Portrait of Robert Stephenson

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2019 Projections (Rest of Season Projections - seasonal age 26)
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Birth Date2-24-1993
Height6' 3"
Weight215 lbs
Age26 years, 7 months, 26 days
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

Historical (past-seasons) WARP is now based on DRA..
cFIP and DRA are not available on a by-team basis and display as zeroes(0). See TOT line for season totals of these stats.
Multiple stints are are currently shownClick to hide.
2016 CIN MLB 8 8 37.0 2 3 0 41 19 31 9 93 10.0 4.6 2.2 7.5 35% .299 1.62 6.53 6.08 126 6.47 143.3 -0.5
2017 CIN MLB 25 11 84.7 5 6 1 81 53 86 12 97 8.6 5.6 1.3 9.1 41% .300 1.58 4.93 4.68 111 5.98 127.2 -0.5
2018 CIN MLB 4 3 11.7 0 2 0 17 12 11 2 91 13.1 9.3 1.5 8.5 33% .395 2.49 6.55 9.26 121 6.50 145.2 -0.2
2019 CIN MLB 57 0 64.7 3 2 0 43 24 81 9 98 6.0 3.3 1.3 11.3 33% .231 1.04 3.58 3.76 92 3.76 77.1 1.1

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
2012 DYT A MID 8 8 34.3 2 4 0 32 15 35 4 96 8.4 3.9 1.0 9.2 0% .301 1.37 4.39 4.19 105 4.73 98.5
2012 BIL Rk PIO 7 7 30.7 1 0 0 22 8 37 2 98 6.5 2.3 0.6 10.9 0% .267 0.98 3.73 2.05 82 2.15 44.7
2013 DYT A MID 14 14 77.0 5 3 0 56 20 96 5 110 6.5 2.3 0.6 11.2 0% .279 0.99 2.58 2.57 71 2.35 51.1
2013 BAK A+ CAL 4 4 20.7 2 2 0 19 2 22 3 85 8.3 0.9 1.3 9.6 0% .286 1.02 3.81 3.05 83 3.00 65.3
2013 PEN AA SOU 4 4 16.7 0 2 0 17 13 18 2 102 9.2 7.0 1.1 9.7 0% .357 1.80 4.64 4.86 115 6.00 130.3
2014 PEN AA SOU 27 26 136.7 7 10 0 114 74 140 18 100 7.5 4.9 1.2 9.2 0% .264 1.38 4.57 4.74 107 4.23 89.6
2015 PEN AA SOU 14 14 78.3 4 7 0 53 43 89 8 99 6.1 4.9 0.9 10.2 0% .249 1.23 4.15 3.68 100 3.33 73.0
2015 LOU AAA INT 11 11 55.7 4 4 0 51 27 51 2 94 8.2 4.4 0.3 8.2 0% .306 1.40 3.35 4.04 101 4.73 103.8
2016 CIN MLB NL 8 8 37.0 2 3 0 41 19 31 9 93 10.0 4.6 2.2 7.5 35% .299 1.62 6.53 6.08 126 6.47 143.3
2016 LOU AAA INT 24 24 136.7 8 9 0 115 71 120 17 100 7.6 4.7 1.1 7.9 42% .259 1.36 4.65 4.41 119 4.65 102.7
2017 CIN MLB NL 25 11 84.7 5 6 1 81 53 86 12 97 8.6 5.6 1.3 9.1 41% .300 1.58 4.93 4.68 111 5.98 127.2
2017 LOU AAA INT 8 7 40.3 1 2 0 27 13 45 8 99 6.0 2.9 1.8 10.0 40% .200 0.99 4.65 3.79 107 2.89 61.5
2018 CIN MLB NL 4 3 11.7 0 2 0 17 12 11 2 91 13.1 9.3 1.5 8.5 33% .395 2.49 6.55 9.26 121 6.50 145.2
2018 LOU AAA INT 20 20 113.0 11 6 0 74 57 135 12 94 5.9 4.5 1.0 10.8 38% .239 1.16 3.94 2.87 101 3.52 74.3
2019 CIN MLB NL 57 0 64.7 3 2 0 43 24 81 9 98 6.0 3.3 1.3 11.3 33% .231 1.04 3.58 3.76 92 3.76 77.1
2019 LOU AAA INT 2 0 2.0 0 1 0 3 1 3 0 13.5 4.5 0.0 13.5 33% .500 2.00 2.12 4.50 88 4.24 87.2

Plate Discipline

YEAR Pits Zone% Swing% Contact% Z-Swing% O-Swing% Z-Contact% O-Contact% SwStr%
2016 714 0.4608 0.4790 0.7895 0.6960 0.2935 0.8865 0.5929 0.2105
2017 1473 0.4440 0.4460 0.7002 0.6239 0.3040 0.8113 0.5181 0.2998
2018 247 0.4818 0.4453 0.7455 0.6555 0.2500 0.7692 0.6875 0.2545
2019 985 0.4467 0.4995 0.6098 0.6341 0.3908 0.7993 0.3615 0.3902

