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OnBaseMachine
03-11-2007, 12:28 PM
I started working on this top ten list late last night and after going to bed about 3:00 a.m., I just woke up and finally finished it. I tried to put a lot of thought into it and this is what I came up with. Later on I may list numbers 11-20. Tell me what you think.

1. Homer Bailey, rhp, 6-4/205, age: 20

We all know his story. With a fastball that regurarly sits in the 95-98 mph range and a sharp 12-6 curveball that rates as a plus-plus strikeout pitch, Homer Bailey comes in as my number one Reds prospect and one of the top five in baseball. Already possessing two great major league pitches, Bailey is working on developing his changeup into a third above average pitch. I give him two months in Louisville working with Mario Soto on the changeup before he bursts onto the scene in Cincinnati for good. Bailey projects as a franchise type pitcher and some expect him to become the first Cincinnati Red to win a Cy Young award on down the road from now.

2007 projection: Louisville/Cincinnati

2. Jay Bruce, rf, 6-3/205, age: 19

This was a tough choice for me but in the end I decided to place Jay Bruce just ahead of Joey Votto as the Reds second best prospect. After coming off one of the best seasons ever for a 19-year old kid in the Midwest League, Jay Bruce looks to repeat his success in the tough FSL in 2007. As good as this kid is, I expect him to hammer FSL pitching and possibly earn a promotion to Chattanooga sometime during the summer. Bruce is often compared to Larry Walker due to his sweet lefthanded swing and similar body frame, and in 2006 he showed why by pounding out 63 extra-base hits in 444 atbats while playing most of the season with a sore shoulder. I predict Bruce to have a huge 2007 season and predict he will be the number one hitting prospect in baseball at this time next year, and possibly the best prospect in the game.

2007 projection: Sarasota with a mid-seasn promotion to Chattanooga.

3. Joey Votto, 1b, 6-3/220, age: 23

Just slightly behind Bruce in my book. You could say Bruce is 2a. and Votto 2b. in terms of my rankings. I think Votto will reach the majors a little sooner than Bruce but Bruce's five tools place him slightly ahead of Votto. Joey, in my opinion, in the most underrated prospect in the minor leagues. Here is a guy who has been overlooked because of an average 2005 season in the pitcher friendly FSL where he was constantly behind in the count due to Dan O'Brien's take the first pitch mantra. I don't care who it is, anybody will struggle under those circumstances. Some people may disagree with me but I think Votto is going to be a star in this game for a long time. I could see him developing into a similar player to Justin Morneau, though with a lower BA (.300 range as opposed to .320) but with more walks.

2007 projection: Louisville with a summer promotion to Cincinnati.

4. Johnny Cueto, rhp, 5-11/180, age: 21

I am a huge fan of Johnny Cueto as you can probably tell by my posts and the thing above my avatar and with good reason. Cueto is yet another vastly underrated prospect in my mind. Only one prospect list that I know of currently lists Cueto in their top 100 prospects, and that is Project Prospect. If you look up and down the lists, Johnny outperformed a lot of guys and his stuff is just as good, if not better. Cueto boasts a 94-96 mph fastball and an above average slider/changeup combination. Baseball America rates his slider and control as the best in the Reds system. The only knock on him is his short stature, but he makes up for it with a very smooth and clean delivery. Cueto reminds me a bit of Marlins pitcher Anibal Sanchez in terms of size and stuff.

2007 projection: Chattanooga.

5. Travis Wood, lhp, 6-0/165, age: 20

A second round draft pick in 2005 from an Arkansas high school, Wood is easily the best lefthanded pitching prospect in the Reds organization. Wood was said to be hitting 95 mph with his fastball during his senior season of high school, however, he was only rumored to be in the 89-90 mph range this past season. Some speculate the Reds may have asked Wood to tone it down a bit while working on his third pitch, a curveball. Wood's changeup rates as the best in the organization and possibily the best in the minor leagues. If he regains his velocity into the lower 90's and develops that changep into a decent pitch then we could really have a stud on our hands. Compares favorably to Mike Hampton in stature and stuff.

