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View Full Version : Who is Redszone's #1 prospect?



OnBaseMachine
10-16-2008, 01:15 PM
If you remember, a couple years ago we created polls and voted on the Reds top ten prospects. I don't think we did this last season, but I thought it was a lot of fun a couple years ago and would like to do it again. It doesn't just have to be the top ten, we can do top 20 or even 30. I'll go ahead and list the obvious candidates for #1. As we go along you guys can recommend prospects you want added to the poll.

Here is the original thread started by chicoruiz:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53546

OnBaseMachine
10-16-2008, 01:19 PM
I'll go with Yonder Alonso in a slight edge over Neftali Soto.

nemesis
10-16-2008, 01:21 PM
I go with Soto over Alonso for the fact he's 19, Right handed and can play multipule postions. I think his growth as a hitter had tons of room for improvment (scary)vs Alonso might be a more finished product.

*BaseClogger*
10-16-2008, 01:24 PM
It's easily Alonso IMO. Soto is raw, Frazier can't play good defense anywhere to make his polished bat valuable enough, and Stubbs/Valaika just aren't that good...

AmarilloRed
10-16-2008, 01:39 PM
I don't think we did this last season, but I thought it was a lot of fun a couple years ago and would like to do it again.

Here is the original thread started by chicoruiz:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53546

Doug did create a series of polls last November in the Minor League Forum that went to the Top 40. I think we should do it again. I will go with Alonso.

dougdirt
10-16-2008, 01:39 PM
Yonder Alonso by a nose over Soto. His advanced bat at the higher levels gives him the edge currently.

bucksfan2
10-16-2008, 01:45 PM
Soto - 2 minor league seasons.

Alonso - 6 games.

I realize that Alonso may have the pedigree and have been the 7th pick in the draft but he still has yet to prove anything to me. Until he picks up a wooden bat against professionals I wouldn't rank him above Soto, Stubbs, or Frazier.

camisadelgolf
10-16-2008, 01:48 PM
I'm going with Yonder Alonso, too, but my contradictory nature considered Juan Duran.

dougdirt
10-16-2008, 02:01 PM
Soto - 2 minor league seasons.

Alonso - 6 games.

I realize that Alonso may have the pedigree and have been the 7th pick in the draft but he still has yet to prove anything to me. Until he picks up a wooden bat against professionals I wouldn't rank him above Soto, Stubbs, or Frazier.

Alonso is tearing it up in the Hawaiian Winter League right now to the tune of .280/.438/.560. Small sample size of course, but he comes from a school that has a list a mile long of good major leaguers and his scouting reports looks fantastic.

medford
10-16-2008, 02:41 PM
I find it interesting that Homer isn't listed as an option (he wouldn't be my #1 fwiw) and nobody has said boo about at this point. My how far has his star fallen? I wonder if he'll be considered by the Reds #1 prospect by BA, etc... even though most of redszone wouldn't list him as #1.

I really liked what I saw out of Soto when I saw him earlier this year, so I'll go w/ him for now, however I like everything I've read and seen of Yonder to this point. Just not enough of it in professional ball for me to put him #1 yet.

medford
10-16-2008, 02:44 PM
Actually after thinking about it another minute, I'll put Yonder #1. Stubbs is likely the closest to the majors of that group, but Yonder is probably the 2nd closest, and most likely to make a big impact. I'd put Frasier close behind due to his proximity to the majors over Soto, then Soto, then Stubbs, then Valakia. Although honestly, I could see any of these 5 as making the biggest impact in the majors over the others. Gotta like the depth.

BRM
10-16-2008, 02:46 PM
I find it interesting that Homer isn't listed as an option (he wouldn't be my #1 fwiw) and nobody has said boo about at this point. My how far has his star fallen? I wonder if he'll be considered by the Reds #1 prospect by BA, etc... even though most of redszone wouldn't list him as #1.

I really liked what I saw out of Soto when I saw him earlier this year, so I'll go w/ him for now, however I like everything I've read and seen of Yonder to this point. Just not enough of it in professional ball for me to put him #1 yet.

Homer will be in their top 3-5 but I doubt anyone has him as the Reds #1 prospect.

Yonder and Soto 1-2 for me. I don't really care what order you put them.

Kc61
10-16-2008, 02:49 PM
Soto has walked 22 times in 437 minor league at bats. He isn't a plus defensive prospect. I doubt any publication will rank him as the Reds top one or two prospect. Lower in the top ten, yes.

After Alonso, there is no sure fire prospect in the organization. I think Frazier is the closest with his advanced bat, although his lack of a clear defensive position is an issue.

Stubbs has the defense and emerging offense to probably be number 3.

Then you can talk about Soto with some others.

HBP
10-16-2008, 02:50 PM
Have to go with Alonso. His numbers in college were just too good to ignore. For some reason though, I see Frazier putting up the best numbers next year. Don't forget about Thompson either. His season up to and including that game against the Yankees was nothing short of phenomenal.

BRM
10-16-2008, 02:53 PM
Soto will be the number one or two prospect on RedsZone. And nowhere else.

Do you think everywhere else will have Bailey 1 or 2?

OnBaseMachine
10-16-2008, 02:55 PM
I find it interesting that Homer isn't listed as an option (he wouldn't be my #1 fwiw) and nobody has said boo about at this point. My how far has his star fallen? I wonder if he'll be considered by the Reds #1 prospect by BA, etc... even though most of redszone wouldn't list him as #1.

I really liked what I saw out of Soto when I saw him earlier this year, so I'll go w/ him for now, however I like everything I've read and seen of Yonder to this point. Just not enough of it in professional ball for me to put him #1 yet.

