PDA

View Full Version : Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)



Benihana
06-11-2009, 08:32 PM
After a nine month hiatus, it's back: The Reds Top Prospects List.

Unlike the last couple years, however, I've decided to trim the list to 15 prospects, with others falling under the OTHERS TO WATCH category. There is too much liquidity and uncertainty surrounding guys who would fall in the 15-25 range (there's enough uncertainty with all prospects as it is.) As always, GRADE A indicates a player has a chance to be an all-star at the major league level, GRADE B indicates a player should be a starter at the major league level, and GRADE C indicates that a player has a decent shot to contribute in some form at the major league level. Also, as always, I do not like to rank guys who have yet to play at a full season level (A ball or above.) Mike Leake will be an exception to that rule, as most people believe he should be in Cincinnati by 2011 at the latest. Finally, I do not rank anyone with significant time at the big league level (Homer Bailey) or anyone over 25 (Sutton, Maloney & Roenicke.) Without further ado...

GRADE A

1. Yonder Alonso 1B AA Once he starts hitting in Carolina, he could be in Louisville by August
2. Zack Stewart RHP AA Meteoric rise since converting to starter

GRADE B

3. Mike Leake* RHP Will be interesting to see who gets to Cincy first- him or Stewart
4. Todd Frazier 3B/LF AA Should be playing 3B in Louisville
5. Drew Stubbs CF AAA Would be in Cincy already if Dickerson wasn't playing so well. Should see him soon.
6. Chris Heisey CF AA Second fastest rise up the charts, he belongs in Louisville and should get there any day now.
7. Neftali Soto 3B A+ Don't forget about him- he could be the best hitter in the system after Alonso. Very young for his level
8. Juan Carlos Sulbaran RHP A+ Doing well for a 19 year old in Dayton, has great stuff.

GRADE C

9. Chris Valaika 2B/SS/3B AAA Dropped a bit after missing some time due to injury. His value depends on whether he can stay at SS.
10. Zack Cozart SS AA Has looked great so far this year, could be another fast riser. His glove is ML-ready and he's hitting well in Carolina, look for a promotion sometime this summer.
11. Travis Wood LHP AA Been the best pitcher in the system this year after Stewart, you could make the argument for him being higher. Should get a promotion around The Break.
12. Juan Francisco 3B AA Ranked low because still hasn't shown the plate discipline everyone's been hoping for. However power is there and defense is strong at 3B.
13. Matt Fairel LHP A Has had some absolutely dominant outings. Probably belongs in Sarasota.
14. Pedro Viola LHP AAA Has fallen apart in the last month, but still has the stuff to pitch in Cincy at some point this year.
15. Devin Mesoraco C A+ Ranked here based on pedigree alone. His numbers are poor in Sarasota although his peripherals and defense are improving. Should probably repeat Sarasota next year.

OTHERS TO WATCH
Brad Boxberger* RHP
Alexander Smit LHP AA
Jordan Smith RHP AA
Robert Manuel RHP AAA
Sean Henry OF AA

KEEP AN EYE ON (too early to tell)
Yorman Rodriguez CF R
Juan Duran OF R
Billy Hamilton* SS

INJURED
Kyle Lotzkar RHP A
Dallas Buck RHP AA
Daryl Thompson RHP AAA

PROMOTIONS ON THE HORIZON (in order of neccessity)
Heisey to AAA
Stubbs to MLB
Fairel to A+
Frazier to AAA (and move back to 3B)
Cozart to AAA (by The ASB)
Wood to AAA (by The ASB)



*unsigned

fearofpopvol1
06-12-2009, 12:01 AM
I think Frazier is an "A" if Alonso is right now. Frazier has proven he can hit AA pitching while Alonso hasn't proven it yet (though I'm sure he will). Frazier has spend quite a bit of time in AA now and is doing quite well.

corkedbat
06-12-2009, 01:31 AM
Agree with just about everythng you said Beni. Great job.

I really like the way the farm system is shaping up. I know the strength of the system is generally agreed to be in the A+, AA & AA levels, but I think there are some sleepers in the lower levels that are going to strengthen our depth over the next few years. A couple of top Latin signing would really set things off nicely though. :D

I think this year was a critical draft year for the club. At first blush, it was a little underwhelming, but it's growing on me. I'm really liking the Leake pick more and more and think he's a solid bet to tunr out to be a solid middle of the rotation starter in as little as two years. I liked the college arms too, but the key to the draft to are the HS signability questions at C & SS. Sign a couple of them and the draft looks fairly solid,

I know Jocketty is going to be tempted to be a buyer this year and most fans would support him. I don't want to be throwing prospects at rental guys like Holiday if they can be packaged to land high ceiling young guys with a future. I think now is whenthey need to really be laying the ground work for the next few years when I think the Reds have a chance to really take off.

I'd be looking to move guys like Harang, Arroyo, Weathers, Cordero and Encarnacion and even Phillips too between now and the start of ST. I'm not talking firesale or giving anyone away (I want a solid return(s) or no deals), but with the injury questions, I'd be willing to jeoaprdize chances somewhat for this year to make gains for 2010, 2011, etc.

I believe that now is the time to start making some decisions on some of the young guys too, Who will form the backbone going forward and who will be used to land missing pieces. I haven't given up on Jay Bruce by any means, but any means, but I would float his name some to see how much interest I receive.

I've been anticipating a signature blockbuster deal from Walt since he took over. Something big and surprising that will solidly stamp this as his franchise. It may come next offseason, but I feel it coming and it may be sooner than many think.

princeton
06-12-2009, 09:36 AM
whatever happened to Roenicke buzz, anyway? replaced by... crickets.

medford
06-12-2009, 10:04 AM
W/ gonzalez's contract set to expire following this season, I wonder what the odds of Cozart grabbing the opening day SS position next season? On the surface one would think a kid playing in Dayton last year would be at least 1 more season away (beyond this year), but who's in front of him to block him? No one really. I'd like to see him get the bump up to AAA at the all-star break and if he continues to do well there, get a september call up w/ a shot at making the major league roster out of spring training next year.

