Saturday, July 21, 2012

Five prospects to get excited about

2011 first round pick Robert
Stephenson is one of many
prospects to be excited about

by: Chase Fitzgerald
Staff Writer

The Reds farm system was mostly gutted this year thanks to the Mat Latos trade, but the Reds still have a lot of good prospects. The prospects listed below, in my opinion, have the best shot of any in the Reds farm system to turn into a everyday player for the big club.

5. Tony Cingrani LHP Double-A Pensacola
Tony Cingrani might be the most intriguing prospect in the Reds farm system. He is a 6’4, 22 year old, left-handed starting pitcher who was drafted by the Reds last season in the third round. You won’t find him on many top prospects list but he has been dominating in the minors. His ERA in the minors this season is 1.19 and he has a 10-2 record. In 105.2 IP, he has given up only 14 earned runs which is just incredible. His ERA is the best in the minors and his 52 strikeouts since being called up to Double-A lead the league in that time frame. He has 123 strikeouts in total. A lot of analysts see him becoming a relief pitcher but I have to disagree with them. When everyone expects him to fail or to at least come back down to Earth he still puts up these ridiculous numbers. The reason to his success is mainly because of his fastball which minor league hitters find unhittable. He has a very good slider but he can’t really control it. He needs to develop more pitches to become a very successful starting pitch but he’s one prospect to keep an eye on.

4. Nick Travieso RHP
Nick Travieso is a 6’3, 18 year old, right handed starting pitcher who was drafted by the Reds in the first round in this year’s draft. Travieso is a pitcher with an excellent fastball that usually is around the mid-90’s but has been known to touch as high as 99. He has 3 pitches: a Fastball, changeup, and slider. His change-up is really just a set-up pitch for the slider and fastball. The slider is his strikeout pitch that is around the mid 80’s. He has been compared to Matt Cain and has top of the rotation stuff. He did just come out of high school so he won’t be in the big leagues for a while but I think the wait will be well worth it.

3. Robert Stephenson RHP Rookie-League Billings
Robert Stephenson is a 6’2, 19 year old, right handed starting pitcher who was the Red’s first round draft pick last season. He is just starting rookie ball and has thrived in it. He is 1-0 in 6 starts with a 2.10 ERA. He also leads all of rookie ball in strikeouts with 33. He has three pitches: fastball, curveball, changeup, and slider. His fastball sits in the mid to upper 90’s and has even touched 100 in rookie ball. He has a very sharp-breaking curveball that is just an overall outstanding pitch and a solid change up. But, everything about him is still a work in progress. He is a very raw pitching prospect but has the potential to become an Ace.

2. Billy Hamilton SS Double-A Pensacola
Billy Hamilton might be the most exciting player to watch in all of baseball. He is a switch hitting short stop but is blocked at SS and second base so he will most likely move to the outfield. He is by far the fastest player in baseball. He has over 100 stolen bases this season and might even make a run at 200. He hit an inside the park homerun and scored in under 14 seconds. He scored from second on a fly out. He scored from third on a pop out to the second baseman. He is so fast it’s not human. But speed isn’t everything. He obviously has to be a good hitter because you can’t steal first. This season, he has shown a big improvement this year with his bat. He has a .400+ on base percentage and led the California lead in walks before he was promoted to double-A. He has the potential to be the Red’s answer at leadoff and might even have a shot at breaking the stolen base record.

1. Daniel Corcino RHP Double-A Pensacola
Daniel Corcino is a 5’11, 21 year old, right handed starting pitcher who was signed by the Reds in 2008. He has a very solid 3.05 ERA in double-a and might see time in triple-A this season. He has been compared to Johnny Cueto and some even call him Cueto Jr. including Reds manager Dusty Baker. He has been outstanding this season and threw the first 8 innings of a combined no-hitter. He has a good fastball that has touched 98 mph and has a quality breaking ball. He has great control and just gets hitters out. The reason he is number 1 on this list is because starting pitchers are so valuable and if he does turn out to become another Cueto, the Reds rotation will be set for a very long time.

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