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dougdirt
02-02-2010, 04:21 PM
I got Baseball America's Handbook today. If you don't have one and love minor league baseball you should really buy a copy of it.

In Neftali Soto's writeup it says that the Reds tried him out at catcher in the Instructional League and he was receptive to the move and picked up on things quickly. Its not known if its something that will happen, and I know that it has been mentioned before by JJ Cooper that he thought it could be something to look into. Still, I think this could be a very interesting and potentially very smart move. Soto has the arm to play back there and his bat could profile quite well back there too where his approach wouldn't be as detrimental if he never brings the walks up.

lollipopcurve
02-02-2010, 04:25 PM
In Neftali Soto's writeup it says that the Reds tried him out at catcher in the Instructional League and he was receptive to the move and picked up on things quickly. Its not known if its something that will happen, and I know that it has been mentioned before by JJ Cooper that he thought it could be something to look into. Still, I think this could be a very interesting and potentially very smart move. Soto has the arm to play back there and his bat could profile quite well back there too where his approach wouldn't be as detrimental if he never brings the walks up.

Would be huge!

Hoping to get my handbook today...

Benihana
02-02-2010, 04:26 PM
I got Baseball America's Handbook today. If you don't have one and love minor league baseball you should really buy a copy of it.

In Neftali Soto's writeup it says that the Reds tried him out at catcher in the Instructional League and he was receptive to the move and picked up on things quickly. Its not known if its something that will happen, and I know that it has been mentioned before by JJ Cooper that he thought it could be something to look into. Still, I think this could be a very interesting and potentially very smart move. Soto has the arm to play back there and his bat could profile quite well back there too where his approach wouldn't be as detrimental if he never brings the walks up.

Francisco, Alonso, Soto. Third time could be the charm!

If nothing else, the move to Catcher worked for another former infielder named Soto in the NL Central...

OnBaseMachine
02-02-2010, 04:35 PM
I love it, even more so than moving Alonso behind the plate. Why? Because unlike Alonso, Soto still has some work to do with the bat and moving him to catcher wouldn't really slow down his development. I really hope the Reds decide to go through with this. Soto has the frame, arm strength, and enough ability to make the transition, IMO. And his bat has a chance to be special for a catcher.

camisadelgolf
02-02-2010, 04:42 PM
Speaking of the Prospect Handbook, does anyone know where I could get a good deal on one? Maybe there's a coupon floating around the net somewhere?

dougdirt
02-02-2010, 04:44 PM
Speaking of the Prospect Handbook, does anyone know where I could get a good deal on one? Maybe there's a coupon floating around the net somewhere?

It just came out, doubt anywhere has it for any cheaper than anywhere else at this point.

Bumstead
02-02-2010, 05:10 PM
It eventually became cheaper on Amazon.com last year. About half the price of buying it off BA site...

camisadelgolf
02-02-2010, 05:19 PM
I already checked Amazon, but I might wait around a little while. If anyone finishes reading his and decides to sell it at a discount, feel free to PM me.

Bumstead
02-02-2010, 05:24 PM
just went on amazon and it is $21.09 which is pretty good deal. I ordered Sickels book...Baseball America is probably slightly better but Sickels is a more enjoyable read.

Mario-Rijo
02-02-2010, 06:10 PM
Hopefully they do it he's a good fit for the position but then what becomes of 3B, we have pretty much forced everyone worth a darn off the position. Francisco and Frazier are pretty much screwed with Rolens extension.

Kingspoint
02-02-2010, 08:48 PM
I got Baseball America's Handbook today. If you don't have one and love minor league baseball you should really buy a copy of it.

In Neftali Soto's writeup it says that the Reds tried him out at catcher in the Instructional League and he was receptive to the move and picked up on things quickly. Its not known if its something that will happen, and I know that it has been mentioned before by JJ Cooper that he thought it could be something to look into. Still, I think this could be a very interesting and potentially very smart move. Soto has the arm to play back there and his bat could profile quite well back there too where his approach wouldn't be as detrimental if he never brings the walks up.

Now that's a guy I could see playing Catcher.

Caveat Emperor
02-02-2010, 10:04 PM
Hopefully they do it he's a good fit for the position but then what becomes of 3B, we have pretty much forced everyone worth a darn off the position. Francisco and Frazier are pretty much screwed with Rolens extension.

Keep developing pitching, and you'll have no problem acquiring parts that your minor league seems deficient in producing.

Honestly, with Mesoraco on the fast train to bustville, I'm more worried about the catching in this system than 3B.

dougdirt
02-02-2010, 10:51 PM
Keep developing pitching, and you'll have no problem acquiring parts that your minor league seems deficient in producing.

Honestly, with Mesoraco on the fast train to bustville, I'm more worried about the catching in this system than 3B.

The only thing that is holding back Mesoraco is injuries. His peripherals at the plate look good and his defense impressed last season once his wrist was healthy (mid May). Its one thing to consider someone on their way to 'bustville' as you call it, when their peripherals suck and they can't play defense. But Mesoraco showed very good power last season in a pitchers league, while having a good walk rate and throwing out half the runners that tried stealing on him for May-August. Not to mention he was young for the level.

Caveat Emperor
02-03-2010, 01:16 AM
The only thing that is holding back Mesoraco is injuries. His peripherals at the plate look good and his defense impressed last season once his wrist was healthy (mid May). Its one thing to consider someone on their way to 'bustville' as you call it, when their peripherals suck and they can't play defense. But Mesoraco showed very good power last season in a pitchers league, while having a good walk rate and throwing out half the runners that tried stealing on him for May-August. Not to mention he was young for the level.

Wake me when he gets his OPS over .725. Hell, I'd even take an OBP in the mid-.300s at this point.

I know you're a Mesoraco supporter, but he's done very little thus far to distinguish himself as a #1 pick or show any signs of projecting to anything more than a below-average catcher. Part of that I blame on the Reds -- Meso's been overpromoted and should have repeated a year at Dayton instead of being pushed through to Sarasota.

Kingspoint
02-03-2010, 06:16 AM
Wake me when he gets his OPS over .725. Hell, I'd even take an OBP in the mid-.300s at this point.

I know you're a Mesoraco supporter, but he's done very little thus far to distinguish himself as a #1 pick or show any signs of projecting to anything more than a below-average catcher. Part of that I blame on the Reds -- Meso's been overpromoted and should have repeated a year at Dayton instead of being pushed through to Sarasota.

He's on track and is exactly where he was supposed to be. He was never supposed to be on a fast-track. His was always supposed to be a 5-year process through the minors. It's actually very positive that he hasn't had any regressions. I've already seen some regressions by other Catchers who were drafted within a Round of him who had a ton more experience. I hated the pick at the time because I knew of his 5-year timeline. I wanted something better with that pick. But, Krivsky is always a long-term thinker. He's not a let's-get-it-done-now guy. He does what's best for the Overall Franchise and got screwed that he didn't even get to half-way finish what he started.

Mesoraco was a good pick, who's done everything asked of him, while progressing at the pace he was meant to be on and doing so with positive results. AA is where you get most of your education as a Catcher to prepare you for the Majors. I hope Mesoraco spends the whole year there this season, and I really don't care what he hits. His hitting will come. We have the opportunity to have an above average hitter in the Majors combined with above average Catching skills, while he becomes a starter in the Majors as a Catcher at a young age (24).

gonelong
02-03-2010, 09:57 AM
I hope Mesoraco makes it, but he was easily the most disappointing player I have witnessed over the last decade or so at Dayton. If he sticks for any amount of time as a backup at the MLB level I'd be stunned-shockified-flabergasted-speechless.

I like seeing some of the more athletic guys at catcher ... especially those guys with a pretty good arm and a bat that isn't likely to make them a plus at another position.

GL

Benihana
02-03-2010, 01:11 PM
Mesoraco was a good pick, who's done everything asked of him, while progressing at the pace he was meant to be on and doing so with positive results. AA is where you get most of your education as a Catcher to prepare you for the Majors. I hope Mesoraco spends the whole year there this season, and I really don't care what he hits. His hitting will come. We have the opportunity to have an above average hitter in the Majors combined with above average Catching skills, while he becomes a starter in the Majors as a Catcher at a young age (24).


:drink:Have another one buddy!

flyer85
02-03-2010, 01:17 PM
He can battle Alonso for PT. :D

TRF
02-03-2010, 02:15 PM
While he didn't tear up the FSL, his numbers weren't a huge drop from the Midwest league. That's mildly encouraging. Personally, I wouldn't promote him to AA out of ST. let him show what he can do this year at High A.

Benihana
02-03-2010, 02:29 PM
While he didn't tear up the FSL, his numbers weren't a huge drop from the Midwest league. That's mildly encouraging. Personally, I wouldn't promote him to AA out of ST. let him show what he can do this year at High A.

What do you do with Coddington- who clearly outperformed him in Dayton and is ready for High-A?

dougdirt
02-03-2010, 02:58 PM
I hope Mesoraco makes it, but he was easily the most disappointing player I have witnessed over the last decade or so at Dayton. If he sticks for any amount of time as a backup at the MLB level I'd be stunned-shockified-flabergasted-speechless.

I like seeing some of the more athletic guys at catcher ... especially those guys with a pretty good arm and a bat that isn't likely to make them a plus at another position.

GL
If you only saw him in Dayton, then wipe your memory clean. The scouting reports on him defensively were so drastically different from Dayton to Sarasota it wasn't funny.

dougdirt
02-03-2010, 03:02 PM
What do you do with Coddington- who clearly outperformed him in Dayton and is ready for High-A?

And there is the problem and why we will likely see Mesoraco in Carolina to start the year. Coddington clearly deserves the promotion to High A. Peripherally, Mesoraco likely has a strong argument for the promotion to AA. His walk rate was above average for the league, much less his age. Same with his power (Isolated Power, not SLG). His defense was much improved and his arm is starting to really show up now that it seems he has his mechanics working together well (in the past that was always my issue with his throwing down runners - he was trying to do everything perfectly rather than just doing it and it was taking too long, so his good arm was playing way down because it took to long from the time he caught the ball to the release that it didn't matter how hard he was throwing it down there).

Benihana
02-03-2010, 03:15 PM
And there is the problem and why we will likely see Mesoraco in Carolina to start the year. Coddington clearly deserves the promotion to High A. Peripherally, Mesoraco likely has a strong argument for the promotion to AA. His walk rate was above average for the league, much less his age. Same with his power (Isolated Power, not SLG). His defense was much improved and his arm is starting to really show up now that it seems he has his mechanics working together well (in the past that was always my issue with his throwing down runners - he was trying to do everything perfectly rather than just doing it and it was taking too long, so his good arm was playing way down because it took to long from the time he caught the ball to the release that it didn't matter how hard he was throwing it down there).

I would start them both in High A. Let Mesoraco catch 4-5 days a week while Coddington DH's, and vice versa on the other 2-3 days. That way both get to hit everyday, and D-Mes continues to sharpen his defensive skills.

If Mesoraco continues to get thrust through the system, he will continue to put up mediocre results and never amount to much. Not suggesting he will amount to much if he stays in High-A, but it definitely increases his chances of long-term success.

Mesoraco was prioritized as a draft pick and subsequent investment. His development needs to be prioritized as well if they are ever going to come close to recouping their investment. Prioritizing his development does not mean shoving him into the next league in which he doesn't belong, just because it's the easiest/most convenient thing to do.

dougdirt
02-03-2010, 03:25 PM
I would start them both in High A. Let Mesoraco catch 4-5 days a week while Coddington DH's, and vice versa on the other 2-3 days. That way both get to hit everyday, and D-Mes continues to sharpen his defensive skills.