Of course I wouldn't mind Janish get more playing time, I don't think his bat keeps him in the starting roll long term, but he's done reasonable well in a limited capacity this season.

Kc61
06-12-2009, 10:35 AM
Few observations.

If Soto is the second best hitting prospect in the organization, he's not showing it this year. He has a .645 OPS right now at High A ball. IMO Todd Frazier is unquestionably the second best hitting prospect in the organization, even arguably the first. He has adjusted to AA with a .333 BA and an .885 OPS and should be at AAA and the major leagues very soon. IMO a very underrated prospect in minor league ball generally.

Juan Francisco's bat has picked up, his OPS is over .750 and rising. But you say his defense is strong, perhaps, but I'd point out he has 18 errors this year so far.

Josh Roenicke has 25 Ks and allowed 3 BBs in 23 innings this year at AAA. He has a 1.22 WHIP and a 3.13 ERA after a few early bad outings. He's allowed zero homers and has ten saves. Probably deserves some mention someplace, no?

Kc61
06-12-2009, 10:47 AM
whatever happened to Roenicke buzz, anyway? replaced by... crickets.

Actually, based on the numbers, should be trumpets.

lollipopcurve
06-12-2009, 10:51 AM
Nice post, Benihana.

My comments:

Agree with KC that Roenicke is coming on. I've been a skeptic, but I think he's turned a corner and could be ready.

Not convinced that Alonso and Stewart stand above the rest. But it's splitting hairs.

Logan Ondrusek and some of the Dominican relievers (Del Rosario, for one) are worth keeping an eye on as bullpen sleepers. Not a big fan of Smit, from what I saw in the WBC. Lefty, yes, but stuff looked marginal.

Agree with the assessment of Cozart. His performance so far may have the team reassessing how to handle SS heading into 2010.

GOYA
06-12-2009, 11:14 AM
Viola is better than a C. He has not "fallen apart" in the last month. He had two bad outings in mid-May and after that has been very effective. He could cut down on walks but he is not hurting himself with them.

Alonso is struggling to find his bat in AA and that's just about where I see him. I don't think that earns an A.

While we don't know where Valaika would be if he didn't break his hand, he didn't show me anything at AAA except his glove. Even then, he had too many errors. Maybe C is too kind.

Heisey should be an A, no question.

Soto is young for A+ but I'd give him a C.

Mesoraco doesn't rate a C.

Carson Kainer might get a mention but he's a little old for A+.

Drew Sutton should get a mention.

Richar has shown a lot of improvement in my eyes. He may turn out to be a player afterall.

mace
06-12-2009, 11:16 AM
Very nice overview.

I might tweak your B class a bit. Sulbaran is in A ball, not A-plus, which really doesn't affect the rating. But I think I'd move up several guys--to the point, I guess, that I don't make much distinction between your B and C classes. I haven't been a big fan of Wood, for instance, but I have to acknowledge that, this year, he's done absolutely all a guy could do. He's still young for his level and he's dominating it. I'd say a similar thing for Fairel, except that he's not young for the level (A) that he's dominating. But he has pitched about as well as a person can pitch. Cozart is another who, to me, has been all good. He's reportedly a great fielder and he has hit very nicely after moving up two levels--even showing power. And I still love Francisco's combination of power and defense. He just seems like a guy who will always drive in a bunch of runs--even when he's off his game a bit, as he's been this year (until lately).

I'm still not convinced that Mesaraco belongs in that grouping. But I'm thinking that Miguel Rojas might. Some people think that his defense at SS is good enough that he's the best prospect at Dayton even if he doesn't hit. And while his numbers don't really show it, he has actually begun to hit with some consistency. And I still like Horst. Cody Puckett is another who might be sliding into the photo. Ondrusek, definitely. And while I haven't been a Sean Watson supporter, he'll be worth a mention if he puts up five more outings anything like his last five (9.2 IP, 1 H). I'd put Josh Ravin in the same category. (I guess that'd be the "others to watch" category, with reluctance.) He's finally showing signs of getting it together.

mace
06-12-2009, 11:19 AM
Drew Sutton should get a mention.



Goya, you see him more than most of the rest of us do (which is, well, not at all). He obviously has a nice bat, but, from what you've seen, would you say that his glove does not preclude him from being a decent big-leaguer?

princeton
06-12-2009, 11:20 AM
he's the best prospect at Dayton even if he doesn't hit.

condemnation, not praise.

camisadelgolf
06-12-2009, 11:30 AM
Great job, Beni. I just have a few comments. I know he's off to a slow start, but Danny Dorn deserves a mention. And if not for his suspension, we might be talking about Scott Carroll as a prospect right now. Also, why would you omit Alex Buchholz? Finally, both Shea Snowden and Evan Hildenbrandt impressed people late last year, and when the short season leagues start, we could see them pick up where they left off.

BuckeyeRedleg
06-12-2009, 11:36 AM
After a nine month hiatus, it's back: The Reds Top Prospects List.

Unlike the last couple years, however, I've decided to trim the list to 15 prospects, with others falling under the OTHERS TO WATCH category. There is too much liquidity and uncertainty surrounding guys who would fall in the 15-25 range (there's enough uncertainty with all prospects as it is.) As always, GRADE A indicates a player has a chance to be an all-star at the major league level, GRADE B indicates a player should be a starter at the major league level, and GRADE C indicates that a player has a decent shot to contribute in some form at the major league level. Also, as always, I do not like to rank guys who have yet to play at a full season level (A ball or above.) Mike Leake will be an exception to that rule, as most people believe he should be in Cincinnati by 2011 at the latest. Finally, I do not rank anyone with significant time at the big league level (Homer Bailey) or anyone over 25 (Sutton, Maloney & Roenicke.) Without further ado...

