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Scrap Irony
08-20-2010, 04:20 PM
The discussion on the Minor League Games Thread from a couple days ago (and Caveat's excellent point about prospects from Opening Day Rosters) got me thinking.

How many true prospects are there at each level? I'm not talking cup-of-coffee-maybes and scrubeenies. I'm talking difference-makers. Guys that will start for a major league club and provide league average or better numbers across the board at their respective postions for at least a couple years.

AAA is obviously stacked. Off the top of my head, I'd say there are at least six players (!) that you could argue as true difference makers in Louisville.
P Chapman
C Mesoraco
1B Alonso
SS Cozart
3B Francisco
CF Sappelt

Five (!!) others-- Valaika, Maloney, Fisher, Valiquette, and Frazier-- could also be argued, but have lesser cases.

AA, currently, probably only has one (Joseph), but three others are intriguing enough to be mentioned (Klinker, Fairel, and Perez) and two more (Horst and Christiani) darkhorses.
P Joseph

High A Lynchburg doesn't have any, but Low A Dayton has three that are possible (LaMarre, Gregorious, and Rodriguez).

Rookie level Billings could have an absolute ton. (Dayton next season will be a fun, fun place once more.)
C Barnhart
OF Bowe
OF Duran
OF Yorman
2B/SS Hamilton
P Robles
P Cline

The AZL squad is almost as stacked with high-end talent as is Louisville and Billings:
MI Torreyes
3B Vidal
MI Silva
OF Arias
P Mugarian
P Lotzkar

Others don't have enough of a track record or scouting report to add, but are pitching or hitting really, really well so far.

The VSL Reds have three that have played very well so far:
IF Samuel Diaz
P Chacin
P Gonzalez

That's a massive number of guys.

dougdirt
08-20-2010, 04:38 PM
You left off a few guys that I feel need to be added.
Billings - Have to add Jonathan Correa. Arguably the best starting pitching prospect we have after Chapman.
Dayton - Jacob Johnson, if he can remain a starter, has a chance. His arm action may lead to him heading to the bullpen one day, but if he can stay as a starter he has a chance.
AZL Reds - Ismael Guillon. Gotta be there.

Mario-Rijo
08-20-2010, 04:48 PM
I don't think Neftali Soto should be given up on just yet. And I still believe we are selling Frazier short if he is debatable at best then so is Francisco and Sappelt JMO.

dougdirt
08-20-2010, 04:51 PM
I don't think Neftali Soto should be given up on just yet. And I still believe we are selling Frazier short if he is debatable at best then so is Francisco and Sappelt JMO.

Agreed across the board here.

Soto has legit power. Despite his high HR total, we shouldn't forget he is less than a year removed from having his hamate bone broken and removed.

Sappelt isn't likely ever to be a star, but he has the tools to be a solid every day center fielder with plus range (though a below average arm).

mace
08-20-2010, 04:54 PM
I'd include Hotchkiss. And you left off the DSL club, which has Carlos Sanchez and a bunch of pitchers, possibly led by Abel De Los Santos.

dougdirt
08-20-2010, 04:58 PM
I'd include Hotchkiss. And you left off the DSL club, which has Carlos Sanchez and a bunch of pitchers, possibly led by Abel De Los Santos.

I think Hotchkiss ultimately winds up a reliever. His fastball is average, perhaps slightly above average from the left side. The main thing though is that he is a real low 3/4 guy and those guys don't often make it as starters.

Scrap Irony
08-20-2010, 05:32 PM
You left off a few guys that I feel need to be added.
Billings - Have to add Jonathan Correa. Arguably the best starting pitching prospect we have after Chapman.
Dayton - Jacob Johnson, if he can remain a starter, has a chance. His arm action may lead to him heading to the bullpen one day, but if he can stay as a starter he has a chance.
AZL Reds - Ismael Guillon. Gotta be there.

Good call on all of these.

Sappelt, I'd argue, is a great bet to be at least league average as a CF.

Francisco, IMO, should be league average at 3B. (I know you disagree, doug, but that power is hard to ignore.)

Frazier profiles as an uber-utility guy, IMO. One that can play six positions across the diamond. But I don't think he'll start at one position and be league average or better.

lollipopcurve
08-20-2010, 05:35 PM
Throw in Cisco and Grandal at the AZL for now.