Homer Bailey no longer qualifies as a prospect due to him losing his rookie eligibility this season.

BRM
10-16-2008, 02:56 PM
Homer Bailey no longer qualifies as a prospect due to him losing his rookie eligibility this season.

Gotcha. That answers my question to Kc then.

OnBaseMachine
10-16-2008, 02:59 PM
Soto will be the number one or two prospect on RedsZone. And nowhere else.

Soto will, at worst, be the #3 Reds prospect when BA reveals their list. Baseball Prospectus will probably have him #2. All the major prospect sites love the potential of Soto. He should be #1 or 2 but BA likes Stubbs a lot so he'll probably rank ahead of Soto.

BRM
10-16-2008, 03:01 PM
Wrong. Soto will, at worst, be the #3 Reds prospect when BA reveals their list. Baseball Prospectus will probably have him #2. All the major prospect sites love the potential of Soto. He should be #1 or 2 but BA likes Stubbs a lot so he'll probably rank ahead of Soto.

So your prediction is BP has him #2 and BA has him #3? Both are likely to have Alonso #1, correct?

bucksfan2
10-16-2008, 03:08 PM
Alonso is tearing it up in the Hawaiian Winter League right now to the tune of .280/.438/.560. Small sample size of course, but he comes from a school that has a list a mile long of good major leaguers and his scouting reports looks fantastic.

Brandon Larson came from a top program. His coach at LSU said he was better than Albert Belle when he coached him. There have been plenty of players with top notch pedigrees and have from great pedigrees that have failed. Im not saying that Alonso will be a failure but I don't rank him high until he proves it in the minors.

OnBaseMachine
10-16-2008, 03:09 PM
So your prediction is BP has him #2 and BA has him #3? Both are likely to have Alonso #1, correct?

Kevin Goldstein of BP loves Soto. It wouldn't surprise me if he has Soto #1, but I still think he'll put Alonso #1 and Soto #2. Goldstein is also a Frazier fan too but I fully expect Soto to be #1/2 on BP. I'm not 100% sure about Baseball America. They are huge fans of five tool players like Stubbs. IIRC in a chat a while back they all but confirmed Alonso will be ranked #1 on their Reds list. That leads me to believe they'll decide between Stubbs and Soto for number two.

BRM
10-16-2008, 03:18 PM
Kevin Goldstein of BP loves Soto. It wouldn't surprise me if he has Soto #1, but I still think he'll put Alonso #1 and Soto #2. Goldstein is also a Frazier fan too but I fully expect Soto to be #1/2 on BP. I'm not 100% sure about Baseball America. They are huge fans of five tool players like Stubbs. IIRC in a chat a while back they all but confirmed Alonso will be ranked #1 on their Reds list. That leads me to believe they'll decide between Stubbs and Soto for number two.

It sounds to me like Alonso, Soto, Frazier and Stubbs will be the top 4 on nearly every site. It's just a matter of what order they are in. Where do the pitchers fit in? None in the top 5?

Kc61
10-16-2008, 03:18 PM
Wrong. Soto will, at worst, be the #3 Reds prospect when BA reveals their list. Baseball Prospectus will probably have him #2. All the major prospect sites love the potential of Soto. He should be #1 or 2 but BA likes Stubbs a lot so he'll probably rank ahead of Soto.

I seem to recall BA (maybe in a chat concerning the individual league prospects list) suggesting that Soto ranks behind a number of others, like Valaika, Francisco. Perhaps I'm not remembering accurately. Soto is a good prospect, but some of the posters here may have a slightly inflated view.

OnBaseMachine
10-16-2008, 03:25 PM
It sounds to me like Alonso, Soto, Frazier and Stubbs will be the top 4 on nearly every site. It's just a matter of what order they are in. Where do the pitchers fit in? None in the top 5?

Daryl Thompson and Kyle Lotzkar will probably rank in the 6-10 area. Lotzkar has true TOR talent, his stuff is that good. He's got three potential plus pitches. Right now he just needs to work on his control and he's got plenty of time to do that. He doesn't turn 19 until next week.

BRM
10-16-2008, 03:28 PM
Daryl Thompson and Kyle Lotzkar will probably rank in the 6-10 area. Lotzkar has true TOR talent, his stuff is that good. He's got three potential plus pitches. Right now he just needs to work on his control and he's got plenty of time to do that. He doesn't turn 19 until next week.

I would guess Lotzkar will be the highest rated pitching prospect just due to his ceiling being high. Guys like Thompson profile more as 3s or 4s from what I've read. The Reds may only have 2 or 3 pitchers in the their top 10.

dougdirt
10-16-2008, 03:31 PM
Soto has walked 22 times in 437 minor league at bats. He isn't a plus defensive prospect. I doubt any publication will rank him as the Reds top one or two prospect. Lower in the top ten, yes.

After Alonso, there is no sure fire prospect in the organization. I think Frazier is the closest with his advanced bat, although his lack of a clear defensive position is an issue.

Stubbs has the defense and emerging offense to probably be number 3.

Then you can talk about Soto with some others.

Neftali Soto's plate discipline isn't really much of an issue because he isn't out there swinging and missing at a bunch of junk. He just make good with the strikes he see's and puts them in play (he did hit .340 this year). He is easily the #2 prospect for me.

dougdirt
10-16-2008, 03:35 PM
Brandon Larson came from a top program. His coach at LSU said he was better than Albert Belle when he coached him. There have been plenty of players with top notch pedigrees and have from great pedigrees that have failed. Im not saying that Alonso will be a failure but I don't rank him high until he proves it in the minors.

I guess we just have very strong disagreements on how we view prospects. I look at them more as 'what will they do eventually', their current performance comes into play further down the checklist.