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation


Year Team Salary
2019 CIN $565,000
2018 CIN $
2017 CIN $535,000
2016 CIN $
1 yrPrevious$535,000
2 yrPvs + Cur$1,100,000
2 yrTotal$1,100,000


Service TimeAgentContract Status
1 y 49 dSosnick Cobbe & Karon1 year/$565,000 (2019)

  • 1 year/$565,000 (2019). Re-signed by Cincinnati 3/19.
  • 1 year (2018). Re-signed by Cincinnati 3/18.
  • 1 year (2017). Re-signed by Cincinnati 3/17.
  • 1 year (2016). Contract selected by Cincinnati 11/20/15.
  • Drafted by Cincinnati 2011 (1-27) (Alhambra HS, Martinez, Calif.). $2M signing bonus.

2019 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET

90o 0 0 0 0 0 12.0 8 6 15 1 .243 1.12 2.96 3.19 0.0 0.0
80o 0 0 0 0 0 7.8 5 4 10 1 .254 1.19 3.32 3.57 0.0 0.0
70o 0 0 0 0 0 4.9 4 3 6 1 .263 1.24 3.58 3.85 0.0 0.0
60o 0 0 0 0 0 2.5 2 1 3 0 .270 1.29 3.80 4.09 0.0 0.0
50o 0 0 0 0 0 0.3 0 0 0 0 .277 1.34 4.02 4.32 0.0 0.0
Weighted Mean?????0.0?00?.0000.000.00?0.00.0

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BP Annual Player Comments

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BP Articles

Click here to see articles tagged with Robert Stephenson

BP Chats

2019-05-24 15:00:00 (link to chat)Who are some of the lights-out guys stuck in the middle of a team's bullpen who might start getting higher usage and/or save opps?
(Wallace from Baltimore)
I've always liked Reyes Moronta in SF, but Will Smith has been fantastic so far. Scott Barlow in KC has been dominant. Emilio Pagan is a little hidden in the TB pen and will eke out few saves the rest of the way. Robert Stephenson and Amir Garrett in Cincinnati. (Jon Hegglund)
2017-11-17 13:00:00 (link to chat)The Reds have 14 or so guys vying for a rotation spot, none outside Homer Bailey, Luis Castillo and maybe Tyler Mahle seem worth getting excited about. Who do the Reds finally decide is better suited shoring up their awful bullpen and move from the rotation in 2018? Some names to consider: Amir Garrett, Robert Stephenson, Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed, Rookie Davis, Jon Moscot, Jackson Stephens, Tim Adleman, Sal Romano, Keury Mella.
(matzabal from CO)
I don't know that a lot of those guys will be great bullpen arms either (Tim Adleman is still around, eh? Good for him). Garrett, Romano, Stephenson, and Finnegan are the obvious ones here, and the guys most likely to have a real impact in the pen. Also are we still excited about Homer Bailey? I will defer to actual Reds fans on this, but I am...not. (Jeffrey Paternostro)
2017-11-03 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you think that Robert Stephenson has turned the corner. His control seems much better. What are your expectations for him in 2018?
(temple from madison)
It was *better*, but even in the second half he was walking way too many guys for me to feel confident he's even a medium term major league starter. And I'll need to see it for more than half a season before I am buying there was a real concrete change here. (Jeffrey Paternostro)
2017-01-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)Robert Stephenson. Is he just a dude or just getting warmed up?
(Isaac from S.L.O.)
I think I like Stephenson more than the rest of the staff. He does have #thegoodstuff, but at a certain point it gets tough to fix command and approach. (Jeffrey Paternostro)
2016-12-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who's one prospect you've learned in your time at BP you're much higher on than the rest of your colleagues? Why?
(Lorenzo from Florida)
Well it's not Brent Honeywell, that's for sure.

Gsellman is the obvious one, but I'll throw in Robert Stephenson as well. I still believe in the stuff. This may go badly for me. (Jeffrey Paternostro)
2016-05-16 23:00:00 (link to chat)Would you trade Giolito, Robert Stephenson, and Joey Gallo for Noah Syndergaard in a dynasty league?
(Justin from Bridgeport)
I reckon I would if you're in the middle of a competitive window, yes. I'd ask for a pick or low prospect or something with Thor, but that's an appropriate price tag. (Wilson Karaman)
2016-03-28 13:00:00 (link to chat)Kind of disappointed with Robert Stephenson.He has yet to take it to the next level and chances are he maxes out as a closer.Would it be selling him low if i traded him for Nick Williams ? I like momentum and right now,it clearly is in Williams favor.
(Big O from Montreal )
I'll say that I'm not a big Fantasy guy, so that needs to be kept in mind. I'm looking at this question from a more 'scouty' perspective, and/or a team-building one.

