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View Full Version : Taking stock of the minor leaguers heading into 2008



Benihana
12-27-2007, 12:25 PM
With pitchers and catchers only six weeks away, I thought I'd take a gander at the minor league system, and see where people wanted to start several of our prospects. Here is my list (all ages are as of P&C report date):

1. J.Bruce, 20, OF AAA Start in AAA until one of the OF's get hurt, then bring him up and start him everyday. I wouldn't be upset, however, if he was the Opening Day CF.

2. H.Bailey 21, RHP AAA If the Reds can acquire another starter, I start him in AAA until one of the rotation spots open up. At that point, he's up and in the rotation for good. If the Reds don't acquire another SP, I'm fine with him starting the year as the #5.

3. J.Cueto 21, RHP AAA Start in AAA, if he does well I bring him up to pitch out of the bullpen beginning in June. Provided he continues to progress, I give him a couple of spot starts at the end of the summer.

4. T.Frazier 21, SS/3B A I start him in Dayton, but if he hits well he goes to Sarasota by June.

5. M.Maloney 24, LHP AAA He starts as the #3 pitcher in Louisville, assuming Bailey is down there as well. Once Bailey gets called up, he is next in line for spot starting duty if a pitcher goes down in Cincy.

6. J.Roenicke 25, RHP AAA I start him in Louisville, and leave him there until the ASBreak. If he is doing well, look for him in Cincy by the end of the summer.

7. D.Stubbs 23, OF A+ He starts in Sarasota and must continue his hot streak he ended the year with. If he does, he's in Chattanooga by the ASBreak. If he doesn't, he's bust city.

8. T.Wood 21, LHP A+ He also starts in Sarasota, but should look for a call up to Chattanooga around the ASBreak.

9. K.Lotzkar 18, RHP A He should have a good year in Dayton, where he remains all season long.

10. D.Mesoraco 19, C A He should also be slotted in at Dayton for the duration of the season. Hopefully he starts hitting.

11. D.Dorn 23, OF AA He'll start at Chattanooga, but could be in Louisville by midsummer if he keeps hitting. Look for his promotion to coincide with Stubbs coming to Chattanooga.

12. S.Watson 22, RHP A+ He needs to regain his composure with a full season in Sarasota. Hopefully he bounces back and regains his form.

13. C.Fisher 24, RHP AA He'll start in Chattanooga, although he'll be 25 before the season starts. Once Bailey and/or Cueto are promoted to the big club, look for him to fill their spot in the Louisville rotation. He has to gain consistency.

14. A.Rosales 24, INF AAA I start him in Louisville, but let him concentrate on playing one position. He had a solid half of a season in Chattanooga last season, and factoring in his age (he'll be 25 before the ASBreak) this is a good example of needing to challenge thy hitters.

15. J.Francisco 20, 3B A+ His power is tempting, but really needs to improve his plate discipline in Sarasota in order to remain relevant. His fielding needs to continue to improve as well.

Some others:
16. T.Pelland, 24 LHP AAA
17. B.Waring, 21 3B A/A+ (midseason promotion)
18. N.Soto, 18 SS/3B A
19. S.LeCure, 23 RHP AA/AAA (midseason promotion)
20. D.Thompson, 22 RHP A+/AA (midseason promotion)
21. C.Valaika, 22 2B A+
22. P.Viola, 24 LHP AA/AAA (midseason promotion)
23. D.Herrera, 23 LHP AAA
24. J.Turner, 22 2B A+
25. C.Tatum, 24 AA/AAA (midseason promotion)

Thoughts?

*BaseClogger*
12-27-2007, 12:43 PM
Watson is hopefully in AA by midseason

Benihana
12-27-2007, 12:59 PM
Watson is hopefully in AA by midseason

Nah, with his struggles last season, it would be good for him to be coddled a bit and spend a full season in Sarasota. Unless he is completely dominant, I would let him stay there all season.

*BaseClogger*
12-27-2007, 01:09 PM
Nah, with his struggles last season, it would be good for him to be coddled a bit and spend a full season in Sarasota. Unless he is completely dominant, I would let him stay there all season.

I guess you're right... he's gonna end up in the bullpen anyways...

princeton
12-27-2007, 01:34 PM
we should try to trade a lot of these guys.

11larkin11
12-27-2007, 01:37 PM
I have a feeling these Dayton and Louisville teams are going to be awesome. Waring, Soto, Mesoraco, Frazier, Lotzkar, possibly even Hildenbrandt on the same team? Top 3 or Bailey-Cueto-Maloney in Louisville (doubt it happens, Im 99% sure Bailey is in the bigs) along with Rosales and Bruce, and Pelland, Roenicke, and Herrera in the pen.

Benihana
12-27-2007, 01:43 PM
we should try to trade a lot of these guys.

which ones would you like to move (other than Francisco?)

11larkin11
12-27-2007, 01:48 PM
How will the infield in Dayton shore up? Frazier 3B Soto SS Waring 2B?

Benihana
12-27-2007, 01:54 PM
How will the infield in Dayton shore up? Frazier 3B Soto SS Waring 2B?

My guess is Waring ends up at 1B, no way does he play in the middle infield. What will be interesting is to see is which one sticks at SS and who moves to 3B between Frazier and Soto. Maybe Cozart plays at SS (he's the best fielder of the bunch) and either Soto or Frazier goes to the OF?

Blue
12-27-2007, 01:58 PM
I'll bet Frazier starts at High-A in Sarasota.

princeton
12-27-2007, 01:59 PM
which ones would you like to move (other than Francisco?)

a lot of them-- I don't really care whom. My basic take is that number 6 on your list is not obviously more talented than the player who's probably number 46. That's both good and bad. It's bad if you fall in love with your rankings... but it's good if you don't and are willing to give other teams many choices for whom they would like to trade.

you'd probably want to keep Rosales-- only RHed bat-- any CFer, and LHed pitcher. Otherwise, though...

dougdirt
12-27-2007, 02:07 PM
I'll bet Frazier starts at High-A in Sarasota.

Me too. That still begs the question, what happens to the Middle infield with Francisco manning third base we have Valaika, Turner and Frazier for 2 spots.

Benihana
12-27-2007, 02:09 PM
a lot of them-- I don't really care whom. My basic take is that number 6 on your list is not obviously more talented than the player who's probably number 46. That's both good and bad. It's bad if you fall in love with your rankings... but it's good if you don't and are willing to give other teams many choices for whom they would like to trade.

you'd probably want to keep Rosales-- only RHed bat-- any CFer, and LHed pitcher. Otherwise, though...

I completely agree. The rankings now are much less important than they were with The Big 4 headlining the list. That's why I protect Maloney (and the '07 draftees), then offer the O's any three guys they want along with Bailey or Cueto for Bedard. The rankings at this point in time are relatively meaningless.

Benihana
12-27-2007, 02:11 PM
Me too. That still begs the question, what happens to the Middle infield with Francisco manning third base we have Valaika, Turner and Frazier for 2 spots.

