By Robb Hoff @NFLNostradamus on April 23, 2014
The Cincinnati Reds won't need a prospect to leadoff and man center field now that Billy Hamilton has arrived, but other top prospects in the organization continue to push for their day to come.
Robert Stephenson and his upper-90s fastball finished last year at Triple A Louisville. He started this year at Double A Pensacola, where he has started three games this year. Stephenson's stock is rising, but he won't be needed by the Reds until 2016.
Left-handed hitting slugger Donald Lutz was called up by the Cincinnati Reds early in the 2013 season after injuries forced a move. Lutz is killing the ball at Double A (1.067 OPS after 17 games), and is just too athletic and powerful to be bypassed by much rawer and younger outfield prospects like Phil Ervin, Jesse Winker and Yorman Rodriguez for a roster spot in 2015.
Once hailed as the next Johnny Cueto, Daniel Corcino is in freefall as a Cincinnati Reds prospect. He is currently struggling at the Double A level, and suffered a terrible Spring Training. Corcino had a 5.86 ERA over the course of a full Triple A season last year. He's just 23 years old, but his days may be numbered in the Reds' organization.
Tucker Barnhart won't be an everyday catcher for the Cincinnati Reds as long as Devin Mesoraco is with the team. Barnhart won't be a backup either as long as the Reds have Brayan Pena. But should injury arise, like it did when Mesoraco started the 2014 season on the disabled list, Barnhart is ready and able to plug in. His stock is rising because of his value as a reliable backup catcher with some contact hitting ability.
The Cincinnati Reds traded platoon catcher Ryan Hanigan in a three-team deal and received left-handed starting pitcher prospect David Holmberg in return. Holmberg is getting bombed in Triple A. In three starts this year, Holmberg has given up 20 hits and has a 14.48 ERA in just over nine innings. Unless Holmberg can turn things around, he may not be long for the Reds' organization.
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