GRADE A

1. Yonder Alonso 1B AA Once he starts hitting in Carolina, he could be in Louisville by August
2. Zack Stewart RHP AA Meteoric rise since converting to starter

GRADE B

3. Mike Leake* RHP Will be interesting to see who gets to Cincy first- him or Stewart
4. Todd Frazier 3B/LF AA Should be playing 3B in Louisville
5. Drew Stubbs CF AAA Would be in Cincy already if Dickerson wasn't playing so well. Should see him soon.
6. Chris Heisey CF AA Second fastest rise up the charts, he belongs in Louisville and should get there any day now.
7. Neftali Soto 3B A+ Don't forget about him- he could be the best hitter in the system after Alonso. Very young for his level
8. Juan Carlos Sulbaran RHP A+ Doing well for a 19 year old in Dayton, has great stuff.

GRADE C

9. Chris Valaika 2B/SS/3B AAA Dropped a bit after missing some time due to injury. His value depends on whether he can stay at SS.
10. Zack Cozart SS AA Has looked great so far this year, could be another fast riser. His glove is ML-ready and he's hitting well in Carolina, look for a promotion sometime this summer.
11. Travis Wood LHP AA Been the best pitcher in the system this year after Stewart, you could make the argument for him being higher. Should get a promotion around The Break.
12. Juan Francisco 3B AA Ranked low because still hasn't shown the plate discipline everyone's been hoping for. However power is there and defense is strong at 3B.
13. Matt Fairel LHP A Has had some absolutely dominant outings. Probably belongs in Sarasota.
14. Pedro Viola LHP AAA Has fallen apart in the last month, but still has the stuff to pitch in Cincy at some point this year.
15. Devin Mesoraco C A+ Ranked here based on pedigree alone. His numbers are poor in Sarasota although his peripherals and defense are improving. Should probably repeat Sarasota next year.

OTHERS TO WATCH
Brad Boxberger* RHP
Alexander Smit LHP AA
Jordan Smith RHP AA
Robert Manuel RHP AAA
Sean Henry OF AA

KEEP AN EYE ON (too early to tell)
Yorman Rodriguez CF R
Juan Duran OF R
Billy Hamilton* SS

INJURED
Kyle Lotzkar RHP A
Dallas Buck RHP AA
Daryl Thompson RHP AAA

PROMOTIONS ON THE HORIZON (in order of neccessity)
Heisey to AAA
Stubbs to MLB
Fairel to A+
Frazier to AAA (and move back to 3B)
Cozart to AAA (by The ASB)
Wood to AAA (by The ASB)



*unsigned

Good list. Viola and Manuel are both a month or so away from turning 26, so I don't think they would qualify for your list. I understand removing the prospect label past 25, but guys like Stubbs and Heisey will be 25 in 4-6 months and I have a problem not considering them prospects. I like Stewart, but I also think he's slightly overrated on this board. I'm excited about his future, but his numbers don't blow me away. I would probably rank Leake (once signed) ahead of Stewart on my list.

My list of prospects under 25, followed by level of play and age (years.months)

HITTERS
1. Alonso AA (22.2)
2. Frazier AA (23.4)
3. Stubbs AAA (24.8)
4. Heisey AA (24.6)
5. Soto A+ (20.3)
6. Francisco AA (22.0)
7. Cozart AA (23.10)
8. Valaika AAA (23.10)
9. Mesoraco A+ (21.0)
10. Henry AA (23.10)

Also under consideration:

Puckett A- (22.2), Sappelt A- (22.5), Wiley A- (22.6), Rojas A- (20.4), Brown A+ (21.4), Reed A+ (21.5), Parker AA (24.11), Dorn AAA (24.11), Fleury ? (21.1), Fellhauer ? (21.3)


PITCHERS
1. Leake ? (21.7)
2. Stewart AA (22.9)
3. Sulbaran A- (19.7)
4. Wood AA (22.4)
5. Fairel A- (21.11)
6. Boxberger ? (21.0)
7. Lotzkar *injured* (19.8)
8. Hildenbrant *R* (20.4)
9. Thurman A+ (22.2)
10. Smit AA (23.8)

Also under consideration:

Watson AA (23.11), Valliquette AA (22.4), Horst A+ (23.8), Ondrusek AA (24.4), Buck AA (24.6), Ravin A- (21.5), Janke A- (22.8), A. Gonzalez A- (22.9), Cline *R* (19.0), Shunick *R* (22.9), Joseph ? (21.7), Serrano ? (23.9), Pearl ? (21.1)

princeton
06-12-2009, 11:42 AM
Actually, based on the numbers, should be trumpets.

he's getting leapfrogged. I expect to see him out of the organization by July 31.

coddling is good, though. when he makes the majors, he should be way ready.

aubashbrother
06-12-2009, 11:43 AM
id probably keep cozart in AA most of the year , maybe a callup toward the end of the year to get his feet wet in AAA if he's still producing at AA. He did skip an entire level. Great post

bellhead
06-12-2009, 11:52 AM
Few observations.

If Soto is the second best hitting prospect in the organization, he's not showing it this year. He has a .645 OPS right now at High A ball. IMO Todd Frazier is unquestionably the second best hitting prospect in the organization, even arguably the first. He has adjusted to AA with a .333 BA and an .885 OPS and should be at AAA and the major leagues very soon. IMO a very underrated prospect in minor league ball generally.



Soto had an absolutely horrible April, since then he has picked it up and has been right around .300 since then. Add in the Florida league's power sapping abilities, and his age. Put all this together and you can see why he is considered the 2nd best hitting prospect. Also he is very young for A+ ball at 20, most of the guys he is facing are 21 to 23.

Editted for the age 20, come on guys we didn't celebrate his birthday here...

BuckeyeRedleg
06-12-2009, 12:00 PM
Soto had an absolutely horrible April, since then he has picked it up and has been right around .300 since then. Add in the Florida league's power sapping abilities, and his age. Put all this together and you can see why he is considered the 2nd best hitting prospect. Also he is very young for A+ ball at 19, most of the guys he is facing are 21 to 23.

