Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospects Progress Report

1 of 2

May 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher

Anthony DeSclafani

(28) throws against the Washington Nationals in the third inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Back in January, we previewed Baseball America’s top 10 Cincinnati Reds prospects to look at why they made the list and when we could see them in the major leagues.

Now that we’re nearly two months into the 2015 season, I thought it would be interesting to do a progress report of the top 10 prospects to see how they’re performing this year.

More from Blog Red Machine

10. Yorman Rodriguez

2015 Stats: .237/.267/.420, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 18 XBH, 1 SB, 7 BB, 47 K (Triple-A)

Rodriguez has gotten his first taste of Triple-A baseball this season and has struggled so far, though he has had a decent month of May (.257/.278/.476, 4 HR, 15 RBI) after April saw him hit just .203/.250/.328. His strikeout rate is a bit concerning at 26.7 percent, but he’s always been a high strikeout guy. Additionally, he’s seen a big dip in his walk rate, which wasn’t all that high to begin with. Rodriguez is still just 22, however, and could still ultimately become the five-tool player that many thought he could be.

9. Aristides Aquino

2015 Stats: .226/.288/.321, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 XBH, 1 SB, 3 BB, 18 K (Low-A)

After a breakout 2014 season with the Reds’ rookie affiliate, the Billings Mustangs, Aquino has struggled in his limited playing time with the Dayton Dragons this season. Aquino didn’t have much time to acclimate to the higher level of baseball, as he’s been out since April 24 with a fractured wrist. The right fielder has plenty of promise, though, as he’s only 21 years old and nearly had a 20-20 season (16 HR, 21 SB) in only 284 at-bats in 2014.

8. Nick Travieso

2015 Stats: 3-4, 3.46 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 43 K, 15 BB, 52.0 IP (High-A)

The Reds’ 2012 first-round draft pick has adjusted quite well to his promotion this season following his breakout year with the Low-A Dayton Dragons in 2014. In each of his seasons in professional baseball, Travieso has increased his strikeout rate and that’s been no different this year, as he’s up to 7.44 strikeouts per nine innings this season compared 7.19 last year. He’s also decreased his walk rate for the second straight year (2.60 BB/9 in 2015, 2.78 in 2014). Travieso is still several years from making an impact in Cincinnati, but the Reds have to be pleased with his progress.

7. Amir Garrett

2015 Stats: 2-4, 2.40 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 54 K, 18 BB, 48.2 IP (High-A)

Travieso’s teammate Amir Garrett has also been quite impressive in his first season in High-A. Garrett ranks fourth in the Florida State League in strikeouts with 54 for an impressive strikeout rate of 9.99 K/9. The 6-foot-5 lefty’s last start was his most dominant to date as he fired seven shutout innings and struck out 12. Like Travieso, he’s probably at least a couple of years from seeing time in the big leagues, but he’s shaping up to be the Reds best left-handed pitching prospect since Tony Cingrani.

6. Anthony DeSclafani

2015 Stats: 3-4, 3.41 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 41 K, 25 BB, 58.0 IP (MLB)

The Reds have to feel like they got away with highway robbery in the trade that brought DeSclafani to Cincinnati. While Mat Latos has struggled with inconsistent performance and injury in Miami, DeSclafani has quietly put together a strong rookie season. After some struggles in late April and early May, his last two starts have been brilliant as he’s allowed just three runs on 11 hits in 13 innings. His walk rate has been higher than it was throughout his minor league career (3.88 BB/9 compared to 2.0 BB/9 in the minors), but that figures to come down as he gets more big league experience under his belt.

Next: How are the top 5 prospects doing in 2015?

May 5, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher

Michael Lorenzen

(50) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

More from Reds Prospects

5. Nick Howard

2015 Stats: 3-2, 7.03 ERA, 2.01 WHIP, 21 K, 30 BB, 24.1 IP (High-A)

Last year’s top draft pick Nick Howard has not had the best of starts in his first full professional season. He was recently moved to the bullpen to help remedy his control issues (11.1 BB/9), but the Reds still have to be excited by Howard’s potential. The right-hander was clocked at up to 98 mph in college and despite being a reliever at the University of Virginia, the Reds have decided to convert him into a starter. The transition hasn’t gone so smoothly thus far, but at just 22 years old, Howard has plenty of time to grow.

4. Michael Lorenzen

2015 Stats: 1-1, 3.06 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 18 K, 19 BB, 32.1 IP (MLB)

After three starts in Triple-A Louisville, Lorenzen was promoted to the Reds on April 29 after Homer Bailey went down with injury. Though he’s struggled with walks at times, Lorenzen hasn’t looked like a rookie at all, allowing only 11 runs in his first 32.1 major league innings and displaying a fastball that has touched up to 97 mph on the radar gun. It’s still early in his career, but it appears that the rookie will be a mainstay in the Reds’ rotation for years to come.

3. Jesse Winker

2015 Stats: .229/.343/.314, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 8 XBH, 4 SB, 24 BB, 27 K (Double-A)

The Reds’ top hitting prospect and future left fielder has gone through a rough patch at the plate to begin the season. There’s no need to panic, as you have to remember he’s only appeared in 21 games in Double-A before this season since his 2014 season ended with a wrist injury suffered in a car wreck. Despite the low batting average, he’s getting on base at a high rate and leads the Blue Wahoos in runs scored and walks. Assuming he starts hitting the ball better (and there’s no reason to think he won’t), there’s a very good chance he’ll be in a Reds’ uniform at some point in 2016.

2. Raisel Iglesias

2015 Stats: 1-1, 5.11 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 25 K, 9 BB, 24.2 IP (MLB)

Iglesias has spent his first professional season splitting time between Triple-A and Cincinnati and has had mixed results so far. He has certainly dazzled with his different pitches and arm angles, but has battled with some inefficiency. In his eight starts between the Bats and the Reds, he’s lasted longer than five innings just three times. That being said, he has shown an enormous amount of potential, especially in his May 13 outing when he gave up just one run and two hits in eight innings against the Atlanta Braves.

1. Robert Stephenson

2015 Stats: 2-4, 4.47 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 56 K, 30 BB, 46.1 IP

Stephenson has had an up-and-down season, but has been trending upward lately and in a big way. Over his last five starts spanning over 29 innings, the 22-year-old has allowed just seven earned runs while striking out 34 and walking 19. Yes, his walks have continued to be an issue, but once he gets those under control, look out. He displayed what he can do with good control in his last start, as he went seven innings and surrendered only three hits and one walk while striking out 10. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s probably still a year or so away from making his big league debut, but when he does, it’ll be the most hyped Reds debut for a pitcher since Homer Bailey in 2007.

Next: Reds complete sweep of Nationals with 8-2 win