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Benihana
05-01-2008, 11:45 AM
Time to update the ol' prospect chart. Here's how I stack them up as of May 1:

GRADE A

1. Jay Bruce OF 21 AAA
2. Homer Bailey RHP 22 AAA
3. Daryl Thompson RHP 22 AA

GRADE B

4. Todd Frazier 3B 22 A
5. Drew Stubbs CF 23 A+
6. Josh Roenicke RHP 25 AA
7. Travis Wood LHP 21 A+
8. Matt Maloney LHP 24 AAA
9. Kyle Lotzkar RHP 18 R
10. Chris Valaika 22 2B/SS A+
11. Juan Francisco 1B/OF 21 A+
12. Brandon Waring 3B 22 A

GRADE C

13. Adam Rosales INF 25 AAA
14. Daniel Dorn OF 23 AA
15. Devin Mesoraco C 20 R
16. Justin Turner 23 2B A+
17. Daniel Herrera LHP 23 AAA
18. Tyler Pelland LHP 23 AAA

KEEP AN EYE ON

19. Neftali Soto 2B/3B 18 R
20. Jose Castro SS 21 AA
21. Sean Watson RHP 23 A+
22. Carlos Fisher RHP 25 AA
23. Pedro Viola LHP 24 AA
24. Jordan Smith RHP 22 A+
25. Shaun Cumberland 23 OF AA

ON THE RADAR

BJ Szymanski 25 OF AA
Jeff Jeffords 23 RHP A
Keltavious Jones 22 OF A
Justin Reed 20 OF A
Juan Duran 16 OF R

DROPPED OFF THE RADAR

Sam LeCure 23 RHP AA

Looking at this list, I'd like to see the following guys promoted immediately:

1. Todd Frazier
2. Drew Stubbs
3. Josh Roenicke
4. Chris Valaika
5. Justin Turner

The following guys should be considered for promotion this time next month (around the draft) if they continue to progress:

1. Jay Bruce
2. Homer Bailey
3. Daryl Thompson
4. Travis Wood
5. Brandon Waring

Thoughts?

OnBaseMachine
05-01-2008, 11:55 AM
I would consider putting Todd Frazier in the Grade A group. He's hitting .304/.396/.630 in Dayton after hitting .319/.405/.538 last season. I think he's the Reds second best hitting prospect right now behind Jay Bruce and just ahead of Drew Stubbs. As for Stubbs, if he's still hitting like this in a month then I move him into the Grade A group too.

I think Kyle Lotzkar and Neftali Soto will make a huge leap on this list by the end of the season.

Benihana
05-01-2008, 11:59 AM
I would consider putting Todd Frazier in the Grade A group. He's hitting .304/.396/.630 in Dayton after hitting .319/.405/.538 last season. I think he's the Reds second best hitting prospect right now behind Jay Bruce and just ahead of Drew Stubbs. As for Stubbs, if he's still hitting like this in a month then I move him into the Grade A group too.

I think Kyle Lotzkar and Neftali Soto will make a huge leap on this list by the end of the season.


It's funny you say that, because that was the biggest debate I had with this list- whether to include Frazier in the "A" group or "B" group. I left him in the B for now because I'd like to see him perform well at a higher level, which of course he needs to be promoted to first. Generally, I think of Grade A prospects as Top 50 guys in all of baseball, and I think with very few exceptions (top 5 draft picks, etc.) you have to be dominating a higher level than A ball to be in that category. Regardless, he's definitely on the cusp of that level.

I also like Lotzkar and Soto, and would like to see them both in the 5-10 range by the end of the year.

fearofpopvol1
05-01-2008, 01:12 PM
I think Josh Roenicke is too high on the list. He's been good, but he walks way too many batters. I wouldn't put him in the "C" list, but I'd definitely move him down a lot further on the "B" list.

HBP
05-01-2008, 01:15 PM
Sean Watson is a disappointment. He's been bad since he got promoted to Sarasota last year.

