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Benihana
06-05-2012, 03:29 PM
Now that the first 6 rounds of the draft are in the books, I'm comfortable putting out the next edition. Projected starting levels for draftees are in parenthesees. The only exception I make for ranking rookie leaguers is first round picks (Stephenson and Travieso). The others are listed in "Keep An Eye On". Without further ado...

GRADE A

1. Billy Hamilton SS/CF? A+ - Now a Top 25 prospect in the game. Big questions are when he'll get promoted and if/when he'll move to CF.

GRADE B

2. Daniel Corcino RHP AA - Still the crown jewel arm in the system.
3. Kyle Lotzkar RHP AA - If he can continue to stay healthy, he has at least MOR big league potential.
4. Tony Cingrani LHP AA - Great first start in Pensacola. Hopefully he can keep it up.
5. Robert Stephenson RHP R - Curious to see what he can do with the Billings season starting. Would like to see him get some innings in Dayton this season.
6. Nick Travieso RHP (R) - Big upside, long term project. Will be fun to watch him progress with Stephenson and hopefully Garrett.
7. Donald Lutz LF A+ - Will hopefully have newfound competition for biggest bat in the system from Waldrop and Winker. Would like to see him in AA soon.

GRADE C

8. Henry Rodriguez 3B AA - I'd like to see him in AAA when he comes back from the DL. Should get a long look in ST next year.
9. DiDi Gregorius SS AA - He needs to start hitting better to maintain his top prospect status.
10. David Vidal 3B AA - Struggled out of the gate since getting promoted to AA.

ON THE RADAR - Honorable Mention/Just Missed

Kyle Waldrop OF A - Leads current pack of OF in low minors that includes Rodriguez and Duran.
Ryan LaMarre CF AA - Looks like a 4th OF to me.
Yorman Rodriguez OF A+ - Still needs tools to translate to performance.
JC Sulbaran RHP AA - Ditto
Jacob Johnson RHP A - Currently the most interesting full season pitcher outside of AA.
Jeff Gelalich OF (A) - Should start in Dayton. Interested to see if he can outperform his LaMarre comp.
Daniel Langfield RHP (A) - Could he be the right-handed Cingrani or Joseph? Has a better FB than both.

KEEP AN EYE ON (too early to tell) - Rookie Leaguers to Watch

Jesse Winker OF - Best power bat in rookie league? Could be cleanup hitting LF...in 5 years.
Tanner Rahier SS/3B - Best (Reds) position player in rookie league...maybe even in all lower minors?
Gabriel Rosa 3B - Should challenge Rahier at every step along the way
Amir Garrett LHP - Will hopefully form a three-headed monster with Stephenson and Travieso, although he is probably farthest away of all.
Ismael Guillon LHP - Hopefully this is the year he gets back on track.


One interesting trend that is emerging is that the Reds' system seems to be bifurcated into two tranches or waves of prospects arriving at different points: the estimated 2014 arrivals and the long-term guys (estimated 2017/2018). In each group you have five pitchers and five position players who should progress and arrive in similar time frames.

In the first group, you have all the AA arms (Corcino, Lotzkar, Cingrani, Sulbaran and Joseph) as well as position players like Hamilton, Lutz, Rodriguez, Gregorius and LaMarre- all of which should be big league ready by 2014 if not earlier.

In the second group, you have also have five pitchers (Stephenson, Travieso, Garrett, Guillon, and Johnson) as well as five position players (Rodriguez, Waldrop, Winker, Rahier and Rosa) who all likely won't be ready until 2017 at the earliest.

There are a couple guys who don't necessarily fit into either category at this point- including Vidal and draftees Gelalich and Langfield, but of course it remains to be seen what these guys can do once they sign. All of the other players on this list seem to fall into one of the two other categories. Just an interesting note.

