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Scrap Irony
03-09-2009, 02:58 PM
Which Red prospect would make you happiest if he came on like gangbusters? Convince me.

I was thinking about how nice it would be to see Stormin' Yorman Rodriguez or Duran become MVP of the GCL. Cincinnati would have that ultra-talented long-term answer seriously cheap.

Even better, how about Homer? A true TOR starter to add to the 09 rotation would sure look nice for now and the foreseeable future.

Perhaps it's Frazier as a SS. Let's say he dominates AA and proves his SS acumen, not to mention showing a Ripken-like ceiling. How would that look paired with Bruce and Votto in the cleanup spot next season?

So, Red fans, who's most important? Pick one. Convince me.

RedsManRick
03-09-2009, 03:04 PM
Put me down for Drew Stubbs. Guys who are both plus bats and plus gloves up the middle are quite rare. If he can figure out his contact issues and become a Cameron or Granderson quality of player, that would be absolutely huge. Because of his defensive ability, he still has the highest ceiling of any position player in the upper minors -- I'd be so thrilled if he reached it.

dougdirt
03-09-2009, 03:05 PM
Bailey isn't technically a prospect, but having him step up like you suggest is obviously the answer to this question. Not only is he capable of doing it, its really the only guy who could help out all year.

lollipopcurve
03-09-2009, 03:10 PM
Hard not to vote Bailey here.

camisadelgolf
03-09-2009, 03:16 PM
I'd go with Mesoraco. Having a catcher that can hit is so uncommon, and if he pans out, I think it would add a ton to the lineup. Also, and this is probably a bigger reason why, the Reds aren't very strong at the catcher position in the organization.

bucksfan2
03-09-2009, 03:36 PM
The way I look at it I narrowed it down to 3.

Francisco - He he develops any plate presence he may be a star in the making. He has some serious power and looks to be able to handle 3b defensively.

Soto - IMO he has the highest ceiling of any Red minor leaguer. If he lights up A+ then he may be on the fast track to the Reds.

Mesorasco - This year may be the most important in Mesorasco's development. If he goes gang busters in Sarasota then he may be the Reds next catcher in waiting. If he doesn't more signs would point to Mesorasco becoming a disappointment.

The other prospects mentioned above are interesting to me. Rodriguez and Duran would still be too far away to project. Best case scenario is 3 years for both of them? While it would be great if both of them had a good year, it doesn't put them much closer to the Reds.

I like Stubbs but, injury aside, he is a pretty good bet to make his debut this season. If he goes gang busters then that may speed up his call up but by how much? To be quite honest what I will look for in Stubbs is to see whether his obp continues to hold steady at AAA. If it does then he looks to be a solid CF. If it doesn't he may have an uphill climb to become anything but a 4th OF type.

Scrap Irony
03-09-2009, 03:40 PM
I don't think Bailey is the easy answer. The Reds are stocked, at this point, in pitching, both starters and relievers. None of those starters are too old and all have decent enough salaries. Not only that, Cincinnati has a plethora of BOR candidates as well, plus at least five solid reliever possibilities.

That depth may mean Bailey's not as important as he once was.

Especially considering the apparent lack of offense this team projects to have.

I'm still leaning Frazier here. His ceiling, if reached, gives the Reds a premium player at a premium player cheaply. Now or nearly now. He could be a cleanup hitter as a SS. How rare is that?

bucksfan2
03-09-2009, 03:53 PM
I haven't heard anywhere that Frazier can stick at SS. Scrap I agree with you that if Frazier can stick at SS he would be a HUGE bonus for the Reds. I just don't know how realistic that is.

Scrap Irony
03-09-2009, 03:59 PM
RedReporter had a column about it earlier this winter, arguing Frazier as the best SS in the system defensively. Also, BA had some really nice things to say about Frazier's glove at short while in the Hawaiian League.

I don't trust scouts by themselves and think a SS, if he's really good offensively, can be slightly below average with the glove. (Think Nomar with Boston.) Frazier could be that guy, if all goes perfectly.

membengal
03-09-2009, 04:16 PM
Valaika says "hi". If his developing power is legit (if he can be an .800 or so OPS guy), and he can stick at SS, he fills a TON of needs for this organization at that position.