2007 projection: Sarasota.

6. Josh Hamilton, of, 6-4/230, age: 25

When the Reds first drafted Hamilton in the Rule-5 draft, I was reluctant to place him in any top prospect lists because of his long layoff. After following him through boxscores this spring and watching a few of his atbats, I am amazed at his skillset. Not only does he have enormous power, his plate discipline is top notch. He just looks so comfortable at the plate. I think Krivsky found a gem in Hamilton, he may struggle some during this season but by 2008 I think he'll be a fixture in the Reds outfield.

2007 projection: Cincinnati.

7. Drew Stubbs, of, 6-4/200, age: 22

I wanted to put Chris Valaika in this spot but decided instead to go with Drew Stubbs. While I badly wanted the Reds to draft Tim Lincecum over Stubbs with the #8 pick, I'm still not as down on Stubbs as some Reds fans. I think at worst the Reds got a gold glove caliber centerfielder with decent power and good speed. At best, Stubbs develops into a poor's mans Andruw Jones. I personally think he falls in between and develops into a gold glove CFer who will consistently hit .250 and draw 70 walks and hit 20-25 homers and steal 30 bases. Mike Cameron basically.

2007 projection: Dayton/Sarasota.

8. Chris Valaika, ss, 6-0/190, age: 21

Coming off a huge season in which he hit .324/.387/.520 with 34 extra-base hits in 275 atbats, Valaika looks to build off that success this season. Valaika will probably play second base at the next level due to his lack of range, though I expect the Reds to keep him at SS this season. Valaika possesses good gap power and bat speed and could move quickly through the system with him playing college ball and all. My hope is Valaika can develop into a Marcus Giles type hitter and push Phillips to SS in a couple years.

2007 projection: Dayton/Sarasota.

9. Sam Lecure, rhp, 6-1/190, age: 22

Lecure just nudged Ravin for the 9th spot due to him being closer to the major leagues. Drafted in the 4th round out of Texas in 2005, Lecure throws his fastball in the 90-92 mph range and compliments it with a plus-slider. Lecure currently lacks a solid third pitch but hopefully with the help of Mario Soto he can develop a decent changeup. Lecure projects as a solid innings eater at the major league level if he can develop that changeup, otherwise he'll end up in the bullpen somewhere.

2007 projection: Chattanooga

10. Josh Ravin, rhp, 6-4/195, age: 19

The Reds picked up a potential steal in the draft when they took Josh Ravin with their 5th round pick out of a California high school. Ravin pitched solid in his debut last season, posting a 3.96 ERA and striking out 40 batters in 36.1 innings between the GCL Reds and Billings. It was reported that Ravin was hitting 96 mph in Instructional League, and he mixes in a solid changeup/curve combo. At 6-4/195, Ravin has a solid power pitcher build and a projectible body which makes him that much more interesting to follow.

2007 projection: Dayton.

mth123
03-11-2007, 02:45 PM
Good List. I am one who places more weight on performance at higher levels and likelihood of contributing in their roles. So here goes:

1. Bailey
2. Votto -on the basis of his closeness to the big leagues. Even if he's just league average at 1B, he'll be the first Red to perform annually at that level since Tony Perez
3. Bruce - All the experts can't be wrong
4. Hamilton - Ceiling and closeness to the big leagues
5. Cueto - Based on many experts putting him on the cusp of the top 100 lists.
6. Brad Salmon - I like his fastball and his nearness to the big leagues. I know middle relievers are not as valuable, but they are also more likely to fill a role on the big team.
7. Wood - I don't like the way his numbers are trending and he has the look of his good early years being more from fooling guys and we don't know if it will last. But he should have good trade value and he's the one I'd move in a package to get help for the big team. That gives him top 10 value IMO.
8. Calvin Medlock - Dark Horse as possible future closer in the big leagues.
9. Sam Lecure - AA will tell the tale. Could be cheap back of rotation guy for a while.
10. Jon Coutlangus - Could probably fill a mid-inning role on the team right now but probably not more.

