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Benihana
08-04-2011, 05:03 PM
I was hoping to have a modified list due to deadline deals, but instead Alonso, Frazier, and Cozart have all been promoted to the major leagues and hence off of this list. Mesoraco and Francisco should be joining them soon enough. Without further ado:

GRADE A (Top 25 Prospect and Future All-Star Potential)

1. Devin Mesoraco – Best catching prospect in the game. Should be up to stay by Sept 1.

GRADE B (In the range for Top 100 Prospects and Future Starter/Above-Average Player)

2. Yasmani Grandal – Top 5 catching prospect in the game.
3. Dave Sappelt – Future Chris Heisey: very strong 4th OF at a minimum.
4. Daniel Corcino – “Little Johnny Cueto” has struggled recently, all part of growing pains. Still remains the best pitching prospect in the system.
5. Robert Stephenson – Once he signs, he could be “Little Homer Bailey”

GRADE C (Should make the majors in some form, could likely be a starter)

6. Neftali Soto – Biggest jump on the list. Best power prospect in the system. Think Juan Francisco with less defensive versatility but better plate discipline.
7. Ronald Torreyes – All he does is perform, although his size is still the biggest knock.
8. Billy Hamilton – Great speed and athleticism, but will it translate as he moves up?
9. Juan Duran – Second best power prospect in the system, but like most power hitters, needs to cut down on K’s. Future move to 1B likely.
10. Yorman Rodriguez – Tools still far outweigh his performance and alleged attitude.
11. Juan Francisco – Will he ever reach his potential or will he be Wily Mo Jr.? Injuries haven’t helped him this year.
12. Brad Boxberger – This low only because he’s a bullpen arm. Should get a look in ST next year.


ON THE RADAR
JC Sulbaran
Henry Rodriguez
Cody Puckett
Ryan LaMarre
Tucker Barnhart
David Vidal

KEEP AN EYE ON (Too early to tell)
Sean Buckley
Kyle Waldrop
Junior Arias
Gabriel Rosa
Tony Cingrani
Jonathan Perez

DROPPED OFF
Josh Smith
Kyle Lotzkar
Ismael Guillon

mace
08-04-2011, 05:19 PM
Did you mean Juan Perez?

Good list. I might submit a few suggestions to the "keep an eye on" category, or maybe "think about keeping an eye on":

Brandon Dailey. Daniel Renken. Tim Crabbe. Alejandro Chacin. Didi Gregorius. Donald Lutz. Brodie Greene. Nick O'Shea. (OK, O'Shea is probably a little premature. But I just have a feeling about that guy.)

Scrap Irony
08-04-2011, 05:42 PM
This is as good a place as any to discuss: Dave Sappelt > Drew Stubbs?

Stubbs looks to have an undeniable edge in speed, and arm, but Sappelt grades out with more game power and a much better hitting tool.

Patience is about the same (slight edge to Sappelt in minors, but that means little, IMO). Sappelt K's ahout a third as much. Oddly, defense (range factor, UZR, and Total Zone) grade as close to equal.

Too early to make these assumptions on Stubbs? On Sappelt?

Scrap Irony
08-04-2011, 05:51 PM
I'd argue, at this point in time, Neftali Soto is under-ranked. His combination of youth, power, and hit tool put him in the 280/330/570 range as a 1B. (Think Paul Konerko at his ceiling and Carlos Lee as most likely.) If he can find a way to double his BB total, he has a chance to go all the way up to an A level prospect. He has time.

Almost everyone here knows my opinion on Torreyes as well. He's proven to be a monster so far in his career. The glove is legitimate, his arm is accurate, and he doesn't give away ABs. Ever. At this point, the only reason he's not an A prospect (IMO) is that too many prospect mavens think inside the same box, i.e., size matters a great deal.

redsof72
08-04-2011, 06:27 PM
I like Lutz better than Duran. Duran, to me, is a mistake hitter, meaning if the pitcher leaves a ball in one spot and only one spot, Duran will hit it a country mile. As long as the pitcher keeps it out of Duran's wheelhouse, Duran can't hit it.

