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mth123
05-30-2009, 09:36 AM
Earlier this week we checked in on the Redszone top 30 prosepcts. Below I have posted my revised rankings for the end of May. I left as ineligible some of Redszone's top 40 from the winter. Chris Dickerson (Redszone had at #10, I had at #6), Carlos Fisher (19, 14), Ryan Hanigan (21, 18), Adam Rosales (23, 21), Paul Janish (NR, 40) and Danny Rae Herrea (33, 33). I also don't feel comfortable rating the recent international guys who haven't played. Redszone had Duran at 9, Rodriguez at 13, Guillon at 35 and Arias at 37.

So here is the new list. After the name I've included my current ranking, Redszone's winter ranking and my personal old ranking (as if anyone cares).
The columns aren't perfect on some of the longer names, but you'll get the point OK I think.



Name My New RZ My Old
Alonso 1 1 1
Stubbs 2 4 4
Stewart 3 14 17
Heisey 4 20 12
Frazier 5 2 2
Soto 6 3 3
Maloney 7 18 15
Smith 8 38 39
Cozart 9 17 9
Roenicke10 15 10
Sulbaran11 29 36
Horst 12 26 35
Francisco13 8 11
Wood 14 25 27
Ramirez 15 16 13
Valaika 16 5 16
Viola 17 27 26
Fairel 18 NR NR
Manuel 19 31 30
Henry 20 32 20
Sappelt 21 39 32
Parker 22 NR 29
Reed 23 NR 46
Dorn 24 12 8
Avery 25 NR NR
Buchholz26 24 23
Puckett 27 NR NR
Thompson28 7 7
Lotzkar 29 6 5
Buck 30 22 22
Jukich 31 36 24
Valiquette32 40 38
Smit 33 NR NR
Mesoraco34 11 19
Ondrusek35 NR NR
Lecure 36 30 25
Cumberland37 41 28
Watson 38 34 31
Hild'brandt39 28 34
Tatum 40 NR 41



Time to quibble and post your own list.

Dude Rock
05-30-2009, 11:43 AM
I'd probably move Wood, Fairel, Henry and Puckett higher up the list, IMHO.

Homer Bailey
05-31-2009, 01:01 AM
I'll admit that I haven't followed the minors for many years, but is 2 hot months really worthy of that big of a spike in a guys prospect rank (re: Heisey?). Granted, I'm extremely excited about the kid, but his career numbers are nowhere near the numbers he's posted so far. However, I feel like you guys know a lot more about ranking guys than I do.

dougdirt
05-31-2009, 12:10 PM
I'll admit that I haven't followed the minors for many years, but is 2 hot months really worthy of that big of a spike in a guys prospect rank (re: Heisey?). Granted, I'm extremely excited about the kid, but his career numbers are nowhere near the numbers he's posted so far. However, I feel like you guys know a lot more about ranking guys than I do.

Well generally two months isn't much to rely on numbers. When its things like this I tend to focus on a simple question 'has his skillset changed?'. Heisey did change a little bit in his hitting mechanics between last year and this year and well, its really starting to pay off in big ways for him. His 'tools' may not have changed, but I think his skillset has because he can now use his 'tools' at the plate a little bit better because of the changes that he has made.

lollipopcurve
05-31-2009, 08:59 PM
Well generally two months isn't much to rely on numbers. When its things like this I tend to focus on a simple question 'has his skillset changed?'. Heisey did change a little bit in his hitting mechanics between last year and this year and well, its really starting to pay off in big ways for him. His 'tools' may not have changed, but I think his skillset has because he can now use his 'tools' at the plate a little bit better because of the changes that he has made.

There's no question Heisey has exploded this year. But I think it was already evident he was a vastly underrated prospect in the Reds system. People were focused on Stubbs while Heisey was putting up better numbers -- during 08 in the States and then in winter ball.

dougdirt
05-31-2009, 09:11 PM
There's no question Heisey has exploded this year. But I think it was already evident he was a vastly underrated prospect in the Reds system. People were focused on Stubbs while Heisey was putting up better numbers -- during 08 in the States and then in winter ball.

I don't know if he was vastly underrated really. Numbers in the minor leagues don't mean everything. Heisey has turned into a better prospect because it appears his skillset changed, not because he started having better numbers.

Mario-Rijo
05-31-2009, 11:17 PM
Well generally two months isn't much to rely on numbers. When its things like this I tend to focus on a simple question 'has his skillset changed?'. Heisey did change a little bit in his hitting mechanics between last year and this year and well, its really starting to pay off in big ways for him. His 'tools' may not have changed, but I think his skillset has because he can now use his 'tools' at the plate a little bit better because of the changes that he has made.

