PDA

View Full Version : BA's Midwest League Top 20 later today



lollipopcurve
09-23-2008, 09:42 AM
This is the league I've been looking forward to most. Several players could be listed, or as few as 1, I'd say. We're looking at:

Soto
Waring
Mesoraco
Cozart
Horst

I don't think Lotzkar or Stewart pitched enough, and small relievers like Geronimo aren't BA's type. I thik they'll deal with Frazier in the FSL only.

My prediction, based on BA's predilection for sticking with guys who have prospect & draft pedigree:

Soto -- will be in the top 6
Mesoraco -- 11th to 16th
Cozart -- 15th to 20th

Waring and Horst move into 09 motivated to put themselves on the prospect map.

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 10:55 AM
I don't think Waring will crack the top 20. Lotzkar and Stewart probably didn't qualify or else they would be in the top 20.

I predict:

Neftali Soto
Zach Cozart
Devin Mesoraco
Jeremy Horst

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 11:35 AM
Soto is #10 and the only Reds prospect to make the Midwest League top 20.

batsfan
09-23-2008, 11:35 AM
Neftali at 10., and thats it :(.

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 11:39 AM
Here's a little summary of their description of Soto:

Soto has considerable bat speed. He broke his bat on a sinker this year and still drove the ball to the wall. Polished hitter, quiet stance, and good balance. Aggressive. Consistently puts the barrel of the bat on the ball. Below average speed. Strong arm and adequate range at third base.

dougdirt
09-23-2008, 11:40 AM
I have to say, I am absolutely shocked at how low Soto is. With that said, the MWL is stacked this year.

dougdirt
09-23-2008, 11:42 AM
For reference to how stacked the MWL is this year, Drew Stubbs was the #10 prospect in the league last year. Anyone think Stubbs was a better prospect at the end of last year than Soto is at the end of this year? Yeah, neither do I.

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 11:46 AM
I wasn't surprised to see Mesoraco left off because he did have a bit of a disappointing season... the biggest surprise for me was Soto not being in the top six. I would definitely take Soto over Engel Beltre. Perhaps the biggest omission in the top 20 is Michael Pineda, a 19-year old prospect in the Mariners organization. He posted a 1.95 ERA and 35 BB/128 K ratio in 138.1 innings this season. I can't believe he was left out.

dougdirt
09-23-2008, 11:50 AM
I would have put Soto 5th on that list. Moustakas, Parker, Feliz, Wallace then Soto.

I also don't get Corey Brown at 16. He profiles as a right fielder, was 22 and didn't put up crazy numbers while he struck out over 27% of the time he stepped to the plate.

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 11:54 AM
I know he didn't quality, but I would take Kyle Lotzkar over any of the guys listed from 14 through 20.

The FSL top 20 will be out next Monday. I'm guessing Todd Frazier, Zach Stewart (though he may not qualify), Juan Francisco, and Yonder Alonso (will they stick him in anyways?) will crack the top 20.

dougdirt
09-23-2008, 11:56 AM
I know he didn't quality, but I would take Kyle Lotzkar over any of the guys listed from 14 through 20.

The FSL top 20 will be out next Monday. I'm guessing Todd Frazier, Zach Stewart (though he may not qualify), Juan Francisco, and Yonder Alonso (will they stick him in anyways?) will crack the top 20.

No Stubbs? Steward and Alonso won't make it.

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 11:59 AM
No Stubbs? And I really doubt Stewart makes it because of the innings.

Brain cramp. There's a chance we may see Stubbs in both the FSL and Southern League top 20's. Chris Valaika too. IIRC Johnny Cueto made both the FSL and Southern League top 20's last year.

Kc61
09-23-2008, 12:14 PM
I have to say, I am absolutely shocked at how low Soto is. With that said, the MWL is stacked this year.

I'm shocked that Mesoraco is left off. The guy was very highly touted by BA before the draft, now one year later he's off the top 20? Are they that stats driven?

On the other hand, I'm not at all shocked that Soto is number 10, given the depth in the MWL. He's a very good prospect but seems a bit overhyped around here. I haven't heard that he is a plus defender at any position, he has a very low walk rate, and his home run power hasn't really surfaced yet.

If Soto's progression continues as planned, he should have a power explosion in the next couple of years as he matures. If he can show he can handle himself defensively, and if this power emerges, he will then be higher rated, I would think.

dougdirt
09-23-2008, 12:24 PM
I'm shocked that Mesoraco is left off. The guy was very highly touted by BA before the draft, now one year later he's off the top 20? Are they that stats driven?

On the other hand, I'm not at all shocked that Soto is number 10. He's a good prospect but seems very overhyped around here. I haven't heard that he is a plus defender at any position, he has a very low walk rate, and his home run power hasn't really surfaced yet.

If Soto's progression continues as planned, he should have a power explosion in the next couple of years as he matures. If he can show he can handle himself defensively, and if this power emerges, he will then be higher rated, I would think.

I don't really think Soto is overhyped around here. He is coming off a season where he hit .340 (.326 in Dayton) with power. He doesn't strike out much and shows control of the zone at the plate. He just had a .218 isolated power at the age of 19 and it was still .174 in the midwest league.

The hitters ahead of him?
1. Mike Moustakas, .272/.334/.468 (.196 isoP)
4. Ben Revere, .379/.433/.497 (.118 isoP)
5. Brett Wallace, .327/.418/.490 (.173 isoP)
6. Engel Beltre, .283/.308/.403 (.120 isoP)
7. Andrew Lambo, .288/.346/.462 (.174 isoP)

So only Moustakas showed more power than Soto did and only Beltre was younger than he was.

princeton
09-23-2008, 12:27 PM
apparently, a no. 1 pick doesn't make a top 20 list by just showing up. Who knew?

