Stock Up, Stock Down for Cincinnati Reds' Top 10 Prospects for Week 9

Justin OlexaContributor IIIJune 10, 2014

Stock Up, Stock Down for Cincinnati Reds' Top 10 Prospects for Week 9

0 of 10

    Billy Hamilton
    Billy HamiltonTOM UHLMAN/Associated Press

    The Cincinnati Reds' top 10 prospects had a pretty mediocre week as a whole. The bats of Yorman Rodriguez and Tucker Barnhart were particularly cold.

    One would think Barnhart's year could not get any worse, but he continues in a downward spiral. He finished the week off at just 1-for-14.

    However, there were some positive results as well. Jesse Winker continued to swing the hottest bat in the Reds farm system—launching three more home runs.

    This week includes the games played from June 2 through June 8.

10. Tucker Barnhart

1 of 10

    Tucker Barnhart
    Tucker BarnhartAl Behrman/Associated Press

    This Week's Stat Line

    GH/ABBB2B3BHRRRBI
    41/14000000

      

    Overview

    Tucker Barnhart is a defense-first catcher, but his bat has really fallen off this year. After another rough week, his average is down to just .188. In his short stay in the majors, the 23-year-old catcher was just 3-for-28.

    Barnhart looked like he would be a good part-time catcher in the MLB before this season. He had hit right-handers well at .280 with an OBP of .380 in 2013. However, even against right-handers, he is under the Mendoza Line.

    Barnhart will need to find his bat if he wants to make a more permanent stay in the majors.

     

    2014 Stats

    Triple-A 

    GAVGOBP2B3BHRRRBISB
    28.188.245421711

     

    Stock

    Down

9. Ben Lively

2 of 10

    This Week's Stat Line 

    GW-LIPERAWHIPKBB
    22-0127.501.42163

     

    Overview

    Ben Lively picked up two more wins this week to reach 10 on the year. However, the wins were more from his run support than his performance this week.

    They were his two highest earned-run totals in a game at four and five. On the bright side, he is still striking out batters at a ridiculous rate with 16 more this week.

    His numbers on the year are still outstanding. After dominating rookie ball with an ERA of .73 in 12 starts a year ago, the 22-year-old pitcher has been a step above the competition in Class-A Advanced as well.

    Based on the rest of his season, these two down starts should not cause too much concern. If he can pitch the way he has the rest of the season, the UCF grad should be moving up by the end of the season.

     

    2014 Stats

    Class-A Advanced 

    GW-LIPERAWHIPKBB
    13 10-1792.28.929516

     

    Stock

    Even

8. Nick Travieso

3 of 10

    This Week's Stat Line

    GW-LIPERAWHIPKBB
    10-064.501.552

      

    Overview

    Nick Travieso did not have his best start of the year this week, but he still managed to pick up a quality start.

    The Reds' first-round pick in 2012 has had a very solid season. He is still just 20 years old, but he has limited his walks and kept his ERA and WHIP low.

    Travieso had an ERA of 4.63 and a WHIP of 1.35 in 2013. This year, his ERA is down to 3.29, and his WHIP is at 1.05. It's a nice step forward in just his second full season in the minors.

    He has an electric, high-90s fastball, but he is still very raw and needs to develop his secondary pitches.

     

    2014 Stats

    Class-A

    GW-LIPERAWHIPKBB
    126-265.23.291.055012

     

    Stock

    Even

7. Carlos Contreras

4 of 10

    This Week's Stat Line

    GW-LIPERAWHIPKBB
    0-010.001.0020

     

    Overview

    Carlos Contreras made one appearance this past week, but he was dominant in his one inning of work. He struck out two and allowed one hit. The best thing to take away is he didn't walk anyone—something he has struggled with this year.

    After finishing 2013 strong, Contreras has dealt with nagging back injuries for much of 2014 but has finally returned. He has returned to the bullpen instead of the rotation.

    Control has been his problem in the minors. He has given up way too many free passes—more than one every two innings this year.

    The 23-year-old pitcher has excellent stuff, as his strikeout rate stands at 11.9, but he just has to learn to control it. Contreras needs to lower his 5.5 walk rate before he can take the next step forward.

     

    2014 Stats

    Double-A

    G (GS)W-LIPERAWHIPKBB
    5 (3)1-114.23.681.36 199

     

    Stock

    Even

6. Michael Lorenzen

5 of 10

    This Week's Stat Line 

    GW-LIPERAWHIPKBB
    11-00.001.4032

     

    Overview

    Michael Lorenzen did not have the prettiest outing, but he pitched his way out of jams and managed to allow no earned runs.

    He got a taste of professional baseball last season in 21 innings at four different levels. Lorenzen was walking too many batters at a 5.6 BB/9.

    The 22-year-old has done a much better job this season, as his BB/9 is down to 2.9. He is not a strikeout pitcher, so control is key for his success.

    His under-.500 record does not display how he has pitched this season. His ERA on the year stands at 2.59 with a WHIP of 1.20.