I agree that Robert Stephenson was billed in a way that made Reds fans anticipate more than what he's shown. Again--and I feel this has been a theme of this chat--we live in an era where 'prospect hype' has never been greater. Accordingly, certain 'player types'--that are the same types of players there have been and always will be--get billed in a way that only focuses on their ceiling, not their floors, too. Stephenson is one of those guys. As a pitcher, he's the equivalent of the tool'd up position player who has every tool there is aside from the actual ability to hit in games. Stephenson is a twitchy, athletic, hard-thrower with more stuff than command--and there's always going to be a wide variance in career outcomes for these types of guys, especially from the prep ranks.

When it comes to making that deal, first and foremost, team depth and team need are the ultimate determinants. If I'm just going head-to-head for these two guys, though, I'll probably give some nod to Williams--though I'll say it's in part because of the 'take the everyday bat over the arm' mantra, not to mention the fact I know Williams will contribute with SB totals even if the bat doesn't fully play.

I will say that, but I will add this: I think the Rangers did the right thing selling high on Williams last year. I've never seen a .300+ batting average that shouldn't have been .300 more than whatever he's doing. No doubt, he's a great athlete, and no doubt, there's a ton of tools. He's such a great athlete, actually, that he'll do some things that you've never seen on a field before--however, that's because most guys actually listen to their coaches and don't do them. This guy? Hm.

I think that he's going to need to continue to refine his offense. I wouldn't expect his statline last season to be par for the course. He's interesting in that he's an absolute toolbox with limited polish--yes, STILL limited polish--that isn't fully encountering the types of issues that guys without any polish generally tend to once they reach the high-minors.

Does that mean that he's just such a freak athlete he can get away with mechanics and an approach that shouldn't work for anyone? Time will tell. (Adam McInturff)
2016-01-29 11:00:00 (link to chat)His Robert Stephenson the right handed version of Sean Newcomb? Great stuff, terrible command? Do you expect either to debut in MLB in 2016 or is the command/control so bad that we're looking at 2017 at the earliest?
(Kip from Dayton)
Control is obviously a sticking point for both, but both are work-in-progress overall. I'd certainly expect to see Stephenson debut in 2016. 2017 might make more sense for Newcomb, depending on his progress. (Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein)
2016-01-29 11:00:00 (link to chat)If Robert Stephenson finds great command somehow does he still have Ace upside?
(Steve G from Philly)
back to the if game. IF...IF Robert Stephenson has great command, his stuff implies potential No. 1 upside, yes. That's a dangerous game to play, of course. (Top 101 Chat with Craig Goldstein)
2016-01-27 19:00:00 (link to chat)Robert Stephenson and Alex Meyer. The bloom is off the proverbial roses, but is there any real hope for them in 2016?
(Seany from LA)
I'm not expecting much from Meyer, but Stephenson can still be fine. The upside may not be what it once was, but there's definitely still a useful player in there. (Matt Collins)
2015-07-02 15:00:00 (link to chat)Robert Stephenson seems to have turned his season around the last 4-5 weeks. Any word if he made adjustment, if something clicked, or just small sample size noise?
(Dave from Boston)
I haven't watched Stephenson yet this season, so I can't say for sure if anything changed. However, a simple return to past efficiency (his 2013 delivery was better than in 2014) would go a long way, and in particular the high-momentum pitcher needs that extra burst to the plate in order to maximize his timing and repetition. My guess would be that he has rediscovered that level of momentum, butI would obviously have to watch some MiLB footage to be sure. (Doug Thorburn)
2015-02-04 19:00:00 (link to chat)What can we expect from Robert Stephenson this year? Was last season an outlier, or has a flaw been exposed?
(Ron from texarkana)
I don't think a flaw has been exposed at all. He got a bit fastball heavy last year, but the stuff is still top of the line. Every prospect has ebbs and flows in their development, and Stevenson was 21 at AA. He's going to need to take a step forward with command and stop trying to throw the ball through the catcher's mit, but I'm very high on him. (Jordan Gorosh)
2015-02-04 19:00:00 (link to chat)Thanks for the awesome chat. What do you eventually foresee Archie Bradley and Robert Stephenson becoming? Aces? Strong #2-3? Closers?
(Dennis from LA)
Thanks, Dennis! I think they're each strong #2s. I wouldn't relegate either guy to the bullpen. Each has the body, fastball, and secondary arsenal to throw 200 IP consistently at the big league level. I wouldn't get too wrapped up in some of Bradley's failure to this point, not everyone is Jose Fernandez. (Jordan Gorosh)
2014-12-16 19:00:00 (link to chat)Robert Stephenson, Tyler Glasnow, Jose Berrios...rank them by upside and by likelihood of reaching potential (please!). Thanks.
(David from The Middle of Here)
Upside: Stephenson, Glasnow, Berrios. Likelihood: Glasnow, Stephenson, Berrios. (Top 10s Chat With Chris Mellen)
2015-01-21 15:00:00 (link to chat)What can we expect from Robert Stephenson this season? Will he be able to lower his walk rate and keep his K rate?
(Ron from Texarkana)
Stephenson is a bit of a question mark with respect to expectations, as he took a big step backward last season. His momentum slowed down noticeably last season, and he had difficulty coordinating the new timing pattern. Hopefully the old charge returns in 2015, in which case he could make a big-league impact by fall. (Doug Thorburn)
2015-01-28 19:00:00 (link to chat)Would you trade Robert Stephenson for Jurickson Profar in dynasty?
(Grizzly from Chicago)
Yes, I would. I like Stephenson but I'm firmly in the tank for Profar this year. (Mauricio Rubio)
2014-11-18 13:00:00 (link to chat)If you're the Reds do you sell or give it another try before pitchers hit FA?
(Ryan W. from Ohio)
Hey, Ryan. The Reds are in something of a tough spot, because of the way the other teams in the Central have positioned themselves to contend. It's going to be difficult for Central teams to earn wild card berths in the coming years because West and East clubs are more likely to have 70-win-type clubs against which to rack up Ws. That's a roundabout way of getting to my answer, which is actually that I think the Reds need to give it a try in 2015. Votto's prime may not last much longer, and starters like Cueto and Latos will be hard to replace from within, even if prospects like Robert Stephenson pan out. If it goes south, they might look to sell at the deadline or stock up on supplemental picks, but I'd be trying to contend this year if I were the Reds. (Daniel Rathman)
2014-11-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)How many of your NL Central Top 25 do you expect to make it on the top 100 list when BP publishes it? Average would be around 16 or 17 assuming talent is evenly distributed, right?
(Mike from Texas)
I did say I'd throw a top 25 NL Central Prospects list out there during this chat. With the understanding this is a work in progress (Mellen and I are starting to dig in on the framework for the Top 101), this is my own personal ranking of the prospects covered in our NL Central rankings:

1. SS Addison Russell
2. 3B Kris Bryant
3. RHP Robert Stephenson
4. OF Jorge Soler
5. OF Albert Almora
6. OF Stephen Piscotty
7. LHP Marco Gonzales
8. RHP Tyler Glasnow
9. RHP Jameson Taillon
10. OF Jesse Winker
11. OF/1B Josh Bell
12. RHP Alex Reyes
13. C Kyle Schwarber
14. RHP Michael Lorenzen
15. SS Orlando Arcia
16. OF Tyrone Taylor
17. OF Billy McKinney
18. RHP Pierce Johnson
19. SS Gleyber Torres
20. RHP Jack Flaherty
21. OF Yorman Rodriguez
22. C Reese McGuire
23. RHP Nick Howard
24. RHP Devin Williams
25. LHP Rob Kaminsky

I think all of those guys will be in the discussion for the 101, and expect there to be some shuffling in order of course. Definitely more than the average of 16 or 17. (NL Central Top 10s With Nick Faleris)
2014-10-23 14:00:00 (link to chat)Jose Berrios, Tyler Glasnow, Robert Stephenson: three pitchers with different levels of success this year (stat-wise). After what you saw this year, who has the highest/lowest ceiling? Highest/lowest risk of reaching their ceiling?
(ORWahoo from Tigard)
I might change my answer in another month or so, after having more opportunity to dive into each player's minor-league progression and physical development, but off-cuff I would say: Stephenson has the highest floor, Berrios has the highest ceiling, and Glasnow is the guy who will continue to out-produce expectations (Doug Thorburn)
2014-09-15 19:30:00 (link to chat)It says on the SidsGraphs banner displayed above the chatbox that their exclusive clients include Byron Buxton, Taijuan Walker and Robert Stephenson. Can you please rank them in order of exclusivity?
(MRubio52 from Chicago)
Still can't believe how much BP is selling out these days. I feel you. (Ben Carsley)
2014-09-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Did you see Robert Stephenson pitch this year? What do you expect from him in the next couple seasons?
(James from Denver)
I figured Stephenson would come up at some point. Here's the report I wrote on him.

And here's what I wrote about him in the Ten Pack this week.