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 12:28 PM
I don't really think Soto is overhyped around here. He is coming off a season where he hit .340 (.326 in Dayton) with power. He doesn't strike out much and shows control of the zone at the plate. He just had a .218 isolated power at the age of 19 and it was still .174 in the midwest league.

The hitters ahead of him?
1. Mike Moustakas, .272/.334/.468 (.196 isoP)
4. Ben Revere, .379/.433/.497 (.118 isoP)
5. Brett Wallace, .327/.418/.490 (.173 isoP)
6. Engel Beltre, .283/.308/.403 (.120 isoP)
7. Andrew Lambo, .288/.346/.462 (.174 isoP)

So only Moustakas showed more power than Soto did and only Beltre was younger than he was.

Good post. Soto isn't overhyped on here at all. The kid is a legit stud prospect as evidenced by his stats. He's got everything you want in a young hitter - great bat speed, centers the ball well, and a projectable body that will fill out and add power.

Kc61
09-23-2008, 12:33 PM
I don't really think Soto is overhyped around here. He is coming off a season where he hit .340 (.326 in Dayton) with power. He doesn't strike out much and shows control of the zone at the plate. He just had a .218 isolated power at the age of 19 and it was still .174 in the midwest league.

The hitters ahead of him?
1. Mike Moustakas, .272/.334/.468 (.196 isoP)
4. Ben Revere, .379/.433/.497 (.118 isoP)
5. Brett Wallace, .327/.418/.490 (.173 isoP)
6. Engel Beltre, .283/.308/.403 (.120 isoP)
7. Andrew Lambo, .288/.346/.462 (.174 isoP)

So only Moustakas showed more power than Soto did and only Beltre was younger than he was.


I can't compare, I don't know all these guys. But Soto walked 11 times in 285 at bats at two levels this year. I believe this is a lower rate than Francisco. I'm not now comparing the two, only pointing out that Soto doesn't walk.

I know Soto makes good contact and his strikeout rate is good. But he hit 11 homers this year. Someday, if he starts hitting the long ball more, we'll see if his strikeout rate stays this low.

And, of course, defensive potential has to count. It sometimes gets lost in these evaluations. I've not seen Soto viewed as a plus defender at all and the stuff I've read has given him mixed reviews in that department.

With all that, tenth place in the MWL seems like a pretty reasonable placement for him. I do think he's overhyped around here, but that doesn't mean I don't like him. I've always wished the Reds had more high contact, high BA type hitters with some power and he looks like he could be exactly that.

dougdirt
09-23-2008, 12:56 PM
I can't compare, I don't know all these guys. But Soto walked 11 times in 285 at bats at two levels this year. I believe this is a lower rate than Francisco. I'm not now comparing the two, only pointing out that Soto doesn't walk.

I know Soto makes good contact and his strikeout rate is good. But he hit 11 homers this year. Someday, if he starts hitting the long ball more, we'll see if his strikeout rate stays this low.

And, of course, defensive potential has to count. It sometimes gets lost in these evaluations. I've not seen Soto viewed as a plus defender at all and the stuff I've read has given him mixed reviews in that department.

With all that, tenth place in the MWL seems like a pretty reasonable placement for him. I do think he's overhyped around here, but that doesn't mean I don't like him. I've always wished the Reds had more high contact, high BA type hitters with some power and he looks like he could be exactly that.
He hit 11 HR in 285 at bats. Jay Bruce hit 16 HR in 444 at bats as a 19 year old. Adam Dunn hit 11 HR in 313 at bats as a 19 year old.

Soto AB/HR = 25.9
Bruce AB/HR = 27.75
Dunn AB/HR = 28.45

So at the same age he has shown more HR power than both Bruce or Dunn did and had a higher isolated power number than Dunn did (Bruce was at .225, he is ridiculous).

Soto isn't a plus defender, but he has a strong arm and he can play 3B. He is not a below average defender there, so his defense doesn't hurt his overall prospects.

He needs to walk more, but given that he isn't striking out much and from my own observations of watching him play, its not a result of him swinging out of the zone often its a result of him being aggressive at the plate with good contact skills. Yeah, I would like to see him walk more, but from the looks of everything he will walk when pitchers don't give him something good to hit.

New Fever
09-23-2008, 01:10 PM
Q: Tim from Proctorville, Ohio asks:
Neftali Soto or Juan Francisco?

A: Jim Callis: I'll give Francisco a slight edge because he has a better chance to stick at third base and has proven himself at a higher level.

Wow, Francisco's stock is a lot higher than I thought.

New Fever
09-23-2008, 01:12 PM
Q: Kyle from Middletown asks:
No Devin Mesoraco? He seemed to hold his own as a teenager and is supposed to have a great arm.

A: Jim Callis: He held his own with the bat but disappointed MWL observers with his defense. Every year in the league, there's a guy who people say surprises them that he went in the first round, and this year that guy was Mesoraco.

ouch

New Fever
09-23-2008, 01:13 PM
Q: Brandon from Charleston, WV asks:
Did Kyle Lotzkar not qualify?

A: Jim Callis: He did not. He did have one of the better arms in the league and has the chance to develop three plus pitches, so he would have made the list if he had pitched enough innings. Probably in the middle of the 11-20 area.

dougdirt
09-23-2008, 01:16 PM
Q: Tim from Proctorville, Ohio asks:
Neftali Soto or Juan Francisco?

