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Reds prospect Gregorius impresses scouts

Reds prospect Gregorius impresses scouts

Reds prospect Gregorius impresses scouts
There are a number of outstanding shortstop prospects in the game today. Two -- the Orioles' Manny Machado and the Rangers' Jurickson Profar -- are in the Top 10 of MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list. The scout we spoke to this week didn't see either of them but did come away raving about one of the more underappreciated prospects at the position, the Reds' Didi Gregorius.

The native of Curacao, Gregorius began the year at No. 7 on the Reds' Top 20. According to this scout, a re-ranking might be in order soon.

"There's not much he can't do," the scout said after seeing Gregorius play for the Reds' Double-A affiliate, the Pensacola Blue Wahos. "The only tool he doesn't have that isn't plus is power, but that's average.

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"He doesn't swing at bad pitches. He has an outstanding two-strike approach. He's short to the ball. He plays to his strengths. To me, he's a fast-track guy."

As of Thursday's games, Gregorius led the Southern League with his .373 average and his .424 on-base percentage was good for sixth. But he's not just bat. The scout said there's no question he'll be able to stay at short long term, even if there are some things he still needs to work on.

"He does some things at times that you don't like," the scout said. "Sometimes he'll field the ball deep, but his throws are good, they're accurate. He has plus, plus range. He's going to be able to play shortstop. He has really good hands. Sometimes his body isn't in the right position to field the ball. That's just a matter of repetition."

It gives the Reds a very good problem to have. With a solid rookie in Cincinnati, a fine defensive shortstop in Triple-A and a speedster at short a level behind Gregorius, there is an embarrassment of riches up the middle in this organization.

"They have Billy Hamilton [in the California League], they have a very good big league shortstop in Zack Cozart," the scout said. "They have Paul Janish in Triple-A. They might have the most shortstop prospects in baseball. There's no place for Gregorius to go right now."

Gregorius isn't the only prospect this scout has seen recently in his travels, making a few other Double-A stops. Some highlights.

Kyle Skipworth, Marlins: "He looks a lot better this year. His swing is more efficient. He's hitting from a solid base now. He's catching better. He might be the most improved prospect for a guy who had flamed out that I've seen in a while. He was a lost soul last year. He looks a lot like the guy everyone thought he would be. He may not be an elite guy, but he's sure looking like a big leaguer."

Evan Reed, Marlins: "He has a huge arm. He still has to work on his slider consistency, but he was up to 97 mph. He's an aggressive power guy who looks like he has a high upside of a setup guy."

Trevor Rosenthal, Cardinals: "He was really impressive. He was 94-100 mph with his fastball, his slider was 88-92 mph; his curve was 80-86 mph and the change up was 80-85 mph. The fastball, slider and curve were all plus and the changeup was solid average now. He just needs to throw it more and it will get better."

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