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View Full Version : Who Is RedsZone's #9 Prospect?



chicoruiz
01-10-2007, 05:18 PM
So far:

1. Homer Bailey
2. Jay Bruce
3. Joey Votto
4. Johnny Cueto
5. Travis Wood
6. Drew Stubbs
7. Chris Valaika
8. Sam LeCure

Lots of votes in the #8 poll; I hope this means that people are having fun with this....

I added Tonys Gutierrez to this poll because 30 is a nice round number and because I wanted to call attention to his career .398 OBP.

dougdirt
01-10-2007, 05:45 PM
I went with Milton Loo. I like his tools. Here is his scouting report for those who have yet to see it.

Scouting Report: Loo was the first prep player picked out of Hawaii in 2004, and he's been the best prospect in Arizona's wood-bat junior-college conference the last two seasons. He had led Yavapai to a 49-10 record and No. 2 national ranking into early May, though he wasn't the team's best player statistically. Loo, whose native island of Molokai has no stoplights, entices scouts with a five-tool potential. Though his present power remains below-average, his ability to cover the plate, make consistent, hard contact and repeat his short stroke make makes hitting his best tool, and his raw power could profile him for third base. He moved to that position at Yavapai, but scouts agree he could play short or any other infield position as a pro thanks to above-average arm strength, excellent athleticism, good range and solid infield actions. If Loo's effort and performance were more consistent, he'd rank among the nation's top position players. He's a plus runner and solid baserunner but doesn't run out ground balls as often as scouts want to see. After being bothered by a strained thumb and gimpy ankle in 2005, Loo missed time late this spring when his elbow flared up. It was diagnosed as nerve irritation, and he returned to DH in the postseason. Loo's durability will factor into whether the Reds--who reportedly offered him more than $200,000 last summer--make another run at him.

TRF
01-10-2007, 06:31 PM
Medlock for me. of course you probably could have guessed that. :)

reds44
01-10-2007, 06:42 PM
I've got Loo.

M2
01-10-2007, 08:20 PM
Loo may be good, but he hasn't played above the GCL, where he beat up on a league with a lot of kids fresh out of high school. In general, I don't think guys like that belong in a top 10. He strikes me as a "let's see what he does in Dayton" guy.

Doc. Scott
01-10-2007, 08:28 PM
Looks like Cody Strait is easily forgotten.

As much fun as it was watching Chris Valaika set the hitting-streak record in the PL this past year, I would generally not put someone like him in a top-ten list unless the organizational talent level was very thin. That said, a decent 2007 at Dayton would put him on the charts without a doubt.

Danny Serafini
01-10-2007, 08:33 PM
To me personally Loo is the board's most overrated prospect. I just don't get the huge amount of love for him. Though I'd be perfectly happy to be the one who's wrong on this one. :)

Gallen5862
01-10-2007, 08:46 PM
I voted for Hamilton. This is getting to the part where I think the potential of Hamilton's talent is ready to rank him. Loo and Dorn and Turner were considerations at this point.

Kc61
01-10-2007, 09:04 PM
I just think there are too many rookie league guys. So I narrowed it to the relievers and Hamilton. It is hard to include Hamilton since he is a Rule 5 guy, may be returned to TB, status is very uncertain.

So I went with Shafer, who seems to have the most support among the relievers.

Go Shafer.

Cyclone792
01-10-2007, 10:16 PM
I was originally planning on voting for Milton Loo, but I've changed my mind due to his lack of professional games so far. Hopefully Loo comes out with a solid 2007 minor league season and asserts himself in the top 10 next season, but until then, I'll vote for a few others before voting for him.

David Shafer gets my vote in this poll.

Superdude
01-10-2007, 10:46 PM
For me, it's between Janish, Watson, and Strait. Strait's toolsy explosion last year makes him intriguing, but the fact that he's striking out a ton and is slightly old for his level tempers my enthusiasm. I love Watson's arm, and he had a legitimately nice debut, but judging from his college stats, I'd rather see him perform(hopefully as a starter) at low A before I get too excited.

Janish managed to cut back on some strikeouts last year and ended up with a pretty nice offensive season. If his fielding is as good as people say it is, he'll have some value as long as his bat doesn't flame out Juan Castro style.

edabbs44
01-10-2007, 11:18 PM
I went with Lutz. Pretty good debut and I just have a gut feeling.