Stingray
10-16-2008, 03:37 PM
I went with Stubbs because all reports agree his defense is outstanding in a critical defensive position and his hitting has held up or improved as he moved up in levels. He's the nearest to being ready - as soon as mid '09.

klw
10-16-2008, 03:38 PM
I think for future polls on this the list of options should be longer to include folks such as Duran, yorman, D Thompson,Josh Roenicke, Kyle Lotzkar, Devin Mesoraco, Juan Francisco, Zach Stewart, Zach Cozart, Travis Wood, Matt Maloney, Shaun Cumberland, etc. Thanks for getting this going again,.

And before we get too far the question of whether Homer still qualifies should be settled.

dougdirt
10-16-2008, 03:39 PM
I seem to recall BA (maybe in a chat concerning the individual league prospects list) suggesting that Soto ranks behind a number of others, like Valaika, Francisco. Perhaps I'm not remembering accurately. Soto is a good prospect, but some of the posters here may have a slightly inflated view.

Depends who you ask at BA. Jim Callis has said you could make a real convincing argument that Soto is the Reds best prospect. Others may not be so sure, but the league prospects lists are a crapshoot at times, especially in the case of a guy like Soto, who some managers in the league may not have seen or only seen once. The Midwest League list was compiled by talking with 8 of the mangers in the league, well for all we know, 4 of those managers didn't see Soto at all this year due to scheduling and his arrival to Dayton.

dougdirt
10-16-2008, 03:39 PM
I think for future polls on this the list of options should be longer to include folks such as Duran, yorman, D Thompson,Josh Roenicke, Kyle Lotzkar, Devin Mesoraco, Juan Francisco, Zach Stewart, Zach Cozart, Travis Wood, Matt Maloney, Shaun Cumberland, etc. Thanks for getting this going again,.

And before we get too far the question of whether Homer still qualifies should be settled.

Homer Bailey is not rookie of the year eligible next year, therefore he is no longer a prospect.

OnBaseMachine
10-16-2008, 03:41 PM
I would guess Lotzkar will be the highest rated pitching prospect just due to his ceiling being high. Guys like Thompson profile more as 3s or 4s from what I've read. The Reds may only have 2 or 3 pitchers in the their top 10.

I think Thompson could be a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter if he can improve his slider/curve to go along with his 92-94 mph fastball and solid changeup. That said, I also think he could be a great setup man where his fastball would probably jump a tick or two and his arm would probably hold up better with the lesser workload. Zach Stewart will probably rank in the top ten. He's got the stuff to be a dominant setup man and he's got a chance to move quickly.

The Reds lack solid starting pitching depth in the upper minors but there are some intriguing arms in the lower levels. Kyle Lotzkar is the best in a group that includes Evan Hildenbrandt, Juan Carlos Sulbaran, Oscar Castro, Tyler Cline, Shea Snowden, and hopefully an arm like Carlos Tineo will emerge from the Dominican next season.

klw
10-16-2008, 03:43 PM
Homer Bailey is not rookie of the year eligible next year, therefore he is no longer a prospect.

Oops see what I get for missing the second page of the thread before posting.

OnBaseMachine
10-16-2008, 03:45 PM
I think for future polls on this the list of options should be longer to include folks such as Duran, yorman, D Thompson,Josh Roenicke, Kyle Lotzkar, Devin Mesoraco, Juan Francisco, Zach Stewart, Zach Cozart, Travis Wood, Matt Maloney, Shaun Cumberland, etc. Thanks for getting this going again,.

And before we get too far the question of whether Homer still qualifies should be settled.

They will. I just didn't want to list those guys for the #1 choice when they most likely wouldn't have received any votes for #1. I'll expand the field of choices as we move away from the top two or three.

bucksfan2
10-16-2008, 03:46 PM
I guess we just have very strong disagreements on how we view prospects. I look at them more as 'what will they do eventually', their current performance comes into play further down the checklist.

I don't know if it is that extreme. I look at prospects as "what they will do eventually" but they have to prove first that they can do something now. Im not saying that Alonso doesn't have all the physical tools to become a great hitter, it is that he has yet to show he can handle playing professional baseball with a wooden bat yet. Once he does that he will jump to the top of my list. There have been all kind of world class athletes that have had all the tools but have had the inability to put it all together. That is why I want to see Alonso hold his own in the minors before I jump on his bandwagon.

WebScorpion
10-16-2008, 03:53 PM
The only way I could see BA ranking Soto lower than #2 would be if they decided Duran and/or Y-Rod had higher ceilings. IMO, BA's rankings seem to be more ceiling oriented, while BP seems to weight a little more toward the performance side of the equation.

lollipopcurve
10-16-2008, 04:05 PM
Alonso -- he's polished with the bat and his position isn't an issue.

Lockdwn11
10-16-2008, 04:47 PM
Man I am kinda shocked to see Alonso #1 I mean I know/heard the man has skills but I feel he is yet to prove it on the pro level. He has yet to play a one season of pro ball. To me it's kinda like calling Drew Stubbs a Busts before he played a game/full season. I really can't say that he isn't #1 because I haven't seen him play a full pro season or even a game but maybe he is that damn good! I just can't say it after a hand full of at-bats. I would have to say my order would be .

1.) Soto

2.) Frazier

3.) Alonso

4.) Valaika

5.) Stubbs

New Fever
10-16-2008, 05:36 PM
The only way I could see BA ranking Soto lower than #2 would be if they decided Duran and/or Y-Rod had higher ceilings. IMO, BA's rankings seem to be more ceiling oriented, while BP seems to weight a little more toward the performance side of the equation.