For him to cut down on his strikeouts sounds a little simpler than it is because as he moves up, pitches that are left in that small area where he can hit it are going occur less frequently (although there are mistake hitters in the big leagues--they just have a larger area that they can cover). Lutz is faster than Duran and a much better defensive player and gets a big edge on work ethic/willingness to improve. Lutz's game power is very good.

The thing that Duran has going for him in terms of benefit of the doubt is his age, although there are many far better players in the league of the same age (see Rymer Liriano of Fort Wayne). I am not giving up on him but he needs to improve a lot to be taken seriously as a player that can ever play effectively at the Double-A level or higher.

mace
08-04-2011, 06:32 PM
Scrap, what have you seen of Sappelt as a baserunner? My main reservation with him comes from having heard that he is--or at least was--a loose cannon on the basepaths. And perhaps a little lacking, overall, fundamentally. If he has put those issues behind him, I think I'd prefer him to Stubbs. You'd be sacrificing a good bit of arm strength, but that would be the only downside I'd see. Provided he plays with a head on his shoulders.

The DARK
08-04-2011, 07:24 PM
A few thoughts:

-I'd keep Gullion in the "too soon to tell" category. His command may be lacking so far, but he's young and has seen limited playing time. Unlike raw position prospects, raw pitching prospects can be prone to wildly inflated negative statistics during their erratic spells, especially international signings. What's more, he's far from home and in a hitter's league in Billings. I'd give him more time to adjust before passing judgement.

-I can't value Sappelt more than Stubbs at this point. As frustrating as Stubbs can be, putting up the offensive production that he has combined with his stealing ability, power, and incredible defensive range. If Sappelt builds up more arm strength and refines his baserunning technique, he could surpass Stubbs. At the same time, I wouldn't call him a Heisey. Sappelt's hit tool is enough to ensure him a starting spot on somebody's roster, if not ours, and he's shown himself to be a regular starter.

-All the C prospects except Boxberger and Torreyes look nearly identical; raw, young, and toolsy. I have enough faith in Torreyes to place him right behind Sappelt at this point; there's just too much performance for his age to discount due to height, especially at an MLB position as thin as 2B.

mace
08-04-2011, 08:23 PM
For those who (are old enough and) have seen a good bit of Sappelt, would Lonnie Smith be a comp?

_Sir_Charles_
08-04-2011, 09:19 PM
Almost everyone here knows my opinion on Torreyes as well. He's proven to be a monster so far in his career. The glove is legitimate, his arm is accurate, and he doesn't give away ABs. Ever. At this point, the only reason he's not an A prospect (IMO) is that too many prospect mavens think inside the same box, i.e., size matters a great deal.

I agree. I just can't see how we can't rank Ronald much higher than he is. All he's done is produce...at a titanic level.

Scrap Irony
08-04-2011, 09:25 PM
He's definitely not Lonnie Smith.

For one thing, Sappelt isn't that dumb, as far as baseball IQ. (I don't know of a baseball player that played with less intelligence than did Skates.) Too, Lonnie got caught stealing so, so much. Sappelt has just quit running. He's fast and takes the extra base on the basepaths, but he does. not. steal. bases. at. all.

As for power, it depends on which Lonnie Smith you're talking about. He was wildly inconsistent. I expect Sappelt to out slug him by 50, but he'll probably not walk as much . If Sappelt out OPSes him by 25 points, it wouldn't surprise me.

This year in Louisville, Sappelt is the epitome of conservative. He's taken that particular instruction to heart.

redsof72
08-04-2011, 10:51 PM
I have jinxed guys before but not tonight. Lutz hit a grand slam and drove in six runs. Also made an outstanding defensive play.

dougdirt
08-04-2011, 11:03 PM
I have jinxed guys before but not tonight. Lutz hit a grand slam and drove in six runs. Also made an outstanding defensive play.