Soto is over 20 now, but I agree with your post.

GOYA
06-12-2009, 12:19 PM
Goya, you see him more than most of the rest of us do (which is, well, not at all). He obviously has a nice bat, but, from what you've seen, would you say that his glove does not preclude him from being a decent big-leaguer?

It's borderline. But if he moved to a different position he could be ok. I'd be more comfortable with him at 3rd and when Valaika comes back I think we will see him there some. He just might have enough pop to play 3rd.

Kc61
06-12-2009, 12:32 PM
Soto had an absolutely horrible April, since then he has picked it up and has been right around .300 since then. Add in the Florida league's power sapping abilities, and his age. Put all this together and you can see why he is considered the 2nd best hitting prospect. Also he is very young for A+ ball at 20, most of the guys he is facing are 21 to 23.

Editted for the age 20, come on guys we didn't celebrate his birthday here...

I don't have monthly stats, but I'm not sure this analysis tells the full story. I know Soto had a bad April and a strong May. But it looks to me, based on watching the boxscores, that perhaps he has fallen back again.

Right now he is hitting .258/.294/.350/.645. He has 33Ks and 9 walks. He has 6 doubles, 4 homers and 14 RBIs. After 217 at bats.

Soto is very young and he may have suffered after Alonso was promoted, perhaps leaving little protection for him in the lineup. And the league is tough on hitters. But he isn't putting up good numbers this year and I don't agree that he's the second best hitting prospect in the organization.

Kc61
06-12-2009, 12:39 PM
he's getting leapfrogged. I expect to see him out of the organization by July 31.

coddling is good, though. when he makes the majors, he should be way ready.


The only guy who leapfrogged him was Fisher who had a better start at AAA this year.

Roenicke was rumored as potential trade bate last off-season, it is a possibility. Reds have said he is a late bloomer, started as a position player. Whether or not he is traded, he has been dominant at AAA after a shaky start this year.

princeton
06-12-2009, 12:47 PM
he has been dominant at AAA after a shaky start this year.

dominant after shaky equals mediocre, especially for a reliever.

he's getting bypassed, and there's no longer a buzz. They paid guys this winter so that they didn't have to use him. Reds don't seem to think that he's their guy. He'll have to show them from afar, IMO.

wasn't long ago that he'd have been Reds' top prospect. :thumbup:

dougdirt
06-12-2009, 12:48 PM
I don't have monthly stats, but I'm not sure this analysis tells the full story. I know Soto had a bad April and a strong May. But it looks to me, based on watching the boxscores, that perhaps he has fallen back again.

Right now he is hitting .258/.294/.350/.645. He has 33Ks and 9 walks. He has 6 doubles, 4 homers and 14 RBIs. After 217 at bats.

Soto is very young and he may have suffered after Alonso was promoted, perhaps leaving little protection for him in the lineup. And the league is tough on hitters. But he isn't putting up good numbers this year and I don't agree that he's the second best hitting prospect in the organization.

Here are his monthly splits with the keys bolded.

Split PA AB ISOP HR BB% K% BABIP GB% LD% AVG OBP SLG
April 82 80 .062 1 0.0% 12.2% .232 54% 16% .213 .220 .275
May 104 94 .149 3 5.8% 13.5% .390 42% 35% .351 .394 .500
June 46 43 .023 0 6.5% 19.6% .176 71% 15% .140 .196 .163

We are kind of seeing Soto on a little bit of a roller coaster ride. His walk rate is certainly going in the right direction. That was always a knock on him in the past. If he keeps it up, a 6-7% walk rate would be fine for someone with his skillset (assuming that skillset doesn't change for the worst). His BABIP has been all over the place. The interesting thing though is the power. Is it because he isn't hitting the ball far or is it because the hits aren't finding the grass? I am not sure, but I am going to go back and look through the gameday for June for him and see.

Edit - I went back and looked in June and it doesn't look like he is hitting for power. Interesting to note though, Mesoraco probably should have 2 more HR's this month if he were playing in slightly smaller parks. Looks like he had 2 fly outs to the wall in a stadium thats 340 down the line.

OnBaseMachine
06-12-2009, 01:58 PM
I agree with the way you rated the top three pitching prospects in the organization.

1. Zach Stewart
2. Mike Leake
3. Juan Carlos Sulbaran

I like Zach Stewart a lot. Two plus pitches, a developing changeup, good control, solid strikeout totals, and tons of groundballs. He has the stuff to be a top-of-rotation starter, IMO. Sulbaran arguably has the highest ceiling of any starter in the Reds system. But I rank him slightly behind Leake because Leake is closer to the majors.

Grande Donkey
06-12-2009, 03:14 PM
I like Stewart's floor and ceiling more that Sulbaran's. Sulbaran seems like a #2-3 or bust to me. Stewart seems like a #1-2 or worst case as a lights out reliever.

bellhead
06-12-2009, 04:16 PM
How much time do you think Stewart spends with Soto next spring?

If Soto can work with him on the change and turn it into a plus pitch, if will be a very good major league pitcher.

I think right now Stewart is the #1 player in the organization.

Also next year AAA could see a log jam with Stewart, Wood, and Leike.

Next year the pitching staff will be deep and the Reds will have some real options for the #5 role next year, with maybe Bronson also being gone.

Good stuff...

Benihana
06-12-2009, 07:26 PM
Few observations.

If Soto is the second best hitting prospect in the organization, he's not showing it this year. He has a .645 OPS right now at High A ball. IMO Todd Frazier is unquestionably the second best hitting prospect in the organization, even arguably the first. He has adjusted to AA with a .333 BA and an .885 OPS and should be at AAA and the major leagues very soon. IMO a very underrated prospect in minor league ball generally.