If Mesoraco continues to get thrust through the system, he will continue to put up mediocre results and never amount to much. Not suggesting he will amount to much if he stays in High-A, but it definitely increases his chances of long-term success.

Can I ask why he could increase his long term success if his peripheral rates were solid to strong in High A if you made him repeat it? If he had a 5% walk rate and a 21% strikeout rate with a .100 IsoP, then sure. But he had a 10% walk rate and a .153 IsoP with a 21% strikeout rate. Nothing about that says he was mediocre given the league.

Here is how the league looked and Mesoraco who spent the year at 20/21 (birthday in late June:



Player BB% K% K/BB IsoP
Mesoraco 9.0% 21.3% 2.2 .153
Avg 20 yr 7.7% 18.4% 2.4 .112
Avg 21 yr 8.8% 18.6% 2.1 .100


So for his age, he was above average in walks, well above average in power, average in K/BB and slightly below average in K rate. Overall given his position he plays too, thats a guy that was better than the league at the plate for his age and his defense made pretty good strides too once he was healthy. Not sure that is a guy who you hold back to repeat a level.

Benihana
02-03-2010, 04:45 PM
Can I ask why he could increase his long term success if his peripheral rates were solid to strong in High A if you made him repeat it? If he had a 5% walk rate and a 21% strikeout rate with a .100 IsoP, then sure. But he had a 10% walk rate and a .153 IsoP with a 21% strikeout rate. Nothing about that says he was mediocre given the league.

Here is how the league looked and Mesoraco who spent the year at 20/21 (birthday in late June:



Player BB% K% K/BB IsoP
Mesoraco 9.0% 21.3% 2.2 .153
Avg 20 yr 7.7% 18.4% 2.4 .112
Avg 21 yr 8.8% 18.6% 2.1 .100


So for his age, he was above average in walks, well above average in power, average in K/BB and slightly below average in K rate. Overall given his position he plays too, thats a guy that was better than the league at the plate for his age and his defense made pretty good strides too once he was healthy. Not sure that is a guy who you hold back to repeat a level.

Because I would like to see him show some actual results (both in statistics and scouting reports,) not just one person's cherrypicked peripherals. Doug, I'm not going to get into the same tired debate with you. I think everyone knows where you stand on this issue.

dougdirt
02-03-2010, 05:07 PM
Because I would like to see him show some actual results (both in statistics and scouting reports,) not just one person's cherrypicked peripherals. Doug, I'm not going to get into the same tired debate with you. I think everyone knows where you stand on this issue.

Its not cherry picked peripherals. We know which peripherals lead to good hitting and I showed them. It not like I plucked out his IFFB% or GB3B% (groundball to 3B). While I would also like to see some actual numbers show up, when a guy has good peripherals in the FSL but the slash line doesn't match it, there generally isn't something to worry about. Guys with good peripherals in the FSL tend to hit well once they leave the league.

Caveat Emperor
02-03-2010, 06:57 PM
Its not cherry picked peripherals. We know which peripherals lead to good hitting and I showed them. It not like I plucked out his IFFB% or GB3B% (groundball to 3B). While I would also like to see some actual numbers show up, when a guy has good peripherals in the FSL but the slash line doesn't match it, there generally isn't something to worry about. Guys with good peripherals in the FSL tend to hit well once they leave the league.

Trouble with Mesoraco is that his slash line has been awful at every stop he's made, not just the FSL.

At some point, the kid has to start producing raw numbers. He's young, so he has plenty of time, but OBPs of .310, .311, and .311 aren't going to cut it, especially when his SLG is held down by his inconsistent contact rate.

dougdirt
02-03-2010, 07:16 PM
Trouble with Mesoraco is that his slash line has been awful at every stop he's made, not just the FSL.

At some point, the kid has to start producing raw numbers. He's young, so he has plenty of time, but OBPs of .310, .311, and .311 aren't going to cut it, especially when his SLG is held down by his inconsistent contact rate.

There were differing reasons his slash line has been bad though. In the GCL there was absolutely no power to speak of. In Dayton his walk rate was quite low (6%, compared to 10% in Sarasota). His contact rate hasn't been the problem really (only topped 20% once in 3 seasons). In the past its been a lack of power or walks. His peripherals looked like what you want to see out of a prospect in the FSL. Joey Votto at a similar age (Votto was nearly a year older) for example walked at the same rate, struck out more (though he did have the take the first pitch rule, he was still 2% higher in the K department) and had an IsoP of .169 to Mesoraco's .153 in the FSL. Peripherally, Mesoraco looked like he had a strong 2009 season. Whether he takes those peripherals forward is yet to be determined, but if he does, he will likely be fine at the plate unless he runs like Sean Casey wearing concrete boots.

Kingspoint
02-03-2010, 07:54 PM
Most fans of their home teams, even what appears to be more patient and thoughtful fans that we have here on REDSZONE, still seek instant gratification.

Why someone would expect Mesoraco to spend less than 5 years in the minors and be dissatisfied with 5-1/2 years is not realistic? It's fandemonium. (yes, it's a madeup word).

For all of you who are "disappointed" with Mesoraco, you need to rethink your expecations. Three years from now, when Mesoraco is still a very young player, you'll be cheering him in his Cincinnati uniform. Only half of the players picked where he picks make it that far. He'll be of the half that makes it.

He's exceeded my expectations. I didn't think his defense would improve this quickly.

Kingspoint
02-03-2010, 07:55 PM
While he didn't tear up the FSL, his numbers weren't a huge drop from the Midwest league. That's mildly encouraging. Personally, I wouldn't promote him to AA out of ST. let him show what he can do this year at High A.

I'm OK with that, too, but I'd rather he spent 1-1/2 to 2 years in AA.

Kingspoint
02-03-2010, 08:04 PM
Trouble with Mesoraco is that his slash line has been awful at every stop he's made, not just the FSL.

At some point, the kid has to start producing raw numbers. He's young, so he has plenty of time, but OBPs of .310, .311, and .311 aren't going to cut it, especially when his SLG is held down by his inconsistent contact rate.

They might just want him swinging and making contact, especially with pitchers who throw in the below AA leagues.

It's AA where Catchers prove they belong in the Majors or not. If he spends 1-1/2 to 2 years there to get his fundamentals down and refine all of his Catching Defensive skills, which is what he's supposed to be working on as a Catcher at that level, then the hitting will probably follow as he's showing he's able to get contact with the ball where he's been so far. OBP just hasn't been that important in his career up to now. It's the last thing the REDS care about with him. If he's OBP'ing in 2011 below .330, then I'd start to get concerned. But if he OBP's .310 again in 2010, it's nothing to be concerned about.

Just remember he's a Catcher. Catchers are brought through the system differently and through AA it's all about their Defense. Don't compare them to players from the other 8 positions. That's not how they're being developed.

Kingspoint
02-03-2010, 08:11 PM
I'd like to see Mesoraco's numbers compared to other Catchers from the FSL.

Most of this discussion has been about his Offense, when his Offense is irrelevant at this point of his career. Unless his Offense was atrocious, then it would be an issue. It's not, so it's not.

If you're in REDS Management, all you care about is his development defensively. We're going to find out this season, maybe next, whether he's going to make it as a Catcher or if the REDS need to switch him to another position and concentrate on developing his bat.

Benihana
02-03-2010, 09:09 PM
I'd like to see Mesoraco's numbers compared to other Catchers from the FSL.

Most of this discussion has been about his Offense, when his Offense is irrelevant at this point of his career. Unless his Offense was atrocious, then it would be an issue. It's not, so it's not.

If you're in REDS Management, all you care about is his development defensively. We're going to find out this season, maybe next, whether he's going to make it as a Catcher or if the REDS need to switch him to another position and concentrate on developing his bat.

I'm sorry, but I find this wrong on so many levels.

He better be the best damn catcher in the FSL after 2+ years of uninspiring performances in both the Rookie League and the Midwest League, given that he was a Top 15 pick in the entire draft. Problem is, he wasn't.

His offense is irrelevant at this point in his career? And yet you're not sure if the Reds need to switch him to another position in order to concentrate on developing his bat? Which is it? When the answer is neither- it's not a good sign.

As of now Mesoraco is at best an average player, both offensively and defensively, in the FSL. I don't think anyone cares that he is "only" in the FSL at this point or that he is still 3+ years away from the big leagues, but I do think that we care that he has never been any better than league-average (at best) in any professional league he has played in for the last three years. That is not good for a guy picked in the first half of the first round.

TRF
02-03-2010, 09:35 PM
doug you made the same argument about Castro at SS. You thought he had nothing to prove at high A. Mes will be sent to AA, and will likely be sent back to high A and replaced by Coddington. Could be bad for both players.

dougdirt
02-03-2010, 10:45 PM
doug you made the same argument about Castro at SS. You thought he had nothing to prove at high A. Mes will be sent to AA, and will likely be sent back to high A and replaced by Coddington. Could be bad for both players.

Man, you are right. Because I was once wrong before on a player I am wrong again. I must have forgot that. I will try to not talk about prospects anymore because I was wrong about one at one point in time.

TRF
02-03-2010, 10:50 PM
Man, you are right. Because I was once wrong before on a player I am wrong again. I must have forgot that. I will try to not talk about prospects anymore because I was wrong about one at one point in time.

lighten up. I've said a million times i acknowledge your expertise and access.

My point is sometimes you seem aggressive when it comes to a player you like. I'm a bit more conservative. You like projections more, I like results.

Sorry i offended you.

dougdirt
02-03-2010, 11:03 PM
lighten up. I've said a million times i acknowledge your expertise and access.

My point is sometimes you seem aggressive when it comes to a player you like. I'm a bit more conservative. You like projections more, I like results.

Sorry i offended you.

It just seems that way when its a player you aren't as high on. Such as Stubbs, Mesoraco or Castro.

Kingspoint
02-04-2010, 04:33 AM
His offense is irrelevant at this point in his career? And yet you're not sure if the Reds need to switch him to another position in order to concentrate on developing his bat? Which is it? When the answer is neither- it's not a good sign.



"Irrelevant's" probably too strong a word, but I think I explained it pretty well with what I said after I used the word. "IF" he was hitting poorly, then it would be "relevant". But, he's not, so it's "irrelevant".

Actually, I am sure that at this point the REDS do not need to think of Mesoraco switching to another position and aren't thinking of switching him to another position. That's just not how anyone develops Catchers in Baseball. They can't find out until he's exhausted AA whether or not he can be successful as a Catcher, as AA is where he's going to sink or swim as a Catcher.

Fortunately for this topic, we all get a good picture (from scouts) of Mesoraco's future (Defensively) over the next 7 months. I've seen nothing that would tell me I won't be pleased with the results, though I'm expecting many to be displeased with them because all they will be looking at will be his Offensive numbers, which I guarantee you, that unless they're bad, the REDS don't care what they end up being.

Someone correct me here, if I'm wrong, but from my understanding, Mesoraco has always shown some real leaderships skills behind the plate, the type of person that can make pitching staffs better. If that can be further developed the next two years (you get your best instruction about calling games at the AA level...they work on it every day with the Catchers in AA, where it's not covered very much below those levels and above that level....you either know how to do it the way "your organization wants you to do it" by the time you leave AA, or they give up on you and move on), then the REDS could have the making of an excellent Catcher in the future. Their job is to play defense and control the pitching staff while calling games correctly. Hitting is a bonus.

