Originally Posted by mace
A few things. I appreciate your point. Rodriguez is by far the better prospect; but he's less than a year removed from High-A and by most accounts has not demonstrated the defense or makeup he will need for the big leagues.
Costanzo, on the other hand, was playing below his level in AA, where he hit 27 home runs five years ago. We think of him as a journeyman, but he was a second-round draft pick (by the Phillies, who pay a lot of attention to scouting) and once considered a bona fide power prospect. He is, in fact, the most likely and ready of all the Reds' minor-leaguers to step up to Cincinnati and provide left-handed power at a position of need. (You could also make an argument for Dorn, but he doesn't play third base.) No, he's not a world-beater or even a difference-maker. But he's definitely a guy the Reds should be challenging and examining right now to determine if he can take over the Juan Francisco role (which would, of course, require a move on the 40-man). I think this move makes perfect sense.
I actually haven't heard any reports on Henry's defense since he moved to third base. Either way, I don't think it would hurt having him in AAA learning next to one of the best defensive shortstops I have ever seen in Paul Janish. Talk about a great guy to benchmark your defense against.
As for make-up, I am not really concerned with make-up as long as they are getting results. It's too hard to quantify and players grow up and get over most of these issues as they get older.
I just don't think a guy should be promoted to AAA because he is "more ready for it" than another guy. If that was the case, we would have a team of AAAA guys in Louisville and our top prospects like Henry would never have the opportunity to hit AAAA pitching. Many of the guys who start for International League teams have had a handful or even more major league starts and are a major step up from Southern League pitching.
I guess my biggest problem with bumping Costanzo up because you are concerned about 2012 third baseman depth is that if he was called up to the bigs he would be the worst third baseman in the major leagues. Furthermore, he is maybe sixth on third baseman depth chart (Rolen, Cairo, Frazier, Valdez, Harris, Costanzo). There is no way if four of the guys ahead of him were hurt, they wouldn't deal for a fill-in guy. I see no way Costanzo provides value to the Reds in 2012.
Henry on the other hand could tear the cover off the ball in AAA and make himself valuable to the Reds in 2012 and could be our Opening Day third baseman in 2013. I guess I just see Henry as the possible successor to Rolen at third where Costanzo is a guy who was once highly touted, but has never really produced much at high levels in his 7+ professional seasons.