Juan Francisco's bat has picked up, his OPS is over .750 and rising. But you say his defense is strong, perhaps, but I'd point out he has 18 errors this year so far.

Josh Roenicke has 25 Ks and allowed 3 BBs in 23 innings this year at AAA. He has a 1.22 WHIP and a 3.13 ERA after a few early bad outings. He's allowed zero homers and has ten saves. Probably deserves some mention someplace, no?

First, I said that Soto could be the second best hitting prospect. And it's true. I like Frazier a lot, and he is more likely to make the majors than any player in the Reds' system right now. However, his lack of power so far this year is a little troubling. Granted, he's getting on base at an impressive clip and a lot of his doubles could turn into dingers as he progresses, Frazier strikes me more of a very solid major leaguer, maybe similar to a Sean Casey, while Soto appears to have more upside. It just depends on what you prefer- Frazier is the safer pick while Soto has potentially more upside. I still ranked Frazier ahead of Soto as a prospect due to Soto's young age and inconsistency so far this year, but don't be surprised if Soto is an All-Star someday. (Also don't be surprised if he never makes it as a regular starter- that's why they're harder to read the younger they are.)

As far as Francisco goes, errors aren't neccessarily the best judge of defense. Francisco's D was good enough to send Frazier (who is a much better prospect) to the outfield, and get Brandon Waring shipped out of the organization. The Reds are high on it and so am I. As far as his offense goes, he continues to hit bombs but shows disappointing discipline. He should remain in Carolina for the rest of the year.

Finally, I echo princeton's sentiments on Roenicke. First of all, he did get mention if you read my original post. Second, he's 27 years old, and if you read my guidelines, I don't like including guys that age on my list- just a personal preference. While there are many late bloomers (Chris Dickerson appears to be the latest) most players who have yet to make a significant debut by that age are no longer considered "prospects." I like my lists to look at the long term future of the organization from a minor league perspective. Finally as princeton said, the Reds don't appear to be that keen on him for whatever reason. First they signed the geyser FAs, then they brought up Herrera and Fisher before him, and most recently discussed bringing up Viola instead. I would expect him to be wearing another team's threads by the end of the calendar year.

Benihana
06-12-2009, 08:28 PM
Great job, Beni. I just have a few comments. I know he's off to a slow start, but Danny Dorn deserves a mention. And if not for his suspension, we might be talking about Scott Carroll as a prospect right now. Also, why would you omit Alex Buchholz? Finally, both Shea Snowden and Evan Hildenbrandt impressed people late last year, and when the short season leagues start, we could see them pick up where they left off.

Thanks, much appreciated.

Danny Dorn never profiled to much more than a platoon hitter even when he was hitting well (as he could never hit lefties) but after a slow start, I can't really consider him a "top prospect." He may become a left-handed pinch hitter for the Reds once Laynce Nix departs, but I don't see much of a future for him at the big league level at this point.

Buchholz and some of the pitchers you mentioned did have nice starts last year, but I'd like to see more out of them before I consider them as serious players to watch. Justin Reed falls into this category as well, although he has been around for a little while longer. Like Buchholz, Reed has been underwhelming so far at Sarasota this year.

camisadelgolf
06-12-2009, 09:43 PM
One thing that may be worth considering is that Buchholz completely skipped A-ball. If he were putting up solid numbers in Dayton, I can't help but think he would've made your list.

And if you're going to let Dorn's platoon splits have such a big effect, what's with the middle relievers who would have a much smaller impact than Dorn?

Kc61
06-12-2009, 10:45 PM
Finally, I echo princeton's sentiments on Roenicke. First of all, he did get mention if you read my original post. Second, he's 27 years old, and if you read my guidelines, I don't like including guys that age on my list- just a personal preference. While there are many late bloomers (Chris Dickerson appears to be the latest) most players who have yet to make a significant debut by that age are no longer considered "prospects." I like my lists to look at the long term future of the organization from a minor league perspective. Finally as princeton said, the Reds don't appear to be that keen on him for whatever reason. First they signed the geyser FAs, then they brought up Herrera and Fisher before him, and most recently discussed bringing up Viola instead. I would expect him to be wearing another team's threads by the end of the calendar year.

Yes, I now see the reference to Roenicke and his age in your post. I don't view his age as particularly significant, he is a converted pitcher drafted after a full college career at a later age than most. He moved quickly through the chain but the Reds are giving him plenty of reps at the higher levels.

In the recent BA article about Reds relievers, the Reds brass made this point. I see no lack of confidence in him, just a realization that he began pitching late and needed more time. And the speculation that he will be traded is just that, and if he is traded then I expect them to get meaningful value.

Your post also mentioned that errors don't necessarily determine defensive ability. I am one of Francisco's supporters on RedsZone but 18 errors by June 12 is a rather disturbing defensive stat. I expect Francisco to play in the major leagues. I have my doubts that he will be at third.

Benihana
06-12-2009, 10:50 PM
I expect Francisco to play in the major leagues. I have my doubts that he will be at third.

I've been clamoring for some time now for the Reds to try him behind the plate. Unfortunately it may be too late for that, but I still think it would be an interesting move for him. He has the footwork ability and the arm...

Benihana
06-12-2009, 10:54 PM
One thing that may be worth considering is that Buchholz completely skipped A-ball. If he were putting up solid numbers in Dayton, I can't help but think he would've made your list.

And if you're going to let Dorn's platoon splits have such a big effect, what's with the middle relievers who would have a much smaller impact than Dorn?

I understand where you're coming from with Buchholz. I liked his debut a lot last year before he got hurt and I'll continue to keep an eye on him. Both he and Reed are 21, however, and that is usually the right age for Sarasota.