I need to see more of the younger guys before putting them in the top 10.

Patrick Bateman
03-11-2007, 02:52 PM
My idea of a top 10 prospect list would look much closer to OBM's.

It's nice to have some performance and nearness to the big leagues, but how much are guys like medlock, Coutlangus, and Salmon rally going to help the Reds over the long haul? They will likely pitch in the big leagues, but I really question how much they will contribute to winning ball games.

IMO, guys like Stubbs, Wood,and Ravin may have a much longer road to the big leagues, but they have the potential needed to be impact players at some point. Their chances of turning out are worse, but there is a better chance that they will actually give the reds some hard to replace talent, rather than middling guys that can be had on the cheap in every level of baseball.

mth123
03-11-2007, 03:06 PM
My idea of a top 10 prospect list would look much closer to OBM's.

It's nice to have some performance and nearness to the big leagues, but how much are guys like medlock, Coutlangus, and Salmon rally going to help the Reds over the long haul? They will likely pitch in the big leagues, but I really question how much they will contribute to winning ball games.

IMO, guys like Stubbs, Wood,and Ravin may have a much longer road to the big leagues, but they have the potential needed to be impact players at some point. Their chances of turning out are worse, but there is a better chance that they will actually give the reds some hard to replace talent, rather than middling guys that can be had on the cheap in every level of baseball.

Here is my perspective. I know its a little different than most.

If guys like Medlock, Salmon and Coutlangus can fill a role for cheap for a few years and prevent the team from spending so much on the Cormiers, Stantons or Weathers of the world, or prevent a team from trading a Kearns or Lopez for a Majewski, then the team will have more overall assets for the important roles. I think having a steady stream of middle of the pen and back of the rotation starters is critical to a team like this one with limited resources (money). I value that more than a guy who hasn't played any full-season ball.

If Stubbs, Valaika and Ravin (and Watson and Loo and others) have full season success, I would move them right in. Teams with a lot of top 10 guys at lower levels are usually teams that don't have any upper level guys with much chance. The Reds have several guys who have a chance to contribute (not necessarily star) in the higher levels for the first time in a long time. I would say that the lower level guys are more likely to be stars and I wouldn't get rid of them by any means. But they aren't my choice as top prospects until they do more at higher levels.

Patrick Bateman
03-11-2007, 03:21 PM
If guys like Medlock, Salmon and Coutlangus can fill a role for cheap for a few years and prevent the team from spending so much on the Cormiers, Stantons or Weathers of the world, or prevent a team from trading a Kearns or Lopez for a Majewski, then the team will have more overall assets for the important roles. I think having a steady stream of middle of the pen and back of the rotation starters is critical to a team like this one with limited resources (money). I value that more than a guy who hasn't played any full-season ball.

But the Cormier, Stanton, Weathers guys are only costing 1.5-2.5M per year. They aren't exactly breaking the bank. Those contracts shouldn't really be standing in the way of the bigger contracts. I'm not saying I endorse the Weathers and Cormier contracts (I was in favour of not signing those guys and instead of going with some of the younger/cheaper candidates), but the Medlocks and Salmons of the world aren't hard to find. Every team has lots of guys like those and can commonly be acquired for very little (ex. Coutlangus). I don't think those types of guys will prevent the Reds from trading guys like Lopez and Kearns for mediocre relievers. Krivsky will simply have to learn the value of middle relievers.

Guys like Stubbs can potentially pay off big time. Even if the chances are small, there is still some chance. I value that greater than guys that will never reward the Reds with huge dividends and instead only offer a minimal payoff. I just don't see the middle reliever types ever bringing much improvement to the Reds when those holes cn be filled so easily in numerous ways.

mth123
03-11-2007, 03:40 PM
But the Cormier, Stanton, Weathers guys are only costing 1.5-2.5M per year. They aren't exactly breaking the bank. Those contracts shouldn't really be standing in the way of the bigger contracts. I'm not saying I endorse the Weathers and Cormier contracts (I was in favour of not signing those guys and instead of going with some of the younger/cheaper candidates), but the Medlocks and Salmons of the world aren't hard to find. Every team has lots of guys like those and can commonly be acquired for very little (ex. Coutlangus). I don't think those types of guys will prevent the Reds from trading guys like Lopez and Kearns for mediocre relievers. Krivsky will simply have to learn the value of middle relievers.