A: Jim Callis: I'll give Francisco a slight edge because he has a better chance to stick at third base and has proven himself at a higher level.

Wow, Francisco's stock is a lot higher than I thought.

I will say this, the Rockies and Reds talked about Matt Holliday. They were concrete on two names being involved. Francisco was one of those guys. There are a lot of things to love about his game. He can hit. He can hit for lots of power. He has a cannon for an arm. He just has no clue that he doesn't have to swing at every pitch thrown. I wouldn't come close to puting Francisco higher than Soto though.

New Fever
09-23-2008, 01:19 PM
Another Reds question:

Q: Kyle from Middletown asks:
Did Zach Cozart or Brandon Waring get any consideration for the list?

A: Jim Callis: They did, fit more in the 21-35 area. Cozart is a good defender who hit for some surprising power this year. Waring has nice power potential, though he has to cut down on his strikeouts and isn't the most agile third baseman.

dougdirt
09-23-2008, 01:23 PM
Q: Kyle from Middletown asks:
No Devin Mesoraco? He seemed to hold his own as a teenager and is supposed to have a great arm.

A: Jim Callis: He held his own with the bat but disappointed MWL observers with his defense. Every year in the league, there's a guy who people say surprises them that he went in the first round, and this year that guy was Mesoraco.

ouch

Just want to note, no catcher made this list. So Mesoraco still could have been the highest rated catcher in the league, but we don't really know.

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 01:24 PM
Q: Brandon from Charleston, WV asks:
Did Kyle Lotzkar not qualify?

A: Jim Callis: He did not. He did have one of the better arms in the league and has the chance to develop three plus pitches, so he would have made the list if he had pitched enough innings. Probably in the middle of the 11-20 area.

That was my question. Nice to see Callis giving Lotzkar some love. I really like Lotzkar's arm... I would put him in the Cueto/Volquez class of prospects.

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 01:30 PM
Q: Tim from Proctorville, Ohio asks:
Neftali Soto or Juan Francisco?

A: Jim Callis: I'll give Francisco a slight edge because he has a better chance to stick at third base and has proven himself at a higher level.

Wow, Francisco's stock is a lot higher than I thought.

There's no way in heck I would rate Francisco higher than Soto. Soto is a year and a half younger than Francisco and out OPS'd Francisco by 120 points. I know Francisco is at a higher level but Soto's year was more impressive to me. Soto is a fairly polished bat while Francisco still needs to make some huge adjustments.

New Fever
09-23-2008, 01:35 PM
There's no way in heck I would rate Francisco higher than Soto. Soto is a year and a half younger than Francisco and out OPS'd Francisco by 120 points. I know Francisco is at a higher level but Soto's year was more impressive to me. Soto is a fairly polished bat while Francisco still needs to make some huge adjustments.

But we know by now that BA judges prospects by tools and what scouts/managers tell them. Also these list are different than Top 10 and Top 100 list. We may see Juan Francisco rank ahead of Todd Frazier in the FSL but in the Reds Top 10, Frazier ranked ahead of Francisco.

dougdirt
09-23-2008, 01:37 PM
But we know by now that BA judges prospects by tools and what scouts/managers tell them. Also these list are different than Top 10 and Top 100 list. We may see Juan Francisco rank ahead of Todd Frazier in the FSL but in the Reds Top 10, Frazier ranked ahead of Francisco.

Yeah, thats true. Stuff like that happens all the time because different people do the lists. JJ Cooper has done the Reds top 30 the last few years, so his opinion on things will likely be different than those of Callis. And then the top 100 is done by 4 or 5 guys as a group, who all will have differing opinions.

SMcGavin
09-23-2008, 01:44 PM
I do think he's overhyped around here, but that doesn't mean I don't like him.

Sums up my feelings on Soto exactly. Definitely a good prospect, but not quite sure I'd be lumping him in with Adam Dunn and Jay Bruce just yet.

dougdirt
09-23-2008, 01:45 PM
Sums up my feelings on Soto exactly. Definitely a good prospect, but not quite sure I'd be lumping him in with Adam Dunn and Jay Bruce just yet.

Through their age 19 seasons he isn't quite on par with Bruce but he is a better prospect at age 19 than Adam Dunn was. Lets remember, Jay Bruce after his age 19 season was a Top 20 prospect in all of baseball. Dunn on the other hand was not ranked in the top 100.

HokieRed
09-23-2008, 01:50 PM
I understand the judgment on Mesoraco. You're taking a big risk on a catcher, particularly out of HS. He's of great value if he can catch; if he can't, his value slips a whole lot. That seemed to be what Callis was saying. Bad news for us if true.

lollipopcurve
09-23-2008, 01:53 PM
I thought there was a chance we'd only see Soto here. BA is going to see the Reds system as only average, given the graduation of Bruce, Votto and Cueto -- I guarantee that -- so these rankings will not be sprinkled with Reds on each level. I think Soto remains underrated by BA even though he's #10 here. And, going forward, I think Cozart will earn more recognition, as will Horst if he stays healthy. I really don't know about Mes, since I don't have a good grasp of how behind he is defensively, though my sense is that he can iron out the problems with hard work. But that's just a guess. I see Waring as a long shot, still.

Another note -- Jim Callis has been a huge Mike Moustakas supporter, even while Moustakas was scuffling early in the year. We'll see if Moustakas merits being higher than guys like Wallace and Revere and Felix...and Soto.