Actually, Goldstein (BP) ranks younger Latin American prospects higher than Baseball America. Last year he ranked Neftali Feliz as the Rangers best prospect and Wilmer Flores as the fourth best prospect in the Mets system.

Kc61
10-16-2008, 05:55 PM
Neftali Soto's plate discipline isn't really much of an issue because he isn't out there swinging and missing at a bunch of junk. He just make good with the strikes he see's and puts them in play (he did hit .340 this year). He is easily the #2 prospect for me.

22 walks in 437 at bats should be an issue.

And while Soto has made good contact with few strikeouts, he hasn't really hit the long ball. 13 homers in 437 at bats.

At some point, he will start to hit more homers. He's supposedly a guy with excellent power. The question is whether he can keep his strikeout rate low when that happens. And whether he can improve his walk rate.

I hope Soto stays a high BA guy and simply improves his selectivity and walks more. He's very young and we'll see how he does at more advanced levels.

For me, It's Alonso, Frazier, Stubbs, Soto, Francisco as the top five in that order.

Eric_the_Red
10-16-2008, 06:07 PM
I say Alonso, but that may be biased from all the pub he got when he was drafted. It'd be nice if most of these guys reach their projections in the majors.

Mario-Rijo
10-16-2008, 06:23 PM
Man I am kinda shocked to see Alonso #1 I mean I know/heard the man has skills but I feel he is yet to prove it on the pro level. He has yet to play a one season of pro ball. To me it's kinda like calling Drew Stubbs a Busts before he played a game/full season. I really can't say that he isn't #1 because I haven't seen him play a full pro season or even a game but maybe he is that damn good! I just can't say it after a hand full of at-bats. I would have to say my order would be .

1.) Soto

2.) Frazier

3.) Alonso

4.) Valaika

5.) Stubbs

I agree that's also my list at this current time, although I may or may not flip Valaika & Stubbs that's a toss up right now. Stubbs has the higher ceiling but I think Valaika has the higher floor of the 2.

Soto is #1 IMO although I understand the reasoning behind moving Alonso ahead of him but I don't necc. agree with it. #1 I don't have a problem with Soto's defense, if he has a big problem defensively it's not one I am aware of. That said alonso IMO does have a potential defensive issue, he's not real adept at picking balls out of the dirt yet. I watched just a few of his games (in the tourny) and in those few games I saw 2 different miscues. It very well may have just been a fluke thing but on at least one of those he was way off the mark, so IMO I saw enough to not completely dismiss the possibility that he has a little work to do there at the very least. Of course i'm sure Soto has some work to do also considering he isn't gonna be a SS and must be moved. But what scouting report is floating out there that makes people wanna state as fact that he isn't a good defender? How can we call him a poor defender before he has even settled into any position with any kind of regularity? So at this point worst case scenario defense is a wash IMO. I don't think either is gonna set the world on fire baserunning so I at this point think that's pretty much a wash.

So offensively who's better ahh, I like Soto so far he has done quite well and there is no reason to really question his abilities at this point. Now if he starts swinging at stuff out of the zone at some point that would be a reason to question him. Alonso well there isn't much of anything to be concerned about so far either except Josh Fields and one other pitcher (I don't recall his name) made him look pretty darn silly on a few yackers which could speak to level of competition to this point. More than a few outstanding bats have went the way of the 8 track over the inability to hit the bender. It's all small sample sizes but something to keep an eye on.

Ultimately I think Soto has the highest ceiling offensively of anyone in the system I think he could be our future at 3B which is a tougher position to fill than 1B or LF and he is likely to be a major leaguer before his 22nd B-Day which is often an indication of better things.

I think Alonso could be slightly better than Frazier but I also think Frazier could be a solid 3B. But really this just comes down to preference because I feel they are so close ceiling wise that it's a 2A and 2B situation. So I choose Frazier because he may eventually represent more value.

OnBaseMachine
10-16-2008, 06:48 PM
From what I've read, Soto has adequate range at third base and a strong throwing arm. He's never gonna be a gold glover but I don't think he's gonna be a liability either.

dougdirt
10-16-2008, 07:02 PM
22 walks in 437 at bats should be an issue.

And while Soto has made good contact with few strikeouts, he hasn't really hit the long ball. 13 homers in 437 at bats.

At some point, he will start to hit more homers. He's supposedly a guy with excellent power. The question is whether he can keep his strikeout rate low when that happens. And whether he can improve his walk rate.

I hope Soto stays a high BA guy and simply improves his selectivity and walks more. He's very young and we'll see how he does at more advanced levels.


This year the kid hit 11 HR in 283 at bats as a 19 year old. Jay Bruce at the same age hit 16 HR in 444 at bats. I think you have a misunderstanding of how many HR's teenagers tend to hit.

OnBaseMachine
10-16-2008, 07:20 PM
This year the kid hit 11 HR in 283 at bats as a 19 year old. Jay Bruce at the same age hit 16 HR in 444 at bats. I think you have a misunderstanding of how many HR's teenagers tend to hit.

Exactly. Adam Dunn only hit 11 homers in 313 atbats as a 19-year old. A good indicator of power potential is doubles. Soto hit 25 doubles in just 285 atbats this season, a very high total. As young hitters fill out those doubles tend to turn into home runs. Look at the minor league career of Miguel Cabrera - low homer totals, plenty of doubles. In 2002 at age 19 Cabrera hit just nine homers in 489 atbats but he hit 43 doubles. The next season his power just exploded as he filled out and turned those doubles into homers. Same thing happened with Jay Bruce. I expect the same thing to happen with Soto in the next year or two.

If you look at pictures of Soto, his body reminds me so much of A-Rod's when he came up. I'm not comparing him to A-Rod, just his body type.

