Hi, hello, and welcome to 2019, Reds fans. In the bleakest season, with the bleakest weather, with one of the bleakest of MLB teams in recent history for us to watch things aren’t looking real great for 2019. Unless you specifically wished for Yasiel Puig , cause that’s pretty awesome that it came true. However, with a small market club, much of the hope for prosperity falls on the shoulders of young prospects that are, we hope, meticulously crafted into MLB talent. Maybe even an All-Star or two. Thankfully, the Reds look to have quite the stable of prospects to wish on. Just as your 2019 will probably be just like your 2018, the first three selections for the 2019 Red Reporter Community Prospect Rankings are exactly the same choices you had in 2018. C’est la vie. So, enjoy and happy voting. Or don’t. That’s entirely up to you. Nick Senzel, 3B/2B, 23
Highest 2018 Level: AAA (Louisville Bats)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .310/.378./.509 in 193 AAA plate appearances. He’s got a cannon arm and the Reds were flirting with the idea of him in CF during the fall.
Most Worrisome Fact : Injuries. Well, not really. The only real concern right now is vertigo which sidelined him for a couple weeks in 2018
Alias(es): Senzinnati, Nick Senzational, Saint Nick, The Future
If you don’t know who Nick Senzel is by this point, you should just turn in your fan card. He is in every prospect metric the #1 prospect in the Reds system and is viewed as a Top 10 prospect nationally. There really is nothing Senzel does wrong. He hits for average, takes a walk, has some serious pop in his bat, is fast, can sling the ball, and may just be athletic enough to actually play SS or CF. I think the latter is a bit of a stretch, but it’s an exciting concept, nonetheless. There isn’t a team out there that wouldn’t want a Nick Senzel type, but that’s too bad for them because he’s all ours. He should make an immediate impact on the Cincinnati Reds when he makes his eventual MLB debut in 2019. The only question is when and how. Hopefully, the bouts of vertigo are behind him, he’s fully healthy, and the Reds don’t do something stupid like trade him. Hunter Greene, RHP, 19
Highest 2018 Level: Class A (Dayton)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 11.7 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 in 68 innings.
Most Worrisome Fact : His frickin’ elbow.
Alias(es): John Deere Greene, Hunter “I Hardly Know Her!” Greene, Duck Hunter
Hunter Greene may have the highest ceiling of all the prospects in all of baseball. He’s tall, lanky, and whipped up a 103 MPH fastball in the Futures Game. This young man has a ridiculous amount of talent, and it’s up to the Reds to make sure they polish it. Greene’s fastball is obviously the catchy part of his game but also has an average to above average breaking ball and a change up that’s ok. It’s kind of funny how you can ho hum a guy’s off speed stuff when he has such freakish velocity and the ability to command it. When Greene was drafted, there was some talk about possibly having Greene prepare as a SS too, but all that nonsense has been scrapped.
Greene had a real rough debut in 2018 but was able to largely turn it around as the season went on. He didn’t throw a ton of innings but that’s fine, and finished the year with a 4.61 ERA. Considering it was like 9+ at the end of April, that’s a good thing. Greene was shelved before the season was over with a strained UCL, which must not have been of the severe grade because he’s already declared himself 100% and ready for 2019. To put that in perspective, it’s the same injury that sometimes requires Tommy John surgery and cost Anthony DeSclafani the entire 2017 season (he didn’t have surgery, just had to rest). So, knock on wood. Hunter Greene also reported to be a super cool and down to Earth kid which is awesome. Taylor Trammell, OF, 21
Highest 2018 Level: Class A+ (Daytona)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .277/.375/.406 over 461 plate appearances. 25 steals
Most Worrisome Fact: Slight power decline, and his arm isn’t strong.
Alias(es): TT, Tay Tram, Tramm-a-lamma-ding-dong
If you thought Hunter Greene hitting 103 MPH at the Futures Game was big news, it was vastly overshadowed by what Taylor Trammell did. He won the MVP cause he smacked a triple and a dinger. He displaed some slick bat speed and real good power, wowing the crowd in attendance and announcers in the booth, and doing it all for a national audience. Trammell had another good year in his second full season as a professional baseball player. There were some injury things in there, but Trammell continues to display an advanced approach at the plate which has him skyrocketing up prospect lists. Trammell has also been on the radar of other teams in trade talks with the Reds. Any deal that goes with Trammell would need to net a top flight player in return. Even then, losing a prospect the caliber of Trammell would hurt.
Taylor Trammell looks to start the year in AA and has an outside shot of seeing some time in Cincinnati this season. While his arm isn’t the strongest (and the only real weak part of his game) his wheels and instincts play really well in center field and that’s where he should stay. The plan is for Trammell to continue killing it and eventually be the starting CF and lead off man for years to come in Cincinnati.
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