SMcGavin
09-23-2008, 01:59 PM
Through their age 19 seasons he isn't quite on par with Bruce but he is a better prospect at age 19 than Adam Dunn was.

Yeah, and in his age 19 season in the Midwest League, Corey Patterson had a .946 OPS. That same year a 19-year-old named Jeff Goldbach had a .860 OPS. Looking through quickly, a couple other illustrious names who acheived a .840+ OPS in the Midwest League as nineteen year olds:

Brad Nelson
Shin-Soo Choo

So Soto's numbers put him in a class that includes Adam Dunn, Corey Patterson, and Shin-Soo Choo. In other words, this sort of comparison is completely useless.

redsof72
09-23-2008, 01:59 PM
Hard for me to imagine that anyone who saw Soto this season would say that Lambo and Beltre are better prospects than he is. I have to think that the fact that most of the Western Division managers only saw him play three games would factor in, while those two players were in the league all year. I saw everyone on that list this season and I would put Soto at number six or higher.

The power is there for Soto even though the numbers might not be eye-popping. At this point, he is more of a gap to gap hitter. He will learn to turn on the ball as he develops. It is not a case where he does not have the power to hit home runs. His style of hitting right now is to drive the ball in the gaps. As I have said before, I am not concerned at all about the walks. He does sometimes chase sliders out of the zone, but he played on a team this year where he was hitting third and expected to drive in runs and that was his role, not to go up there trying to draw a walk.

If you saw Mesoraco this season, you know he is not a top 20 prospect, as I have said on here before. That is not to say that he can't become a big league player eventually, but he has a long way to go, especially defensively. If they had put him in the top 20, it would have been strictly based on the fact that he was a number one pick.

As far as Cozart, Waring, and Horst, you will notice that Baseball America really went heavy on high school players. Brett Wallace is a college guy but he is a 2008 draft pick. The list is filled with 19 year olds. If you compare two shortstops, Cozart and Justin Jackson, who is 14th on the list and 19 years old, there is no comparison between the two offensively or defensively. Cozart is the far superior player. But Baseball America really discounted the 22 year olds.

Not sure how Revere fell to number four. The league managers voted his as the top prospect in the league. Based on the managers I talked to, it was virtually unanimous.

Bottom line, there will be plenty of guys not on this list that will be quality big leaguers, and there will be guys in the top 10 on this list that will never get to Triple-A. So you have to take it for what it is worth.

dougdirt
09-23-2008, 01:59 PM
I thought there was a chance we'd only see Soto here. BA is going to see the Reds system as only average, given the graduation of Bruce, Votto and Cueto -- I guarantee that -- so these rankings will not be sprinkled with Reds on each level. I think Soto remains underrated by BA even though he's #10 here. And, going forward, I think Cozart will earn more recognition, as will Horst if he stays healthy. I really don't know about Mes, since I don't have a good grasp of how behind he is defensively, though my sense is that he can iron out the problems with hard work. But that's just a guess. I see Waring as a long shot, still.

Another note -- Jim Callis has been a huge Mike Moustakas supporter, even while Moustakas was scuffling early in the year. We'll see if Moustakas merits being higher than guys like Wallace and Revere and Felix...and Soto.

To me, Moustakas is absolutely far and away the best prospect in the league. He really struggled in April. After I saw him play (May 3rd), he went out and showed why he was the best prospect in the league. From May onward he hit .289/.351/.518 as a 19 year old in one of the toughest leagues to hit in in all of the minors. He also walked at a solid rate and struck out at a low rate, especially for a guy slugging .500+

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 02:03 PM
Q: Deywane from Memphis asks:
Will Neftali Soto be the Reds #1 prospect?

A: Jim Callis: I'm guessing that will be Yonder Alonso instead.

dougdirt
09-23-2008, 02:04 PM
Hard for me to imagine that anyone who saw Soto this season would say that Lambo and Beltre are better prospects than he is. I have to think that the fact that most of the Western Division managers only saw him play three games would factor in, while those two players were in the league all year. I saw everyone on that list this season and I would put Soto at number six or higher.

The power is there for Soto even though the numbers might not be eye-popping. At this point, he is more of a gap to gap hitter. He will learn to turn on the ball as he develops. It is not a case where he does not have the power to hit home runs. His style of hitting right now is to drive the ball in the gaps. As I have said before, I am not concerned at all about the walks. He does sometimes chase sliders out of the zone, but he played on a team this year where he was hitting third and expected to drive in runs and that was his role, not to go up there trying to draw a walk.

If you saw Mesoraco this season, you know he is not a top 20 prospect, as I have said on here before. That is not to say that he can't become a big league player eventually, but he has a long way to go, especially defensively. If they had put him in the top 20, it would have been strictly based on the fact that he was a number one pick.

As far as Cozart, Waring, and Horst, you will notice that Baseball America really went heavy on high school players. Brett Wallace is a college guy but he is a 2008 draft pick. The list is filled with 19 year olds. If you compare two shortstops, Cozart and Justin Jackson, who is 14th on the list and 19 years old, there is no comparison between the two offensively or defensively. Cozart is the far superior player. But Baseball America really discounted the 22 year olds.

Not sure how Revere fell to number four. The league managers voted his as the top prospect in the league. Based on the managers I talked to, it was virtually unanimous.

Bottom line, there will be plenty of guys not on this list that will be quality big leaguers, and there will be guys in the top 10 on this list that will never get to Triple-A. So you have to take it for what it is worth.