The Billings hype is a bit much. Yorman, Hamilton, for sure. Probably Correa, per Doug. Duran and Barnhart are lesser lights in my book, but still solid prospects.

Tornon
08-20-2010, 06:20 PM
Frazier profiles as an uber-utility guy, IMO. One that can play six positions across the diamond. But I don't think he'll start at one position and be league average or better.

It just seems like Frazier has completely fallen off the map.. Is he going to basically be Ty Wigginton?

RedsManRick
08-20-2010, 06:48 PM
The fact that the organization goes 30+ prospects deep of guys who could be legitimate major leaguers is quite impressive. I really hope some of that AAA depth gets converted to 25 man talent next year.

mace
08-20-2010, 06:52 PM
I think Hotchkiss ultimately winds up a reliever. His fastball is average, perhaps slightly above average from the left side.

He's right-handed.

Mario-Rijo
08-20-2010, 06:55 PM
It just seems like Frazier has completely fallen off the map.. Is he going to basically be Ty Wigginton?

Ya know I have been a big Frazier advocate since day 1 and hey I can admit he may turn out to be nothing special, they all have that potential as well. My problem with alot of prognosticators on him as that they often point to results ultimately as they do almost without fail on everyone. And as we have seen with others results are nice but they don't necessarily mean anything. I have yet to see someone argue against Todd come with an argument that points to something tangible as to why he won't ultimately be an above average regular. Is his bat slow, will his mechanics doom him, is his approach to the game a mess? Examples of why ones game won't translate.

Just as an example of something here, Scrap Irony points to Juan Francisco's power as to why we shouldn't dismiss him, but in the same breath dismisses Todd. IMO alot of Juans power is a result of torque as opposed to natural power and I think his use of such torque is part of why he K's alot so he may eventually have to curb some of that torque and in turn lose some of his power production. Todd has natural power that is less dependent on torque but people think he has much less power than Juan, we'll see but I ain't buying it.

Until someone makes a good sound argument I'll just be taking their opinion as "ahh I just don't care for the guy, plus he's not hitting 25 HR's a season right now so I'm gonna say he's no big deal". Because if you read his scouting reports in conjunction with his numbers and realize how much his makeup will play into his future I think people are missing the boat here.

mace
08-20-2010, 07:16 PM
And yet . . . If this exercise had been undertaken just three years ago, would Ryan Hanigan's name have appeared in bold letters? Chris Heisey's? Logan Ondrusek's? Even Travis Wood's?

I'm not trying to pooh-pooh the discussion. I'm just saying that there are very likely more true prospects than we've mentioned here. Alex Buchholz could still be a solid big-leaguer. Jaren Matthews, Wandy Peralta, Chase Ware, Brodie Greene, Daniel Tuttle, Carlos Ramos, Kevin Coddington, Denis Phipps, Daryl Thompson, Daniel Corcino, Miguel Rojas, Humberto Valor, Kurtis Muller, and others still not named.

On one hand, there are more true prospects than we will list.

On the other, of course, there are fewer.

Orenda
08-20-2010, 07:21 PM
Just as an example of something here, Scrap Irony points to Juan Francisco's power as to why we shouldn't dismiss him, but in the same breath dismisses Todd. IMO alot of Juans power is a result of torque as opposed to natural power and I think his use of such torque is part of why he K's alot so he may eventually have to curb some of that torque and in turn lose some of his power production. Todd has natural power that is less dependent on torque but people think he has much less power than Juan, we'll see but I ain't buying it.



That is an interesting observation and is really a separate topic. I'm not sure I would completely agree that torque isn't a natural source of power though. To suggest that it isn't diminishes that athletes potential advantages in other areas, such as flexibility, timing, balance, and core strength.

But in regards to Frazier I can't really add anything of substance. I don't think that a prospect failing/struggling is really a bad thing though because it can act as an incentive to make necessary adjustments or refinements.

Like you, I'd be interested in hearing why Frazier doesn't project like the others.

Scrap Irony
08-20-2010, 07:55 PM
Frazier's swing is funky. The problem with a funky swing is when it gets out of whack. Batting coaches have a problem putting you right because they're trained to make specific fixes.

