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reds44
06-07-2007, 05:01 PM
Post everything you find out about him here.


15th overall pick


Biographical Data
Player Name: Devin Mesoraco
Position: Catcher
School: Punxsatawney HS, Pa.
School Type: High School
Academic Class: Senior
Birthdate: 06/19/88
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Report Date(s): 04/23/07
Game(s): Bald Eagle HS

Focus Area Comments
Hitting Ability: Mesoraco has a ton of hitting ability, using a little leg kick in his approach, and doesn't swing at bad pitches.
Power: Mesoraco has plus power. Right now, it's more pull power, but eventually he'll develop power to all fields.
Running Speed: He's a fringy-average runner, which is pretty good for a catcher.
Arm Strength: He has a plus arm and isn't afraid to use it in pick-off attempts.
Arm Accuracy: His throws are always right on the money.
Fielding: Mesoraco has plus hands behind the plate.
Range: A terrific athlete, Mesoraco is outstanding at blocking balls in the dirt.
Baseball Instincts: Off the charts. He's got great makeup, he's very aggressive and he's a natural leader behind the plate.
Physical Description: Mesoraco is a strong backstop with a body type that might remind some of a Joe Girardi or Ivan Rodriguez.
Medical Update: Mesoraco missed much of 2006 following Tommy John surgery, but now is completely healthy and clearly is having no problems with his throwing.
Strengths: He's a complete package. He can hit with power and he can play defense with a strong arm and soft hands.
Weaknesses: He tends to get out on his front foot on his swing from time to time.
Summary: Mesoraco has answered any questions about his arm following Tommy John surgery a year ago and is on the rise among catching prospects. He's a complete catching package, with hitting ability, power, good hands, a plus arm and outstanding leadership ability.
c/o mlb.com

From Trent:



Thursday, June 07, 2007
Hello Mr. Mesoraco

Not sure if I'm supposed to be blogging about this (I'm having a hard time tracking down C. Trent) but since I'm writing the draft story for Friday's Post, I'll go ahead and do it anyway.

Your first-round pick is Devin Mesoraco, a catcher from Punxsutawney, Pa. He was supposed to go to the University of Virginia, but that doesn't look like it'll happen now. Supposedly, he's very athletic, and he really came on this year as a high school senior.

He also had Tommy John surgery two years ago, so I'm interested to hear what he has to say about that.

We're supposed to be talking to Mesoraco in about a half-hour. I'll post the highlights when I get off the phone call.

Editor's note: I do love when Josh does stuff so I don't have to.

Here's what Baseball America had to say about Mr. Mesoraco:



Scouting Report: As strong as this year's high school class was considered at the outset of the season, it got even better when high school righthanders Jarrod Parker and Nevin Griffith and Mesoraco came out of the gate showing better tools and ability than they had last summer and fall. Griffith and Mesoraco appeared in showcases, but they didn't show impact potential until this spring, and Mesoraco has been the biggest riser of them all. An arm injury led to Tommy John surgery when he was a sophomore, and he was relegated to DH duties as a junior. His arm strength has slowly returned, and this spring he has shown a 70 arm with quick, efficient releases. Defensively, Mesoraco compares favorably to 2001 Angels first-rounder Jeff Mathis, with athleticism serving as the foundation of an agile, quick-twitch player who receives and blocks exceptionally well. He shows above-average bat speed and 50-55 power at the plate. He's a solid-average runner, too, rounding out a legitimate five-tool package that probably won't make it out of the first round.





Devin is talking to reporters on a conference call right now (when Brad Johansen isn't screwing it up. He and his entire team and family are at a restaurant in Altoona, Pa., after his team's 7-0 victory in the state playoffs. Mesoraco was 0-for-1 with three walks, 'that's the way it's been all year,' he said.

Mesoraco said he grew up wanting ot be like Johnny Bench and is honored the Reds selected him because of that.


From Fay:




Thursday, June 7, 2007
Reds pick catcher

The Reds pick Devin Mesoraco, a catcher from Punxatawney, Pa.

Read he could go as high as fourth.

He's 6-1, 195 pounds. Also played shortstop. Had "Tommy John" surgery.

From minorleaguebaseball.com: "Mesoraco has answered any questions about his arm following Tommy John surgery a year ago and is on the rise among catching prospects. He's a complete catching package, with hitting ability, power, good hands, a plus arm and outstanding leadership ability."

From baseballamerica.com: "The more players who slide out of the top 10 picks based on signability, the better for Mesoraco, who has asserted himself as a first rounder who was expected to sign quickly for slot money anywhere in the first 30 picks. He could be taken as high as No. 4 to Pittsburgh. One of most attractive assets is the balance of his game."

BA had him No. 14. The Reds picked 15th.

He was the Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year. From the Gatorade release: "At the time of his selection, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior catcher was batting .467 with four home runs and 16 RBI, amassing a .632 on-base percentage and a .911 slugging percentage. He is ranked amongst Baseball America’s top 100 high school prospects, confirming his status as one of the top backstops in the nation. . . Mesoraco has maintained a 3.61 GPA in the classroom."

reds44
06-07-2007, 05:03 PM
Scouting Video (http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/images/2007/04/17/UJbLUc7e.gif)

crazyredfan40
06-07-2007, 05:15 PM
From everything I have read I like the pick...

It would be awesome for this organization if we can develop a catcher and have him ready for the big leagues in 3-5 years...

Eric_Davis
06-07-2007, 05:20 PM
I know as much about this guy as anyone else on this board, which isn't much. I doubt if anyone here has seen him play in person more than a couple of times.

