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mth123
05-28-2009, 06:37 AM
As the seasonís 2nd month draws to a close, I thought I'd take a quick look at how the Redszoneís top 30 prospects are doing, its not good news IMO (Stats as of May 28):

1. Yonder Alonso - Showing flashes of what we hope for but not really dominating at A+ like many expected. Still .290/.367/.490/.858 probably suggests a promotion to AA soon. (Unchanged)

2. Todd Frazier - Moved to LF at AA because he probably is least likely of the MI logjam to have the glove for the MI. As a LF he needs to be a power bat. So far only 2 homers with a pedestrian .346 OBP and .796 OPS despite the .308 BA. That wonít cut it in LF. Disappointment so far IMO but 18 doubles suggest some promise and better days may return for him. (Dropping)

3. Neftali Soto - .264/.296/.377/.673. A horrible start but has been better recently (.294 BA in last 10 games). Another disappointment. (Dropping)

4. Drew Stubbs - Having a good year at AAA. .311/.405/.444/.850. Still looking for more homers, but his defense and speed along with solid plate discipline suggest a decent everyday CF even if the homers donít come. He might be number 2 on this list if it were redone today. (Rising)

5. Chris Valaika - .93 poor at bats with a .500 OPS followed by an injury surely hirts his value, but probably too early to judge. (?Dropping?)

6. Kyle Lotzkar - Still hasnít played.. Seems to have struggled with his injury a bit. Its not really fair, but it probably drops his value. (Dropping).

7. Daryl Thompson - Injured mostly, not effective when heís perfromed. Probably destined to give-up starting at this point. Probably the biggest drop on the list but he still may end up a decent reliever. (Dropping)

8. Juan Francisco - Still hard to figure. Big power is still there with 9 homers, but a lot of Kís with only a few BBís suggest heíll struggles as better pitching exploits his holes. (???)

9. Juan Duran - His season hasnít started yet. (Unchanged).

10 Chris Dickerson - Really struggled on offense and defense to start the year. Has been better lately and gets on base very well. Needs more hits to improve his slugging percentage and a little power would be helpful. May have blown his chance with the poor start as other players are doing well right now leaving little playing time. Probably not much trade value and may need to accept life as a bench player. I still think he could be a league average CF with above average defense against RHP, but his market value won;t reflect that. (Dropping)

11. Devin Mesoraco - .185/.287/.319/.606 at A+ and his offense is his strong suit at this point. Probably a level too high and he is very young, but its not encouraging (Dropping).

12. Danny Dorn - .583 OPS in AAA. Heís not there for his defense. He needs to hit and so far he hasnít. (Dropping)

13. Yorman Rodriguez - His season hasn;t started yet. (Unchanged)

14. Zach Stewart - Heís moved to starting and has been masterful with lots of Ks and ground balls. He tore up A+ and has been nearly unhittable in 2 starts at AA. Probably could help the Reds in the late innings this year. If he stays a starter it may push his major league career back a year or two, but his value would be a lot better if he can keep being successful. Top 5 prospect IMO. (Rising)

15. Josh Roenicke - Lots of Kís. seems to have his walk under control, but giving up more hits than a power reliever should IMO. Could probably be useful in the majors this year at some point, but not the dominator we hope for. (Dropping).

16. Ramon Ramirez - Pretty good in his last 3 or 4 starts after a poor start. Will be a decent end of the staff pitcher but probably not much in market value. Long Relief/Spot starter with a low ceiling in the tradition of the Reds pitching products over the last 20 years. (Slight Drop)

17. Zach Cozart - The one true MI glove in the upper minors. Hot start early and then a big slump. Has rebounded to hit .314 in his last 10 games. The jury is still out. (Unchanged)

18. Matt Maloney - .2.31 ERA in 58.333 IP at AAA. Probably deserves a shot at some point and likely has some trade value. He gives up more fly balls than most would like to see, but his results are good. Iím in the skeptic camp on him, but his value has probably gone up. (Rising).