Guys like Stubbs can potentially pay off big time. Even if the chances are small, there is still some chance. I value that greater than guys that will never reward the Reds with huge dividends and instead only offer a minimal payoff. I just don't see the middle reliever types ever bringing much improvement to the Reds when those holes cn be filled so easily in numerous ways.


I don't completely disagree, but Weathers, Stanton, Cormier and I'll throw in Majewski account for about $8 Million of this year's payroll. That should have been enough to acquire a solid number 3 starter. Which of course would have allowed the Reds to pass on the $4.2 Million being paid to Lohse. And if Kearns were still aboard with his RH bat, there would have been no need to go out and get Conine at his $2 Million cost.

Having decent depth of cheap pitching at the higher levels for the lower leverage roles allows so many other things to take place. Then the major roles (that we're hoping a guy like Stubbs among others could fill) would be filled by the majority of the payroll. Again, I'm not saying that having a guy like Stubbs is a bad thing and he may prove to be more valuable than a middle reliever or back-end starter, but right now this middling pitching depth is like a savings account where lower level short season players are more like a lottery ticket. My savings may be meager, but I value it more than a lottery ticket until the picture clears-up a bit and I know I'm going to get something out of that lotto ticket. If I knew my ticket was going to be a winner, then sure I'd trade my savings for it.

dougdirt
03-11-2007, 04:03 PM
OBM, great list. Looks just about exactly what mine would look like right about now with the exception that I think Milton Loo belongs right behind Valaika and I cant put Hamilton that high just yet, but I completely understand why you would put him there. I am currently working on my revised Top 10 for my website and it is going to look very similar to yours.

Patrick Bateman
03-11-2007, 04:58 PM
I don't completely disagree, but Weathers, Stanton, Cormier and I'll throw in Majewski account for about $8 Million of this year's payroll. That should have been enough to acquire a solid number 3 starter. Which of course would have allowed the Reds to pass on the $4.2 Million being paid to Lohse. And if Kearns were still aboard with his RH bat, there would have been no need to go out and get Conine at his $2 Million cost.

Well if you cancel out the Kearns/Lopez trade, we certainly wouldn't have been able to afford a #3 starter. You can't have it both ways.

I don't see the relievers standing in the way of getting the number 3 pitcher. if the reds signed one of those types of guys to the 4-5 year 40-55M deal, then they couldn't afford both Harang and Arroyo down the road. We couldn't have acquired one of those types of guys either way, and to be honest, I'm not really sure if they are anything more than a marginal upgrade over Lohse anyways.

To me, it doesn't seem like you are particulary enamored with Salmon, et al, but more with the (understandable) dislike for Cormier and Weathers. But when it comes down to it, those guys could b replaced by hundreds of guys. Salmon doesn't offer anything more than being a cheap middle relief guy with limited upside. those guys are nice to have around, but there are far bigger fish to fry. Players like Salmon are very easy to find. Every team has lots of those types of guys and can be typically acquired at a fairly low price.



Having decent depth of cheap pitching at the higher levels for the lower leverage roles allows so many other things to take place. Then the major roles (that we're hoping a guy like Stubbs among others could fill) would be filled by the majority of the payroll. Again, I'm not saying that having a guy like Stubbs is a bad thing and he may prove to be more valuable than a middle reliever or back-end starter, but right now this middling pitching depth is like a savings account where lower level short season players are more like a lottery ticket. My savings may be meager, but I value it more than a lottery ticket until the picture clears-up a bit and I know I'm going to get something out of that lotto ticket. If I knew my ticket was going to be a winner, then sure I'd trade my savings for it.