I agree with most of what you said, particularly about Soto. I would have ranked Revere outside of my top 5 without question. He has very little power, is a real little guy and has a noodle arm. He has crazy bat control and his speed will always play but I just can't put him that high because I don't think he projects as well as some of these other guys. Granted I only saw him play 3 times this year, but from people I have talked to his arm is questionable even for CF and his size just doesn't project to much power at all.

As far as Mesoraco goes, I think its an iffy situation. I probably would have had him 18th or 19th on my list because of what he could be, not really what he did do.

lollipopcurve
09-23-2008, 02:07 PM
As far as Cozart, Waring, and Horst, you will notice that Baseball America really went heavy on high school players. Brett Wallace is a college guy but he is a 2008 draft pick. The list is filled with 19 year olds. If you compare two shortstops, Cozart and Justin Jackson, who is 14th on the list and 19 years old, there is no comparison between the two offensively or defensively. Cozart is the far superior player. But Baseball America really discounted the 22 year olds.

Absolutely. BA loves the young player with tools. The older more polished prospect whose ceiling is major league average does little for them.


Not sure how Revere fell to number four. The league managers voted his as the top prospect in the league. Based on the managers I talked to, it was virtually unanimous.

On draft day in 2007, BA had Revere ranked well below where he was drafted, maybe around #80. They declared him an obvious reach by the Twins. Meanwhile, Moustakas was in the top 5. Some things don't change at BA.


Bottom line, there will be plenty of guys not on this list that will be quality big leaguers, and there will be guys in the top 10 on this list that will never get to Triple-A. So you have to take it for what it is worth.

That's for sure.

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 02:13 PM
Hard for me to imagine that anyone who saw Soto this season would say that Lambo and Beltre are better prospects than he is. I have to think that the fact that most of the Western Division managers only saw him play three games would factor in, while those two players were in the league all year. I saw everyone on that list this season and I would put Soto at number six or higher.

The power is there for Soto even though the numbers might not be eye-popping. At this point, he is more of a gap to gap hitter. He will learn to turn on the ball as he develops. It is not a case where he does not have the power to hit home runs. His style of hitting right now is to drive the ball in the gaps. As I have said before, I am not concerned at all about the walks. He does sometimes chase sliders out of the zone, but he played on a team this year where he was hitting third and expected to drive in runs and that was his role, not to go up there trying to draw a walk.

If you saw Mesoraco this season, you know he is not a top 20 prospect, as I have said on here before. That is not to say that he can't become a big league player eventually, but he has a long way to go, especially defensively. If they had put him in the top 20, it would have been strictly based on the fact that he was a number one pick.

As far as Cozart, Waring, and Horst, you will notice that Baseball America really went heavy on high school players. Brett Wallace is a college guy but he is a 2008 draft pick. The list is filled with 19 year olds. If you compare two shortstops, Cozart and Justin Jackson, who is 14th on the list and 19 years old, there is no comparison between the two offensively or defensively. Cozart is the far superior player. But Baseball America really discounted the 22 year olds.

Not sure how Revere fell to number four. The league managers voted his as the top prospect in the league. Based on the managers I talked to, it was virtually unanimous.

Bottom line, there will be plenty of guys not on this list that will be quality big leaguers, and there will be guys in the top 10 on this list that will never get to Triple-A. So you have to take it for what it is worth.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's great to read the opinion of someone who watches these guys on a consistent basis.

Kc61
09-23-2008, 02:31 PM
I've frequently posted my view that Soto was a bit overhyped and Francisco a bit underhyped around here. I see BA may agree.

I won't repeat all the specifics, they are in the RedsZone threads, but when you look at Francisco's power production in the difficult FSL this year -- along with his plus arm -- it's hard not to get excited.

In addition, his strikeouts are down and Francisco's BA is reasonable, .277. Similar to last year at Dayton, I recall. And, as goes along with power and a good BA sometimes, he gets a lot of RBIs. My recall is that he had 34 doubles and 23 homers at Sarasota.

His problem is obvious, but his power production is so great that IMO he projects very high among Reds prospects.

I'd put Alonso ahead of him. Stubbs because he's discovering his offensive potential and is a polished defender. Probably Frazier and Soto as 3 and 4. Then comes Francisco in my book. BA might even reverse the two of them and put Francisco four. To me, it's Alonso, Stubbs, Frazier, Soto, Francisco.

redsof72
09-23-2008, 02:38 PM
There will be some upset players when they see they were left off the list. Horst will see some guys on that list that he completely dominated this season.

If you want to think about how hard it is to project what guys will do four years into the future, think about how badly organizations miss on their own players over ONE season. I mean, Jeremy Horst was absolutely the best starting pitcher in the Midwest League once he went into the starting rotation at the start of the second half. And there apparently were people within the Reds organization that, when the decision was made to move him into the rotation, did not think he could cut it as a starter. That's why they waited so long to make the switch. So if they were that wrong on their own player WITHIN a season, how hard is it to predict what a player will do in future years at higher levels?

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 02:40 PM
Yonder Alonso
Neftali Soto
Todd Frazier
Drew Stubbs
Juan Francisco

That's how I would rank them. I like Francisco, he probably has the best power out of anyone in the organization but he needs to close up some holes in his swing before he reaches the upper levels.

Kc61
09-23-2008, 02:49 PM
Yonder Alonso
Neftali Soto
Todd Frazier
Drew Stubbs
Juan Francisco

That's how I would rank them. I like Francisco, he probably has the best power out of anyone in the organization but he needs to close up some holes in his swing before he reaches the upper levels.