But, let me ask all of you this? How do you feel about a guy who had Tommy John surgery as a high-schooler only a year ago?

All I wanted in the 1st round was to take the best available player who didn't have major surgery.

Maybe he's good. Maybe he's not. But you always pay the piper. That surgery will effect his future. It's not humanly possible for it not to. The human body has a memory.

I don't like the pick.

crazyredfan40
06-07-2007, 05:30 PM
I know as much about this guy as anyone else on this board, which isn't much. I doubt if anyone here has seen him play in person more than a couple of times.

But, let me ask all of you this? How do you feel about a guy who had Tommy John surgery as a high-schooler only a year ago?

All I wanted in the 1st round was to take the best available player who didn't have major surgery.

Maybe he's good. Maybe he's not. But you always pay the piper. That surgery will effect his future. It's not humanly possible for it not to. The human body has a memory.

I don't like the pick.


The thing is that TJ is not as big a deal as it once was, and he had it as a sophmore and has been impressive to scouts and as they said that not many scouts were worried about it...

TOBTTReds
06-07-2007, 05:31 PM
I know as much about this guy as anyone else on this board, which isn't much. I doubt if anyone here has seen him play in person more than a couple of times.

But, let me ask all of you this? How do you feel about a guy who had Tommy John surgery as a high-schooler only a year ago?

All I wanted in the 1st round was to take the best available player who didn't have major surgery.

Maybe he's good. Maybe he's not. But you always pay the piper. That surgery will effect his future. It's not humanly possible for it not to. The human body has a memory.

I don't like the pick.


Appearantly his arm is back, and as long as he isn't a pitcher, then I am OK with it. I like the idea of a franchise catcher. Kind of like an NFL team drafting a possible franchise QB.

Eric_Davis
06-07-2007, 05:59 PM
The thing is that TJ is not as big a deal as it once was, and he had it as a sophmore and has been impressive to scouts and as they said that not many scouts were worried about it...

So, it was 2 years ago and not one?

It's still major surgery. At least it's not his knees.

Mitch Canham of the Oregon State Beavers is a Senior and a Catcher who hasn't had any surgeries and has had to work his way through incredible adversity....something like his dad being a drug abuser or something and he was real poor and was a walk-on that just keeps improving himself. Some had him in the 4th Round, but I think he might be available around the 10th-12th round. He could rise through the organization fast and he's both a good hitter and defensive catcher with a great ability to call games.

Oh, and I've seen him play in person numerous times.

Blitz Dorsey
06-07-2007, 06:06 PM
Love the pick for several reasons: We didn't reach for him. Everyone had him ranked as a mid-first rounder, maybe higher. Our catching situation has been a mess for years. Really since Bench, although we have had a few decent catchers, Joe Oliver being the best unless you count Santiago's one year. But overall, it's been a disaster. About time we did something about it.

And as much as people hate Dave Ross, he is signed through 2008 with a club option for 2009. They were not going to go out and get another veteran catcher that would command more than a million, so this was definitely the best route to go. And it wasn't just "drafting for need" since Mesoraco was arguably the best player on the board.

Eric_Davis
06-07-2007, 06:10 PM
Shoot, Canham is gone already at #57.

MrCinatit
06-07-2007, 06:48 PM
He was born two years after I graduated from high school. I think I'll walk in front of a truck.


Seriously, though, did any of the simulations have us picking him? I do not recall any - but I could be wrong. If not, that shows you the value of simulations.

jojo
06-07-2007, 07:29 PM
All I know is that there is no such thing as a can't miss catching prospect. Catching prospects are highly flammable.

Chi-Town Red
06-07-2007, 07:34 PM
not many stud catchers period in the majors...lets hope he can be a Red
for years to come

BucksandReds
06-07-2007, 07:54 PM
I love this and the 2nd pick. The SS that we took in round 2 sounds like Juan Castro Jr. That was an awful (but should be expected from WK) pick. The pitcher might have gone a little high but he is 17 so if they really saw something in that then it could be ok.

Rojo
06-07-2007, 08:34 PM
He was born two years after I graduated from high school. I think I'll walk in front of a truck.

Me too. And Lotzkar was born six months before my son. Someone Logan Run me.

AdamDunn
06-07-2007, 08:43 PM
Good pick... better than Kevin Ahrens... could have got Rick Porcello though.

TOBTTReds
06-07-2007, 08:45 PM
Good pick... better than Kevin Ahrens... could have got Rick Porcello though.

Then tried to sign him for 8 mil and a ML deal. Not what a team like the Reds need.

AdamDunn
06-07-2007, 08:55 PM
Then tried to sign him for 8 mil and a ML deal. Not what a team like the Reds need.

I would have done it for seven million. Did he want a major league deal?

Degenerate39
06-07-2007, 09:28 PM
Sounds like a good pick.

OnBaseMachine
06-07-2007, 09:37 PM
Reds go with catcher in first round
Power-hitting Mesoraco selected as 15th overall pick
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Still playing in the Pennsylvania high school baseball playoffs, catcher Devin Mesoraco had Thursday's postgame activity all planned.

Mesoraco and Punxsutawney High School won their quarterfinals game and repaired to Zach's Sports and Spirits restaurant in Altoona, Pa. It didn't take long for the 18-year-old to learn he was the Reds' first-round pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

"We finished the game and hurried over here, so we could watch the Draft," said Mesoraco, who was selected 15th overall. "It was awesome. The whole team and half the town were here, watching the game. We knew a little bit before. But as soon as the pick went on, it was pure joy. I couldn't ask for anything else."