Figure out which position suits Frazier the best for the future, and work the other three guys around him. Frazier is miles ahead of the other three in terms of future importance to the organization. I wouldn't be shocked to see Francisco end up in the OF.

dougdirt
12-27-2007, 02:11 PM
a lot of them-- I don't really care whom. My basic take is that number 6 on your list is not obviously more talented than the player who's probably number 46. That's both good and bad. It's bad if you fall in love with your rankings... but it's good if you don't and are willing to give other teams many choices for whom they would like to trade.

you'd probably want to keep Rosales-- only RHed bat-- any CFer, and LHed pitcher. Otherwise, though...

The #6 guy is WAY more talented than the #46 guy. Todd Frazier is the Reds #6 rated guy by Baseball America. Do you really think he isn't more talented than someone like a Denis Phipps type?

Benihana
12-27-2007, 02:15 PM
The #6 guy is WAY more talented than the #46 guy. Todd Frazier is the Reds #6 rated guy by Baseball America. Do you really think he isn't more talented than someone like a Denis Phipps type?

It may have been a bit of hyperbole, but I agree with his general premise. If you look at my rankings, outside of the top 5 guys, nobody is that much sexier than the next.

princeton
12-27-2007, 02:24 PM
sure, I can see a Jordan Smith going right around a Josh Roenicke. I'm not saying who, but it'll happen. Since the team has more quantity than quality, it should try not to fall in love with particular players. There are too many major league holes to fill.

dougdirt
12-27-2007, 02:25 PM
I think there are tiers in our system where the grouping of players really are just all falling in line with eachother. The top 4, then 5-10 are roughly in the same range, then 11-20, then 21-30, then 31-50 all seem to be in line with eachother.

Its not like that in all systems, but in the better systems in baseball, which the Reds likely have the #2/3 system in baseball behind just the Devil Rays and maybe the Red Sox (yeah, how does that one make you feel about competing for a WS over the next 10 years) there is definately a different set of talent. I am not saying don't trade certain guys, but there is certainly a large difference in trade value of a guy like Drew Stubbs/Todd Frazier have a much stronger value (although Frazier can't be traded yet) than someone much lower on the list and its not close to being able to substitute the players for guys in the 15+ range.

Benihana
12-27-2007, 02:29 PM
I think there are tiers in our system where the grouping of players really are just all falling in line with eachother. The top 4, then 5-10 are roughly in the same range, then 11-20, then 21-30, then 31-50 all seem to be in line with eachother.

Its not like that in all systems, but in the better systems in baseball, which the Reds likely have the #2/3 system in baseball behind just the Devil Rays and maybe the Red Sox (yeah, how does that one make you feel about competing for a WS over the next 10 years) there is definately a different set of talent. I am not saying don't trade certain guys, but there is certainly a large difference in trade value of a guy like Drew Stubbs/Todd Frazier have a much stronger value (although Frazier can't be traded yet) than someone much lower on the list and its not close to being able to substitute the players for guys in the 15+ range.


According to my rankings, I think the tiers would look more like this:
1-3
4-5
6-25

In other words, outside of the big four + Maloney and Frazier, everybody is in the same ballpark.

princeton
12-27-2007, 02:34 PM
According to my rankings, I think the tiers would look more like this:
1-3
4-5
6-25.


exactly, although I think it's an even broader set of players in the third class.

I've seen us have stronger players in the 6-10 range, but they're not here right now. So if a team takes a shine to our top 10 players, let them shop. They're very replaceable.

dougdirt
12-27-2007, 02:36 PM
The big 4 + Maloney and Frazier leaves you with one of those guys rated in the same ballpark as the #25 guy.... while I have Maloney higher now (thanks to a more up to date scouting report than I have when I put out my Top 40) at around 13-15, I don't see him being anywhere near Frazier in terms of talent or value. I get that he had success in the upper minors, but I don't see it projecting all that well to the majors (4/5 type guy with a 1.40 WHIP and a 4.75 or so ERA). While that is valuable, I don't have that in the same type of grouping as a Todd Frazier or the Big 4 (or several others for that matter).

Benihana
12-27-2007, 02:40 PM
The big 4 + Maloney and Frazier leaves you with one of those guys rated in the same ballpark as the #25 guy.... while I have Maloney higher now (thanks to a more up to date scouting report than I have when I put out my Top 40) at around 13-15, I don't see him being anywhere near Frazier in terms of talent or value. I get that he had success in the upper minors, but I don't see it projecting all that well to the majors (4/5 type guy with a 1.40 WHIP and a 4.75 or so ERA). While that is valuable, I don't have that in the same type of grouping as a Todd Frazier or the Big 4 (or several others for that matter).

Well I didn't include Votto in my rankings because his career as a minor leaguer is assuredly over. So if you look at my rankings, the 6-25 tier excludes those guys + Maloney and Frazier.

That said, I do like Maloney a lot better than anyone else in the system right now, with the exception of those guys listed above.


exactly, although I think it's an even broader set of players in the third class.

I've seen us have stronger players in the 6-10 range, but they're not here right now. So if a team takes a shine to our top 10 players, let them shop. They're very replaceable.

The only reason I stopped at 25 is because I only listed 25 players. I agree, the third tier could probably be expanded much beyond that.

11larkin11
12-27-2007, 03:08 PM
I have it as the Big 4, then Lotzkar and Frazier, then Maloney

princeton
12-27-2007, 03:33 PM
I have it as the Big 4, then Lotzkar and Frazier, then Maloney


that's very reasonable, but Lotzkar/Frazier/Maloney is based on VERY little data: Maloney's post-Phils run, Frazier's draft status and handful of Dayton atbats, and Lotzkar's draft status and handful of innings at Billings. Nice indicators, but very flawed.

things always change a lot. But in this organization, with our depth but lack of high end players in the 6-10 range, they'll change even more.

good time to trade

dougdirt
12-27-2007, 04:53 PM
that's very reasonable, but Lotzkar/Frazier/Maloney is based on VERY little data: Maloney's post-Phils run, Frazier's draft status and handful of Dayton atbats, and Lotzkar's draft status and handful of innings at Billings. Nice indicators, but very flawed.

things always change a lot. But in this organization, with our depth but lack of high end players in the 6-10 range, they'll change even more.

good time to trade

The Reds have several guys who could be high end types soon. Mesoraco, Frazier, Lotzkar, Wood, Watson and Stubbs all jump to mind who have high upsides and with a good season next year could catapult into 'high end' Top 50 prospects.

Mario-Rijo
12-27-2007, 07:13 PM
With pitchers and catchers only six weeks away, I thought I'd take a gander at the minor league system, and see where people wanted to start several of our prospects. Here is my list (all ages are as of P&C report date):

1. J.Bruce, 20, OF AAA Start in AAA until one of the OF's get hurt, then bring him up and start him everyday. I wouldn't be upset, however, if he was the Opening Day CF.