Patrick Bateman
05-01-2008, 01:39 PM
I would have guys like Mesoraco and Duran up ahead o utility types like Rosales.... I know there are little numbers to go with, but IMO, talent tops utility ceilings. We've had this similar debate before with Stubbs, and eventually he started putting up decent numbers to leapfrog Valaika and Turner.

It's about trying to predict the future, and even though we have nothing to work with regarding Duran, I can say that I would rather have him in the system than a guy like Rosales. Just so much projectibility. I'm confident that a few years down the line, the numbers put up due to his immense skill level should easily be enough to merit more value than the utility types.

My feeling is that the best case result of Rosales and co. still don't leave me enough to get me excited about them as prospects, just as role players, and because of that I'll take the riskier, but much greater upside picks that could ultimately result in above average regulars.... at skill positions to boot.

Overall though a good list... I agree with most of the underlying rankings and groups.

OnBaseMachine
05-01-2008, 02:08 PM
Good post AK.

I agree with ya on Juan Duran. I think at this time next season he'll be the best prospect in the Reds system just ahead of guys like Lotzkar, Soto, Frazier, Stubbs, Mesoraco and this years first round pick.

camisadelgolf
05-01-2008, 02:14 PM
I'm not trying to nitpick, but is Pelland really back in AA?

OnBaseMachine
05-01-2008, 02:17 PM
Pelland is in Louisville.

Benihana
05-01-2008, 02:34 PM
Good post AK.

I agree with ya on Juan Duran. I think at this time next season he'll be the best prospect in the Reds system just ahead of guys like Lotzkar, Soto, Frazier, Stubbs, Mesoraco and this years first round pick.

I doubt Duran will reach that level in rookie ball at age 17. That said, I do agree that Duran and even Mesoraco have considerable more upside than most of the players rated in the "C" category and below. However, as a matter of personal principle, I'm waiting until they produce something before I start bumping them up the list. If I had to rank them in terms of who I'd want in the organization (due to upside), the list would be considerably different. It would look more like this:

1. Bruce
2. Bailey
3. Thompson
4. Frazier
5. Duran
6. Stubbs
7. Lotzkar
8. Wood
9. Mesoraco
10. Soto

But of course like I said, I'd like to see some kind of numbers -at some professional level- before I start moving guys way up the list. Duran's major league ETA is four years away at the absolute minimum, and therefore I'm just keeping him around as someone to "keep an eye on."

There's always going to be a debate on the upside/readiness ratio for every prospect list. Rosales, Dorn, Turner, and Herrera have considerably less upside than the other guys in the Top 20, and that is why I rated them as "C" prospects right now, despite their high performance at advanced levels. Mesoraco has shown nothing at the professional level, so he remains in the lower category but maybe more appropriately should be someone to "keep an eye on" along with guys like Soto. As I said before, I hope that Soto, Lotzkar, Mesoraco, and eventually Duran will all be "Grade A" or at least "Grade B" prospects before long. But that day has not come...yet.

Benihana
05-01-2008, 02:45 PM
After a little bit of thought, I thought I'd define the categories again for everyone:

Grade A: Generally a top 50 prospect in all of baseball, these guys have the upside to be All-Stars at the major league level.

Grade B: These guys have trade value right now, and (generally) project to be major league regulars.

Grade C: At best a throw-in for a trade, these guys should make the majors at some point but may never be good enough to be regulars.

Keep an Eye On/On the Radar: High upside guys that could easily rocket up the charts with a decent string of production. More often than not, they could fall into the boom or bust category.

(I realize that by these definitions, Mesoraco probably belongs in the last category. However I included him in Group C for now because of his high draft position- and subsequent higher ranking.)

Patrick Bateman
05-01-2008, 02:46 PM
I doubt Duran will reach that level in rookie ball at age 17. That said, I do agree that Duran and even Mesoraco have considerable more upside on most of the players rated in the "C" category and below. However, as a matter of personal principle, I'm waiting until they produce something before I start bumping up the list. If I had to rank them in terms of who I'd want in the organization (due to upside), the list would be considerably different. It would look more like this:

1. Bruce
2. Bailey
3. Thompson
4. Frazier
5. Duran
6. Stubbs
7. Lotzkar
8. Wood
9. Mesoraco
10. Soto

But of course like I said, I'd like to see some kind of numbers -at some professional level- before I start moving guys way up the list. Duran's major league ETA is four years away at the absolute minimum, and therefore I'm just keeping him around as "someone to keep an eye on."