IslandRed
01-10-2007, 11:56 PM
Problem for me is, if I set aside the rookie league guys on the notion of insufficient evidence -- and Hamilton may as well go into that category for all we know about what we'll get -- I'm left with guys I have a hard time picturing being anything but fringe major-leaguers. So I'm going to reach into the most recent draft anyway, and just to be contrarian I'm going to vote for Ravin. He's light-years away from a big-league pitcher, but I liked the way the kid kept missing bats (although he missed home plate a lot too) even after the bump from the GCL to Billings as an 18-year-old.

RedsManRick
01-11-2007, 12:24 AM
Shafer again for me. I like the potential of some of these guys, but I can't put guys with so little experience over guys who are virtually ready to go today.

dougdirt
01-11-2007, 01:43 AM
Islandred, I like Ravin a lot too. He can bring the heat (hit 96 this summer in Billings) and brings 2 offspeed pitches to the plate as well. He is rough around the edges with his control right now, but he is someone I think we need to keep an eye on next year.
As for Cody Strait, again he is someone who may be the most intruiging prospect in the system. He has shown very good power in the FSL and he stole 50 bases this year....

Ron Madden
01-11-2007, 03:28 AM
Big struggle between Shafer, Loo and Medlock.

I'll go with Medlock.

jmcclain19
01-11-2007, 04:24 AM
I voted Medlock simply because I think he rates highest on the "Most likely to help the Reds in a positive way one day" among those on that list.

lollipopcurve
01-11-2007, 09:30 AM
Medlock -- recent reports that his fastball is 93+ have boosted his stock for me.

M2
01-11-2007, 10:58 AM
Josh Hamilton is not a prospect.

TRF
01-11-2007, 12:11 PM
Josh Hamilton is not a prospect.

Damn straight. He's a novelty, one I think we are all rooting for, but not a prospect.

lollipopcurve
01-11-2007, 12:29 PM
Damn straight. He's a novelty, one I think we are all rooting for, but not a prospect.

Well, novelty and prospect are just words. If by novelty you mean he has no reasonable chance of becoming a major leaguer, I think it's too soon to make that assessment. We're talking about a guy who had prodigious talent and who may be coming in to camp on a mission. I would vote for him at #10 if he doesn't end up taking this round.

camisadelgolf
01-11-2007, 01:54 PM
I went with Milton Loo because I thought he deserved it over Hamilton.

M2
01-11-2007, 03:02 PM
Well, novelty and prospect are just words. If by novelty you mean he has no reasonable chance of becoming a major leaguer, I think it's too soon to make that assessment. We're talking about a guy who had prodigious talent and who may be coming in to camp on a mission. I would vote for him at #10 if he doesn't end up taking this round.

Though it's just words, he's officially a soap opera. And he's been around long enough to make the assessment that unless something drastic changes, he's got next to no chance to become a major leaguer of any quality.

Frankly, no one even knows how much raw talent he's still got at this point. For all anyone knows, he's a guy who had talent and he's lost it thanks to hard living and years of inactivity. He sure wasn't flashing much talent in his rookie ball return last year. B.J. Szymanski, about whom I have few good things to say, is a better prospect than Hamilton at this moment in time.

dougdirt
01-11-2007, 03:10 PM
I tend to agree with M2 on Hamilton....and I think very little of Szymanski. The only tool that I know Hamilton still has left is his power, and those reports come from batting practice sessions before games.

lollipopcurve
01-11-2007, 03:19 PM
Frankly, no one even knows how much raw talent he's still got at this point.

I understand all the skepticism about Hamilton -- several years off, a nasty drug habit and injuries are enough to put most careers in the dumpster. But this guy was a monster prospect -- the first pick in the country, ahead of Josh Beckett. In my view, the talent is retrievable with reps -- it's the mental challenge of dealing with failure (that's baseball), public scrutiny and loudmouth fans that will be his biggest obstacle. Huge power, decent speed, huge arm. That stuff doesn't go away in your mid-20s. If his head is really on straight now, I think he's got a real chance.