It is possible that three of those five -- Alonso, Frazier, Francisco -- will all be together as the heart of the AA order next season. It will be very interesting to see how they progress. I think that is the next cluster of major prospects for the Reds.

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 02:54 PM
It's interesting over the years how the strength of the organization has been left handed bats (Votto, Bruce, Dunn, Griffey, Hamilton), but now the strength in the minors seems to be shifting to the right side with Soto, Frazier, Stubbs, Valaika, and eventually Juan Duran and Yorman Rodriguez. Of course Alonso and Francisco are lefties.

redsof72
09-23-2008, 03:00 PM
I understand the idea behind putting Alonso at the top of the list. And he probably should be there. Scouts tell me that Alonso is the best hitting prospect in the Reds organization. But before I completely join the Alonso fan club, I want to know some things that we don't know yet. We know he was a great college hitter with the tools to become an outstanding major leaguer. I want to hear a little about his work ethic. Will he work on his weaknesses? Is he coachable? Is he truly commited to the game over and above the lifestyle that comes with it? Does he have a decent baseball IQ? Will he play hard every day? Can he handle the pressure of such high expections? Maybe he is top-notch in all these areas. I don't know yet.

When I hear people talk about the differences between Joey Votto and Homer Bailey, they talk about the things I just mentioned, and they reference the fact that one is an improving major leaguer and likely a future star who busts his butt every day to get better, and the other can't get out of Triple-A despite having the arm to be an all-star. I want to know where Alonso fits in those areas before I am ready to proclaim him the Reds first baseman for the next decade. We will start to find out next spring.

M2
09-23-2008, 03:15 PM
Q: Kyle from Middletown asks:
No Devin Mesoraco? He seemed to hold his own as a teenager and is supposed to have a great arm.

A: Jim Callis: He held his own with the bat but disappointed MWL observers with his defense. Every year in the league, there's a guy who people say surprises them that he went in the first round, and this year that guy was Mesoraco.

ouch

I was surprised he went in the first round last season.

Mind you, none of this will puncture Reds fan denial on the subject of Mesoraco.

Queue up the talking points:

"Catchers take longer to develop."
"Mesoraco's played exactly the way the Reds expected he would."
"It was only his first full season in pro ball."
"If he pans out, then it was a great pick."
"There's some incidental stat that makes him look not so bad if you stare at it while standing on your head."
"Really, he's got tools. I swear it."

lollipopcurve
09-23-2008, 03:18 PM
When I hear people talk about the differences between Joey Votto and Homer Bailey, they talk about the things I just mentioned, and they reference the fact that one is an improving major leaguer and likely a future star who busts his butt every day to get better, and the other can't get out of Triple-A despite having the arm to be an all-star. I want to know where Alonso fits in those areas before I am ready to proclaim him the Reds first baseman for the next decade. We will start to find out next spring.

From all reports, Alonso is more Votto than Bailey. But, as you say, time will tell. Just curious, redsof72, but were there any players in Dayton this year who bring the same kind of drive to get better that Votto does?

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 03:31 PM
I was surprised he went in the first round last season.

Mind you, none of this will puncture Reds fan denial on the subject of Mesoraco.

Queue up the talking points:

"Catchers take longer to develop."
"Mesoraco's played exactly the way the Reds expected he would."
"It was only his first full season in pro ball."
"If he pans out, then it was a great pick."
"There's some incidental stat that makes him look not so bad if you stare at it while standing on your head."
"Really, he's got tools. I swear it."

If only the Reds had lost one more game in 2006...I badly wanted Jason Heyward, and supposedly the Reds liked him a lot too but the Braves would up finishing one game worse so they got the #14 pick while the Reds picked 15th. The Braves got Heyward and we were stuck with Mesoraco. I'm not giving up on Mesoraco yet but I was pretty disappointed with his season. Meanwhile, Heyward may end up being the best player in that draft along with Wieters and Price, and maybe Bumgarner.

Kc61
09-23-2008, 03:32 PM
If only the Reds had lost one more game in 2006...I badly wanted Jason Heyward, and supposedly the Reds liked him a lot too but the Braves would up finishing one game worse so they got the #14 pick while the Reds picked 15th. The Braves got Heyward and we were stuck with Mesoraco. I'm not giving up on Mesoraco yet but I was pretty disappointed with his season. Meanwhile, Heyward may end up being the best player in that draft along with Wieters and Price, and maybe Bumgarner.


As a very young catcher, isn't it fair to say that Mesoraco could have been in Billings this year and that he was pushed to Dayton? And if so, shouldn't next year be the more telling year at low A?

TRF
09-23-2008, 03:33 PM
this is not a crack on Stubbs, but did he play anywhere long enough to qualify for a top ten list in any league?

M2
09-23-2008, 03:38 PM
As a very young catcher, isn't it fair to say that Mesoraco could have been in Billings this year and that he was pushed to Dayton? And if so, shouldn't next year be the more telling year at low A?

Except you've got to figure he'll be in High A next season.

FWIW, I'd have had him in Billings this year based on the notion that he's not going to be a fast mover anyway.

redsof72
09-23-2008, 03:48 PM
There were a lot of players in Dayton with great work ethics. Hard to single one out, but Justin Reed might have had the reputation for being the hardest worker. Mesoraco is a hard worker. Cozart played through an injury all year without taking hardly a day off. Horst worked hard. Frazier had intangibles that were off the charts, more for leadership skills than anything. For the most part, that was a team of high-character guys, despite what some might have thought after the fight.