19. Carlos Fisher - One of my favorites so this may be biased. Seems to have done well in AAA and so far in a brief appearance in Cincy. Gets grounders and Kís and can go more than an inning at a time. Bullpens need guys like him. Heíll probably always be stuck in the middle innings, but will have a solid career IMO. (Rising)

20 . Chris Heisey - Probably having the best year of any offensive player in the system. Has hit and with power .357/.438/.577/.1.018. Has speed (9 SB in 10 tries) and can handle CF. Would probably still suffer in rankings due to perceived shortage of tools, but Iíd put him in the top 5 based on his multi-faceted skill-set. (Rising).

21. Ryan Hanigan - Top notch back-up catcher who can catch, throw and get on base. Probably would start for many teams. (Risning)

22. Dallas Buck - Decent start statistically. Lots of grounders but a lot of hits allowed as well. Injury clouds everything. (Dropping).

23. Adam Rosales - Useful Major league utility player with better defense than he showed early in Cincy, on base skills and some pop. He needs to stay under cntrol to avoid mistakes, but should have a decent career. (Rising)

24. Alex Buchholz - Challenged with a big jump to A+. Has struggled with a .319 OBP and only a .347 Slugging percentage. May need to wait and see on him since the jump was so big. (Unchanged).

25. Travis Wood - Fantastic comeback for Wood at AA. 1.38 ERA with 41K and 29 BB in 52 IP. The K to walk ratio is a bit of a red flag, but the results are very good. (Rising)


26. Jeremy Horst - Consistently under-rated. Horst has a 2.19 ERA with 36K against 15 BB in 53.333 IP at A+. A 6'4" lefty, he should be on the prospect radar. (Rising)

27 Pedro Viola - Appears to have settled in as a power reliever but is another guy with too many fly balls and too many walks. Still could be a dominant lefty out of the oen though. (Rising).

28. Evan Hildenbrandt - Wondering why he isnít in Dayton. (Unchanged)

29 . Juan Carlos Sulbaren - Should probably be higher based on World Baseball Classic hype alone. Got a lare start but has been decent with a .3.48 ERA in 31 IP. Homer prone and that is scary. (Rising)

30. Sam Lecure - Has had some good games but poor overall with a 5.38 ERA in 44.333 IP at AAA. Too many fly balls and homers are doing him in and not a good sign for GABP. (Dropping)

Other risers:

Robert Manuel (31), Danny Rae Herrera (33), Jordan Smith (Big time from 38), David Sappelt (39).

As always, feel free to correct me.

Eric_the_Red
05-28-2009, 07:30 AM
Good stuff. :thumbup:Thanks for the update, mth!

nate
05-28-2009, 07:54 AM
Nice summary, mth.

edabbs44
05-28-2009, 08:25 AM
Nice work, although slightly depressing.

Kc61
05-28-2009, 08:33 AM
Good list, agree mostly, but not on Roenicke. He's obviously still working things out at AAA. Probably making his pitches a little too good to avoid walks.

But in 17.1 innings has 21 Ks and 2 BBs. No homers allowed. 1.38 GO/FO rate.

He's allowed 22 hits, too many, and his ERA is 4 plus. But with so few innings, relievers ERAs tend to be very easily changed. Roenicke had a couple bad outings early that hurt his ERA.

Again, the two walks total is so low that it tells me he is intently trying to avoid walks and has been hit some because of it. Still developing, but the power pitching numbers are there.

I wouldn't classify him as dropping, not at all.

SMcGavin
05-28-2009, 08:33 AM
Good post mth. My general feeling is that the pitchers have been impressing and the hitters have been struggling.

The only one I would quibble with is Josh Roenicke - right now he is dominating people with 11.2 K/9 and 1.1 BB/9, I don't see how his value has dropped.

bucksfan2
05-28-2009, 08:36 AM
mth seems pretty pessimistic to me. I wouldn't really say Soto and Frazier are dropping as of yet. You have to take age (Soto) and level change (both) into consideration. IMO it is a little too early to pass much of a judgment especially on guys who are making a level change.

Dude Rock
05-28-2009, 08:52 AM
I'm depressed.