     

    2014 Stats

    Double-A

    GW-LIPERAWHIPKBB
    123-4662.591.204421

     

    Stock

    Up

5. Yorman Rodriguez

6 of 10

    Yorman Rodriguez
    Yorman RodriguezSarah Glenn/Getty Images

    This Week's Stat Line

    GH/ABBB2B3BHRRRBI
    41/14100012

     

    Overview

    Yorman Rodriguez's struggles at the plate continued this week. He managed just one hit in 14 at-bats. This dropped his average down to .222 on the year.

    The 21-year-old prospect has taken a step back during his second year in Double-A. His slugging percentage has dropped from .427 to .305. The loss of power can be seen in his huge doubles drop-off.

    After hitting an impressive 35 doubles in 2013, he has just two this season. Jesse Winker has flown by him this season after it looked like Rodriguez was living up to his potential a year ago.

    All of the tools are there, but he has not been able to put it all together this season. The Venezuelan prospect needs to cut down on his strikeouts and put the ball in play. He is averaging over a strikeout a game.

    If he can't pick up his game and look like the player we saw a year ago, he will keep slipping down the rankings.

     

    2014 Stats

    Double-A

    GAVGOBP2B3BHRRRBISB
    44.222.264 23216104

     

    Stock

    Down

4. Phil Ervin

7 of 10

    This Week's Stat Line

    GH/ABBB2B3BHRRRBI
    55/2021101

     

    Overview

    Phil Ervin had a double and triple this week, but he hit just .250 and had no stolen bases. After a great 2013, he has really struggled to hit this season.

    Ervin hit .331 in his first year in the minors, but he has not looked like the same player in 2014. His average is down to .223. The power that he showed a year ago has also disappeared.

    The 2013 first-rounder hit nine home runs in 2013 but has just one this year. His speed is the only thing that appears to have stuck around this season. He has 17 stolen bases through 59 games.

    The Samford University product will need to cut down on his strikeout rate as he progresses. Ervin has 55 strikeouts in 59 games.

     

    2014 Stats

    Single-A

    GAVGOBP2B3BHRRRBISB
    59.223.2881329 28 17

     

    Stock

    Down

3. Jesse Winker

8 of 10

    This Week's Stat Line 

    GH/ABBB2B3BHRRRBI
    77/2771377

     

    Overview

    Jesse Winker continued his power stroke with three more home runs this week. He also added a double and seven RBI.

    Winker may have started the season behind Ervin, but he has separated himself from Ervin and Rodriguez this year. He is hitting .311 and has an OBP of .410.

    The Olympia High School (Florida) product has an outstanding .949 OPS this season. For a comparison, Joey Votto has a career OPS of .956. These are at different levels, but it is still a great start for the 20-year-old prospect.

    Winker has 10 home runs and 15 doubles on the season. If he keeps up his play, Double-A should be around the corner.

     

    2014 Stats

    Class-A Advanced

    GAVGOBP2B3BHRRRBISB
    50.311.410150103641 4

     

    Stock

    Up

2. Billy Hamilton

9 of 10

    Billy Hamilton
    Billy HamiltonUncredited/Associated Press

    This Week's Stat Line

    GH/ABBB2B3BHRRRBI
    66/23143

    (3 SB)

     

    Overview

    Billy Hamilton stuffed the stat sheet this week—he hit his second home run of the year and had four runs, three RBI and three stolen bases.

    Hamilton has gone through the ups and downs that are normal for an MLB rookie. He has not taken the league by storm, but he has been a game-changer when he gets on.

    The speedster has 23 stolen bases, but he needs to bring his average and OBP up. Remember, he has only been a switch-hitter for a couple of years now, so he should only get better with time.

    Hamilton must improve on his abysmal 40-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio. That is not good for your leadoff hitter.

    If he can't improve his numbers, manager Bryan Price may be forced to move him out of the leadoff spot.

     

    2014 Stats

    MLB

    GAVGOBP2B3BHRRRBISB
    56.253 .288 732261323

     

    Stock

    Down

1. Robert Stephenson

10 of 10

    Robert Stephenson
    Robert StephensonTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    This Week's Stat Line 

    GW-LIPERAWHIPKBB
    11-0 64.501.1733

     

    Overview

    Robert Stephenson was not phenomenal this week, but he had a quality start and picked up the win.

    He posted a 2.99 ERA with a 10.7 K/9 in 2013. This was at three different levels.

    The top prospect in the Reds organization has been solid this season but not as dominate as some would hope. He needs to become a more consistent pitcher before making the jump to the big leagues.

    Stephenson pitched great in May, as he posted a 2.52 ERA. On the other hand, he has an ERA of 5.00 in June and had an ERA of 4.43 in April.

    The 21-year-old pitcher has the talent and potential to be the ace of a rotation one day, but he is still mastering his craft.

     

    2014 Stats

    Double-A

    GW-LIPERAWHIPKBB
    133-5673.491.207031 

     

    Stock

    Down

     

    *All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.