Hello boys (and girls), I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Last week instead of writing about the minor leagues here at Redleg Nation, I was hanging out in Tennessee watching the Greeneville Reds with Chad Dotson. But, I’m back at things this week and there are some things worth covering. The first, and at least for me, the most important, is that on Monday I released my updated Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List. The new list includes draft picks and a few guys that are just getting their seasons started in rookie ball that have been in the system for a few years. If you missed out on that, you should check it out and refresh your mind with where guys rank.

Robert Stephenson. If you are reading Redleg Nation then I’m sure you have thoughts on Robert Stephenson. I think it’s fair to say that everyone probably would use the word inconsistent in their description. And he’s been that at times in 2018 with the Louisville Bats this season. Over the last month, though, he’s been pretty dominant with the exception of one start on June 19th. In the last month the 25-year-old has posted a 1.86 ERA in 29.0 innings with 10 walks, two home runs allowed, and he’s struck out 42 of the 116 batters he’s faced. For those non-human-calculators, that’s a 36% strikeout rate.

After the 2018 season, Robert Stephenson will be out of options. He’s been pretty good overall this season for the Bats. In 16 starts he’s posted a 3.35 ERA with 109 strikeouts and 45 walks in 86.0 innings. That walk rate is still higher than you want to see, the rest of the numbers are quite strong. And of late, the walk rate has been quite a bit better. The Reds are going to need to have a better idea of what they plan to do with Stephenson in 2019 when they have to keep him on the 25-man roster all season. That information isn’t going to come by keeping him in Triple-A until September, then calling him up to face lineups that have Triple-A players taking up some spots on the field. They don’t have to call him up tomorrow, but it seems it would make plenty of sense to call him up sooner rather than later and provide yourself with more information against Major Leaguers.

Staying in Louisville, the Triple-A All-Star break couldn’t have come at a worse time for Phillip Ervin. Over the last three weeks the outfielder has hit an insane .424/.485/.695 with eight walks and just 10 strikeouts. That’s pushed his line for the year with Louisville to .288/.373/.473 with 18 walks and 32 strikeouts in 170 plate appearances.

One last note before we cut this thing off. Mark it on your calendars: The Futures Game is on Sunday and the Reds will be represented by two of their best prospects with Hunter Greene and Taylor Trammell heading to Washington D.C.  to participate in the game. The game is at 4pm ET. You can watch it on MLB Network, but if you don’t have that channel, you can also watch the game on MLB.com.

Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. Lots of guys ranked in the low minors, not much at the AAA level. Minus the lack of starting pitching that isn’t really an issue. Who needs protected from the rule 5 draft? Stephenson and Herrera both need to be on the 25 man, only Harvey is a FA, the off season could be really interesting

    Reply
  2. robert and amir should have been in the rotation from the beginning of this season

    Reply
  3. glad Ervin is starting to hit again. to me he has been the biggest disappointment of the year. he had the chance to become a starting outfielder and blew it. when he was up here he just looked uninterested. he has the potential to be a 5 tool player that the reds need so hopefully he gets another chance.

    Reply
    • He is the 4th OF at best. He is behind Schebler and Winker for a corner spot. He has to beat Duvall for the 4th OF spot. His best option would be to beat out Hamilton for CF. There are also the bats of Herrera and Senzel that need a place on the roster. Short of major trades I don’t see a spot for him

      Reply
      • I like Ervin somewhat. I think he has a chance as a 4th outfielder/platoon guy. He’s not as good as Duvall overall, but he gets on base better then Duvall and has more speed. If they had to include Duvall in a trade to get a starter then Ervin might work out?

        No room for Herrera that I can see? I wouldn’t trade Scooter now and even if they did then Senzel goes to 2nd.

        Reply
  4. Whats up with Keury Mella? Any chance the Reds give him a shot this summer?

    Reply
    • This summer? Doubtful. Though you never know what happens with injuries. But in the pecking order he’s probably like 7th or 8th at best right now.

      Reply
  5. Thanks for the minors update Doug. Are there other players currently in the minors that will be out of options after 2018 season (similar to Stephenson)?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Category

A Minors Obsession