There's always going to be a debate on the upside/readiness ratio for every prospect list. Rosales, Dorn, Turner, and Herrera have considerably less upside than the other guys in the Top 20, and that is why I rated them as "C" prospects right now, despite their high performance at advanced levels. Mesoraco has shown nothing at the professional level, so he remains in the lower category but maybe more appropriately should be "someone to keep an eye on" along with the others like Soto and Castro. As I said before, I hope that Soto, Lotzkar, Mesoraco, and eventually Duran will all be "Grade A" or at least "Grade B" prospects before long. But that day has not come...yet.

But isn't that what a prospect list is about? Taking all the warts (age, stats, etc.) and determining who's overall value is greater?

That's how I look at it, and it's why I think lack of stats should not be reason enough to put guys like Valaika ahead of them.

Because our underlying rankings are really quite similar... we both would rather have upside in our organization rather than low upside less risky players (as shown by your second list). So I'm just not sure what the difference is between the two lists. The guys I'd rather have, I consider the better prospects because ultimately I think their value will be higher to the Reds in the long run. The lack of production doesn't stop that for me.

Kc61
05-01-2008, 03:05 PM
Turner and Herrera may be short of stature but will be major leaguers. I would put them at the low end of the B list. I think Fisher and Viola are too high, IMO. Not convinced either is a major leaguer.

Benihana
05-01-2008, 03:08 PM
But isn't that what a prospect list is about? Taking all the warts (age, stats, etc.) and determining who's overall value is greater?

That's how I look at it, and it's why I think lack of stats should not be reason enough to put guys like Valaika ahead of them.

Because our underlying rankings are really quite similar... we both would rather have upside in our organization rather than low upside less risky players (as shown by your second list). So I'm just not sure what the difference is between the two lists. The guys I'd rather have, I consider the better prospects because ultimately I think their value will be higher to the Reds in the long run. The lack of production doesn't stop that for me.

You make good points regarding the players' underlying value. I just think it's unfair to put kids high on a list that are at least four or five years from ever contributing anything at the big league level. You have to have some kind of likelihood to hit their upside-component built in, or else you're literally just scouting their tools. Mesoraco and Duran have an abundance of talent, but it's both unrealistic and unfair to place these kids so high on the team's list at this point, ahead of so many guys that have completely outperformed them. You have to factor that in somehow.

Benihana
05-01-2008, 03:10 PM
I think Fisher and Viola are too high, IMO. Not convinced either is a major leaguer.

Neither am I despite their electric stuff. That's why they're only guys to "keep an eye on."

Patrick Bateman
05-01-2008, 03:38 PM
You make good points regarding the players' underlying value. I just think it's unfair to put kids high on a list that are at least four or five years from ever contributing anything at the big league level. You have to have some kind of likelihood to hit their upside-component built in, or else you're literally just scouting their tools. Mesoraco and Duran have an abundance of talent, but it's both unrealistic and unfair to place these kids so high on the team's list at this point, ahead of so many guys that have completely outperformed them. You have to factor that in somehow.

I do to a degree... but when the talent is potential above average regular vs. potential utility player, the talent is too big to ignore. If the more likely guy projected to be a regular, albeit with less ability than the raw guy, that's when you have to put a higher emphasis on readiness.

I kind of think of prospect rankings as a value ranking, as in which guys have the biggest trade value. If you were looking to scoop up some kids in a trade, would you really target close utility players over raw kids with huge upsides? I wouldn't think so. There's a reason why Juan Duran compared favourably to the top draftable players in this year's class while the Rosales types fall into the middle rounds. It's because the utility types are just too easily replaceable, and even if the chance to get a regular material player out of the raw guys is more risky, the payoff is too big to ignore. Nobody has trouble finding the low upside guys, the talented guys are rare. From a value standpoint there's really no question which player is more valuable to an organization.