SMcGavin
03-09-2009, 04:34 PM
I think it has to be Valaika. You look at the other top guys: Bailey, Alonso, Frazier, etc, all play positions that the Reds are at least OK at currently. Right now it looks like the Reds are going to need to deal from that excess to find a shortstop. If Valaika proves his bat to be for real and his glove capable at SS, the Reds have a long-term solution there as soon as 2010. That's the biggest question mark the Reds have down the line, and it'd be filled in-house.

For the sake of this argument I assumed Todd Frazier was a 3B/LF in the making. If he could really play shortstop capably, he's the most important prospect, but from what I've heard it seems unlikely. Reports on Valaika's defense at SS are mixed so I think it's at least feasible that he could stick there.

Also, I didn't pick Drew Stubbs because he is only 2.5 years younger than Dickerson and they are similar players.

*BaseClogger*
03-09-2009, 05:16 PM
Kyle Lotzkar for me. He is the only legit pitching prospect in the organization who has the potential to be a top of the rotation starter. If he could dominate in Dayton and Sarasota this year while flashing heat and command of his offspeed stuff I would be very excited...

dougdirt
03-09-2009, 06:34 PM
RedReporter had a column about it earlier this winter, arguing Frazier as the best SS in the system defensively. Also, BA had some really nice things to say about Frazier's glove at short while in the Hawaiian League.

I don't trust scouts by themselves and think a SS, if he's really good offensively, can be slightly below average with the glove. (Think Nomar with Boston.) Frazier could be that guy, if all goes perfectly.

While scouts aren't always the most trustworthy with defensive evaluations.... I put about no stock in the minor league defensive numbers that Red Reporter used. The amount of variables unaccounted for in them are just way too much for me to take anything out of the numbers. They are nice to talk about, but I am not convinced that they are at all worth anything more than a simple conversation starter.

TRF
03-09-2009, 06:50 PM
Count me in for Stubbs as well. If he develops into the player the Red's scouts think he could be, the the Reds OF for the immediate future (assuming Stubbs becomes this player by 2010) looks really, really good.

I think i just threw up a little in my mouth.

BRM
03-09-2009, 07:01 PM
I think i just threw up a little in my mouth.

:laugh:

By the way, how are the Cubs looking? ;)

Scrap Irony
03-09-2009, 08:01 PM
While scouts aren't always the most trustworthy with defensive evaluations.... I put about no stock in the minor league defensive numbers that Red Reporter used. The amount of variables unaccounted for in them are just way too much for me to take anything out of the numbers. They are nice to talk about, but I am not convinced that they are at all worth anything more than a simple conversation starter.

And BA's discussion about his ability during the HWL? Hyperbole?

dougdirt
03-09-2009, 08:19 PM
And BA's discussion about his ability during the HWL? Hyperbole?

Hitting is generally easier to back up scout speak. Defense, especially in the minors has just too much going on with it that could inflate or deflate the numbers and we wouldn't really know by just looking at them.

GOYA
03-09-2009, 08:38 PM
Throwing out Homer, I'll go with Hanigan. He's not going to hit for much power but his BA and OBP could make up for it. He's already got the defense.

Scrap Irony
03-09-2009, 08:52 PM
So BA's assertion that Frazier looked "good enough" to play SS at the major league level passes the smell test? (Smooth with the leather from all positions, I seem to remember.) Or is it the combination of scout views?

dougdirt
03-09-2009, 09:25 PM
So BA's assertion that Frazier looked "good enough" to play SS at the major league level passes the smell test? (Smooth with the leather from all positions, I seem to remember.) Or is it the combination of scout views?

I am not sure exactly what you are asking....

mth123
03-09-2009, 10:19 PM
Bailey. It's not close.

membengal
03-09-2009, 10:20 PM
Kyle Lotzkar for me. He is the only legit pitching prospect in the organization who has the potential to be a top of the rotation starter. If he could dominate in Dayton and Sarasota this year while flashing heat and command of his offspeed stuff I would be very excited...

Sulbaran says "hey".

tripleaaaron
03-09-2009, 10:47 PM
Valaika says "hi". If his developing power is legit (if he can be an .800 or so OPS guy), and he can stick at SS, he fills a TON of needs for this organization at that position.