What has he tweaked Doug? From the looks of it he seems to have a bit more pop than before so I can only assume and there are more than a few ways to accomplish that depending on what he was doing before.

dougdirt
05-31-2009, 11:33 PM
What has he tweaked Doug? From the looks of it he seems to have a bit more pop than before so I can only assume and there are more than a few ways to accomplish that depending on what he was doing before.

He changed his step in his swing and its leading to better timing, ultimately leading to more power. He also has stated he is going the other way with the ball more.

Mario-Rijo
06-01-2009, 12:07 AM
He changed his step in his swing and its leading to better timing, ultimately leading to more power. He also has stated he is going the other way with the ball more.

Thanks for the info. BTW are you becoming thee Reds guru on the net or what? I see you on almost every Reds site, or someone making mention of you. Where do you find the time?

Mario-Rijo
06-01-2009, 12:38 AM
I disagree with your list Mth. Personally I still have Frazier #2 and Soto #3, although I think it could it could go either way with them. After that maybe I move a few guys a notch here and there and a few a handful of spots, I don't see a real massive change in the rankings overall.

Lotzkar I move down, still having that injury is disconcerting. Same with Thompson and maybe Buck a spot or 2. Valaika I may move a spot or 2 down just because I am becoming less certain he will stick at SS. Heisey up a few notches with his improved pop.

Something like this is how I see it currently.

Alonso
Frazier
Soto
Stubbs
Valaika
Heisey
Stewart
Smith
Maloney
Roenicke
Viola
Fisher
Dorn
Bucholz
Lotzkar
Pawelek
Wood
Sulbaran
Horst
Henry
Parker
Cozart
Thompson
Mesoraco
Lutz
Buck
Ramirez
Manuel
Fairel
Valiquette
Cline
Shunick
Puckett
Sappelt

I guess I dropped Lotzkar, Thompson & Mes a little further than I thought but pretty close to before I think. And from what I have read Pawelek is looking like a possible diamond in the rough.

dougdirt
06-01-2009, 12:47 AM
Thanks for the info. BTW are you becoming thee Reds guru on the net or what? I see you on almost every Reds site, or someone making mention of you. Where do you find the time?

Its what I do. It pays most of my bills.

Mario-Rijo
06-01-2009, 12:56 AM
Its what I do. It pays most of my bills.

What a gig, where can I sign up?

mth123
06-01-2009, 06:18 AM
I disagree with your list Mth. Personally I still have Frazier #2 and Soto #3, although I think it could it could go either way with them. After that maybe I move a few guys a notch here and there and a few a handful of spots, I don't see a real massive change in the rankings overall.



I can see that. I was higher on Heisey than the board was and had him at number 12 over the winter so for me, it isn't as big a move. Many of the guys I had ahead of him are injured (Thompson and Lotzkar), having poor seasons (Dorn) or ineligible (Dickerson). I am also skeptical of Valaika (had him at number 16 over the winter) and to a lesser degree Frazier of being able to nail down a position at the major league level that the bat will justify. I've never liked the Todd Walker offense first model in the middle infield and I just don't know if they have the bats to carry a corner spot. Frazier seems to have gone a little nuts lately so that makes me feel a bit better. All three of Frazier, Soto and Valaika have some plate discipline issues with Frazier seeming to be the best of the three in that area. I moved Stubbs up to number two, but prefer Heisey at this point. I think Stubbs 1st round pedigree may give him more trade value, so he stays ahead of Heisey.

I can't ignore what the pitchers are doing and guys like Stewart, Smith, Maloney, Horst, Fairel, Sulbaran and Wood have made the biggest moves for me.

lollipopcurve
06-01-2009, 07:19 AM
I don't know if he was vastly underrated really. Numbers in the minor leagues don't mean everything. Heisey has turned into a better prospect because it appears his skillset changed, not because he started having better numbers.

So, if every player tweaked his mechanics or tried going the other way more -- as you claim Heisey has decided to do -- would they all see great improvement? Players are doing that stuff all the time, and a lot of time it leads nowhere.

I disagree with your assessment, Doug. What Heisey has done is, in a fundamental way, an outgrowth of skills he has been polishing over the course of his minor league career. If you had followed his career closely, you'd have seen a player who was improving his BB:K ratio and power numbers year by year and playing with remarkable consistency. I've been saying he is Stubbs' equal, at least, as a prospect -- and could be the Reds' leadoff hitter of the future -- since last season, when the general assessment on this board, including your take I think, was that he was a marginal, 4th OF prospect. The track record was there, his well-rounded skillset was clearly established. To claim he magically acquired skills sometime between the end of the 08 season and the beginning of 09 is a somewhat naive view of how professional baseball players develop.

dougdirt
06-01-2009, 10:42 AM
So, if every player tweaked his mechanics or tried going the other way more -- as you claim Heisey has decided to do -- would they all see great improvement? Players are doing that stuff all the time, and a lot of time it leads nowhere.
No, they wouldn't all see great improvement. However when they do tweak the right thing and we do see improvement, we have to reassess the players overall skillset because it may have changed.