Did you see how much time they spent with Hanigan at AA? The guy's OBP was out of this world at every level he's been in, including for a while in the Majors, but they kept him in AA for 3 years to work on his Defense. There was nothing he had to work on Offensively. He already had it down. He'd already proved he had no problem with AAA hitting, but they sent him back down to AA to work on his game-calling skills.

Even now, the REDS' organization has never felt that Hanigan is good enough to have the job full-time Defensively (not throwing out runners, but calling games, handling a staff, etc.) That's why Ramon Hernandez is back for the 2nd year in a row.

Mesoraco has a legitimate shot to be our best Catcher since Dan Wilson. That's a great thing and something very exciting to look forward to. 2-1/2 more years and he could easily be a Rock in the REDS foundation.

Those Hanigan numbers:

The REDS signed him in 2002 as an amateur free agent out of Rollins College and he had 6 games at Dayton and OBP'd .333, he followed that at the age of 22 in Dayton (A-Ball) with 92 games and he OBP'd .367.

At the age of 23, he puts in 119 games with High-A Potomac and OBP'd .369. But, did they advance him halfway through either of those seasons? No. He's a Catcher. They are promoted differently and completely different things are expected from them. It's not about the hitting. It's about the so many things like pitch-selection and staff-handling. They have as much to learn as a Manager in Training. That's why Catchers make the best Managers.

At the age of 24, he finally gets to the AA level where he can learn his pitch-selecting and staff-handling skills. He destroys them with a .418 OBP. But, does that get him a mid-season promotion? No. Not at all. Because it's not about the hitting at that level. They'd have been happier if he'd had an OBP of .310, but his defensive skills and leaderships skills and staff-handling skills were much better.

At the age of 25, he's back at Chattanooga, but only gets in 56 games. A year and a half is long enough usually to be taught what you need to know defensively those things that AA Catchers experience. You've picked up all you're going to pick up by then. He OBP's .347. He gets a call-up to AAA Louisville where he OBP's .421 in 8 games (19 PA's). But, guess where he is at the age of 26?

At the age of 26, he's back at Chattanooga where he OBP's .420 in 60 games (247 PA's). He is what he is...a Catcher who doesn't handle the pitching staff well enough to be given a full-time Major League position, but has a bat good enough to be used as a backup/platoon Catcher in the Majors. He gets the Louisville call-up and OBP's .333 in 41 game along with a cup of coffee in Cincinnati (11 PA's and a ,364 OBP).

At the age of 27, he starts out in Louisville and OBP's .392 in 311 PA's, followed by a callup to Cincinnati where he OBP's .367 in 98 PA's. The REDS go after Ramon Hernandez and sign him to a 2-year contract as Cincinnati's starting Catcher.

At the age of 28, he's now a RED and OBP's .361 in 293 PA's, including a .421 OBP in 19 PA's while rehabbing in Louisville for a stint.

This year, at the age of 29, we'll see Ryan backing up Ramon Hernandez again and probably OBP'-ing about .360.


That's the path you're expecting to see from Mesoraco. That's not a path that gets us a starting Catcher. The path Mesoraco's on and has been on is the one that's going to make him the REDS' starting Catcher of the future.

From the ages 25-32 (2013-2019), Mesoraco has a good chance to be the REDS starting Catcher for 8 years in a row, while sharing time as a starter when he's 24 in 2012. I'm not even beginning to say that he will, but at the end of August, Management will pretty much know. And, so far, so good. The advancements he made last year are what they were hoping to see.

TRF
02-04-2010, 10:54 AM
It just seems that way when its a player you aren't as high on. Such as Stubbs, Mesoraco or Castro.

I've never stated any opinion on Mes. I never considered him a bust. And it wasn't that I don't like Castro, I just thought he wasn't ready for AA. I don't think Mes is either, but I'm betting that is where he will be.

And yeah, I'm not fond of Stubbs game at the plate. Understatement I know. I think he'll be eaten alive if he goes northeast with the team out of ST.

lollipopcurve
02-04-2010, 11:14 AM
If they proceed with the Soto experiment, the confluence of Soto, Mesoraco and Coddington becomes very interesting and will give us good insight into how the organization values these guys relative to one another.

One thought I have is that it may not be a horrible idea to put Soto at Dayton -- or in extended spring -- for awhile to let him work on his receiving skills. Depends on how fast a learner he is -- but without question it's the most difficult defensive position. And even if Soto is pushed back, I don't think it's best for either Mes or Coddington to go to AA. I suppose if the past is our guide, Mes would be pushed ahead....

mace
02-04-2010, 01:31 PM
Does anybody have any idea what Soto's makeup is like? I ask because, to me, that's a huge part of the catcher equation. It has to be a guy who's into the game, who can think and scheme and communicate and even counsel, to some extent. No dullards for that position. Is that Soto? Does anybody know?

Mario-Rijo
02-04-2010, 01:47 PM
Does anybody have any idea what Soto's makeup is like? I ask because, to me, that's a huge part of the catcher equation. It has to be a guy who's into the game, who can think and scheme and communicate and even counsel, to some extent. No dullards for that position. Is that Soto? Does anybody know?

Good question, and don't know but FWIW I agree I think the mental aspect of it is the more important part of the equation.

camisadelgolf
02-04-2010, 03:54 PM
Does anybody have any idea what Soto's makeup is like? I ask because, to me, that's a huge part of the catcher equation. It has to be a guy who's into the game, who can think and scheme and communicate and even counsel, to some extent. No dullards for that position. Is that Soto? Does anybody know?
I can't really say much about his makeup since I've never met him personally, but I can tell you from the few times I've seen him that he is clearly a hard-worker and very stubborn about doing things until he gets it right. I've seen him get pretty mad during times in which he has made mistakes, so it looks like he expects a lot from himself. I have some doubts about his range, so trying him out at catcher might turn out to be a great idea since his arm is pretty good.

dougdirt
02-08-2010, 09:34 PM
Neftali Soto is in Arizona now and was seen doing drills in the catchers gear.

Benihana
02-08-2010, 10:11 PM
Neftali Soto is in Arizona now and was seen doing drills in the catchers gear.

Good!

Superdude
02-08-2010, 10:54 PM
Neftali Soto is in Arizona now and was seen doing drills in the catchers gear.

So how do you think the Reds are going to handle this? Will they put him behind the plate on opening day and let him learn on the fly or what?

Scrap Irony
02-08-2010, 11:02 PM
If Soto is indeed going to catch, will he do so in High A or possibly AA?

And, for the record, I think he'll start catching from the beginning.

dougdirt
02-09-2010, 12:21 AM
I don't have a clue how the Reds are going to handle the situation. It will most certainly be interesting to see if they let him catch, and if so, where they send him to start the year.

Benihana
02-09-2010, 12:27 AM
I would start him in Dayton. His bat should be advanced for that level, but he needs to learn the position somewhere. Plus, he didn't exactly light it up in High-A last year.

Let Coddington and Mesoraco battle it out in Lynchburg. Hopefully Mesoraco can work his way to Carolina by June. At that time you can reevaluate whether to move Soto back up to Lynchburg.

dougdirt
02-09-2010, 12:39 AM
I would start him in Dayton. His bat should be advanced for that level, but he needs to learn the position somewhere. Plus, he didn't exactly light it up in High-A last year.

Let Coddington and Mesoraco battle it out in Lynchburg. Hopefully Mesoraco can work his way to Carolina by June. At that time you can reevaluate whether to move Soto back up to Lynchburg.

I could get behind this idea pretty easily.

icehole3
02-09-2010, 07:24 AM
are there any other potential guys who could move to catcher beside Alonso, I dont think thatll happen?

TRF
02-09-2010, 10:19 AM
Dayton does seem the best fit if the Reds are serious about this. His bat was just fine in Low A and because of learning a new position, it won't feel like a demotion. Considering there is NO major bat at the C position, this makes almost too much sense.

dougdirt
02-09-2010, 01:11 PM
Dayton does seem the best fit if the Reds are serious about this. His bat was just fine in Low A and because of learning a new position, it won't feel like a demotion. Considering there is NO major bat at the C position, this makes almost too much sense.

I guess that brings up the question of what do you do with Fleury? Split time with the two of them? One DH's and one catches each night?

TRF
02-09-2010, 01:16 PM
I guess that brings up the question of what do you do with Fleury? Split time with the two of them? One DH's and one catches each night?

Don't know much about Fleury, but I think the Reds see Soto's bat translating to the major leagues eventually, maybe even becoming a plus bat. If they believe after ST, that he might be the future behind the plate, you have to be aggressive, yet careful with him. No other positions, no 3B. DH is ok, just to give him a break, but keep his swing consistent.

Scrap Irony
02-09-2010, 01:46 PM
This tells us a couple things about the Reds:

1. They question Soto's approach offensively, but think he can be good enough at a position that doesn't require as much pop. Perhaps plate discipline will be focused upon after all?

2. They really believe in the rest of their prospects and their young outfield. Bruce will be there. So will Stubbs, seemingly. The combination of Heisey, Dickerson, and Balentien, it seems, is going to be good enough for Jocketty and company in LF.

3. They aren't afraid to think outside the box. Soto is a good prospect; his future was pretty bright. That Jocketty and company were willing to gamble with his future says something.

dougdirt
02-09-2010, 01:49 PM
I don't think it tells us anything about #1 at all.

redsof72
02-09-2010, 02:09 PM
1. I don't think they question his potential offensively. He will hit.

2. Soto is too slow to play the outfield.

3. I agree that he is a good prospect. I am not as bothered by last season's offensive numbers as some. I don't think they would describe it as gambling with his future. They are just looking for the position that he will fit best. There have been some concerns about Soto's range at third, which is a crowded position to begin with in this org. You could try him at first base. Soto has a strong arm. If he could handle a move to catcher, better yet. Not sure if I am a believer in that scenario.

camisadelgolf
02-09-2010, 02:14 PM
Soto is slow and only getting slower. If he can't stick at catcher, I wouldn't be surprised to see him moved to 1B.

TRF
02-09-2010, 03:21 PM
change #1 to they have doubts about his defense. I don't think they question his bat at all. He did get roughed up at High A, so IF they move him to C, a return to Low A where he hit very well is IMO a good thing. Also, looking at the numbers, he was a little on the unlucky side at Sarasota. He turns 21 this month, so a position switch like this won't push him back too far. If he proves adept, I can see a MLB debut by 25.

Benihana
02-09-2010, 03:51 PM
I guess that brings up the question of what do you do with Fleury? Split time with the two of them? One DH's and one catches each night?

Soto at this point appears to have a brighter future and needs the work behind the plate. I do the same thing in Dayton with Soto and Fleury that I'd do in Lynchburg with Mesoraco and Coddington:

Soto and Mes catch five days a week and DH the other two.
Fleury and Coddington, who are seemingly more refined behind the plate but have lower upsides overall as prospects, DH five nights a week and catch the other two.

Continue with this until someone forces the issue of a promotion, position switch, benching, or otherwise.

dougdirt
02-09-2010, 04:02 PM
Sounds like he won't be in Dayton.

BRM
02-09-2010, 04:29 PM
Sounds like he won't be in Dayton.

Why do you say that?

redsof72
02-09-2010, 04:35 PM
I would disagree with the idea that Mesoraco has a higher upside than Coddington. You could find people on both sides of the argument. Personally, I see Coddington as the better prospect, although I certainaly have not given up on Mesoraco. If those two guys are in Lynchburg, I would look for them to split the starts and have a third catcher there so one of those guys can DH when the other guy is catching, as has been suggested.

dougdirt
02-09-2010, 06:23 PM
Why do you say that?

