Posted by Mack Ade at 6:00 PM
1. Billy Hamilton – OF (Last Year’s Rank: 3)The fastest player in baseball, Hamilton is more than just a burner. He is an old-school base stealing threat that could steal 100 bases a year in the Major Leagues. His speed is absolutely jaw dropping. Beyond his speed, Hamilton has improved his hitting approach and overall offensive ability, giving him an improved chance to actually utilize his speed on the bases. His move to the outfield prior to the AFL was a good one and could accelerate his arrival in the big leagues.
2. Robert Stephenson – RHP (6)Stephenson represents a lottery ticket that the Reds could cash in as a frontline starter. The Reds first round pick in 2011, Stephenson blew through rookie ball in 2012 and survived a trial by fire in the Midwest League as a 19-year old. He has a mid-90s fastball that he can run up to triple digits at times, giving him at least one dominating pitch. Both his breaking ball and change-up, along with his command and control, need improvement, but the raw materials are there to craft a big time pitching prospect.
3. Daniel Corcino – RHP (2)I ranked Corcino aggressively last year and he came through with quality development in 2012, giving credence to my belief in his raw tools. His mechanics still aren’t pretty and his control can be an issue at times, but he owns an easy plus fastball and two secondary pitches with a chance to become above-average offerings down the line. Corcino has the ceiling of a number three starter and he should be in the mix for a big-league job in 2014.
4. Nick Travieso – RHP (NR)
While some amateur scouts aren’t completely sold on Travieso’s long term starting potential, it is hard to ignore what he brings to the table with little pitching experience. His fastball gets up to 94-95 mph during his starts and his slider made significant improvements throughout his senior season. There is little in the way of a change-up at this time but given his inexperience, some scouts are willing to give him some time to show what he can develop.
5. Tony Cingrani – LHP (13)I admit I was low on Cingrani heading into the 2012 season, and while I have moved him up in my rankings, I’m still not buying the long term profile as a starting pitcher. His fastball and change-up are both plus pitches and the change-up can be devastating at times, and he commands both pitches well. His profile as a starting pitcher falls apart when looking at his breaking ball; a below-average pitch that has made little progress. Cingrani can dominate in the late innings and the Reds may allow him to do just that in 2013.
The Rest of the list... http://baseballprospectnation.com/2012/12/19/2013-cincinnati-reds-top-15-prospects/