Originally Posted by Benihana
Sickels is one of if not the best in the business. His takes are frequently spot on IMO.
#13 Robert Stephenson
#46 Billy Hamilton
#57 Phil Ervin
Honorable Mention Jesse Winker
No Mention Yorman Rodriguez, Michael Lorenzen, Nick Travieso
Seems reasonable, although I'd raise Winker and have him in the 60-80 range. Might also raise Hamilton a hair after seeing him in Cincy but I think around 35-45 is about right.
Others of note (guys I was very high on when they came out):
#31 Lucas Giolito (never understood why we drafted Travieso over Giolito. Neither did anyone else who paid attention)
#52 JP Crawford
#56 Max Fried
Sickels is definitely a must read for all prospect watchers.
I think his ranking of Stephenson is spot on. Stephenson is a terrific prospect and the only thing that can stop him is injury.
I don't think Hamilton will ever be a star player but I would rank him a little higher than #46. He is likely to be a good major league starting centerfielder and I think he will eventually hit well enough to generate a .330+ OBP, hopefully higher.
I think Sickels' ranking of Ervin at #57 is a bit premature. Ervin was a solid 1st round pick and he tore up the rookie-level Pioneer League, but a 21 year old, 1st-round outfielder with 3 years of college experience should
tear up the Pioneer League. He did exactly what he should have done, but it doesn't prove that he is going to be a star yet. Yet
. I would wait to see him continue that level of production at Dayton and Bakersfield before ranking him at #57.
I think Winker gets dinged a little too much for his body type and defense. The guy can hit, and to me that means a lot more than his defensive shortcomings. Every team needs a left fielder and a 1st baseman and half of teams need a designated hitter. Winker can handle those positions. The point being that his bat is plenty good enough for a whole bunch of major league teams to find a place for him to play on the diamond.
I keep my own top prospects list where I rank anywhere from 100 to 300 prospects and keep it constantly updated year-round. I have the top Reds' prospects ranked like this:
#13 Robert Stephenson
#27 Billy Hamilton
#99 Jesse Winker
#118 Phil Ervin
Regarding Giolito, I can understand why the Reds and 14 other teams passed on him. He likely would have been the #1 pick of the draft in 2012 had he not already injured his elbow. It was widely expected that he was going to need Tommy John surgery, so it is tough to use your valuable 1st round pick on a player that may never throw a pitch if the surgery doesn't go well. He also had signability concerns due to a college commitment. Personally I would have drafted him, but I can see why some teams didn't.
Travieso is a bigger mystery. I don't understand why the Reds took him so early. He was truly a darkhorse 1st round pick. The Reds most likely could have waited to draft him with their 2nd pick because he almost certainly would have still been available. Apparently the Reds really
liked his arm despite his poor mechanics. He was extremely raw due to poor coaching or non-existent coaching at his high school. The Reds have been totally overhauling his mechanics since signing him, which is going to result in a very slow progression through the low minors for Travieso.