Mesoraco, who was 0-for-1 with three walks in the 7-0 win over Lewistown, was the first catcher taken in the first round by Cincinnati since Dan Wilson in 1990. He was only the third first-round catcher taken in the organization's history.

There was only one pro scout on hand in Altoona to watch Mesoraco during Thursday's game. It was Jeff Brookens from the Reds.

"It gave us a little indication there. It's a dream come true," Mesoraco said. "Cincinnati, you can't ask for anything else."

A 6-foot-1, 195-pound player who bats right-handed, Mesoraco had his 2006 season partially derailed because of Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. He blew out his elbow pitching during his sophomore year and had a ligament replaced during the Aug. 31, 2005, procedure.

Mesoraco said he was 100 percent by the start of the season. He estimated 15-20 scouts were watching him play in the early games and when he showed superb arm strength, his stock shot up.

"That's when I realized, 'Hey, we can go pretty far with this thing, and, hopefully, be a first-round pick.' It worked out," said Mesoraco, who was batting .467 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in 2007.

Draft 2007 | Complete Coverage

The Gatorade Pennsylvania High School Player of the Year, Mesoraco already has a scholarship to play baseball for the University of Virginia. But on the heels of his selection, he had no intention of matriculating in Charlottesville.

"Right now, that's in the background," said Mesoraco, who will turn 19 on June 19. "Being a Cincinnati Red is definitely in the foreground. I just want to get out and play. Hopefully, as soon as we can do it, that's when it will be done."

If and when that happens, Mesoraco will become instantly wealthy. The Reds' 2006 top pick and eighth-overall selection, outfielder Drew Stubbs, received a $2 million bonus last summer. The 2005 first-round pick, outfielder Jay Bruce, received a $1.8 million bonus after being taken at No. 12.

Mesoraco grew up a Pirates fan and counted former Pittsburgh catcher Jason Kendall as someone he modeled his game after. But knowing he had a chance to play for the team where Johnny Bench had a Hall of Fame career had Mesoraco aiming high.

"He's what everyone else tries to be," Mesoraco said. "Everybody tries to be Johnny Bench. He's the best catcher all-time. It's just a great honor coming to an organization that had a great catcher like that."

With its first-round sandwich pick, No. 34 overall, Cincinnati selected shortstop Todd Frazier out of Rutgers University. The pick was compensation for the Giants signing Rich Aurilia as a free agent.

Frazier, who was a member of the 1998 Little League World Series championship team from Toms River, N.J., batted .347 with 42 homers and 128 RBIs in his three-year career at Rutgers. He was a National Player of the Year finalist and a member of the 2007 USA national team.

"I was just anxious to see where I'd go," said Frazier, who watched the Draft on television at home with 25-30 friends and family. "It's been a great day so far. When I got the call that I was the 34th pick, it was great. Everyone was excited and going crazy."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070607&content_id=2011800&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

KoryMac5
06-07-2007, 09:42 PM
Another article on Devin Mesoraco:

Punxsy star has scouts flocking to BCB

By Philip Cmor, pcmor@altoonamirror.com



Major surgery is never a good thing. For Punxsutawney’s Devin Mesoraco, though, “Tommy John” rotator cuff surgery might have actually worked to his advantage in the long run.

Mesoraco was a promising multi-sport athlete for the Chucks when he sustained the injury while pitching in the playoffs at the end of his sophomore season. The operation that followed on Aug. 31, 2005 limited his athletic activities for the next 10 months to being a designated hitter in baseball.

That sport has turned out to be his calling, however, and the injury just might have made him focus even more on the diamond than he had been before. Now Mesoraco has baseball scouts flocking to Jefferson County in droves, and it looks like he’ll be picked in the first five rounds of the Major League Baseball draft in June.

It’s possible he could go as high as the first round.

“It’s pretty hectic,’’ Mesoraco, who has seen more than 20 scouts at some of his games, said, “but I’m still going out there and playing my game.’’

A large number of scouts are expected to be on hand today at Blair County Ballpark to watch Mesoraco and Punxsy take on 2005 tourney champion Hollidaysburg in the first round of the Dean Patterson Curve Classic. The game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. as the fourth and final opening-round contest. The tournament will run through Sunday.

Hollidaysburg has its own prospect attracting scouts in third baseman Brett Weibley. But Golden Tiger coach Jon Szynal has a healthy respect when in comes to Mesoraco.

“We haven’t gotten him out in three years. We’ve beaten them twice, but we haven’t gotten him out,’’ Szynal said.

Szynal’s not alone. Despite being pitched around for much of this spring for the 4-3 Chucks, Mesoraco, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound catcher, is batting .550 in the leadoff spot with two home runs and nine runs scored. He’s been walked nine times.

That doesn’t even take into account Mesoraco’s defense.

“The most impressive thing is the distances he throws guys out by,’’ Punxsy coach Paul Hetrick said. “I can only remember one runner trying to steal on him this year, and he was thrown out by so much.’’

Mesoraco is already being compared to former major leaguer John Mizerock as the best baseball player Punxsutawney has produced. The attention he’s getting isn’t just in-state, either: Baseball America had Mesoraco on its preseason All-America third team this year — that list is based on polling of major league scouting directors.

Currently, Baseball America rates Mesoraco as the fourth-best high school catching prospect and the 10th-best catching prospect overall for this draft. Associate editor Alan Matthews brought up the name of the Altoona Curve’s Neil Walker when discussing Mesoraco’s tools and potential.

“He’s showed an ability to catch and throw that’s at least average. But, he’s not your typical catcher,’’ Matthew said. “He has quick twitch muscle movement and is very athletic. He has a chance at the pro level.