GoReds33
10-16-2008, 07:28 PM
Alonso has been compared to Pujols. I don't really care if that comes true, but if he's even close, I'll be more than pleased.

OnBaseMachine
10-16-2008, 07:36 PM
Alonso has been compared to Pujols. I don't really care if that comes true, but if he's even close, I'll be more than pleased.

I think that comparison was between body types, not ability. I think a better comparison would be along the lines of an Adrian Gonzalez type with slightly less power and more walks.

GoReds33
10-16-2008, 08:07 PM
I think that comparison was between body types, not ability. I think a better comparison would be along the lines of an Adrian Gonzalez type with slightly less power and more walks.I have heard the body one more, but I have, atleast once, heard them compared in ablities. I know it's a bad comparison, but if you want to compare a prospect with somebody, why not compare him with the best in baseball?

SMcGavin
10-16-2008, 08:32 PM
It sounds to me like Alonso, Soto, Frazier and Stubbs will be the top 4 on nearly every site. It's just a matter of what order they are in. Where do the pitchers fit in? None in the top 5?

Actually Lotzkar would be #3 or #4 for me. What he was doing in Dayton before his injury was really, really impressive. I'd also have Maloney and Thompson in the top eight.

Betterread
10-16-2008, 08:32 PM
I don't know if it is that extreme. I look at prospects as "what they will do eventually" but they have to prove first that they can do something now. Im not saying that Alonso doesn't have all the physical tools to become a great hitter, it is that he has yet to show he can handle playing professional baseball with a wooden bat yet. Once he does that he will jump to the top of my list. There have been all kind of world class athletes that have had all the tools but have had the inability to put it all together. That is why I want to see Alonso hold his own in the minors before I jump on his bandwagon.
Alonso was the #2 prospect in the cape cod league in 2007 - the top collegiate wooden bat/pro showcase summer league. He started three years and two elite years at the highest level of college ball. When drafted, he was deemed to be at the high A/AA level right away.
This guy is very skilled, very determined and has conducted himself as a MLer since early on at Miami. He was a very safe pick - he is a far superior hitter than Soto, Frazier and Valaika.

dougdirt
10-16-2008, 08:39 PM
Actually Lotzkar would be #3 or #4 for me. What he was doing in Dayton before his injury was really, really impressive. I'd also have Maloney and Thompson in the top eight.

What has Matt Maloney done to warrant being in the Top 8?

mth123
10-16-2008, 08:46 PM
I'm a Frazier guy. Guy can hit and he's ready to take-off on a march to the big leagues in 2009.

SMcGavin
10-16-2008, 08:48 PM
What has Matt Maloney done to warrant being in the Top 8?

Really? 8.3 K/9 and 2.46 BB/9 in AAA not impressive? Look into what he did this year, it was the best season of his career. It's just hidden behind the fluky HR/F%. He always had a power guys' peripherals, and that included some not so great control. This year he drastically cut his walks, while keeping good strikeout numbers.

Seriously, "what has he done"? If nobody had ever seen these guys play Maloney would be penciled in to our rotation for the next ten years. The concern with Maloney has always been projection of his stuff to the bigs... what he has done on the field is mow down hitters at every level of the minors. The progression of his control this year bodes extremely well for his ability to succeed in the majors. Thompson was the reason I said top eight - Maloney is #5 or 6 for me. The groupthink that goes on regarding Maloney is ridiculous.

AmarilloRed
10-16-2008, 08:48 PM
I actually think Ramon Ramirez and Danny Dorn should be mentioned in future polls. Ramirez performed on the field in September with the Reds, and looks like he will be a major league starting pitcher next year. I have Ramirez with the inside track to be our fifth starter next year. Danny Dorn was very impressive last year in AA. Neither is the top prospect; however both should be in the top 10.

SMcGavin
10-16-2008, 08:49 PM
I'm a Frazier guy. Guy can hit and he's ready to take-off on a march to the big leagues in 2009.

I love Frazier too, but I have to go with Alonso #1. Those guys are the clear cut top two in my mind, with a mob of 6/7 guys behind them that I find it hard to differentiate between.

dougdirt
10-16-2008, 08:58 PM
Really? 8.3 K/9 and 2.46 BB/9 in AAA not impressive? Look into what he did this year, it was the best season of his career. It's just hidden behind the fluky HR/F%. He always had a power guys' peripherals, and that included some not so great control. This year he drastically cut his walks, while keeping good strikeout numbers.
Maloney had the highest FIP of his career this year in a pitchers ballpark in a pitchers league. His 'fluky' HR rate wasn't all that fluky as it was at 7% HR/FB, which is 4% lower than the major league average. I watched him pitch a lot last year, there was nothing fluky about it, you can't work up in the zone with mediocre stuff and get away with it, even in AAA.



Seriously, "what has he done"? If nobody had ever seen these guys play Maloney would be penciled in to our rotation for the next ten years. The concern with Maloney has always been projection of his stuff to the bigs... what he has done on the field is mow down hitters at every level of the minors. The progression of his control this year bodes extremely well for his ability to succeed in the majors. Thompson was the reason I said top eight - Maloney is #5 or 6 for me. The groupthink that goes on regarding Maloney is ridiculous.
Yeah, expect watching him play suggests that he isn't likely to carry his numbers over to the major leagues because he isn't going to miss too many bats there with a 90 MPH fastball that he throws up in the zone. Matt Maloney isn't one of the Reds top 5 starting pitching prospects, much less one of their top 5 prospects. He doesn't have a single plus offering, is an extreme flyball pitcher (60% flyball rate, just 40% grounders), his fastball is mediocre at best and he pitches up in the zone. Nothing about that suggests he is going to go to the majors and have success. I mean really, what separates Matt Maloney and Sam Lecure? The hand they throw with is about it. Both work in the 87-91 MPH range with average offspeed stuff, are fly ball pitchers and get by with how they work the batters.