I'm all for saving money, and even the marginal savings are imprtant. I would be more than happy to see a guy like Salmon make the team over someone like cormier who he can likely outproduce. However, it's not really a bad thing to have depth. if Salmon keeps pitching well, he will eventually find his way to the majors. Cormier or someone will pitch themselves off the team or injuries will lead to an available slot.

Either way, salmon represents marginal savings, while a guy like Stubbs can potentially be a 8-10M type of player. I just can't get too excited about a middle rlief prospect since he could save a couple of bucks, when there are other guys that could possibly fill very important roles, even if the odds aren't as good.

mth123
03-11-2007, 06:48 PM
Well if you cancel out the Kearns/Lopez trade, we certainly wouldn't have been able to afford a #3 starter. You can't have it both ways.

Not really because you'd have the Lohse and Conine Savings too.



I don't see the relievers standing in the way of getting the number 3 pitcher. if the reds signed one of those types of guys to the 4-5 year 40-55M deal, then they couldn't afford both Harang and Arroyo down the road. We couldn't have acquired one of those types of guys either way, and to be honest, I'm not really sure if they are anything more than a marginal upgrade over Lohse anyways.

I wouldn't have signed a big money free agent, but a trade for a contract a la Jason Jennings, John Leiber, etc would have worked well w/o the long term commitment. Probably put Lopez or Freel in a deal like that with say a Wood. And I think a lot of guys are an upgrade over Lohse.




To me, it doesn't seem like you are particulary enamored with Salmon, et al, but more with the (understandable) dislike for Cormier and Weathers. But when it comes down to it, those guys could b replaced by hundreds of guys. Salmon doesn't offer anything more than being a cheap middle relief guy with limited upside. those guys are nice to have around, but there are far bigger fish to fry. Players like Salmon are very easy to find. Every team has lots of those types of guys and can be typically acquired at a fairly low price.

This is a valid point. And you are right that my absolute dislike for Cormier, Weathers, Stanton and Lohse may be influencing my thought process, but I value pitching and middle relievers in general are undervalued. We fans don't think so much of them because there isn't a standard fantasy baseball caegory for them, but in reality these guys are getting multi-year deals for Millions of dollars. Teams are either trading offensive players the caliber that Stubbs et al can only hope to be or choosing to spend money on them instead of the offensive players. The actions of the Reds the last 9 months or so should serve as a good example.


I'm all for saving money, and even the marginal savings are imprtant. I would be more than happy to see a guy like Salmon make the team over someone like cormier who he can likely outproduce. However, it's not really a bad thing to have depth. if Salmon keeps pitching well, he will eventually find his way to the majors. Cormier or someone will pitch themselves off the team or injuries will lead to an available slot.

Either way, salmon represents marginal savings, while a guy like Stubbs can potentially be a 8-10M type of player. I just can't get too excited about a middle rlief prospect since he could save a couple of bucks, when there are other guys that could possibly fill very important roles, even if the odds aren't as good.


Just not convinced that a guy is automatically a top ten guy because he's a number 1 pick. Stubbs has power, speed and defensive ability. So does Dewayne Wise. Every year there are 30 first round picks. Many don't make it and I want to hold out for some success up the ladder.

Now, I've derailed the thread enough. I hope others post their top ten choices.

mth123
04-28-2007, 05:40 PM
Good List. I am one who places more weight on performance at higher levels and likelihood of contributing in their roles. So here goes:

1. Bailey
2. Votto -on the basis of his closeness to the big leagues. Even if he's just league average at 1B, he'll be the first Red to perform annually at that level since Tony Perez
3. Bruce - All the experts can't be wrong
4. Hamilton - Ceiling and closeness to the big leagues
5. Cueto - Based on many experts putting him on the cusp of the top 100 lists.
6. Brad Salmon - I like his fastball and his nearness to the big leagues. I know middle relievers are not as valuable, but they are also more likely to fill a role on the big team.
7. Wood - I don't like the way his numbers are trending and he has the look of his good early years being more from fooling guys and we don't know if it will last. But he should have good trade value and he's the one I'd move in a package to get help for the big team. That gives him top 10 value IMO.
8. Calvin Medlock - Dark Horse as possible future closer in the big leagues.
9. Sam Lecure - AA will tell the tale. Could be cheap back of rotation guy for a while.
10. Jon Coutlangus - Could probably fill a mid-inning role on the team right now but probably not more.