I asked around a little bit.

Mario-Rijo
02-09-2010, 06:24 PM
I would disagree with the idea that Mesoraco has a higher upside than Coddington. You could find people on both sides of the argument. Personally, I see Coddington as the better prospect, although I certainaly have not given up on Mesoraco. If those two guys are in Lynchburg, I would look for them to split the starts and have a third catcher there so one of those guys can DH when the other guy is catching, as has been suggested.

Now that is interesting commentary. Could you please expound on why you feel Mes has no higher upside than Coddington? That just doesn't seem likely seeing as how they were drafted where they were. Certainly sometimes teams get it wrong but usually (not always) guys are drafted on god given ability and the ones who break thru from deeper in the draft aren't neccessarily more talented but more skilled. Talent (for the most part) usually dictates ceiling so did the Reds get it wrong on Mes or did the rest of baseball and the Reds (multiple times) get it wrong?

dougdirt
02-09-2010, 06:24 PM
I would disagree with the idea that Mesoraco has a higher upside than Coddington. You could find people on both sides of the argument. Personally, I see Coddington as the better prospect, although I certainaly have not given up on Mesoraco. If those two guys are in Lynchburg, I would look for them to split the starts and have a third catcher there so one of those guys can DH when the other guy is catching, as has been suggested.

I think the key difference is in the bat. Upside wise, Mesoraco is leaps and bounds ahead. He has power that Coddington will never begin to touch (not that Mesoraco has 30 HR power, but Coddington doesn't have 7 HR power), walks more and strikes out a little more. Defensively, Coddington has the current edge but potentially Mesoraco could match him when things settle.

Mario-Rijo
02-09-2010, 06:28 PM
I asked around a little bit.

And so where is he likely to land?

dougdirt
02-09-2010, 06:31 PM
And so where is he likely to land?

Yet to be determined, but it won't be Dayton. That tells me that he likely won't be spending much time at catcher because there is no way they send a guy to AA without catching experience and let him catch, but High A is going to have Coddington and perhaps Mesoraco.

BRM
02-09-2010, 06:33 PM
Yet to be determined, but it won't be Dayton. That tells me that he likely won't be spending much time at catcher because there is no way they send a guy to AA without catching experience and let him catch, but High A is going to have Coddington and perhaps Mesoraco.

Is there a chance Mesoraco goes to AA? That would leave Coddington and Soto splitting the catching duties in High-A, right?

Mario-Rijo
02-09-2010, 07:03 PM
Is there a chance Mesoraco goes to AA? That would leave Coddington and Soto splitting the catching duties in High-A, right?

The way they have promoted Mes he is due to start this season in AA. He probably shouldn't be but it is what it is.

dougdirt
02-09-2010, 07:18 PM
The way they have promoted Mes he is due to start this season in AA. He probably shouldn't be but it is what it is.

I think the argument could be made that he should be. Last season he had an above average walk rate and above average power for his level, regardless of age (though he was young for the level) while impressing with his defense.

Mario-Rijo
02-09-2010, 07:39 PM
I think the argument could be made that he should be. Last season he had an above average walk rate and above average power for his level, regardless of age (though he was young for the level) while impressing with his defense.

I get that, I mean I sorta feel the same way in that I feel Mes has managed to offset the rapid promotion to some extent. But at the same time it would still be nice if he could get just a quick 2 or 3 month breather to have some tangible success. I would imagine that would do him some good after the last couple of years. Anyone could make the argument to do either but I think a couple of months somewhere he has some familiarity (level wise) would boost his confidence and ultimately would be the wiser move.

dougdirt
02-09-2010, 07:54 PM
I get that, I mean I sorta feel the same way in that I feel Mes has managed to offset the rapid promotion to some extent. But at the same time it would still be nice if he could get just a quick 2 or 3 month breather to have some tangible success. I would imagine that would do him some good after the last couple of years. Anyone could make the argument to do either but I think a couple of months somewhere he has some familiarity (level wise) would boost his confidence and ultimately would be the wiser move.

At the same time, what would it do to him if he had to split time with Kevin Coddington?

lollipopcurve
02-09-2010, 07:57 PM
Mesoraco has not tasted success yet. He's merely survived. IMO he could use a year of doing well, and that would be tough for him in AA.

dougdirt
02-09-2010, 08:02 PM
Mesoraco has not tasted success yet. He's merely survived. IMO he could use a year of doing well, and that could be tough for him in AA.

Fixed that for you.

But I still want to know, is 'tasting success' worth stunting two players as they split time instead of both getting full time at different levels?

lollipopcurve
02-09-2010, 08:20 PM
Fixed that for you.

But I still want to know, is 'tasting success' worth stunting two players as they split time instead of both getting full time at different levels?

No thanks on the edit. I know what I want to say.

Your question is a good one. But I don't think having Mesoraco and Coddington compete for half a year necessarily stunts development. See who does better for awhile -- competition can be good, and there's no better way to compare. If one guy clearly outperforms the other, give him the lion's share of time over the second half. One thing's for sure -- they're not both going to be the starting catcher for the Reds.

It comes down to how much they value Mesoraco. (With the conversion of Soto to catcher, my guess is that they're valuing Mes less than before.) IMO, if they want to develop him properly, they'll let him repeat a level.

Mario-Rijo
02-09-2010, 08:33 PM
Fixed that for you.

But I still want to know, is 'tasting success' worth stunting two players as they split time instead of both getting full time at different levels?

I think that's an overreaction, a couple of months to start a season isn't gonna stunt anyones growth.

redsof72
02-09-2010, 10:07 PM
Mesoraco vs. Coddington. In my opinion, Coddington just has the better skills, period. He is a more talented player. He will be the better player in 2010, 2015, 2020, whatever year you want to pick. If you want to go back and check, in the early summer of '08, when many had Mesoraco as a Reds top 5 prospect, I said he wasn't a Reds top 20 prospect and I believe that comment was described as ridiculous. Earlier this off-season, when many were touting Mesoraco as a mid-teens prospect, I told you that when Baseball America's book came out, Mesoraco would be slotted at #30. Check the book. It is out. Often, when a player who was once viewed as a top prospect drops way off, they put him in that 30 slot, just to keep him on the list, in the event that the player finds the missing link that was once predicted for him. B.J. Szymanski was in that 30 slot at one time. Can't remember his name, but the player the Reds took in the MLB Rule V from the Braves that had a 7.00 ERA in A-ball and was never heard from...who was that guy? My fuzzy memory is saying Sergio Valenzuela? He was in the 30 slot. The 30 spot is a reputation slot.

I hope Mesoraco makes it. He is a hard-working, classy kid that has his head on straight and deserves to have success. It is not his fault the way things have turned out. I have not given up on him. Maybe he will get it together. Same as 50 other Reds minor leaguers who are not currently giving any indication that they will enjoy stardom but do show some talent at times. Hopefully, he has a big 2010 season and everyone can point me out and say you were dead wrong. I am just calling it as I see it.

camisadelgolf
02-09-2010, 10:44 PM
I would describe Mesoraco as 'intriguing'. I see some talent, but he's so un-flashy that it's very difficult to see. I still love his intangibles, and I think it's only a matter of time before he finds success. The big question for me is whether his 'success' will be as a solid everyday player or the next Corky Miller.

dougdirt
02-09-2010, 11:19 PM
Mesoraco vs. Coddington. In my opinion, Coddington just has the better skills, period. He is a more talented player. He will be the better player in 2010, 2015, 2020, whatever year you want to pick. If you want to go back and check, in the early summer of '08, when many had Mesoraco as a Reds top 5 prospect, I said he wasn't a Reds top 20 prospect and I believe that comment was described as ridiculous. Earlier this off-season, when many were touting Mesoraco as a mid-teens prospect, I told you that when Baseball America's book came out, Mesoraco would be slotted at #30. Check the book. It is out. Often, when a player who was once viewed as a top prospect drops way off, they put him in that 30 slot, just to keep him on the list, in the event that the player finds the missing link that was once predicted for him. B.J. Szymanski was in that 30 slot at one time. Can't remember his name, but the player the Reds took in the MLB Rule V from the Braves that had a 7.00 ERA in A-ball and was never heard from...who was that guy? My fuzzy memory is saying Sergio Valenzuela? He was in the 30 slot. The 30 spot is a reputation slot.

I hope Mesoraco makes it. He is a hard-working, classy kid that has his head on straight and deserves to have success. It is not his fault the way things have turned out. I have not given up on him. Maybe he will get it together. Same as 50 other Reds minor leaguers who are not currently giving any indication that they will enjoy stardom but do show some talent at times. Hopefully, he has a big 2010 season and everyone can point me out and say you were dead wrong. I am just calling it as I see it.

There is a large difference between Mesoraco and Szymanski at the plate. Szymanski couldn't make enough contact to save his life. He struck out 33.2% of the time he stepped to the plate with a K/BB of 4.52. He had some flash.... but at the plate, the guy flat out sucked.

With Mesoraco, he doesn't have a strikeout problem. He walks more often than most guys. In the last two seasons these guys have hit for more power for the Sarasota Reds with at least 150 PA - Francisco, Alonso and Frazier. He hit for more power as a 20 year old than Heisey did as a 23 year old. More than Stubbs as a 23 year old. More than Neftali Soto did at the same age. Defensively Mesoraco had 10 passed balls in 75 ganes and threw out 30% of attempted runners with a .985 FP%. Kevin Coddington only allowed 3 passed balls in 82 games, also threw out 30% of base runners and had a .983 FP%.

At the plate, Mesoraco clearly has the better skillset. He walks a lot more, strikes out a little bit less and has a big advantage in power. Defensively, Coddington has a little better of a glove. His arm isn't playing any better (and arguably playing worse since after Mesoraco healed up in May he threw out 48% of the runners who tried stealing against him) and he most certainly has more experience behind the plate yet doesn't hold a large advantage back there.

I just don't know that I can see that Coddington is the better of the two guys now or in the future. Mesoraco clearly out hit him in Dayton and heck, outhit him this year despite playing in the FSL. Defensively in Dayton Mesoraco was a wreck, but this season reports were much better as were the numbers.

Scrap Irony
02-10-2010, 12:14 AM
Coddington's numbers from Dayton in 2009: .278 .329 .369 .698

Mesoraco's numbers from Dayton in 2008: .261 .311 .399 .710

I would call that pretty even. At any rate, Mesoraco clearly didn't "clearly out-hit" Coddington.

dougdirt
02-10-2010, 12:41 AM
Coddington's numbers from Dayton in 2009: .278 .329 .369 .698

Mesoraco's numbers from Dayton in 2008: .261 .311 .399 .710

I would call that pretty even. At any rate, Mesoraco clearly didn't "clearly out-hit" Coddington.

Given that Mesoraco was 2 years younger, its clearly out hitting him.

camisadelgolf
02-10-2010, 03:24 AM
Mesoraco is 21 years old, has very good patience at the plate, is coming into his own as a defensive player, reportedly has great makeup, and has developing power. If he entered the draft in 2010 instead of 2007, my money says he still would've been drafted in the first round. The age of a player--particularly a catcher--is very relevant to this conversation, and I think a lot of Mesoraco's naysayers tend to forget that.

I'll be the first to admit that the odds are very much against him, but look at it this way: let's say a team drafts him as a 21-year-old, and instead of putting him in a short-season league with his peers, they decide to jump him all the way up to the FSL, where he impresses people with his defense, shows very good knowledge of the strike zone, and has an OPS of .692.