2. H.Bailey 21, RHP AAA If the Reds can acquire another starter, I start him in AAA until one of the rotation spots open up. At that point, he's up and in the rotation for good. If the Reds don't acquire another SP, I'm fine with him starting the year as the #5.

3. J.Cueto 21, RHP AAA Start in AAA, if he does well I bring him up to pitch out of the bullpen beginning in June. Provided he continues to progress, I give him a couple of spot starts at the end of the summer.

4. T.Frazier 21, SS/3B A I start him in Dayton, but if he hits well he goes to Sarasota by June.

5. M.Maloney 24, LHP AAA He starts as the #3 pitcher in Louisville, assuming Bailey is down there as well. Once Bailey gets called up, he is next in line for spot starting duty if a pitcher goes down in Cincy.

6. J.Roenicke 25, RHP AAA I start him in Louisville, and leave him there until the ASBreak. If he is doing well, look for him in Cincy by the end of the summer.

7. D.Stubbs 23, OF A+ He starts in Sarasota and must continue his hot streak he ended the year with. If he does, he's in Chattanooga by the ASBreak. If he doesn't, he's bust city.

8. T.Wood 21, LHP A+ He also starts in Sarasota, but should look for a call up to Chattanooga around the ASBreak.

9. K.Lotzkar 18, RHP A He should have a good year in Dayton, where he remains all season long.

10. D.Mesoraco 19, C A He should also be slotted in at Dayton for the duration of the season. Hopefully he starts hitting.

11. D.Dorn 23, OF AA He'll start at Chattanooga, but could be in Louisville by midsummer if he keeps hitting. Look for his promotion to coincide with Stubbs coming to Chattanooga.

12. S.Watson 22, RHP A+ He needs to regain his composure with a full season in Sarasota. Hopefully he bounces back and regains his form.

13. C.Fisher 24, RHP AA He'll start in Chattanooga, although he'll be 25 before the season starts. Once Bailey and/or Cueto are promoted to the big club, look for him to fill their spot in the Louisville rotation. He has to gain consistency.

14. A.Rosales 24, INF AAA I start him in Louisville, but let him concentrate on playing one position. He had a solid half of a season in Chattanooga last season, and factoring in his age (he'll be 25 before the ASBreak) this is a good example of needing to challenge thy hitters.

15. J.Francisco 20, 3B A+ His power is tempting, but really needs to improve his plate discipline in Sarasota in order to remain relevant. His fielding needs to continue to improve as well.

Some others:
16. T.Pelland, 24 LHP AAA
17. B.Waring, 21 3B A/A+ (midseason promotion)
18. N.Soto, 18 SS/3B A
19. S.LeCure, 23 RHP AA/AAA (midseason promotion)
20. D.Thompson, 22 RHP A+/AA (midseason promotion)
21. C.Valaika, 22 2B A+
22. P.Viola, 24 LHP AA/AAA (midseason promotion)
23. D.Herrera, 23 LHP AAA
24. J.Turner, 22 2B A+
25. C.Tatum, 24 AA/AAA (midseason promotion)

Thoughts?


Hmm, I like the idea here.

#'s 1,4,5,12-14,16,19-22,24-25 I agree with.

#2 Bailey - I agree mostly assuming he has any command or approach issues lingering in ST. If he still insists on throwing his FB almost exclusively then he goes to AAA and stays until he works it out. If those things look reasonable in ST then he stays with the big club into and beyond OD.

#3 Cueto - I think he goes to AAA to start the season and perhaps comes up as the 5th starter when we go to a 5 man rotation. I assume we may start with a 4 man but I don't know how Dusty will handle those type of things.

#6 Roenicke - I think it's quite possible he starts out in AA and skips to AAA after a short time getting re-adjusted. Probably to AAA in June. I doubt he get's his cup of coffee this yr until Sept. unless the pen struggles again. I am hoping we don't need him until then.

#7 Stubbs - I may be all alone on this idea but I think given his age and struggles in the past I skip a tougher to hit in FSL and send him to start out in Chattanooga. If he can hit there (I think he can) there's no reason to have him ever play in Sarasota. If he is able to continue where he left off in Dayton then he may end the season in AAA, priming him for a shot at a Griffey-less '09 OF.

#8 Wood - I think he may very well go to AA to start, but I am fine with him starting at A+ assuming that he is in line for a quick promotion if all goes well. I am assuming/hoping he will be in AA rather quickly.

#'s 9,10 & 19 (Lotzkar, Mesoraco and Soto) I start off in Dayton and if they do well I keep them there. If they don't then I send them to Billings upon their start of the season. I may do that regardless with Soto and Mesoraco so they can get more PT.

#11 Dorn - I am with you on this but I could see him possibly starting in AAA. I would like to see him improve some vs. LHP 1st but I think he could pull it off in AAA right off.

#15 Francisco - I agree with A+ but only because we have so many guys behind him that need the PT in Dayton. Otherwise I don't think he has learned enough discipline to play in Sarasota. Hopefully he proves me wrong but I don't see it happening.

#17 Waring - I keep him at dayton unless he goes crazy at the plate for an extended period of time. I imagine he and Francisco could be switching 3rd base bags by July 1st, but it's more likely that they will both end the year in Dayton in some capacity. Juan in LF??

#23 Herrera - I start him at AA for a brief stint for the same reasons as Roenicke, however I would be fine with him starting at AAA as well. His makeup gives him a chance to fall on his face perhaps at AAA and still battle back if demoted.

Some other guys who I am also watching for are Cumberland, Castro, Henry, Manuel (could jump quickly), Jukich, Dickerson.


On the Dayton IF to start the season I see this. At least until Frazier proves he cannot play SS and then I make the necc. changes. Moving Cozart back and Frazier platooning 3rd and COF along with Waring. And perhaps a guy like Angel Cabrera could play some 2B in that scenario.

McKennon 1B
Cozart 2B
Frazier SS
Waring 3B

princeton
12-27-2007, 07:49 PM
Mesoraco, Frazier, Lotzkar, Wood, Watson and Stubbs all jump to mind who have high upsides and with a good season next year could catapult into 'high end' Top 50 prospects.

pitchers deserve patience, but Mesoraco and Stubbs jump to mind as guys that could wash out completely next year

So far as I can tell, Bbusst has played only six good weeks during the last three years, while Mesoraco has played only six good weeks during his entire life (which fortunately/unfortunately came right before last year's draft)

gedred69
12-27-2007, 07:57 PM
I give Dorn more props than #11. He has shown the ability/discipline that a GM has to be impressed with. Stubbs needs to show me continued improvement. (He may have been stunted by leading off, having done better a few spots down in the order). That's the organizations' fault if so. Some of the good hitting IF could well end up better suited to OF spots as well. And oh yeah, watch Bartles. He surprised at GCL/Pioneer. It's a wonderful thing to have so many high ceiling young players!

