recently it was cold.
Two out of the three top prospects for the Reds were pitchers. Could Tony Santillan make it three in a row? Santillan has been one of the more exciting pitching prospects in the entire system since he was drafted out of the State of Texas as a prep arm in 2015. Even at one point being given the nickname at Red Reporter of Santigold. While he’s had his ups and downs, Santillan has always flashed that potential to be a top of the rotation kind of arm and has flirted with Top 100 prospect status in the past.
Santillan sports a top fastball, ranging into the upper 90’s and good secondary offerings. His control over his career has improved, which has caused his strikeout numbers to dip, but we’ve also seen maturity from the young man in the form of not always relying on the strikeout. In 2019, Santillan did not have the type of season he had hoped for due to injury and adjusting to some pitching changes the Reds brass, under the direction of Derek Anderson wanted him to make. This caused a 4.84 ERA and a doubling of his walk rate. Funny enough he also was a bit unlucky. Santillan will likely be in AAA to start the season and dark horse candidate to eventually join the rotation or the bullpen.
Lyon Richardson, RHP, 20
Where he spent 2020: Alternate site (for a time).
What excites you: A mid-90s fastball when right, two breaking pitches that project to be plus offerings, and very little mileage on an arm that didn’t get on the mound until his senior year in high school.
What scares you: Inexperience, mostly, along with some elbow soreness back in 2018 that led to a velocity drop, though that’s hopefully in the past.
Imagine, if you will, a pitching prospect in the Reds system who they plucked out of high school with a high pick and seven-figure signing bonus, one who flashed an upper-90s fastball in route to success with Class-A Dayton while still just a teenager.
We already talked about Hunter Greene, though, who checked in #2 in these rankings. This time, we’re talking Lyon Richardson.
The 2nd rounder from the 2018 draft is approaching the two-year anniversary of his Class-A debut, yet his still is just 20 years old, not hitting his 21st until later this month. And with a big fastball/breaking-ball combo already in his arsenal and just a 2.6 BB/9 during that 2019 run with the Dragons, I’m frankly surprised we’re all not higher on this kid’s potential. The 8.5 K/9 from 2019 is probably what has tempered his star, but that came during a year where his stuff sat in the lower 90s with some elbow soreness, both of which have reportedly been non-issues since.
FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen is a big proponent, ranking him #6 overall in the Reds system while noting that he expected Richardson to rise into the ranks of a Top 100 overall prospect during 2020 had there been a normal MiLB season in which to evaluate him.
His upside paired with the overhaul in the Reds pitching philosophy seems like the perfect match for him to truly breakout this year, and if you go purely on ceiling alone, he could well end up the second-best pitching prospect in the organization quite soon.
Mike Siani, CF, 21
Where he spent 2020: Alternate Site
What excites you: Excellent defense, good speed, and advanced approach at the plate for a younger guy.
What scares you: Will he grow some more, find that bat speed, and find the power?
Mike Siani has been around for a while now after being drafted in the 4th round of the 2018 draft out of Pennsylvania. The Reds tossed a $2M signing bonus at him to get him to go pro instead of going to college, and I’d say so far that has paid off. Mike Siani is arguably the best defensive player in the Reds system, making highlight reel plays what seems like almost daily. While his bat hasn’t necessarily come around as a pro as much as you would like, Siani has shown a more advanced approach at the plate than you see from most high school draftees.
We already know he can play top notch defense and for now we’re just waiting to see if Siani’s body maturation can lead to some better power and if his contact skills will improve to the point of him being a legit major league player. Right now, he’s a hope and a prayer because we need to see further development, but he’s fun hope and a prayer. Siani should start the Season in A+ ball but I could see a more aggressive approach of putting him in AA.
Tyler Callihan, INF, 20
Where he spent 2020: Alternate Site/Instructs
What excites you: Scouts say the kid can hit. That’s his calling card, with a higher hit tool, decent power, and scout expect his plate discipline to be better than he’s shown.
What scares you: He’s not fast. He’s not rated well in the field. He’s not overly athletic.
Tyler Callihan was drafted in the third round of the 2019 draft, and the Reds threw a double slot bonus of $1.5M at him to keep him from going the ‘ol college route. Callihan is loved by scouts, and considered a great pick up by the Reds, due to his great hit tool as a youngster. While he showed a more aggressive approach in his first year than you’d like, Callihan did hit for a wRC+ of 176 in Greeneville and held his own in limited time Billings against competition fresh from college. While his only walked at a 4% clip, and struck out at a near 20% clip, the scouts expect him to be more patient in the future.
Tyler Callihan has an A+ name, and he has a fun and fancy hit tool. The obvious downsides to his game, which are listed above, is his ability to hit is really his only calling card. I’m not saying he’s bad at other stuff but he is not a five tool prospect. As of right now he’s listed as a 2B/3B but it’s much more likely for him to become a 3B/OF with his tool set. Don’t expect him to set the world on fire on the basepaths or start making highlight reel defensive plays.
Who is your #7 prospect?
This poll is closed
Tony Santillan, RHP
Lyon Richardson, RHP
Mike Siani, CF
Tyler Callihan, INF