M2
01-11-2007, 03:48 PM
I understand all the skepticism about Hamilton -- several years off, a nasty drug habit and injuries are enough to put most careers in the dumpster. But this guy was a monster prospect -- the first pick in the country, ahead of Josh Beckett. In my view, the talent is retrievable with reps -- it's the mental challenge of dealing with failure (that's baseball), public scrutiny and loudmouth fans that will be his biggest obstacle. Huge power, decent speed, huge arm. That stuff doesn't go away in your mid-20s. If his head is really on straight now, I think he's got a real chance.

Frankly, I always thought he was overblown. Didn't help that he got into one of the worst teaching organizations in the business.

So you've got what he missed over the previous four years, what he hadn't learned the previous four years before that and what he might not have had in the first place. Surely he's lost some reaction time/bat speed to boot -- stuff that he's not going to recover. He'd do well to hit above the Mendoza line in the FSL. Intriguing as he may be to some people, I just don't see any way to call him a "prospect" at this juncture. Not playing winter ball also speaks volumes. If anyone thought he had some semblance of a game together, he'd be getting reps this winter.

Anyway, I just can't see according prospect status to a "maybe he's Roy Hobbs" line of thinking.

lollipopcurve
01-11-2007, 04:00 PM
Not playing winter ball also speaks volumes. If anyone thought he had some semblance of a game together, he'd be getting reps this winter.

I think he's trying to gain some stability in his life. First things first. Heading down to Latin America on his own? Probably not the right thing for him at this point. From what I have read, he's back with his young family and working for his brother (or something like that). Training hard, planning to come in to ST in great shape. I would not underestimate the Narron connection -- it goes back to his youth, in the days before he was an abject failure. I'd think that would be a huge psychological relief for Hamilton. Narron (Jerry) has visited him a few times this offseason already.... So, I'm not concerned about him not playing winter ball (remember, too, that he's coming off minor knee surgery) -- he appears to be honing his life skills first, which seems like a good idea.

M2
01-11-2007, 04:17 PM
I think he's trying to gain some stability in his life. First things first. Heading down to Latin America on his own? Probably not the right thing for him at this point. From what I have read, he's back with his young family and working for his brother (or something like that). Training hard, planning to come in to ST in great shape. I would not underestimate the Narron connection -- it goes back to his youth, in the days before he was an abject failure. I'd think that would be a huge psychological relief for Hamilton. Narron (Jerry) has visited him a few times this offseason already.... So, I'm not concerned about him not playing winter ball (remember, too, that he's coming off minor knee surgery) -- he appears to be honing his life skills first, which seems like a good idea.

I think it's a great idea to have his life together before he plays baseball, but he already came back to baseball in 2006. So did he jump the gun last summer? How stable is he if he can't do the thing that professionally he most needs to do (play baseball)?

Honestly, if this is about what's best for Hamilton, the answer probably is to get on with his life and not worry about playing baseball because that ship has most likely sailed. If it's about getting Hamilton to the point where he could be a good baseball player, then I don't see much reason for optimism. He didn't play well this summer. He isn't playing this winter. He was always raw. He's missed tons of time and he's not a spring chicken.

lollipopcurve
01-11-2007, 04:34 PM
If it's about getting Hamilton to the point where he could be a good baseball player, then I don't see much reason for optimism. He didn't play well this summer. He isn't playing this winter. He was always raw. He's missed tons of time and he's not a spring chicken.

No doubt the odds are against him -- but seven and a half years ago he had more going for him as a baseball player than anybody his age on the planet. I don't buy that he was raw in comparison to his peers -- check out his age 18 season in the Appy League -- absolute domination. And he had success at a young age in high A too. All young players are raw to an extent -- if Hamilton was raw and at the same time dominant, then that's testimony to how much talent he had. I wouldn't say I'm optimistic -- I'm neither optimistic nor pessimistic about him. If I was wildly enthusiastic about his chances, I'd have voted for him above #10 -- putting him at #10 on my list is simply an acknowledgement of his superior talent and his apparent desire to embrace a great opportunity.

Danny Serafini
01-11-2007, 04:40 PM
I think it's a great idea to have his life together before he plays baseball, but he already came back to baseball in 2006. So did he jump the gun last summer? How stable is he if he can't do the thing that professionally he most needs to do (play baseball)?