“You don’t find guys like him very often.’’

Mesoraco seems to have been born to play baseball. His father, Doug, was a catcher at IUP and coached the American Legion team in Punxsutawney.

“I’ve been playing as long as I can remember. My father would bring me to the field, and I’d be the batboy,’’ Mesoraco said.

Even then, Mesoraco was doing extraordinary things.

“I remember Devin being about 5 years old hanging around the team with a little glove,’’ said Curve Classic tournament coordinator and Curve director of communications Jason Dambach, a 1994 Punxsutawney grad who play Legion ball for Doug Mesoraco. “We would fire baseballs as high as we could throw and he would catch them. I remember being amazed at how coordinated he was at that age.’’

Now, no one is amazed.

“We just take it for granted,’’ Hetrick said.

Mesoraco said the interest in him really skyrocketed last summer. Fully recovered from his surgery, he went around the country to play in tournaments and showcases like the East Coast Professional Showcase and the Area Code Games.

He said there were 200-300 scouts at the East Coast Showcase.

“I think they like my athleticism,’’ Mesoraco said.

Mesoraco said no teams in particular seem to be showing a great deal more interest in him than any other, and, while he grew up a Pirate fan who likened his game to Jason Kendall, he has no preference on who takes him in the MLB Draft. He’s already committed to Virginia, though, so he will have a big decision this summer.

“Right now, I’m still planning on going to Virginia,’’ Mesoraco said. “I’ll just wait and see what happens in June.’’

KoryMac5
06-07-2007, 09:48 PM
More from a Pittsburgh paper, the Pirates were seriously considering this kid with the number 4 pick.

We certainly are looking for the best player available," Littlefield said. "In any draft, with any team, much like you're evaluating their hitting skills and pitching skills, signability is a part of the equation with who you select."

That could benefit the player rising fastest on draft boards. Punxsutawney catcher Devin Mesoraco has rocketed from 64th to 24th in Baseball America's rankings this spring and is targeted even higher, at No. 16, by Baseball Prospectus.

Mesoraco worked out for the Pirates at PNC Park Sunday, and Littlefield watched Mesoraco play Monday in Butler, when the Chucks eliminated previously undefeated West Allegheny from the PIAA Class AAA playoffs. Creech said yesterday that Mesoraco, a University of Virginia recruit, has proven worthy of the fourth overall pick.

"Absolutely," Creech said. "Obviously, you can read into it as much as you want, but I don't think Dave Littlefield would have been there the day we were sealing our scouting meetings if he wasn't good enough to be there."

More to the point, Mesoraco's family has indicated that it would be willing to negotiate in good faith, much the same way Pine-Richland catcher Neil Walker did when the Pirates chose him 11th overall in 2004.

"Signability is not going to be a problem," said Doug Mesoraco, Devin's father. "We're well aware of the bonus structure. We've been asked many times about it and our answer has been, 'As long as the teams are fair.' "

BoydsOfSummer
06-08-2007, 01:19 AM
"Oh meso raco....Oh meso raco... Oh Oh meso raco....me love you long time..."

LoganBuck
06-08-2007, 07:02 AM
I think "Messy" is a good nickname for this guy.

Caveman Techie
06-08-2007, 08:36 AM
So the TJ surgery is from almost two years ago, and he ended up needing it because he was pitching. Good info to have.

jesusfan
06-08-2007, 09:05 AM
4th ranked high school catcher and 10th overall? hmmm... I'm hoping that article is old...

oneupper
06-08-2007, 09:28 AM
This pick will help the organization's diversity, since as a Punxsatawney native, Mesoraco is a groundhog worshipper.

smith288
06-08-2007, 10:44 AM
Devin, family and friends react to the news he was drafted by the Reds

http://www.punxsutawneyspirit.com/images/stories/devin-celebrates.jpg

link (http://www.punxsutawneyspirit.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=53146)

KoryMac5
06-08-2007, 11:12 AM
4th ranked high school catcher and 10th overall? hmmm... I'm hoping that article is old...

The first article is older it takes place when the scouts really started to come in to see this kid. It really illustrates how dramatic his rise was, the more people that saw him the more they liked him.

Benihana
06-08-2007, 11:19 AM
Keith Law's analysis:

Mesoraco is a raw but toolsy catcher, a strong kid with excellent power. As a catcher, he has a short, easy throwing motion with above-average arm strength. He's also a plus athlete with good agility. Mesoraco has outstanding potential.

camisadelgolf
06-08-2007, 11:32 AM
I love this guy. Even if he doesn't pan out, he's pushed all the right buttons to be likable. The "running like Forrest Gump" button is possibly my favorite.

KoryMac5
06-08-2007, 11:38 AM
Hopefully Bench will weigh in with some observations too.

Eric_Davis
06-08-2007, 10:49 PM
Devin, family and friends react to the news he was drafted by the Reds

http://www.punxsutawneyspirit.com/images/stories/devin-celebrates.jpg

link (http://www.punxsutawneyspirit.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=53146)

You can see his scar in that photo.

StillFunkyB
06-09-2007, 08:26 AM
Mesoraco said he grew up wanting ot be like Johnny Bench and is honored the Reds selected him because of that.

If he is half the Player JB was, I's be happy with that.

BoydsOfSummer
06-09-2007, 08:25 PM
I agree. Half of the greatest player to ever play the game would be a heckuva nice player to have.

mth123
06-09-2007, 08:27 PM
I agree. Half of the greatest player to ever play the game would be a heckuva nice player to have.

Babe Ruth was a pitcher at his age.

