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Benihana
08-01-2010, 11:54 PM
Now that the trading deadline has come and gone without any significant moves, it is once again time for Benihana’s list of Reds Top Prospects. As always, Grade A usually equates to a Top 25 Prospect in the game, and potential All-Star. Grade B means the player is one of the Top 100 Prospects in the game, and projects at a minimum to a Major League starter. Grade C means they are still on the radar for most of MLB, and should have some kind of future in the big leagues. For this version, players from Billings are eligible for the list while those in the AZL, VSL and DSL are not. Players over 25 years old are also ineligible for the “Prospects” list. Without further ado…

GRADE A

1. Aroldis Chapman LHP 22 AAA – Should get a Cincy call-up in the next few weeks. Hopefully he has a David Price-like debut out of the ‘pen. ETA: 2010

GRADE B

2. Devin Mesoraco C 22 AA – His resurgence is the story of the minor league season so far. He should be ready to fill in Hernandez’s shoes after next season. ETA: late 2011
3. Yonder Alonso 1B 23 AAA – Has come on strong through the dog days. His inability to play LF makes him a likely trade chip. ETA: 2011

GRADE C

4. Yorman Rodriguez CF 17 R – Hopefully his injury isn’t too serious. Has cpntinued to impress in his second stint in Billings. ETA: after 2013
5. Juan Francisco 3B/LF 22 AAA – The enigma continues. He’s somewhere in between Wily Mo Pena and Vladimir Guerrero. Should get called up soon, especially if Rolen goes down again. ETA: 2010
6. Zack Cozart SS 23 AAA – Some experts say he’s better than Orlando Cabrera right now. Should get his shot in Spring Training next season. ETA: 2011
7. Todd Frazier 1B/3B/LF 23 AAA – Has started to hit again after an abysmal first couple months of the season. Probably a strong utility player. ETA: 2011

ON THE RADAR

8. Billy Hamilton SS 19 R – Very speedy catalyst with all the tools except for power (of which he has zero.) Will he get a chance to stick at SS is the question. ETA: after 2013
9. Donnie Joseph LHP 23 A+ - Should be ready to finish the season in Carolina, with a major league ETA sometime in 2011. ETA: 2011
10. Brad Boxberger RHP 22 AA – Has fallen off a cliff since getting promoted to Carolina and moved to the bullpen. Hopefully he regains his form as a starter in Carolina next season. ETA: 2012
11. Juan Duran OF 17 R – Has put up an .826 OPS since July 1. Extremely raw and toolsy, he is still a boom or bust type. ETA: after 2013
12. Ryan LaMarre CF 21 A – Has looked decent in Dayton. Has a lot of CF depth in the system to overcome. ETA: 2013
13. (tie) Dave Sappelt CF 23 AA – See above for the comment on system depth in CF, although he has been unreal in AA this year. Will be interesting to see who emerges between him and Perez. ETA: 2012
13. (tie) Felix Perez CF 25 AA – Has hit to his age level throughout the minors, and could be ready for his third promotion this season. Could compete for a backup position with the Reds next season. ETA: 2011
15. Neftali Soto C/1B 21 A+ - Has hit well, and his future at C will probably depend on whether Grandal signs. He needs to hit more if he is going to be a 1B.

KEEP AN EYE ON (too early to tell)

Junior Arias INF AZL
Ismael Guillon LHP AZL
Jonathan Correa RHP AZL
Ronald Torreyes SS VSL
Humberto Valor 2B/SS VSL

NOTABLE UNSIGNED DRAFTEES

Yasmani Grandal C would probably start in Lynchburg and slot in the Grade C (#7) range if he signs
Drew Cisco RHP I doubt he signs
Kyle Waldrop OF Will be another interesting player to keep an eye on in Rookie League if/when he signs

PROMOTIONS HOPEFULLY BY THE END OF THE MONTH

Felix Perez to AAA
Donnie Joseph to AA
Jonathan Correa to Billings
Junior Arias to Billings