But if Frazier is a similar defensively how does Valaika sound at 2nd base? Sounds even better huh. I still don't know why we don't try phillips out at SS (he will surely have better range than the two above). We would then play (future) Mesoraco/Hanigan C, Valaika at 2nd, Alonso at 1st, Frazier at 3rd (until Soto or Francisco is ready and then use Frazier as an everyday utility man), Votto in LF, Stubbs in CF, Bruce in right. In this scenario EE would be able to play nearly everyday as well until Frazier were to slide into the super sub position as he would spell 3B, 1B and LF. That would have the potential to be a pretty sick lineup 1-9 (when micah owings takes the mound or the DH rule is in affect0.

tripleaaaron
03-09-2009, 10:51 PM
Sulbaran says "hey".

he has some nasty stuff and he showed some guts tonight by not buckling under the pressure. Getting Beltran with two outs and the biggest game of his life on the line was big. This kid could make an impact alot sooner than we all thought.

membengal
03-09-2009, 10:55 PM
But if Frazier is a similar defensively how does Valaika sound at 2nd base? Sounds even better huh. I still don't know why we don't try phillips out at SS (he will surely have better range than the two above). We would then play (future) Mesoraco/Hanigan C, Valaika at 2nd, Alonso at 1st, Frazier at 3rd (until Soto or Francisco is ready and then use Frazier as an everyday utility man), Votto in LF, Stubbs in CF, Bruce in right. In this scenario EE would be able to play nearly everyday as well until Frazier were to slide into the super sub position as he would spell 3B, 1B and LF. That would have the potential to be a pretty sick lineup 1-9 (when micah owings takes the mound or the DH rule is in affect0.

Count me among those who have heard enough scouts murmur that he can't stick at SS that I don't see that as an option. It would be great if it were, but I don't think that's the reality.

Valaika has similar questions, just fewer of them, when it comes to potentially sticking at SS. If I were to root for the likelier of two somewhat unlikely scenarios, it would be Valaika to claim SS as his.

I love Frazier, I just think his home will eventually be in the OF or 3b.

tripleaaaron
03-10-2009, 12:04 AM
I love Frazier, I just think his home will eventually be in the OF or 3b.

I absolutely agree, but if Frazier's bat plays better at short and Valaika is just a tick better, I would take the big bat. I think Frazier is best suited for another position but with those positions potentially filled, I would prefer his bat over valaika's.

Nasty_Boy
03-10-2009, 12:14 AM
I think it's between Stubbs, Bailey, and Valaika... but lord have mercy if Bailey reaches that potential, what a great thing for the Redlegs.

Here's a question... At what point does Edwin, Frazier, Francisco, and Soto become trade bait? If indeed Yonder is headed to 1st and Joey to LF, then there is 1 position for 4 guys if Frazier is unable to stick at SS like most reports suggest.

I would almost look to move Francisco sooner rather than later because I don't feel that he will ever develop the plate discipline required at the big league level. Of course this is all speculation, but a besides reinforcing the big league club a loaded farm system allows you to be aggressive in the trade market. I don't feel the Reds need to be in a hurry to make this determination, but you would hope they get the most value out of each guy... whether it's in a Reds uniform or not.

_Sir_Charles_
03-10-2009, 12:44 AM
Here's a question... At what point does Edwin, Frazier, Francisco, and Soto become trade bait? If indeed Yonder is headed to 1st and Joey to LF, then there is 1 position for 4 guys if Frazier is unable to stick at SS like most reports suggest.

There are actually a few more to toss into that mix as well IMO. Rosales & Waring come to mind. Waring dropped off some this past year, but he's got the tools. And Adam has been playing EXTREMELY well this spring. I think it's MUCH to early to count either of them out of the mix yet.

~edit~ Doh! I completely forgot we dealt Waring to the O's in the Hernandez/Freel trade. My bad. But Rosales shouldn't be eliminated from that discussion nonetheless.

Scrap Irony
03-10-2009, 12:51 AM
I am not sure exactly what you are asking....

Do you listen to a variety of scouts? How many constitutes enough so that you're sure the numbers are wrong?

One BA "expert" stated, after watching Frazier play defense in Hawaii while at SS, he looked smooth and had enough glove to play there for a couple of years. Does his opinion carry any weight?

This just seems to me very, very similar to Chris Valaika last offseason. Everyone assumed Valaika wasn't a SS until he was one. One report (before he was drafted) questioned Valaika's range (while he was hurt). That was taken as gospel until last season when Valaika "proved" he could indeed play SS at least passably. Now, in many scout estimations (and prospect sites), Valaika is a SS again.

I wonder if the numbers get poo-poohed a little too readily in favor of scouting reports that, frankly, may be a year or two (or longer) out of date. And, because they're not supported, may be wrong to begin with. Range factor, while flawed shows Frazier as equal to noted glovemen Janish, Cozart, and Castro, according to Baseball-Reference. RR's report, meanwhile, shows Frazier as even better overall.