DTCromer
05-28-2009, 10:24 AM
Well, there's 3-4 guys on that list that are with the Reds and they're still "prospects." Hanigan, Rosales, Dickerson, Herrera and guys like Fisher and shouldn't be considered "prospects" anymore since they're established themselves pretty well.

I vehemently disagree with Yonder as "unchanged." Except for the first 10 games or so, he's been hitting the hell out of the ball. In fact, he's hitting .327 since those first 9 games and has had a hit in 26 of the last 27 games. The only game he didn't have a hit, the game only went 5 innings and had 2 official AB's so we could legitimately be looking at a 25+ game hitting streak.

OnBaseMachine
05-28-2009, 11:15 AM
Nice post, mth.

I disagree with ya on one thing. I wouldn't say Soto is dropping. IMO, a slow start was to be expected. He's only 20 years old and jumped to High-A after only 218 atbats in Low-A. Not to mention he's playing in a very pitcher friendly league. After a horrible month of April, he has bounced back and hit .316/.364/.481 - .845 in 80 atbats in May. Unless he struggles the rest of the way, his ranking will stay the same in my eyes.

Some of our top prospects have gotten off to disappointing starts, however, there is a bright spot. Some of our lower rated guys have stepped up and are developing into top prospects. Chris Heisey is an example of that. Zach Stewart and Juan Carlos Sulbaran too, and Travis Wood is pitching well again.

Will M
05-28-2009, 11:26 AM
a lot of the 'stud' prospects are struggling but the list is 30 deep!
i would rather have a deep system than one based on 3-4 studs having to become major league all stars

SMcGavin
05-28-2009, 11:36 AM
I disagree with ya on one thing. I wouldn't say Soto is dropping. IMO, a slow start was to be expected. He's only 20 years old and jumped to High-A after only 218 atbats in Low-A. Not to mention he's playing in a very pitcher friendly league. After a horrible month of April, he has bounced back and hit .316/.364/.481 - .845 in 80 atbats in May. Unless he struggles the rest of the way, his ranking will stay the same in my eyes.


Soto has a sub-.300 OBP and has walked five times in two months. Not that it makes him a bust or anything, he's only 20, but it's hard to say his value hasn't dropped a bit.

OnBaseMachine
05-28-2009, 11:44 AM
Soto has a sub-.300 OBP and has walked five times in two months. Not that it makes him a bust or anything, he's only 20, but it's hard to say his value hasn't dropped a bit.

Soto had just an awful, awful April where he hit .213/.222/.275 - .497. In May, he has adjusted and hit .316/.364/.481 - .845 while walking five times. I'm willing to look past his April since he was adjusting to a new league. I do agree that he needs to improve his plate discipline (he's made small strides this month). I just haven't seen enough to drop him yet.

dougdirt
05-28-2009, 12:11 PM
Soto had just an awful, awful April where he hit .213/.222/.275 - .497. In May, he has adjusted and hit .316/.364/.481 - .845 while walking five times. I'm willing to look past his April since he was adjusting to a new league. I do agree that he needs to improve his plate discipline (he's made small strides this month). I just haven't seen enough to drop him yet.

I agree. April was very rough and compounded with the rough plate discipline (0 walks and 10 Ks) he carried a .232 BABIP in the month. May has been more like the Neftali Soto we know. He has a 5.75% walk rate, a 12.5% K rate, lots of line drives and is hitting over .300 with solid power. Its early. We have to have some patience with these guys, I think we rush into judgement too often when we look at numbers. Step back and ask, has the guys skillset changed? With a guy like Soto, the numbers obviously suggest that no, the skillset has not.

Guys like Thompson and Lotzkar, unfortunately we might have to say yes the skillset may have changed. We may have to say it with Heisey as well, but in a good way. Sometimes we just get caught up in stats for minor leaguers without always paying attention to skill level and growth. Those latter two things matter a whole lot more in the minor leagues.

BuckeyeRedleg
05-28-2009, 01:08 PM
Neftali Soto looks like the dude in Slumdog Millionaire.

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Neftali%20Soto&pos=&sid=t535&t=p_pbp&pid=519304

Great stuff as always, mth123.

