The Unranked Sleepers
Playing around a little looking at some of the Reds minor leaguers and wondered what some may think about a few of the guys who seem to have fallen out of favor or were never really on the radar. In the process I checked out a few guys who were ranked last year or seem to have some ability based on 2009 but don't get a mention. I'll start off with some guys who Doug left off of his top 40 that he has posted on his fantastic site.
Cody Puckett - Kid hit 19 HRs playing 2B in 2009. He does seem to K a lot while needing to walk more, but earlier in 2009, there seemed to be some excitement for him. Not sure of his defense and wonder if he's really a prospect.
Alex Buchholz - Was fairly well heralded last year and the Reds thought enough of him to skip Low A and play him in Sarasota. He had a poor season and he probably can't play SS but it seems like a far fall in one season. I have to wonder where Puckett, Buchholz and Rojas are going to play in 2010. It seems like they should all be at A+ and they can't all play. I wonder if Buchholz will jump to AA even though he struggled so badly. If so, it may mean he has a chance.
Byron Wiley - He had a pretty good year at Dayton, and at age 22 didn't seem too old for the level. Why no love?
Mace Thurman - I think this guy could be a good one and I see in another thread that he may have a shot at a conversion to starter. He seems pretty interesting as a reliever, but as a starter he could be even more interesting. He doesn't get much discussion, but he seems a good bet to pitch in the big leagues some day if he stays healthy.
Chris Denove - Seems like the second coming of Ryan Hanigan and while that's not star material, could be useful while he's cheap. Not sure if he is Hanigan's equal on defense.
Ben Jukich - I've long thought of him as a sleeper and IMO he's a better prospect than Sam Lecure and certainly has a healthier history than Lotzkar, Thompson, Buck or even Wood. He just turned 27 though so maybe not a prospect is OK, but I think he has a chance to be of use on a staff and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a look during a pinch when the staff is gassed and needs a body. I prefer him to Lehr for that role.
David Sappelt - Fairly well received in 2008. Struggled a bit in the minors in 2009 but BA ranks him as the best defensive OF in the system (though I question that). He steals bases (and gets caught a lot) and while little guys who can run and get thrown out aren't my cup of tea, many in the baseball world project some value to them and I wonder if he doesn't have value as an organizational asset.
Sean Watson - Throws hard, no control, a little old for his position on the food chain now and has had a couple of mediocre to bad years in a row. Sounds a lot like Pedro Viola who still gets some love. I wonder if its because Viola is a lefty since that's about the only difference that I can see.
Let's hear some opinions on these guys and feel free to throw out others who I may not have mentioned.
"All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH
Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS
Last edited by mth123; 11-20-2009 at 06:43 AM.