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nemesis
07-12-2010, 01:56 PM
Low A

Sorry for the gap in posts. Just haven't had the personal time to sit down and really write this out with the thoroughness I like to put into them.

The Dayton Dragons are the Crown Jewel of Minor League Baseball. Wonderful stadium, great family experience, solid entertainment for your dollar. If the Stadium could seat 10,000 it would still sell out every night.

The Dragons are always in the top 10 in attendance in all of the Minors. That includes from AAA to Rookie Leagues. This year is no different. Ranking 4th in all the minors in Avg Attendance per game. The only 3 teams above them are:

9075 - Lehigh Valley
8677 - Louisville
8840 - Sacramento
8557 - Dayton
8461 - Columbus

So 4 of the top 5 are AAA teams. 2 are Reds Affiliates. 3 are in the Reds fan base drawing area. So if all 3 teams played at home on the same night, between Louisville, Dayton and Columbus they would draw 25,000 fans. Incredible.

I really don't think there was high hopes for the Dayton Franchise this season from above. Much like in AA Carolina this team was littered with a few prospects, a few holdovers, a few guys on the road back from recovery and no high end draft picks.

Pitching wise the teams overall pitching numbers has actually been quite a pleasant surprise. In the 16 team MWL, they rank: 6th in ERA (3.82), Last in CG's (0), 12th in Shut Outs (3) and Saves (21), 1st in IP (767.1), 5th in fewest hits allowed (757), 10th in Runs Allowed, 3rd in HR's Allowed (57), 7th in most BB allowed (297). 8th in total K's (654) and 11th in WHIP (1.37).

The Starting Pitching had a couple holdovers from last season, a reliever they converted and a couple picks from last years (2009) Draft.

Going into the season the Rotation was

Ravin
Sulbaran
Pearl
Villarreal
Johnson

Josh Ravin was a 5th round pick in that super 2006 class. Has always struggled with his control until late last year when he decided that working in a garage like his father wasn't the life he wanted to lead. He posted a 3.67 ERA on the year. He reduced his walk rate, which had been over 9 per 9 at one point and had a solid .220 BAA. He injured himself late in the year and was shelved for the remainder of the season. Started off this years campaign much like he ended last years. Going 1-1 with a 1.87 ERA in his first 5 starts. But sometime in May he was injured again. Trying to fight through it his BAA and ERA ballooned (.348/5.86), then in June trying to fight though he just blew up with a 18+ BB rate per 9 and a .333 BAA. Shut down after 2 starts in June he hasn't pitched again and haven't heard any type of update on him. Will be 23 heading into next year and at least has one more year to prove himself.

J.C. Sulbaran was a WBC folk hero of sorts, his draft stock slipped because of $ demands and the Reds took a late round flier on him. Signing well above slot, he went to straight to Dayton, Jumping all levels of rookie ball in 2009. The results were mixed at best. Suffering from constant blisters, he had ups and alot of downs.

Posting a 100 K's in 92.2 IP as a 19 year old in the MWL should have made him a top prospect, but, the 51 BB's and 19 HR's given up in the same 92.2 IP were horrific. A 1.57 WHIP with a 2 HR rate per 9 screams disaster.

In 2010 he has made alot of strides as a pitcher and as a prospect. He has had 3 good months and one bad one. Cutting his HR Allowed total in a third was the first positive step. (6 in 76 IP) His BAA has been under .220 in 3 of the 4 months this year. Overall he is sporting a 4.38 ERA in 14 Starts this season and holding opponents to a .239 BAA. Particularly strong against RHB he holds them to a outstanding .200 BAA while LHB hit .280 against him. Still just 20 years old he could see a promotion to High A next season or at least a few starts in Dayton to start the year.

Brian Pearl, 22, was a 9th round pick in 2009 who was a relief pitcher in Billing last year. With a high K totals (43 in 28.2 IP), the hope was to get him some IP this year as a starter and see which roll he fit next season. Didn't have the K totals in his first 5 starts in Dayton that he had in Billings (13K's in 22 IP). Injured his arm and is not expected back until mid next year.

