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princeton
08-06-2008, 08:41 AM
if you go back to the preseason Reds top prospects (I'll take the BA rankings), you see that the following prospects have shown very solid progress in 2008:

1. Jay Bruce; 3. Joey Votto; 4. Johnny Cueto; 5. Drew Stubbs; 6. Devin Mesoraco; 7. Todd Frazier; 8. Juan Francisco; 9. Josh Roenicke; 11. Kyle Lotzkar; 12. Jared Burton; 13. Chris Valaika; 14. Neftali Soto.

out of the top 14, only Homer Bailey (no. 2) and Matt Maloney (10) have disappointed a bit, and those two aren't clear washouts-- they just seem to have plateaued. Maloney's been on DL for quite a while.

I guess that you can argue about Francisco, but he's done better than I had expected. He'll make the jump to AA easily; as for the majors, it'll depend on whether he learns to handle lefthanded pitchers.

usually the Reds show many more washouts than this. For instance, the 2006 list had 8 next-year stumbles: 6.Travis Wood; 7. Sean Watson;8. Milton Loo; 9. Paul Janish; 11. Cody Strait; 12. Sam LeCure;13. Josh Ravin; 14. James Avery.

HokieRed
08-06-2008, 09:40 AM
On this theme a story not getting told enough is what Sean Watson is doing at Chatt. ERA for the year does not tell the story. Here's last ten games: 11.1/4 hits/ 1 ER / 7w's/15 K's. Even with the 5.61 ERA for the year, his batting average against is .196. In July, it was .116 and so far in August it is .083. Needs still to reduce the walks but he is mastering AA very nicely.

princeton
08-06-2008, 10:05 AM
Even with the 5.61 ERA for the year...

I don't forgive that ERA as easily as you do. but it's good to see a sign of life out of him, and the lefty Viola. a good arm can develop very quickly, as Burton and then Cueto and lately Thompson have shown.

Reds won't be as highly regarded next year, but Alonso will replace Bruce, Daryl Thompson will replace Cueto, Zack Stewart will replace Burton, Cozart moves up, and Baseball America will wax poetic about Rodriguez and Duran because we'll tell them to. still shy of pitching, but we've been in MUCH worse shape before

but a key is prospects continuing to not wash out. If that can continue, then Jocketty will have lots of room to maneuver.

RedlegJake
08-06-2008, 10:50 AM
"but a key is prospects continuing to not wash out. If that can continue, then Jocketty will have lots of room to maneuver."

I agree. And if the Reds '08 draft proves productive depth wise the Reds will continue to have solid talent in the pipeline as the more advanced prospects "graduate". Looking at the GCL and Billings, I'm encouraged about that. Alonso and Stewart are the "studs" of the '08 class but there also appears to be good depth.

princeton
08-06-2008, 11:11 AM
I agree. And if the Reds '08 draft proves productive depth wise the Reds will continue to have solid talent in the pipeline as the more advanced prospects "graduate". Looking at the GCL and Billings, I'm encouraged about that. Alonso and Stewart are the "studs" of the '08 class but there also appears to be good depth.


I'm not seeing that.

but it's early.

OnBaseMachine
08-06-2008, 11:20 AM
Nice post princeton. It's good to finally see the farm system producing talent for the first time in years.

HokieRed
08-06-2008, 11:35 AM
I'm not forgiving the ERA on Watson, but the point of minor-league-baseball is to improve and he's doing that in a very powerful way. As one who watches a lot of minor-league baseball, it's my view that you simply have to watch the month-by-month numbers because you don't know what they are trying to get a guy to do. With a pitcher it doesn't have to be as radical as trying to teach him a new pitch; it can just be trying to get him to throw in zones where he hasn't been comfortable. Until he gets it, he can get shelled. Watson did this at Sarasota too and it's the best sign of all: the ability to learn and adjust, then succeed at each level. Sometimes that's better than just blowing through the level without ever having to really learn any kind of command--e.g. Homer Bailey.

Kc61
08-06-2008, 11:46 AM
Roenicke, Watson and Stewart seem to all be hard throwing righties who clearly have major league stuff. It's just a question of command, development of another pitch, growth.

So I still view Watson as a major prospect for the Reds. His stats may not help him with the prospect lists, but all that's irrelevant. Some time next year he'll likely get to AAA and then let's see if his walk numbers and ERA are acceptable by then.