I see what yor saying, but in the end, I still would take potential over results/low upside guys every time. There's just such minimal payoff with utility types that even if they do develop, that I really don't care either way. At least if Duran develops you know it will bring a meaningful impact.

mth123
05-01-2008, 08:46 PM
Where is Shaun Cumberland?

Benihana
05-01-2008, 10:30 PM
Where is Shaun Cumberland?

KEEP AN EYE ON
#25 Shaun Cumberland 23 OF AA

I obviously like what he's done so far this year, but I want to see it continue (at a higher level) for more than one month. His career numbers aren't nearly as impressive.

mth123
05-01-2008, 10:34 PM
KEEP AN EYE ON
#25 Shaun Cumberland 23 OF AA

I obviously like what he's done so far this year, but I want to see it continue (at a higher level) for more than one month. His career numbers aren't nearly as impressive.

Sorry. Missed it.

Benihana
05-01-2008, 10:41 PM
I do to a degree... but when the talent is potential above average regular vs. potential utility player, the talent is too big to ignore. If the more likely guy projected to be a regular, albeit with less ability than the raw guy, that's when you have to put a higher emphasis on readiness.

I kind of think of prospect rankings as a value ranking, as in which guys have the biggest trade value. If you were looking to scoop up some kids in a trade, would you really target close utility players over raw kids with huge upsides? I wouldn't think so. There's a reason why Juan Duran compared favourably to the top draftable players in this year's class while the Rosales types fall into the middle rounds. It's because the utility types are just too easily replaceable, and even if the chance to get a regular material player out of the raw guys is more risky, the payoff is too big to ignore. Nobody has trouble finding the low upside guys, the talented guys are rare. From a value standpoint there's really no question which player is more valuable to an organization.

I see what yor saying, but in the end, I still would take potential over results/low upside guys every time. There's just such minimal payoff with utility types that even if they do develop, that I really don't care either way. At least if Duran develops you know it will bring a meaningful impact.

I definitely see where you're coming from. I guess if I had to subtitle this list, I'd call it Projected Future Impact on the Reds. It is a formula that gives the most consideration to a player's upside (Grade A guys project to future All-Stars) but also strongly factors in their ability to reach their upside.

A player like Mesoraco, for instance, is interesting because he has such a high chance at never even making the major leagues. OTOH, guys like Rosales will surely reach the big leagues, but clearly lack the upside to make a huge splash.

I would rather trade the player with the lower ceiling, but after all factors are considered, he is more likely to have more of an impact on the Reds. My trade list would look quite different from this list, hence the one I posted earlier (regarding upside.) In the meantime think of the prospect list as kind of a draft board, where guys with lower upsides will sometimes get picked ahead of guys with much higher ceilings because they are "closer to the bigs." Think Daniel Moskos in last year's draft.

AmarilloRed
05-02-2008, 01:20 AM
Daniel Dorn had a fairly impressive year last year: I think he belongs on the B- List of prospects. It is possible you would like to see him do it multiple years before you put him on that list. It will be interesting to see how Dorn responds after coming back from the injury.

Patrick Bateman
05-02-2008, 03:52 AM
I definitely see where you're coming from. I guess if I had to subtitle this list, I'd call it Projected Future Impact on the Reds. It is a formula that gives the most consideration to a player's upside (Grade A guys project to future All-Stars) but also strongly factors in their ability to reach their upside.

A player like Mesoraco, for instance, is interesting because he has such a high chance at never even making the major leagues. OTOH, guys like Rosales will surely reach the big leagues, but clearly lack the upside to make a huge splash.

I would rather trade the player with the lower ceiling, but after all factors are considered, he is more likely to have more of an impact on the Reds. My trade list would look quite different from this list, hence the one I posted earlier (regarding upside.) In the meantime think of the prospect list as kind of a draft board, where guys with lower upsides will sometimes get picked ahead of guys with much higher ceilings because they are "closer to the bigs." Think Daniel Moskos in last year's draft.

The difference with Moskos is that not only was he closer to the major leagues to his peers, but he also had the ability to be a regular starter. I get your point though.