RedlegJake
06-05-2012, 03:36 PM
On the Radar:
Bryson Smith
Brian Pearl
Chad Rogers
Ryan Wright

Keep an eye on:
Jon Moscot

mth123
06-05-2012, 08:46 PM
Kurtis Muller - Keep an Eye On
Donnie Joseph - Grade C
Chris Manno - Keep an Eye On
Josh Fellhauer - On The Radar
Tucker Barnhart - On The Radar

mth123
06-05-2012, 08:49 PM
I propose a new category, too soon to give up on:

Neftali Soto, Juan Duran, Yorman Rodriguez

Benihana
06-06-2012, 05:39 PM
Tried to limit the grading to the Top 10 Prospects and the other categories to 5 (with the exception of the two draftees added to ON THE RADAR). Other than Donnie Joseph (which I'll acknowledge), is there a player you mentioned that you would put on any of these lists before any of the ones I mentioned?

Technically, EVERY prospect could be "on the radar" or you could "keep an eye on"

mth123
06-06-2012, 09:54 PM
Tried to limit the grading to the Top 10 Prospects and the other categories to 5 (with the exception of the two draftees added to ON THE RADAR). Other than Donnie Joseph (which I'll acknowledge), is there a player you mentioned that you would put on any of these lists before any of the ones I mentioned?

Technically, EVERY prospect could be "on the radar" or you could "keep an eye on"

Didn't realize we had a number limit. If we have to limit it, I'd probably drop Guillon and Langfield for almost any of the ones that Redlegjake or I mentioned. If I had to pick two to replace them it would be Joseph and Soto.

Benihana
06-07-2012, 12:22 PM
Didn't realize we had a number limit. If we have to limit it, I'd probably drop Guillon and Langfield for almost any of the ones that Redlegjake or I mentioned. If I had to pick two to replace them it would be Joseph and Soto.

I don't know. A guy who can't play anywhere but 1B with a sub-700 OPS as a 23 year old isn't really doing it for me. I know he's displayed power in previous years, but I also know he doesn't have a big future in this organization. The only question is whether he has a future in another one.

To me, he profiles as a pinch-hitter at the big league level. A Juan Francisco without the defense. Given his lack of versatility, I'm comfortable leaving him off for now, while acknowledging he merits consideration.

I agree that Joseph should be on the list.

The DARK
06-07-2012, 12:55 PM
Benihana, I don't know if we should judge Soto based on his usefulness to our team in particular. True 1B prospects still have worth based solely on the high value of a cost-controlled power bat.

The reason I like Soto on here is that he's dealing with the transition to a pitcher's league and as of right now doesn't have a clear position that he can work towards a promotion for. That's not a great recipe for a breakout first half of a season, and it suggests to me that he'll steadily improve as the season goes on. For all that we talked about Francisco's overwhelming power, he never hit as many home runs in a season as Soto did last season. 23 isn't a bad age for a power hitter in AAA, either.

bellhead
06-07-2012, 02:24 PM
I agree I think it's too soon to give up on Soto...for the following reasons..

1.) Age...23, he can repeat AAA with no problem next year.
2.) Power 30 home runs in the minors any year is huge.
3.) He's hit well in the past.

The major problem is he's blocked by maybe the best position player in baseball right now.

Also the starting position for the next several years is looking good. At AA we have 3 or 4 guys who by next year should be at the Ville. This will give Walt some good trade bait or replacements.

Benihana
06-07-2012, 03:36 PM
I agree with you both that it is too early to give up on Soto entirely. He would likely be the highest ranking guy that didn't make the list.

However, he doesn't appear to have an above average tool other than his power and has marginal plate discipline. He is limited defensively, and profiles (to me) to be a major league pinch-hitter, albeit one with power.

Daniel Dorn had similar tools (although had stark platoon splits) and is still awaiting his first major league AB at age 27. I do think Soto is a bit better than Dorn (who clubbed 22 HR in AA at age 23), but suffers from many of the same limitations with even less defensive versatility. Soto should not be given up on, but IMO he is not a "Top Prospect" per the title of this thread. If I were ranking all Reds prospects, he would be a fringe Top 20 guy.

RedlegJake
06-07-2012, 03:48 PM
I think you should have a Helium or Knocking on the Door category for up and comers that are emerging like Pearl and Daniel Renken, and Villareal (for what he's worth as a starting backup to the big club) and a Sinking category for guys losing their status like Duran and Rodriguez who are living on tools alone without a shred of statistical backup

Kc61
06-07-2012, 06:31 PM
Notice how five of the top seven are pitchers.

