Folks, the Cincinnati Reds farm system looks strong. Not only did the Redlegs land four players among MLB Pipeline's Top 100, but one of their pitchers was just shy of making the cut as well. The newly acquired Brandon Williamson fell a few spots short of making MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects in 2022.
Williamson was the big acquisition in the Reds trade with the Seattle Mariners that sent Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez to the West Coast. In addition to Williamson, Cincinnati landed former first-round pick Justin Dunn, outfielder Jake Fraley, and a player to be named later; one that the front office is said to be very high on.
Reds LHP Brandon Williamson was nearly a Top 100 prospect.
Typically, talented 6-foot-6 left-handed pitchers don't grow on trees, but the Cincinnati Reds happen to have two such hurlers in their farm system. Nick Lodolo, who was a teammate with Brandon Williamson at Texas Christian University, is rated as the 42nd best prospect in baseball.
As far as lefties go, Lodolo ranks second behind only Los Angeles Angels' southpaw Reid Detmers. While not among the Top 10 left-handers in the game, Williamson did get honorable mention. The former Horned Frog punched out 153 batters in 98.1 innings last season. I'm starting to wonder what more Williamson had to do in order to find himself among the 100 best prospects in baseball.
Williamson split the 2021 season between High-A and Double-A. Collectively, Williamson posted a 37.4% strikeout-rate. Lodolo's strikeout-rate was slightly higher at 38.8%. Williamson's control was not as good as Lodolo's as the former Mariners' prospect owned a walk-rate of 8.1%. Lodolo's BB-rate was just 5.5%.
The most likely scenario for Brandon Williamson is to begin the 2022 season at Double-A Chattanooga. If the lefty has success, you can expect a quick promotion to Triple-A and maybe even make it to The Show. Williamson, Lodolo, Hunter Greene, and Graham Ashcraft all have the opportunity to make it the majors in 2022.