View Full Version : Please update me on the state of the Reds minors

07-21-2011, 08:24 AM
I'm a lifelong Reds fan. My Dad bought our first color TV for the '75 playoffs.

I had been following the Reds minors pretty closely up until about 2009, but I've kind of lost track since the last wave of players came up - Votto, Bruce, Stubbs, Cueto, Bailey, Ondrusek, etc.

My question is.......

It seems like since those guys came up, our minors are a bit tapped out, aren't they? I don't see any good starting pitching prospects coming along. We had Bailey, Cueto and Travis Wood before. Leake went straight to the majors of course. First time I've seen the Reds actually develop some starting pitching. Are there any remaining good starting pitching prospects even left in our farm system?

I'm aware of Mez, Grandal, Sappelt doing well. I'm not quite as impressed with Frazier or Valaika anymore, and they're starting to age. Doesn't seem like we have much, in terms of hitters, in the pipeline, do we?

And we don't have any good relief pitching prospects. Donnie Joseph has kind of dropped off, hasn't he? But I think Boxberger has turned it around......has he?

I'm really busy at work and didn't want to take the time to update myself on all this stuff and was hoping someone could give me a roundup to my questions.

I appreciate it in advance.



07-21-2011, 09:13 AM
The Reds farm system is still in really good shape. There are some "quality" gaps in the middle teirs right now though. AAA is loaded with prospects and Dayton is loaded with prospects, but in the middle there is more of a sprinkling.

Starting pitching prospects wise, the best guy we have is Daniel Corcino down in Dayton. Even if we sign our #1 pick this year, I would put Corcino ahead of him for now. With that said, from a pure stuff standpoint, I don't think the two guys are that far apart, but we know that Corcino has shown good control and has had excellent results against other pros right now, while Stephenson hasn't done that. But yes, there is a lack of strong pitching prospects in the system currently, at least that are close to helping out. But, the Reds also have a lot of viable options for the rotation for the next 2-3 years with the guys who have all been on the MLB staff this year.

Hitter wise, as noted above, there is a bit of a gap, but there are some guys who could probably step on the field today and be upgrades or at least not downgrades offensively for us (Mesoraco would probably be equal to what we are getting overall right now and better moving forward; Sappelt would absolutely be an upgrade in LF IMO, same for Alonso). In AA there is Grandal and Neftali Soto. Soto has some plate discipline issues at times, but he may have the best current power of anyone in the system not named Juan Francisco and his hit tool is quite good. Down in Dayton there are a slew of young guys with potential at the plate. The cupboard isn't bare.

Relief wise, we are fine. Not that the Reds need relief help, their bullpen has been nails all season sans a few games and every team in baseball has some stretch like that. Boxberger has been strong all season and his stuff is very good. There are some other guys who could be 6-7 inning types. Joseph hasn't had the numbers this year, but his stuff has actually improved this year, but his control hasn't been playing well enough to keep hitters off balance. Philippe Valiquette remains an interesting arm, but he has been out all year with a non arm related injury. Still, he is a lefty who has thrown a legit 100 MPH.

07-21-2011, 09:18 AM
If you wan't quick, daily accounts of all the reds minor leaguers, take a journey to Doug's blog with his daily capture of the minor league results. Takes about 2-3 minutes to read his highlights and notes and well worth the time.

My take, the Reds system is pretty strong on the ends of the system and weak in the middle, ie they've got a lot of decent prospects in AAA and in the low minors, but High A and AA leave a little to be desired.

Pitching wise, while not technically a prospect any more, Travis Wood is in AAA and would still be considered a young ML worthy pitcher, I wouldn't write him off yet. You're right that Boxberger has shined this season, while Joseph has struggled. There are several interesting pitching prospects in Dayton as well as some recent IFA signings in the billings/Arizona that have potential. Some decent arms in between as well, but there doesn't appear to be anything top shelf w/n a year or two of the show. Of course when you have relatively and under control young pitching like Cueto, Wood, Bailey, Chapman, Volquez and Leake, having a top pitching prospect ready to burst on the ML scene isn't a huge priority. All of those guys were considered top pitching prospects at one point or another. Also don't forget their recent draft pick, a high potential HS arm that I expect to sign in August.

As far as hitters, I think you've got several quality prospects in AAA, as you note, Mes, Alonso, Frazier, Dave Sappelt, etc.. You also have Grandal and the ultra hot Soto down in AA. There are a few other intriguing prospects in AA/High A like Dennis Phips (older but tearing it up), Felix Perez (older cuban signee, but perhaps a reserve OF type), Ryan Lamarre (last year's 2nd round pick), etc.. The heart of the hitting prospects after AAA and those mentioned (and some forgotten) in AA/High A reside in Dayton. Dayton is relatively young, but they've been showing great strides. Juan Duran, Billy Hamilton, Yorman Rodriquez are all showing signs of catching their stride and have had great 2nd halfs. Ronald Torreyes has done nothing but hit (despite his size, or lack there of).

Overall, if you take the youth already in the majors, and the prospects under control, the Reds "system" looks as strong as its been in the last 20 years. The key will be adding the pieces around those players already under control thru free agency or trade to turn this thing from a playoff contender to a W-S champion.