I understand your reticence to rely on minor league defensive numbers. Bad lighting, poor field conditions, etc. However, if the guys play on the same fields a year or two apart under the same poor lighting, how are the numbers that far off?

I get that this may be completely off base as it relates to Frazier. He may prove to be less Nomar-ian and more Keppinger-esque. But the process of positional philosophy is the larger question and the one I asked you about.

How much do scout estimations mean in your view of positional ability? Is there one guy who's your go-to, almost-always-right scout opinion that you trust or is it an amalgamation of opinions? How do you know those opinions aren't flavored by out-of-date "scouting" reports from college or high school?

Just curious.

dougdirt
03-10-2009, 01:03 AM
Do you listen to a variety of scouts? How many constitutes enough so that you're sure the numbers are wrong?

I listen to as many scouts as I can get my ears to. With that said, its not the scouts that tell me the numbers should be taken with a huge grain of salt, its me. A pitching staff, good or bad, in the minor leagues is going to make these numbers swing one way or the other. The field you play on for the most games is going to sway your numbers one way or the other. Your first baseman can swing your numbers one way or the other if you are an infielder. The league that you play in can sway your numbers one way or another based on the altitude and environment. There is just too much at play in the minor leagues for me to take the defensive numbers for anything other than conversation starter.



One BA "expert" stated, after watching Frazier play defense in Hawaii while at SS, he looked smooth and had enough glove to play there for a couple of years. Does his opinion carry any weight?
Sure, it carries some. Just not as much as the 5 others I have talked to that don't see it because thats 5 to 1. That doesn't count the countless others who have said similar things in publications around the country. I will say this, one thing Frazier does very well is position himself for the batter. That does help him play up some. I do wonder how much advantage that may give him now over less mature guys compared to the advantage he may not have when he gets to the majors and everyone has scouting reports on everyone.



I wonder if the numbers get poo-poohed a little too readily in favor of scouting reports that, frankly, may be a year or two (or longer) out of date. And, because they're not supported, may be wrong to begin with. Range factor, while flawed shows Frazier as equal to noted glovemen Janish, Cozart, and Castro, according to Baseball-Reference. RR's report, meanwhile, shows Frazier as even better overall.
Did you look into how the numbers were calculated? I did. I don't buy them for the minors because of the factors at play that they don't and really can't account for.



I understand your reticence to rely on minor league defensive numbers. Bad lighting, poor field conditions, etc. However, if the guys play on the same fields a year or two apart under the same poor lighting, how are the numbers that far off?
Different pitchers. Different players coming through the leagues. Different managers positioning them? Different grounds crews? Different catchers (calling different pitches, learning to call games, making bad decisions on pitch selection leading to harder hits). There is just simply too much going on.



How much do scout estimations mean in your view of positional ability? Is there one guy who's your go-to, almost-always-right scout opinion that you trust or is it an amalgamation of opinions? How do you know those opinions aren't flavored by out-of-date "scouting" reports from college or high school?
Just curious.
I have seen too many guys come up as 'gold glove' type fielders only to be average at best fielders in the majors. So while I like hearing it in scouting reports, I like to either see it myself first, or wait until they are in the majors to make that judgement.

wheels
03-10-2009, 02:08 AM
I'm going with Drew Stubbs, follwed closely by Mesoraco.

SS, CF, and C are organizational weaknesses. I can't see any of the candidates at short making the bigs at that position, Stubbs and Mesoraco seem to be more realistic choices.

Now, hopefully they can fill the need at short with a high round pick. If so, I pick that guy.

Kingspoint
03-10-2009, 02:14 AM
My choice is Neftali Soto, but I don't have time to tell you why. Sorry. But, you did say the word gangbusters, and to me that means Eric Davis type of Minor League numbers, with slugging percentages in the .600's.

Only five players achieved a SLG in the minors for the REDS last year above the 400's....Soto at .558 and Alex Buchholz at .604, Daniel Dorn at .537, Tony Brown at .500, and Byron Wiley at .635.

I'm not counting Bruce and Hairston's minor league numbers or anyone else who spent significant time in the Majors.

