In the Natti things just ain’t been the same. The chili has been more disgusting than usual, Hi-Tek’s beats just don’t slam like they used to, and Jerry Springer is no longer mayor. Outside of those three things I don’t know much about Cincinnati. What I do know about however is their Red’s freshly re-stocked farm system. After an excellent 2016 draft and international period the Reds boast a wide array of pitching prospects, and a handful of hitting prospects of note for owners in dynasty leagues. Of course the most sought after being this year’s number two overall pick Nick Senzel. Not only did the Reds net the best college bat in the draft, they also picked a high upside athlete in Taylor Trammell, and arguably the best catcher in the draft in Chris Okey. The international period saw the Reds make major splashes in the Cuban market adding top pitching prospect Vladimir Gutierrez. As well as a saavy signing in “through the cracks’ talent TJ Friedl. While the big league club struggles, the system shows glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel for the Reds, though it’s still year’s away. It’s the Cincinnati Reds Prospects from A-Z…

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I don’t know where you’re from, by where I’m at everyone is getting High-A. I have no idea why I find this funny, it’s not. Then again they don’t pay me to be funny, actually they don’t pay me for anything. If I was paid for anything though it would probably be this, writing about prospects. Particularly those in the low minors and a few years away. Today, we’ll take a long look at the breakout players in two of the three High-A level leagues, the California League and the Florida State League. Though they share the distinction of being even in terms of level, the two circuits couldn’t boast more divergent offensive profiles. As the California League is known for its hitting and power friendly environment, the Florida State League is known for the opposite; low scoring games, and pitching friendly statistics. On Sunday we’ll dig into the numerous breakouts and players of note in the third High-A syndicate, the Carolina league. We’ll also touch on some of the top performers in the A level Midwest League. If there’s anyone else you feel I neglected to include that’s on your radar in the Cali or FSL, post it, I’d love to discuss them. You know what the old timers say, Prospecting takes a village.

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Salutations my loyal Razzscalians, and welcome to the latest installment of The Minor League update. I’m your Prospector and Chief Ralph Lifshitz and today I’d like to discuss a mighty slugger from The Great White North. A man with the forearms of a spinach swigging Popeye. A hitter with a swing so strong, that balls explode off his bat head like forgotten land mines in former war zones. The thunderous prospect I speak of is none other than the Mariners Tyler O’neill. The outfielder was a player that popped into many managers favorite prospects lists over the past few months, including yours truly. I mean what’s not to like about Tyler O’Neill “Prospect Power King of the North.”

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The Reds battled with the Phillies for the worst record in baseball and came away with the second overall pick in the 2016 draft. Another thing they had in common with the Phils was dealing their ace. Johnny Cueto netted the Reds three left-handed pitching prospects from the Royals, with Brandon Finnegan the centerpiece of the return. Raisel Iglesias had a solid rookie year, and the Cuban import will look to build on that in 2016. We should also see the Reds’ two best prospects (Winker/Stephenson) in Cincinnati at some point this year. Adam Duvall, the return when the Reds traded Mike Leake, will presumably get a long look and has enough power to be on fantasy radars. It probably won’t be a competitive year for the Reds, but they’ll have some interesting young pieces surfacing.

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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (17) | 2013 (15) | 2012 (7) | 2011 (6) | 2010 (17)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [76-86] NL Central
AAA: [68-75] International League – Louisville
AA: [60-80] Southern League – Pensacola
A+: [78-62] California League – Bakersfield (2015: Daytona)
A: [68-70] Midwest League – Dayton

Graduated Prospects
Billy Hamilton, OF | Donald Lutz, 1B/OF | Jumbo Diaz, RHP

The Gist
The Reds had a disappointing 2014 season thanks in part to the loss of Joey Votto and a power outage from right fielder Jay Bruce. Billy Hamilton had an up and down year but still managed to swipe 56 bags in his rookie campaign. His six homers were a pleasant surprise, but fantasy owners would probably trade them in for a better batting average and more stolen bases. The Reds’ farm has a clear 1/1A at the top, but one of the most intriguing players on this list is Raisel Iglesias. Cincinnati signed the Cuban pitcher to a seven-year deal and he could make an impact with the big league club as soon as this summer. Ben Lively, who would have made this list, was traded to the Phillies for Marlon Byrd this offseason.

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Happy Hump Day (cue the Geico camel) fellow prospect hounds! Another week of minor league action is in the books as the top prospects continue jockeying for spots on various “up and coming” lists, and try to better position themselves for promotions closer to their ultimate goal — a call to “The Show”. Time for our weekly look at some of the prospects that have made some noise recently in the hope of climbing a little closer to the big leagues, whether that step ultimately comes this season or a little further down the road. Refill your coffee cup, get comfortable, and let us guide your continuing research as we try to help you scoop your fellow fantasy competitors with our Wednesday Twelve-Pack.

We’ll start by mentioning the obvious, Cubs fans that follow me on Twitter got the news Monday afternoon that Javier Baez was on his way to join the big club in Denver for last night’s game. Batting second and playing 2B (where he likely winds up for the long haul at this point), he struck out against Brett Anderson in the 1st, grounded out to Nolan Arrenado in the 3rd, struck out against Franklin Morales in the 4th and 6th, and lined out to Brandon Barnes in RF with the bases loaded in the 7th against Matt Belisle after the Rockies pen imploded and walked half the guys on the Cubs’ 40-Man Roster. (EDIT: Baez did deliver his first big league hit, a solo shot off of Boone Logan in the top of the 12th, and was 1-6 with 3 Ks at publishing deadline.) Don’t fret Chicago hopeful, Kris Bryant isn’t far behind.

A couple of the guys we’ll take a look at this week had help clearing their way when the smoke cleared on one of the wackier non-waiver trade deadline days in memory as players on their organizations’ big-club rosters were moved. The deals won’t necessarily create immediate openings for them at the MLB-level, but they’ll help move timetables and ETAs along. Here’s who I’m watching closer going into week 19…

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Good morning fellow prospect nuts – one more week in the books, the trade activity picking up steam, and the prospects are beginning to move around all over the place. All this action prior to the juiciest rumored pieces being dealt in advance of this week’s non-waiver trade deadline gives us hope that there’s much more activity to look forward to and that we may get a look at some of the players that may be competing for 2015 MLB jobs during camp next spring earlier than September.

Time for our weekly look at some of the prospects that have made some noise recently in the hope of climbing a little closer to The Show, whether that step ultimately comes this season or a little further down the road. Refill your coffee cup, get comfortable, and let us guide your continuing research as we try to help you scoop your fellow fantasy competitors with our Sunday Twelve-Pack.

Please, blog, may I have some more?