Cincinnati Reds: 5 prospects ready to make a big leap in 2019

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 15: Taylor Trammell #5 of the Cincinnati Reds and the U.S. Team bats during the sixth inning against the World Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park on July 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 15: Taylor Trammell #5 of the Cincinnati Reds and the U.S. Team bats during the sixth inning against the World Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park on July 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 29: A glove and balls sit on the infield before a game between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 29, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

2. Tony Santillan, Pitcher

This name might be a bit more familiar to fans of the Cincinnati Reds. Tony Santillan‘s name has popped up from time to time in trade rumors, but the Reds appear unwilling to move on from the hard-throwing Texan, and for good reason. Santillan is currently ranked No.5 in Reds Pipeline and maybe on his way to the big leagues later this year.

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They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and at 6’3″, 240-pounds, Tony Santillan is walking proof of that. The second-round pick of the Reds in 2015 has slowly ascended towards the top of the team’s farm system. Tough he’s not as highly touted as No. 3 overall Hunter Greene, Santillan is more MLB-ready and could make his debut in 2019.

Santillan spent his entire 2017 season at Single-A Dayton, but last year saw the flame-throwing righty spend half his season in Advanced-A Daytona before making the leap to Double-A Pensacola. In 26 combined starts, Santillan went 10-7 with a 3.08 ERA and struck out 134 batters.

Santillan’s best pitch is his fastball, which touches the upper-90’s consistently. His work on his changeup is constantly improving, and he has a slider as part of his repertoire as well. Santillan’s biggest improvement will need to be his control and command, both of which the Reds hope to see when he takes the field in 2019.

Santillan, like Alfredo Rodriguez, received a non-roster invite to Spring Training as well. It’s incredibly unlikely that he makes the team out of Spring Training, but Santillan could easily start the year at Triple-A Louisville. If he does, and has success for the Bats in 2019, a September call-up could be in his future next season.