As far as the middle relievers go, Pedro Viola is the only example of this- and one could make a strong argument (as others have) that he doesn't belong on this list. Manuel is one to keep an eye on mainly because of the numbers he has put up fairly consistently over the last two years. However, by most accounts, his stuff isn't all that great.

fearofpopvol1
06-13-2009, 01:02 AM
First, I said that Soto could be the second best hitting prospect. And it's true. I like Frazier a lot, and he is more likely to make the majors than any player in the Reds' system right now. However, his lack of power so far this year is a little troubling. Granted, he's getting on base at an impressive clip and a lot of his doubles could turn into dingers as he progresses, Frazier strikes me more of a very solid major leaguer, maybe similar to a Sean Casey, while Soto appears to have more upside. It just depends on what you prefer- Frazier is the safer pick while Soto has potentially more upside. I still ranked Frazier ahead of Soto as a prospect due to Soto's young age and inconsistency so far this year, but don't be surprised if Soto is an All-Star someday. (Also don't be surprised if he never makes it as a regular starter- that's why they're harder to read the younger they are.)

:confused:

Doubles are still considered "power." Frazier's home run totals may be down, but the doubles count for something. And Frazier has hit a LOT of them this year. Sean Casey had a year or two where he hit for some power...but he was primarily a singles hitter. Frazier has shown more.

Benihana
06-13-2009, 06:21 AM
:confused:

Doubles are still considered "power." Frazier's home run totals may be down, but the doubles count for something. And Frazier has hit a LOT of them this year. Sean Casey had a year or two where he hit for some power...but he was primarily a singles hitter. Frazier has shown more.

I agree, and that's why I said in my post that hopefully a lot of those doubles could turn into dingers.

As far as Casey goes, I believe that a lot of the reason he was primarily a singles hitter (as opposed to doubles) was attributable to his Bo Diaz-like speed.

I don't think that Frazier and Casey are identical players at all- Frazier is significantly more valuable defensively and probably has more power. I just made the comp because I wouldn't be surprised if they put up similar numbers as pros and have similar very solid careers.

Soto OTOH is the more volatile asset to forecast- with both his floor and his ceiling.

Benihana
06-13-2009, 08:20 AM
Viola is better than a C. He has not "fallen apart" in the last month. He had two bad outings in mid-May and after that has been very effective. He could cut down on walks but he is not hurting himself with them.

Alonso is struggling to find his bat in AA and that's just about where I see him. I don't think that earns an A.

While we don't know where Valaika would be if he didn't break his hand, he didn't show me anything at AAA except his glove. Even then, he had too many errors. Maybe C is too kind.

Heisey should be an A, no question.

Soto is young for A+ but I'd give him a C.

Mesoraco doesn't rate a C.

Carson Kainer might get a mention but he's a little old for A+.

Drew Sutton should get a mention.

Richar has shown a lot of improvement in my eyes. He may turn out to be a player afterall.


I rated Viola as a C because he projects to a middle reliever/LOOGY at the big league level. Many people have argued that because of this, he doesn't even belong on this list. That said, I do see him in Cincy by the end of the year.

Alonso has true All-Star ability. He has less than three months under his professional belt, and he has not disappointed so far. I expect him to start hitting in Carolina any day now.

Valaika will at least get a shot at the major league level, I'm pretty confident giving him a C grade.

While his numbers this year have been off the charts, I'm not ready to say that Heisey is a Grade A prospect and potential All-Star. Most people agree that he grades out similar to Stubbs, who at this point probably has the edge due to his projection and higher level. While Stubbs may profile to a major league starter, I'd be surprised if he makes multiple All-Star teams at the big league level. Therefore Heisey is not, in my opinion, "an A no question."

Some people may agree with you that Soto is ranked too high, but I am high on him. While he provides no guarantees, his ceiling gets him into the B category on my board.

You may be right about Mesoraco. He is certainly not one of my favorite players, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at this point. However, if he's putting up similar numbers in Sarasota at this point next year, you won't see him on any of my lists.

While he is a good story, I'd like to see more out of Kainer at the higher levels.

Sutton does get mention in the original post- he's just too old to be included on the list. I think he deserves a shot in Cincy this summer. In fact I wouldn't argue if he is promoted this month and Frazier replaces him as the 3B in Louisville.

Richar screams fringe to me. At best he is a utility guy, and I like Sutton, Valaika and Rosales better.

mth123
06-13-2009, 09:45 AM
Beni, this is a nice discussion. I like threads like this and mostly agree with your assessment.

So lets consider the situation for a minute. The Reds currently are struggling mightily to score runs and the future of the offense depends on big time production from a 22 year old kid who seems to be struggling a lot under the pressure and a currently sidelined young hitter whose situation suggests that he probably doesn't need the pressure of being the centerpiece. Many would like to see the Reds trade some vets and bring in more young talent, but with all their problems, the Reds are 2.5 back in the Central and only 1 back in the wild card. I just don't see this team dealing off guys like Arroyo, Harang, Cordero or Weathers and dumping the season. I think its more likely that the Reds will be dealing off some of the near ready minor league depth to bring in a bat or two. Its a win now move, but if the new guys become the focal point, it may end up paying dividends down the road if Votto can get back in there without having to be the savior and Bruce can continue to develop without trying to hit 5 run homers every time up.

That begs the question of who to deal. I think your idea of eliminating guys over 25 is probably a place to start and some deeper areas also need to be considered. IMO the Reds probably could deal from the following areas:

Bullpen arms: Fisher is up and seems like a keeper, Masset is still young and doing well, Herrera has been pretty good and Burton is looking better lately. With Cordero, Weathers and Rhodes probably in place for contention it seems like there won't be room for kids on the verge like Roenicke, Manuel and Viola. With Bray on the DL and guys like Ramirez capable of pen duty and Stewart a potential impact guy should the Reds need to make that move down the stretch, there is enough depth to deal a couple. I'd say Roenicke, Manuel and maybe Logan Ondrusek and Sean Watson would be guys to try to deal for some major league help.

