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edabbs44
02-24-2009, 12:52 PM
Alonso - 35
Frazier - 60

That is all for Cincy.

OnBaseMachine
02-24-2009, 01:02 PM
Not a great list if you ask me.

Colby Rasmus played half a season and posted a .742 OPS in a hitters league ... and he moved up to #3.

Drew Stubbs fell from the top 100 despite OPSing over .800 in Double-A and Triple-A (albeit small sample size).

Once again, Josh Vitters cracked the top 100 while Neftali Soto is nowhere to be found despite Soto having much better numbers.

edabbs44
02-24-2009, 01:06 PM
Not a great list if you ask me.

Colby Rasmus played half a season and posted a .742 OPS in a hitters league ... and he moved up to #3.

Drew Stubbs fell from the top 100 despite OPSing over .800 in Double-A and Triple-A (albeit small sample size).

Once again, Josh Vitters cracked the top 100 while Neftali Soto is nowhere to be found despite Soto having much better numbers.

Why do you keep saying that Soto has much better numbers than Vitters? I don't get it.

OnBaseMachine
02-24-2009, 01:12 PM
Why do you keep saying that Soto has much better numbers than Vitters? I don't get it.

Why do I keep saying that? Because it's true.

They have similar skills sets and Soto's numbers are much better.

Neftali Soto:

.327/.360/.522 - .882 OPS in 437 minor league atbats.

Josh Vitters:

.290/.327/.435 - .762 OPS in 324 minor league atbats.

edabbs44
02-24-2009, 01:29 PM
Why do I keep saying that? Because it's true.

They have similar skills sets and Soto's numbers are much better.

Neftali Soto:

.327/.360/.522 - .882 OPS in 437 minor league atbats.

Josh Vitters:

.290/.327/.435 - .762 OPS in 324 minor league atbats.

Look closer. In his only decent sample size, Vitters hit .328/.365/.498 in Low A as an 18 year old.

Soto, in a comparable sample size, hit .326/.343/.500 at Dayton as a 19 year old.

Soto has 107 games total and his numbers are very skewed by his 15 game tirade at Billings last year.

Their performances are extremely comparable.

OnBaseMachine
02-24-2009, 01:34 PM
Look closer. In his only decent sample size, Vitters hit .328/.365/.498 in Low A as an 18 year old.

Soto, in a comparable sample size, hit .326/.343/.500 at Dayton as a 19 year old.

Soto has 107 games total and his numbers are very skewed by his 15 game tirade at Billings last year.

Their performances are extremely comparable.

Unlike Vitters, Soto has hit well everywhere he's been. And no, their performances aren't comparable unless you think a 120 point difference in OPS is similar. Neftali Soto has outperformed Josh Vitters and it really hasn't been all that close so far.

edabbs44
02-24-2009, 01:41 PM
Unlike Vitters, Soto has hit well everywhere he's been. And no, their performances aren't comparable unless you think a 120 point difference in OPS is similar. Neftali Soto has outperformed Josh Vitters and it really hasn't been all that close so far.

Very small sample sizes on both sides. Very difficult to compare on numbers alone.

edabbs44
02-24-2009, 02:26 PM
OBM with some ink:


Q: Brandon from Charleston, WV asks:
How come Drew Stubbs fell out of the top 100 after having his best season?

A: John Manuel: Reports on his defense and tools in general actually weren't as good this year as they were before. I for one have lowered the ceiling of what it sounds like he'll be. He did have a better year in some ways but he also struck out a lot and hit fewer home rusn in '08; it seems less like that this is another Mike Cameron.

edabbs44
02-24-2009, 02:30 PM
And a little love for me:


Q: Ed from NJ asks:
Why the love for Vitters while ignoring Neftali Soto?

A: John Manuel: Better athleticism and defense for Vitters; Soto's scouting report doesn't encourage me he'll stay at 3b -- limited range, rough footwork, below-average athlete. Not encouraging.