GIDP
05-28-2009, 01:13 PM
Great thread.

mace
05-28-2009, 02:02 PM
26. Jeremy Horst - Consistently under-rated. Horst has a 2.19 ERA with 36K against 15 BB in 53.333 IP at A+. A 6'4" lefty, he should be on the prospect radar. (Rising)


Right on. I realize that ERA is not the most telling stat, but it's interesting that, as Horst has moved up, his ERAs have trended down. 2007: 3.24. 2008: 2.38. 2009: 2.21.

I suppose that might be expected for a guy who went to high school in North Dakota. Combining all that with the fact that he's a 6-4, 220-pound lefty, you've got to like his profile.

Curiously, Baseball Reference has him born in Savannah, Ga. The Reds' media guide has him born in Cheyenne, Wyo. High school in North Dakota. Community college in Iowa. Lives now in Wisconsin. Hmm.

dougdirt
05-28-2009, 02:08 PM
26. Jeremy Horst - Consistently under-rated. Horst has a 2.19 ERA with 36K against 15 BB in 53.333 IP at A+. A 6'4" lefty, he should be on the prospect radar. (Rising)


Right on. I realize that ERA is not the most telling stat, but it's interesting that, as Horst has moved up, his ERAs have trended down. 2007: 3.24. 2008: 2.38. 2009: 2.21.

I suppose that might be expected for a guy who went to high school in North Dakota. Combining all that with the fact that he's a 6-4, 220-pound lefty, you've got to like his profile.

Curiously, Baseball Reference has him born in Savannah, Ga. The Reds' media guide has him born in Cheyenne, Wyo. High school in North Dakota. Community college in Iowa. Lives now in Wisconsin. Hmm.

He was born in Wyoming, but didn't grow up there. He was a military kid and moved some, but grew up in North Dakota for the most part as a kid.

RED VAN HOT
05-28-2009, 05:21 PM
Nice update.

I like players like Heisey and Horst who came out of small programs and, when faced with stronger competition, have adjusted and continued to improve. It is to the Reds credit that they found them.

Admittedly, it is still early, but there are other upside surprises.

At Dayton:
I don't think anyone expected Fairel to be so dominating. A relatively unheralded Puckett has shown surprising power and has been dropped into the 4 spot. Lance Janke has put up good numbers as a starter, great K/BB and low BAA. Put him in the small program adjuster category.

At Sarasota:
Valiquette is getting some traction as LH power arm reliever. Del Rosario has emerged as a good relief prospect, good BB/K, low BAA, and great GB %.

At Carolina:
Alex Smit is showing potential as a starter, high K/9 and low BAA. Ondrusek is putting up great numbers as a reliever, low H/9, low BAA, and high GB %. Even Avery has shown improvement and is showing why the Reds have been so patient with him.

mace
05-28-2009, 05:46 PM
Lance Janke has put up good numbers as a starter, great K/BB and low BAA. Put him in the small program adjuster category.

I understand the point about Janke, since he played at San Diego Christian College. But I think there's an important difference in his background and, say, Horst's. Or Joey Votto's. Growing up in San Diego, Janke had the opportunity to play baseball year-round, and against good competition. That opportunity doesn't exist in North Dakota or Canada. I'd expect that the players who grew up there enter pro ball considerably more raw than the average prospect, and consequently with more room for improvement.

Anyway, good post.

Mario-Rijo
05-28-2009, 06:15 PM
I think most have been touched that I would have discussed Soto, Roenicke, Alonso etc. Frazier though is a guy who I will withold judgement on right now but have his quirky swing in the back of my mind. I think if he weren't hitting at all I'd be closing in on officially concerned but his HR's are all that's down and too me it's just too soon to be overly concerned about that. But good list anyway Mth.

Oh and even though he's not in RZ's top 30 my man Sean Henry is still doing well also.

Kingspoint
05-28-2009, 07:56 PM
mth123....think you should start putting Cody Puckett in this list?

mth123
05-28-2009, 08:45 PM
Well, there's 3-4 guys on that list that are with the Reds and they're still "prospects." Hanigan, Rosales, Dickerson, Herrera and guys like Fisher and shouldn't be considered "prospects" anymore since they're established themselves pretty well.