Mid-Level Hitters looking for a position: Chris Valaika, Todd Frazier and Drew Sutton fall into this group. In all probability, there will be a super sub spot for one of these guys and if EdE is dealt maybe two. I think at least one of these guys could be moved and whichever one completes the best overall deal from the Reds perspective should be the one to go,

Third Base Depth: Juan Francisco and Netalfi Soto look like players who may command some return back and IMO neither may ever be better than EdE is now. I'd deal at least one (my preference is keep Soto and deal Francisco).

Centrfielders: Heisey and Stubbs. Stubbs and Heisey. With Dickerson available to platoon if the one the Reds keep falls short, I'd deal one for sure and groom the other. I still think Stubbs probably has the most trade value even though Heisey may not be far off. I'd include Stubbs in a deal and attempt to make Heisey the guy. If Heisey hits a wall, he could platoon with Dickerson and the combo would probably still provide adequete offense and defense at the position on the cheap until Yorman Rodriguez is ready.

Near Ready Starters I'm one of the few who still thinks Homer Bailey is the best long term option of the minor league starters, but he will be out of option years after the season and if he can make a deal happen that brings something back for multiple seasons he may need to go. Matt Maloney has looked OK but his HR tendancies are concerning. He's another guy I'd part with if necessary. Micah Owings has been OK as a back end guy, but he's replaceable and with Maloney and Bailey (as well as Wood, Stewart and Ramirez) around to backfill, he's a good candidate to deal if he can fetch a nice return back. Mike Leake will be coming on the scene and may make it easier to deal one or two of the AAA or AA starters.

In summary, I'd deal for a couple of bats. One that can play OF or 3B and hopefully a younger guy who can play SS. The guys I'd deal: Roenicke, Manuel, Watson, Ondrusek, Stubbs, Francisco, Valaika and one of Maloney or Owings. I'd deal Bailey, Wood, Frazier and/or Soto only if the return was for multiple years at a position of need. I wouldn't deal Alonso or Stewart at this point. Anyone not mentioned would probably not have much value.

Benihana
06-13-2009, 12:27 PM
Beni, this is a nice discussion. I like threads like this and mostly agree with your assessment.

So lets consider the situation for a minute. The Reds currently are struggling mightily to score runs and the future of the offense depends on big time production from a 22 year old kid who seems to be struggling a lot under the pressure and a currently sidelined young hitter whose situation suggests that he probably doesn't need the pressure of being the centerpiece. Many would like to see the Reds trade some vets and bring in more young talent, but with all their problems, the Reds are 2.5 back in the Central and only 1 back in the wild card. I just don't see this team dealing off guys like Arroyo, Harang, Cordero or Weathers and dumping the season. I think its more likely that the Reds will be dealing off some of the near ready minor league depth to bring in a bat or two. Its a win now move, but if the new guys become the focal point, it may end up paying dividends down the road if Votto can get back in there without having to be the savior and Bruce can continue to develop without trying to hit 5 run homers every time up.

That begs the question of who to deal. I think your idea of eliminating guys over 25 is probably a place to start and some deeper areas also need to be considered. IMO the Reds probably could deal from the following areas:

Bullpen arms: Fisher is up and seems like a keeper, Masset is still young and doing well, Herrera has been pretty good and Burton is looking better lately. With Cordero, Weathers and Rhodes probably in place for contention it seems like there won't be room for kids on the verge like Roenicke, Manuel and Viola. With Bray on the DL and guys like Ramirez capable of pen duty and Stewart a potential impact guy should the Reds need to make that move down the stretch, there is enough depth to deal a couple. I'd say Roenicke, Manuel and maybe Logan Ondrusek and Sean Watson would be guys to try to deal for some major league help.

Mid-Level Hitters looking for a position: Chris Valaika, Todd Frazier and Drew Sutton fall into this group. In all probability, there will be a super sub spot for one of these guys and if EdE is dealt maybe two. I think at least one of these guys could be moved and whichever one completes the best overall deal from the Reds perspective should be the one to go,

Third Base Depth: Juan Francisco and Netalfi Soto look like players who may command some return back and IMO neither may ever be better than EdE is now. I'd deal at least one (my preference is keep Soto and deal Francisco).

Centrfielders: Heisey and Stubbs. Stubbs and Heisey. With Dickerson available to platoon if the one the Reds keep falls short, I'd deal one for sure and groom the other. I still think Stubbs probably has the most trade value even though Heisey may not be far off. I'd include Stubbs in a deal and attempt to make Heisey the guy. If Heisey hits a wall, he could platoon with Dickerson and the combo would probably still provide adequete offense and defense at the position on the cheap until Yorman Rodriguez is ready.

Near Ready Starters I'm one of the few who still thinks Homer Bailey is the best long term option of the minor league starters, but he will be out of option years after the season and if he can make a deal happen that brings something back for multiple seasons he may need to go. Matt Maloney has looked OK but his HR tendancies are concerning. He's another guy I'd part with if necessary. Micah Owings has been OK as a back end guy, but he's replaceable and with Maloney and Bailey (as well as Wood, Stewart and Ramirez) around to backfill, he's a good candidate to deal if he can fetch a nice return back. Mike Leake will be coming on the scene and may make it easier to deal one or two of the AAA or AA starters.

In summary, I'd deal for a couple of bats. One that can play OF or 3B and hopefully a younger guy who can play SS. The guys I'd deal: Roenicke, Manuel, Watson, Ondrusek, Stubbs, Francisco, Valaika and one of Maloney or Owings. I'd deal Bailey, Wood, Frazier and/or Soto only if the return was for multiple years at a position of need. I wouldn't deal Alonso or Stewart at this point. Anyone not mentioned would probably not have much value.

Great post mth123, I agree with almost all of it.

The only places where I might take issue are as follows:

First, I would prefer not to deal Todd Frazier, as I think he is the likely 3B for the next 5+ years. I would also prefer to hang onto Soto if possible, but like almost everyone else he could definitely be had in the right deal.

I also agree that the Reds should probably trade Stubbs or Heisey, but my guess is Heisey goes between the two and I'm fine with that. Now would be a great time to sell high on Heisey.