With what Soto accomplished last season, he's shown the potential to have a "gangbuster" season this year. I'd love to see it happen. Plus, Soto is at the highest level of all of the players that had a SLG over .500.

stock
03-10-2009, 02:22 AM
I have never seen Frazier play SS so I don't really know weather Frazier will be a ML SS. However, I do know two things:

1. As pointed out earlier, the scouts just changed their opinion on Valakia from not good enough to play in the majors to acceptable defense on the ML level.

2. The Reds are still playing Frazier at SS. Why would you play someone at SS if your scouts say he can't make it in the majors at SS. Some scouts in the Reds organization must think there is a chance.

Conversely, does Frazier have a future with the Reds if he can't play SS. Soto is 3 years younger and just one level below him. Francisco is a year younger and on the same level. Francisco has much more power potential. Soto rarely strikes out. Keep Frazier at SS and hope he can make it as a SS because the future 3B on the Reds is Soto.

As for the answer to the question I take Bailey. I understand those who threw out the SS we may need. However, you can never have enough pitching, especially quality pitching.

corkedbat
03-10-2009, 02:24 AM
The one that brings us a 10-15yr. all-around stud SS in a deal. :D

dougdirt
03-10-2009, 05:59 AM
2. The Reds are still playing Frazier at SS. Why would you play someone at SS if your scouts say he can't make it in the majors at SS. Some scouts in the Reds organization must think there is a chance.
So that everyone can get their at bats. He has been on teams where he was the only guy capable to hitting well enough to start and also not making a fool of himself at shortstop. He started 2008 with Brandon Waring and Neftali Soto lined up for 3B in Dayton and then he went to Sarasota where Juan Francisco was playing. None of those guys can play SS like Frazier can. All were prospects though. Playing Frazier out of position made it easy to get everyone their at bats.



Conversely, does Frazier have a future with the Reds if he can't play SS. Soto is 3 years younger and just one level below him. Francisco is a year younger and on the same level. Francisco has much more power potential. Soto rarely strikes out. Keep Frazier at SS and hope he can make it as a SS because the future 3B on the Reds is Soto.
Frazier will get to the majors before either of those other guys. Francisco has power, but an absolutely atrocious approach that if not changed, will not result in good numbers. He has shown no signs of being less aggressive. Soto may start the year two levels behind him as there is talk he winds up back in Dayton to start the year. Even if not, he still needs to learn to take a walk and his defense at 3B needs plenty of work. He isn't a year away like Frazier is, he needs more time than that.

bucksfan2
03-10-2009, 09:49 AM
So that everyone can get their at bats. He has been on teams where he was the only guy capable to hitting well enough to start and also not making a fool of himself at shortstop. He started 2008 with Brandon Waring and Neftali Soto lined up for 3B in Dayton and then he went to Sarasota where Juan Francisco was playing. None of those guys can play SS like Frazier can. All were prospects though. Playing Frazier out of position made it easy to get everyone their at bats.


Doug my question would be "Why can't Frazier play SS?". Soto was drafted as a SS but was quickly moved off the position. It seemed as if the Reds knew right away that they were grooming him to play a different position. Frazier played SS at the college level, is much closer to the bigs than Soto, yet the Reds felt the need to play Frazier at SS.

Can he play ok SS? If he plays ok SS his bat will be a very plus at SS. Does he have Keppy type range at that position. Has he been projected as a corner IF/OF type because of his body? 6'3" 215lbs is a pretty big SS and I think that may be the main reason why many scouts think he will have to move off the position.

Scrap Irony
03-10-2009, 11:21 AM
He started 2008 with Brandon Waring and Neftali Soto lined up for 3B in Dayton and then he went to Sarasota where Juan Francisco was playing.

The plan with Soto last season was Billings. He only played in Dayton well after Frazier went to Sarasota.


None of those guys can play SS like Frazier can. All were prospects though. Playing Frazier out of position made it easy to get everyone their at bats.

Playing your best prospect at a position not suited for him just so a lesser prospect can play, too? I think, more likely, Cincinnati wants to make certain Frazier can't play SS before turning him into a slightly above average 3B. At short, he's a top five offensive player. Again, think Nom-ah with 40 points less BA and the same glove. At 3B, he's Hank Blalock.


Frazier will get to the majors before either of those other guys. Francisco has power, but an absolutely atrocious approach that if not changed, will not result in good numbers. He has shown no signs of being less aggressive. Soto may start the year two levels behind him as there is talk he winds up back in Dayton to start the year. Even if not, he still needs to learn to take a walk and his defense at 3B needs plenty of work. He isn't a year away like Frazier is, he needs more time than that.