I don't know what to say about Francisco's power. If you haven't seen it, you can't appreciate it. He's a 75 on the scouting power meter, if not more. No one in Louisville is all that close. Few in minor league ball are.

dougdirt
08-21-2010, 01:01 AM
He's right-handed.
Typo. Point remains though, guys with his arm angle don't often start in the majors.

Mario-Rijo
08-21-2010, 03:08 AM
Frazier's swing is funky. The problem with a funky swing is when it gets out of whack. Batting coaches have a problem putting you right because they're trained to make specific fixes.

I don't know what to say about Francisco's power. If you haven't seen it, you can't appreciate it. He's a 75 on the scouting power meter, if not more. No one in Louisville is all that close. Few in minor league ball are.

Frazier swing is a bit funky but funky does not equal unworkable. To my knowledge he has yet to have struggled due to his armbar. And his power is his #1 tool also. I disagree on Juan and I'll leave it at that.

dougdirt
08-21-2010, 05:17 AM
Frazier swing is a bit funky but funky does not equal unworkable. To my knowledge he has yet to have struggled due to his armbar. And his power is his #1 tool also.

Until this year of course.... we don't know that the arm bar is why he has struggled in AAA or not, but he has certainly struggled this season.

Mario-Rijo
08-21-2010, 07:08 AM
Until this year of course.... we don't know that the arm bar is why he has struggled in AAA or not, but he has certainly struggled this season.

It could be but as you point maybe not. If we had a strong indication this was the case I might change my stance on the issue. But even then Todds greatest intangible is his work ethic followed by his love of the game I think he'll eventually be an above average regular, as I have said a bunch of times a Mike Lowell type.

Kc61
08-21-2010, 02:47 PM
And yet . . . If this exercise had been undertaken just three years ago, would Ryan Hanigan's name have appeared in bold letters? Chris Heisey's? Logan Ondrusek's? Even Travis Wood's?



On one hand, there are more true prospects than we will list.

On the other, of course, there are fewer.

Paul Janish was not a RedsZone fav prospect by any means. He seems to be doing all right.

Stingray
08-21-2010, 02:57 PM
I think Hotchkiss ultimately winds up a reliever. His fastball is average, perhaps slightly above average from the left side. The main thing though is that he is a real low 3/4 guy and those guys don't often make it as starters.



Ewell Blackwell ?

mace
08-21-2010, 03:24 PM
Ewell Blackwell ?

Don Drysdale. Jim Bunning. Rick Reuschel.

But I think Doug's point is that the odds favor Hotchkiss pitching out of the pen, which is reasonable. In reply, I'd say that whether he's destined for the pen or the rotation, he's provided reason to believe that he has a fair chance to be a contributing major-leaguer.

11larkin11
08-21-2010, 04:23 PM
And yet . . . If this exercise had been undertaken just three years ago, would Ryan Hanigan's name have appeared in bold letters? Chris Heisey's? Logan Ondrusek's? Even Travis Wood's?

I'm not trying to pooh-pooh the discussion. I'm just saying that there are very likely more true prospects than we've mentioned here. Alex Buchholz could still be a solid big-leaguer. Jaren Matthews, Wandy Peralta, Chase Ware, Brodie Greene, Daniel Tuttle, Carlos Ramos, Kevin Coddington, Denis Phipps, Daryl Thompson, Daniel Corcino, Miguel Rojas, Humberto Valor, Kurtis Muller, and others still not named.

On one hand, there are more true prospects than we will list.

On the other, of course, there are fewer.

I haven't even heard of 4 of those guys.

mace
08-21-2010, 05:29 PM
Well, that's sort of the point: that we can't really divine who the true prospects are. They don't roll off the tongue.

That said . . . Matthews was a 32nd-rounder this year, an OF-1B, a raw type of college player who has shown a lot of explosive power and is doing pretty well with the AZL Reds, 6 HR in 80 AB . . . Wandy Peralta, a 19-year-old lefty, has a 2.24 ERA for the DSL Reds . . . Carlos Ramos, a 19-year-old reliever, has an 0.32 ERA for the DSL Reds . . . Kurtis Muller, drafted this year out of Iowa in the 22nd round, is a center fielder batting .319 for the AZL Reds . . .

jamess697
08-21-2010, 07:20 PM
What about Cody Puckett, and Tanner Robbles?