Granted, that's not going to blow anyone away, but I bet that if you put that same player in Billings or the GCL, he'd be head-and-shoulders better than the competition.

As for the Coddington comparisons, Coddington OPSed .698 as a 22-year-old. Personally, I'd rather have the guy who is a year younger and performing the same in a higher league. If you factor in a normalized BABIP, the decision would seem even more obvious.

TRF
02-10-2010, 10:38 AM
Given that Mesoraco was 2 years younger, its clearly out hitting him.

No it isn't. It allows that Mes MAY have more potential to grow, but it isn't outhitting him. He had a smidge more power and smidge less OB.

BUT in Mes' defense, his numbers didn't take a drastic nosedive in the FSL. That's a plus. In this case, I don't know that promoting him to AA is the right thing to do now that the Reds are out of the FSL. He could potentially put up much better numbers in the Carolina League, and if the Reds do see him as the guy in the system at Catcher, He needs some tangible success. Yep, he needs some better counting stats.

OnBaseMachine
02-10-2010, 12:00 PM
I've been down on Devin Mesoraco since his debut, but I was actually encouraged a bit by his performance in the FSL last season. His statline obviously looks weak at .228/.311/.381 - .692. There's nothing special about that, but as Doug pointed out, he showed a solid walk rate and power. He also had a nice line drive rate at 19.8% but a below average BABIP of .276. According to minorleaguesplits, with normalized luck last season, Mesoraco would've hit .279/.356/.452 - .808 OPS.

If that had happened, he would probably be one of our 5-7 prospects right now. As I said earlier, I've been down on Mesoraco since his subpar debut but last season gave me a little hope. I think he's a decent candidate to have a breakout season in 2010. He needs it, this is a big year for him.

Mario-Rijo
02-10-2010, 12:18 PM
Mesoraco vs. Coddington. In my opinion, Coddington just has the better skills, period. He is a more talented player. He will be the better player in 2010, 2015, 2020, whatever year you want to pick. If you want to go back and check, in the early summer of '08, when many had Mesoraco as a Reds top 5 prospect, I said he wasn't a Reds top 20 prospect and I believe that comment was described as ridiculous. Earlier this off-season, when many were touting Mesoraco as a mid-teens prospect, I told you that when Baseball America's book came out, Mesoraco would be slotted at #30. Check the book. It is out. Often, when a player who was once viewed as a top prospect drops way off, they put him in that 30 slot, just to keep him on the list, in the event that the player finds the missing link that was once predicted for him. B.J. Szymanski was in that 30 slot at one time. Can't remember his name, but the player the Reds took in the MLB Rule V from the Braves that had a 7.00 ERA in A-ball and was never heard from...who was that guy? My fuzzy memory is saying Sergio Valenzuela? He was in the 30 slot. The 30 spot is a reputation slot.

I hope Mesoraco makes it. He is a hard-working, classy kid that has his head on straight and deserves to have success. It is not his fault the way things have turned out. I have not given up on him. Maybe he will get it together. Same as 50 other Reds minor leaguers who are not currently giving any indication that they will enjoy stardom but do show some talent at times. Hopefully, he has a big 2010 season and everyone can point me out and say you were dead wrong. I am just calling it as I see it.

With all due respect, and I do respect your opinion quite a bit 72 I can't say I'd buy that Coddington is more talented, more skilled sure but not more talented. Again it is certainly possible a mistake was made on both or either of the drafting of these 2 guys but draft position typically does give you a fair indication of upside. Teams tend to draft on upside early. And with how far apart they were drafted I doubt there is any case to be made for Coddington being more talented. Now there have been instances where that wasn't true at all but in those cases (Piazza comes to mind) the numbers usually tell you that someone made an error, I don't see that with Coddington. And as Doug has pointed out Mesoraco has shown solid talent (and a little skill) with his peripherals.

I can see how someone who has seen the Dayton Versions of each would come to the conclusion that Coddington has the brighter future, but that doesn't give enough credit to the developmental process. In the end you may be right about who makes it and who doesn't but right now (and forever more) I'd respectfully disagree with your analysis of the talent situation .

mace
02-10-2010, 01:55 PM
I can't say who's more talented, but I can understand how 72 can judge Coddington that way. Talent is more than the measurables. Maybe Coddington has superior talent at framing pitches, breaking down hitters, chasing pop flies, communicating with pitchers, blocking balls in the dirt, fouling off strikes, hitting behind the runner, putting the bat on the ball. There are a lot of ways to look at talent. And not all of them are prioritized by all scouts.

Scrap Irony
02-10-2010, 02:27 PM
You know, that brings up an interesting question:

what do most scouts now think about Mesoraco? And, has Coddington caught up to him in their eyes? What catcher, for that matter, in he Red pipeline is considered most likely to make the bigs/ has the highest ceiling?

Benihana
02-10-2010, 02:29 PM
You know, that brings up an interesting question:

what do most scouts now think about Mesoraco? And, has Coddington caught up to him in their eyes? What catcher, for that matter, in he Red pipeline is considered most likely to make the bigs/ has the highest ceiling?

Highest ceiling - Neftali Soto (Tucker Barnhardt if Soto doesn't count)
Most likely to make majors - Uhhhh, Corky Miller?

camisadelgolf
02-10-2010, 02:31 PM
If both Corky Miller and Ramon Hernandez or Ryan Hanigan become injured, I guess the most likely prospect to be called up would be Brandon Yarbrough, Wilkin Castillo, or Chris Denove.

dougdirt
02-10-2010, 02:42 PM
Highest ceiling - Neftali Soto (Tucker Barnhardt if Soto doesn't count)
Most likely to make majors - Uhhhh, Corky Miller?

This post tells me that Mesoraco is quite underrated in these parts. He is a guy who had well above average power in the FSL last season with an above average walk rate despite being a 20/21 year old catching prospect. Top it off with that once he was healthy, he gunned down over 45% of the base runners who tried stealing against him.... and that guy gets put behind Tucker Barnhardt in terms of highest ceiling?

redsof72
02-10-2010, 08:16 PM
I am not going to say anything else about Mesoraco because I like him and I hope he makes it. But there is way too much attention placed on the round that players are drafted, whether it is the first round like Mesoraco or the 44th like Coddington.

Just taking a quick look, the player drafted with the pick after Mesoraco in 2007 was Kevin Ahrens by Toronto. Ahrens hit .215 in 2009 in the same league Mesoraco played in. By comparison, the #1 prospect in the Toronto organization right now was also eligible for the 2007 draft and WAS NOT DRAFTED AT ALL. I think most of us are familiar with that particular player. So over the same time period, Ahrens, taken one pick after Mesoraco, is now held in far poorer regard than a player who was not seen as being worth a 50th round pick in the same draft.

Two picks before Mesoraco, Cleveland took Beau Mills with the 13th overall pick. He is now listed as the 24th best prospect in the Indians organization. Among the players listed ahead of him is Josh Judy, who was taken in the 34th round of that same draft. A 34th rounder is generally going to have the same scout's grade as a 44th rounder.

These are players taken right before and right after Mesoraco. It is not as unusual as it might appear.

Years ago, I remember being associated with a team that received two players shortly after the draft. One was a first round pick out the University of Iowa named Tim Costo. He looked good and generated lots of attention. At the same time, the team got this absolute noboby third baseman out of some tiny school in Illinois. This kid was a much later round pick and no one had heard of him, including his new teammates. After a couple of weeks, one day, several players were commenting about how good Costo looked. Then one player chimed in that yes, Costo looked good, but if he didn't know better, he would think this unsung, unheard of hayseed kid from Illinois was actually the higher draft pick. This comment produced several laughs. Costo went on to play a little in the big leagues as a fringe player and was briefly with the Reds. The other player, the unheard of hayseed, is now, I believe, 12th on the all-time career home run list. Jim Thome.

It happens.

dougdirt
02-10-2010, 08:27 PM
While I generally can get behind draft position meaning too much, I am not paying any attention to it when comparing Coddington to Mesoraco. I am simply looking at their skills. At the plate the only advantage Coddington has is a small one in contact rate. Mesoraco walks much more and hits for a lot more power. Behind the plate, the two guys threw out the same % of runners this season. Coddington was more sure handed back there, with fewer passed balls, but he also made errors at a slightly higher rate as well. The big edge that Mesoraco holds with the bat more than makes up the small edge Coddington has with the glove.

lollipopcurve
02-10-2010, 09:30 PM
I am simply looking at their skills.

You're looking at numbers.

Redsof 72 has seen a lot of minor league baseball, and he's seen both of these players quite a bit. I figure he knows what he's looking at.

dougdirt
02-10-2010, 09:34 PM
You're looking at numbers.

Redsof 72 has seen a lot of minor league baseball, and he's seen both of these players quite a bit. I figure he knows what he's looking at.

I too have seen these players quite a bit. Skills show up in the numbers. Ones plate discipline shows up. Ones power shows up in isolated power. Yes, they are numbers, but they tell us how well that players current skillset is.

Mario-Rijo
02-11-2010, 02:48 AM
I can't say who's more talented, but I can understand how 72 can judge Coddington that way. Talent is more than the measurables. Maybe Coddington has superior talent at framing pitches, breaking down hitters, chasing pop flies, communicating with pitchers, blocking balls in the dirt, fouling off strikes, hitting behind the runner, putting the bat on the ball. There are a lot of ways to look at talent. And not all of them are prioritized by all scouts.

I guess it's all in how you define talent. Problem is I don't believe you really can define it more than one way it is what it is.

Talent

a. Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality.

Skill

1. Proficiency, facility, or dexterity that is acquired or developed through training or experience

Talent is a god given ability, a skill is something gained/developed through practice/repetition/work. Those abilities you speak of are above are governed by a talent but they are developed skills, in short talent is just measurables. 5 tool guys should be renamed 5 talent guys because the better those 5 tools the higher the ceiling. Guys are generally drafted based on their talent level 1st. So whether they flame out or not it's not a commentary on their talent level. As 72 points out (and as I did earlier) there are exceptions to the rule but the numbers then can tell you that a mistake was made in assessing/evaluating the talent and in this case the numbers tell us that's not the case here. That doesn't mean Coddington won't end up the better player as a number of things could still determine this but I think the odds are growing ever closer to Mes reaching fairly high up the wall to his ceiling. And just because people don't understand, don't give a lot of creedence to or just refuse to accept that the peripherals are pretty telling doesn't make it any less true.

TRF
02-11-2010, 10:42 AM
Here is the problem with bias. Once you like a player, you can find numbers to support your position. It's like Tom Selleck in Mr. Baseball...

LAST SEASON, I led this team in ninth-inning doubles in the month of August!

By the numbers, it doesn't appear that Mes outplayed Coddington. The standard numbers. Go digging for LD% and all of a sudden you get a different story. Now I'll explain why IMO LD% is a silly stat.

1st of all it's a scorer's decision. Minor league scorekeepers vary greatly in ability. 2nd, the definition of a LD is too low for a fly ball, higher than a ground ball. It does not indicate the power at all. a soft liner to 2b is a line drive. Maybe in the major leagues it has more value, but LD% across the minors, especially the low minors has much less value. Eyes on the player has more value. If the eyes confirm the numbers like LD% which contradict numbers like SLG, then we can attribute that to luck. That'd be Mes' season at Sarasota. Normalize his BABIP, and he OPS's .800+

(see how I am actually taking both sides of this argument)

But it works both ways. Hot streaks happen. A month of a BABIP around .470 happens. Guys are just unconcious at the plate. But it is also unrealistic to believe that it is either sustainable, or indicative of a player's talent level. It might be his absolute ceiling, something most players never even brush more than once in their careers.

