The Cincinnati Reds have four of the top 100 rated prospects in MLB, but none higher than 26.
The Cincinnati Reds have four prospects in MLB’s top 100 and they could all be playing in Cincinnati in 2017. The top prospect is third baseman Nick Senzel who was their top pick in last year’s draft. The other three are outfielder Jesse Winker and pitchers Amir Garrett and Robert Stephenson.
The duo of Amir Garrett and Robert Stephenson, ranked 66 and 87 respectively, are the Reds’ biggest reason to be optimistic this season. Right now they are penciled into the four and five spots in the rotation. This is big step forward after Stephenson only made eight big league starts last year.
Garrett earned a higher ranking and is the 66th best prospect in baseball. He has not made his MLB debut, but is favored to earn a starting rotation spot following the trade of Dan Straily. As a left hander, he would provide balance. The Reds lacked that last year when Brandon Finnegan was the only left hander to make a start for the Reds.
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Stephenson is the former top prospect for the Reds. He split his 2016 season in between Cincinnati and Louisville. He made several good looking early season starts, but looked fatigued when he came up later in the season. The Reds have had him penciled into the number five spot in the rotation since the end of last season.
The Cincinnati Reds’ duo of position players are not as advanced as the pitchers, but they are close to ready.
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The Reds have been waiting for Jesse Winker to be ready for a few years. It took him so long to get to this point that the Reds have traded for a pair of outfielders in Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler that have taken Winker’s spot in Cincinnati. Now it appears that he is ready for the big leagues.
Winker is a corner outfielder with a high OBP potential. He will either be a number 2 or number 6 hitter in Cincinnati. He could start the season on the bench, especially since Jose Peraza became a starter at second, or as an injury replacement if anything happens to Duvall or Schebler.
Senzel, on the other hand, is on the express line to Cincinnati. He finished last year at High-A and is expected to start this season at Triple-A. If he can make that transition successfully, then he could be in Cincinnati at any time if something happens to Eugenio Suarez.
In all likelihood Senzel will not be up before September. The Reds don’t want Senzel in the majors until he is here to stay. Right now, the Reds are happy with Suarez at third. Senzel on the other hand wants to be in Cincinnati in 2017.
The Reds are in a good position with four prospects in the top 100. What is more impressive is that all four could be in the majors this season. They are the only team on which that is likely to happen.