11larkin11
12-27-2007, 09:49 PM
On the Dayton IF to start the season I see this. At least until Frazier proves he cannot play SS and then I make the necc. changes. Moving Cozart back and Frazier platooning 3rd and COF along with Waring. And perhaps a guy like Angel Cabrera could play some 2B in that scenario.

McKennon 1B
Cozart 2B
Frazier SS
Waring 3B[/QUOTE]

Where does Soto play in this scenario? Im thinking someone has to skip to A+, maybe Soto?

Betterread
12-27-2007, 10:01 PM
The Reds have several guys who could be high end types soon. Mesoraco, Frazier, Lotzkar, Wood, Watson and Stubbs all jump to mind who have high upsides and with a good season next year could catapult into 'high end' Top 50 prospects.
I disagree with your assessment of Frazier and Wood as having high ceilings. Frazier is projected as a solid hitter (.280+ with 20/25 HRs) - which is ML average for 3B (I do not think he shows the ability to become a ML shortstop). I don't know what Wood is projected as because he doesn't command a consistent quality breaking pitch. If he doesn't develop a breaking pitch - he's bullpen bound. If his velocity does not return to the 2005 93-94 mph, his ceiling will be that of a middle reliever. His whole future rides on developing a good breaking pitch for 2008.

Betterread
12-27-2007, 10:03 PM
I give Dorn more props than #11. He has shown the ability/discipline that a GM has to be impressed with. Stubbs needs to show me continued improvement. (He may have been stunted by leading off, having done better a few spots down in the order). That's the organizations' fault if so. Some of the good hitting IF could well end up better suited to OF spots as well. And oh yeah, watch Bartles. He surprised at GCL/Pioneer. It's a wonderful thing to have so many high ceiling young players!
Dorn can hit. The problem is that his arm is sub-standard, which is not good for an outfielder. He had surgery on it and it will never be 100%. Maybe if he learned to play 1B.....

Benihana
12-27-2007, 10:19 PM
On the Dayton IF to start the season I see this. At least until Frazier proves he cannot play SS and then I make the necc. changes. Moving Cozart back and Frazier platooning 3rd and COF along with Waring. And perhaps a guy like Angel Cabrera could play some 2B in that scenario.

McKennon 1B
Cozart 2B
Frazier SS
Waring 3B

Where does Soto play in this scenario? Im thinking someone has to skip to A+, maybe Soto?

If anyone out of that group was going to skip to Sarasota, it most assuredly won't be Soto. It would be one of the college guys- either Frazier or Cozart. Cozart's glove and Frazier's bat could play at a higher level, but the flipside of their games need development. Too bad we can't combine them into one guy.

Mario-Rijo
12-27-2007, 10:44 PM
Where does Soto play in this scenario? Im thinking someone has to skip to A+, maybe Soto?

That's the thing about speculating on where someone should play, it's not as easy as just saying well he should so therefore he will. Until you sit down and stack up the guys who clearly should be somewhere you don't always know what's actually ava. The thing with Soto is that he clearly needs to be playing ASAP and can't really afford to wait on Billings to start. But he is somewhat roadblocked, so he either goes to Dayton until Billings starts or.....?

dougdirt
12-27-2007, 11:12 PM
pitchers deserve patience, but Mesoraco and Stubbs jump to mind as guys that could wash out completely next year

So far as I can tell, Bbusst has played only six good weeks during the last three years, while Mesoraco has played only six good weeks during his entire life (which fortunately/unfortunately came right before last year's draft)

The idea that Mesoraco could 'wash out' at the age of 20, in his first full season of minor league baseball is laughable. As far as Drew Stubbs or whatever insult you want to hurl at a guy learning to play the game still.... 6 good weeks of baseball? There are 4 weeks in a month and 9 weeks over 2 months.
June 2006 - 2 weeks - .807 OPS
August 2006 - 2 weeks (injury took away the rest of the month) - .807 OPS
May 2007 - .846 OPS
July 2007 - .925 OPS
August 2007 - .907 OPS

So thats about 17 weeks right there. Let me also ask, how do 3 years come into play for Stubbs? He has spent a year and a half in the system that consisted of 28 weeks of baseball.

As for Mesoraco, he was a fine prospect as a sophomore, hit quite well as a junior (just couldn't play defense because of TJ surgery) and then played very well as a senior season. So what the heck are you talking about? The kid played with two hurt thumbs this summer for the Reds and you are ready for him to wash out already? Jeeze. I hope you aren't an investor.


I disagree with your assessment of Frazier and Wood as having high ceilings. Frazier is projected as a solid hitter (.280+ with 20/25 HRs) - which is ML average for 3B (I do not think he shows the ability to become a ML shortstop). I don't know what Wood is projected as because he doesn't command a consistent quality breaking pitch. If he doesn't develop a breaking pitch - he's bullpen bound. If his velocity does not return to the 2005 93-94 mph, his ceiling will be that of a middle reliever. His whole future rides on developing a good breaking pitch for 2008.

Todd Frazier may only project to hit 25 HR or so, but he also projects to hit about .300/.400 with those 25 HR.

As for Travis Wood.... there are so many left handed pitchers that work fastball/change up and hardly ever throw another pitch that I am not too worried about him developing a third pitch, but while we are talking about it.... he was throwing a curveball this year and it was coming along before the injuries. His change up is probably the best change up of any pitchers in the minor leagues, and his fastball is just fine. Cole Hamels works just fine in the 88-92 MPH range with his change up. He throws his curveball about 12% of the time. Johan Santana mixes in his slider just 12% of the time with his change/fastball. Having a third pitch is more for show at times than anything else.

mth123
12-28-2007, 03:26 AM
With pitchers and catchers only six weeks away, I thought I'd take a gander at the minor league system, and see where people wanted to start several of our prospects. Here is my list (all ages are as of P&C report date):

1. J.Bruce, 20, OF AAA Start in AAA until one of the OF's get hurt, then bring him up and start him everyday. I wouldn't be upset, however, if he was the Opening Day CF.

2. H.Bailey 21, RHP AAA If the Reds can acquire another starter, I start him in AAA until one of the rotation spots open up. At that point, he's up and in the rotation for good. If the Reds don't acquire another SP, I'm fine with him starting the year as the #5.

3. J.Cueto 21, RHP AAA Start in AAA, if he does well I bring him up to pitch out of the bullpen beginning in June. Provided he continues to progress, I give him a couple of spot starts at the end of the summer.

4. T.Frazier 21, SS/3B A I start him in Dayton, but if he hits well he goes to Sarasota by June.

5. M.Maloney 24, LHP AAA He starts as the #3 pitcher in Louisville, assuming Bailey is down there as well. Once Bailey gets called up, he is next in line for spot starting duty if a pitcher goes down in Cincy.

6. J.Roenicke 25, RHP AAA I start him in Louisville, and leave him there until the ASBreak. If he is doing well, look for him in Cincy by the end of the summer.

7. D.Stubbs 23, OF A+ He starts in Sarasota and must continue his hot streak he ended the year with. If he does, he's in Chattanooga by the ASBreak. If he doesn't, he's bust city.

