22-Year-Old Pitcher – Cincinnati Reds
2015 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Stephenson hit the Double-A wall in 2014, and the wall hit right back, giving him his worst professional season. Stephenson's command, in part defined by how he uses his stuff, was his big problem. Hi...
Stephenson (shoulder) has been cleared to throw off a mound, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
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Cincinnati Reds Roster
MajorsAxelrod, Dylan (P)
AAAAdcock, Nate (P)
AADuran, Juan (OF)
A+Arias, Junior (OF)
AAstin, Barrett (P)
RookieArmstrong, Mark (P)
Robert Stephenson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
After a couple of rocky starts in April, Stephenson dominated both Low-A and High-A last season before landing in Double-A Pensacola to finish the year. The Reds took a slow approach to developing him after making him their first-round pick out of high school in the 2011 draft, and it is starting to pay dividends, as most prospect lists out there have him leapfrogging Billy Hamilton as the Reds' top prospect. His fastball has been clocked as fast as 101 mph (albeit on scoreboard radars, which are notoriously fast) and he typically works in the 96-98 mph range. A hamstring injury limited his innings last year, which isn't all bad given that he was just 20 years old. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him spend most of the year in Double-A, but a 2015 major league debut seems likely.
The Reds' first-round pick in 2011, Stephenson made his professional debut last season and impressed at two levels, striking out a combined 72 batters in 65 innings. The Reds will probably take a deliberate approach with Stephenson, though they're faced with the conundrum of going from an extreme pitcher's park at Low-A Dayton to a hitter's park at High-A Bakersfield. The Reds avoided that with Daniel Corcino, skipping him right from Dayton to Double-A Pensacola, so we'll see if they take that approach here as well.
Stephenson was the Reds' first-round pick in the 2011 June draft. A high school pitcher from California, Stephenson signed late and will make his professional debut in 2012. He's a big right-hander who throws in the mid-90s. The Reds tend to move their high school draftees along slowly, so Stephenson may not even make it to Low-A Dayton this season, barring a stretch of dominance in rookie ball.