I need to see more of the younger guys before putting them in the top 10.

Digging this up to see how it may change with McBeth. I obviously put more stock in relief arms than many do.

I put him after Cueto.

jmac
04-28-2007, 08:34 PM
Hey do you guys think, Wood can possibly have a Jeremy Sowers type stuff in him?
All i know is when i watch Sowers on MLB EI , you cant figure out how he is getting guys out but he does and I wish he was wearing a Reds uni ?

redsmetz
04-29-2007, 10:04 AM
Votto -on the basis of his closeness to the big leagues. Even if he's just league average at 1B, he'll be the first Red to perform annually at that level since Tony Perez

Slight correction, but still shows the point (it's been a long time) - Nick Esasky was developed by the Reds and played from 1983 to 1988. If Votto comes up next year, it's still been 20 years. And if Votto can be Nick Esasky redux (minus the vertigo), that won't be bad.

mth123
04-29-2007, 10:31 AM
Votto -on the basis of his closeness to the big leagues. Even if he's just league average at 1B, he'll be the first Red to perform annually at that level since Tony Perez

Slight correction, but still shows the point (it's been a long time) - Nick Esasky was developed by the Reds and played from 1983 to 1988. If Votto comes up next year, it's still been 20 years. And if Votto can be Nick Esasky redux (minus the vertigo), that won't be bad.

I'm hoping for better than that. Esasky came up at 3B. At 1B, he was ok in 1985, poor in 1986, pretty good for 350 ABs in 1987 and poor again in 1988. I want more from Votto. I'm looking for annual production of at least .850 to .900 OPS at 1B. I understand it was a different era and slugging numbers will be higher now, but Esasky was OBP deficient in about just about any era.

redsmetz
04-29-2007, 10:43 AM
I'm hoping for better than that. Esasky came up at 3B. At 1B, he was ok in 1985, poor in 1986, pretty good for 350 ABs in 1987 and poor again in 1988. I want more from Votto. I'm looking for annual production of at least .850 to .900 OPS at 1B. I understand it was a different era and slugging numbers will be higher now, but Esasky was OBP deficient in about just about any era.

You're right. I was going off what I remembered of the pop in Esasky's bat, but now that you've said this, I can think of some AB's for Nick where a hit would have sufficed and he was swinging away.

HokieRed
04-29-2007, 08:59 PM
He's not quite top ten yet, but Adam Rosales is playing his way back up the list. .275/.388/.450/.838. He's a little old for his level so I hope Krivsky pushes him up. I'd like to see what he can do at Chattanooga. I wonder if he can catch?

Superdude
04-29-2007, 09:07 PM
He's not quite top ten yet, but Adam Rosales is playing his way back up the list. .275/.388/.450/.838.

Any idea why he's playing first this year? Unless his bat REALLY comes around, that pretty much tanks his value as a power hitting middle infielder. Hopefully there's some temporary reason for it.

dougdirt
04-29-2007, 10:53 PM
Any idea why he's playing first this year? Unless his bat REALLY comes around, that pretty much tanks his value as a power hitting middle infielder. Hopefully there's some temporary reason for it.

Rosales was never going to stick at SS, but last year he had an arm injury that kept him from throwing a ton, and I wonder if thats the same thing this year or not and why he has been playing DH and 1B. Just me guessing though, I have no idea.

HokieRed
04-29-2007, 11:51 PM
I wonder if it's partly a roster quirk. They've got four shortstops, two second basemen, and no first baseman listed on the roster. Maybe using Rosales at 1B and DH to get him at-bats.

Xavier Redleg
04-30-2007, 02:30 AM
In last year's BA top ten, they rated Rosales as the top infield arm in the system. He definately doesn't have enough range to stick at short, but if his arm is healthy and he keeps hitting, I would think he could move to third. He'd automatically become our second best third baseman prospect.