OnBaseMachine
02-24-2009, 02:31 PM
Did Manuel just pull that out of his butt? Because that's the first time anyone's mentioned that about Stubbs. Kevin Goldstein's scouting report is the exact opposite of Manuel's. Heck, his fellow co-worker JJ Cooper's scouting report is the exact opposite of his. I'd love to know where Manuel got his info. Oh, and Stubbs struckout less in 2008 than he did in 2007 (123 K's in 470 AB in 2008, 142 K's in 497 AB in 2007).

OnBaseMachine
02-24-2009, 02:38 PM
Um, Vitters is a better athlete and defender? Again, the first I've heard of that.

Kevin Goldstein says Vitters bat is his only tool. He says he doesn't run well and needs to improve his reactions and footwork at third base. Jim Callis (of BA) says Vitters has fringy speed now and it will become below average once he fills out. Yeah, he sure sounds like a great athlete.

Goldstein says Soto has good hands and a strong arm at third base, though he needs to improve his footwork. BA and BP agree that his speed is below average. Neither are great athletes.

It sounds like Manuel gets his info from a different source than his co-workers and other prospect evaluators.

Can't say I'm surprised. BA usually underrates Reds prospects. If Soto were drafted as high as Vitters he'd probably rank in the top 50.

bucksfan2
02-24-2009, 03:06 PM
Can't say I'm surprised. BA usually underrates Reds prospects. If Soto were drafted as high as Vitters he'd probably rank in the top 50.

I think you just answered your question. Its the same reason Drew Stubbs was ranked when he was struggling to adjust to professional baseball. The same reason Alonso is ranked in the top 35 when he has only a handful of professional at bats. And its the same reason that Cueto barely cracked to top 50 when many thought he was much more refined and closer to the bigs than Homer Bailey.

When you have over 150 teams that need to be scouted and analyzed only the top tier prospects are likely legit. Many people probably would refer to draft slot/signing bonuses, combine type numbers (arm strength, speed, footwork, etc.), and raw numbers. Too often by just looking at the summary you fail to recognize what separates player A from player B.

bubbachunk
02-24-2009, 03:32 PM
Very small sample sizes on both sides. Very difficult to compare on numbers alone.

If they are such small sample sizes why give any ranking to Vitters then? The way you are going about this argument it would seem you are trying to make the point neither should be top 100 but still with an angle of defending Vitters.

edabbs44
02-24-2009, 03:44 PM
If they are such small sample sizes why give any ranking to Vitters then? The way you are going about this argument it would seem you are trying to make the point neither should be top 100 but still with an angle of defending Vitters.

Because there is more than just blanket looking at someone's total numbers. There is projection involved. Scouting. Differences in leagues. Sample sizes. Age in relation to level. Etc.

And, in this case, there isn't much of a difference in the numbers when you really look at them objectively.

Vitters was considered by some to be the top hitting prospect in the draft 2 years ago. That says a lot.

bubbachunk
02-24-2009, 06:54 PM
Because there is more than just blanket looking at someone's total numbers. There is projection involved. Scouting. Differences in leagues. Sample sizes. Age in relation to level. Etc.

And, in this case, there isn't much of a difference in the numbers when you really look at them objectively.

Vitters was considered by some to be the top hitting prospect in the draft 2 years ago. That says a lot.

2 years is long time for a prospect to develop. A guy could show his true colors by either putting it all together or falling flat on his face.

Basically anything 2 years old I will take with a grain of salt.

edabbs44
02-24-2009, 07:08 PM
2 years is long time for a prospect to develop. A guy could show his true colors by either putting it all together or falling flat on his face.

Basically anything 2 years old I will take with a grain of salt.

Vitters is 19 and has performed just fine so far.

bubbachunk
02-24-2009, 07:56 PM
Vitters is 19 and has performed just fine so far.

That is not the point, the point is that other players have performed just as well if not better and should not be discounted because 2 years ago they were not considered one of the top hitters.

edabbs44
02-24-2009, 08:49 PM
That is not the point, the point is that other players have performed just as well if not better and should not be discounted because 2 years ago they were not considered one of the top hitters.

The rankings aren't about your performance right now. It is based upon where the BA writers believe the player will end up.

flyer85
02-24-2009, 09:12 PM
seems the most reasonable conclusion is that these guys are taking a WAG at this stuff. I don't waste any energy worrying about who is ranked where.

cincyinco
02-25-2009, 05:08 AM
And a little love for me:

The quote about soto moving off 3rd is exactly what I was talking about when we had this discussion in a previous thread. It severely dings his overall value.