But it is not automatic. I have seen the other side. I once saw a first round catcher who showed up and announced that he was not going to catch any bullpens. You see attitude issues with first rounders far more than any other round because they are the most spoiled, most selfish, most able to get away with it in some cases. You also see issues occasionally with these guys suddenly having a lot of money to spend and not being mature enough to make good decisions.

Of the guys who have come through the system, you hear great things about Votto, Bruce, and Janish as guys that have the hearts of winners.

OnBaseMachine
09-23-2008, 03:51 PM
this is not a crack on Stubbs, but did he play anywhere long enough to qualify for a top ten list in any league?

He had 303 atbats in the FSL which is more than enough to qualify. FWIW, Jay Bruce only had 268 atbats in the FSL last year when he was named the top prospect in that league. He also had just 187 atbats in Louisville last year and was named the best prospect in that league.

lollipopcurve
09-23-2008, 04:08 PM
There were a lot of players in Dayton with great work ethics. Hard to single one out, but Justin Reed might have had the reputation for being the hardest worker. Mesoraco is a hard worker. Cozart played through an injury all year without taking hardly a day off. Horst worked hard. Frazier had intangibles that were off the charts, more for leadership skills than anything. For the most part, that was a team of high-character guys, despite what some might have thought after the fight.

But it is not automatic. I have seen the other side. I once saw a first round catcher who showed up and announced that he was not going to catch any bullpens. You see attitude issues with first rounders far more than any other round because they are the most spoiled, most selfish, most able to get away with it in some cases. You also see issues occasionally with these guys suddenly having a lot of money to spend and not being mature enough to make good decisions.

Of the guys who have come through the system, you hear great things about Votto, Bruce, and Janish as guys that have the hearts of winners.

Cool. Thanks -- that's very interesting stuff.

I really would love to see Janish given a shot, but I fear he's just a little short in too many areas (bat, speed, defense -- where he is good, but not great). He seems to be the type of player who would get better and better until, if he were surrounded by a good offense, he could hold down SS for a winning team. Still, there are options behind him on the horizon, so there really isn't much time left for him to get that shot....and Baker clearly prefers a couple guys who are better hitters and lesser defenders (Keppinger, Hairston) at the position, despite his pronouncements that the defense must improve.

dougdirt
09-23-2008, 04:17 PM
this is not a crack on Stubbs, but did he play anywhere long enough to qualify for a top ten list in any league?

He played enough in the FSL to qualify. Doubtful anywhere else.

Kc61
09-23-2008, 05:05 PM
Cool. Thanks -- that's very interesting stuff.

I really would love to see Janish given a shot, but I fear he's just a little short in too many areas (bat, speed, defense -- where he is good, but not great). He seems to be the type of player who would get better and better until, if he were surrounded by a good offense, he could hold down SS for a winning team. Still, there are options behind him on the horizon, so there really isn't much time left for him to get that shot....and Baker clearly prefers a couple guys who are better hitters and lesser defenders (Keppinger, Hairston) at the position, despite his pronouncements that the defense must improve.

Reds should never have sent Janish down earlier this year. He was just looking comfortable out there. He seemed very happy to be playing with Bruce and Votto, I thought his bat was starting to get a little better, and his excellent defense was starting to show itself.

To me, it doesn't look like they plan on Janish being with the team. Hope I'm wrong. I think he can contribute off the bench, particularly, as you say, if surrounded by a good offense.

remdog
09-23-2008, 05:38 PM
I want to hear a little about his work ethic. Will he work on his weaknesses? Is he coachable? Is he truly commited to the game over and above the lifestyle that comes with it? Does he have a decent baseball IQ? Will he play hard every day? Can he handle the pressure of such high expections? Maybe he is top-notch in all these areas. I don't know yet.

When I hear people talk about the differences between Joey Votto and Homer Bailey, they talk about the things I just mentioned, and they reference the fact that one is an improving major leaguer and likely a future star who busts his butt every day to get better, and the other can't get out of Triple-A despite having the arm to be an all-star.

But you're asking if the guy can 'play the game the right way', 'knows how to win' and 'gives '110%'! That's a no-no on Redszone according to the guys here that 'know-know' baseball. ;)

Rem

TRF
09-24-2008, 09:27 AM
He had 303 atbats in the FSL which is more than enough to qualify. FWIW, Jay Bruce only had 268 atbats in the FSL last year when he was named the top prospect in that league. He also had just 187 atbats in Louisville last year and was named the best prospect in that league.


He played enough in the FSL to qualify. Doubtful anywhere else.


Thanks, I was wondering what the cutoff amount of AB's was.

Mario-Rijo
09-24-2008, 09:42 AM
Except you've got to figure he'll be in High A next season.

FWIW, I'd have had him in Billings this year based on the notion that he's not going to be a fast mover anyway.

I don't get where you are coming from on this (combined with your previous post) are you down on him or on the fence?

A 20 yr old kid that you would have had at Billings holds his own offensively at a level higher than that and you are disappointed? I don't understand that. Understandably his defense needs work but how can you not be at least a bit optimistic about what he has done so far? I'm not a huge proponent of his but I would say that I am optimistic about him assuming good health. You sound as if you are convinced he was a wasted pick.

Mario-Rijo
09-24-2008, 09:57 AM
I will say this, the Rockies and Reds talked about Matt Holliday. They were concrete on two names being involved. Francisco was one of those guys. There are a lot of things to love about his game. He can hit. He can hit for lots of power. He has a cannon for an arm. He just has no clue that he doesn't have to swing at every pitch thrown. I wouldn't come close to puting Francisco higher than Soto though.