8. T.Wood 21, LHP A+ He also starts in Sarasota, but should look for a call up to Chattanooga around the ASBreak.

9. K.Lotzkar 18, RHP A He should have a good year in Dayton, where he remains all season long.

10. D.Mesoraco 19, C A He should also be slotted in at Dayton for the duration of the season. Hopefully he starts hitting.

11. D.Dorn 23, OF AA He'll start at Chattanooga, but could be in Louisville by midsummer if he keeps hitting. Look for his promotion to coincide with Stubbs coming to Chattanooga.

12. S.Watson 22, RHP A+ He needs to regain his composure with a full season in Sarasota. Hopefully he bounces back and regains his form.

13. C.Fisher 24, RHP AA He'll start in Chattanooga, although he'll be 25 before the season starts. Once Bailey and/or Cueto are promoted to the big club, look for him to fill their spot in the Louisville rotation. He has to gain consistency.

14. A.Rosales 24, INF AAA I start him in Louisville, but let him concentrate on playing one position. He had a solid half of a season in Chattanooga last season, and factoring in his age (he'll be 25 before the ASBreak) this is a good example of needing to challenge thy hitters.

15. J.Francisco 20, 3B A+ His power is tempting, but really needs to improve his plate discipline in Sarasota in order to remain relevant. His fielding needs to continue to improve as well.

Some others:
16. T.Pelland, 24 LHP AAA
17. B.Waring, 21 3B A/A+ (midseason promotion)
18. N.Soto, 18 SS/3B A
19. S.LeCure, 23 RHP AA/AAA (midseason promotion)
20. D.Thompson, 22 RHP A+/AA (midseason promotion)
21. C.Valaika, 22 2B A+
22. P.Viola, 24 LHP AA/AAA (midseason promotion)
23. D.Herrera, 23 LHP AAA
24. J.Turner, 22 2B A+
25. C.Tatum, 24 AA/AAA (midseason promotion)

Thoughts?

Nice post. I basically agree with a few differences.

1. I'd push Frazier as high as possible to see if he can handle it. I'd start him at 3B in AA.

2. I'd really rather Bailey spend the year in AAA. I think he really needs to work-up to a starters workload in a situation that can be more controlled than the big leagues can. He has thrown 105, 138 and 120 innings the last 3 years and just isn't ready. IMO he needs 150 to 160 innings no more, no less in 2008. Too big an innings jump is too big a risk IMO. Working on his command while he's at it certainly woudn't hurt either. I'd rather Cueto and Maloney stay at AAA as well. Of the three I think Cueto may be most ready based on his Winter Ball numbers and his innings pitched. Maloney probably needs a little time at AAA but I think he is also more ready than Bailey. Maloney threw 170+ innigs in 2007.

3. I basically agree on Roenicke, but since he projects as a power set-up guy, I'd give him a chance to win that job on the Reds in Spring Training. Come in and Throw hard doesn't need as much prep time as pitchers in other roles. If he has command issues than send him down.

4. I'm guessing Mesoraco should stay at Billings in 2008. Given how he performed, Dayton seems like a huge jump for a high school kid.

5. I'd start Daryl Thompson off in AA. He seems like he's ready to step forward.

6. Not sure what to make of Watson. He's probably a bullpen guy who could come quickly in that role. I know the Reds wanted him to start to get enough innings to develop his pitches. Not sure where that stands. There is a crowd at AA and A+ for rotation spots, a move back to the pen might change things, but he stays in A+ if he's a starter. If the Reds make a deal trading a pitcher or two, I'm speculating that it could affect which way they go with him depending on who goes.

Benihana
12-28-2007, 09:35 AM
The idea that Mesoraco could 'wash out' at the age of 20, in his first full season of minor league baseball is laughable. As far as Drew Stubbs or whatever insult you want to hurl at a guy learning to play the game still.... 6 good weeks of baseball? There are 4 weeks in a month and 9 weeks over 2 months.
June 2006 - 2 weeks - .807 OPS
August 2006 - 2 weeks (injury took away the rest of the month) - .807 OPS
May 2007 - .846 OPS
July 2007 - .925 OPS
August 2007 - .907 OPS

So thats about 17 weeks right there. Let me also ask, how do 3 years come into play for Stubbs? He has spent a year and a half in the system that consisted of 28 weeks of baseball.

As for Mesoraco, he was a fine prospect as a sophomore, hit quite well as a junior (just couldn't play defense because of TJ surgery) and then played very well as a senior season. So what the heck are you talking about? The kid played with two hurt thumbs this summer for the Reds and you are ready for him to wash out already? Jeeze. I hope you aren't an investor.



Todd Frazier may only project to hit 25 HR or so, but he also projects to hit about .300/.400 with those 25 HR.

As for Travis Wood.... there are so many left handed pitchers that work fastball/change up and hardly ever throw another pitch that I am not too worried about him developing a third pitch, but while we are talking about it.... he was throwing a curveball this year and it was coming along before the injuries. His change up is probably the best change up of any pitchers in the minor leagues, and his fastball is just fine. Cole Hamels works just fine in the 88-92 MPH range with his change up. He throws his curveball about 12% of the time. Johan Santana mixes in his slider just 12% of the time with his change/fastball. Having a third pitch is more for show at times than anything else.

It might be a little early to make any judgements on Mesoraco this season, although I'm not optimistic. Start him in Billings if you want, but if a Top 15 draft pick can't even make his way to A ball in his second season, it's not a good sign. Stubbs on the other hand, better hit and hit well for the first couple months this season, especially if he's only in Sarasota. If he doesn't, like I said, he's bust city.

I do like Wood, and will be interested to see if he can finally remain healthy for a full season this year, and what he can do if he does. That said, he's got a long way to go before he approaches the same category as Bailey, Cueto, or even Maloney.

On another note, after reconsidering, I wouldn't be opposed to starting Frazier in Sarasota. Chattanooga would be too much of a jump, but Sarasota would be about right. Figure out where his future is on the diamond and place him there, then work Valaika, Turner, and Francisco around him.

membengal
12-28-2007, 11:10 AM
Benihana, he's just a baby in baseball terms. And, a catcher to boot. The usual progression for players really doesn't apply to him. To say there is NO rush here is an understatement. If he's major league ready with a decent stick in five years by the age of 24, he would be one of the hot prospects in baseball, so rare are catchers who can hit and defend.

Benihana
12-28-2007, 11:29 AM
Benihana, he's just a baby in baseball terms. And, a catcher to boot. The usual progression for players really doesn't apply to him. To say there is NO rush here is an understatement. If he's major league ready with a decent stick in five years by the age of 24, he would be one of the hot prospects in baseball, so rare are catchers who can hit and defend.