Pedro Villarreal was a 7th round pick in 2008 who didn't really pitch until 2009 because of an arm injury had more BB's than K's (24/21) in 2009. Split his time as a starter and a reliever (8 starts/14 appearances) between the GCL Rookie Reds and the Sarasota High A club as a emergency fill in late in the year. 2010 placed in Dayton and told of improved velocity he really hasn't disappointed. Easily the best starter in Dayton until moved to the bullpen to save his arm from over use, has a nice 3.34 ERA in 14 starts. Struck out 56 in 72.2 IP and gave up only 4 HR's. Has not fared well as a reliever (1.56 WHIP)/ 7.27 ERA) but is over 9 k per 9 (10K in 8.2 IP). Will be 23 and in High A as a starter to begin 2011. Has that Klinker feel to him as a prospect.

Jacob Johnson was a surprise edition to the 2010 starting staff. A 11th Round pick out of High School, many though he would start in Billings with the other 2 young arms (Tuttle/Cline). Making the Dragons roster as the youngest member showed. Having early struggles (4 Starts 6.38 ERA 18.1 IP 26 H 9 BB 6 K's .347 BAA 1.91 WHIP) but still showed a heavy GB tendency (2.07 GO/FO Ratio). He settled down in May and June (9 starts 3.40 ERA 45 IP 41 H 16 BB's 28 K's 1 HR Allowed 1.27 WHIP). Has fallen on hard times in July and could be a dead arm issue. Could benefit from a switch to the bullpen for the rest of the season. Fairly consistent with LH and RHB's could become a top 10 prospect in the system in a couple years. I could fully see him going to High A to start next year.


With the injuries and protection of arms a few other players have gotten a fair amount of starts...

Justin Walker has been the main culprit in filling in. LHP who throws strikes. Lots of strikes (22 BB's in his last 147.2 IP). A FB pitcher who gives up the long one a little to frequently (13 in 90 IP this year). Will be 24 going into next year. Probably will hang around due to his versatility and control, in hopes he can induce more GB's. Handles LHB fairly well (.259 BAA/ 1.07WHIP). Could have some value as a Loogy.

Tim Crabbe was a 14h round pick in the 2009 draft. Spent 2009 at Billings as a Starter. Made 14 starts and had a great K rate. (9.54 per 9) but had a bad BB Rate (4.86). Brought up to Dayton in May has posted pretty decent numbers overall as a starter (3.09 ERA / .220 BAA / 2.05 GO/FO Ratio) but still walking right around 4.60 per 9. Just 22 will probably see action in dual roles again in Dayton next year.

Ricky Bowen is a 43rd round pick out of the 2009 draft. Looked like it in his first pro shot in Billings as well (6.28 ERA 2.10 WHIP). Incredibly wild as well (14 IP 16 BB's). Brought to Dayton in early May, has done nothing but look like a higher round pick. As a starter posting a solid 3.67 ERA in 27 IP while walking just 6 and striking out 25. Was pulled after just 0.2 IP in his last start I am not sure if he suffered and injury.

The bullpen also had a few holdovers from last season...

Ezequiel Infante is a LHP who looked solid in Dayton as a starter and a reliever last year. Showed control with a ability to miss bats. (52.1 IP 9 BB's 46 K's). Repeating the level this year has not really shown either. (44 IP 23 BB's 32 K's) Still just 21 is more than likely to repeat Dayton again next year.

Junior Martinez some how some way is the pitcher who has the most appearances as a reliever in the Dayton bullpen. A "stout" 6ft 240 man who supposedly possess a 97 MPH fast ball. A Fastball that has heard rumors and whispers of something called a strikezone. At 24 a bit old for the MWL and has walked 30 in 35 IP while striking out 32. Has also allowed 40 Hits in those 35 IP for a WHIP of 2.00 on the nose.

Blair Carson, 22, a 42nd round pick in 2009, was called up in late May and is probably the best reliever left in the Dayton bullpen. Possessing a 1.05 WHIP in 22 Appearances in 48.2 IP, with the ability to induce a GB, (1.76 Ratio) while avoiding the walk ,(11 in 48.2 IP) he will probably see the next level as soon as next year.

Chase Ware was promoted to Lynchburg.

Donnie Joseph was promoted to Lynchburg.

Nick Christiani was promoted to Lynchburg.

