Senzel highlights 4 prospects on Top 100 list

Senzel highlights 4 prospects on Top 100 list

CINCINNATI -- The industry seems to be bullish on multiple Reds prospects heading into 2017. Four Minor Leaguers were included among MLBPipeline.com's pre-season Top 100 prospects.

Third baseman Nick Senzel ranks 26th and remains Cincinnati's No. 1 prospect. Senzel is followed by starting left-hander Amir Garrett (No. 66) and left fielder Jesse Winker, who is one spot behind Garrett. Starting right-hander Robert Stephenson checked in at No. 87.

The annual ranking of MLB's Top 100 prospects is assembled by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status entering the 2017 season are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 23 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.

Rankings are done twice a year -- once in the preseason and again at midseason.

MLB Pipeline's 2017 Top 100 Prospects list

Senzel, 21, jumped 18 spots from his 2016 midseason ranking. Following a slow start in 10 games at Rookie-level Billings, where he was still adjusting after being selected No. 2 overall in the '16 Draft, he finished the year strong.

In 58 games for Class A Dayton, Senzel batted .329/.415/.567 with seven home runs and 36 RBIs. He is not expected to be in the Major Leagues during the upcoming season but still appears to be on an express route. The club is determining whether Senzel will begin 2017 at Class A Advanced Daytona or Double-A Pensacola.

Garrett, 24, dropped 21 spots from last year's midseason ranking but enjoyed a very solid 2016. He began at Pensacola, going 5-3 with a 1.75 ERA and 1.026 WHIP in 13 games (12 starts) over 77 innings. After moving up to Triple-A Louisville, he posted a 2-5 record with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.167 WHIP in 12 games (11 starts) spanning 67 2/3 innings. Garrett appeared in the MLB All-Star Futures Game for the second straight year.

This spring, Garrett will be among several young starters competing for one of two open spots in the Major League rotation.

Top Prospects: A. Garrett, CIN

Winker fell 14 spots after batting .303/.397/.384 with three home runs and 45 RBIs in 106 games for Louisville. The 23-year-old also dealt with a disabled list stint because of a right wrist sprain in June that kept him out nearly a month.

The mission for Winker this spring will be to try and earn a spot in the Reds' outfield during camp. Cincinnati added him to the 40-man roster this offseason.

Top Prospects: Winker, CIN

Stephenson dropped 30 spots to No. 87 after an up-and-down 2016 season. He made his big league debut in April with two solid spot starts, but he struggled upon his return as a September callup. Overall for Cincinnati, Stephenson went 2-3 with a 6.08 ERA and a 1.622 WHIP in 37 innings over eight starts.

During his time at Louisville, Stephenson compiled an 8-9 record with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.361 WHIP in 24 starts and 136 2/3 innings. Set to turn 24 on Feb. 24, he will join Garrett in contending for a rotation spot on the big league pitching staff.

Top Prospects: Stephenson, CIN

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.