I would target a LF (preferably one that hits righty but not mandatory) and a young SS. With the 3B's in the pipeline, I don't think that position needs to be upgraded for the long term- unless of course they believe Frazier is a LF and not a 3B. I would also like to see if Ryan Hanigan continues to produce at his current level all year. If so, that may take care of the backstop problem for next year, although finding a backup would be necessary.

But other than these minor quibbles, I think your analysis is spot-on and couldn't agree more.

mth123
06-13-2009, 01:09 PM
Great post mth123, I agree with almost all of it.

The only places where I might take issue are as follows:

First, I would prefer not to deal Todd Frazier, as I think he is the likely 3B for the next 5+ years. I would also prefer to hang onto Soto if possible, but like almost everyone else he could definitely be had in the right deal.

I also agree that the Reds should probably trade Stubbs or Heisey, but my guess is Heisey goes between the two and I'm fine with that. Now would be a great time to sell high on Heisey.

I would target a LF (preferably one that hits righty but not mandatory) and a young SS. With the 3B's in the pipeline, I don't think that position needs to be upgraded for the long term- unless of course they believe Frazier is a LF and not a 3B. I would also like to see if Ryan Hanigan continues to produce at his current level all year. If so, that may take care of the backstop problem for next year, although finding a backup would be necessary.

But other than these minor quibbles, I think your analysis is spot-on and couldn't agree more.

So what could a Stubbs or Heisey, Roenicke, Owings, Valaika and Francisco package bring back? I'd think that would interest a lot of teams. The A's might like Stubbs OBP, Roenicke's stuff, Valaika's utility and may be creative enough to try Owings as a Pitcher/DH combo who would have a lot more value than the normal 5th starter or part time DH. The A's are 8 games back in last place and behind a bunch of teams in the wild card, and while I'm not one of the many that are clamoring for a rental of Holiday, the A's may be the most likely team to value what the Reds have to offer. I wouldn't deal Bailey, Wood, or Frazier for a rental, but given the positive impact it may have on Bruce and Votto, parting with Stubbs, Owings, Valaika and Roenicke wouldn't bother me at all.

Stubbs, Owings, Vailaka and Roenicke for Holiday. Heisey moves to AAA, Volquez takes Owings spot with Maloney staying in the rotation and moving Roenicke clears a bit of the logjam in the pen.

Dealing young pitching like Roenicke and Owings is a little scary, but youth is relative and Roenicke is 27 in August and Owings will be 27 in September. Bailey and Ramirez are still in AAA for depth with Wood, Stewart, Jordan Smith, hopefully Mike Leake and even the suddenly possible James Avery at AA. Scott Carroll is back, along with Jeremy Horst and even filler arms like Jukich, Lecure and Smit to provide depth. In the pen there is still Manuel, Viola, Ondrusek, Watson, and overlooked guys like Ramon Geronimo, Ruben Medina and the still young Phil Valiquette. For next season the system should have Darryl Thompson, Dallas Buck, Bill Bray and Kyle Lotzkar to add to the mix. This team can spare an arm or two, especially when there are younger, better ones to backfill. The question is really whether the arms we'd like to deal would really get anything back.

Benihana
06-13-2009, 01:46 PM
So what could a Stubbs or Heisey, Roenicke, Owings, Valaika and Francisco package bring back? I'd think that would interest a lot of teams. The A's might like Stubbs OBP, Roenicke's stuff, Valaika's utility and may be creative enough to try Owings as a Pitcher/DH combo who would have a lot more value than the normal 5th starter or part time DH. The A's are 8 games back in last place and behind a bunch of teams in the wild card, and while I'm not one of the many that are clamoring for a rental of Holiday, the A's may be the most likely team to value what the Reds have to offer. I wouldn't deal Bailey, Wood, or Frazier for a rental, but given the positive impact it may have on Bruce and Votto, parting with Stubbs, Owings, Valaika and Roenicke wouldn't bother me at all.

Stubbs, Owings, Vailaka and Roenicke for Holiday. Heisey moves to AAA, Volquez takes Owings spot with Maloney staying in the rotation and moving Roenicke clears a bit of the logjam in the pen.

Dealing young pitching like Roenicke and Owings is a little scary, but youth is relative and Roenicke is 27 in August and Owings will be 27 in September. Bailey and Ramirez are still in AAA for depth with Wood, Stewart, Jordan Smith, hopefully Mike Leake and even the suddenly possible James Avery at AA. Scott Carroll is back, along with Jeremy Horst and even filler arms like Jukich, Lecure and Smit to provide depth. In the pen there is still Manuel, Viola, Ondrusek, Watson, and overlooked guys like Ramon Geronimo, Ruben Medina and the still young Phil Valiquette. For next season the system should have Darryl Thompson, Dallas Buck, Bill Bray and Kyle Lotzkar to add to the mix. This team can spare an arm or two, especially when there are younger, better ones to backfill. The question is really whether the arms we'd like to deal would really get anything back.

I like it, although I don't think Valaika would be in the deal. The A's two most recent first round picks were near ready/big-time college middle infielders with Grant Green and Jemile Weeks. Plus, I think a package of Stubbs/Heisey, Owings and Roenicke would be enough. I'd probably prefer to trade Heisey instead of Stubbs, but whatever works.

I'd look to acquire Rios before Holliday, but I'd be happy with doing that deal for Holliday.

Off topic, I wouldn't mind seeing the Reds take a snag at Andy Marte and let him play 3B until EdE/Frazier are ready. I've been jonesing for him for a while, and he's tearing up AAA right now. Would Robert Manuel be enough? We already traded Cleveland a minor league reliever for one faded star prospect infielder who turned into an All-Star, can lightning strike twice?

If not Marte, I think Drew Sutton is ready for his shot. Let him play 3B until Edwin comes back, and let Fraizer play 3B in Louisville.