Really, what else can you tell us on these Holliday happenings? For example can you say when these talks occured and who else might have been a part of the discussions, both concrete and otherwise? And by concrete do you mean they both agreed on 2 prospects? How many prospects would it have taken assuming the 2 concrete guys were a part of the deal? If you mentioned it elsewhere I must have missed it.

I realize you may not be able to get too deep into specifics but what can you tell us about those talks?

princeton
09-24-2008, 10:03 AM
You sound as if you are convinced he was a wasted pick.

Baseball America sources sound convinced, too.

dougdirt
09-24-2008, 12:19 PM
Really, what else can you tell us on these Holliday happenings? For example can you say when these talks occured and who else might have been a part of the discussions, both concrete and otherwise? And by concrete do you mean they both agreed on 2 prospects? How many prospects would it have taken assuming the 2 concrete guys were a part of the deal? If you mentioned it elsewhere I must have missed it.

I realize you may not be able to get too deep into specifics but what can you tell us about those talks?

There were talks earlier in the season and the Rockies wanted Harang +, but when he went down that all stopped. Right now, they want another starter in our rotation that happens to be under 25, Juan Francisco and another good prospect. Francisco and that other pitcher are 'locks' in the deal for the Rockies, they won't take replacements. So I don't see the trade happening.

M2
09-24-2008, 12:23 PM
I don't get where you are coming from on this (combined with your previous post) are you down on him or on the fence?

A 20 yr old kid that you would have had at Billings holds his own offensively at a level higher than that and you are disappointed? I don't understand that. Understandably his defense needs work but how can you not be at least a bit optimistic about what he has done so far? I'm not a huge proponent of his but I would say that I am optimistic about him assuming good health. You sound as if you are convinced he was a wasted pick.

I'd have had him in Billings partially because I never thought he was first round material to begin with. I was on record about that prior to the 2007 draft.

As princeton noted, scouts aren't optimistic about what he's done so far either. He's failed to impress.

That doesn't mean he can't get his game together over the course of years and make it to the majors, but you could say that about any kid in the minors. Top picks are supposed to stand out. The Reds treated him like a top pick this season and put him in full season ball and he drew notice for all the wrong reasons.

The main problem he's got is his defense is a mess. There's serious concern about whether he can stay behind the plate and, unlike Joey Votto, he's yet to show the kind of bat you want to play in the OF or an IF corner. It's the problem you invite when you draft a "good for a catcher" bat and athlete. Now there's doubt that he can stick behind the plate and anywhere else he's not a good hitter or a good athlete.

Also, I don't see anything praise-worthy about a .261/.311/.399 season. That's a line that needs significant improvement. My fix to it would be to keep him in Dayton and hopefully his bat will catch up to his level of competition a bit and the organization can keep trying to learn him some defense. Again, I see absolutely no reason to treat him like he'll be in the majors in short order. The Reds should take their time with him.

Yet the larger point is that Mesoraco has created more doubters than believers so far and that's not good news. Again, I don't expect that register around here very much, but the reality is his star has fallen quite a bit since he got drafted.

OnBaseMachine
09-24-2008, 12:29 PM
I agree with M2 on this. There is no way Mesoraco should be in Sarasota next season. He needs to repeat at Dayton and spend at least half a season there. If his glove and bat show considerable improvement then maybe bump him to Sarasota for the final two months.

dougdirt
09-24-2008, 12:31 PM
I agree with M2 on this. There is no way Mesoraco should be in Sarasota next season. He needs to repeat at Dayton and spend at least half a season there. If his glove and bat show considerable improvement then maybe bump him to Sarasota for the final two months.

I wouldn't be opposed to something like that, but I really think its going to be based on how he does in Instructional League and in the Spring.

OnBaseMachine
09-24-2008, 12:52 PM
This is a little off topic but I was just looking at the Sally League top 10 prospects from five years ago and was amazed at how well those prospects turned out. Check out this strong list:

1. B.J. Upton - one of the better CFers in the game
2. Scott Kazmir - ace
3. Cole Hamels - ace
4. Jeff Francoeur - disappointing season but still has plenty of talent, needs to learn plate discipline
5. Jeremy Hermida - decent career so far and should get better
6. Hanley Ramirez - one of the top five players in the game
7. Fausto Carmona - disappointing season but Cy Young candidate last year
8. Merkin Valdez - looked good in setup role earlier this season before going down to a injury
9. Scott Olson - solid back end starter
10. Mike Hinckley - yet to allow a run in 11.2 major league innings

It's hard to find a list better than that one.

flyer85
09-24-2008, 02:39 PM
Francisco and that other pitcher are 'locks' in the deal for the Rockies, they won't take replacements. So I don't see the trade happening.great news ... let 'em keep there overrated Boras client.

OnBaseMachine
09-24-2008, 02:46 PM
great news ... let 'em keep there overrated Boras client.

Agreed. I've said all along I would rather have Nelson Cruz or Jeremy Hermida. Both are cheaper in terms of salary and prospects.

BRM
09-24-2008, 03:17 PM
Agreed. I've said all along I would rather have Nelson Cruz or Jeremy Hermida. Both are cheaper in terms of salary and prospects.

And will likely provide less production...

I still agree with you though. Given the resources it would take to acquire the players listed, I'd rather make a run at Hermida. He'll come much cheaper and is primed for a breakout season, especially if you put him in GABP.