It's a safe assumption that the majority of Reds fans are fully aware of who Robert Stephenson is by now. Taken 27th overall in the 2011 amateur draft, the California native has made an immediate impression on scouts and evaluators, and some believe his rise to the majors could culminate into a debut by the time summer rolls around in Cincinnati.
With that being said, it should come as no shock that Stephenson is among the elite, right-handed, pitching prospects in the game. Recent evidence of this fact comes courtesy of MLB.com after the website ranked Stephenson as the 7th-best right-handed prospect on its top 10 list.
Here is a peek at what they had to say about him:
Only a handful of pitching prospects possess two potential plus-plus pitches, and Stephenson is a member of that select group. His four-seam fastball has touched 100 mph, but his power curveball may be even more devastating. Stephenson's control and command took a significant step forward in 2013, and he might not require much more time in the Minors despite being just 20 years old.
Also included in the piece is scouting grades for all 10 players. Stephenson received a "well above average" grade for both his fastball and curveball. However, the scouts gave him an "average" mark for both his changeup and control.
As previously stated, there is a good chance we could see Stephenson pitching in the major leagues in 2014, just as we saw Tony Cingrani burst onto the scene in 2013 when Johnny Cueto went down. And count me as one who is very anxious to see what Stephenson is made of.
Photo Credit: Milb.com