Jason Braun, 23, was another 2009 draftee (29th rd) called up in May. has a little trouble with the walk (15 in 27.1 IP) but also misses bat (9.55 K per 9). A GB pitcher (1.94 Ratio) he just dominates RHB's (.135 BAA in 58 AB's vs .268 vs LHB's). Will probably be sent to High A next year.

Doug Salinas, 21, was a minor league Rule 5 pick and has posted solid numbers in his short career. Showed excellent control in April (13.1 IP 0 BB's 15 K's) Lost some control in May (7 BB 12 IP) and went on the DL in very early June. Unsure of his status or injury but seems to have ML potential when healthy.

Mike Konstanty was a converted 1B an was released.

James Walczak made a couple appearances in Dayton and now is in Billings.

Mark James was released in May.

Kevin Arico a 2010 Draftee was Fast tracked to Dayton after signing a couple weeks ago. A control pitcher with extreme GB tendencies, 4.00 Ratio so far, is not a guy who misses bats. Just 21 will probably repeat Dayton just as Joseph did to start the year.

The offense in Dayton was a mish mash of athletes trying to play baseball, a few organizational guys and a couple players a bit young for this level.

Overall the Dragons rank 5th in BA (.257), 5th in SLG% (.392), 15th in OBP (.310), 8th in OPS (.702), 5th in fewest strikeouts (623), 16th in BB's (188, 42 behind the 15th place team), 11th in Runs Scored (380), 3rd in Hits (764), 5th in 2B's (161), 14 in 3B (22), 3rd in HR's (66) 12th in SB's (78). So lack of BB's and clutch hitting has plagued this team all year.

Chris Richburg has manned 1B for most of 2010 and at 24 in Low A is a organizational guy. He may not be back for 2011 with the 1B talent in the Rookie Leagues (D'Anna. Lutz, Kaskow). A very streaky hitter, has shown some pop (.459 SLG) but that to has come in streaks.

Henry Rodriguez is a small switch hitting IF who can play 2B, SS or 3B. Playing 2B all season for the Dragons, he has shown an aptitude for the position. (.970 Fld%) Easily the most talented player in the roster this season from an overall stand point, he has batted anywhere from 1st to 5th in the Batting order. Has a nose for the RBI OPSing (.908) with runners in scoring postion. While he is not inclined to take a walk (.308 OBP), he does makes contact (.287 BA / 11.8 K %) and usually with power (.456 SLG). Started to flash the ability to take a base (14 SB in 18 Attempts) as the season has progressed. Most impressive thing about him is he has actually improved his game over the last month and a half (34 G). With a .326 BA and a overall slash of .354/.551/.905 in 138 AB's including 23 RBI's. Henry can be categorized as a 5 tool player. He should see time in High A next season at the ripe young age of 21 and could be in AA by the All Star break. Long term Heir apparent to Brandon Phillips at 2B. Much better against RHP vs LH (.809 OPS vs .628) he could ceiling into a 20/20 player with 40+ 2B's and a .300 Avg. A top 10

Frank Pfister, 23, has a fun name. One you try and bring up in daily conversations. His game though isn't so fun. Repeating Dayton for the second time, he has had a better go around this year, (.688 OPS vs .522 in 2009). Unfortunately with Oliver Santos, Junior Arias and Cristobal Rodriguez in Rookie Ball, Pfister is just a stand in at this point.

Didi Gregorius, 20, is another one of the super group of SS in the Reds system. A comparison I like to throw around, us Edger Renteria. Both 6'1", and having similar offensive talent, Renteria a 2 time Gold Glover and 3 time Silver Slugger, is pretty elite company to be in regards to. Young for the MWL, still probably a High A candidate next year. Gregorius has already had a taste of High A in 2009 and should not be overwhelmed. A LHB makes him a little more valuable as a player due to the rarity of that at the SS position. Hits RHP with relative ease. (.343/.430/.773) LHP is something that is yet to be figured out. (.244/.250/.494) Not uncommon in a young player who hasn't ever faced top LHP.

Byron Wiley was promoted to High A then released.