Kc61
10-16-2008, 09:06 PM
This year the kid hit 11 HR in 283 at bats as a 19 year old. Jay Bruce at the same age hit 16 HR in 444 at bats. I think you have a misunderstanding of how many HR's teenagers tend to hit.

I have no misunderstanding.

My post did not challenge Soto's power. As I said, it is likely Soto will hit more homers as he develops.

My point is simply that, for his fans who emphasize Soto's "high contact, low strikeout" performance -- you have to view that in the context of a player who isn't hitting home runs. Usually power hitters strike out much more and if Soto begins to try for homers he may strike out much more.

dougdirt
10-16-2008, 09:12 PM
I have no misunderstanding.

My post did not challenge Soto's power. As I said, it is likely Soto will hit more homers as he develops.

My point is simply that, for his fans who emphasize Soto's "high contact, low strikeout" performance -- you have to view that in the context of a player who isn't hitting home runs. Usually power hitters strike out much more and if Soto begins to try for homers he may strike out much more.

Of course who is to say he isn't trying to hit them now and is still making plenty of contact?

SMcGavin
10-16-2008, 09:37 PM
Maloney had the highest FIP of his career this year in a pitchers ballpark in a pitchers league. His 'fluky' HR rate wasn't all that fluky as it was at 7% HR/FB, which is 4% lower than the major league average. I watched him pitch a lot last year, there was nothing fluky about it, you can't work up in the zone with mediocre stuff and get away with it, even in AAA.


Yeah, expect watching him play suggests that he isn't likely to carry his numbers over to the major leagues because he isn't going to miss too many bats there with a 90 MPH fastball that he throws up in the zone. Matt Maloney isn't one of the Reds top 5 starting pitching prospects, much less one of their top 5 prospects. He doesn't have a single plus offering, is an extreme flyball pitcher (60% flyball rate, just 40% grounders), his fastball is mediocre at best and he pitches up in the zone. Nothing about that suggests he is going to go to the majors and have success. I mean really, what separates Matt Maloney and Sam Lecure? The hand they throw with is about it. Both work in the 87-91 MPH range with average offspeed stuff, are fly ball pitchers and get by with how they work the batters.

According to minorleaguesplits, Maloney's luck-adjusted FIP in AAA this year was 3.36. What a bum. If you want to believe that Maloney can control his HR/F% even though studies suggest no pitchers really can, go for it. By the way, Maloney's HR/F was over 11%, I don't know where you are getting your numbers.

Your "extreme flyball pitcher" line is blatantly wrong... I don't know if you are purposely exaggerating, or misinformed. Actually, I've corrected you on it before, so I'm going to assume you are purposely being misleading. His GB% in 2008 was 41.3%. The past two years it was 42.7% and 45.7%. An average groundball rate is between 43-44%. Those are the facts.

And what separates Lecure and Maloney? Nothing I suppose other than the fact that they are the same age and Maloney has performed way better at every level. I would absolutely love to hear the five starting pitching prospects that the Reds have who are better than Maloney.

Kc61
10-16-2008, 09:42 PM
Of course who is to say he isn't trying to hit them now and is still making plenty of contact?


Presumably, Soto is trying to make contact. If he's trying for homers, he's not hitting them.

fearofpopvol1
10-16-2008, 09:53 PM
Alonso then Frazier then I don't think there is anyone else that's really close to where those 2 are at right now.

OnBaseMachine
10-16-2008, 09:54 PM
Presumably, Soto is trying to make contact. If he's trying for homers, he's not hitting them.

Again, not too many 19-years old hit a bunch of homers. Soto has a long and wiry frame and has plenty of filling out to do. He's got good present power as evidenced by his doubles/sluggling % and great power potential.

Lockdwn11
10-16-2008, 10:02 PM
Alonso was the #2 prospect in the cape cod league in 2007 - the top collegiate wooden bat/pro showcase summer league. He started three years and two elite years at the highest level of college ball. When drafted, he was deemed to be at the high A/AA level right away.
This guy is very skilled, very determined and has conducted himself as a MLer since early on at Miami. He was a very safe pick - he is a far superior hitter than Soto, Frazier and Valaika.

Says who? Even if Alonso is all you say he is and by all accounts he is a very good offensive player. What have you seen that makes you think he is FAR SUPERIOR to Soto? Soto has shown me he can hit and he is two years younger. His overall ceiling maybe higher than that of Alonso and from what I have seen and read he has a better glove . Maybe you are right and Alonso ends up being "far superior" to Soto (who knows) but to say that at this point maybe a little permature IMO.

dougdirt
10-16-2008, 10:03 PM
According to minorleaguesplits, Maloney's luck-adjusted FIP in AAA this year was 3.36. What a bum. If you want to believe that Maloney can control his HR/F% even though studies suggest no pitchers really can, go for it. By the way, Maloney's HR/F was over 11%, I don't know where you are getting your numbers.
I use firstinning.com because I have found many games missing through minor league splits in the past, but have never seen incorrect information through firstinning.com (innings and at bats have been missing from players seasons at MLS).



Your "extreme flyball pitcher" line is blatantly wrong... I don't know if you are purposely exaggerating, or misinformed. Actually, I've corrected you on it before, so I'm going to assume you are purposely being misleading. His GB% in 2008 was 41.3%. The past two years it was 42.7% and 45.7%. An average groundball rate is between 43-44%. Those are the facts.
Here is Matt Maloney's GB numbers since 2006 according to FI.