But EdE just signed a two-year contract and Jocketty has said Encarnacion is one of those five "untouchables". Perhaps that's lip service. Perhaps he's planning on a two-year window, then putting Francisco or Soto (who is the definition of a fast riser) in that spot.

BuckeyeRedleg
03-10-2009, 12:49 PM
Stubbs and Bailey.

But I would love to see Valaika go all Ian Kinsler and make Brandon Phillips expendable, especially before he gets expensive.

dougdirt
03-10-2009, 01:17 PM
Doug my question would be "Why can't Frazier play SS?". Soto was drafted as a SS but was quickly moved off the position. It seemed as if the Reds knew right away that they were grooming him to play a different position. Frazier played SS at the college level, is much closer to the bigs than Soto, yet the Reds felt the need to play Frazier at SS.
Soto played SS in Billings but went to 3B in Dayton because Cozart was there. While I think Frazier will ultimately be more suited for SS than Soto, I don't think either is really the type of guy that should play there. Frazier just doesn't have the range in my eyes and most peoples for that matter. Frazier is a good athlete and its the reason he can get away with playing SS in the minors. He is sure handed and has a good arm. Makes the routine plays.



Can he play ok SS? If he plays ok SS his bat will be a very plus at SS. Does he have Keppy type range at that position. Has he been projected as a corner IF/OF type because of his body? 6'3" 215lbs is a pretty big SS and I think that may be the main reason why many scouts think he will have to move off the position.
He has likely been projected at 3B/OF because of his size and the belief that he will likely add 10 more pounds or so as he ages the next few years. With that said, this team is pretty much all 'eyes' as far as talent evaluation goes, so thats probably working against him at sticking at SS for the Reds.

dougdirt
03-10-2009, 01:24 PM
The plan with Soto last season was Billings. He only played in Dayton well after Frazier went to Sarasota. The only reason that was the plan though was because Cozart and Waring were both older prospects who had less time to move up through the system. Frazier was never one of the guys who had anything to do with Soto. The only reason Frazier started in Dayton was because Cozart wasn't ready to play the first month of the season. As soon as Cozart was able to go, Frazier went to Sarasota.



Playing your best prospect at a position not suited for him just so a lesser prospect can play, too? I think, more likely, Cincinnati wants to make certain Frazier can't play SS before turning him into a slightly above average 3B. At short, he's a top five offensive player. Again, think Nom-ah with 40 points less BA and the same glove. At 3B, he's Hank Blalock. While Frazier was the best prospect of that group, the Reds still had other good prospects that needed time. Its not like they were out there playing Frazier out of position to get 24 year old minor league lifers playing time. Frazier was out of position for a power hitting third baseman with strong defense in Dayton, then a super power hitting third baseman who was young and needs playing time in Juan Francisco down in Sarasota. A comp I made yesterday to Frazier offensively was Edwin Encarnacion. I think its a fairly good way to think of Frazier's ceiling. Similar hitters, both have good power and solid walking skills. I think Frazier may strike out 10-20 more times than Edwin will on average, but thier offensive games are pretty similar.



But EdE just signed a two-year contract and Jocketty has said Encarnacion is one of those five "untouchables". Perhaps that's lip service. Perhaps he's planning on a two-year window, then putting Francisco or Soto (who is the definition of a fast riser) in that spot.
Sure, but I think that Frazier playing well in AA/AAA and Edwin still making a ton of throwing errors is going to make the front office make a decision by late this season.

bubbachunk
03-10-2009, 01:32 PM
Stubbs because it would end the revolving of Willy and Corey type players stinking up the joint

OnBaseMachine
03-12-2009, 05:26 PM
This is an excellent thread.

It's funny that a thread like this popped up, because just a few days ago I was thinking about this very same topic. Plenty of names popped in my head but one really stood out among the others. I thought about Homer Bailey. If he pans out it gives us three starting pitchers with #1 caliber stuff who are 25 years old or younger. What about Yorman Rodriguez or Juan Duran? Those guys have some of the biggest upside of anyone in the minor leagues but I passed on them since they are only 16 and 17 respectively. Neftali Soto could be a superstar caliber hitting if he reaches his potential.

But the one guy who really stood out was Drew Stubbs. He's already in Triple-A. If he reaches his potential he would give the Reds a center fielder who not only can play plus defense but can also get on base, steal plenty of bases, and hit for solid power. Stubbs reaching his potential would really be a tremendous boost to the organization. Heck, even if he develops into a .750 OPS type it would still make him a great player.