I disagree with your assessment, Doug. What Heisey has done is, in a fundamental way, an outgrowth of skills he has been polishing over the course of his minor league career. If you had followed his career closely, you'd have seen a player who was improving his BB:K ratio and power numbers year by year and playing with remarkable consistency. I've been saying he is Stubbs' equal, at least, as a prospect -- and could be the Reds' leadoff hitter of the future -- since last season, when the general assessment on this board, including your take I think, was that he was a marginal, 4th OF prospect.
I have followed his career closely and I did think his skillset was likely that of a 4th outfielder, Chris Denorfia like even, prior to this season.



The track record was there, his well-rounded skillset was clearly established. To claim he magically acquired skills sometime between the end of the 08 season and the beginning of 09 is a somewhat naive view of how professional baseball players develop.

Its not that he magically acquired skills, its that he took his skills from X to Y by making adjustments to his swing. From what he has said, he worked his butt off to do so this offseason between Puerto Rico (winter ball) and then this spring with Ryan Jackson.

redsof72
06-01-2009, 01:46 PM
The Reds consider Miguel Rojas to be the top prospect among position players on the Dayton team, followed by Kevin Coddington. Sappelt would be limited to left field due to lack of arm strength and does not project well there due to lack of power. Puckett is hitting so well that he has to be opening some eyes but may have to move to left field. The Reds have too many guys throughout the system right now who can hit a little but project to be able to play only left field at the major league level. One high level member of the Reds player development staff commented that unfortunately, you can only play one guy at a time in left field. Rojas is the only position player on the Dayton club with a skill that projects to major league quality. They are hoping he can hit well enought to be a better Ray Olmedo. Defensively, he reminds me a little of how Alex Gonzalez looked in the Midwest League in the mid-90s.

I am surprised that Fairel has not gotten more attention on here.

OnBaseMachine
06-01-2009, 01:48 PM
I am surprised that Fairel has not gotten more attention on here.

What type of velocity does Fairel have? Kevin Goldstein says he's throwing at above average velocity. If that's true, he may be a top ten prospect in the Reds system.

redsof72
06-01-2009, 02:07 PM
Fairel is 87-89, similar to Horst. Fairel seems to have a little more deceptiveness in his delivery because he does throw fastballs past people at times. There are some comparisons to Horst because both are left handed and both have been very effective without throwing real hard. Horst has the one great pitch with the change-up, and Fairel does not have any single pitch as good as Horst is with his change-up. Fairel has pitched better than his 4-2, 2.40 numbers indicate and leads the entire organization in strikeouts. He was given 4-5 round money and if he had been a fourth round pick, I would think he would be getting more pub. Much better pitcher than Scott Carroll, taken in the 3rd round a year earlier. Fairel was drafted as a true sophomore out of Florida State but was eligible because he turned 21 within 30 days of the draft. I don't think Fairel is a top-10, but maybe in the low 20's with a chance to move into the high teens by the end of the season. Hard for me to say right now who is the better prospect between Fairel and Sulbaran.

Mario-Rijo
06-01-2009, 03:03 PM
I can see that. I was higher on Heisey than the board was and had him at number 12 over the winter so for me, it isn't as big a move. Many of the guys I had ahead of him are injured (Thompson and Lotzkar), having poor seasons (Dorn) or ineligible (Dickerson). I am also skeptical of Valaika (had him at number 16 over the winter) and to a lesser degree Frazier of being able to nail down a position at the major league level that the bat will justify. I've never liked the Todd Walker offense first model in the middle infield and I just don't know if they have the bats to carry a corner spot. Frazier seems to have gone a little nuts lately so that makes me feel a bit better. All three of Frazier, Soto and Valaika have some plate discipline issues with Frazier seeming to be the best of the three in that area. I moved Stubbs up to number two, but prefer Heisey at this point. I think Stubbs 1st round pedigree may give him more trade value, so he stays ahead of Heisey.

I can't ignore what the pitchers are doing and guys like Stewart, Smith, Maloney, Horst, Fairel, Sulbaran and Wood have made the biggest moves for me.

I do recall your thoughts on Valaika. I am still on the fence with him as I am not yet convinced one way or the other about his ability to stick at SS. If I were then I'd have to agree with you about him. Frazier I'm holding firm on that he will eventually be the Reds 3B. I have no doubt he can play it, play it well and hit well enough to be above average overall. I sort of see him as a Mike Lowell type of player, a little rough around the edges at 1st but he should get better with age. But the reason I rate him so high is along with above average skills all the way around he is that fiery leader type we need to compliment Votto. I give Yonder the nod over him due to Yonder's bat being special. Soto is another who I think will be above average to potentially special with the bat. Those things all keep them at the top of my list until I see a definite issue arise.