Tony Santillan had a down season in 2019. Since that was approximately 273 years ago, he’s had plenty of time to work out some kinks and have a bounce back 2021. Hopefully his season at the alternate site helped him make those adjustments he was working through in 2019 and he comes back better than ever. Another young hitter joins the mix below. Vote early and often, Red Reporters.
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.
Rece Hinds, 3B, 20
Where he spent 2020: Alternate site
What excites you: His power. Many considered him to have the best power in the 2019 draft.
What concerns you: Concerns of defense sticking at 3B.
The Reds drafted Rece Hinds in the second round of the 2019 draft. As a shortstop at IMG Academy in Florida, Hinds had some of the best raw power in the entire class. He was sent to Greeneville after the draft, where he went 0-8 with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts in 3 games and then missed the rest of the season with a quad injury. The Reds did invite him to be a part of the 60-man player pool, so he was able to train at the alternate site throughout the Summer and Fall to continue his development, and by all accounts he played pretty well. Hopefully we get to see him for a full season in 2021.
Who is your #8 prospect?
This poll is closed