3 Best Cincinnati Reds Prospects No One Is Talking About
Robert Stephenson, Ben Lively, Michael Lorenzen, Yorman Rodriguez, Jesse Winker—most Cincinnati Reds fans know about these guys. They are the farm's prized products and possibly the future of the franchise. Stephenson and Winker were just named to Baseball America's Top 50 midseason prospects, too.
The aforementioned were at the center of this year's trade deadline. Many wondered if the Reds would leverage the few high-level prospects they have for an MLB bat.
They didn't, and at least for now, the farm is still intact.
However, there are a few prospects who have flown under the radar amidst all the hype surrounding the Reds' top prospects. There are guys performing at a high level in Double-A and Triple-A.
The following are the three best Reds prospects that no one is talking about, listed from furthest from joining the major league roster to closest.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
Rossmel Perez is a 24-year-old catcher who the Reds acquired this season. The switch-hitting catcher is tearing it up in Double-A for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
As of August 6, in 69 games this season, Perez is hitting .342/.401/.475. That's an enormous improvement from his last season in the Diamondbacks' organization, during which he hit .245/.315/.287 in Mobile.
According to BaseballAmerica.com, Perez was named the Diamondbacks' organization's best defensive catcher in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
One great thing about this catcher—and something the Reds could really use—is that he knows how to get on base at a high level. His career OBP for the minors in nine seasons is .355. This season, it's .401. He has excelled following every promotion.
He's not a major source of power, but he knows how to hit. To this date, he has 82 hits in just 69 games.
In 74 games last year, he had just 58 hits. Something has really clicked for this kid.
This left-handed outfielder is having a very good campaign in Double-A Pensacola. He started the year in Bakersfield, a Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. While there, he turned in an impressive slashline of .359/.409/.516.
Since arriving at Pensacola, he's continued to rake. As of August 6, he's hitting a respectable .285/.331/.431.
He's somehow flown under the radar since being named by BaseballAmerica.com as the No. 22 prospect in the Reds' organization in both 2011 and 2012. That might be because his performance dipped in 2013 when he first arrived to High-A Bakersfield.
In 129 games, Waldrop hit just .258/.304/.462. However, after you see what he did in High-A to begin this year, last season appears to be nothing more than growing pains. He's still just 22 years old.
Rey Navarro may be the Reds' most major league-ready prospect that no one is talking about.
This switch-hitting second baseman was promoted to Triple-A Louisville after performing at a high level in Double-A Pensacola. There, Navarro registered a slash line of .275/.339/.463.
Since being promoted, Navarro has thrived. As of August 6, he's hitting .311/.360/.453. That's in 42 games played thus far.
At one time, Navarro was a very notable prospect. BaseballAmerica.com listed him as a top-10 Arizona Diamondbacks prospect in both 2009 and 2010. In 2011, he was ranked as the Reds' best defensive second baseman.
Considering that Brandon Phillips could still miss up to three weeks, it will be interesting to see if the Reds would consider calling this 24-year-old up any time soon.
Furthermore, considering how bad starting shortstop Zack Cozart has been at the plate (hitting .225/.275/.299), the Reds might consider trying him at shortstop to see if they can get a much-needed offensive upgrade.
It wouldn't be anything new for Navarro. In eight minor league seasons, he's played shortstop in 425 games.