Year Age Team GB%
2006 22 A Lakewood 48%
2007 23 AA Reading 42%
2007 23 AA Chattanooga 37%
2007 23 AAA Louisville 42%
2008 24 AAA Louisville 40%

Now that tells me his fly balls were 100% minus whatever his GB% was, which means it was 52%, 58%, 63%, 58% and 60% fly balls at the different levels since 2006. Thats a whole lot of balls in the air and the general rule is that the higher you go, the more fly balls you allow.



And what separates Lecure and Maloney? Nothing I suppose other than the fact that they are the same age and Maloney has performed way better at every level. I would absolutely love to hear the five starting pitching prospects that the Reds have who are better than Maloney.
Lecure and Maloney have very similar numbers and very similar stuff.
As for Maloney performing 'way better' in AA at age 23 they had FIP's of 3.96 and 4.24. They had a BB% of 9.5% and 8.3%. They had K% of 21.6% and 21.3%. They had a GB% of 45% and 42%. Way better? Hmm, I am going to have to really disagree with that. As for the 5 starters that are better than Maloney, thats pretty simple: Daryl Thompson, Ramon Ramirez, Kyle Lotzkar, Evan Hildenbrandt, Jeremy Horst.

TOBTTReds
10-16-2008, 11:34 PM
For people who may not know, Lotzkar broke his elbow at the end of the season while throwing a pitch. That alone will drop him a bit.

Also, I would rank Yorman in the top 5...he is a bit more polished than Duran as well. Duran may be a freak pretty soon...but Yorman is a bit more advanced.

SMcGavin
10-16-2008, 11:36 PM
So you post the numbers that show Maloney has given up a fly ball rate right around or slightly below the average 43-44%. Then conclude from those numbers that he is an extreme fly ball pitcher. Solid work there.

Ramon Ramirez at least belongs in the conversation with Maloney, but he's older and doesn't have the history of being a starter. And Maloney was a touch better this year in AAA. I guess you could make a case for Ramirez, but I don't agree. Same for Thompson (though it's health problems mostly that worry me with him).

But Evan Hildenbrant and Jeremy Horst? You literally made me laugh out loud when I read those two names. Reminds me of how you were all about Travis Wood earlier this year when I said Maloney was a better prospect than him. Don't hear you talking too much about him anymore since he got smashed around in Chattanooga.

camisadelgolf
10-17-2008, 12:48 AM
Can we please get Juan Duran to replace Alonso on the next poll?

OnBaseMachine
10-17-2008, 12:51 AM
Can we please get Juan Duran to replace Alonso on the next poll?

Yep. I was gonna wait a couple days before starting the next thread but I may go ahead and start the next one tomorrow since this choice was a near land slide.

*BaseClogger*
10-17-2008, 12:58 AM
Is this like to replace the thing Doug did last year?

dougdirt
10-17-2008, 01:03 AM
So you post the numbers that show Maloney has given up a fly ball rate right around or slightly below the average 43-44%. Then conclude from those numbers that he is an extreme fly ball pitcher. Solid work there.
I don't have much idea what the 'average' is or where you are getting that from, but 40% grounders and 60% balls in the air to me seems pretty dramtic. A guy is an extreme ground ball guy when he gets to the 55% groundball threshold, so I apply it the other way. 20% less than the other is fairly extreme if you ask me. Of the qualified pitchers, only 14 pitchers were less than 40% FB.



Ramon Ramirez at least belongs in the conversation with Maloney, but he's older and doesn't have the history of being a starter. And Maloney was a touch better this year in AAA. I guess you could make a case for Ramirez, but I don't agree. Same for Thompson (though it's health problems mostly that worry me with him).
Ramirez has 88 starts in the minor leagues.... and what on earth suggests Maloney was better than Ramirez this year in AAA? Ramirez struck out a hire percentage of batters, had a lower ERA, lower FIP, lower WHIP, better stuff and got a significantly higher number of groundballs.



But Evan Hildenbrant and Jeremy Horst? You literally made me laugh out loud when I read those two names. Reminds me of how you were all about Travis Wood earlier this year when I said Maloney was a better prospect than him. Don't hear you talking too much about him anymore since he got smashed around in Chattanooga.

Yeah, Hildenbrandt and Horst are both better prospects than Matt Maloney. They have better swing and miss type stuff going for them. Speaking of which, do you have a scouting report on Maloney, Hildenbrandt or Horst that you could share? As far as Travis Wood, he has fell off some as the year went along, but I still think he is on the same level of a prospect as Maloney because he actually has a swing and miss pitch that will translate to the major leagues. He needs to hone in his control, but his upside is far and away higher than Maloney.

thatcoolguy_22
10-17-2008, 06:13 AM
I voted Stubbs

As far as pure prospect he has to be the number one. GG calibur defense in CF with plus power potential and plus speed. Alonso and Soto can both rip the cover off the ball but does that alone equate to a higher ranking than an offensive (potential) GG CF? Who would cost us more in prospects to obtain if everything was in a vacuum; Curtis Granderson or Mark Texeria?

Screwball
10-17-2008, 06:28 AM
I voted Stubbs

As far as pure prospect he has to be the number one. GG calibur defense in CF with plus power potential and plus speed. Alonso and Soto can both rip the cover off the ball but does that alone equate to a higher ranking than an offensive (potential) GG CF? Who would cost us more in prospects to obtain if everything was in a vacuum; Curtis Granderson or Mark Texeria?

I think the big problem here is not enough (many?) people are sold on the chances of Stubbs actually realizing his power potential.

bucksfan2
10-17-2008, 08:54 AM
Alonso was the #2 prospect in the cape cod league in 2007 - the top collegiate wooden bat/pro showcase summer league. He started three years and two elite years at the highest level of college ball. When drafted, he was deemed to be at the high A/AA level right away.
This guy is very skilled, very determined and has conducted himself as a MLer since early on at Miami. He was a very safe pick - he is a far superior hitter than Soto, Frazier and Valaika.