I feel the same way about Francisco. Major league talent, major prospect. He doesn't walk enough, so let's see if he can improve that area in the two years he likely has left in the minors. Worth following, regardless of the numbers (which are actually pretty good).

princeton
08-06-2008, 11:54 AM
I'm not forgiving the ERA on Watson, but the point of minor-league-baseball is to improve and he's doing that in a very powerful way. As one who watches a lot of minor-league baseball, it's my view that you simply have to watch the month-by-month numbers because you don't know what they are trying to get a guy to do. With a pitcher it doesn't have to be as radical as trying to teach him a new pitch; it can just be trying to get him to throw in zones where he hasn't been comfortable. Until he gets it, he can get shelled. Watson did this at Sarasota too and it's the best sign of all: the ability to learn and adjust, then succeed at each level. Sometimes that's better than just blowing through the level without ever having to really learn any kind of command--e.g. Homer Bailey.

either he has improved, or else he's showing that he's another one of those guys that is so wildly inconsistent that he can never pitch in a big league bullpen.

I prefer your idea, but it's just a few innings. Ryan Wagner was awesome-- I mean awesome-- for one entire season, doing things that he had NEVER done before. So we thought it was for real, drafted him no. 1, and next year found out that it was just a long good stretch.

I distrust relievers that aren't consistent. it's too easy to put several good outings in a row-- it's still just a few innings.

HokieRed
08-06-2008, 02:54 PM
There's a difference in development pattern between Watson and Wagner that points in Watson's favor. Wagner, like a reliever version of Bailey, blew through every level, pushed of course by Jimbo's need to look like he could draft somebody too. He never had to learn to throw a slider in the zone. When he got to the majors he got people out until they figured out he couldn't throw that nuclear slider in the zone; they laid off it, he had to throw his pretty ordinary fastball and that was that. Watson has struggled first, then gotten much better, at both Sarasota and Chattanooga. This is a much better pattern. Homer's had to learn it at the major leagues and, if you look carefully at the Gameday record of today's start, there's some good evidence that he's learning.

princeton
08-06-2008, 07:22 PM
There's a difference in development pattern between Watson and Wagner that points in Watson's favor. Wagner, like a reliever version of Bailey, blew through every level, pushed of course by Jimbo's need to look like he could draft somebody too. He never had to learn to throw a slider in the zone. When he got to the majors he got people out until they figured out he couldn't throw that nuclear slider in the zone; they laid off it, he had to throw his pretty ordinary fastball and that was that. Watson has struggled first, then gotten much better, at both Sarasota and Chattanooga. This is a much better pattern. Homer's had to learn it at the major leagues and, if you look carefully at the Gameday record of today's start, there's some good evidence that he's learning.

you're using Homer Bailey's "adjustments" as evidence that Sean Watson is going to do better than Ryan Wagner did?

I'll be thrilled if Watson begins to show consistency let alone dominance, but I'm still keeping in mind that he's had 15 good innings in two years.

Kingspoint
08-07-2008, 04:36 AM
The thing about Josh Ravin is that he's still only 20. He doesn't turn 21 until next January while he's playing at a level where most of the players are 22 in Dayton. Ravin's struggling mightily, but so is Mesoraco, who also is 20. Mesoraco is regressing again offensively. He had a good June and first part of July, but since the All-Star break he's back to where he was in April. That's just hitting, of course. He's probably much improved defensively, which at this point is a lot more important. Ravin will be at Dayton for all of next season, too with no worries. He was a 5th Round pick in 2006, but he's still really, really young.

Kingspoint
08-07-2008, 04:38 AM
I'm not forgiving the ERA on Watson, but the point of minor-league-baseball is to improve and he's doing that in a very powerful way. As one who watches a lot of minor-league baseball, it's my view that you simply have to watch the month-by-month numbers because you don't know what they are trying to get a guy to do. With a pitcher it doesn't have to be as radical as trying to teach him a new pitch; it can just be trying to get him to throw in zones where he hasn't been comfortable. Until he gets it, he can get shelled. Watson did this at Sarasota too and it's the best sign of all: the ability to learn and adjust, then succeed at each level. Sometimes that's better than just blowing through the level without ever having to really learn any kind of command--e.g. Homer Bailey.

That is very true.

daBeast
08-07-2008, 06:02 AM
dont undaestimeate kevin barker hes got 16 homers.we cud call him up to play firstbase an trade votto for haren.

NorrisHopper30
08-07-2008, 08:15 AM
dont undaestimeate kevin barker hes got 16 homers.we cud call him up to play firstbase an trade votto for haren.