GIDP
08-01-2010, 11:57 PM
I've been looking through the minors and I'm not sure there is a better SS prospect in AAA than Cozart. I dont want to get ahead of myself but honestly I look at the basic stats and is it unreasonable to suggest that there really isnt a better SS prospect in the high level of the minors? There are similar ones for sure but are any of them heads above any of the others?

sabometrics
08-02-2010, 12:48 AM
If Yorman can be Grade-C, how can Sappelt not be? I understand Yorman has the more project-able build and has more tools-wise, but it seems like putting a Rookie-level player who is hitting .340 in 94 AB's at that level is a bit hasty if you're going to leave off a AA-level player who is hitting .348 in triple the number of AB's.

Tampa Red
08-02-2010, 08:40 AM
Cool list! I've been reading these from you for years and always enjoyed them.

I'd probably argue that Mesoraco deserves at least a B+. I wouldn't say he's a top 25 overall prospect but his bat probably projects to play in an all-star game due to position scarcity if nothing else.

mace
08-02-2010, 10:55 AM
Nicely done.

Guys I'd probably move up a notch: Rodriguez, Francisco, possibly Hamilton and Mesoraco.

Guy I'd move down: Boxberger. (Wasn't all that impressed with him even when he was starting.)

Guys I'd add to the radar list: Hotchkiss, Fairel, Gregorius, Jacob Johnson.

Guys I'd add an eye on: Barnhart, De Los Santos.

OnBaseMachine
08-02-2010, 11:55 AM
My top 5 prospects:

1. Aroldis Chapman, LHP. This one is easy for me. 105 K's in 84.1 innings in Triple-A, including 2 BB/15 K in his last 9.1 innings.

2. Devin Mesoraco, C. 22-year old catcher playing good defense and hitting a combined .316/.387/.603 - .990 OPS between High-A and Double-A. Another no brainer for me.

3. Yorman Rodriguez, CF. 17-year old (soon to be 18) center fielder hitting .340 with an .808 OPS in the Pioneer League. One of the best athletes and most talented prospects in the minor leagues. He needs to improve his plate discipline but there is plenty of time for that. The sky is the ceiling for Yorman.

4. Yonder Alonso, 1B. It appears his wrist is healthy now as he's been on an absolute tear since the first of July. Very high ceiling with the bat. The only question is, where is he going to play? Joey Votto isn't going anywhere.

5. Zack Cozart, SS. I strongly considered Billy Hamilton here but decided to go with Cozart when considering him proximity to the majors. Plus defender at SS, good power, and an excellent base stealer so far this season (24-for-27).

Notable guys who have or will lose their prospect elibility this season: Matt Maloney, Jordan Smith, Chris Heisey, Travis Wood, Logan Ondrusek.

Benihana
08-02-2010, 09:49 PM
Thanks for the feedback everybody.


If Yorman can be Grade-C, how can Sappelt not be? I understand Yorman has the more project-able build and has more tools-wise, but it seems like putting a Rookie-level player who is hitting .340 in 94 AB's at that level is a bit hasty if you're going to leave off a AA-level player who is hitting .348 in triple the number of AB's.

One word: Projectability

David Sappelt has performed very well this season. But in addition to the build which you mentioned, Sappelt's tools simply don't grade out nearly as well as Yorman's do. Sappelt is also six years older than Yorman, and putting up strong numbers in the minors for the first time since he was a 21-year old in Billings. By the time Yorman is Sappelt's age, let's hope that he is challenging for his first All-Star team in Cincinnati, not having his first good season in AA.

mth123
08-03-2010, 05:12 AM
Love these posts Beni.

My 2 cents. (Sticking to the higher levels)

1. Aroldis Chapman A-. The move to the pen may help this year, but the lack of IP in 2010 push his time at the TOR back. I think 2011 will now be a year where he may split time in AAA and the majors. I also am starting to wonder if the team is getting ideas of leaving Chapman in the pen. With Rhodes leaving after 2010, its tempting as a quick fix, but it sure makes him less valuable. Had he stayed in the rotation, his grade would be A+, with the pen move, I downgrade him to A-.