This organization has become entirely consumed with pitching. Which is probably the best approach to have.

I did think they picked up some promising bats in this particular draft in the sandwich round and the second round. But the organization is really focused on pitching overall.

RedlegJake
06-07-2012, 06:41 PM
Notice how five of the top seven are pitchers.

This organization has become entirely consumed with pitching. Which is probably the best approach to have.

I did think they picked up some promising bats in this particular draft in the sandwich round and the second round. But the organization is really focused on pitching overall.

I love the approach - I wish they'd simply pair it with a hitting philosophy of OBP/contact/high average/hard to get out types and let power take care of itself. Hitting seems to follow the same toolsy, power hitting, aggressive swinging free hacking approach (from drafting to teaching)they've had for decades. The one blip was the "take a pitch" commandment a few years ago that all but started an insurrection in the coaching ranks but that Votto credits with his development as a hitter. Just seems the organization values slugging percentage way more than OBP to the detriment of any semblance of balance.

dougdirt
06-07-2012, 06:46 PM
I love the approach - I wish they'd simply pair it with a hitting philosophy of OBP/contact/high average/hard to get out types and let power take care of itself. Hitting seems to follow the same toolsy, power hitting, aggressive swinging free hacking approach (from drafting to teaching)they've had for decades. The one blip was the "take a pitch" commandment a few years ago that all but started an insurrection in the coaching ranks but that Votto credits with his development as a hitter. Just seems the organization values slugging percentage way more than OBP to the detriment of any semblance of balance.

Votto can say what he wants, but it didn't really help him much. He walked 90 times in each of the two seasons before that rule was put in place. He already had the eye and patience.

RedlegJake
06-07-2012, 06:53 PM
Votto can say what he wants, but it didn't really help him much. He walked 90 times in each of the two seasons before that rule was put in place. He already had the eye and patience.

SO, Doug - is it the philosophy or the type of player they draft? It seems every guy that comes up has the same swing away aggressiveness

dougdirt
06-07-2012, 06:59 PM
SO, Doug - is it the philosophy or the type of player they draft? It seems every guy that comes up has the same swing away aggressiveness

It can be all kinds of things. You can't just point to one thing and say 'oh, that is it'.

Mesoraco and Alonso sure have pretty good approaches at the plate. They were developed by the same guys who developed Cozart and Heisey.

Ohayou
06-07-2012, 08:45 PM
If my memory serves me correct, I do remember saying Ryan Wright deserves to be ranked closer to the Top 10. Well, look at his numbers now.

Also, everybody seems to be enamored with power hitting prospects like Soto, but it's hard for me to get excited about a guy with a career .318 OBP in the minors. I don't care how young he is.

camisadelgolf
06-07-2012, 08:59 PM
Also, everybody seems to be enamored with power hitting prospects like Soto, but it's hard for me to get excited about a guy with a career .318 OBP in the minors. I don't care how young he is.
Yeah, same here. It would be a different story if he were at an up-the-middle position, but a sub-.800 OPS with below-average on-base abilities just isn't going to do anything for me. On the bright side, he seems more patient at the plate than ever. Maybe he's finally coming around with more patience and just hasn't yet gotten used to his new approach.

bellhead
06-08-2012, 10:07 AM
After spending days analyzing the Reds farm system I confidently feel we have an arms race on the way over the next two years...

Hitting AAA sometime in the near future...

Lotzkar
Sulbaran
Serrano
Joseph
Mano
Corcino
Cingrani...

French
Rogers
Renken
Pearl

Add in this years draft and the pitching in the minors is looking a lot better than the hitting.

dougdirt
06-08-2012, 10:37 AM
If my memory serves me correct, I do remember saying Ryan Wright deserves to be ranked closer to the Top 10. Well, look at his numbers now.

Also, everybody seems to be enamored with power hitting prospects like Soto, but it's hard for me to get excited about a guy with a career .318 OBP in the minors. I don't care how young he is.

I don't think anyone is enamored with Soto. Coming off of a 30 HR season he was unranked in Baseball America's Top 10. I had him ranked 10th in the system. John Sickels had him ranked 11th. Our list on the board had him at #9 before the trades.