Right now, IMO both players are pretty even statistically. Mes has the edge in future growth based on his age. But it's a slim margin at best. Neither player has done much to make the organization get giddy. If they had we wouldn't have heard rumors about Alonso and Soto switching to catcher,

lollipopcurve
02-11-2010, 10:56 AM
Neither player has done much to make the organization get giddy. If they had we wouldn't have heard rumors about Alonso and Soto switching to catcher,

Exactly. If they felt all systems were go with Mesoraco, they wouldn't be messing with Soto defensively.

dougdirt
02-11-2010, 12:18 PM
Exactly. If they felt all systems were go with Mesoraco, they wouldn't be messing with Soto defensively.

Hogwash. They are messing with Soto defensively because he doesn't have a spot outside of first base that seems to fit what he can do. While I am sure they don't feel all systems are a go with Mesoraco, I am pretty sure that has nothing at all to do with Soto being tried there.

bucksfan2
02-11-2010, 12:44 PM
Here is the problem with bias. Once you like a player, you can find numbers to support your position. It's like Tom Selleck in Mr. Baseball...

You don't say??? Bias develop and they cloud the situation. I think a problem in judging minor league stats is that the people closer to the situation develop biases and people from outside the situation don't have enough resources to accurately judge the situation.



By the numbers, it doesn't appear that Mes outplayed Coddington. The standard numbers. Go digging for LD% and all of a sudden you get a different story. Now I'll explain why IMO LD% is a silly stat.

1st of all it's a scorer's decision. Minor league scorekeepers vary greatly in ability. 2nd, the definition of a LD is too low for a fly ball, higher than a ground ball. It does not indicate the power at all. a soft liner to 2b is a line drive. Maybe in the major leagues it has more value, but LD% across the minors, especially the low minors has much less value. Eyes on the player has more value. If the eyes confirm the numbers like LD% which contradict numbers like SLG, then we can attribute that to luck. That'd be Mes' season at Sarasota. Normalize his BABIP, and he OPS's .800+

Do scorers judge line drive? I thought it was not the games official score, but someone from outside the organization. I do tend to agree with you it would be much more enlightening if you could find a way to determine the force of the ball hit. But then again a soft liner is more likely to find a hole than a lazy fly ball.

dougdirt
02-11-2010, 12:52 PM
Do scorers judge line drive? I thought it was not the games official score, but someone from outside the organization. I do tend to agree with you it would be much more enlightening if you could find a way to determine the force of the ball hit. But then again a soft liner is more likely to find a hole than a lazy fly ball.

I am not sure if its the official scorer or not, but there is a spot in the press box where a computer is set up and connected to the MILB.com website where someone inputs all the data for that play.

While there may be a slight distinction between a soft line drive and a low fly ball, you are generally going to weed that data out over 400+ balls in play. Also, since you have home and away scorers, you aren't going to get home town biases on these things either. You generally see guys with extremely similar LD rates at home and on the road.

lollipopcurve
02-11-2010, 12:54 PM
Hogwash. They are messing with Soto defensively because he doesn't have a spot outside of first base that seems to fit what he can do. While I am sure they don't feel all systems are a go with Mesoraco, I am pretty sure that has nothing at all to do with Soto being tried there.

Disagree. Soto has not played himself off 3B, and there's always LF (where they've been willing to work out both Alonso and Francisco).

In my view, the decision to try Soto at catcher likely reflects a couple of perspectives taking shape among the development folks: 1. Soto is blocked by better players at 3B-1B-LF. 2. There is no catching prospect to get excited about.

Soto and Mesoraco have been playing at the same level. Mesoraco's an ex-first-rounder. To move Soto to Mesoraco's position is absolutely a commentary on how the organization views Mesoraco right now.

TRF
02-11-2010, 01:10 PM
I am not sure if its the official scorer or not, but there is a spot in the press box where a computer is set up and connected to the MILB.com website where someone inputs all the data for that play.

While there may be a slight distinction between a soft line drive and a low fly ball, you are generally going to weed that data out over 400+ balls in play. Also, since you have home and away scorers, you aren't going to get home town biases on these things either. You generally see guys with extremely similar LD rates at home and on the road.

I wasn't thinking bias. I was thinking about the ability to judge a ball in play. Also is a line shot foul recorded? If the ball is an out, I imagine it is, but i doubt every pitch is recorded and kept. This is where eyes on the player helps, and it supports doug's analysis of Mes and... others. :)

but eventually, it has to show up in the SLG. And if it doesn't, LD% adds nothing to the player's skillset. Ultimately, the SLG is what matters when we say power. Sure you can say IsoP or other stats, but SLG will reflect those as well.

dougdirt
02-11-2010, 01:14 PM
I wasn't thinking bias. I was thinking about the ability to judge a ball in play. Also is a line shot foul recorded? If the ball is an out, I imagine it is, but i doubt every pitch is recorded and kept. This is where eyes on the player helps, and it supports doug's analysis of Mes and... others. :)
Foul balls that aren't turned into outs aren't recorded. Just outs and hits.



but eventually, it has to show up in the SLG. And if it doesn't, LD% adds nothing to the player's skillset. Ultimately, the SLG is what matters when we say power. Sure you can say IsoP or other stats, but SLG will reflect those as well.
Actually LD% helps average out, which in turn does help slugging. Not all line drives are the same. For example a line drive hit by Juan Francisco isn't going to be the same as one hit by Ryan Hanigan. Both will go for hits over 70% of the time, but Francisco's probably go to the wall quite a bit more.

IsoP is more slugging than SLG though. If we look at the two following stat lines, they result in the same SLG rate, but one guy clearly has more power than the other:
.310/.400/.500
.225/.300/.500

Same slugging, big difference in power.

camisadelgolf
02-11-2010, 01:22 PM
Disagree. Soto has not played himself off 3B, and there's always LF (where they've been willing to work out both Alonso and Francisco).

In my view, the decision to try Soto at catcher likely reflects a couple of perspectives taking shape among the development folks: 1. Soto is blocked by better players at 3B-1B-LF. 2. There is no catching prospect to get excited about.

Soto and Mesoraco have been playing at the same level. Mesoraco's an ex-first-rounder. To move Soto to Mesoraco's position is absolutely a commentary on how the organization views Mesoraco right now.
I guess that means the organization doesn't think highly of any of their second basemen or left fielders since they've tried out Todd Frazier at both. Heck, Frazier started as a shortstop before he was moved to third base. Why does it have to mean that they don't think highly of Mesoraco instead of trying to match a player's position to his skills?

dougdirt
02-11-2010, 01:32 PM
Disagree. Soto has not played himself off 3B, and there's always LF (where they've been willing to work out both Alonso and Francisco).

In my view, the decision to try Soto at catcher likely reflects a couple of perspectives taking shape among the development folks: 1. Soto is blocked by better players at 3B-1B-LF. 2. There is no catching prospect to get excited about.

Soto and Mesoraco have been playing at the same level. Mesoraco's an ex-first-rounder. To move Soto to Mesoraco's position is absolutely a commentary on how the organization views Mesoraco right now.

Soto can't play left field. He doesn't have the wheels to do it. As for not playing his way off of third.... well, he has a fielding percentage of .895 in the minors at the position and his range is notably questionable. That sounds like a guy who has probably played their way off of the position. It has nothing to do with Mesoraco and everything to do with the skillset of Soto.

Scrap Irony
02-11-2010, 01:40 PM
If Mesoraco's line was 270/350/450, you really think the Reds would switch Soto to the same spot in the same league?

Mario-Rijo
02-11-2010, 01:46 PM
If Mesoraco's line was 270/350/450, you really think the Reds would switch Soto to the same spot in the same league?

Switching Soto to catcher is likely gonna go hand in hand with a move down to a level somewhere under where Mes is likely to start.

Scrap Irony
02-11-2010, 01:52 PM
Not Dayton.

redsof72
02-11-2010, 01:52 PM
Some info on Line Drive percentage. All Single-A teams have a scorer who calls the league statistician (Major League Baseball Advanced Media, commonly known as MLBam or just BAM). The calls are made at the end of each half inning unless there is a pitching change or discussion about a call or something else that prevents the scorer from calling and in that case, he calls and catches up when he can, sometimes 30-45 minutes in delay. There is no link by computer between the scorer and BAM, although in some press boxes, the scorer does score the game on computer for printing purposes (and in other cases, he just writes it down as it is happening and calls it in).

I asked an Official Scorer that I know who has been scoring for 10 years and is one of the most dedicated scorers that I have seen. He told me that often, he is not even asked whether it was a liner, pop fly, etc. He said if he is asked, he will respond but it is not a point of emphasis on either end of the call. In some cases, as he is trying to get the information in before the next half inning starts, he will just say, "fly out to left", "single to left", etc. He said some of the BAM operators NEVER ask for any of this information for the games they work. In some cases, if he is behind by maybe 30 minutes from when the action took place, he will not recall the play in detail and just indidate to the person on the other end that he does not recall how hard the ball was hit. They do not make an issue of this. As you can see, this particular element of scoring is taken so casually that it is not even a concern.

In Triple-A, or any game where you can get a "pitch by pitch" of the game on the internet, they are linked by computer and I am sure it is more of an emphasis.

Putting a great emphasis on stats in the low minors is a losing battle. Some scorers are better than others. Some give the benefit of doubt to the hitter; others to the fielder when judging hit or error. The EXACT same ball that is scored a hit in Dayton might be an error in Fort Wayne. I have seen many scorers playing solitaire on their laptop during games, barely watching.

Also, in some cities, the home team manager has a great amount of input. In others, he has very little. In 2008, Dayton reliever Jeff Jeffords had six runs changed from unearned to earned overnight on a request from Fort Wayne manager Doug Dascenzo (he asked that one ball be changed from an error to a hit to benefit his player's batting average). How do you think that changed Jeffords ERA? Six earned for a reliever. Donnie Scott, the Dayton manager, was furious, but there was nothing he could do.

Also, prospects often get a huge benefit. I remember one season about six years ago, a manager with a team I worked with sent word to us that any ball hit by our second basemen, who was our top prospect, WOULD be scored a base hit if he reached. He was under pressure to develop this player, and he selfishly wanted to make sure the kid's stats reflected improvement. That is a common thing. Managers know their jobs depend on how well they develop the players that the organization has targeted as the prospects.

The worst horror stories I have ever heard came from Birmingham in 1994 when Michael Jordan was on the team. When Jordan put a ball in play, there was no such thing as an error. According to the stories, there were balls that went through infielders' legs that were scored as hits to try to keep Jordan over .200 and keep the thing from looking like a total joke.

dougdirt
02-11-2010, 01:53 PM
If Mesoraco's line was 270/350/450, you really think the Reds would switch Soto to the same spot in the same league?

The move of Soto to catcher may not even happen yet. Until we see him starting games there, its just talk and experimentation in practice. With that said, I still think Mesoraco goes to Carolina to start the season.

dougdirt
02-11-2010, 01:59 PM
Redsof72, all of MiLB games are kept track of in a similar fashion to that of the AA/AAA gameday games. They have the hit locations charted. They don't keep track of balls/strikes, if the play is a strikeout the player just gets 3 swinging strikes and if its a walk just 4 balls, but the hit locations are available. Milb and MLBAM don't link to the gameday for the lower levels, but if you know the formats you can get them. Here is a link to a game from the Midwest League.

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2009_09_17_ftwafx_burafx_1

If you toggle the field controls on the left sidebar you can get the hit data for hits and outs for each team.