But he has still yet to prove anything against professionals with a wooden bat. Im glad he did well in the Cape Cod league. Im glad he is doing well in Hawai'i. But to rank him #1 in the reds system based upon a projection is something I don't agree with. I have seen way too many top picks, safe picks, in every sport not pan out because they weren't able to clear a particular hurdle at the top level.

I may be a little biased towards him because I didn't like the way he demanded so much money and held out to the midnight hour. I thought he hurt his development as well as the clubs development. If he comes in next season and puts up a good April and May then good for him he is doing what he is projected to do. But I agree with a poster who said calling Alonso the best prospect is akin to saying Stubbs was a bust before they played in the minors.

Orenda
10-17-2008, 10:32 AM
I may be a little biased towards him because I didn't like the way he demanded so much money and held out to the midnight hour. I thought he hurt his development as well as the clubs development. If he comes in next season and puts up a good April and May then good for him he is doing what he is projected to do. But I agree with a poster who said calling Alonso the best prospect is akin to saying Stubbs was a bust before they played in the minors.

Thats a solid point but I think another thing we should consider is perceived value. Personally I like Heisey a little better than I like Stubbs, but I recognize that Stubbs is more athletic, is a former 1st rounder who has a higher ceiling, and would bring more value in a trade. Alonso is a guy who was considered an advanced bat by the scouts and some thought he would be the number 1 guy in our system. So even if you like someone else more they aren't carrying the hype that Alonso and Stubbs are and therefore another team is probably not going to perceive other guys as the our top prospects decreasing their trade value.

dougdirt
10-17-2008, 10:34 AM
But I agree with a poster who said calling Alonso the best prospect is akin to saying Stubbs was a bust before they played in the minors.

Except that saying Alonso could be the Reds best prospect is believing in scouting reports. Saying Stubbs was a bust before he played a game in the minors is not really like that.

HokieRed
10-17-2008, 10:54 AM
Tough call but I voted Alonso. I look for all five of those mentioned to have significant major league careers. On the pitching question, I love Lotzkar but as an old guy who is both attuned to the newer metrics and believes in looking at the players, I still worry about his mechanics. He's too young to get put into polls for this or that best prospect but I think the highest ceilinged pitcher we have is Hildenbrandt--unless Pedro Viola finds a solid third pitch. That's the one thing all Rzers should be praying for.

Redsfan08
10-17-2008, 01:17 PM
none of them best prospect Devin Mesoraco.

OnBaseMachine
10-17-2008, 02:23 PM
Is it OK with everyone if I go ahead and start the next thread now or should I wait another day?

bucksfan2
10-17-2008, 02:33 PM
Except that saying Alonso could be the Reds best prospect is believing in scouting reports. Saying Stubbs was a bust before he played a game in the minors is not really like that.

Doug you know way more about minor league baseball than I do but I have a question. How many professional at bats are the scouting reports on Alonso based upon?

Lockdwn11
10-17-2008, 06:17 PM
Except that saying Alonso could be the Reds best prospect is believing in scouting reports. Saying Stubbs was a bust before he played a game in the minors is not really like that.

Except there where scouting reports out there that said Stubbs bat was suspect back then.

JayBruceFan
10-17-2008, 07:03 PM
I want to see what Alonso can do in regular season play over a full season

Not what he can do in the Hawaiian fall league over a couple weeks

OnBaseMachine
10-17-2008, 07:17 PM
Guys, I went ahead and started the next thread. This one is a blowout. The others should be closer so I'll make sure to keep them open for the full two days.

Here's the link to the next thread:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=72166

dougdirt
10-18-2008, 11:46 AM
Except there where scouting reports out there that said Stubbs bat was suspect back then.

There is a difference between believing a scouting report that says a guy is good and saying prove it and a scouting report saying a guy has problems making contact and already yelling bust. Scouting reports do change over time, especially with young players. Thing is, they generally get better, not worse (unless there is an injury). So when people yelled bust with Stubbs, its as if they had no hope that he could improve at all. Its not really the same thing to me.

dougdirt
10-18-2008, 11:48 AM
Doug you know way more about minor league baseball than I do but I have a question. How many professional at bats are the scouting reports on Alonso based upon?

I have a scouting report on Yonder Alonso based on professional at bats. He doesn't have many, but professional at bats doesn't change things like bat speed, swing plane, plate discipline, contact ability due to pitch recognition.... things that Alonso is rated very highly in.

Mario-Rijo
10-18-2008, 04:31 PM
I have a scouting report on Yonder Alonso based on professional at bats. He doesn't have many, but professional at bats doesn't change things like bat speed, swing plane, plate discipline, contact ability due to pitch recognition.... things that Alonso is rated very highly in.

Might wanna keep on eye on that contact ability as he gets higher through his levels, at least where the yacker is concerned.

dougdirt
10-19-2008, 02:31 AM
Might wanna keep on eye on that contact ability as he gets higher through his levels, at least where the yacker is concerned.

Very true, although the ability to recognize pitches, which he has shown is top notch, will certainly help him there.

Mario-Rijo
10-19-2008, 02:43 AM
Very true, although the ability to recognize pitches, which he has shown is top notch, will certainly help him there.

That's good, it's one of the most underrated talents/skillsets in baseball. If you can actually recognize a pitch and have the ability to make an instant adjustment you can be an absolute monster. I would imagine people would be surprised at just how many guys in MLB do not have this talent or at least don't use it very well if at all.