At the same time, it is hard for me to get excited over a 22 year old in Low A with 1 home run in 235 at bats. He seems like an ok prospect and all, he has an idea at the plate and makes good contact, but he is old for his level and has a sub .800 OPS.

Benihana
06-08-2012, 11:19 AM
After spending days analyzing the Reds farm system I confidently feel we have an arms race on the way over the next two years...


Add in this years draft and the pitching in the minors is looking a lot better than the hitting.

Agreed, although I think the Reds did the right thing in picking bats with three of their first four picks. Hopefully we can add an international FA to the mix (Soler would be great) and the bats should start to catch up eventually.

Lutz, Winker, and Rahier all have the potential to be plus bats at the big league level. Rodriguez, Vidal, and Rosa could be above average for 3B in both the hit tool and power. Admittedly though, all of these guys with the exception of Rodriguez are at least a couple years away from being able to contribute at the big league level, and a lot can change between now and then.

Benihana
06-08-2012, 11:26 AM
If my memory serves me correct, I do remember saying Ryan Wright deserves to be ranked closer to the Top 10. Well, look at his numbers now.

Also, everybody seems to be enamored with power hitting prospects like Soto, but it's hard for me to get excited about a guy with a career .318 OBP in the minors. I don't care how young he is.

Agree about Soto. Disagree about Wright. I don't think either player is particularly close to being a top 10 prospect in this system at this point.

David Vidal, who ranked #10 on my list, is the same age as Wright but OPS'd 100 points higher in a higher level (A+ vs. A) this year.

bellhead
06-08-2012, 01:38 PM
Agreed, although I think the Reds did the right thing in picking bats with three of their first four picks. Hopefully we can add an international FA to the mix (Soler would be great) and the bats should start to catch up eventually.

Lutz, Winker, and Rahier all have the potential to be plus bats at the big league level. Rodriguez, Vidal, and Rosa could be above average for 3B in both the hit tool and power. Admittedly though, all of these guys with the exception of Rodriguez are at least a couple years away from being able to contribute at the big league level, and a lot can change between now and then.

Yea, the next 2 to 3 years the AA and AAA look to be heavy in arms. I like this a lot because arms are better trade chips than position players usually.

Ohayou
06-08-2012, 05:14 PM
I don't think anyone is enamored with Soto. Coming off of a 30 HR season he was unranked in Baseball America's Top 10. I had him ranked 10th in the system. John Sickels had him ranked 11th. Our list on the board had him at #9 before the trades.

I meant specifically on this forum. People are overhyping him, just like they did with Francisco, who, BTW, has arguably the worst swing in all of MLB. I can't believe people actually miss him.


At the same time, it is hard for me to get excited over a 22 year old in Low A with 1 home run in 235 at bats. He seems like an ok prospect and all, he has an idea at the plate and makes good contact, but he is old for his level and has a sub .800 OPS.

So, he's a late bloomer. Big deal. Cozart spent two years in Low A before moving up, and he was the same age as Wright. As long as he manages to get on base at a steady rate, and scores runs, that's all that really matters. He could probably end up finishing the year in AA if they let him.

dougdirt
06-08-2012, 05:21 PM
So, he's a late bloomer. Big deal. Cozart spent two years in Low A before moving up, and he was the same age as Wright. As long as he manages to get on base at a steady rate, and scores runs, that's all that really matters. He could probably end up finishing the year in AA if they let him.

Or he simply is an older guy with a good eye who has the skills to succeed against a bunch of raw players. He probably won't continue to get on base at a steady rate if he can't show some power. Pitchers don't walk non power threats all that often because they know they can challenge them with strikes. He is an ok prospect, maybe even a guy sitting in that 20 range, but he isn't near the top 10.

bellhead
06-08-2012, 07:07 PM
Benihana,

Maybe in the future you could do a overall top 10, then a hitter/pitchers seperately???

Thanks dude btw

Ohayou
06-08-2012, 10:51 PM
Or he simply is an older guy with a good eye who has the skills to succeed against a bunch of raw players. He probably won't continue to get on base at a steady rate if he can't show some power. Pitchers don't walk non power threats all that often because they know they can challenge them with strikes. He is an ok prospect, maybe even a guy sitting in that 20 range, but he isn't near the top 10.