Andrew Means, 23, is a football convert from IU. Playing baseball full time for the first time has yet to tap into his enormous athleticism and make a splash, A injury earlier in the year stunted his growth. Possessing tremendous speed, should be a SB threat throughout his career. For his size and strength hasn't developed any power to speak of so far (.317 SLG%)., isn't really patient at the plate, (6 Walks in 246 AB's). May need one more full year in Dayton, but with the 2 CF's behind him (Yorman and Read). Time might be short.

Alex Oliveras in his previous two seasons has shown the ability to stroke a hit (.290 in 2009 /.279 in 2008). A road warrior (.799 OPS) that has trouble seeing the ball in Dayton (.464), he has yet to show the ability to take a walk(21 in 484 AB's in Dayton). Just 21, probably has one more season in Dayton to prove himself.

Mark Fleury, 22, is the highest draft pick on the Dayton Roster (4th Round 2009). A LHB catcher, there was some sever struggles in the first half (.652 OPS). Since the All Start break has been hot as anyone in the Reds system (1.166 OPS).

Contreras was promoted to High A Lynchburg.

Garton, 22, a Canadian, was a 12th round pick in the 2009 draft. Has all kinds if raw power. (483 SLG%) Hasn't played that much ball in comparison to his US and Latin teammates. LHB that has no problems hitting LHP (.893 OPS) or RHP (.768 OPS) Numbers have slipped (.268 OPS in July 2 for 25) and could be a result of fatigue or injury. Will be moved up to High A more than likely next year.

Cameron Satterwhite, 23, was a Local UC product who was a non drafted FA who spent time in Extended Spring training to start the year. Since arriving in Dayton in late May has been the best hitter on the team. (.882 OPS) Will be a High A player next year.

Sean Conner was called up and injured. In Arizona currently rehabbing.

Feiner is a utility organizational guy.

Coddington has been promoted to Lynchburg.

Chase Weems is the back up catcher who was acquired for Hariston from the Yankees. LHB has not had much sucess at any level to speak of.

Ryan LaMarre the 2010 second round pick, came straight to Dayton and has show alot of potential in his first 25 games there. OPSing .755 with a .385 OBP. 11 SB in 12 Attempts. Not showing his power potential yet, but should be in High A to start the year.

Carlson has been promoted to Lynchburg.

Wideman has been promoted to Lynchburg.

Tommy Nurre is the back up at 1B and is in the same boat as Richburg.


All in all there is alot of potential in a few of the players in Dayton. LaMarre, Rodriguez, Gregorius, Sulbaran, Johnson all are high end talent. Players like Villarreal, Garton and Fleury have legitimate shots at moving through the system to at least have shots at the upper minors.

mace
07-12-2010, 03:49 PM
Thanks, nemesis. Nice summary, and nice words you have for Henry Rodriguez. The prediction that he will be the long-term heir to Phillips was a mite radical, I thought, but well within your prerogative and certainly arguable.

nemesis
07-12-2010, 05:11 PM
Agreed. But he has some special tools. Hard to argue what he has done in the last year between GCL, Winter Ball and Dayton.

Gulf Coast League .354/.421/.775

Venezuelan Winter League .390/.544/.934

Midwest League .308/.456/.764

To be switch hitting 19/20 yr old and posting those lines shows some legit ability with a bat.

mdccclxix
07-13-2010, 03:38 AM
:beerme:

Another indispensable read, worthy IMO of a sticky while the break is on.

I was glad to read some positivity about Sulbaran, among others.

When I saw Fleury last year in Missoula, I was impressed with his build. I thought, "that's what a catcher looks like". He looked very strong and decently athletic. Richburg was another that stood out as having a good build.

It's too bad what happened to Pearl, I wonder if the transition to starter was too much wear?

nemesis
07-13-2010, 08:42 AM
\It's too bad what happened to Pearl, I wonder if the transition to starter was too much wear?

That's what happened in my opinion. For him to have his K's drop that far per 9, he had to have changed his mechanics or been pushing his arm to hard past the fatigue mark.

lollipopcurve
07-13-2010, 10:10 AM
Nice work, nemesis.