If anything I was agreeing with Doug about Mesoraco- I agree that there is no rush at all. However, if he can't hit his weight in his second year in rookie ball, there is cause for concern, especially considering the track record of high school catchers taken in the first round of the draft.

princeton
12-28-2007, 11:49 AM
this FO has been drafting for need in the first round-- RHHing CFer, RHHing catcher, both plus defenders. Maybe Mesoraco and Stubbs makes them feel a lot better about those spots. However, if Mesoraco slugs .300 again, or if Stubbs strikes out in half of his atbats, then they'll consider drafting for either position again.

otherwise, I'd probably look for a topflight shortstop in the first round if they don't go pitching or RHHing OFer

personally, I think that Mesoraco will come through. It's not due to anything that he showed. My reasoning is simply that this SD hasn't missed THAT badly on any high round pick, yet, plus my grandmother could slug .450 at Billings.

I also hold out hope for Stubbs, but it's an important year for him. He at least has to keep his K rate where it is as he advances. And if low A pitchers can find holes in your swing...

it's interesting that some of our players hit better in Chattanooga than in Sarasota. That's not the first time that's happened. It might be worth jumping a couple of hitters straight from Dayton to AA. I probably wouldn't do Stubbs because of K's, but Justin Turner could go immediately, and Todd Frazier after a couple of months in Dayton.

lollipopcurve
12-28-2007, 11:50 AM
Start him in Billings if you want, but if a Top 15 draft pick can't even make his way to A ball in his second season, it's not a good sign.

Not necessarily true, in my opinion. First of all, there are two levels of Rookie ball -- Billings is the natural progression from the GCL. Second, it's not all that unusual for high school kids to repeat years in the GCL. Justin Reed started 07 in the GCL after playing all of 06 there -- he moved to Billings midyear. Many feel it's crucial for a kid to have success at a level before promoting. Pushing Mesoraco to Dayton -- at any time in 08 -- would likely be a mistake, and I really doubt they'd do it. I would not be at all surprised -- or alarmed -- if he returned to the GCL in 08. I'd like to see him get to Billings at some point, but I wouldn't consider it a dark sign if he stayed in the GCL all summer, so long as his numbers jumped markedly.

Benihana
12-28-2007, 12:14 PM
I'd like to see him get to Billings at some point, but I wouldn't consider it a dark sign if he stayed in the GCL all summer, so long as his numbers jumped markedly.

That's exactly the point: his numbers have to jump markedly. Otherwise, I begin to get concerned.

lollipopcurve
12-28-2007, 01:33 PM
That's exactly the point: his numbers have to jump markedly. Otherwise, I begin to get concerned.

That's if he repeats the GCL. If he goes to Billings. I wouldn't need to see the same jump offensively. You have to remember that as a catcher he has more defensive repsonsibilities than other players, and he'll have less time/energy for offense.

Benihana
12-28-2007, 01:49 PM
That's if he repeats the GCL. If he goes to Billings. I wouldn't need to see the same jump offensively. You have to remember that as a catcher he has more defensive repsonsibilities than other players, and he'll have less time/energy for offense.

I do remember that. But I also remember Dane Sardinha, Jose Roderiguez, Brian Prince, Stephen Booth, Lonny Roa, Miguel Perez, and many, many others...

In other words, this organization has yet to develop even one catcher into a major leaguer this decade. And I'm not going to hold my breath for Devin. I hope he hits, I really do, but we'll see...

Benihana
12-28-2007, 01:59 PM
Not necessarily true, in my opinion. First of all, there are two levels of Rookie ball -- Billings is the natural progression from the GCL. Second, it's not all that unusual for high school kids to repeat years in the GCL. Justin Reed started 07 in the GCL after playing all of 06 there -- he moved to Billings midyear. Many feel it's crucial for a kid to have success at a level before promoting. Pushing Mesoraco to Dayton -- at any time in 08 -- would likely be a mistake, and I really doubt they'd do it. I would not be at all surprised -- or alarmed -- if he returned to the GCL in 08. I'd like to see him get to Billings at some point, but I wouldn't consider it a dark sign if he stayed in the GCL all summer, so long as his numbers jumped markedly.

Furthermore, show me how many top 15 picks (position players especially) have repeated a year in rookie ball, even in this organization. Justin Reed may have been one example, but he was a fourth round pick. That's a far cry from an early first round pick.

I'm not saying I'm ready to declare Devin a bust by any stretch- it is far too early for that. I'm just saying he better start hitting, and soon- especially if he's going to remain in Rookie ball.

membengal
12-28-2007, 02:07 PM
Or else...what?

The usual rules with regard to hitting don't necessarily apply to catchers, or progression, for that matter. Particularly HS catchers. We won't really know his trajectory toward bust or not for at least two more seasons...

dougdirt
12-28-2007, 02:14 PM
It might be a little early to make any judgements on Mesoraco this season, although I'm not optimistic. Start him in Billings if you want, but if a Top 15 draft pick can't even make his way to A ball in his second season, it's not a good sign. Stubbs on the other hand, better hit and hit well for the first couple months this season, especially if he's only in Sarasota. If he doesn't, like I said, he's bust city.


I don't think there is any doubt that Mesoraco will start in Dayton unless he really struggles in spring training. Despite what you think you can see in his numbers, the Reds saw him in person and know whats up with the kid. He won't start in Billings.

As for Stubbs, even if he has a bad season (sub .800 OPS) its not exactly bust city, but it gets a lot closer. However there is nothing that suggests he is on that path. I see him splitting time between Sarasota and Chattanooga next year, hitting much better in Chattanooga than Sarasota.

princeton
12-28-2007, 02:17 PM
That's if he repeats the GCL. If he goes to Billings. I wouldn't need to see the same jump offensively.

oh, you would need to see it on account of princeton's Pat Watkins Rule.

in the past 15 years, the lowest OPS that any future big leaguer posted at Billings was Jason LaRue's .742. That's the low water mark. Really, you need to see .780 or higher.

It's been the single best early predictor of which Reds prospects position players would never work out. Pat Watkins, Gookie Dawkins, and Johnny Oliver couldn't OPS higher than .750 and, of course, didn't make it.

it's a great way for kids to learn quickly if they should switch to pitching or to another career. Craig Tatum? try relieving. Paul Janish? think about the mound, too. Josh Holden? stay in the Army

Drew Stubbs? .768. Gonna be tough....

Benihana
12-28-2007, 02:26 PM
Or else...what?

The usual rules with regard to hitting don't necessarily apply to catchers, or progression, for that matter. Particularly HS catchers. We won't really know his trajectory toward bust or not for at least two more seasons...


And what rules are those? In the last 10 years, there have been 17 catchers selected in the first/sandwich round. Do you know how many of those catchers repeated rookie league (including advanced rookie league) in their second professional season? Zero.

Of those 17 catchers selected in the first round, do you know how many earned more than a cup of coffee in the big leagues? Two (Joe Mauer and Jarrod Saltalamacchia)

So I ask you again, please tell me what rules you are referring to? If Mesoraco remains in Rookie ball all season long, and doesn't improve his hitting dramatically, his outlook will be pretty grim.