I am not the only one who speaks highly of Wright, y'know, but whatever. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

dougdirt
06-08-2012, 11:06 PM
I am not the only one who speaks highly of Wright, y'know, but whatever. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Who else is speaking highly of him in terms of ranking him near the top 10 in the system?

I am not saying he is some organizational soldier or anything like a Miguel Rojas is. I am just saying that he is a 5th round pick who hasn't done anything to say he should have gone higher than that. There is a reason that the Reds took 4 guys before him last year alone and I doubt you would find hardly anyone in the Reds organization who were to rank him any higher than the 4 guys taken ahead of him last year (Stephenson - not a chance, Rosa - not a chance, Cingrani - not a chance, Kyle MdMcyne - I would listen to an argument on this one).

lollipopcurve
06-09-2012, 07:08 AM
IMO, Lamarre, Rogers, Wright and Barnhart are undervalued here. Yorman overvalued.

Benihana
06-09-2012, 12:02 PM
IMO, Lamarre, Rogers, Wright and Barnhart are undervalued here. Yorman overvalued.

Rogers, like Soto, is very close to "On the Radar". Barnhart is close to that consideration as well, although I don't know if he'll ever hit enough to start at the big league level (he is up to the task defensively). Wright needs to show more to differentiate himself from the Lohmans, Pucketts and Greenes of the world.

As I mentioned, I see LaMarre having a big league future but not as more than a 4th OF- kind of like a poor man's Heisey with less power.

Benihana
06-09-2012, 12:14 PM
Benihana,

Maybe in the future you could do a overall top 10, then a hitter/pitchers seperately???

Thanks dude btw

Top 10 Pitchers
1. Corcino
2. Lotzkar
3. Cingrani
4. Stephenson
5. Travieso
6. Sulbaran
7. Joseph
8. Langfield
9. Garrett
10. J.Johnson

Top 10 Position Players (excluding Rookie Leaguers Winker, Rahier and Rosa)
1. Hamilton
2. Lutz
3. H.Rodriguez
4. Gregorius
5. Vidal
6. Waldrop
7. LaMarre
8. Y.Rodriguez
9. Gelalich (he could rank anywhere after #3, and he could climb easily from here with a strong debut)
10. Soto

Rogers and Barnhart would be next on the lists, respectively.

The DARK
06-09-2012, 12:35 PM
That position player drop-off after Hamilton is scary. Not that Lutz has been having a bad season at all, but good power performances in Bakersfield aren't supposed to mean much, and scouts are still skeptical of his swing. Hopefully somebody breaks out again soon.

Benihana
06-09-2012, 12:42 PM
That position player drop-off after Hamilton is scary. Not that Lutz has been having a bad season at all, but good power performances in Bakersfield aren't supposed to mean much, and scouts are still skeptical of his swing. Hopefully somebody breaks out again soon.

Agreed. However, Winker, Rahier and Rosa are all on helium watch, and by this time next year could be 2-4 on this list.

j_m_t_us
06-09-2012, 01:06 PM
I disagree on LaMarre being a 4th outfielder in the Majors. The guy is not a power hitter but does everything right as a leadoff hitter. Look at his stats! In the Southern league, he's No. 2 hits, No. 5 in runs, No. 6 in walks and No. 3in stolen bases and No. 8 in OBP. The guy also hasn't missed a game all year! I understand he's 1st in all the minors in outfield assists with 12 and is mentioned as a top 4 outfielder in all the minors! I think you might be underestimating him!

Benihana
06-09-2012, 01:16 PM
I disagree on LaMarre being a 4th outfielder in the Majors. The guy is not a power hitter but does everything right as a leadoff hitter. Look at his stats! In the Southern league, he's No. 2 hits, No. 5 in runs, No. 6 in walks and No. 3in stolen bases and No. 8 in OBP. The guy also hasn't missed a game all year! I understand he's 1st in all the minors in outfield assists with 12 and is mentioned as a top 4 outfielder in all the minors! I think you might be underestimating him!

Perhaps you're right and he could be the next Brett Gardner, which I think is his upside scenario. I'd be happy to be wrong here. However Gardner had better OBP numbers across the board in the minor leagues. Like I said, I see LaMarre as Chris Heisey with significantly less power.

