Hey, we pretty much had a tie. Well, there was a separation of one vote but that isn’t good enough. So, figure it out. We need a majority rules on this one.
Jacob Heatherly, LHP, 22
Where he spent 2020: Instructs
What excites you: Good velocity, can generate swings and misses with curveball and slider.
What concerns you: Has struggled with command and a high walk rate in the minors.
The Reds selected Jacob Heatherly out of Cullman (AL) High School in the 3rd round of the 2017 amateur draft. He has shown pretty good velocity in his time in the Reds’ system, as he has been able to get his fastball up to 95 MPH after throwing in the low 90s in high school. His curveball and slider are also good swing and miss pitches when he is on.
After struggling in Greeneville in 2018, he started the 2019 season off in Dayton (low-A). He only made 4 starts in that season and put up a 8.31 ERA with a BB/9 of 6.23 in the process. A shoulder injury ended his season early, so that was the last we have seen of Heatherly in the last two seasons. He did, however, show his ability to strike out batters, as he put up a 11.4 and 10.4 SO/9 in 2018 and 2019. Hopefully he was able to improve his command in 2020 and can turn his young career around.
Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP, 25
Where he spent 2020: Alternate Site
What excites you: His secondary stuff is legit, grading out well above average. Decent velocity.
What concerns you: Has struggled with command later in his career and gets clobbered when he misses spots.
Vladimir Gutierrez has been in the Reds system since the wayback days. He’s old. However, he’s still a rather exciting prospect if he can ever figure it all out. Early in his career, he was compared to Raisel Iglesias because of his country of origin (Cuba), his slight frame, and his wicked secondary offerings. The difference between the two is that Raisel just had a better fastball, better control, and his pitches were just better overall. Not to mention more experience in those Cuban leagues. Gutierrez came to American, after getting a sweet six figure bonus, to hopefully run up the farm system ranks on his way to Cincytown. Regretfully, he has had some growing pains along the way.
In 2020, his first stint in AAA, Gutierrez got crushed. His peripheral stats were actually still kind of good (7.69 K/9, 3.15 BB/9) but his HR/9 almost doubled his career average to a 1.71. That is unsustainable but when you look at that ERA of 6.00+ you can start see where the improvements can be made. Limit some of the walks, don’t give up so many dingers, and he could find himself in the rotation in 2021.
Who is your #14 prospect?
This poll is closed
Jacob Heatherly, LHP
Vladimir Guttierez, RHP