I vehemently disagree with Yonder as "unchanged." Except for the first 10 games or so, he's been hitting the hell out of the ball. In fact, he's hitting .327 since those first 9 games and has had a hit in 26 of the last 27 games. The only game he didn't have a hit, the game only went 5 innings and had 2 official AB's so we could legitimately be looking at a 25+ game hitting streak.

This is based on the off-season Redszone rankings when these prospects were voted on. Guys like Hanigan, Dickerson, Fisher, Herrera and Rosales were still prospects when the list was compiled and this is the update on the top 30 from that list.

As for Yonder, he was voted number 1. If your point is unchanged is not a good ranking, I ask how he could be rising from the number 1 spot? The only choices were unchanged and dropping in his case. FWIW, I think most thought he would dominate at A+ and should have gone directly to AA. He hasn't dominated the league, in that sense, he's a bit of a disappointment.

Oh and sorry for all the typos everyone. Got a little rushed this morning.

mth123
05-28-2009, 08:48 PM
mth123....think you should start putting Cody Puckett in this list?

I didn't have time to go into guys that weren't ranked in the voting, but you're right that Puckett has been good. As has Fairel, Smit, Avery, Janke etc. as others have pointed out. Feel free to expand on your Puckett comments. I'd like to know more about his defense.

mth123
05-28-2009, 08:54 PM
mth seems pretty pessimistic to me. I wouldn't really say Soto and Frazier are dropping as of yet. You have to take age (Soto) and level change (both) into consideration. IMO it is a little too early to pass much of a judgment especially on guys who are making a level change.

I agree that its a little early to be judging too harshly, but its the end of May and the numbers are where the numbers are. Frazier and Soto were ranked that high on the basis of hitting everywhere they go. So far they haven't, so maybe the rankings were optimistic. I see your point and actually think they'll get it together, but right now there seems to be a chink in the armor and they probably fall a few notches behind Stubbs, Heisey, Stewart etc.

mth123
05-28-2009, 09:02 PM
Good list, agree mostly, but not on Roenicke. He's obviously still working things out at AAA. Probably making his pitches a little too good to avoid walks.

But in 17.1 innings has 21 Ks and 2 BBs. No homers allowed. 1.38 GO/FO rate.

He's allowed 22 hits, too many, and his ERA is 4 plus. But with so few innings, relievers ERAs tend to be very easily changed. Roenicke had a couple bad outings early that hurt his ERA.

Again, the two walks total is so low that it tells me he is intently trying to avoid walks and has been hit some because of it. Still developing, but the power pitching numbers are there.

I wouldn't classify him as dropping, not at all.

You may be right. I was actually surprised to see an ERA above 4 and more hits than IP. I probably over-reacted in his case. I agree that he may be taking too much off to get the ball over, but the fact that he has to is a reason for concern IMO.

Mario-Rijo
05-28-2009, 09:08 PM
You may be right. I was actually surprised to see an ERA above 4 and more hits than IP. I probably over-reacted in his case. I agree that he may be taking too much off to get the ball over, but the fact that he has to is a reason for concern IMO.

It could have something to do with the fact he has a terrible defense behind him also.

redsmetz
05-28-2009, 09:18 PM
Curiously, Baseball Reference has him born in Savannah, Ga. The Reds' media guide has him born in Cheyenne, Wyo. High school in North Dakota. Community college in Iowa. Lives now in Wisconsin. Hmm.

Maybe he's been in the Witness Protection program.

Betterread
05-28-2009, 09:53 PM
I agree. April was very rough and compounded with the rough plate discipline (0 walks and 10 Ks) he carried a .232 BABIP in the month. May has been more like the Neftali Soto we know. He has a 5.75% walk rate, a 12.5% K rate, lots of line drives and is hitting over .300 with solid power. Its early. We have to have some patience with these guys, I think we rush into judgement too often when we look at numbers. Step back and ask, has the guys skillset changed? With a guy like Soto, the numbers obviously suggest that no, the skillset has not.