RedlegJake
06-09-2012, 01:31 PM
Perhaps you're right and he could be the next Brett Gardner, which I think is his upside scenario. I'd be happy to be wrong here. However Gardner had better OBP numbers across the board in the minor leagues. Like I said, I see LaMarre as Chris Heisey with significantly less power.

LaMarre would probably have a higher OBP than Chris, a bit more patient but less power. I think you're right Beni, I, too, see him as a decent 4th outfielder in the majors. Starter? Not so much except in emergencies. Gardner had much better minor league numbers. That doesn't mean I don't like LaMarre but a true major league outfielder, even a league average one is a pretty darn good hitter. I just don't see LaMarre reaching that level. 'Tweener - not enough power, not enough speed but enough of each to play a role someday.

mace
06-09-2012, 03:52 PM
Top 10 Pitchers
1. Corcino
2. Lotzkar
3. Cingrani
4. Stephenson
5. Travieso
6. Sulbaran
7. Joseph
8. Langfield
9. Garrett
10. J.Johnson

Rogers and Barnhart would be next on the lists, respectively.

Honorable mention, at least (pitchers):

Yes, Rogers
Pearl
Villarreal
Partch (a month ago, I couldn't imagine saying that, but he has been tremendous as a reliever, save for one horrible outing)
Hayes (don't forget, he skipped a level, and is starting to catch up)
Chacin
Renken
Crabbe
Drew Cisco (provided he ever actually actually pitches)

Okay, Jordan Smith. Not sure why everyone has written him off. Two years ago, the Reds rushed him to the majors and he held his own. Looked very good at times. He has struggled since, with injuries contributing, but he's still 26 and has demonstrated that he can do the job. That said, I'm not sure why they don't convert him back to starting. He pitched well as a starter, and he obviously has the body for it. The organizational need certainly seems more acute among starters than relievers.

Meanwhile, I appreciate the potential of Amir Garrett, but for me, he's only a distant glimmer. Way too many questions. Will he opt for basketball? Even if not, will he play enough baseball over the next three years to stay relevant as a prospect? And lastly, is he any good? All we seem to know is that he has a great left arm. It's a good start, but not enough to get him ranked at this point, in my view.

j_m_t_us
06-09-2012, 07:33 PM
LaMarre would probably have a higher OBP than Chris, a bit more patient but less power. I think you're right Beni, I, too, see him as a decent 4th outfielder in the majors. Starter? Not so much except in emergencies. Gardner had much better minor league numbers. That doesn't mean I don't like LaMarre but a true major league outfielder, even a league average one is a pretty darn good hitter. I just don't see LaMarre reaching that level. 'Tweener - not enough power, not enough speed but enough of each to play a role someday.

Maybe I'm missing something. You said not enough speed? He stole 55 bases last year in Bakersfield and Carolina is on pace to steal near 40 this year! He's one of the fastest guys in the Reds organization! Defensively, he is considered one of the best outfielders in the minors! You tell me how many center fielders in the Majors are power hitters?
The one thing he does have to work on is being more consistent and staying out of the little slumps he's had this year!

Ohayou
06-09-2012, 08:15 PM
Who else is speaking highly of him in terms of ranking him near the top 10 in the system?

I am not saying he is some organizational soldier or anything like a Miguel Rojas is. I am just saying that he is a 5th round pick who hasn't done anything to say he should have gone higher than that. There is a reason that the Reds took 4 guys before him last year alone and I doubt you would find hardly anyone in the Reds organization who were to rank him any higher than the 4 guys taken ahead of him last year (Stephenson - not a chance, Rosa - not a chance, Cingrani - not a chance, Kyle MdMcyne - I would listen to an argument on this one).

He was ranked 18th by Baseball America, I think, along with a few other scouting sites that have him between the 10-15 range.

dougdirt
06-09-2012, 10:36 PM
He was ranked 18th by Baseball America, I think, along with a few other scouting sites that have him between the 10-15 range.

18th is a far cry from 10. I don't know what other scouting sites there are other than BP or Sickels. Sickels didn't even have Wright in his top 20. I don't recall where, if at all, he fell on the BP list.