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Cincinnati Reds: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Cincinnati Reds will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

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Quick Synopsis

The Reds system is relatively barren. The organization doesn’t scout the international market overly well and the amateur drafts haven’t really impressed over the past few seasons, either. The Reds may have found a solid starter with their first selection in the 2019 draft but even he has limitations.

 

1. Nick Lodolo, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 79
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Lodolo was known more for his advanced pitching ability than for having a huge ceiling. The 2019 first-rounder did not disappoint in his pro debut with a K-BB of 30-0 in his first 18.1 pro innings. At 6-foot-6, he has a chance to add velocity as he matures and adds muscle to his frame. He’s a relatively safe bet to develop into a mid-rotation arm if he stays healthy — with the potential for more.

2. Hunter Greene, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 132
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Greene made headlines prior to the 2017 amateur draft due to his ability to hit triple digits with his heater. He was holding his own in low-A ball in his first full pro season when he blew out his arm and required Tommy John surgery. He has a chance to be a top-of-the-rotation arm if his stuff rebounds, his command continues to improve, and he polishes his secondary offerings. If he can’t eventually hone a third pitch, Greene could make an excellent high-leverage reliever.

3. Jonathan India, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 145
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Selected fifth overall in 2018, India hasn’t had as much success as the Reds were likely hoping for after picking him so aggressively. He’s hit OK — mostly because his strong walk rate has buoyed his on-base numbers — but has yet to show the ability to tap into his raw power during game situations despite respectable line-drive rates. A career .254 batting average with a .779 OPS in 165 career games does not scream "Future superstar!"

4. Tyler Callihan, 3B/2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 198
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

I felt Callihan was a little overrated leading up to the 2019 draft and he slid a bit to the third round where the Reds nabbed him and bought him away from a college commitment. He showed some intriguing pop in his debut but he also had a disappointing BB-K rate of 50-10 in 57 pro games. I’m not sure he’s an impact bat at third base at the MLB level but he gets more interesting if he shifts to second base on a permanent basis.

5. Tyler Stephenson, C

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 200
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

It’s been a slow climb for this 2015 first-rounder but Stephenson is almost ready fo take a run at the Majors. His power output continues to be inconsistent — especially for such a big, strong player — but he’s improved his contact ability while also showing strong on-base skills. If he makes the necessary adjustments to tap into the power more consistently, Stephenson’s value will surge.

6. Tony Santillan, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 215
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Santillan was trending upward at the end of 2018 but both his command and control regressed in 2019 leading to questions about his ability to stick as a starter. He has the stuff to be a No. 3 starter but his inconsistencies could force him to the bullpen where he could focus on a two mix (mid-90s heater and slider) and perhaps find better success.

7. Jose Garcia, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 220
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Garcia’s results from 2019 don’t immediately jump out at you but he was building up a nice amount of momentum heading into 2020 when the pandemic happened. He slugged just eight home runs on the year but 37 of his 113 hits were doubles. And two-baggers just happen to be a key predictor of future home run pop. If he can continue to add muscle as he matures while making tweaks to hit more fly balls, Garcia could eventually develop 20+ home run potential to go with double-digit steals.

8. Michael Siani, OF

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Siani’s best skill — his outstanding outfield defense — won’t help him in fantasy baseball. But he also stole 45 bases in his first full pro season so his wheels could provide future value. He’s still raw with the bat and doesn’t generate much pop, which limits his intrigue. But he’s also just 20, shows a willingness to take a walk, and comes from a cold-weather state so he could eventually reward the Reds once he gets some additional reps.

9. Lyon Richardson, RHP

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Richardson can fire the ball up to the mid-90s, has shown improved control, and has some athleticism. He has the ceiling of a No. 4 starter if he continues on his current trajectory.   

10. Ivan Johnson, 2B/SS

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2022

A 2019 fourth-round pick, Johnson could end up as a bit of a steal. He has excellent makeup which could allow him to squeeze out every ounce of his ability. He’s the type of player that can do a little bit of everything although his power will likely be more of the gap variety as opposed to over-the-fence.

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