Soto is still a fine prospect, and I'm glad he's a red, but he doesn't have the pedigree or all around game to be a top 100 prospect IMHO. He has question marks. If he can't play 3rd, where? His bat isn't nearly as valuable on the corner outfield spots, or first base.

All that said, not impressed with BA's list this year, and if I'm not mistaken, I believe they did it quite differently.. It wasn't the normal round table discussion? But an average - so to speak - of top 100's by all the staff, which could severely effect the results of the list, especially if a certain bias comes into play.

Scrap Irony
02-25-2009, 12:17 PM
I don't mind only Alonso and Frazier in the Top 100 at all, as those are the only Cincinnati "sure bets." (As sure as prospects get, anyway.) Both have plus bats and good to great track records that suggest success as they ramp up the minor league ladder.

That said, the Reds should have at least four other guys just outside the Top 100, and another 20 or so in the Top 200.

Valaika, Dorn, Stubbs and Soto all just miss the BA Top 100 for different reasons. Stubbs plays an elite position elitely and has enough bat to stick as a starter. Probably. Will he gain power in that bat? Perhaps. But he'll K at a rate that's really hard to swallow if he doesn't smack 20 dingers yearly or play Gold Glove defense at a premium position. There are enough questions that his absence makes sense.

Soto, OTOH, has shown a propensity for hitting the ball hard and succeeding at a young age. That Vitters just made it in and Soto is out is okay, as long as they're close, because those numbers seem to point to Soto and it's not like the kid was lacking talent. He broke Juan Gonzalez's HR record in Puerto Rico as a kid. His question is his glove. With Frazier and EdE in front of him (not to mention the conundrum that is Francisco), he may have the glove, but not the spot. From almost all reports, Soto's a but slow, but his instincts are good. And his bat, if it translates as is from the minors, is certainly good enough to play a corner OF spot.

Why is he off the list, then? I dunno. It's a headscratcher for me. The lack of walks perhaps. And the glove, I suppose. And the speed. Oh, wait. Three questions marks. I guess I know why.

Dorn is another animal, but one BA continually marks low. He's simply not really valued by Cincinnati, despite his ridiculous production. His tools are average at best, but he plays above his supposed ceiling (or at least has at the minor league level). I'd certainly rank him in the Top 100 if it were me, but I value production much more than tools. He's, IMO, the most likely to sneak up on BA and provide league average production in a LF for league minimum prices. Still, it's not like he's foolproof. His glove is a question mark, though it's not as bad as some think. His speed isn't top notch, not is his arm. But that bat looks great when you compare him to almost anyone else in the minor league system.

Valaika, I don't get. He plays a premium position and has hit very well (respective of that position) throughout his minor league career. Perhaps part of it is the low draft position, as BA is notorious for weighing draft position ahead of most other nuances. Perhaps it's questions about his glove (though those have cleared up to the point that he now profiles as an average SS at the major league level, with an underwhelming arm). He doesn't walk all that much either, so perhaps the combination of the three makes him #101.

For whatever reason, Cincinnati should have four guys at least in the next 25 or so prospects and all four could rightfully outproduce at least half of the guys on the list. It's not like these things are foolproof, after all.

M2
02-25-2009, 05:07 PM
BA has also ranked players by position. Here's how the Reds fared:

C - No one in the top 25, though Mesoraco got mentioned as an X Factor.
1B - Alonso #5 of 15
2B - No one in top 10 (rated as the weakest overall position in the minors)
SS - Valaika #8 of 15
3B - Frazier #7, Francisco #19 and Soto #20 of 20
CF - Stubbs #15 of 15
Corner OF - No one in top 20
RH starter - No one in top 35
LH starter - No one in top 20
Reliever - No one in top 10

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2009, 05:38 PM
That BA list is pretty bad, IMO.

RH Starters - I'd take Kyle Lotzkar and Daryl Thompson over a few of those guys, most notably Zach McAllister, Andrew Brackman, Kyle Drabek, and Brandon Erbe.

