The Reds top pitching prospect, and Minor League Baseball's #19 overall prospect Robert Stephenson and his 100 MPH fastball is joining the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. He will bolster an already prospect laden rotation for the Wahoos who sit just four games out of first place with 21 games remaining.
Stephenson, 20, started the year with Dayton where he struck out 96 batters in 77 innings. He was promoted to High-A Bakersfield in mid-July and made four starts for the Blaze before earning his promotion to Pensacola. Stephenson added 22 strikeouts in 20.2 innings to move in to a tie for second in the Cincinnati system in strikeouts with 118 alongside Pensacola starter Josh Smith. Fellow Wahoos starter Jon Moscot leads the system with 121 punch outs.
He was drafted by the Reds in the first round pick (27th overall) in 2011 out of Alhambra High School (Martinez, CA) and signed for $2 million, forgoing a scholarship to the University of Washington. He made his pro debut last season with Rookie Billings and was 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA before a promotion to Low-A Dayton, where he struck out 72 batters in 65 innings.
Stephenson is expected to join the Pensacola rotation and make his Double-A debut on Friday night against the Mississippi Braves.