:laugh:

Nasty_Boy
08-07-2008, 09:47 AM
I thought Mesoraco was only 19.

My bad... he turned 20 in June.

princeton
08-07-2008, 10:01 AM
Mesoraco is regressing again offensively. He had a good June and first part of July, but since the All-Star break he's back to where he was in April.

he has shown enough offense for a young catcher, but a lot less than I think the Reds were expecting. The Reds called him their best hitting prospect in last year's draft (over Frazier)

HokieRed
08-07-2008, 10:44 AM
Mesoraco's holding his own in a pitcher's league one year out of high school in a marginal baseball state. That's just fine.

OnBaseMachine
08-07-2008, 11:11 AM
dont undaestimeate kevin barker hes got 16 homers.we cud call him up to play firstbase an trade votto for haren.

Kevin Barker is 33 years old and has a .769 OPS in AAA.

princeton
08-07-2008, 11:32 AM
in a marginal baseball state

I keep wondering when are we going to quit using that as an excuse?

some pretty good baseball played in PA, BMO.

redsof72
08-07-2008, 04:23 PM
The marginal baseball state is a very valid point for many reasons. One is simply the fact that he has played far fewer games than prospects from southern states. Mesoraco as a hitter is coming along fine, although he has hit a little slump the last few days. Might be getting a little tired in his first full season. Keep in mind, they have had only two catchers there all year, meaning he and Bour are catching every bullpen session in the afternoons, warming up every pitcher during the games, etc. Last night, Mesoraco was warming up a pitcher in the bullpen while he was actually in the game (Dragons were at bat). But the fact remains, he has a long way to go defensively. He had a very costly passed ball in the eleventh inning last night that was a key factor in the loss. He is well into double figures in passed balls on the year.

redsof72
08-07-2008, 04:32 PM
If you look at the pre-season top 30 prospects list, the guy who maybe has made the biggest jump is Soto (outside of Thompson, who was somehow left off the list completely). Soto certainly has things to work on, but he has to be in the Reds top 5 now. He has a lightning quick bat with tremendous pop. His only clear weakness is that he is a below average runner and when he puts on weight, he will be downright slow. He is not a polished player by a long shot, but he stands out in the Midwest League as one of the top prospects in the league.

OnBaseMachine
08-07-2008, 04:33 PM
If you look at the pre-season top 30 prospects list, the guy who maybe has made the biggest jump is Soto (outside of Thompson, who was somehow left off the list completely). Soto certainly has things to work on, but he has to be in the Reds top 5 now. He has a lightning quick bat with tremendous pop. His only clear weakness is that he is a below average runner and when he puts on weight, he will be downright slow. He is not a polished player by a long shot, but he stands out in the Midwest League as one of the top prospects in the league.

That's good to hear about him standing out....I definitely have him in my top three of Reds prospects. BTW I love reading your observations. :)

redsof72
08-07-2008, 04:47 PM
As far as Soto, you see the ability. He needs to keep improving. Last night, in one at-bat, he swung and missed at three sliders, none of which were within a foot of the plate. But later in the game, he drilled a double that tied the game. This is a player who is going to put up very good numbers in the minors and fans on these boards will be screaming to move him up, but the problem is, he still needs to learn to play the game. He plays young, makes mistakes that young players make, things that don't show up in the stats but will hurt you. You see tremendous raw ability but you see a player that needs to learn to play the game. That's the problem with trying to judge players on stats alone. It doesn't work. Frazier and Soto are an interesting comparison because Frazier is so polished and plays so precisely, while Soto might actually have more natural ability.

princeton
08-07-2008, 05:34 PM
The marginal baseball state is a very valid point for many reasons.

at some point, it's not.

Frazier's from a marginal baseball state as well. How'd he get so polished and learn to play so precisely, as you say? Tom's River is a GREAT program in NJ, but it's still NJ

redhawk61
08-07-2008, 05:48 PM
Griff's from PA/OH, for what its worth, so he couldn't play all year round

Doc. Scott
08-07-2008, 06:39 PM
at some point, it's not.

Frazier's from a marginal baseball state as well. How'd he get so polished and learn to play so precisely, as you say? Tom's River is a GREAT program in NJ, but it's still NJ

...college?

redsof72
08-07-2008, 06:44 PM
Frazier came out of a youth program that won the Little League World Series. He also played at a Division I college program. Mesoraco is 15 months out of high school.

princeton
08-07-2008, 08:44 PM
Mesoraco is 15 months out of high school.


there you go-- so there is SOME time at which we can quit blaming PA, correct?

couple more years?

in his sixth year as a major leaguer?

upon his retirement?

daBeast
08-08-2008, 12:19 AM
Kevin Barker is 33 years old and has a .769 OPS in AAA.

who carres what his age is , hes got a bunch of homers. nobody cares bout oops or wutever that is cuz its not improtant , only homeruns are wut counts

JaxRed
08-08-2008, 12:24 AM
Is there a Minor League Sun Deck?