Kc61
03-12-2009, 05:46 PM
The Reds' most important prospect is undoubtedly Homer Bailey.

Bailey has been up and down, beaten up in the press, but he is a potential front of the rotation starter and is only 22 years old. Many good 22 year old players -- who are on track -- are at High A ball. Bailey is borderline ready for the major leagues now, certainly a AAA-level minor leaguer.

If Bailey keeps improving, it gives the Reds the ability to trade Harang or Arroyo at the deadline this year when team are panting for pitching. This enables the Reds to re-stock the farm by acquiring more prospects, cut payroll, and continue to build its young pitching staff.

Does any team have a better young threesome in the rotation than Volquez, Cueto and Bailey?

Bailey is the key prospect in this system and I don't think there's a close second.

As a general matter, Rodriguez and Duran are important too because, if they succeed, they vindicate the Reds' Latin American scouting program and may attract others to join them with Cincy. But we won't know about them for awhile. For today, it's Homer.

Kingspoint
03-12-2009, 10:22 PM
On the players playing "out of position" topic, there's absolutely nothing wrong (and I encourage it) with getting a prospect, even a top prospect well-trained at more than one position.

TRF
03-13-2009, 11:26 AM
Bailey is less important right now because of the presence of Owings and success at AAA of Ramirez, Thompson and Maloney. If Bailey were to fail, there is depth to fall back on, and a solid 1-4 in the rotation for the next 2 years.

OF depth is thin. Frazier may still be 2 years away, and he currently has no position in the minor leagues. Dorn is likely at LEAST the LH platoon in LF, possibly as soon as this year, but probably next year. Dickerson's success may mitigate the need for Stubbs to succeed, but if he does, it makes for a great long term solution in the OF in regards to defense.

Scrap Irony
03-13-2009, 11:36 AM
OF depth thin? Perhaps at the major league level, but not at the minor league level. Dorn is a solid bet to produce well in a platoon situation at least. Too, either Frazier or Francisco will end up in the OF, as will Votto. (This obviously assumes Alonso is not dealt and doesn't go bust.)

That's two-four corner OF's, not to mention Bruce, Dickerson, Hairston, and probably Gomes. Bruce can play CF (and well, according to the UZR methodology), as can Taveras (sigh), Hairston, and up-and-comers Heisey and Stubbs. Beyond that lay the hazy possibilities of Soto, Duran, and Rodriguez way off in the future.

SS, IMO, is the major need here, as is catcher. If Mesorasco bloomed into a 300/360/450 guy with a solid glove and great attitude, that would fix the backstop position for a decade. But he's two years away at least. (And that would be hitting well for all of that time, BTW, a lottery-like possibility.

I still think Frazier or Valaika at SS.

TRF
03-13-2009, 01:14 PM
CF is thin. two, maybe three guys in the system if you count Bruce that can play the position and not be a liability with the bat. One of Stubbs/Heisey has to pan out. I firmly believe Dickerson is at least an .800 OPS guy, making him my leadoff and CF for the next 5 years, but if he gets injured, well I certainly don't want CF manned by Taveras beyond his contract. Bruce is going to fill out more, and CF won't be his ideal position.

However, if Stubbs tears up the minor leagues this year AND Dickerson performs to his tools ability says he can, it gives the Reds flexibility in the OF that won't hurt them defensively. And It gives them a trade chit or two.

As for Bailey, I don't feel his career will be better than Cueto's. While his ceiling MIGHT be higher (I actually don't think it is), is floor is lower, AT THIS POINT in his career. The Reds don't have to rely on a successful Homer Bailey to win ballgames. It would be great if he started doing that though.

But the Reds defense would get a lot better if Stubbs masters hitting and develops a power stroke.

dfs
03-13-2009, 01:31 PM
Which Red prospect would make you happiest if he came on like gangbusters?

If you're going to include Homer Bailey on your list of prospects as a potential answer to this question, then I think the real answer almost falls out as soon as you ask it.

Jay Bruce. If Jay Bruce takes a step (or two) forward and becomes the type of special player that we all believe (and hope) that he can become, then the reds are best served. If Bruce goes down the Kearns route or puts up a 83 OPS+ in right field....then unfortunate questions will start up over the talk radio airwaves and make their way down to the ballbark and eventually into the front office.

medford
03-13-2009, 02:27 PM
I may have missed this thought earlier, I read this a bit the other day, then moved on but had it in the back of my mind. While an arguement can easily be made for Stubbs, Homer, Yonder, etc... Perhaps the most important prospect, in terms of filling his potential, is either Yorman or Duran in my mind.