I love the arm strength and the curveball's potential. The complicating factors at this point are a lack of overall command, underwhelming pitchability, and a below-average changeup. I saw an erratic mid-rotation starting pitcher with a nonzero chance that he ends up as a late-innings bullpen arm. With that said, there is a chance that the command comes around, and if it does, he has a chance to be much more. But I need to see that before I can go any higher on him. (Ethan Purser)
2014-09-03 14:00:00 (link to chat)Robert Stephenson going to get the control under control?
(maxpowers from Chicago)
I believe so. I wrote up Stephenson for last year's futures guide. I love him, and he's still a top 5 pitching prospect in the game for me. The fastball is big time, and although I may have overstated it (I gave it an 8, he was 96-100 in my viewing), the overall profile is still that of a #2 starter. He's still young, and he'll iron out the delivery. Should play a role in the latter half of 2015 with the big club. (Jordan Gorosh)
2014-08-19 14:00:00 (link to chat)Has this season been a disappointment for Robert Stephenson?
(Bagger Vance from Bellevue, WA)
I wouldn't say disappointment. Obviously, the expectations were high and he may not have reached them. Big time ceiling still. (CJ Wittmann)
2014-08-15 14:00:00 (link to chat)what do you predict would be the ETA for Jorge Alfaro in Arlington, and is Robert Stephenson going to be top-of-rotation starter?
(chopper from indy)
I'm not super familiar with Alfaro but I can say that, as a Double-A catcher, he's probably got a fair bit of development time left. As for Stephenson, well, it doesn't matter who the name is attached to that question, the safe answer is no. (Matthew Kory)
2014-08-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)Robert Stephenson's control issues in AA a sign of a possible injury or just growing pains in AA?
(Mike from Holden)
More likely the latter than the former, for me. (Craig Goldstein)
2014-07-25 14:00:00 (link to chat)BP has Robert Stephenson ranked as one of the top minor league pitchers, but the results haven't been there lately. What's your take on his recent struggles and his future?
(Frank from Toledo)
I haven't dug into his 2014 performance yet, but I look forward to diving deeper into the archives in the near future. So I hope to have an answer for you soon, maybe in article form. In the meantime, I will defer to Jason Parks and the prospect crew. (Doug Thorburn)
2014-07-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)Robert Stephenson is missing a lot of bats, but the walks are a bit concerning. Thoughts on him projecting well in MLB?
(Nordub from Seattle)
Stephenson is an electric arm that has a bit of rawness to him. While some like his approach to pitching, I believe he can benefit from dialing it down just a tad to find a bit more command. I saw him twice last year and it was clear that he was the pitcher with the highest upside in the Cal League I would see that season (also saw Kyle Crick and Eddie Butler). But, he's 21 in Double-A. I think he'll be fine for now as long as he continues to find consistency with the breaking ball and change. #3 starter with a #2 starters upside is what I had on him last year and I'm sticking with that. (Chris Rodriguez)
2014-07-09 15:00:00 (link to chat)When do you expect Jon Gray and Robert Stephenson to reach the majors? How has their stock changed so far this season?
(Mark from Philly)
I can only speak on Gray (haven't seen Rob). Gray is going through some forced development. Happens with pitchers. Gray is still going to be a horse at the big league level. I saw him pitch for OU and he was literally steaming... like steam was coming off of him into the cold night. That's some intensity right there. (Ryan Parker)
2014-06-27 14:00:00 (link to chat)Have you had the chance to watch and analyze Robert Stephenson? Do you see anything in his mechanics that might explain his up and down season so far? What refinements do you think he needs to make?
(RatedRookie from Atlanta)
I haven't watched Stephenson yet this season, but I did review him over the winter based on his 2013 performance:

I'll add him to the list of guys to review. Thanks for the homework assignment! (Doug Thorburn)
2014-05-13 11:00:00 (link to chat)Any reason to be concerned about Robert Stephenson's control issues? Is this just AA growing pains and learning how to command his offerings, or a possible injury sign?
(Mike from Worcester)
Just shows you the difference between major league pitchers and minor league throwers. Stephenson has incredible stuff, but if he can't locate it or make a pitch when he needs to make it, he's not going to find much success in the majors. This is what the minors are for. Development. (Jason Parks)
2014-04-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is Robert Stephenson an impact player for the Reds in 2014? What are your thoughts on his future?
(John from New York)
Not sure he's a 2014 impact guy, but I certainly view him as an impact player long term. I think we're looking at a really good #2 starter that could make himself into more if he puts it all together. (Mark Anderson)
2014-04-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)Can you give us some player comps (floor/ceiling) for these guys? Aaron Sanchez, Robert Stephenson, Kevin gausman and Kyle zimmer?
(Tinstaapp from Maine)
I am not a proponent of throwing player comps because it can give a false impression of the pitcher's profile. There are so many variables at play, from mechanics to size and stuff, and these guys are all unique snowflakes in my mind's eye. For example, it is rare to find a pitcher with Zimmer's impressive momentum or Gausman's sharp angles (at the joints) during the delivery, and yet they are not defined by those aspects. They might have certain similarities to past players, but these are typically outnumbered by the differences. (Doug Thorburn)
2014-04-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)Did you see Robert Stephenson in the spring? It looks like may have struggled according to the results, but did the stuff say something encouraging?
(SenatorsGuy from Minnesota)
I did. His stuff is always good. But like most young arms pitching above their level, he pressed and turned into a thrower when he faced adversity instead of dialing it back and making his pitch. I'm not knocking him for this. It just goes to show that major league pitchers are very good, and you can take all the flame-throwing minor league arms and rave about their skill-sets, but at the end of the day, it comes down to slowing the game down and making the pitches you need to make, and most young arms can't pull that off. Stephenson will get there, but this spring was a good reminder that he isn't ready as a pitcher despite having major league caliber raw stuff. (Jason Parks)
2014-03-14 09:00:00 (link to chat)Any chance that injuries at the big league level and his own development push Robert Stephenson up to Cincinnati this year?
(RatedRookie from Atlanta)
It's possible but a long shot. I think Stephenson is going to need the full year at AAA and a September cuppa joe is the best I'd expect. Of course, pitchers have a way of accelerating timetables. (Mike Gianella)
2014-02-28 14:00:00 (link to chat)Who are some minor league arms with fastballs too good to Robert Stephenson?
(Chris from Baltimore)
Jonathan Gray, Yordano Ventura, Lucas Giolito, Noah Syndergaard, Alex Meyer ... I am big on Kyle Zimmer's fastball, which only loses deception when he ratchets down the momentum in his delivery, resulting in lesser depth at release point and poor command. It's an 8 when he lines up the gears. (Doug Thorburn)
2014-02-18 14:00:00 (link to chat)Is it me or does Robert Stephenson's arm look late? He seems to square his body well and remain closed with good balance but at foot-strike, his arm and elbow are not raised to the preferred 90 degree angle. Is Stephenson someone whose mechanics have been praised or does he need some cleaning up? Is this cause for injury concern?
(Leo from Milwaukee)
The drop and drive delivery can give you that perception, but I didn't reach that conclusion from the two starts I saw from him live, nor have I heard this from other scouts. However, there is effort in the delivery, and not the cleanest (head bobble/neck snap). (Ronit Shah)
2014-02-18 14:00:00 (link to chat)Appel or Stephenson - who do you prefer?
(xavier from texas)
I'll take the younger Robert Stephenson, because of projection. I think he possesses ace upside while the floor is pretty good. Athletic body with a chance for 2 plus-plus pitches and a plus change. (Ronit Shah)
2014-02-18 14:00:00 (link to chat)Thanks for the chat. I knew you had ever watched Robert Stephenson. After reading your writing for him, I wanted to ask you did you think he was the Top 5 pitching prospect in the minors? Your vedio on him is #legit.
(gotwins0912 from Taichung city)
Yes. I think he's one of the few starters in the minor leagues with a chance to become a No. 1 and the best has yet to come. (Ronit Shah)
2014-02-18 14:00:00 (link to chat)Thor is Syndergaard by the way. And who would you rather have out of these three long term: Robert Stephenson, Jameson Tallion, or Noah Syndergaard?
(MetsFaithful5 from Syracuse )
Long-term, I'm going with ceiling. So I'll take Stephenson. (Ronit Shah)
2014-02-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)Thoughts on who makes it to the bigs quicker this year, Robert Stephenson or Jorge Soler, and who would be better long term keeper in NL only league?
(krrtaa from Snowy South Jersey)
Stephenson on both ends for me. (R.J. Anderson)
2014-02-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is it me or does Robert Stephenson's arm look late? He seems to square his body well and remain closed with good balance but at foot-strike, his arm and elbow are not raised to the preferred 90 degree angle. Is Stephenson someone whose mechanics have been praised or does he need some cleaning up? Is this cause for injury concern?
(Leo from Milwaukee)
I haven't seen enough of him myself to answer that. Heck, even if I had ... but here are some thoughts on his mechanics from the Reds prospect profiles--where he ranks #1
Easy plus athlete; fluid delivery; creates sharp angle to the plate and excellent extension
Can lose plane because of the delivery; pitches can flatten out; tendency to work up in the zone