Benihana
12-28-2007, 02:29 PM
I don't think there is any doubt that Mesoraco will start in Dayton unless he really struggles in spring training. Despite what you think you can see in his numbers, the Reds saw him in person and know whats up with the kid. He won't start in Billings.

As for Stubbs, even if he has a bad season (sub .800 OPS) its not exactly bust city, but it gets a lot closer. However there is nothing that suggests he is on that path. I see him splitting time between Sarasota and Chattanooga next year, hitting much better in Chattanooga than Sarasota.

I hope you're right on both accounts. I hope Mesoraco starts the season in Dayton (and hits), and I hope Stubbs can hit enough to earn himself a June promotion to Chattanooga. But that's what is great about this time of year- hope springs eternal.

dougdirt
12-28-2007, 02:29 PM
Just food for thought, Derek Jeter hit .202/.296/.312 in the GCL his first pro year. The next year he OPS'd .770 in low A.

membengal
12-28-2007, 02:36 PM
Well, Benihana, the rules that people in these parts seem to apply to high draft picks in wanting immediate return. Drafting a HS catcher is a ****load different in terms of expectation and immediate return than drafting, say, a college OF. By "rules" I am simply saying that one brush should not be used to paint the progress of those respective picks. To put a paticular expectation on Morosco for 2008 in terms of production (which, of course, is your right) is something I don't find too reasonable (my right). But, by all means, lay on however much expectation of Morosco at the age of 19 and one year removed from HS as a catcher you wish. But I won't join you in that kind of meet-this-mark-or-he's-a-bust gamesmanship just yet...

Benihana
12-28-2007, 02:42 PM
Well, Benihana, the rules that people in these parts seem to apply to high draft picks in wanting immediate return. Drafting a HS catcher is a ****load different in terms of expectation and immediate return than drafting, say, a college OF. By "rules" I am simply saying that one brush should not be used to paint the progress of those respective picks. To put a paticular expectation on Morosco for 2008 in terms of production (which, of course, is your right) is something I don't find too reasonable (my right). But, by all means, lay on however much expectation of Morosco at the age of 19 and one year removed from HS as a catcher you wish. But I won't join you in that kind of meet-this-mark-or-he's-a-bust gamesmanship just yet...

That's why I used the historical data of catchers drafted in the first or sandwich rounds, not college outfielders. You're well entitled to reserve judgement as long as you want. But in "taking stock of the minor leaguers heading into 2008" as this thread is entitled, I think its only fair to expect the guy with the $1.4 MM signing bonus to be able to earn himself a roster spot in Dayton in his second professional season. I don't think that's as much demanding immediate results as it is expecting him to fall in line with the other 17 players that have been drafted at his position in the past ten years.

And for the record, his name is Mesoraco, not Morosco.

lollipopcurve
12-28-2007, 02:57 PM
Furthermore, show me how many top 15 picks (position players especially) have repeated a year in rookie ball, even in this organization. Justin Reed may have been one example, but he was a fourth round pick. That's a far cry from an early first round pick.

I'm not saying I'm ready to declare Devin a bust by any stretch- it is far too early for that. I'm just saying he better start hitting, and soon- especially if he's going to remain in Rookie ball.

You won't find many top-15 picks who repeat rookie ball, that's true. Neither will you find HS catchers taken in the first 15 picks very often (the only one that leaps to mind is Mauer). Mesoraco is a bit of an anomaly, so if you're looking for comparables in order to draw conclusions about him, I think you'll be frustrated. As Belichick would say, he is what he is.

The rush to judgment on high draft picks is notorious here. But I think it should be acknowledged that Mesoraco's position requires we be more patient with him as a hitter. At this point, I'd be just as happy to hear reports of his defensive excellence than of his advancing skills with the stick.

mth123
12-28-2007, 03:05 PM
I'm guessing the organization would want Jake Long (22 in April), who had an .807 OPS at Billings and has some college, to play at Dayton in 2008. That would be Long's next logical step. Older guys like Jason Bour and Frank Meade will probably be the back ups. The Reds actually drafted Long in 2004 and when he didn't sign took him again in 2005. Somebody (not sure who or if that person survived the regime change) liked him a little.

Mesoraco won't be 20 until around draft time and a year in Billings won't hurt him. He'll be playing against a lot of College guys and second year high schoolers like himself. It isn't really holding him back for him to play in Billings. It's a step up from where he played last year and whether you put much stock in it or not, he didn't exactly knock the door down. If Mesoraco plays well for a month, he can move up.

Benihana
12-28-2007, 03:16 PM
I'm guessing the organization would want Jake Long (22 in April), who had an .807 OPS at Billings and has some college, to play at Dayton in 2008. That would be Long's next logical step. Older guys like Jason Bour and Frank Meade will probably be the back ups. The Reds actually drafted Long in 2004 and when he didn't sign took him again in 2005. Somebody (not sure who or if that person survived the regime change) liked him a little.

Mesoraco won't be 20 until around draft time and a year in Billings won't hurt him. He'll be playing against a lot of College guys and second year high schoolers like himself. It isn't really holding him back for him to play in Billings. It's a step up from where he played last year and whether you put much stock in it or not, he didn't exactly knock the door down. If Mesoraco plays well for a month, he can move up.

That's fine, I'm not going to cry if D-Mes plays in Billings this year, even though I'd rather see him in Dayton. I've already said earlier on this thread it's way too early to call him a bust. However, if he does go to Billings, he needs to hit and hit well if he's going to continue to stay in high regard.

membengal
12-28-2007, 03:20 PM
Benihana wrote:


Mesoraco, not Morosco

Oooohhh, ya got me. My bad for wading into this part of the site. I will wade back out.

And, pretty much agree with everything lollipop said up above a few posts. Pretty much captures what I think in a nutshell.

But, hey, if folks want to rush to judgement with Meserwhatever his name is, why not? It's what is done on this part of the forum a lot, so I will stop whizzing into the wind.

princeton
12-28-2007, 03:23 PM
Furthermore, show me how many top 15 picks (position players especially) have repeated a year in rookie ball, even in this organization.

8th round pick in 1980 repeated a Rookie League:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/D/Eric-Davis.shtml


it's why my award for most improved minor leaguer is the Eric Davis Award. I'm happy to give it to Mesoraco in 2008

Benihana
12-28-2007, 03:27 PM
Furthermore, show me how many top 15 picks (position players especially) have repeated a year in rookie ball, even in this organization.

8th round pick in 1980 repeated a Rookie League:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/D/Eric-Davis.shtml


it's why my award for most improved minor leaguer is the Eric Davis Award. I'm happy to give it to Mesoraco in 2008

(you do know there is a sizeable difference between an 8th round pick and a top 15 pick?)

That said, if Mesoraco OPS's over 1.000 this year, he will be hitting and hitting well, and I too will be happy!