Mario-Rijo
07-13-2010, 11:16 AM
Don't take this the wrong way Nemesis but where exactly are you getting all this information from? What I mean is you seem to have a pretty good grasp on every single player, of the ones I am familiar with you have hit fairly well. I'd like to take what you have said about the ones I am not as familiar with as spot on (or close) as well. So just wonder how you have come to gain such understanding, just thru the numbers and a bit of info you have picked up here and there? Have you actually seen all these guys play, do you have some connections to these teams?

Not looking for a detailed breakdown just enough of a general idea of how you are coming to your conclusions?

BTW what is up with Derrick Lutz, I am assume he is injured but haven't heard the details?

camisadelgolf
07-13-2010, 11:33 AM
Don't take this the wrong way Nemesis but where exactly are you getting all this information from? What I mean is you seem to have a pretty good grasp on every single player, of the ones I am familiar with you have hit fairly well. I'd like to take what you have said about the ones I am not as familiar with as spot on (or close) as well. So just wonder how you have come to gain such understanding, just thru the numbers and a bit of info you have picked up here and there? Have you actually seen all these guys play, do you have some connections to these teams?

Not looking for a detailed breakdown just enough of a general idea of how you are coming to your conclusions?

BTW what is up with Derrick Lutz, I am assume he is injured but haven't heard the details?
He had Tommy John surgery. His wife was a guest blogger on 'The Life of the Baseball Wife' and goes into some detail about it. Chris Heisey's and Matt Maloney's wives have also posted on the blog.

edit:
Here's a link for all of Danielle Lutz' posts: http://www.baseballwifeblog.com/search/label/Danielle%20Lutz

nemesis
07-13-2010, 01:43 PM
Don't take this the wrong way Nemesis but where exactly are you getting all this information from? What I mean is you seem to have a pretty good grasp on every single player, of the ones I am familiar with you have hit fairly well. I'd like to take what you have said about the ones I am not as familiar with as spot on (or close) as well. So just wonder how you have come to gain such understanding, just thru the numbers and a bit of info you have picked up here and there? Have you actually seen all these guys play, do you have some connections to these teams?

Not looking for a detailed breakdown just enough of a general idea of how you are coming to your conclusions?

BTW what is up with Derrick Lutz, I am assume he is injured but haven't heard the details?

Multiple sources. In person. Internet. Players I connect with and speak to regularly thru Facebook. People on here. A friend that is close to one of the Reds farm personnel. I am a big researcher. I spend countless hours on the internet for work and pleasure. I follow the Farm system as close if not closer than the Majors. I do not claim to be an expert or a source on any levels, just know enough to try and inform the casual fan about more than just the Uber Prospects.

BTW since my adopted prospect Travis Wood has graduated the system. Henry Rodriguez is now my low Minors Adopted prospect to eventually make the Majors.

redsof72
07-13-2010, 03:09 PM
Nice effort. Very comprehensive. I would disagree with some of your conclusions, but we all have opinions.

Ravin: Back in Goodyear with hip and groin issues as well as some lingering elbow problems. Very disappointing year. Sulbaran: Finally starting to show some signs of progress. Has turned off a lot of people with lack of committment to being a professional. Last 4-5 starts have looked like a different Sulbaran than the guy we have seen for the last year and a half. Crabbe: Was pitching at 93-94 and looking like a top-30 prospect in his first few outings with the Dragons but velocity has dropped. If he gets it back, he is a legitimate prospect. Bowen: Worth watching. Tops out at 93 and has a good slider. Walczak: Very interesting guy...might have the best stuff on the club with 92-94 fastball and a good curve. Has only thrown about 50 innings in his life at all levels, so a lot to learn. Carson: Must improve his breaking ball and if he does, has a chance to blossom ala Chase Ware. Villarreal: Good arm, one of the top 3 pitching prospects on the team, but move to the bullpen has been disastrous. Arico: Velocity has been way down from reports on what he did at Virginia. Pitching at 84 mph. Salinas: Expected back within a couple of weeks coming off a shoulder injury but might have a tough time finding a spot. Very marginal stuff.

I would give Richburg far more credit than you are giving him. He is the top power hitter on this team and has improved defensively more than anyone on the club this season (with the possible exception of Fleury). He is over-aged but athletic for a first baseman and has a chance to keep getting better.