Soto has been disappointing. It doesn't mean he's a bust. But 9 extra base hits in 43 games is poor from a guy projected to be a power hitting prospect. Has his skill set changed, you ask? You say the numbers say no. From the stats, I see a blossoming contact hitter, with little power this year and no OB ability to speak of. Not a good skill set for a 3B, in my opinion.

dougdirt
05-29-2009, 12:27 AM
Soto has been disappointing. It doesn't mean he's a bust. But 9 extra base hits in 43 games is poor from a guy projected to be a power hitting prospect. Has his skill set changed, you ask? You say the numbers say no. From the stats, I see a blossoming contact hitter, with little power this year and no OB ability to speak of. Not a good skill set for a 3B, in my opinion.

http://redsminorleagues.com/images/soto.gif

There are two big outliers in there. August of 2007 when Soto was injured and April of 2009. Every other month in there looks fairly similar.

Soto's skillset is looking like a high average, low walk, strong power type of player. Say .300/.350/.500 type of hitter. Think Aramis Ramirez. Look past his 'season' stats at this point, its skewed majorly by 1 bad month right now.

lollipopcurve
05-29-2009, 07:33 AM
But 9 extra base hits in 43 games is poor from a guy projected to be a power hitting prospect.

Soto is young. He will get stronger, like every other human being his age. As they say, power develops later.

HokieRed
05-29-2009, 08:26 AM
Great post, mth. I don't find anything depressing about it. Some good surprises, some guys struggling to make progress, no more than the usual downsides. I do think Alonso is doing everything we'd expect from him. His May line is relevant: .349/.432/.554/.986. There's only one way to draft, IMHO, BPA, and I think in 2008 we actually got him.

bucksfan2
05-29-2009, 08:41 AM
I agree that its a little early to be judging too harshly, but its the end of May and the numbers are where the numbers are. Frazier and Soto were ranked that high on the basis of hitting everywhere they go. So far they haven't, so maybe the rankings were optimistic. I see your point and actually think they'll get it together, but right now there seems to be a chink in the armor and they probably fall a few notches behind Stubbs, Heisey, Stewart etc.

They both are off to a slow start but I give a pass because of his age and level. Numbers are numbers, and if a Reds player would struggle to start we wouldn't be so kind to. However I just don't know how much age, development, and level weigh into slow starts or even fast starts.

IMO two of the most important prospects in the Reds system are Stubbs and Cozart. Stubbs has been on fire to start this season. I just wonder if I should temper it the same way I temper the disappointment of Soto and Frazier, or be more excited because this is his last step before the bigs. Cozart if he puts up a good season should jump into the top 5 Reds prospects. It seems like the Reds have had him on the fast track and he has yet to disappoint.

I really want to see what the Reds do with Heisey. He has been putting up great numbers but he is blocked by Stubbs who has more raw talent and has been putting up impressive numbers himself. If the Reds feel Heisey is the same as Stubbs, it will be interesting to see if either is moved. You can't have too much depth in the minors, but you also don't want to waste a MLB talent in the minors for too long.

Betterread
05-29-2009, 09:28 PM
http://redsminorleagues.com/images/soto.gif

There are two big outliers in there. August of 2007 when Soto was injured and April of 2009. Every other month in there looks fairly similar.

Soto's skillset is looking like a high average, low walk, strong power type of player. Say .300/.350/.500 type of hitter. Think Aramis Ramirez. Look past his 'season' stats at this point, its skewed majorly by 1 bad month right now.

That is a very interesting graph. What you derive from the graph makes sense. I do know that kids are often streaky, talented ones sometimes more so.

AmarilloRed
05-29-2009, 10:36 PM
Alonso's numbers are at Sarasota, always a tough place to hit. I expect to see his numbers improve when he is promoted to Carolina.

Mario-Rijo
05-29-2009, 10:40 PM
Alonso's numbers are at Sarasota, always a tough place to hit. I expect to see his numbers improve when he is promoted to Carolina.

As are Soto's. Every year we question why people aren't hitting with power down there, I'd think that by now it'd be obvious.