Why? The Reds are just starting to become players in the international market. And while, money often talks, and the rest walk, we saw last year the importance of having a track record in developing kids. The reds offered more money for the top IFA pitcher, only to lose out to Oakland (though they bid pretty high as well) w/ the mention that Oakland got the signing (forgive me for forgetting his name - Isomethingor other) due in part to their track record of developing pitchers.

If Duran and Yorman were able to fill their potential, and become big name players in their homeland, it could help the Reds sign other future studs out of the DR & Venezula for perhaps even a tad less than other teams as the youngsters growing up want the chance to be the next Yorman/Duran or at least the chance to play with them in the majors one day and think they'll have a better chance w/ the Reds due to their past success in developing similarly talented players in the IFA market.

Of course having a true top of the rotation starting pitcher along the lines of Pedro, Roger or Randy wouldn't be too bad either. No pressure on ya Homer.

GIDP
03-13-2009, 02:45 PM
id have to think its Stubbs

Kc61
03-13-2009, 03:30 PM
Bailey is less important right now because of the presence of Owings and success at AAA of Ramirez, Thompson and Maloney. If Bailey were to fail, there is depth to fall back on, and a solid 1-4 in the rotation for the next 2 years.

.

Ramirez, Thompson, and Maloney aren't even on the same screen as Bailey. Homer is an elite prospect. These other guys are possible back of the rotation starters.

I know Bailey has had his share of problems on the mound, but at his tender age, he is still an elite prospect. And one who seems to be finding it.

If Bailey pitches well enough to hold down a major league rotation spot at age 23, he immediately becomes one of the more valuable commodities in baseball. A young guy, with a great arm, in a major league rotation, who the Reds will still control for some time.

TRF
03-13-2009, 04:50 PM
Ramirez, Thompson, and Maloney aren't even on the same screen as Bailey. Homer is an elite prospect. These other guys are possible back of the rotation starters.

I know Bailey has had his share of problems on the mound, but at his tender age, he is still an elite prospect. And one who seems to be finding it.

If Bailey pitches well enough to hold down a major league rotation spot at age 23, he immediately becomes one of the more valuable commodities in baseball. A young guy, with a great arm, in a major league rotation, who the Reds will still control for some time.

That discounts the production of Owings. Even if Harang and Arroyo were to leave, and I think Harang at least will be around for a while, that's a solid top 3. I think Ramirez potential is enticing to say the least. Plus there is Viola and Lecure to think about too.

All I'm saying is the depth is there, and there in the high minors like never before. If Bailey were to fail, it doesn't impact the organization the way it did when Howington/Gruler failed.

M2
03-13-2009, 05:54 PM
Yorman Rodriguez, because the Reds are short on players who can be mind-bendingly awesome.

I'm not saying Rodriguez will be, but he's the most likely superstar in residence at the moment and superstars are always more important. If he pans out, it would gloss over a sea of disappointments.

Scrap Irony
03-14-2009, 11:57 AM
And he's a legitimateCF to boot.

Nice call, that.

Kingspoint
03-14-2009, 08:59 PM
Yorman Rodriguez, because the Reds are short on players who can be mind-bendingly awesome.

I'm not saying Rodriguez will be, but he's the most likely superstar in residence at the moment and superstars are always more important. If he pans out, it would gloss over a sea of disappointments.

I'm with you there....my reason for picking Soto.

OnBaseMachine
03-14-2009, 11:41 PM
I picked Stubbs because he's so close to the majors, but I do agree that Yorman Rodriguez could be the single most important prospect in the organization. If he reaches his potential then he's a legit superstar in the mold of an Eric Davis or Carlos Beltran. In addition to that, having a young Latin star like a Rodriguez or Duran could make it easier for the Reds to sign other players from those countries.

AmarilloRed
03-15-2009, 01:43 AM
Danny Dorn. He's a platoon outfielder now, but I would love it if he could hit LHP this year and could become a legitimate starting LF for the Reds.

Mario-Rijo
03-15-2009, 04:56 PM
I have to believe it's Homer, followed not so closely by Valaika. But I would like to see Travis Wood come on like gangbusters this year. He was once upon a time my favorite prospect and I still believe he can be a solid major leaguer.