no red flags I know of (Harry Pavlidis)
2014-02-10 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is it me or does Robert Stephenson's arm look late? He seems to square his body well and remain closed with good balance but at foot-strike, his arm and elbow are not raised to the preferred 90 degree angle. Is Stephenson someone whose mechanics have been praised or does he need some cleaning up? Is this cause for injury concern?
(Leo from Milwaukee)
I haven't heard too many concerns about his delivery or mechanics. Stephenson is a very good athlete and the delivery is pretty effortless. Of course, he's a young pitcher so there is always injury concern, but no more than anyone else. (Jeff Moore)
2013-12-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)Harry, can you talk about Robert Stephenson and what you expect from him in 2014? How would you compare him to some of the other top arms now in MiLB?
(Jim from Louisville)
Stephenson has managed to come up couple times in the queue today. I guess he's not under the radar. He should be headed to Double-A shortly, if not to open the season. I wouldn't leave him in the Cally league much anyway, that's not a great place to pitch. If he handles AA with any level of success he should move up quickly. But I'd take the save route and expect him contribute in 2015 but certainly not ruling out a faster rise. I'm less and less against moving blue chip pitchers quickly these days. (Harry Pavlidis)
2013-12-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)What's the MLB ETA for Robert Stephenson and what improvements need to be made to get there?
(Jenny from Houston)
and rounding out our Stephenson trifecta .... I'm unsure how well his changeup rates right now, if it's average that should be good enough, assumng his command is at least average as well, to take his stuff into the show. So, as noted earlier, late 2014/early 2015. He'll be one to watch this Spring. (Harry Pavlidis)
2014-01-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)Two Reds questions: 1) Assuming he gets 5 starts a week, what kind of line do you expected from Billy Hamilton? 2) ETA for Robert Stephenson?
(RMR from Chicago)
Hamilton: .242/.305/.350 with 75 SB's. Stephenson: June 2015 (Jeff Moore)
2014-01-10 13:00:00 (link to chat)Will Robert Stephenson arrive in enough time to lessen the impact of Homer Bailey's free-agent departure?
(Rated Rookie from Atlanta)
Stephenson's an outstanding prospect and he could arrive very quickly. I think they'd be wise to make the entire 2014 season a developmental year and then give him a shot in 2015. (Mark Anderson)
2014-01-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)With my first round pick in our prospect draft, I'm eying a pitcher. Archie Bradley, Masahiro Tanaka, Jonathan Gray, Mark Appel, Noah Syndergaard, Lucas Giolito, and Robert Stephenson are all still on the board. Which 2 or 3 are on your shortlist, and who do you pick & why? Thanks for the chat!
(Sara from Tacoma)
Oh man that's fun agonizing at the same time. Bradley/Giolito are my top two. Tanaka is probably my third because he'll pitch in the majors so soon. It depends on your team's timetable. If you're contending sooner, Bradley. If you can wait (because of depth or because you're bad) go with Giolito. (Craig Goldstein)
2013-12-20 14:00:00 (link to chat)Tell us everything you can about Robert Stephenson.
(Ryan from Louisville)
How about 2000 words? I wrote about Stephenson in-depth here: (Doug Thorburn)
2013-11-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)Higher ceiling/floor between Noah Syndergaard and Robert Stephenson, ETA irrelevant?
(Sara from Tacoma)
Both have number two type ceilings (which is crazy high); Syndergaard with the higher floor right now; ETA for Noah is late 2014; Stephenson the following season. (Jason Parks)
2013-11-19 13:00:00 (link to chat)Where would you place Robert Stephenson on Carlos from El Paso's list?
(TJ from Queen City)
Right behind Appel. He's another very exciting arm. (Bret Sayre)
2013-11-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)Per the mid-season Top 50, the top 10 Starting Pitching propects in baseball (that are still prospect eligible) were: Archie Bradley, Kevin Gausman, Taijuan Walker, Jameson Taillon, Dylan Bundy, Mark Appel, Robert Stephenson, Carlos Martinez, Noah Syndergaard, and Aaron Sanchez. What would an updated list look like? I assume Jonathan Gray would be somewhere in the middle of the pack, no?
(Jonah from Redwood)
I think there are some slight differences that you'd see here. Globally speaking, I think everyone recognizes that Noah Syndergaard has vaulted himself higher up a list of this nature. Speaking personally, I have always been on the lower end with my Dylan Bundy projections and I would push him down the list some. Gray would be in the mix toward the back of this pack for me, and that's not a slight against him, I just don't believe he is quite on par with some of the other names in this group. (Mark Anderson)
2013-09-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)20 team dynasty, h2h. I've got an elite offense say for my dh (Victor Martinez). My bullpen consists of Red Dragon and many one day/would be closers. My rotation is from heavy (Strasburg, Cain, Moore, Wheeler, Gausman, Taillon, Carlos Martinez, J. Mejia, Collmenter(???)). Pitching is king in this league, regardless of offense. I have, through various trades, the 1-1 pick next year in a 2-round, 40 pick draft. Would you a) draft Buxton; b) draft Archie Bradley, N. Syndergaard, or Robert Stephenson; c) draft Jose Dariel Abreu (will know where he signs by then); or d) trade the pick for something immediate?
(AJ from Phoenix)
Even with pitching being king, I'd still lean Buxton or trade it for a now piece. Could you get like a Hisashi Iwakuma or is that too high? Test the market for a big arm or just go Buxton if the offers are uninspiring. (Paul Sporer)
2013-08-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)Trying to move Posey for pitching in my 12 team mixed dynasty. Have two offers: a) Posey for Sale b) Posey and Robert Stephenson for Latos and Archie Bradley Which deal do you prefer?
(Tage from Seattle)
I understand the concept of dealing from strength to shore up a weakness, but the thought of trading Posey straight up for a pitcher in a keeper league, even a young and talented one, makes my skin crawl. I guess I'd prefer the second scenario, if I had to make one, but questions like these remind me why I don't miss fantasy much. (Ben Lindbergh)