2. Devin Mesoraco B+. Doug was right and I was way-off about Mes. The Reds have gotten a lot from Hernandez and Hanigan in 2010, but put me down for going with Hanigan and Corky to start 2011 to save some cash and keep the path clear for Mes. I have hopes he'll be at least the 50% of the time guy in Cincy (sharing time with Hanigan) by June of 2011.

3. Zach Cozart B. He's the SS of the next 5 years IMO. Much better offense/defense mix than anyone we've seen in a while.

4. Donnie Joseph B-. As a reliever he looks awesome, but being a reliever prevents a higher grade. I'm hoping for a Cincy appearance at some point in 2011.

5. Yonder Alonso B-. He's raking now and could jump back higher, but he's blocked, the move to the OF appears to be a failure and the injury with pedestrian numbers afterwards combined with his obvious lack of career path suppress his trade value. As a 1B, its easy to be fooled by good offensive numbers. 1B is a position filled with hitters and a guy who could be a low to mid .800 OPS player is nothing to get excited about. Lyle Overbay, for example, is a nice bat, but he's not an all star and even with Yonder hitting now, he could very well end up in that category. Hard to be a top player at a position with Pujols, Votto, Fielder, Howard, Gonzalez, Dunn, Texiera, Morneau, Youkilis, Pena etc. A trade to an AL team where their seems to be more opportunity at 1b now and the DH spot to increase the chances seems like the best way to get max value. Lots of teams have good hitting young 1B.

6. Todd Frazier C+. Will have a nice career as a major leaguer IMO. Many still like him more than I, but he just seems a tweener to me. He hasn't really settled into a spot and while I think he can fill in almost everywhere, playing a position is different than playing it every day. I'm pretty sure he could play 1B or LF and be fine defensively, but the offensive bar is pretty high at those spots and I'm not sure that Frazier would be an asset there. 3B is his best chance, but since we haven't seen him play there on a day in day out basis, the jury is still out as an every day player. No doubt in my mind he'd do fine there if its one of the positions that he moves around to. I still think he can be a fill in at 2B and SS as long as he's not in there too much accumulating damage to the pitching staff. As a 300 to 350 AB guy who plays everywhere but C and CF, he can be a real asset, but I won't believe he's an every day player at a position until he shows it somewhere. The horrible start really wrecks his market value, but I still think he'll be a high 700s OPS guy who mixes in a year or two above .800 when his BABIP falls his way.

7. Juan Francisco C+. The most successful player on the list as a minor leaguer. Still huge questions if it can translate to the majors. Nothing left to do but give him a try IMO. His defense is a minus.

8. Matt Maloney C. He won't crack the Reds rotation but he could fill the back end for some team with competitive innings while always looking over his shoulder for better guys to pass him by. He's probably ready to do that some place and should have some trade value (especially as a guy who adds to a package as the token near ready starter).

9. Phil Valiquette C. Hard throwing lefties are rare. He's still young but been around long enough that he's now a sleeper.

10. David Sappelt C. A guy having a really good year who has the defensive abilty to get a look and is certainly hitting at AA. I had him pegged as Norris Hopper but his power this year likely means he's better than that. He's not Chris Heisey or Drew Stubbs IMO, but I wonder if he might just sneak-up on the majors. Shaun Cumberland had a big year in AA once, so I'd like to see him replicate this at AAA.

11. Chris Valaika C-. Similar to Frazier but a lot less power. He can get base hits though and might have enough glove to get by as an every day 2B, but his sudden lack of power would make it hard to put up with anything less than plus defense and he doesn't have it. He seemed to have more power at the lower levels. I wonder if it will reappear and bump him back up to a C or C+.

12. Sam Lecure C-. Similar to Maloney, but strikes me as less likely to hold onto a rotation spot, but more likely to successfully switch to middle relief.