He has some serious power. Didn't get all of his slam tonight, but I recall a HR he hit a few weeks ago into the grass in right center that was on a line. Off the bat I thought "that's a double in the gap" and figured it would bounce to the wall. The thing was no more than 20 foot off the ground at any point in time. Really strong kid, good bat speed.

Benihana
08-05-2011, 11:00 AM
Did you mean Juan Perez?

Good list. I might submit a few suggestions to the "keep an eye on" category, or maybe "think about keeping an eye on":

Brandon Dailey. Daniel Renken. Tim Crabbe. Alejandro Chacin. Didi Gregorius. Donald Lutz. Brodie Greene. Nick O'Shea. (OK, O'Shea is probably a little premature. But I just have a feeling about that guy.)

Jonathan Perez is the pitcher we signed out of Latin America for $825K - which I believe may be the largest signing bonus the Reds have ever given to an international pitcher (aside from Chapman of course). Guillon's was in that range but if I recall was reduced due to an injury.

Speaking of Guillon, I'm not writing him or Lotzkar off of course, although their performances this year have been quite disappointing. Add the health risk to Lotzkar, and I think the Reds would be wise not to count on him as a major piece of the future. JC Sulbaran may very well be the third or fourth best pitching prospect currently playing in the Reds system.

I will keep an eye on Lutz, who clearly has demonstrable power although he has K'd an awful lot as a 22-year old in Dayton. I hope he is not Samone Peters redux.

Brodie Green and Ryan Wright strike me as similar type players to Chris Valaika- gamers who make the most of their talent, but likely won't have the upside to be impact players at the major league level. Could be utility guys though if everything pans out.

Gregorious could be interesting, and he's been around for a while. How is his glove?

Benihana
08-05-2011, 11:06 AM
Funny to note that 3 of the 4 position players to "keep an eye on" are all currently 3B. Add Vidal and Francisco to that mix (not to mention Frazier and possibly Alonso in the bigs), and suddenly the Reds are starting to build organizational depth at what has been a very weak position.

Benihana
08-05-2011, 11:11 AM
I'd argue, at this point in time, Neftali Soto is under-ranked. His combination of youth, power, and hit tool put him in the 280/330/570 range as a 1B. (Think Paul Konerko at his ceiling and Carlos Lee as most likely.) If he can find a way to double his BB total, he has a chance to go all the way up to an A level prospect. He has time.

Almost everyone here knows my opinion on Torreyes as well. He's proven to be a monster so far in his career. The glove is legitimate, his arm is accurate, and he doesn't give away ABs. Ever. At this point, the only reason he's not an A prospect (IMO) is that too many prospect mavens think inside the same box, i.e., size matters a great deal.

If Soto and Torreyes can maintain this year's performance well into next year, they will continue to rocket up the list (perhaps to high Grade B territory). I doubt Torreyes will ever reach Grade A status due to his size/projection concerns, but Soto might. Either way, great to see these guys tear the cover off the ball, I'd just like to see it for another 80-100 games (perhaps at the next respective levels).

dougdirt
08-05-2011, 11:25 AM
Gregorious could be interesting, and he's been around for a while. How is his glove?

Gregorius is very rangy at shortstop. Good arm. It was just last year that Baseball America said he was one of the few people who were nearly as athletic as Billy Hamilton in our system. While he isn't quite on that same page, he is indeed one of the better athletes we have. I think he could develop some solid pop for a shortstop in the future when he gets more comfortable staying back on the ball (he is more of a slap hitter than I would like given what I have seen when he waits for his pitch and stays back on the ball). Defensively, he has the tools to be an above average defender at shortstop.

kookyguy
08-05-2011, 07:38 PM
Wasn't much of a minor league Reds fan before they drafted Dailey and Clarke but Ronald Torreyes excites the hell outta me. I'm really pulling for him.

traderumor
08-07-2011, 08:00 PM
I don't care about Torreyes size. Little Joe? Bip Roberts? Doing what he is doing at 17 & 18, the dude can obviously rake.