Mario-Rijo
02-11-2010, 02:03 PM
Some info on Line Drive percentage. All Single-A teams have a scorer who calls the league statistician (Major League Baseball Advanced Media, commonly known as MLBam or just BAM). The calls are made at the end of each half inning unless there is a pitching change or discussion about a call or something else that prevents the scorer from calling and in that case, he calls and catches up when he can, sometimes 30-45 minutes in delay. There is no link by computer between the scorer and BAM, although in some press boxes, the scorer does score the game on computer for printing purposes (and in other cases, he just writes it down as it is happening and calls it in).

I asked an Official Scorer that I know who has been scoring for 10 years and is one of the most dedicated scorers that I have seen. He told me that often, he is not even asked whether it was a liner, pop fly, etc. He said if he is asked, he will respond but it is not a point of emphasis on either end of the call. In some cases, as he is trying to get the information in before the next half inning starts, he will just say, "fly out to left", "single to left", etc. He said some of the BAM operators NEVER ask for any of this information for the games they work. In some cases, if he is behind by maybe 30 minutes from when the action took place, he will not recall the play in detail and just indidate to the person on the other end that he does not recall how hard the ball was hit. They do not make an issue of this. As you can see, this particular element of scoring is taken so casually that it is not even a concern.

In Triple-A, or any game where you can get a "pitch by pitch" of the game on the internet, they are linked by computer and I am sure it is more of an emphasis.

Putting a great emphasis on stats in the low minors is a losing battle. Some scorers are better than others. Some give the benefit of doubt to the hitter; others to the fielder when judging hit or error. The EXACT same ball that is scored a hit in Dayton might be an error in Fort Wayne. I have seen many scorers playing solitaire on their laptop during games, barely watching.

Also, in some cities, the home team manager has a great amount of input. In others, he has very little. In 2008, Dayton reliever Jeff Jeffords had six runs changed from unearned to earned overnight on a request from Fort Wayne manager Doug Dascenzo (he asked that one ball be changed from an error to a hit to benefit his player's batting average). How do you think that changed Jeffords ERA? Six earned for a reliever. Donnie Scott, the Dayton manager, was furious, but there was nothing he could do.

Also, prospects often get a huge benefit. I remember one season about six years ago, a manager with a team I worked with sent word to us that any ball hit by our second basemen, who was our top prospect, WOULD be scored a base hit if he reached. He was under pressure to develop this player, and he selfishly wanted to make sure the kid's stats reflected improvement. That is a common thing. Managers know their jobs depend on how well they develop the players that the organization has targeted as the prospects.

The worst horror stories I have ever heard came from Birmingham in 1994 when Michael Jordan was on the team. When Jordan put a ball in play, there was no such thing as an error. According to the stories, there were balls that went through infielders' legs that were scored as hits to try to keep Jordan over .200 and keep the thing from looking like a total joke.

Well that's fair. But when I talk about the stats not lieing I mean his IsoP and IsoD which are a result of his performance and are not at the mercy of someone able to flub them up. He works a walk or he doesn't, he hits a HR or a double or he doesn't etc.

lollipopcurve
02-11-2010, 02:11 PM
It has nothing to do with Mesoraco and everything to do with the skillset of Soto.

Going to have to disagree -- if, as you note, Soto ends up catching. You just don't bury a hitting prospect behind another prospect at the same level by switching his position.

If you are correct that Soto has played his way off 3B and can't play LF, why wouldn't they put him at 1B? Currently there's no 1B prospect behind Alonso.

(If you think it's because they don't want him behind Alonso, who's 2 levels ahead, why would they put him behind Mesoraco, assuming Mesoraco's the quality prospect you think he is?)

dougdirt
02-11-2010, 02:15 PM
Going to have to disagree -- if, as you note, Soto ends up catching. You just don't bury a hitting prospect behind another prospect at the same level by switching his position.

If you are correct that Soto has played his way off 3B and can't play LF, why wouldn't they put him at 1B? Currently there's no 1B prospect behind Alonso.

(If you think it's because they don't want him behind Alonso, who's 2 levels ahead, why would they put him behind Mesoraco, assuming Mesoraco's the quality prospect you think he is?)

Well where are you burying Soto deeper.... behind Joey Votto, Yonder Alonso and Juan Francisco, or behind Devin Mesoraco and Kevin Coddington? Plus, putting him at 1B wastes his arm and unlike Francisco who has an even stronger arm, isn't hypothetically knocking on the MLB doorstep and doesn't have the options of learning to catch.

HokieRed
02-11-2010, 02:30 PM
I think we're forgetting the numbers Soto himself put up offensively last year at Sarasota. (And I recognize that's a tough pitcher's league, tough ballpark etc.) They aren't the numbers of a guy who projects as a corner outfielder or a first baseman, and they aren't the numbers of a third baseman unless the guy is extraordinarily good defensively, which Soto is not going to be. What's left? Catching.

lollipopcurve
02-11-2010, 02:32 PM
Well where are you burying Soto deeper.... behind Joey Votto, Yonder Alonso and Juan Francisco, or behind Devin Mesoraco and Kevin Coddington? Plus, putting him at 1B wastes his arm and unlike Francisco who has an even stronger arm, isn't hypothetically knocking on the MLB doorstep and doesn't have the options of learning to catch.

You're burying him deeper behind Mesoraco -- if you believe Mesoraco is a valued prospect who will be given every chance to succeed -- because Mesoraco will remain cheap at the major league level a lot longer than the first basemen will (counting Francisco as a 1B is pure conjecture at this point). It makes abundant sense for the organization to develop a 1B prospect a couple-3 years behind Votto/Alonso for financial reasons. It makes less sense to stick Soto behind Mesoraco -- again, if you think Mesoraco is a valued prospect who will be given every chance to succeed -- because they would project to hit the majors no more than a year apart.

It seems plain as day to me -- if Soto moves to catcher it betrays a level of skepticism about Mesoraco that is meaningful. While we shouldn't take prospect lists too seriously, the ranking of Mesoraco at #30 by Baseball America, as Redsof72 has pointed out, is also meaningful. It's the forest, not the trees.

lollipopcurve
02-11-2010, 02:37 PM
I think we're forgetting the numbers Soto himself put up offensively last year at Sarasota. (And I recognize that's a tough pitcher's league, tough ballpark etc.) They aren't the numbers of a guy who projects as a corner outfielder or a first baseman, and they aren't the numbers of a third baseman unless the guy is extraordinarily good defensively, which Soto is not going to be. What's left? Catching.

It's one year, and it's the FSL. He's still quite young. While I think there is some merit in this argument, it's my contention that a one year drop in Soto's offensive numbers, especially in the FSL, wouldn't be enough to ask him to take on the imense challenge of learning to catch unless they felt there was no other catching prospect at more or less his level worth getting excited about.

dougdirt
02-11-2010, 02:57 PM
You're burying him deeper behind Mesoraco -- if you believe Mesoraco is a valued prospect who will be given every chance to succeed -- because Mesoraco will remain cheap at the major league level a lot longer than the first basemen will (counting Francisco as a 1B is pure conjecture at this point). It makes abundant sense for the organization to develop a 1B prospect a couple-3 years behind Votto/Alonso for financial reasons. It makes less sense to stick Soto behind Mesoraco -- again, if you think Mesoraco is a valued prospect who will be given every chance to succeed -- because they would project to hit the majors no more than a year apart.

It seems plain as day to me -- if Soto moves to catcher it betrays a level of skepticism about Mesoraco that is meaningful. While we shouldn't take prospect lists too seriously, the ranking of Mesoraco at #30 by Baseball America, as Redsof72 has pointed out, is also meaningful. It's the forest, not the trees.
Baseball America felt so inclined to list Francisco as a first baseman in the most recent handbook. I don't think I am stretching much by agreeing with them. Catchers who play 140 games a season aren't readily available. Even if Mesoraco were the best catching prospect in baseball it still makes sense to have another abled guy back there because odds are someone is only getting 130 starts at catcher anyways (days off - DH in interleague play for ones that can hit).

Soto to catcher is because of his skillset and trying to make the most of it. He has a strong arm and an intriguing bat that needs a few more season in the minors to develop properly. He has time to use up those seasons too. I think you are just reading too much into the situation. I mean heck, wasn't Joey Votto a Top 25 prospect in all of baseball and hitting .303/.364/.538 as a Major Leaguer when the Reds drafted Yonder Alonso? It had nothing to do with Votto and everything to do with Alonso. I think you are just reading too much into it.

redsof72
02-11-2010, 04:46 PM
Doug, I did not intend to indicate that the hit locations were not reported correctly. Each play is called in (ie: single to left, ground out to short, etc.) at the end of each half inning or inning. But as far as line drives vs. routine fly balls and such, the official scorer told me that it is often not reported with that much detail. Maybe I misunderstood what was being suggested. If you are suggesting that one Single-A player hits more line drives than another guy, I would say that is impossible to know. All we know is the direction the ball was hit and the result of the play.

TRF
02-11-2010, 05:33 PM
Doug, I did not intend to indicate that the hit locations were not reported correctly. Each play is called in (ie: single to left, ground out to short, etc.) at the end of each half inning or inning. But as far as line drives vs. routine fly balls and such, the official scorer told me that it is often not reported with that much detail. Maybe I misunderstood what was being suggested. If you are suggesting that one Single-A player hits more line drives than another guy, I would say that is impossible to know. All we know is the direction the ball was hit and the result of the play.

I was wondering if this was the case, especially in the lower minors. I figured once you hit AA/AAA the technology and attention to detail might be better. In A-Ball you expect raw players. The stats while important have to be made to mesh with the eyes. Now once a player hits AA, the line blurs, and by AAA it's all but erased. By then, the eyes and the stats should say the same thing.

I don't think this is a hard fast rule, more of a guide. It's why I'd give younger players the benefit of the doubt, and question older players (college guys in the low minors) ability and ceiling. In short, I think Mes can improve, probably more than Coddington can. It's also why i never liked a certain CF's offensive game.

OnBaseMachine
04-02-2010, 07:15 PM
From John Fay:


While we’re waiting. . . Soto to catch
Posted by jfay April 2nd, 2010, 5:12 pm

I was killing time on the backfields while I wait to meet with Dusty Baker, so I followed up an email from reader Andrew and asked farm director Terry Reynolds about moving Neftali Soto to catcher.

They’ve decided to do it on a limited basis.

“He’ll catch two and play first or third the other days,” Reynolds said. “He caught in Instructional League and took to it.”

He also says Soto will begin the season in High-A Lynchburg.

read the rest here:
http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2010/04/02/while-were-waiting-soto-to-catch/

Degenerate39
04-02-2010, 11:15 PM
So would Soto be the best catching prospect in the Red's farm system?

Kingspoint
04-02-2010, 11:35 PM
Catcher used to be a weak area for the REDS. It's not anymore.

Ryan Hanigan has proved that his Minor League OBP numbers are matched by his Major League numbers, while Hernandez is a solid veteran who hits in the clutch and matches well with Hanigan. For 2011, we have a couple of prospects who look like they can match up well with Hanigan, while we wait for 2012 and Devin Mesoraco to arrive. The possibility of Soto playing some Catcher just adds to the mix.

Cedric
04-03-2010, 01:20 AM
So would Soto be the best catching prospect in the Red's farm system?

Much lower than Mes, IMO. Mes actually had a pretty darn good peripheral year at the plate and his defense has improved dramatically. The kid was an early 1st round pick and everybody wants to judge him way too early, IMO.

dougdirt
04-03-2010, 06:11 AM
So would Soto be the best catching prospect in the Red's farm system?