2013-08-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)So you have touched on one of your top 5 pitching prospects (Syndergard)....Who else do you have?
(Shawn from Philly)
Top of my head, only guys who haven't pitched in the big leagues: Archie Bradley, Taijuan Walker, Syndergaard, Jameson Taillon, aaaaand...let's go Robert Stephenson. Disclaimer: not much thought went into that. (Jason Cole)
2013-07-29 11:00:00 (link to chat)Please rank in order of ceiling: Carlos Martinez, Kevin Gausman, Jameson Taillon, Robert Stephenson, Noah Syndergaard, Lucas Giolito.
(AJ from Phoenix)
On ceiling alone: Gausman, Giolito, Taillon, Syndergaard, Martinez, Stephenson. (Zach Mortimer)
2013-07-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)What Reds minor leaguers do you think it would take to pry Stanton from the Marlins? How about if the Reds included a poorly used Chapman in the deal?
(pmuehlenkamp from Cincinnati)
They would have to part with a ton of talent to land Stanton, including cost-controlled major leaguers in addition to impact minor leaguers like Robert Stephenson. I don't see them as a good fit. (Jason Parks)
2013-05-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you think Robert Stephenson has a chance to be the best pitching prospect in baseball?
(Justin from Chicago, IL)
I don't, but that's not a knock on him. He has the FB to put himself in the conversation, but I don't see the kind of secondary stuff (right now) to put him in the same category as guys like Bradley and Walker. (Jason Parks)
2013-05-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you think Robert Stephenson has a chance to be the best pitching prospect in baseball?
(Justin from Chicago, IL)
I don't, but that's not a knock on him. He has the FB to put himself in the conversation, but I don't see the kind of secondary stuff (right now) to put him in the same category as guys like Bradley and Walker. (Jason Parks)
2013-05-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)I'm holding onto Robert Stephenson in a Dynasty League. Should I drop him for someone closer like a Yordano Ventura (dominant again last night) or J.R. Graham? Any additional thoughts on any of these 3?
(Shawnykid23 from CT)
I'd have to rely on our prospect guys there, but I personally have Stephenson and like a good bit. I really like Yordano, but he feels RP-esque. (Paul Sporer)
2013-05-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)Have you seen Robert Stephenson or Max Fried? Thoughts? Thanks for chat.
(stevenpsu78 from york, pa)
I saw Stephenson during extended spring training last year (Parks saw him in camp this year), and I saw Fried during AZL last year and again this year in camp. My look at Stephenson was quick, but he showed a big fastball (93-94-ish then, it has since jumped) with serious late life. I got a one-inning look at Fried in camp. You have to like the delivery, long limbs, and all that. He sat 90-92 but popped 94 when needed with excellent feel for his curveball. The total package is just a little rough around the edges (there's nothing wrong with that, considering he's just out of high school), but everything you want to see in a big young lefty is there. (Jason Cole)
2013-05-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)Does Robert Stephenson make a big jump up the top 101 list next year? I've heard some say he's hands down the best players in Reds system and with Hamilton and what Cingrani is doing in MLB now, that's saying something.
(Shawnykid23 from CT)
The raw stuff is better than Cingrani's, but Stephenson has a long way to go before he's succeeding in the majors. He's got a higher ceiling, though, and I'd say he's currently in line to jump up the top 101. A long way to go this season still. (Jason Cole)
2013-04-04 11:00:00 (link to chat)Care to find the nearest crystal ball in your apt. and provide an early look at the top 10 next year?
(bmmolter from Mass.)
I can:
1. Addison Russell
2. Javier Baez
3. Taijuan Walker
4. Archie Bradley
5. Aaron Sanchez
6. Byron Buxton
7. Jameson Taillon
8. Robert Stephenson
9. Francisco Lindor
10. Austin Hedges (Jason Parks)
2013-04-04 11:00:00 (link to chat)Is Robert Stephenson's celing a top of the rotation arm or elite closer?
(The Dude from Left Out)
I think he might have a frontline ceiling. Sure, he could project as an elite closer, but I think he can stick in a rotation. I really like the arm. (Jason Parks)
2013-02-25 11:00:00 (link to chat)I have a tough time believing there are 35 pitching prospects better than Robert Stephenson. He has one of the better pure arms in the minor leagues. What were the concerns that dropped him into the 70's of the rankings?
(Mike from Cincinnati)
I wanted to enrage Reds fans. Also because I think Cincinnati chili is a condiment. Also, I like Stephenson a lot; wrote about him in the notes after the list. (Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects)
2013-02-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)What do you see this season for Robert Stephenson?
(Saintly Steven from Puerto Rico)
I think he could take a very big step forward. The stuff is very good, and the makeup is very, very good. I really like the profile. They could have something with this kid (Jason Parks)
2013-02-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Ceiling for Robert Stephenson? Top50 now?
(Saintly Steven from Puerto Rico)
Top 101 guy now; most likely a top 50 next year. (Jason Parks)
2012-12-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)Robert Stephenson: Top 50 prospect despite limited time in full season ball or Top 100 prospect because of his limited time in full season ball?
(Mike from Cincinnati)
Top 100 for me. The Top 50 is absolutely stacked (Jason Parks)
2012-10-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Obviously, Billy Hamilton is the Reds #1 prospect. Who is in the running for #2?
(pmuehlenkamp from Cincinnati)
Robert Stephenson is legit. He will be high on that list. (Jason Parks)
2012-06-05 16:00:00 (link to chat)Has Robert Stephenson's stock been affected by the decision to keep him in rookie ball? Is there cause for concern?
(Brian from Gainesville)
Glad you asked this. We need to get away from the thought that this is some kind of big ding against Stepehson, or more well known, Bubba Starling. Players are individuals, and develop at their own rate. Not playing in Double-A by 20 does not equal some kind of failure. (Kevin Goldstein)

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