OnBaseMachine
06-12-2007, 07:51 PM
Devin has one game remaining...

Punxsutawney (15-7) will face District 1 runner-up Marple Newtown in the PIAA championship game at 2 p.m. Friday in Altoona. The District 9 champion Chucks are led by catcher Devin Mesoraco, who was selected 15th overall by the Cincinnati Reds in last week's Major League Baseball draft.

"We made it to the western finals a couple years ago and making it to the state final, that's a different feeling," Mesoraco said. "Hopefully, we can go there and do our best, but this was a major win. It would mean a lot to finish the year out on a good note like that."

Mesoraco will head to his minor-league assignment next week, but in the meantime, he hopes to help Punxsutawney claim its first state title. He contributed yesterday with a home run, which was a line drive over the 340-foot left-field fence, and three walks. Mesoraco lived up to the hype behind the plate when he scooped up a ball in the dirt and showed off his MLB-caliber arm by throwing out a Blackhawk runner by three steps.

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_512163.html

dougdirt
06-12-2007, 10:28 PM
Great stuff OBM.

It sounds like the Reds and him have agreed on everything but he just cant sign anything yet.

BoydsOfSummer
06-13-2007, 04:32 PM
Mesoraco will head to his minor-league assignment next week, but in the meantime,


Doesn't he have to sign first? Or did he sign and I missed it?

Red Leader
06-13-2007, 04:37 PM
Doesn't he have to sign first? Or did he sign and I missed it?

As doug said, he has probably agreed to a contract and terms of the contract, but is not allowed to legally sign that contract until his high school baseball season is completed.

BoydsOfSummer
06-13-2007, 04:38 PM
Aahhh...okay, that sounds plausible. Thanks.

redsmetz
06-13-2007, 04:44 PM
From the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper, a story about the top pick for the Reds.


PUNXSUTAWNEY - Some people believe in first impressions. For Mike Chroniger, it took just two days to notice that Punxsy senior catcher Devin Mesoraco would be a professional baseball player. "I knew it the second day I saw him. The first day, he was only there for a really short time," said Chroniger, who coached Mesoraco for three summers in the Mid-Atlantic Rookies baseball program. "The second day, I knew - it was kind of obvious that he was a player that was going to be a pro-ball player."

Chroniger was right, as just last Thursday, the Cincinnati Reds selected Mesoraco with their 15th overall pick in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.

While Mesoraco, a catcher, has been praised for his rocket arm, speed on the basepaths and powerful swing, it's personality that takes Mesoraco to a whole different level.

"Everybody's been saying all along that he's a tremendous athlete, and that he brings a level of play to the game. The bottom line is, he is a good person," said Doug Mesoraco, Devin's father. "They like his athleticism, and they know, based on that, that he's going to work hard."

After coaching Major League talents such as David Wright - who is playing for the New York Mets - and Ryan Zimmerman - who is currently a Washington National - Chroniger paralleled Mesoraco's personality and desire to Wright and Zimmerman.

"There's a lot of good ball-players out there that don't make it. Personality really helps - you have to be able to get along with coaches, players and the whole organization. Otherwise, you just become an individual playing baseball," Chroniger said. "Colleges and pro-teams are looking more and more about the (personality of the) player. That's why they do the player profiles. They do the evaluations and testings prior to (pursuing the player) to find out the makeup of the player, rather than 'Can he play?'

"There's kids out there that can play, but they can't be teammates," he said.

Tony Reid, who has coached against Mesoraco in Junior Legion action for Keystone Rehabilitation in Indiana, said he took some time out of a busy day to watch Mesoraco be drafted June 7 on ESPN2.

Reid works nearly three hours away from midnight to 8 a.m., and once he got home to Indiana at 11 a.m. June 7, he made sure to wake up before 2 p.m. to hear the calling of Mesoraco's name before coaching a Junior Legion game later that evening.

"That was important to me. I just wanted to see where he was called," Reid said. "Devin's just a really likable kid. That's really nice to see a kid that's put so much time and effort into it."

Mesoraco was part of Fezell's Enterprises' 15-and-under Junior Legion team as just a 12-year-old. Once he was 14 and the team's starting catcher, Mesoraco led Fezell's to the state championship.

"He's a leader, and he doesn't get excited when things are going bad," Reid said. "He's pretty level-headed, and he was like that at a young age. That's what's impressive about him."

When Fezell's Enterprises beat Marion Center in the Pennsylvania Junior American Legion championship in 2002, Marion Center manager Don Stitt watched Mesoraco hit a two-run, game-winning triple. Stitt said it was hard to judge whether Mesoraco would be a professional ball-player, but he loves the way Mesoraco approaches the game.

"I felt he could go a long way just because of the way he plays the game," said Stitt, who's in the middle of his 20th season as Marion Center's Junior Legion manager. "He's aggressive, and he plays very hard. When he's on the field, he's totally focused. I've coached for a long time, and that's the type of playing I like. Even if he's getting the hit to beat you, as an opposing coach, you appreciate guys that play hard."

When Mesoraco's name was called in the draft, not only close friends and family felt proud - former coaches and former opponents did nothing but smile because they know he deserved it.

Many who saw Mesoraco play knew he was good, but couldn't decide whether he had the ability to be a major leaguer. Chroniger, for certain, knew this day would come sooner than later.

"I'm as proud as I could be," he said. "I want to say I was as proud as (his) mom and dad. But I just knew that Devin would be picked. Devin was a given."

redsmetz
06-15-2007, 04:25 PM
Mesoraco finished his high school season today with his Punxsutawney High School team defeating Marple Newtown 5-4 for the Pennsylvania AAA baseball championship. Mesoraco went 1-2 with 3 walks (2 intentional) and scored two runs. Let's see how quickly we can get him signed now that his career is over.