13. Neftali Soto C-. Where does he play? He seems to be a 1B now and I'm not sure the bat justifies it.

14 Matt Klinker C-. Might be better than that. He's struggled in AAA and I need to see more to judge better.

15. The injury bunch. Guys I hold some hope for are Scott Carroll, Matt Fairel and Mace Thurman.

The no respect award: Danny Dorn. I'd list him no lower than 8th on this list, but he seems to be a guy who isn't in any plans so I left him off.

Mario-Rijo
08-03-2010, 06:06 AM
Pretty much the same as others.

#1 - Chapman - No brainer
#2A - Mesoraco - Being a C gives him the edge for me.
#2B - Alonso - I see he and Mes' value ultimately pretty close in the long run.
#4 - Cozart - being a SS and having solid value on offense and defense is a big plus.
#5 - Frazier - I suspect it was just an injury that caused his production problems but that armbar still makes me a bit uneasy. But I love his makeup and I think he will eventually be our next starting 3B, and a solid one at that.
#6 - Yorman - Would love to rank him higher but he is so far away yet.
#7 - Hamilton - The kids talent is just so off the charts, it's highly unlikely he reaches that ceiling but if he does he's the only guy who could be higher than anyone but Aroldis and Yorman.
#8 - Grandal - Yeah I know he hasn't signed and my bro-in-law believes he won't get signed I'm not completely convinced of that.
#9 - Boxberger - Still not real high on him really but he has a pretty good ceiling, just wonder if he is the next Sean Watson or not.
10 - Joseph - How do you not like this guy, he'd be at least above Boxberger (if not much higher) if he had any shot at starting.

Francisco - Somewhere between 10-15 with guys like Soto, LaMarre, Duran and even though he's had alot of injury issues I don't want to yet give up on Lotzkar.

icehole3
08-03-2010, 02:24 PM
my fav 5

Chapman
Mesoraco
Cozart
Alonso
Rodriguez

BuckeyeRedleg
08-03-2010, 02:30 PM
Pretty much the same as others.

#1 - Chapman - No brainer
#2A - Mesoraco - Being a C gives him the edge for me.
#2B - Alonso - I see he and Mes' value ultimately pretty close in the long run.
#4 - Cozart - being a SS and having solid value on offense and defense is a big plus.
#5 - Frazier - I suspect it was just an injury that caused his production problems but that armbar still makes me a bit uneasy. But I love his makeup and I think he will eventually be our next starting 3B, and a solid one at that.
#6 - Yorman - Would love to rank him higher but he is so far away yet.
#7 - Hamilton - The kids talent is just so off the charts, it's highly unlikely he reaches that ceiling but if he does he's the only guy who could be higher than anyone but Aroldis and Yorman.
#8 - Grandal - Yeah I know he hasn't signed and my bro-in-law believes he won't get signed I'm not completely convinced of that.
#9 - Boxberger - Still not real high on him really but he has a pretty good ceiling, just wonder if he is the next Sean Watson or not.
10 - Joseph - How do you not like this guy, he'd be at least above Boxberger (if not much higher) if he had any shot at starting.

Francisco - Somewhere between 10-15 with guys like Soto, LaMarre, Duran and even though he's had alot of injury issues I don't want to yet give up on Lotzkar.

I agree with pretty much everything here.

New Fever
08-03-2010, 02:52 PM
Kevin Goldstein on Billy Hamilton:

Billy Hamilton, 2B, Reds (Rookie-level Billings): 3-for-4, 3B, R, RBI, 2 SB. 2009 draftee is generating some explosive scouting reports; 24-for-50 with 10 stolen bases during current 11-game hitting streak and .335/.389/.463 overall.

Pony Boy
08-03-2010, 03:08 PM
^ I thought Hamilton was a SS.

GOYA
08-03-2010, 03:13 PM
Hamilton is a SS playing 2B.

Texas Pete
08-03-2010, 03:43 PM
Hamilton sounds like a future STUD.

I'd like to see Duran's bat stay hot.

