Promotions Coming Soon
With the draft upon us and soon-to-be first-time professionals playing their new trade at the lower levels, some in Dayton, Bakersfield, and Pensacola will move up. The most likely suspects:
Ryan Wright 2B
He's been pretty much the only offensive player worth talking about the entire season, showing an advanced feel for hitting, plate patience, and doubles power. He's 22, so he probably needs to be moved up.
Carlos Contreras RP
No pitcher really deserves to be moved up, but, with the influx on college arms soon to be in the system, Contreras might be challenged. He's shown a much-improved ability to miss bats and hasn't allowed many hits at all as Dayton's closer. That may get him to Bakersfield, especially if the Reds draft college relievers early, a strength of this particular draft.
(I tend to think some of Dayton's struggling pitchers will soon be met with the dreaded red locker tag or the demotion to Billings. Candidates abound.)
Billy Hamilton SS
He's among the top ten in virtually every California League offensive category aside from HR. A bounce-back to his current line (.327/.412/.462/.874)-- especially as a SS-- may mean he moves up. This would make some sense, as another possible promotion candidate, Devin Lohman, can move to SS and Wright to 2B. May not move due to month-long struggles of DiDi Gregorius, desire to see him succeed for an entire year, see how he adjusts to High A as the year wears on, or showcase for trade bait.
Donald Lutz LF
Injured for now, Lutz is 23 and learning a new position. He's raked in Bakersfield and is among the the league leaders in OPS, HR, and has shown a two-year plus hit tool. A move to Pensacola makes sense, as they have no LF at all. As an added bonus, moving Lutz could move Duran to LF, his likely major league position. (Assuming he gets there.)
Bryson Smith CF
The former Gator is also 23 and has hit well for two years and three rungs of the minor league ladder. His OPS and BA are both among California League leaders and he, like Lutz, needs to be challenged. A natural CF, he could move up and move LaMarre to RF, which would help Lutz adapt to speedy OF mates.
Brian Pearl RP
One reason Contreras may very well move up is that Pearl has been so good. He's 24, extremely old for High A and desperately needs to be moved up if he wants to be considered any kind of prospect at all. The most likely promotion, IMO, on the Red radar.
Josh Fellhauer OF
Fellhauer's hit this year, after struggling for a couple years. He's 24, so a move to Louisville makes sense. His 850 OPS and almost 1:1 K:BB ratio indicate he could make the switch. It helps (?) that the AAA Bats need OF help in the worst of ways.
Donnie Joseph RP
His second tour of AA has certainly been better than his first. Joseph struggled all year in 2011 to find his stuff. He's found it. There's nothing left to prove at AA, and, with Pearl possibly moving up, it makes sense that Joseph go to Lousville. The Bats definitely need him. A possible September call-up to the big club.
Joey Gathright OF/ PR
I know. I know. But he has hit in all 10 games he's played in AAA. He can play all three OF positions and has SPEED. It wouldn't surprise me to see him called up as Frazier becomes the erstwhile starter at 3B (with a Cairo assist). Costanza could then be moved back down to AAA.
Others I'm missing?
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