11larkin11
06-17-2007, 02:26 AM
He isn't signed yet?

Bust

Mario-Rijo
06-18-2007, 12:43 AM
This was from Keith Law prior to the draft. It should give everyone an idea of what to look for as far as his development to come. Posted Monday May 14th


• On Wednesday, I saw Punxsutawney (Pa.) High School -- yes, where the groundhog lives -- catcher Devin Mesoraco. His game at the plate is pretty simple: he controls the zone and hits bombs, or at least he did in batting practice, since he took three four-pitch walks followed by an intentional walk issued with his team up nine runs. His swing is complicated, with a lot of extra movement -- he doesn't bring his hands set, he has a two-part two-tap stride rather than bringing his foot down flat, and his path to the ball isn't always direct -- but he's strong and has plus bat speed. Behind the plate, he receives well, shows a lot of energy, and showed a plus arm in his warm-up throws. After missing all of his junior year due to Tommy John surgery, he'll be one of the top two high school catchers taken in this year's draft.

OesterPoster
06-19-2007, 10:13 AM
Another article from his local paper, the Punxsutawney Spirit.


Mesoraco ends career with six PAHS records

Written by Dan Walk

PUNXSUTAWNEY - Devin Mesoraco left his mark in Punxsutawney lore by becoming the No. 15 pick by the Cincinnati Reds in the Major League Baseball Draft June 7. But before he was drafted, he was in the midst of not only a record-breaking high school record, but a record-shattering career in red & white.

Mesoraco broke six career-marks once the season concluded, one single-season record in 2007 and one single-season mark in 2005.

"Devin owns most of the major career hitting marks in school history," Punxsy head coach Paul Hetrick said. "He totally dominated in runs, hits and walks. I can't imagine anyone ever scoring as many runs as he did or being walked as much as he was; but as they say, all records are made to be broken, so you never know."

Mesoraco walked 91 times in his high school career to destroy the previous record at 44. In 2007, he walked 31 times to compile the single-season record.

His 122 career runs scored also wiped away the previous mark of 64. The career-hit record toppled as well, since Mesoraco finished with 101 to beat out 80 hits, the previous number.

Mesoraco also set the mark in home runs (18), doubles (25) and stolen bases (35).

After another productive season of driving in runs, Mesoraco also ended his career with 67 RBIs and is second on the all-time triple list with five.

Mesoraco's best season of scoring runs was 2005 when he scored 40, a PAHS single-season record.

"He put together some truly amazing stats," Hetrick said. "Devin was a major reason for our success over the years. Most of all, he was a winner, and he compiled those numbers while doing his best to help his team win games, and his teams won a lot of games through the years. We wish him continued success on his climb through the Reds' system."

...The Chucks have won four-straight District IX Class AAA titles, and Mesoraco was part of the varsity squad all four years.

Blitz Dorsey
06-20-2007, 03:27 PM
I think he will start out with the GCL Reds in low rookie ball and will probably play the rest of the summer there. Hopefully he tears it up and they move him up to Billings for a little bit -- that would be a great sign. They play some good baseball in Billings.

Benihana
06-20-2007, 03:27 PM
Its official, he's in the fold.

http://frontier.cincinnati.com/blogs/redsinsider/

Blitz Dorsey
06-20-2007, 03:31 PM
As for the Tommy John surgery, a lot of pitchers say it actually gives them more life on their fastball. And they are abusing their arms much more than catchers. I don't think it's that bad of a thing for a catcher to have TJ surgery. I would be more concerned if he had a shoulder injury or something like that. Sounds like his arm is actually better than ever.

But I do understand it's not good to have surgery this young because you want the arm to hold up over time. But he sounds like a kid who will take good care of it and will work out hard. And he will no longer be a pitcher! He hurt his arm in summer ball pitching, I believe. As just a catcher, he won't put nearly as much stress on his arm as he would have as a pitcher. I continue to love this pick very much. It's about time the organization addressed what has been a dismal situation at catcher for years.

bucksfan2
06-21-2007, 09:42 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for the Tommy John surgery, a lot of pitchers say it actually gives them more life on their fastball. And they are abusing their arms much more than catchers. I don't think it's that bad of a thing for a catcher to have TJ surgery. I would be more concerned if he had a shoulder injury or something like that. Sounds like his arm is actually better than ever.


I had heard a few years ago that some people were saying all young pitchers should get Tommy John because it strengthens their arm. I also thought that once you had that surgery that your arm comes back stronger than before. I dont really see this as a problem at all.

redsmetz
06-21-2007, 02:42 PM
Is it just me or is this the quietest Reds draft signing anyone's ever seen?

dougdirt
06-21-2007, 02:45 PM
Is it just me or is this the quietest Reds draft signing anyone's ever seen?

I agree completely. He signed yesterday right? Nothing on Reds.com to suggest it at all.

11larkin11
06-21-2007, 02:53 PM
Nothing from C. Trent either. Marc was always on the ball, CTR seems to post everything when he posts his game threads.

Blitz Dorsey
06-21-2007, 10:49 PM
C. Trent miss deadline.

See Trent not tell us anything new.

