CINCINNATI -- Shed Long was drafted as a catcher and played behind the plate for his first two pro seasons before moving to the middle infield. In just a few years, the Reds' prospect is ranked as one of the top second basemen in the Minor Leagues.In rankings released Monday
CINCINNATI -- Shed Long was drafted as a catcher and played behind the plate for his first two pro seasons before moving to the middle infield. In just a few years, the Reds' prospect is ranked as one of the top second basemen in the Minor Leagues.
In rankings released Monday by MLB Pipeline, Long was named the sixth-best second baseman. Cincinnati's No. 7 prospect, he is the second player from the organization to be named to one of Pipeline's top 10 lists.
:: Top 10 Prospects by Position ::
Last week, Hunter Greene was named among the top 10 right-handed pitchers at No. 8.
Long, 22, split last season between Class A Advanced Daytona and Double-A Pensacola. In 104 games combined, he batted .281/.358/.477 with 16 home runs and 50 RBIs.
It wasn't an easy year overall for Long, especially after his promotion to Pensacola in late June. He went 2-for-26 over his first nine games. Then he missed most of August with a wrist injury. But he played well down the stretch -- going 8-for-22 in the final seven games -- to help the Blue Wahoos secure a share of the Southern League title.
A 2013 12th-round Draft pick as a catcher out of Jacksonville High School in Alabama, Long was added to the Reds' 40-man roster in November, and he will be in big league camp for the first time.
Listed at 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds and a left-handed hitter, Long has some power that especially surfaced in 2016 when he hit 15 homers and 75 RBIs for Daytona and Class A Dayton. He was able to carry that into last season. Considered more offensive minded, he will continue to be an average defensive player but could work his way to improvement.
It's not unreasonable for Long to be a candidate for a big league promotion by the latter end of 2018, but 2019 would be more realistic. The Reds currently have Scooter Gennett at second base, and the organization's No. 1 prospect, third baseman Nick Senzel, could potentially be moved to the right side of the infield as well. Another second-base prospect, Alex Blandino, reached Triple-A Louisville last season and was added to the 40-man roster.
MLB Pipeline compiles its lists with input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. Lists are based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams.
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.