View Full Version : No Reds in the Pioneer League Top 20 Prospect list

09-18-2008, 12:24 PM
Pretty rough shakes on our rookie ball teams. We didn't have a single guy fall in the top 20 between the GCL or the Pioneer League. Our top 2 picks this year were Alonso, who didn't play in either league and Stewart who wasn't eligible for the list so I guess it makes some sense. Now sure if Buchholz was eligible or not given the time he missed, but we should ask some questions about him in the chat to see.

The list does note this however:

Billings third baseman Neftali Soto would have ranked prominently if he hadn't fallen just short of qualifying for the list. Soto hit .388/.423/.746 in 15 games, showing intriguing power potential and plus arm strength.


09-18-2008, 12:31 PM
LOL Doug, we did it again. I made this post at the same exact time as you posted this:


I was shocked to see Buchholz left off. Maybe he didn't play enough to qualify because that's the only reasonable explanation I see for leaving Buchholz off. I was also surprised to not see Evan Hildenbrandt in the GCL top 20. Other than those two I'm not really surprised by the lack of Reds on the two rookie level lists. The Reds last two drafts have been filled with polished college players who moved quickly and some who skipped the rookie leagues. I'm sure guys like Soto, Stewart, and Lotzkar (though the latter two may not qualify) and maybe Cozart or Horst will make the Midwest League top 20.

09-18-2008, 01:35 PM
I think we'll see just how much BS these lists are; I refuse to believe there are 20 better prospects in the GCL than Evan Hildenbrandt.

09-18-2008, 01:53 PM
I think we'll see just how much BS these lists are; I refuse to believe there are 20 better prospects in the GCL than Evan Hildenbrandt.

Historically the GCL list mean absolutely nothing.

09-18-2008, 02:00 PM
Here is the GCL top 10 from five years ago:

1. Eric Duncan, 3b, Yankees
2. Jake Stevens, lhp, Braves
3. *Jarrod Saltalamacchia, c, Braves
4. Hector Made, ss, Yankees
5. Lorenzo Scott, of, Orioles
6. Blair Johnson, rhp, Pirates
7. Matt Moses, 3b, Twins
8. Tyler Pelland, lhp, Red Sox/Reds
9. *Jai Miller, of, Marlins
10. Steve Doetsch, of, Braves

Saltalamacchia is the only one in that bunch who looks like he may have a decent major league career.

09-18-2008, 02:05 PM
One Buchholz related question has already been answered:

Q: Kevin from Billings, MT asks:
Alex Buchholz left off list? I watched a lot of games and he had the most advanced bat in the league. Any reason he was left off?

A: Ben Badler: Buchholz was hurt a lot of the year, so he didn't rack up a lot of playing time. I wouldn't go gaga over 134 at-bats in the Pioneer League, since it's really just 5-6 good weeks in a league that college hitters tend to dominate in a high-offensive environment. But I don't mean that as a knock on Buchholz in any way, I'm more trying to emphasize the importance of keeping the sample of the performance record in perspective. Frankly, there are about 10 or so guys who missed the cut who have a pretty good argument for being on the list, and Buchholz is one of those guys. He could be an offensive-minded second baseman, so his progress next season in a full-season league will be interesting to track.

09-18-2008, 02:15 PM
Q: JAYPERS from IL asks:
Would Neftali Soto have ranked # 1 if he were eligible?

A: Ben Badler: Tough call, since guys didn't get much of a look at him in the Pioneer League this season. He'd certainly be in that top three, though I might still stick Rosario and Dykstra ahead of him.

09-18-2008, 03:16 PM
Q: Alex from Atlanta asks:
There were rumblings of a DSL/VSL top 20/10 list last year. Are we ever gonna see something like that?

A: Ben Badler: Ah, international questions, the one way to get me to stray from Pioneer League questions... The rumblings are growing louder this year. I just finished cranking out our Pioneer and Southern League Top 20 lists. Give me a good night's sleep and then I'm going to get going on a review of this year's international signing class, a review of last year's and then I hope to do something on players in the DSL and VSL this season. If not a top 20 list like we normally do, then at least a Beta version that takes a look at some of the top prospects from those leagues who could leap to the radar next year in the US.


Nice. I've been hoping they would release some info on International prospects.

09-18-2008, 03:17 PM
Q: Jon from Peoria asks:
After Buchholz and Soto, were there any Billings prospects of note?

A: Ben Badler: Clayton Schunick got whacked around, but it sounds like he was just tired after his season at NC State and was probably their best pitching prospect. Byron Wiley had a disappointing college season but put himself back on the radar after a nice pro debut.

09-18-2008, 03:22 PM
Byron Wiley had a disappointing college season but put himself back on the radar after a nice pro debut.

Wiley was scorching hot for the last few weeks he was on the field. But I still see a scrum of outfielders new to the organization -- Wiley, Means, Sappelt, Brown, Oliveras. They all look a little interesting, but I think the best we can hope for is that one will emerge as major league material, likely as a 4th/5th OF guy. Very difficult to handicap this group right now.

New Fever
09-18-2008, 04:26 PM
I found this question interesting and it seemed as if Ben Badler made a mistake and tried to justify his answer by saying Soto has slow bat speed. I usually enjoy reading BA but this answer was kind of dumb.

Q: Kyle from San Diego asks:
Dykstra ahead of Soto!!?? If we are talking age and performance, I think the nod would have to go to Soto. Not only did Soto dominate the Pioneer, he maintained it at Dayton, including the playoffs. Maybe it's not a knock against Soto, but why so bullish on Dykstra?

A: Ben Badler: I reserve the right to change my mind on that one, mostly because Soto didn't play much in that league so guys in the league saw him less. No. 3 is not a knock on Soto--Dykstra was a higher draft pick, is a great athlete with tools, he performed well and should play a more premium position than Soto. I talked to one person who wasn't crazy about Soto's bat speed, but that's just one opinion, not gospel, that needs to be weighted in a pool of many opinions. All of the top six guys in that league have considerable ceiling, including Soto.

09-18-2008, 04:34 PM
Yeah, that made me laugh because everyone else praises Soto for his bat speed.

09-18-2008, 07:41 PM
I wanted Dykstra in the worst way at draft time and hoped he'd fall to the Reds. Oh well.

09-18-2008, 07:57 PM
Yeah, that made me laugh because everyone else praises Soto for his bat speed.

Interesting, just goes to show how important it is to take each thing we hear about a prospect with a grain of salt. Until a player gets to the show he's still a "spect" and most often a su-spect.