See Trent run.

redsmetz
06-22-2007, 05:41 AM
Well, the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper is reporting it:


SARASOTA, Fla. - Former PAHS baseball player Devin Mesoraco traveled to Sarasota, Fla. to officially sign with the Cincinnati Reds Thursday. To start his career with the Reds, he will play for the Sarasota Reds in the Gulf Coast League.
The GCL's season began Tuesday, and Mesoraco is expected to receive his first game action as a pro at the start of next week.

reds44
06-22-2007, 06:11 PM
From the Reds:



CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Reds today signed top draft pick C Devin Mesoraco (6-2, 200, R-R) of Punxsutawney (PA) Area High School. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Mesoraco, 18, was selected by the Reds with the 15th pick overall in the opening round of Major League Baseball’s June first-year player draft. He will be assigned to the Gulf Coast League's Sarasota Reds.

"Devin is a little better athlete than you normally get at that position. It is a hard position to fill in the majors and in the minors, so we're pleased to find a catcher who is such a good athlete with such good makeup," said senior director of scouting Chris Buckley. "He runs well, and he's a good thrower. We're very thrilled to have him."

Mesoraco this season hit .467 with 4 HR, 21 RBI, a .632 on-base percentage and a .911 slugging percentage. He was the Gatorade Player of the Year for Pennsylvania and was ranked by Baseball America as one of the best prospects in the country.

He holds Punxsutawney High career records for walks (91), runs scored (122), hits (101), doubles (25), home runs (18) and stolen bases (35) and PHS single-season records for walks (31 in 2007) and runs scored (40 in 2005).

He is just the third catcher ever taken by the Reds with their top draft pick (Dan LaMar in 1979, Dan Wilson in 1990).

OnBaseMachine
06-23-2007, 12:48 AM
Red sign first-round pick Mesoraco
High school catcher finishes season, inks deal with Cincy
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Once a certain major issue was hurdled, it didn't take long for catcher and first-round pick Devin Mesoraco to sign with the Reds.

First, he had to graduate from high school.

"Devin didn't graduate until [last] Friday and he was still playing," Reds scouting director Chris Buckley said. "So we were taking our time."

Rules prohibit players from signing while still in school. The deal was finalized and announced on Friday after Mesoraco passed his physical.

Taken 15th overall in the 2007 First Year Player Draft on June 7, Mesoraco starred behind the plate for Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney High School. He will immediately report to the Reds' Gulf Coast League affiliate in Sarasota, Fla.

The contract is a Minor League deal with terms of Mesoraco's likely seven-figure bonus not revealed by the Reds.

Mesoraco, who turned 19 on Tuesday, had a scholarship waiting at the University of Virginia to fall back on as potential leverage for a better deal but said on Draft day he wanted to join the Reds. He should benefit from signing quickly rather than sitting out as negotiations dragged on through the summer.

"That helps a lot," Buckley said by phone from Florida. "That first year for anyone, even college players, is a transitional year. There are wooden bats. Instead of playing three times a week, you're playing five or six times a week. He'll go from Pennsylvania to the humidity of Florida and play every day.

"It's good to get that first year behind you."

A 6-foot-1, 195 pounder that bats right-handed, Mesoraco participated in the Pennsylvania high school state tournament. He finished his high school career batting .467 with four homers, 21 RBIs, a .632 on-base percentage and a .911 slugging percentage. He was named his state's Gatorade Player of the Year.

"He did very well and had a terrific season, as did his team," Buckley said. "We're happy to have him."

Mesoraco was the first catcher taken in the first round by Cincinnati since Dan Wilson in 1990.

The Reds made 50 picks in the Draft and have signed close to 30 of them. New rules set an Aug. 15 deadline to sign selected players or the team's rights would be lost. That effectively ended the practice of "draft and following" players.

"We're almost finished," Buckley said.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070622&content_id=2043376&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

harangatang
06-23-2007, 01:49 AM
I like the idea that the Reds realize they have other depth problems besides pitching. The catching position has the least depth in the Reds minor leagues so it encourages me they are at least attempting to address it.

Az. Reds Fan
06-23-2007, 12:41 PM
"We're almost finished," Buckley said.

I sure hope they're not almost finished...

We've still got 2 sup. picks left (Frazier, Lotzkar), number 2 (Cozart), 3 (Carroll), 4 (Stouffer) and Number 8 (O'Neill) unsigned.

Mabey he means these guys are just about locked up...I hope.

dougdirt
06-23-2007, 12:43 PM
Well if they sign those guys its probably the last of the guys that they will be able to sign.

HokieRed
06-23-2007, 01:01 PM
Az. Fan doesn't mention Hildenbrandt. Is something going on with him? I hope we sign him; from watching all the available videos, I think he's the best prospect in the lot. Obviously that's limited evidence, but he throws low 90's with very little effort.

OnBaseMachine
06-23-2007, 01:21 PM
Of the remaining unsigned draft picks, Todd Frazier, Kyle Lotzkar, Zach Cozart, Scott Carroll, Blake Stouffer, Evan Hildenbrandt, Taylor Jordan, Andrew O'Neil, and Scott Alexander are the one's I want signed. James Nelson, 39th round 6'6" RHP HS pitcher would be nice also, but I doubt he'll sign.

In order of preference:

Todd Frazier
Kyle Lotzkar
Evan Hildenbrandt
Scott Carroll
Blake Stouffer
Zach Cozart
Taylor Jordan/Scott Alexander
Andrew O'Neil

I would be satisfied if just one of Alexander/Jordan were signed.

BTW, Lotzkar doesn't graduate from HS until June 29th, so don't worry about him.

reds44
06-23-2007, 01:52 PM
What's with these guys not graduation high school until so late. Our last day was in the first week of June (I want to say 5th) and our seniors graduate June 3rd.