The issue isn't playing baseball, it's living in a foreign country without his family and support system around him.

M2
01-11-2007, 05:18 PM
The issue isn't playing baseball, it's living in a foreign country without his family and support system around him.

Living in Sarasota without family around him won't be any easier. As for support, they've got coaching staffs in winter ball just like they do in the minors.

Plus, if the team thought he's ready make some sort of breakthrough, then why not pay extra to give him some sort of support system in winter ball? That strikes me as an easy to solve problem if it's the only hurdle he's facing at the moment. It seems to me that the Reds haven't deemed his talent to be special enough to warrant a unique solution.

willie3
01-11-2007, 06:25 PM
I think I read where his family is going to be with him at all times to keep him out of trouble.

Superdude
01-11-2007, 11:10 PM
I don't understand why everyone has fallen in love with Valaika based on what he did in rookie ball, but Dorn gets no love despite shredding the same league to pieces. I like Valaika more because his bat could have more of an impact as a middle infielder, but Dorn seems like a much more complete hitter at this point. I don't know if he makes my top 10, but he'd be #1 on my most underrated list.

dougdirt
01-11-2007, 11:34 PM
I like Valaika due to his bat speed, position and all around package over Dorn.... I think I sell Dorn short right now, but I just dont put him in the same class as Valaika...

HokieRed
01-12-2007, 12:39 AM
I voted Cody Strait for the #8 prospect and again for #9. 45% of his hits were for extra bases, he stole 50, and, if I remember correctly, he was our best defender in the minors. His age doesn't really bother me; he's made a level each year and could reasonably have been moved to AA for the latter part of this season. He really bears watching this season. With the combination of extra base hits and ability to steal, he doesn't need to raise his OBP very much to become a terrific #2 hitter.

NC Reds
01-12-2007, 10:57 AM
I'm voted for Janish as #8, so I guess I have to vote for him again here.

He's older, but I like his defense tremendously. He is closer to MLB (maybe not in Cincy though) than most people think.

Superdude
01-12-2007, 06:59 PM
I think I sell Dorn short right now, but I just dont put him in the same class as Valaika...

I'm not saying they're in the same class, because a solid bat up the middle is a heck of a lot of more valuable than a solid bat in left field, but I just find it odd that the same people who rave about Valaika's pro debut never seem to give Dorn any credit despite a better season. Valaika is my #9 prospect and I'm guessing Dorn would fall somewhere in the 15-20 range. Next year will be big for both of them sa far as my personal confidence goes.

Redmachine2003
01-12-2007, 07:54 PM
I picked Parker just because he was a local boy and some what of a sleeper. He exploded at first and kind of cooled off at the end. This draft class could be very interesting along with Loo. At least it seems like WK found some kids that can swing the bat a little.

RedsManRick
01-12-2007, 08:32 PM
I voted Cody Strait for the #8 prospect and again for #9. 45% of his hits were for extra bases, he stole 50, and, if I remember correctly, he was our best defender in the minors. His age doesn't really bother me; he's made a level each year and could reasonably have been moved to AA for the latter part of this season. He really bears watching this season. With the combination of extra base hits and ability to steal, he doesn't need to raise his OBP very much to become a terrific #2 hitter.

Strait looks like a tools freak to me. 3rd year in the pros and he's only in high A - that kind of scares me. That said, his ISOP is and SB rate and % are great. Add in that the FSL is pretty pitcher friendly and I think you might be on to something Hokie. I haven't heard much about Strait, but if he plays in Chattanooga this year, he could be a break-out guy. If he get that average up 20-25 points and maintain his power and speed rates, suddenly he starts looking like a monster in the making.

Red Daddy
01-12-2007, 11:43 PM
How about adding Rojas; 3-1 1.07 era 42 ip 63 so in low A. Pretty solid.

Ron Madden
01-13-2007, 04:46 AM
I can't see Janish anywhere in the top 10 myself.

P.S. I've been wrong a time or two. ;)

camisadelgolf
01-13-2007, 05:47 AM
Dorn was a 22-year-old 32nd round draft pick in rookie ball. Valaika was a 21-year-old 3rd round pick. If you combine those with Valaika being a middle infielder, I think that's going to explain why there's so much more hype following Valaika.