Third Base - I'd take Frazier and Soto over anyone on that list except for Pedro Alvarez, Mike Moustakas, and Matt Dominguez.

RH Relivers - Give me Zach Stewart and Josh Roenicke over Adam Miller and a couple others.

Center Fielders - I'd take Stubbs over Hernandez, Jennings (tons of talent but can't stay healthy), Parra, and Borbon. And maybe Beltre.

Right now I'm wishing I hadn't renewed my Baseball America subscription.

M2
02-26-2009, 12:32 PM
That BA list is pretty bad, IMO.

Maybe some of the Reds players you listed are going to pan out better than the guys listed above them, but it's not like the lower-rated Reds players are considered hot prospects anywhere else.

I'd categorize most of the guys you listed (everyone except Frazier) as players who are in the need-to-prove-something category.

Lotzkar's thrown 66.2 IP as a pro. He's young. He's a bit wild. He had some health issues last year. He's a good talent, but not an overwhelming one. I get why he's not on the RHP list.

Thompson's not blessed with much in the way of stuff. He's envisioned as a possible #4 starter. Guys like that sometime pan out better than expected, but, again, I get why he's not considered a particularly compelling prospect.

Soto's got defensive and plate patience issues. I'd rank him higher on that 3B list, but there is a question as to whether he will be a 3B in the future and I suspect that causes the BA folks to rank him a bit cautiously.

Roenicke probably took a ding because he didn't work enough as a closer in AAA. Stewart had some control issues in the FSL, but I could see him jumping onto that list with a good 2009.

Stubbs' lack of power is a concern. I suspect what scouts are waiting to see is how well he maintains his BA this season. If he's not going to have a lot of punch at the plate, he's going to need a decent BA. On top of that, Baseball America tends to be guided by perceived ceiling. What happened to Stubbs in 2008 was that his ceiling came down while he advanced the case for him being a steady player. I argue the 2nd one is more important in Stubbs' case since his ceiling was always misidentified and the primary concern with him is whether he can be a steady player, but if he progresses along his current track, it's going to require scouts to recalibrate their perception of the guy.

What would have been cool in the BA list is a tools ranking matrix so that you could see the relative strengths of the prospects on those lists.

The takeaway, for me at least, is this needs to be a statement year for a lot of the Reds' top prospects. Having something to prove can be a good thing. It's a motivator. For us and the organization, it's a signal not to be smug. For instance, Devin Mesoraco is not considered a top 25 catching prospect and, ath this juncture, it makes sense for the Reds not to count on him like he's some sort of sure thing.

The one guy who might be most interesting is Valaika. Where would he rank on the 2B list?

OnBaseMachine
02-26-2009, 01:17 PM
The one guy who might be most interesting is Valaika. Where would he rank on the 2B list?

That's an interesting question. I'd say he probably would have to rank in the top five, maybe top three. I like Chris Coghlan and Jemile Weeks. Triunfel and Valbuena both have good potential but will Triunfel be able to stick in the middle infield? Valbuena is improving with the stick but will he develop enough power? Noonan is very interesting but he's still a ways off. I'd probably rank Coghlan and Weeks ahead of Valaika, but I'd have to think long and hard about Triunfel and Valbuena even though I like both of them. I didn't mention Ivan DeJesus Jr. because I think of him as a shortstop.

bucksfan2
02-26-2009, 01:29 PM
BA has also ranked players by position. Here's how the Reds fared:
1B - Alonso #5 of 15
SS - Valaika #8 of 15
3B - Frazier #7, Francisco #19 and Soto #20 of 20
CF - Stubbs #15 of 15


I find these rankings interesting. Valakia is considered in the top 10 SS in the minors. What is promising to me is that he is on the cusp on the majors. He likely will see his first major league time this year. How many of the SS ranked ahead of him are on tools and will flame out in the minors.

The same can be said about Stubbs. Its interesting to see 15 ranked higher when Stubbs still has tools but he is also very close to the bigs. Again how many players are ranked higher due to tools rather than actual performance?

For some reason, I do the same, Francisco continues to lack respect amongst prospect rankings. The guy has some contact issues but he seems to continue to improve. If he finds any plate discipline he may rocket to the majors. Soto is another guy who is low on the list because of his BA driven OBP. The guy has flat out raked everywhere he has went.