Until we get some reports on his defense, there just is no way you can say that he is ahead of Mesoraco.

Degenerate39
04-03-2010, 07:42 AM
Do you guys think theyll increase his workload as catcher as the year goes on?

dougdirt
04-03-2010, 02:29 PM
Do you guys think theyll increase his workload as catcher as the year goes on?

That is what I am most interested in seeing.... what happens to Soto's catcher workload when Mesoraco gets promoted? I figure Coddington will get promoted at the same time, but will Soto catch a little more with Coddington there than Mesoraco there?

aubashbrother
04-03-2010, 02:59 PM
ill be out of town this weeked but im going to the april 14th game in lynchburg and i might end up going to the entire series april 13th - 15th so hopefully soto will be catchin one of those games. either way ill have some pics and hopefully some videos to share

GIDP
04-03-2010, 03:03 PM
Sounds like they have a great program worked out for him. I'll be watching closely.

lollipopcurve
04-04-2010, 11:01 AM
That is what I am most interested in seeing.... what happens to Soto's catcher workload when Mesoraco gets promoted? I figure Coddington will get promoted at the same time, but will Soto catch a little more with Coddington there than Mesoraco there?

I don't buy that it's a given Mesoraco will be promoted.

The jump to high A from nowhere as a catcher is huge. Big challenge for Soto.

redsof72
04-04-2010, 12:25 PM
I have heard the comment "he will catch two days a week" when referring to a converted player too many times over the years to believe it without seeing it first. Lets see how it goes first. After the third week, lets see where this one stands.

lollipopcurve
04-04-2010, 02:27 PM
I have heard the comment "he will catch two days a week" when referring to a converted player too many times over the years to believe it without seeing it first. Lets see how it goes first. After the third week, lets see where this one stands.

Exactly. This is an experiment, nothing more at this point.

corkedbat
04-04-2010, 02:37 PM
If he develops to the point where he can give you decent major league-level receiiving, then he might give you a stronger bat (assuming it bounces back to pre-FSL form) at a position where offense is lacking.

At worst, he improves his versatility and value as a utility player - a direction his career path seems to be heading at this point.

OnBaseMachine
04-08-2010, 10:34 PM
From a Baseball America chat:

Kyle (Oxford): What are your thoughts on Neftali Soto's partial transition to catcher? Does it improve his prospect status much if he can stick?

J.J. Cooper: It definitely improves his chances if he can become a legit catcher. Soto's biggest concerns before the move were that he would become too slow and lack the agility to stick at third base. If that meant a move to the outfield it would have meant moving to a position where his bat is going to be average at best. If he can handle catching, which does seem to suit some of his strengths (strong arm, sturdy frame) his bat should make him an interesting prospect. But we're a long way from being able to say that he can stick at catcher long term, right now he's shown that he is willing to work at the position.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/chat/2010/269795.html

Benihana
04-09-2010, 10:26 AM
From a Baseball America chat:

Kyle (Oxford): What are your thoughts on Neftali Soto's partial transition to catcher? Does it improve his prospect status much if he can stick?

J.J. Cooper: It definitely improves his chances if he can become a legit catcher. Soto's biggest concerns before the move were that he would become too slow and lack the agility to stick at third base. If that meant a move to the outfield it would have meant moving to a position where his bat is going to be average at best. If he can handle catching, which does seem to suit some of his strengths (strong arm, sturdy frame) his bat should make him an interesting prospect. But we're a long way from being able to say that he can stick at catcher long term, right now he's shown that he is willing to work at the position.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/chat/2010/269795.html

The conversion from infielder to catcher worked for another Soto in the NL Central. Let's just hope Neftali stays off the grass.

REDblooded
04-21-2010, 08:53 PM
Johnny (NYC)


Speaking of guys sticking...Neftali Soto at catcher? Pipe dream?
Jim Callis
(2:49 PM)


Might work out. He's got enough arm and moves well enough.

TC81190
04-22-2010, 12:11 AM
So physical tools aside, how long would it take for Soto to develop good game calling skills and the other necessary intangibles necessary to be a good catcher?

dougdirt
04-22-2010, 12:32 AM
So physical tools aside, how long would it take for Soto to develop good game calling skills and the other necessary intangibles necessary to be a good catcher?

2-3 years is probably a good bet.

OnBaseMachine
04-26-2010, 03:12 PM
From Jamie Ramsey's blog:

"We are always looking for catching and (Neftali) Soto showed the mental aptitude, desire and physical tools to try it. So far the results have been positive and he has been very natural back there. Having Pat Kelly with him on a daily basis is also a plus." - Terry Reynolds, Reds senior director of player development & global scouting (Better Off Red)

http://ramsey.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/04/reds-farm-report-42610.html

fearofpopvol1
04-26-2010, 03:36 PM
My only concern about Soto at Catcher is he is taking away ABs from Mez. I assume Mez will get moved up soon though.

TRF
04-26-2010, 03:38 PM
My concern is he isn't hitting. at all. Converting him to C was a good idea, but if he doesn't hit, he isn't interesting anymore. His bat has all but disappeared.

Mes has 50 AB's, 6th on the team. Soto isn't taking AB's from him at all.

Scrap Irony
04-26-2010, 04:28 PM
Soto will hit. I think. If he sticks at C all year, I'm willing to give him a pass on the year offensively, as I'm assuming he's spending most of his off-time working on the finer aspects of donning the tools of ignorance.

The hitting can come later. (And, with his bat speed, it should.)

GIDP
04-26-2010, 04:40 PM
Ill worry about his hitting if its gone all this year and the start of next. I'm willing to give him a complete year worth of bad stats.

TRF
04-26-2010, 04:44 PM
His hitting was disappearing last year.

GIDP
04-26-2010, 04:54 PM
His hitting was disappearing last year.

I know this but I'm willing to give him this year.

lollipopcurve
04-26-2010, 05:15 PM
His hitting was disappearing last year.

Factor in that it was the Florida State League.

TRF
04-26-2010, 05:53 PM
Factor in that it was the Florida State League.

I did, but it was an almost .200 point drop in his OPS. That's more than the FSL. That's him not adjusting to fix the weaknesses in his game. I like his power potential, but potential is a dirty word. He needs to hit.

lollipopcurve
04-26-2010, 05:56 PM
I did, but it was an almost .200 point drop in his OPS. That's more than the FSL. That's him not adjusting to fix the weaknesses in his game. I like his power potential, but potential is a dirty word. He needs to hit.

Last year he was 20. Now he's 21 and trying to be a catcher. I suggest continued patience with the bat.

TRF
04-26-2010, 05:57 PM
Last year he was 20. Now he's 21 and trying to be a catcher. I suggest continued patience with the bat.

I'm not writing him off. I'm saying if he doesn't at least show flashes he stops being interesting as a prospect. Especially when you consider that Mes is playing well defensively AND hitting.

lollipopcurve
04-26-2010, 06:02 PM
I'm not writing him off. I'm saying if he doesn't at least show flashes he stops being interesting as a prospect. Especially when you consider that Mes is playing well defensively AND hitting.

There's no question Mesoraco looks like the more interesting C prospect right now. But Soto's had 2 fine years with the stick and 1 down year. Mesoraco never really "flashed" as a hitter -- he survived. Chances are Soto will flash again, but it may take time, especially given the challenge he's facing defensively.

TRF
04-26-2010, 06:59 PM
There's no question Mesoraco looks like the more interesting C prospect right now. But Soto's had 2 fine years with the stick and 1 down year. Mesoraco never really "flashed" as a hitter -- he survived. Chances are Soto will flash again, but it may take time, especially given the challenge he's facing defensively.

I disagree. Mes's peripherals suggested he was an .800 OPS player had he had anything resembling a normal babip. And that was in the FSL. 35 BB's in 312 AB's would equate to what 50+ in 450 AB's? Brandon Phillips should dream of such numbers. I'm not a big believer in LD%, especially at the lower levels (completely subjective data, often incorrect), but it was clear that the FSL beat up on Mes AND that he was a little unlucky.

Normalize Soto for luck, and he was still a worse hitter than Mes last year.

And I do think both players can rebound from that, but Soto really needs to hit. He didn't have two years where he hit. He had one meh season (2007) and one where he exploded up the list (2008) before falling off the FSL cliff (2009) Right now, 2008 is the aberration.

dougdirt
04-26-2010, 07:28 PM
I did, but it was an almost .200 point drop in his OPS. That's more than the FSL. That's him not adjusting to fix the weaknesses in his game. I like his power potential, but potential is a dirty word. He needs to hit.

I think the FSL can actually cause a .200 point drop in OPS. It has happened to some real good hitters at times. Ryan Braun saw his OPS go from 1.041 in Low A to .784 in the FSL to .956 in AA (the latter two coming in the same season). We all know Ryan Braun can mash. He couldn't do it in the FSL. Home runs in every other league turn into warning track outs there.

This season, I am less concerned about Soto's hitting for two reasons. Focusing on catching is a big deal. He had his hamate bone removed this offseason.

lollipopcurve
04-26-2010, 09:50 PM
He didn't have two years where he hit. He had one meh season (2007) and one where he exploded up the list (2008) before falling off the FSL cliff (2009) Right now, 2008 is the aberration.

Flat wrong. He hit over .300 with a .355 OBP and .454 SLG as an 18 year old in the GCL, a tough hitters league, in 2007. He most definitely hit that year. Last year was the only off year he has had with the bat, and, as Doug has pointed out, there may have been issues with his wrist.

Edd Roush
04-26-2010, 11:42 PM
[QUOTE=dougdirt;2065620]I think the FSL can actually cause a .200 point drop in OPS. It has happened to some real good hitters at times. Ryan Braun saw his OPS go from 1.041 in Low A to .784 in the FSL to .956 in AA (the latter two coming in the same season). We all know Ryan Braun can mash. He couldn't do it in the FSL. Home runs in every other league turn into warning track outs there.
QUOTE]

Really glad the Reds got out of the FSL if this is really the case. Really makes it hard to judge actual performance of your players. Maybe an even bigger problem would disappearing confidence from younger hitters.

TRF
04-27-2010, 10:41 AM
Flat wrong. He hit over .300 with a .355 OBP and .454 SLG as an 18 year old in the GCL, a tough hitters league, in 2007. He most definitely hit that year. Last year was the only off year he has had with the bat, and, as Doug has pointed out, there may have been issues with his wrist.

I take GCL stats with a grain of salt. He was clearly a better hitter than his competition, because the GCL plays in the same parks as the FSL for the most part I believe and he was pretty much owned in the FSL.

I give more credence to the hamate bone as to why his power dried up.

He still needs to hit though.

lollipopcurve
04-27-2010, 10:46 AM
He still needs to hit though.

Who doesn't?

lollipopcurve
04-27-2010, 10:46 AM
I give more credence to the hamate bone as to why his power dried up.

Your argument is disappearing.

TRF
04-27-2010, 01:02 PM
Your argument is disappearing.

Not really. If he doesn't hit, it's a quirky experiment trying to find a position for a player that didn't work. Like Jerry Gil.

IF the hamate bone is the reason he isn't hitting, then ok. But if it's a case of a guy tearing up Low A and doing nothing after, Soto will find himself lost amidst thousands of other Low A stars that did nothing.

Again, if the hamate bone is responsible for his hitting woes, he should see an uptick in his power late in the year. Not much of one maybe, but a little bit. That and he isn't in the FSL anymore.