RED VAN HOT
08-21-2010, 07:42 PM
Can anyone give the rationale for not including Kris Negron as a prospect? He was BA's best defensive SS in Southern League. He has 34 steals, .366 OBP, 11 HR and 6 3B's. The only weakness I can find in his game his 90 K's.

mace
08-21-2010, 09:00 PM
Can anyone give the rationale for not including Kris Negron as a prospect? He was BA's best defensive SS in Southern League. He has 34 steals, .366 OBP, 11 HR and 6 3B's.

No.

mth123
08-21-2010, 09:05 PM
Bats just allowed a tie when Todd Frazier made a play in LF that makes Jonny Gomes look like Paul Blair. Jerry Gil pitching.

Mario-Rijo
08-22-2010, 02:10 AM
Bats just allowed a tie when Todd Frazier made a play in LF that makes Jonny Gomes look like Paul Blair. Jerry Gil pitching.

Stop hatin' Mth.

mth123
08-22-2010, 03:53 AM
Stop hatin' Mth.

No hatin'. Just reportin', and it was a worse play than anything I've seen from Gomes or Dunn. I do think Frazier is decent in LF defensively, but LF is a position for game changing bats and he ain't that.

HokieRed
08-22-2010, 08:29 AM
No hatin'. Just reportin', and it was a worse play than anything I've seen from Gomes or Dunn. I do think Frazier is decent in LF defensively, but LF is a position for game changing bats and he ain't that.

Continuing problem with TF; where to put him.

Scrap Irony
08-22-2010, 10:38 AM
We've seen this year what an above average bat can do in LF.

Frazier looks to be very similar to Gomes in that respect. (Though he's going to be better in the field.) Heisey looks, at this point, to be the better player (though only just). (IMO, Frazier's bat plays much, much better at 3B; if he truly can't play 2B-- and he'd be playing there if he could-- 3B is the only position that he will be above average at.)

I'm hoping Alonso or Francisco can find a way in LF there because, at this point, they're the only impact bats ready (or nearly-so) that could play there.

RedLegsToday
08-23-2010, 12:20 PM
but LF is a position for game changing bats and he ain't that.

Neither is Gomes. ;)

GOYA
08-23-2010, 12:56 PM
but LF is a position for game changing bats and he ain't that.

He's not right now, but I think he'll improve. Where he ends up, developmentally, is the question. And it's true that his defense isn't first rate, but he's adequate at 3B and LF.

BRM
08-23-2010, 01:04 PM
We've seen this year what an above average bat can do in LF.


We have? Well, I guess we did for one month.

I agree with you on Alonso and Francisco. Those guys are the true impact bats, potentially, that are close to ready. Would be nice if either could play LF.

mace
08-23-2010, 01:11 PM
He's not right now, but I think he'll improve. Where he ends up, developmentally, is the question. And it's true that his defense isn't first rate, but he's adequate at 3B and LF.

Goya--Defensively, do you think he's better at 3B than Francisco? Historically, Francisco makes a lot of errors, but I believe he did win a Gold Glove in one of his Dominican Winter League seasons, and in 2008 Baseball America named him the best defensive 3B in the Florida State League. By all accounts, he has a tremendous arm. My understanding is that he fields the ball okay, and throws well, but sometimes has trouble making the transition from glove to hand. At any rate, how would you compare his overall defense at 3B to Frazier's? And for that matter, have you seen enough of Francisco in LF to compare the two of them out there?

Scrap or Doug or anybody else is of course welcome to answer that, as well.

dougdirt
08-23-2010, 02:10 PM
Goya--Defensively, do you think he's better at 3B than Francisco? Historically, Francisco makes a lot of errors, but I believe he did win a Gold Glove in one of his Dominican Winter League seasons, and in 2008 Baseball America named him the best defensive 3B in the Florida State League. By all accounts, he has a tremendous arm. My understanding is that he fields the ball okay, and throws well, but sometimes has trouble making the transition from glove to hand. At any rate, how would you compare his overall defense at 3B to Frazier's? And for that matter, have you seen enough of Francisco in LF to compare the two of them out there?