To me the path of Alonso may be the most interesting. With Votto sticking at first this off season I am beginning to doubt that Alonso ever plays substantial time with the Reds. IMO he may be used for trade bait before he makes his way through the Reds organization. He may be uses similar to how Milwaukee flipped LaPorta for CC last season.

M2
02-26-2009, 02:10 PM
That's an interesting question. I'd say he probably would have to rank in the top five, maybe top three. I like Chris Coghlan and Jemile Weeks. Triunfel and Valbuena both have good potential but will Triunfel be able to stick in the middle infield? Valbuena is improving with the stick but will he develop enough power? Noonan is very interesting but he's still a ways off. I'd probably rank Coghlan and Weeks ahead of Valaika, but I'd have to think long and hard about Triunfel and Valbuena even though I like both of them. I didn't mention Ivan DeJesus Jr. because I think of him as a shortstop.

I believe there's some speculation that Triunfel's going to fill out in all the wrong ways (e.g. around the the middle).

HBP
02-26-2009, 03:12 PM
The same can be said about Stubbs. Its interesting to see 15 ranked higher when Stubbs still has tools but he is also very close to the bigs. Again how many players are ranked higher due to tools rather than actual performance?


Stubbs could be the definition of that. His actual performance numbers for last years rankings didn't warrant a spot on the top 100 list, yet he was there because of the tools factor.

M2
02-26-2009, 04:44 PM
Stubbs could be the definition of that. His actual performance numbers for last years rankings didn't warrant a spot on the top 100 list, yet he was there because of the tools factor.

Good points.

Overall Stubbs actually player a little worse in 2008. He got a little closer, but not any better.

The CF list was filled with players who generally posted equal to or better than numbers at similar levels when compared to Stubbs and all of them were younger.

The ostrich-sized egg Stubbs laid in the AFL surely factored into the ranking too. Here's his full 2008 with the AFL included:

.265/.355/.404, 555 AB, 95 runs, 39 D, 7 T, 8 HR, 75 RBI, 39-49 SB, 78 BB, 152 K

I think the question looming over him is how long can he keep treading water before he either sinks or swims?

bucksfan2
02-27-2009, 11:11 AM
Good points.

Overall Stubbs actually player a little worse in 2008. He got a little closer, but not any better.

The CF list was filled with players who generally posted equal to or better than numbers at similar levels when compared to Stubbs and all of them were younger.

The ostrich-sized egg Stubbs laid in the AFL surely factored into the ranking too. Here's his full 2008 with the AFL included:

.265/.355/.404, 555 AB, 95 runs, 39 D, 7 T, 8 HR, 75 RBI, 39-49 SB, 78 BB, 152 K

I think the question looming over him is how long can he keep treading water before he either sinks or swims?

Too much may be taken into consideration when dealing with Fall leagues, Hawaiian leagues, or Latin American Winter Ball. Whether its right or wrong playing baseball non stop from late February until November? can become very taxing on a players body. He had one heck of a short run in AA which led me to believe that he may have turned the corner. That said the overall line you mentioned would you accept that out of Taveras this season?

.265/.355/.404 Stubbs high OBP IMO is very promising for him. He came into the Reds org with a very good strike zone judgment which will help his overall offensive game. Even if substantial power doesn't develop if he can maintain a high OBP while playing GG defense then he will become a very valuable asset. I don't like how he was downgraded because he looks less and less like Mike Cammeron. Too often scouts, and even fans look for comparisons and instead of looking at what the actual player does. If Stubbs can improve slightly on his career .367 OBP, have a 75% SB success rate, and play top notch defense I would gladly pencil him in the lineup for years to come.

OnBaseMachine
02-27-2009, 12:33 PM
Baseball America's issue with the top 100 prospect in baseball is out. Yonder Alonso is 35th; Todd Frazier is 60th. Juan Francisco, Chris Valaika and Drew Stubbs also received votes.

The Reds had five players on the list last year: Jay Bruce (1), Homer Bailey (9), Johnny Cueto (34), Joey Votto (44) and Stubbs (100). All but Stubbs weren't eligible this year.