RedsManRick
08-03-2010, 04:08 PM
These high average guys in the low minors scare me a bit, especially if the ISO is low. Without a good scouting report, it's hard to tell whether or not he's got any plate discipline. Is he swinging at everything and just has good enough contact skills (combined with poor fields and defenders) to get a lot of hits. As those guys move up, they could get exposed and really struggle. Or they could just be really good hitters and continue to succeed. It's hard to get a good read on it.

It looks like Hamilton is taking a decent amount of walks and hitting with some pop -- both good to see.

flash
08-03-2010, 06:10 PM
I've been looking through the minors and I'm not sure there is a better SS prospect in AAA than Cozart. I dont want to get ahead of myself but honestly I look at the basic stats and is it unreasonable to suggest that there really isnt a better SS prospect in the high level of the minors? There are similar ones for sure but are any of them heads above any of the others?

The Yankees hav a guy named Eduardo Nunez who is hitting over .300. Someone said he was going to push Jeter into center which I doubt.

The Marlins have a guy named Osvaldo Martinez at Jacksonville. He is having a breakout year, but there is a guy named Ramirez in his way.

Then there is Josh Horn of the independent American Association. Of course he is a Wichita Wingnut. He may be a real one for all I know. Maybe that is why no one will touch him.

11larkin11
08-03-2010, 06:11 PM
The Yankees hav a guy named Eduardo Nunez who is hitting over .300. Someone said he was going to push Jeter into center which I doubt.

The Marlins have a guy named Osvaldo Martinez at Jacksonville. He is having a breakout year, but there is a guy named Ramirez in his way.

Then there is Josh Horn of the independent American Association. Of course he is a Wichita Wingnut. He may be a real one for all I know. Maybe that is why no one will touch him.

He said AAA.

flash
08-03-2010, 06:13 PM
He said AAA.
Nunez plays for the Yankees AAA team.

flash
08-03-2010, 06:19 PM
Thanks for the feedback everybody.



One word: Projectability

David Sappelt has performed very well this season. But in addition to the build which you mentioned, Sappelt's tools simply don't grade out nearly as well as Yorman's do. Sappelt is also six years older than Yorman, and putting up strong numbers in the minors for the first time since he was a 21-year old in Billings. By the time Yorman is Sappelt's age, let's hope that he is challenging for his first All-Star team in Cincinnati, not having his first good season in AA.

Sappelt has never hit under .280 for an entire season. When has he not put up good numbers?

Benihana
08-04-2010, 10:59 AM
Sappelt has never hit under .280 for an entire season. When has he not put up good numbers?

He has never OPS'd over .750 other than as a 21 year old at Billings.

camisadelgolf
08-04-2010, 11:27 AM
He has never OPS'd over .750 other than as a 21 year old at Billings.
That's a misleading statement. To go the other way, he has OPSed at least .850 every year of his career except once.

flash
08-04-2010, 05:17 PM
He has never OPS'd over .750 other than as a 21 year old at Billings.

Yes that is very misleading seeing that he is in only his third season of professional baseball. If you count his college years last year was the only one where his OPS fell under .750.

OesterPoster
08-05-2010, 08:40 AM
Some interesting numbers on Frazier and his abysmal start to the season.

OPS by month

April: .599
May: .666
June: .803
July: .767
August: 1.015

The last 10 games...impressive: .350/.435/.575/1.010

JaxRed
08-05-2010, 09:12 AM
I've seen Osvaldo play at AA jax all year. Nice player, nothing spectacular on defense. I'd defintely take Cozart.

GIDP
08-05-2010, 10:50 AM
I've seen Osvaldo play at AA jax all year. Nice player, nothing spectacular on defense. I'd defintely take Cozart.

Yea this is kind of the general point. It seems like the difference between the top talents and next group of guys is so small at the SS position these days. You look at Cozart and you honestly have to think "is this guy one of the best SS prospects in baseball" The answer is probably no just because of guys who profile and project better but its hard to discount Cozart being just as good as basically all of them.