Stock Up, Stock Down for Cincinnati Reds' Top 10 Prospects for Week 16

Justin OlexaContributor IIIJuly 21, 2014

Stock Up, Stock Down for Cincinnati Reds' Top 10 Prospects for Week 16

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    Jesse Winker
    Jesse WinkerUSA TODAY Sports

    Billy Hamilton has exceeded expectations this season at the major league level, but he is not the only Cincinnati Reds prospect to make it to the majors this season. Carlos Contreras and David Holmberg both made their debuts with the Reds before the All-Star break. Holmberg was called up for a spot start, while Contreras looks to have a more permanent role in the Reds bullpen. 

    The other prospects on this list won't be making contributions at the major league level this season, but they have enough talent to make a big impact down the road.

    Robert Stephenson and Jesse Winker were both selected by Major League Baseball to appear in the annual Futures Game. Winker showed off his bat with a double, while Stephenson did not allow a run in his inning of work.  

    The yearly stats and rankings came courtesy of the Cincinnati Reds' official site. Let's take a look at how the organization's top prospects have performed this year. 

10. Daniel Corcino

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Daniel Corcino appeared destined to be one of the top prospects in the organization just a couple of years ago, but he has fallen off significantly in the last two seasons. His stats from this season are below:


    After a terrible season in which he posted a 5.86 ERA in Triple-A, Corcino started this season in Double-A. He still has not found the stuff that made him one of the Reds' top prospects in 2012. His walk rates have gone up, while his K/9 has been in decline.

    However, Corcino is still just 23 years old and has time to find his stuff again. 

    He was roughed up all June long and had an ERA of 7.88, but he has started pitching better this month, with an ERA of 3.63.

    The Dominican prospect will need to pitch better before earning a promotion back to Triple-A.

    Season Stock: Down

9. Ismael Guillon

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    Ismael Guillon
    Ismael GuillonPaul Sancya/Associated Press

    Ismael Guillon had a great start to the year in Single-A to earn a promotion to High-A. His stats on the year are listed below:

     League IPW-L ERA WHIP  K
     A 65.1 4-1 3.17 1.04 69
     High-A 23  0-3  9.39 1.59 22

    Here is a quote from that accurately sums up the 22-year-old: "Guillon led the Midwest League in strikeouts in 2013. He also led that circuit in walks, a quick way to sum up what this young left-hander is about right now."

    Guillon has nasty stuff, but he is still mastering his command. After cruising through Single-A, the advanced league has hit him hard. The Venezuelan has just one quality start in his six starts at the higher level.

    His July has been especially rough. Guillon's ERA sits at 5.40 this month, and he has given up three home runs in his three starts. 

    Barring drastic improvement, the 22-year-old southpaw will likely be working on his stuff at High-A for the rest of the season. 

    Season Stock: Even

8. Yorman Rodriguez

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    Yorman Rodriguez
    Yorman RodriguezSarah Glenn/Getty Images

    Yorman Rodriguez was brought into the Reds' system at the young age of 16. After struggling with immaturity issues early on, he still has yet to dominate at any level. 

    He has the power and speed to become a successful big league player one day, but Rodriguez is still figuring the game out. His 2014 stats are below:

     .243 .294 .339 .632 526  34 7

    Rodriguez has been with the Reds for a long time now, but fans have to remember that he is still only 21 years old. The Venezuelan prospect is off to a slow start in July, hitting just .226 with just two extra-base hits. 

    Rodriguez needs to get his average and OBP up before the Reds can consider promoting him. On the bright side, his strikeout rate has dropped this season. 

    Season Stock: Down

7. Nick Travieso

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    Nick Travieso started off the year on a tear, posting an ERA of 1.55 with three wins in April. However, he has been inconsistent since then. His 2014 stats are below: 

     97 8-53.90  1.2580 22

    Travieso does not overpower hitters; instead, his success comes from his control. He keeps his walk rate low, with just 22 on the year.

    It looked like his stay in Double-A would be short in April, but the 20-year-old pitcher has had his ups and downs since then. One positive is that he consistently throws strikes at such a young age.

    Travieso's July ERA sits at 4.43 with a WHIP of 1.57. He will need more consistent results before getting the call to Triple-A.

    Season Stock: Even

6. David Holmberg

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    David Holmberg came over to the Reds in December. His debut with the team happened right before the break against the Chicago Cubs.

    It wasn't pretty. 

    The 23-year-old southpaw allowed three home runs and was out of the game before the end of the third inning. He has posted an ERA over 5.00 in three of the four months this season, and he has battled his share of injuries.