OnBaseMachine
08-08-2008, 12:25 AM
Is there a Minor League Sun Deck?

I'm pretty sure it's somebody just messing with us, I just can't figure out who. ;)

camisadelgolf
08-08-2008, 12:58 AM
I'm pretty sure it's somebody just messing with us, I just can't figure out who. ;)

I laughed at this from his profile page:


Favorite Player(s):
darrell rasner (cuz i met him once! ! !!!!!!!!!)

My guess is that it's a bitter Wayne Krivsky trying to get back at those who didn't appreciate him.

Javy Pornstache
08-08-2008, 01:20 AM
I love the gimmick account, myself. Keep rockin', daBeast.

Kingspoint
08-08-2008, 01:21 AM
Might be getting a little tired in his first full season. Keep in mind, they have had only two catchers there all year, meaning he and Bour are catching every bullpen session in the afternoons, warming up every pitcher during the games, etc. Last night, Mesoraco was warming up a pitcher in the bullpen while he was actually in the game (Dragons were at bat).

I had been noticing that. He had been getting a lot of time for a catcher at that level and at that age....at least more than other catchers that I pay attention to.

I hope the overall of what I said about Mesoraco came through. I tried to make sure that it was his defensive abilities that are more important at this stage of his development based upon where he's coming from when the REDS drafted him. And from what I hear, he's developing right on track defensively. The Offensive part of his game has plenty of time to grow. 22 or 23 years old at Chattanooga will be fine.

redsof72, keep coming with the personal reports. Would love to hear more about Mesoraco. I would think he'll be beginning next year at Dayton again. At least I would hope. He's pretty raw.

camisadelgolf
08-08-2008, 02:13 AM
With the lack of catching between Craig Tatum and Mesoraco, I wouldn't be too surprised to see Mesoraco start in the FSL.

redsof72
08-08-2008, 01:38 PM
What a good organization would do in that case is they would decide what level Mesoraco needs to be at and place him there and if that means going out and picking up an organizational guy as a free agent or out of independent ball or the minor league Rule V to play at Sarasota, you do that. Mesoraco needs to begin 2009 in Dayton and he should hit .300+ but he needs to concentrate on improving his defense. Then at mid-season, if you want to move him up to Sarasota, you can release the organizational guy.

camisadelgolf
08-08-2008, 01:52 PM
What a good organization would do in that case is they would decide what level Mesoraco needs to be at and place him there and if that means going out and picking up an organizational guy as a free agent or out of independent ball or the minor league Rule V to play at Sarasota, you do that. Mesoraco needs to begin 2009 in Dayton and he should hit .300+ but he needs to concentrate on improving his defense. Then at mid-season, if you want to move him up to Sarasota, you can release the organizational guy.

I agree completely, but what I mean is that he could improve enough between now and spring of 2009 to be the starting catcher in Sarasota. I wouldn't bet on it, but much crazier things have happened.

kpresidente
08-08-2008, 04:30 PM
Last night, Mesoraco was warming up a pitcher in the bullpen while he was actually in the game (Dragons were at bat).

Good lord, they don't have a back-up infielder or something that can throw on the gear for a few minutes?

Hell, I'd hire a local high-school kid as a summer job. Can they do that?

princeton
08-08-2008, 04:53 PM
Good lord, they don't have a back-up infielder or something that can throw on the gear for a few minutes?

Devin needs the practice.

he's from Pennsylvania.

Kc61
08-08-2008, 05:05 PM
Nice words about Craig Tatum in today's BA Prospect Hot Sheet.

Betterread
08-11-2008, 11:15 AM
if you go back to the preseason Reds top prospects (I'll take the BA rankings), you see that the following prospects have shown very solid progress in 2008:

1. Jay Bruce; 3. Joey Votto; 4. Johnny Cueto; 5. Drew Stubbs; 6. Devin Mesoraco; 7. Todd Frazier; 8. Juan Francisco; 9. Josh Roenicke; 11. Kyle Lotzkar; 12. Jared Burton; 13. Chris Valaika; 14. Neftali Soto.

out of the top 14, only Homer Bailey (no. 2) and Matt Maloney (10) have disappointed a bit, and those two aren't clear washouts-- they just seem to have plateaued. Maloney's been on DL for quite a while.

