Now that we're halfway through the 2013 baseball season, here is a look at where things stand with major prospects in the Reds system:
GRADE A (Top 25 Prospect/Future All-Star Potential)
1. Robert Stephenson RHP A+ - The crown jewel. Best pitching prospect since Homer Bailey, maybe even Don Gullet. Ironically he could likely be the replacement in the Reds rotation if Bailey leaves via FA after next season.
2. Billy Hamilton CF AAA - His value has taken a hit due to his dismal OBP. However the speed and defense are still there. Should be in Cincy by September, and still look for him to start Opening Day 2014.
GRADE B (Top 100 Prospect/Future Starter Potential)
3. Jesse Winker OF A - His bat has cooled a bit over the last month, but he still has strong potential. Probably the best pure bat in the system.
4. Phil Ervin OF R/A - Needs to get to Dayton, especially now that CF Arias has been promoted to Bakersfield. Kirby Puckett comparisons abound.
GRADE C (Some Trade Value/Likely to Make the Majors One Day)
5. Nick Travieso RHP A - Highly volatile and quickly becoming Redszone's most debated prospect. Clearly a long way from the bigs, he has been extremely inconsistent if not unimpressive so far.
6. Yorman Rodriguez OF AA - The tools are there but the results are not. Seems like we've been saying that for years, but at 20 he's still one of the youngest players in AA, so there is room for improvement.
7. Donald Lutz OF AA - Despite getting an unexpected taste of the bigs early in the year, he is still at least a year away from being a solid big leaguer.
8. Chad Rogers RHP AAA - Maximizing his potential, he'll probably never be more than a BOR starter or long reliever, but his minor league numbers and ascent have been impressive.
9. Dan Corcino RHP AAA - Probably the biggest disappointment amongst several disappointments in the system this year. Corcino needs another year in AAA to try to regain the form and consistency that earned him the Cueto comp.
10. Tucker Barnhart C AA - Definitely a future big league catcher, question is whether he'll be a backup or a Ryan Hanigan-like starter. The defense is superb.
ON THE RADAR (Honorable Mention)
11. Carlos Contreras RHP A+ - Might be the most underrated prospect in the system.
12. Junior Arias CF A+ - Extremely toolsy, needs to put together a full season of strong play. After a great first half in Dayton, early results in Bakersfield have been weak.
13. Michael Lorenzen RHP A - If he is going to be a reliever, he needs to move quickly to justify his high draft selection. If they see him as a starter, they can take their time. Only time will tell.
14. Ismael Guillon LHP A - Also inconsistent in 2013 when many hoped he would turn a corner, but the potential is still very attractive.
15. Drew Cisco RHP A - Consistent and polished without a ton of upside, he's pretty much the opposite of Guillon. He also throws with the opposite arm.
16. Sal Romano RHP A - Young and exciting, will be fun to watch him develop.
17. Tanner Rahier 3B A - The pop and glove are there, the OBP is not. Needs to get on base more to move up the list.
18. Dan Langfield RHP A/A+ - Needs to get healthy and actually pitch in 2013 to justify this spot and/or move up. His rookie season was impressive.
19. Ryan Wright 2B A+ - Wasn't sure whether to put Wright or Kyle Waldrop here, but Wright gets the nod for position scarcity.
20. Juan Silva OF A+ - Has had a very impressive year, probably projects to a 4th OF. Needs to be challenged in AA.
KEEP AN EYE ON (Too Early to Tell)
Jonathan Reynoso CF R+ Trapped behind Hamilton, Arias and Ervin on the CF depth chart, he's still an exciting guy to monitor.
Amir Garrett LHP R+ Once he focuses on baseball full time, he could move quickly up this list. Ton of upside.
Ben Lively RHP R+ Good polish but not a lot of upside, he could and should move quickly through the system. Could be this year's Langfield with less upside and hopefully better health.
Jose Ortiz C R+ Could be the best catching prospect in the system in a year or two. Definitely keep an eye on him and teammate Daniel Paula.
Ty Washington 2B R+ Unheralded HS draftee had a very impressive debut, and continues to look good in Billings. Would be nice to have a middle infield prospect in the system, he could end up the heir to Brandon Phillips.
Gabriel Rosa OF R+ Has never really hit since being taken in the 2nd round out of Puerto Rico, scouts still drool over his body. Has moved from 3B to the OF.
Cory Thompson SS R- My favorite of this year's draftees, he has hit well so far in the AZL and could make an interesting middle infield combo with Washington as they move up the system.
Kevin Franklin 3B R- I wouldn't mind seeing them try him at Catcher given his body type, athleticism and bat. Not to mention positional need in the organization.
Mark Armstrong RHP R- Hasn't pitched yet this year but came highly heralded out of HS. Especially interesting since he didn't throw a lot of innings in New York state.
Jacob Constante LHP R-- Not sure why the 19 year old heralded prospect is still pitching in the DSL. Shouldn't he at least be in the AZL by now?
NOT REALLY PROSPECTS ANYMORE
Neftali Soto 1B AAA - Still has decent power, but as a 24 year old 1B only, he has to OPS better than .750 in his second stint in AAA. Could be a major league PH, but not really a top prospect.
Henry Rodriguez 2B/3B AAA - Could still be a useful utility man, although he hasn't really hit in a couple years. Like Soto, not giving up, just not counting him as a prospect.
Felix Perez OF AAA - He's 28.
Ryan LaMarre OF AA - He's regressed in his second year in AA. While I've never been really impressed with him, I used to think he could be another Heisey, now he looks like more of another minor league journeyman.
Kyle Lotzkar RHP A+ - Even though he's still only 23, he looks like he's finished. Injuries have doomed him to become the first Reds first round/sandwich pick to not make the majors since Chris Gruler.
PROMOTIONS I'D LIKE TO SEE BY THE END OF THE MONTH
Tucker Barnhart to Louisville
Juan Silva to Pensacola
Jesse Winker, Michael Lorenzen and Dan Langfield (once healthy) to Bakersfield
Phil Ervin and Ben Lively to Dayton
Jacob Constante to Goodyear/AZL
WHERE ARE THEY/WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Dan Langfield - Injured to start the year, I wonder when he is coming back? Will he start in Dayton or Bakersfield?
Mark Armstrong - Hasn't yet thrown an inning despite signing soon after the draft. Just pitching in extended and being cautious?
Mason Felt - Of course we all know about the terrible accident that happened last year. I wonder if there is a report on what's happening with Mason and if he intends on pitching again?