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MLB Cincinnati Reds

5 Things Cincinnati Reds Fans Need To Know About Robert Stephenson

5 Things Cincinnati Reds Fans Need To Know About Robert Stephenson

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Stephenson is supposedly the best pitching prospect in the Cincinnati Reds farm system. He's got a live arm, capable of touching the high 90's. Let's go a little further in depth and look at five things Reds fans should know before Stephenson hits the Queen City.

5. His Intelligence

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Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

5. His Intelligence

reds prospect robert stephenson
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Stephenson graduated high school with a 4.2 GPA and had plans to study engineering if his right arm didn't throw near triple-digits. Stephenson was also smart enough to go directly into the 2011 MLB Draft where the Reds drafted No. 27 overall and gave him a couple of million bucks as a signing bonus. He waited until the last possible day to sign so it's likely the Reds upped his signing bonus for fear he'd elect to take his big brain to college.

4. His Command

robert stephensin
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

4. His Command

robert stephensn
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Stephenson's command is not very good. His first year, the 2012 season, he started seven games in rookie league ball and did well. In 2013, in low-A in Dayton in eight starts he allowed 32 hits and four long balls in 34.1 innings. In 2013, he started 14 games for Dayton and pitched well but got knocked around in his four high-A and four in double-A. 2014 has seen him throw exclusively in double-A and has allowed 14 jacks in 115.2 innings.

3. His Control

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Getty Images

3. His Control

mlb prospect robert stephenson
Getty Images

In short, Stephenson's control is horrid. This season with double-A Pensacola he owns a walk rate of 1.8/9, he has trouble spotting his fastball and even more trouble getting his curve over the dish. His 0.77 GO/AO ratio will not fare well in Great American Ball Park.

2. His Stuff

robert stephenson mlb prospect
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2. His Stuff

robert stephenson reds prospect
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Stephenson's stuff is not even close to major league level. He throws a very good mid to upper-90's two-seamer but his four-seam fastball lacks the life it takes to get by most big leaguers. His huge breaking 12-to-6 curve is his best pitch. He needs work on his change and doesn't throw a slider. He did throw a split finger pitch in high school, but the Reds decided it wasn't effective enough to pitch even in minors.

1. His Future

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Getty Images

1. His Future

reds robert stephenson
Getty Images

The Reds have three starters in the minors who aren't nearly as heralded as Stephenson in Michael Lorenzen, Ben Lively and Nick Travieso. The team should seriously think of dealing him in the offseason while his stock is still high. If packaged with Aroldis Chapman they could score an All-Star Major League left fielder -- a position the Reds have needed for years.