OnBaseMachine
06-23-2007, 03:36 PM
Reds sign No. 1 draft pick

Catcher Devin Mesoraco, the Reds' No. 1 draft pick (15th overall), signed a contract Friday in Sarasota and begins his professional career with the Gulf Coast Rookie Reds.

"We are very pleased to reach an agreement with Devin and are looking forward to getting him on the field soon," GM Wayne Krivksy said.

Mesoraco, 18, hit .467 with four homers and 21 RBIs this spring for Punxsutawney (Pa.) High School.

Pitcher Kyle Lotzkar, a third-round sandwich pick, remains unsigned but visited the team here Friday. He is from nearby Delta, British Columbia.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/reds/2007/06/23/ddn062307redsnotes.html

fearofpopvol1
06-24-2007, 12:34 AM
I want to know what is going on with Frazier. Anyone know??

AmarilloRed
06-25-2007, 12:58 AM
It seems Mesoraco will be placed on the fast track by starting with the High-A Sarasota team.

11larkin11
06-25-2007, 12:59 AM
I believe he's starting with the GCL Reds. He is on their roster. You may be confused because it said he was going to Sarasota, but thats where the GCL Reds are located too.

AmarilloRed
06-25-2007, 01:40 PM
I must be mistaken. I thought it said he was starting with the Sarasota team.

redsmetz
06-25-2007, 02:24 PM
I must be mistaken. I thought it said he was starting with the Sarasota team.

Both the high Single A club and the Rookie teams are in Sarasota. He'll be playing with the Rookie team.

D-Man
06-26-2007, 01:10 PM
Carlos Gomez broke down the mechanics of all the 1st round picks. His summary of Mesoraco: "From a potential point-of-view, I like the pick. There's work to do though." He thinks Mesoraco is athletic, has quick wrists, but needs to stop "lunging" after pitches.

To my mind, Devin's swing needs some work from his set position. He sets his hands directly behind (and nearly above) his head--he won't get away with that in the bigs.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/breaking-down-the-drafts-1st-round-picks-11-20/

BTW, he didn't like Dominguez's swing *at all*.

Screwball
06-26-2007, 06:33 PM
With Mesoraco signing his contract a few days ago, I'm curious as to why he hasn't appeared in a game for the GCL Reds yet. Is it standard procedure for the first round pick to wait a couple days after signing to get in a game, or is it something else?

dougdirt
06-26-2007, 08:03 PM
He started today.

Mario-Rijo
06-28-2007, 06:54 PM
Hadn't seen this posted anywhere yet.


Shortstop Zack Cozart, the Cincinnati Reds second round selection of the 2007 First Year Player Draft out of the University of Mississippi has been added to the active roster of the Dayton Dragons. Cincinnati selected Cozart with the team's fourth pick and he was the third position player taken by the Reds in the draft.

http://http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3496172

Does this mean Valaika is on his way to Sarasota?

reds44
06-28-2007, 07:02 PM
Hadn't seen this posted anywhere yet.



http://http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3496172

Does this mean Valaika is on his way to Sarasota?
I would think so. Where is Fraizer going to go when he gets signed? If Cozart is starting in Dayton, I would assume they won't send Fraizer to rookie ball. Maybe the just don't see Fraizer as a SS.

Mario-Rijo
06-28-2007, 07:08 PM
I would think so. Where is Fraizer going to go when he gets signed? If Cozart is starting in Dayton, I would assume they won't send Fraizer to rookie ball. Maybe the just don't see Fraizer as a SS.

You're probably right. My guess is he will play 3rd to start and then probably move to LF or RF. Or since Francisco is in Dayton maybe they go ahead and start him right out in the COF. It's hard to say.

Mario-Rijo
06-28-2007, 07:09 PM
**edited** meant to make this a post to itself!

reds44
06-28-2007, 07:13 PM
You're probably right. My guess is he will play 3rd to start and then probably move to LF or RF. Or since Francisco is in Dayton maybe they go ahead and start him right out in the COF. It's hard to say.
Or do they move Francisco to COF? His power bat certainly could handle left or right, and he is been nothing short of horrible at 3rd this year. I think I would put Fraizer at 3rd and Francisco in left or right.

BRM
06-29-2007, 11:39 AM
Cozart still isn't listed on the Dragon's website.

Dragon's roster (http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ros&cid=459)

OesterPoster
06-29-2007, 12:03 PM
He's listed on this one though:

http://www.daytondragons.com/dbaseball/roster/

http://daytondragons.com.ismmedia.com/ISM3/thumbcache/4df6b75db12f5e0ee28a9863cf5bb30e.200.jpg

BRM
06-29-2007, 12:05 PM
Interesting. Hopefully we see him in the lineup soon.

Mario-Rijo
06-29-2007, 12:48 PM
Or do they move Francisco to COF? His power bat certainly could handle left or right, and he is been nothing short of horrible at 3rd this year. I think I would put Fraizer at 3rd and Francisco in left or right.

That's an even better idea, good thinking. That may just be what the Dr. ordered.

11larkin11
06-29-2007, 01:15 PM
If I remember right, Cozart had arguably the best hands in the draft, but not so good of a bat, correct?

OesterPoster
06-29-2007, 01:25 PM
If I remember right, Cozart had arguably the best hands in the draft, but not so good of a bat, correct?

Yes.


Cozart has perhaps the best set of hands in this year's draft class and shortstops who can catch the ball are often hard to find. His lack of speed may hurt his range as the game speeds up and there is a question as to how much he'll hit at the next level. Some see him as a shortstop who can hit in the two-hole, but he also may just be a utilityman who hits ninth.