I guess that you can argue about Francisco, but he's done better than I had expected. He'll make the jump to AA easily; as for the majors, it'll depend on whether he learns to handle lefthanded pitchers.

usually the Reds show many more washouts than this. For instance, the 2006 list had 8 next-year stumbles: 6.Travis Wood; 7. Sean Watson;8. Milton Loo; 9. Paul Janish; 11. Cody Strait; 12. Sam LeCure;13. Josh Ravin; 14. James Avery.
Your comparison is interesting - but I don't know what definitive conclusions you can draw from it other than the following two I mention. The clear conclusion it shows is that our top 15 displayed (at a minimum) sufficient progress to retain prospect status and their projected ceilings. It also shows that 3 guys made ML regular status, which is tremendous. However, for the rest of the list, no prospects really displayed a clearly delineated new level of progression. Soto and Lotzkar came the closest (for me) but they only hit the first stage - full season ball. Frazier, Valaika, Stubbs, Franscisco, Mesoraco all continued to improve but not really by leaps and bounds. I am optimistic about them, but they don't inspire the same enthusiasm as Bruce, Votto, Cueto and Bailey.
Our pitching depth is not where it should be. Only slight progress in a critical area- the emphasis on bullpen arms is producing some interesting options, but lets see who pans out.

lollipopcurve
08-11-2008, 11:33 AM
Our pitching depth is not where it should be. Only slight progress in a critical area- the emphasis on bullpen arms is producing some interesting options, but lets see who pans out.

Agreed. There's not a single arm in the system -- with the possible exception of Lotzkar -- who I have much hope for as anything other than a 4/5. Bailey's development has been poorly handled, in my opinion, and he probably will not reach his potential as a Red. The system is deep in serviceable bats, though.

Mario-Rijo
08-11-2008, 01:39 PM
This is something I posted on Watson after watching him closely a few times in Dayton, see if this still holds true or not or if it's related. I'll in fact put all of his notes I put together then here.


Sean Watson is now at 6' 2 215, last year he was at around 240 lbs. and per Browning they (the powers that be) had to have a sit down with him towards the end of the season. Apparently about attitude, he had let his whiskers go a bit and that + his performance (1-2 8.59 era 10 appearances all out of the pen) warranted it apparently. They told him he was going to start this season and he needed to grow up a bit (or something to that effect), so the kid responded by getting in much better shape and dropping the 20+ lbs. Although he still looks chunky too me, think Burba or Mark Portugal.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57812&highlight=Dayton


I heard Browning say this in regards to the FO hopes on Watson "I think they wanted him to build up his arm strength" because of his last yr at Tenn only getting to throw 1 to 2 IP at a time. And "They have high hopes for him to progress through the org and maybe be a starter, but eventually they probably have long range plans for him to be a reliever".

On Watson: Throws 1st pitch FB low and outside alot and for strikes quite often. Mixes up that 2nd pitch pretty good. And Throws that Knuckle Curve as his out pitch. And it's a good pitch as it has nice break and he seems to throw it w/o "showing it" with his arm speed much. However he seems to have little answer for opponents who lay off his KNC with 2 strikes, which he seems to always throw with 2 strikes. When that occurs it also seems to throw off his concentration or disrupts his rythym. His line 5 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 10 K's 1 BB and 1 Hit Batter.


http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59855&highlight=Dayton

princeton
08-11-2008, 02:53 PM
Your comparison is interesting - but I don't know what definitive conclusions you can draw from it.

my impression: Reds have traditionally gone for guys with high ceiling/high bust potential, nearly all of whom went bust very quickly. Now they seem to be changing-- their prospects strike me as more the Joey Votto type-- they'll likely make consistent progress and perhaps even become interesting major leaguers, but probably not stars.

that should provide a lot of depth, great payroll flexibility and, with an active trader as GM, you might even be able to use the depth to score some impact players.

crazyredfan40
08-11-2008, 03:01 PM
Agreed. There's not a single arm in the system -- with the possible exception of Lotzkar -- who I have much hope for as anything other than a 4/5. Bailey's development has been poorly handled, in my opinion, and he probably will not reach his potential as a Red. The system is deep in serviceable bats, though.

I think alot like Hillenbrandt's potential as well...Maybe as a 2/3...But he is still very young...