Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects
I talked with JJ last week and here were a few things he had to say
Me: With Joey Votto currently at first base and a slew of prospects that fit that 3B/1B/LF mold in the Reds system, how do you see it working out or how could it work out?
JJ Cooper: I don't think the Reds themselves are sure on how it all will work out, but if I had to make my guess. Long-term I think that Votto ends up moving to LF because he can handle the position adequately. Alonso is the first baseman while Frazier is the third baseman (this is assuming that by 2010-2011 Edwin Encarnacion has been dealt away or left in free agency).
Of course that still leaves Soto and Francisco on the outside looking in, and I can't tell you with any confidence that they won't be in the big leagues bopping by two or three years from now, but as of right now, I'd say it's more likely that Votto, Frazier and Alonso are holding down those spots. Of course, the Reds could also swing some trades that will make this prediction completely moot.
Me: Outside of the top prospects (Drew Stubbs, Daryl Thompson, Josh Roenicke), who could be a guy that could come in during the 2009 season and really help out the Reds?
JJ Cooper: Valaika's a top prospect too, but since he wasn't listed among your examples I'll throw him out there, but I think he could end up helping out late in the season. As far as a sleeper, Ramon Ramirez could be a useful fifth starter/bullpen arm, although there's also a decent chance he'll be part of what should be a very deep Triple-A rotation.
Me: The Reds lack a big time top 25 type prospect this year after graduating a few of them last year, but they still seem to have a lot of depth in the system. Depth wise how do they stack up against the rest of baseball?
JJ Cooper: I'd say Alonso could sneak into the top 25, but yeah, the system is deeper this year with less impact talent. As far as depth, there aren't many teams who have as many potential big leaguers in Double-A and Triple-A. Now a lot of those potential big leaguers will be backups, role players or fill-ins, but the Reds have a lot of depth.