Reds land five players on Baseball America Top 100 prospects list
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The rebuilding process for the Reds is still very much a work in progress, but they at least have a handful of very good prospects, according to Baseball America.
The respected publication placed five Reds prospects among its Top 100 prospects list heading into 2018. Baseball America says the list is derived through "countless conversations with scouts, coaches and team officials as well as many road trips over the past year."
Two of the Reds prospects in the Top 100 list got time with the Major League team last season: pitcher Tyler Mahle, who is ranked No. 90 on the list and outfielder Jesse Winker, who is ranked 98th.
The 24-year-old Winker played very well for the Reds last season and is line to nab a starting outfield spot this season. In 47 games for the Reds, Winker's slash line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) was .298/.375/.529 in 121 at bats and 136 plate appearances. He slugged a surprising seven homers after hitting only two in 337 plate appearances for Class AAA Louisville last season. His slash line in Louisville was .314/.395/.408.
His ability to get on base (his career minor league on-base percentage is .398) gives the Reds a good option at the top of the order in place of either Billy Hamilton (.298 career on-base percentage) or Jose Peraza (.297 on-base percentage in 2017).
Mahle has a chance to earn a spot in the starting rotation after he went 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA in four starts for the Reds. He did walk 11 in 20 innings, but also struck out 14.
The 23-year-old Mahle also pitched for both Class AA Pensacola and Louisville last season. in 14 starts with Pensacola he was 7-3 with a 1.59 ERA with only 17 walks and 87 strikeouts in 85 innings. In 10 starts for Louisville he was 3-4 with a 2.73 ERA. He walked only 13 and struck out 51 in 59 1/3 innings.
The Reds top prospect on the Top 100 list is third baseman Nick Senzel, who is ranked seventh overall.
The 22-year-old Senzel was the Reds first-round draft pick in 2016, and in 698 minor league at bats over the last two seasons between Billings, Dayton, Daytona and Pensacola he had a slash line of .315/.393/.514 with 21 homers, 64 doubles, 105 RBI and 122 runs scored. He also had 32 stolen bases in 45 attempts. The only negative is he struck out 151 times.
2017 first-round pick Hunter Greene is No. 29 on the list despite barely logging any minor league action with the team's Rookie League affiliate Billings after being drafted.
The 18 year-old pitcher/shortstop had just 30 at bats and recorded seven hits, two of which were doubles and one that was a triple. He also struck out eight times and didn't draw a walk. In three games as a pitcher he tossed 8 1/3 innings and and allowed eight hits and six earned runs. He walked one and struck out six.
Outfielder Taylor Trammell is ranked No. 48 on the list.
The 20-year-old Trammell was the 35th overall selection in the 2016 draft. Over his first two minor league season (2016 with Billings and 2017 with Dayton) he had a slash line of .288/.370/.441 with 15 homers, 33 doubles and 16 triples in 719 at bats. He also walked 94 times, but struck out 180 times. He stole 65 bases as well, although he was caught 19 times.