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3a726ce014-119e-4781-b120-cb8cb641a272&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

M2
02-27-2009, 01:06 PM
He had one heck of a short run in AA which led me to believe that he may have turned the corner.

Dismissing one short run and favoring another which preceded it strikes me as pie-in-the-sky selectivity. I'm not favoring anything. I'm looking at his entire body of work in 2008.


That said the overall line you mentioned would you accept that out of Taveras this season?

Interesting you mention Taveras. He had a .335/.402/.386 season at age 22 in AA. If he delivered that in the majors, he'd be a handsomely paid man. Instead his major league statline reads .283/.331/.337. What he did well in the minors, and he did it better than Stubbs and at a younger age, did not translate to major league production. His BB dried up because no one fears the result of throwing him a strike.

Stubbs has better BB skills than Taveras ever did, but Taveras is a better hitter for average than Stubbs. It works out to a wash.

So, yes, I think it would be marvy if Taveras could deliver something in line with his and Stubbs' minor league norms. Would you be happy if Stubbs has Taveras' major league future?

My take is good for Stubbs if he can have a major league career, but no team is doing cartwheels over a Taveras-level player.


I don't like how he was downgraded because he looks less and less like Mike Cammeron.

Because approximating Cameron's game was Stubbs' best ticket to success. I suspect many scouts remain unconvinced Stubbs has an exciting future as a 6'5" slap hitter.

HBP
02-27-2009, 02:48 PM
Because approximating Cameron's game was Stubbs' best ticket to success. I suspect many scouts remain unconvinced Stubbs has an exciting future as a 6'5" slap hitter.

To be fair, he did have 46 extra base hits last year.

BRM
02-27-2009, 02:52 PM
To be fair, he did have 46 extra base hits last year.

Chris Heisey had 54. No one considers him a slugger.

OnBaseMachine
02-27-2009, 02:57 PM
With Stubbs' great defense in center field, I'd be happy if he could develop into a .750 OPS hitter (.350 OBP, .400 SLG).

camisadelgolf
02-27-2009, 02:59 PM
Chris Heisey had 54. No one considers him a slugger.

Last season, Adam Dunn averaged an extra base hit every 10.33 PA, and Chris Heisey averaged one every 11.06 PA. That's the difference of four extra base hits over 600 PA, and Dunn is considered one of the premier sluggers in baseball, so I don't think calculating XBH is the best way to label someone a slugger.

BRM
02-27-2009, 03:00 PM
Last season, Adam Dunn averaged an extra base hit every 10.33 PA, and Chris Heisey averaged one every 11.06 PA. That's the difference of four extra base hits over 600 PA, and Dunn is considered one of the premier sluggers in baseball, so I don't think calculating XBH is the best way to label someone a slugger.

I agree.

dougdirt
02-27-2009, 03:07 PM
This year is a big one for Stubbs. He made his swing adjustments last year in order to make better contact. He didn't hit many HR's, but when he did hit them, they generally went a long way. He just needs to be more consistent with his power stroke. If he can find it, the Mike Cameron comp for his ceiling can be there still. If he can't, then the comp needs to be reworked some.

BRM
02-27-2009, 03:08 PM
With Stubbs' great defense in center field, I'd be happy if he could develop into a .750 OPS hitter (.350 OBP, .400 SLG).

No doubt. I'd take that in a heartbeat.

HBP
02-27-2009, 06:34 PM
I certainly didn't label him a slugger just by mentioning his xbh totals, but he's not a slap hitter either.

M2
02-27-2009, 07:10 PM
I certainly didn't label him a slugger just by mentioning his xbh totals, but he's not a slap hitter either.

My official definition of a slap hitter is your SLG is below .400. Stubbs managed .404 at all stops last season, so, in fairness, he's not quite a slap hitter.

lollipopcurve
02-27-2009, 07:22 PM
Last season, Adam Dunn averaged an extra base hit every 10.33 PA, and Chris Heisey averaged one every 11.06 PA. That's the difference of four extra base hits over 600 PA, and Dunn is considered one of the premier sluggers in baseball, so I don't think calculating XBH is the best way to label someone a slugger.

The kid from Messiah College is coming.