Most of you likely remember this Nick Lodolo kid. He was drafted in the first round in 2019 by the Cincinnati Reds and all he did in 18 innings with the Reds was not walk a guy and strikeout thirty batters. That’s pretty sweet. Most of us are likely pretty wary of any prospect since we have not really seen them play in two years (though I think Lodolo got a Spring Training start) but here’s to hoping that Kyle Boddy got some more velocity out of Lodolo’s lanky frame to go with that sick control. Time for #4!
Jose Garcia, SS, 22
Where he spent 2020: Alternate site, then 68 PAs in MLB.
What excites you: Sure hands and a cannon for an arm that should make him a very good defensive shortstop, combined with loud power for his position.
What scares you: Pitch recognition skills need to improve significantly before his next extended run at the majors.
Garcia got his first shot at MLB pitching in 2020, just three years after signing with the Reds as a 17-year-old out of Cuba, and was proportionately exposed. He struck out 26 times and walked just once while collecting just 13 hits — all singles — in 68 plate appearances. That makes a good deal of sense when considering the fact that he’d never previously played above Advanced-A ball, and would have never dreamed of cracking the MLB roster in an organization with any kind of shortstop depth.
Hopefully, this year will allow him the opportunity to go back to refining his skills in the minors, where he should be able to better show off his considerable talent. His defensive tools are lauded across the board, from his hands to his instincts to his big arm. Those skills raise his floor before we even get to his bat, which may turn out to be an asset itself. He’s likely to battle strikeout issues throughout his career, but his substantial pop should still help him provide value with the stick. If that happens, he could be one of the better shortstops in the league for years to come.
Jonathan India, 3B, 24
Where he spent 2020: Alternate site.
What excites you: Solid minor league track record with the bat that includes .259/.365/.402 line in pitcher-friendly leagues in 2019.
What scares you: Has yet to replicate draft year power in the pros, and lacks a convincing long-term defensive home.
Man, it would have been great to see India get a full minor league season in 2020. He’s been a well-above-average stick ever since getting drafted fifth overall in 2018, succeeding across three levels and following that up with another strong year across Advanced-A and Double-A in 2019. He’s responded to aggressive assignments well, but one glaring weakness still sticks out: He’s homered just 17 times in 165 career games. Considering how much of a factor his raw power was in his draft stock two years ago, that number is a disappointing one, and the jury is very much out on whether it will ever look much better than that.
Defensively, India seems to be mostly regarded as a solid enough defensive infielder, though he isn’t a shortstop and isn’t likely to be plus with the glove. He’s athletic enough to gain positional versatility, but the further he moves down the defensive spectrum, the more pressure there will be for his bat to excel. There are a lot of good traits here, but India isn’t exactly young as far as prospects go, and it’s time for us to see him put everything together.
Austin Hendrick, OF, 19
Where he spent 2020: High school, then instructional league.
What excites you: Outlandish raw power from the left side, good outfield arm.
What scares you: Swing-and-miss troubles hang a flashing red “boom or bust” sign on him.
The Reds used the 12th overall pick in 2020 on Hendrick, a 19-year-old high school prospect who has explosive raw power from the left side and possesses an arm suitable for right field. The Jay Bruce comparisons write themselves. Hendrick’s weaknesses are no small thing — big whiff risk, uncertain pitch recognition skills, fringey foot speed that will likely limit him to a corner spot defensively — and could certainly prevent him from carving out much of a big league career. The ceiling his power gives him, however, is quite high. He’ll be a fun follow wherever his first pro ABs start happening.
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.
Who is your #4 prospect?
This poll is closed
Jose Garcia, SS
Jonathan India, 3B
Austin Hendrick, OF
Tony Santillan, RHP