    His stats can be seen below:


    Holmberg looked to be turning things around in June, posting an ERA of 1.99, but he has struggled once again in July. His ERA is 5.60 this month, and his WHIP is 1.81. 

    Holmberg has the tools to be a solid back-of-the-rotation pitcher, but he still needs to master Triple-A first. 

    Season Stock: Down

5. Carlos Contreras

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    Carlos Contreras
    Carlos ContrerasAl Behrman/Associated Press

    Carlos Contreras has made it to the big leagues after being switched back to reliever. The bullpen has been struggling this season, and Contreras has the ability to stay up the rest of the year if he keeps pitching the way he has. 

    He battled injuries early on and after coming back from the disabled list was made a reliever. The move has worked well so far. Below are his stats on the year:

     LevelIP W-L ERA WHIP BB 
    Triple-A 20 2-1  2.70 1.3027 11 
    MLB7.1 0-0  2.45  .95  6 3

    The transition to reliever allows Contreras to throw his high-90s fastball without wearing out his arm. His stuff works well as a reliever, and this is where he should stay for the remainder of the season. Contreras' future may be as a starter, but for now, the Reds need him to be a reliever in the big leagues.

    His success has continued this month, with an ERA of 2.84 and a WHIP of 1.10. As long as he can keep controlling his pitches, there is no reason why the 23-year-old pitcher can't have a successful second half with the Reds.

    Season Stock: Up

4. Michael Lorenzen

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    Michael Lorenzen came out of Cal State Fullerton as an excellent defensive outfielder and closer. However, the Reds have decided to develop him as a starting pitcher. It looks like they made the right decision.

    Lorenzen has been tearing up Double-A this season. He has an ERA of 2.72 and a WHIP of 1.23. Below are his stats on the year:


    The 22-year-old is just learning how to be a starting pitcher, yet he has been very solid in Double-A. In his only start before the All-Star break in July, Lorenzen threw six shutout innings. 

    With no signs of slowing down, he could be pitching in Triple-A before the end of the year. But he still needs to work on his secondary pitches before having a realistic shot at the big leagues. 

    Season Stock: Up

3. Jesse Winker

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    Jesse Winker
    Jesse WinkerUSA TODAY Sports

    Jesse Winker started off this season much lower on this list, but his play has been too hard to ignore. Major League Baseball took notice by selecting him to participate in the Futures Game.

    Winker was one of the best hitters in all of the minor leagues, which led to his promotion to Double-A after just 53 games. His stats can be seen below:

    High-A .317 .426 .580 1.006 1349 42 
    Double-A .208 .326 .351 .667 28150

    While he has struggled some in Double-A, he should be able to turn things around with his solid mechanics and tools. 

    It's rare to see such a disciplined hitter at such a young age. Winker is an OBP machine, and he approaches hitting similar to Joey Votto. He is not going to swing at a pitcher's pitches and will take walks if he does not get anything good to hit. 

    The 20-year-old ran through Single-A, but he will need to assert himself in Double-A before he reaches the next level. 

    Season Stock: Up

2. Phil Ervin

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    Phil Ervin dominated in the minors a year ago, but his sophomore campaign has not gone as smoothly. He had a terrible start to the season, which really brought his stats down.

    His stats can be seen below:

     .235 .309 .385 .694 548 49 22 

    Ervin has all of the tools to be a major league player and displayed his hitting ability by hitting .331 last year.

    After starting the year in a major slump, the 22-year-old is starting to find his stroke again. He hit .268 with an OBP of .358 in June. July is also looking better, as he has an OPS of .838.

    Hopefully Ervin can continue improving and make it to the next level by the end of the season. 

    Season Stock: Down

1. Robert Stephenson

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    Robert Stephenson
    Robert StephensonUSA TODAY Sports

    Robert Stephenson is coming off of an appearance in the Futures Game, and he is the Reds' top prospect. He has not been as dominant this year, but he still has the best stuff in the organization. His stats can be seen below:


    While his numbers aren't bad, Reds fans expected more from their top prospect. The main problem is that he has walked more batters this season. 

    On the bright side, Stephenson has looked like a future ace in July. He has a 2.20 ERA in three starts with a WHIP of 1.22. Before he makes it to the next level, though, he needs to command his pitches better.

    There's no rush to bring him up this season, but the 21-year-old prospect should be competing for a spot in the rotation next spring. 

    Season Stock: Even


    *Yearly stats courtesy of the Cincinnati Reds' official site, and all other stats courtesy of