I'm not at all suggesting to ignore readiness, or probability of reaching the majors, but I do think those factors should take a back seat when the talent level only suggests role player. In that case, the high upside/high risk types are much more desirable to me.

But again, as I said, I agree with many of your points, and appreciate the list. Good posts.

lollipopcurve
05-02-2008, 09:08 AM
Valaika could be a better hitter than folks are acknowledging at this point. He had a blazing start in low A last year, then tailed off considerably after being promoted to high A. Now he is ravaging high A at 22, and his power is spiking. I have the sense this kid is a pure hitter and may force the Reds' hand by 2010. He's going to have to take more walks, clearly, but my guess is that he's got the baseball acumen to adapt as he goes.

HokieRed
05-02-2008, 11:07 PM
As poor as the hitting is on the Reds, I think Tonys Gutierrez deserves to be at least "on the radar."

camisadelgolf
05-03-2008, 08:44 AM
Gutierrez has great plate discipline but is left-handed and has hardly any power. I don't think there's a spot on the Reds for him. Ryan Hanigan, on the other hand, is right-handed and can produce similar offensive stats from the catcher position.

MWM
05-03-2008, 11:26 AM
I'm not a familiar with Frazier as some, so I was wondering if there's a reason he's 22 and still in Low A. I tend to not get too excited about prospects performing well when they're fairly old for their level in the minors. Same for Stubbs. I'll wait to see how he performs at levels in the minors consistent with his age and experience before I get too excited about it.

OnBaseMachine
05-03-2008, 11:36 AM
I'm not a familiar with Frazier as some, so I was wondering if there's a reason he's 22 and still in Low A. I tend to not get too excited about prospects performing well when they're fairly old for their level in the minors. Same for Stubbs. I'll wait to see how he performs at levels in the minors consistent with his age and experience before I get too excited about it.

He was drafted last year and was assigned to rookie league Billings despite being an advanced college hitter. IMO he should have been in Low-A last year and High-A or even Double-A to begin this season but the Reds like to have all their top prospects spend at least half a season in Dayton because of the great atmosphere. My guess is we'll see him in Sarasota or Chattanooga by July. His polished bat will allow him to move quickly, IMO we could see him in Cincy as soon as late 2009. He'll instantly become the Reds top hitting prospect when Jay Bruce is called up by the Reds.

btw, it's nice to see you around MWM. :)

dougdirt
05-03-2008, 12:51 PM
He'll instantly become the Reds top hitting prospect when Jay Bruce is called up by the Reds.


That is certainly up for debate.

cinredsfan2000
05-04-2008, 11:15 PM
what happened to BJ Szymanski wasnt he one of the top prospects in the reds farm system a coupe of years ago?

fearofpopvol1
05-05-2008, 12:03 AM
That is certainly up for debate.

Who would you debate?

Btw, I'm not disagreeing, just want to hear your take. I'm struggling to think of anyone that looks to be more of a sure thing with the bat (outside of Bruce) than Frazier. His defense (or lack there of) concerns me though.

camisadelgolf
05-05-2008, 08:16 AM
what happened to BJ Szymanski wasnt he one of the top prospects in the reds farm system a coupe of years ago?

He couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat. He just has major contact issues.

Benihana
05-05-2008, 09:34 AM
Who would you debate?

Btw, I'm not disagreeing, just want to hear your take. I'm struggling to think of anyone that looks to be more of a sure thing with the bat (outside of Bruce) than Frazier. His defense (or lack there of) concerns me though.

Knowing Doug, I'm sure he would put Stubbs up there with Frazier. Funny thing is, if Stubbs can continue to rake in AA, he might have something. However at this point, I'd still take Frazier eight days a week.

dougdirt
05-05-2008, 10:36 AM
Who would you debate?

Btw, I'm not disagreeing, just want to hear your take. I'm struggling to think of anyone that looks to be more of a sure thing with the bat (outside of Bruce) than Frazier. His defense (or lack there of) concerns me though.

Stubbs. Although if the quote was merely hitter, rather than player I will agree with it.... but the entire package is a lot different than just hitting and I took it as prospect that hits, not hitter.

