Who will be the Reds most important breakout rookie in each of the next five years?
2013: Tony Cingrani
2014: Billy Hamilton
2015: Donald Lutz
2016: Robert Stephenson
2017: Jesse Winker
IMO the first two years seem to be no-brainers. Cingrani has already arrived and dazzled in his debut, and Billy Hamilton is the Reds' most heralded prospect since Jay Bruce.
To me, the biggest question mark is 2015 - where I had a hard time deciding between Donald Lutz and Yorman Rodriguez. Ryan Ludwick's contract will be up and Lutz and Y-Rod, the Reds' top two slugging prospects above Dayton, could both be vying to takeover fulltime duties in LF. I gave the slight edge to Lutz considering he is a year older, and has been performing better at a higher level than Y-Rod so far in this young season. Still though, this could swing either way.
The second toughest call is who would arrive first between Stephenson and Winker. For the purposes of this thread, there can't be a tie (and they can't arrive in the same season). The reason I ultimately went with Stephenson is as a replacement for one of the trio of Latos/Cueto/Bailey if one of them walks via FA. I also think if Lutz or Y-Rod are successful at the big league level, there will be no rush to rush Winker to the bigs. With a 2017 arrival, the Reds will have time to gauge whether it's worth it to re-sign Bruce to another long term deal (if he hasn't been re-signed already), or they can go with Winker + the winner of the LF derby as the two corner OF flanking (hopefully) Billy Hamilton. Like the Lutz/Y-Rod call, the sequencing of Stephenson and Winker could break either way.