Scrap or Doug or anybody else is of course welcome to answer that, as well.

Francisco doesn't have much range. Killer arm. I still don't think he is all that good defensively though and its not so much the errors, but the range isn't all that good. I would take Frazier over Francisco. Better range, better glove, lesser arm but one that certainly plays fine at 3B.

GOYA
08-23-2010, 02:38 PM
Goya--Defensively, do you think he's better at 3B than Francisco? Historically, Francisco makes a lot of errors, but I believe he did win a Gold Glove in one of his Dominican Winter League seasons, and in 2008 Baseball America named him the best defensive 3B in the Florida State League. By all accounts, he has a tremendous arm. My understanding is that he fields the ball okay, and throws well, but sometimes has trouble making the transition from glove to hand. At any rate, how would you compare his overall defense at 3B to Frazier's? And for that matter, have you seen enough of Francisco in LF to compare the two of them out there?

Scrap or Doug or anybody else is of course welcome to answer that, as well.

I'd take Juan over Todd at 3B and disagree with Doug about who has the better range. I've seen Francisco make some very nice diving plays both to his left and right and charging bunts/bouncers. There have been times that Francisco got to balls to his left that he probably should have let go to the SS who would be in a better position to make a throw. He seems to have learned to let those go now. But I've seen Francisco at 3B a LOT more than I've seen Frazier there. Frazier just hasn't had much chance to impress me there. But what I've seen has left me feeling kinda unimpressed. And Juan really hasn't played much OF. But I think the fielding problems of Francisco would continue in LF, just like 3B. And as far as range out in LF, I might give a slight speed advantage to Frazier, but really they seem about equal there.

So basically, I think there are playing where they belong.

camisadelgolf
08-23-2010, 03:02 PM
Frazier could handle 3B, but from what I've seen of him, he's better-suited for left field. Francisco's range isn't all that detrimental, but he has the problem of being error prone.

Scrap Irony
08-23-2010, 05:43 PM
I'd take Juan over Todd at 3B and disagree with Doug about who has the better range. I've seen Francisco make some very nice diving plays both to his left and right and charging bunts/bouncers. There have been times that Francisco got to balls to his left that he probably should have let go to the SS who would be in a better position to make a throw. He seems to have learned to let those go now. But I've seen Francisco at 3B a LOT more than I've seen Frazier there. Frazier just hasn't had much chance to impress me there. But what I've seen has left me feeling kinda unimpressed. And Juan really hasn't played much OF. But I think the fielding problems of Francisco would continue in LF, just like 3B. And as far as range out in LF, I might give a slight speed advantage to Frazier, but really they seem about equal there.

So basically, I think there are playing where they belong.

Francisco has the better range at third by a fairly wide margin, IMO. But his footwork is just so poor. (He has none, frankly, and relies on an absolute cannon of an arm that is both accurate and powerful.) The worry would be if Francisco outgrows the hot corner, as he's pear-shaped and doesn't look to be much of a workout warrior. That may change as he makes adjustments to play more at the major league level. It may not.

Frazier's build is much better and his footwork and baseball IQ are top-notch, but his arm is lesser (though still good enough for the position, as doug said). He does have problems with quick twitch plays; Frazier isn't great on line drives or hard shots down the line, for example.

mace
08-23-2010, 07:09 PM
Thanks, folks. Interesting. It really sounds like Francisco is sort of Edwin-like at third. He has the quickness, and makes plays, but suffers from lack of footwork that compromises his throwing. Sounds like he needs some extended time watching Rolen take infield, honor the fundamentals and play the position the proper way.

Scrap Irony
08-23-2010, 07:50 PM
Not to mention he needs to eventually lose weight.

GOYA
08-23-2010, 08:39 PM
Thanks, folks. Interesting. It really sounds like Francisco is sort of Edwin-like at third. He has the quickness, and makes plays, but suffers from lack of footwork that compromises his throwing. Sounds like he needs some extended time watching Rolen take infield, honor the fundamentals and play the position the proper way.

No, his throwing is not his problem. (regardless of the throwing error he had while up with the big club)
His problem is concentration in getting the ball and transferring to his throwing hand. He wants to throw it before he has it.