Mark Fleury has come back from looking like an awful draft pick to playing like the best catcher in the league over the last three weeks, hitting home runs, throwing out runners, hitting for average. Very much worth watching the rest of the second half.

Cameron Satterwhite is the most explosive hitter on the team and was the best hitter in the league in the month of June, when he was the most productive offensive player in the Reds organization for the month. Hard to believe he was totally passed over in the draft (like Chase Ware).

Didi Gregorius is a very athletic shortstop with excellent speed, good range defensively, and loads of potential. He is becoming more consistent. Best prospect on the club with the possible exception of LaMarre.

On the other side of the coin, Henry Rodriguez as a five-tool player? Wow. Here is how I would grade his tools: Very good hitter with occassional power. Legitimate middle of the order bat in the Dayton lineup. Maybe the toughest out on the team. Defensively, has improved to the point where he is adequate at second base after leading the league in errors in April-May. Arm is a little weak and it shows up sometimes on the double play. Questionable whether he has the defensive tools to stay at second base due to lack of range, but too thick-legged to cover the necessary ground in the outfield and may not have the arm to play third. Overall speed is average at best, despite 15 steals this season (an average runner can steal 20-25 bases in low-A ball with many pitchers in the league that have not learned to hold runners or by picking times to run when they are basically giving you the base). Best case scenario is that he makes it as a Jose Vidro type second baseman or perhaps a slightly less-athletic Todd Walker. Baseball insticts are weak (has forgotten to cover bases on bunt plays). Is not a gamer in terms of effort for the full nine innings but is at his best in when batting in key situations. More productive than toolsy. I would rate him as a slightly better prospect than last year's Dayton second baseman, Cody Puckett.

Andrew Means still has a long way to go as a hitter. Defensively, he is an absolute game-impacting weapon in center field who runs down fly balls that would be doubles or triples with 99 percent of the outfielders in pro ball. It is amazing to watch fly balls that appear to be certain to be headed for the gap, only to see Means come out of nowhere to make the catch standing up. Potential gold glover in the big leagues if he hits.

The three players on this team that would be rated as having good speed are Means, LaMarre, and Gregorius. At full speed, I would rate Means as the fastest. The other two guys run very well also.

lollipopcurve
07-13-2010, 03:44 PM
72, what are your thoughts on LaMarre so far?

Az. Reds Fan
07-13-2010, 06:27 PM
Anybody have any idea what happened to Carter Morrison? He's listed on the AZL Reds roster, but hasn't shown up in any games...Safe to assume he's injured?

Mario-Rijo
07-13-2010, 07:01 PM
Multiple sources. In person. Internet. Players I connect with and speak to regularly thru Facebook. People on here. A friend that is close to one of the Reds farm personnel. I am a big researcher. I spend countless hours on the internet for work and pleasure. I follow the Farm system as close if not closer than the Majors. I do not claim to be an expert or a source on any levels, just know enough to try and inform the casual fan about more than just the Uber Prospects.

BTW since my adopted prospect Travis Wood has graduated the system. Henry Rodriguez is now my low Minors Adopted prospect to eventually make the Majors.

Fair enough thanks.

Mario-Rijo
07-13-2010, 07:06 PM
He had Tommy John surgery. His wife was a guest blogger on 'The Life of the Baseball Wife' and goes into some detail about it. Chris Heisey's and Matt Maloney's wives have also posted on the blog.

edit:
Here's a link for all of Danielle Lutz' posts: http://www.baseballwifeblog.com/search/label/Danielle%20Lutz

Thanks for that Cam. A real interesting nugget in there, I almost hate to post it but here it is. For those who have yet to or may not read it this was a bit back in the process.


Where do we stand right now? At a stand still. The doctor in Arizona and the tech who reads MRIs in Arizona see a tear, but the head doctor in Cincinnati (who did the last surgery) says he does not see it. We are very fustrated because last year when the doc in Cincinnati read the MRI he said he did not see a tear either when it was indeed torn. Derrik's arm is a mess, feels awful, and we feel as if this surgery is indeed going to happen its just a matter of politics being sorted out at this point. I was waiting for some definite answers before putting this all in writing, but it seems it may take anotehr week or so to sort out and did not want to leave our family and friends in the dark.