OnBaseMachine
05-05-2008, 10:54 AM
Stubbs. Although if the quote was merely hitter, rather than player I will agree with it.... but the entire package is a lot different than just hitting and I took it as prospect that hits, not hitter.

I was talking just hitter.

DannyB
05-05-2008, 11:05 AM
DROPPED OFF THE RADAR

Sam LeCure 23 RHP AA

Yikes I liked this guy when he was drafted.What happened?

Betterread
05-05-2008, 11:19 PM
Who would you debate?

Btw, I'm not disagreeing, just want to hear your take. I'm struggling to think of anyone that looks to be more of a sure thing with the bat (outside of Bruce) than Frazier. His defense (or lack there of) concerns me though.

Valaika looks far quicker and smoother at the plate than Frazier. He's a better pure hitter, to my eyes. I'm not a fan of Frazier's swing - he uses his hands too much and it makes his swing path look weird to me. Frazier's got much more patience, though, so he's a quality offensive player. You did say hitter, though.

kheidg-
05-06-2008, 01:00 AM
I don't see any logical reason that Jukich, Gutierrez and Sean Henry are at least not "on the radar" yet BJ Syzmanski makes it...

Aronchis
05-06-2008, 02:33 AM
My top 5 would be:
1.D.Thompson
2.Jay Bruce
3.D.Frazier
4.Homer Bailey
5.C.Valakia

Benihana
05-06-2008, 09:44 AM
I don't see any logical reason that Jukich, Gutierrez and Sean Henry are at least not "on the radar" yet BJ Syzmanski makes it...

They were actually three of the next five guys that would be "On the Radar" if it was extended that long, along with Craig Tatum and Alexander Smit. Don't kid yourself though- each comes along with serious warts. Jukich turns 26 this year and didn't exactly dazzle last year as a 25 year old in high A ball. Henry doesn't project to be much more than a 5th OF type, at least at this point. And Gutierrez hasn't OPSed above 800 since 2005 in Dayton.

Szymanski is pretty interchangeable with any of these guys, as this is really the first year he's had decent production, but despite his contact issues he at least has a higher ceiling- being a 2nd round pick with potential plus power.

dougdirt
05-06-2008, 11:16 AM
My top 5 would be:
1.D.Thompson
2.Jay Bruce
3.D.Frazier
4.Homer Bailey
5.C.Valakia

Aronchis, you think Daryl Thompson is the best prospect in baseball?

Aronchis
05-06-2008, 06:48 PM
Aronchis, you think Daryl Thompson is the best prospect in baseball?

He may be. Thompson has been electric this year since his recovery. Really the story of the minor league season so far. Definitely the story for the Reds farm system thus far. If things change, though, it will be noted. That is how I do farm rankings, player stock game by game, then adding it up.

Things may change. Homer reminds me of a sports car that needs to put all its pieces back together after working on them individually. By June he may get on a roll and take off. Thompson may slowdown abit.

kheidg-
05-06-2008, 08:23 PM
They were actually three of the next five guys that would be "On the Radar" if it was extended that long, along with Craig Tatum and Alexander Smit. Don't kid yourself though- each comes along with serious warts. Jukich turns 26 this year and didn't exactly dazzle last year as a 25 year old in high A ball. Henry doesn't project to be much more than a 5th OF type, at least at this point. And Gutierrez hasn't OPSed above 800 since 2005 in Dayton.

Szymanski is pretty interchangeable with any of these guys, as this is really the first year he's had decent production, but despite his contact issues he at least has a higher ceiling- being a 2nd round pick with potential plus power.

Good points.

Although, Jukich pitched all last season as a 24 year old. He will pitch all this season as a 25 year old - as his birthday is in October. Also he was 8-2 with a 3.55 ERA for Sarasota last year averaging almost a K an inning and less than 7H/9IP.

Henry may not project to much more than a 5th outfielder but I'm not even sure we can say that about Szymanski.

Gutierrez may not have OPS'd over .800 since Single A but neither has Szymanski and it was Gutierrez .847 vs. Szymanski .803. He may not have much power but is a consistant .275-.300 hitter at all levels.