Cyclone792
12-28-2007, 03:32 PM
oh, you would need to see it on account of princeton's Pat Watkins Rule.

in the past 15 years, the lowest OPS that any future big leaguer posted at Billings was Jason LaRue's .742. That's the low water mark. Really, you need to see .780 or higher.

It's been the single best early predictor of which Reds prospects position players would never work out. Pat Watkins, Gookie Dawkins, and Johnny Oliver couldn't OPS higher than .750 and, of course, didn't make it.

it's a great way for kids to learn quickly if they should switch to pitching or to another career. Craig Tatum? try relieving. Paul Janish? think about the mound, too. Josh Holden? stay in the Army

Drew Stubbs? .768. Gonna be tough....

Sounds like a pretty good quick'n dirty test. I'd be interested in seeing more big leaguers too if you have anything handy, especially broken down into regular starters vs. bench fodder.

LaRue's an interesting name to see as the low point. Some power for a catcher, and quite a bit of his offensive value during his peak years was sticking the arm out over the plate and taking some HBPs for the team.

mth123
12-28-2007, 03:36 PM
That's fine, I'm not going to cry if D-Mes plays in Billings this year, even though I'd rather see him in Dayton. I've already said earlier on this thread it's way too early to call him a bust. However, if he does go to Billings, he needs to hit and hit well if he's going to continue to stay in high regard.

I think he'll move fast if he hits but it isn't a total loss if he takes longer. At 20, he'll be younger than a lot of the players in his league if he plays at Billings. That league has a lot of 21/22 year olds who put 3 years in college. Frazier and Waring, for example, were older there last year than Mesoraco would be in 2008.

I'm guessing the catching depth lines up as follows:

Hanigan and Colina in AAA.
Tatum and Kroski at AA.
Eddie Rodriguez and Justin Tordi at A+
Jake Long and Frank Meade at A-
Mesoraco and Jason Bour at Billings

princeton
12-28-2007, 03:43 PM
Sounds like a pretty good quick'n dirty test. I'd be interested in seeing more big leaguers too if you have anything handy, especially broken down into regular starters vs. bench fodder.

start here, and select a particular year then select Billings. It only goes back to 1992, I think

http://minors.baseball-reference.com/leaguelist.cgi?lid=PIO

this method can't tell you who will hit in the majors, because you'll get a lot of non-players that OPS pretty high in Billings. But it predicts who'll never hit in the majors, which is pretty valuable information.

maybe the reason that some of these guys never hit was due to poor developers-- batters had to at least be able to hit at a certain level coming into the organization, because we couldn't teach well. So if Stubbs becomes a hitter, it'll be a positive sign that things have really improved on the developmental front.

princeton
12-28-2007, 03:48 PM
(you do know there is a sizeable difference between an 8th round pick and a top 15 pick?)


I guess that you didn't mean top 15 rounds

ED's first season isn't much different than DM's 2007 season. Similarities, in fact, are rather eerie. Same BA, same slugging percentage, same BB:K ratio. Davis walked more, struck out more. Today's Northwest League has older players than the Florida rookie league but I couldn't tell you how it was in 1980. ED was a little younger than DM, and probably had experienced a lower level of competition (other than Daryl Strawberry, of course)

two interesting notes: first, Reds decided to move ED to a new position after his horrible year. He went from SS to OFer even though he hit like a bad SS. Gutsy move. second, Reds reportedly considered cutting Davis after 1980, in spite of his speed, even in the Go-Go-'80's.

I assume that there are no thoughts of cutting DM or switching his position...

speaking of which, I've often wondered if it's a better developmental approach for a good defensive catcher to concentrate on advancing his hitting by working for a year or two strictly as a first baseman. I imagine that being a good defensive catcher is like riding a bike-- you can go back to it. Mesoraco, in fact, didn't catch during his junior year, but was rated a fine defender during his senior season. I got this idea while watching Dane Sardinha hit.

Mario-Rijo
12-28-2007, 04:36 PM
And what rules are those? In the last 10 years, there have been 17 catchers selected in the first/sandwich round. Do you know how many of those catchers repeated rookie league (including advanced rookie league) in their second professional season? Zero.

Of those 17 catchers selected in the first round, do you know how many earned more than a cup of coffee in the big leagues? Two (Joe Mauer and Jarrod Saltalamacchia)

So I ask you again, please tell me what rules you are referring to? If Mesoraco remains in Rookie ball all season long, and doesn't improve his hitting dramatically, his outlook will be pretty grim.

Just playing devil's advocate here as I don't have anything to back up my thought except some degree of logic. But I wonder how many of those 1st rd catcher's were rushed and that had as much or more to do with their demise? I mean perhaps f.o.'s ought to change their approach regarding the handling of certain players, mainly 1st rounders. There is a ton of pressure on these kids already and perhaps this is exactly the wrong approach in terms of getting the best out of your investment.

I mean it may seem a tad unlikely but it could make all the difference to a kid that young and far away from home. And with an already high profile amongst his peers, to have that added pressure of performing to the tune of a different standard could be too much.

Edd Roush
12-28-2007, 07:13 PM
I really agree with doug's point about Derek Jeter. I read his autobiography a while back and he wrote about how terrified he was that first year just getting out high school.

Obviously, some top 15 high school position players hit the ground running, but others do in fact struggle, like Jeter and Mesoraco.

Let's hope Mesoraco's natural abilities shine through and he uses last season as a lesson and he is working his butt off this off-season to be ready for next year. I am a perrenial optimist, so I see no reason why Mesoraco will not improve next year. I really think he will get the job done.

Betterread
12-28-2007, 08:01 PM
I guess that you didn't mean top 15 rounds

ED's first season isn't much different than DM's 2007 season. Similarities, in fact, are rather eerie. Same BA, same slugging percentage, same BB:K ratio. Davis walked more, struck out more. Today's Northwest League has older players than the Florida rookie league but I couldn't tell you how it was in 1980. ED was a little younger than DM, and probably had experienced a lower level of competition (other than Daryl Strawberry, of course)

two interesting notes: first, Reds decided to move ED to a new position after his horrible year. He went from SS to OFer even though he hit like a bad SS. Gutsy move. second, Reds reportedly considered cutting Davis after 1980, in spite of his speed, even in the Go-Go-'80's.

I assume that there are no thoughts of cutting DM or switching his position...

speaking of which, I've often wondered if it's a better developmental approach for a good defensive catcher to concentrate on advancing his hitting by working for a year or two strictly as a first baseman. I imagine that being a good defensive catcher is like riding a bike-- you can go back to it. Mesoraco, in fact, didn't catch during his junior year, but was rated a fine defender during his senior season. I got this idea while watching Dane Sardinha hit.
Good point about ED and his start to the pros. I was going to say that ED was 18 during his second pro year - he was a young draftee.
I agree with you about catchers. But my opinion is that it not easy but such a hard position (other than for Joe Mauer) to master that I wonder if it commands so much physical effort and mental concentration on the defensive aspect that it deleteriously affects the offense of young catchers.