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Thread: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

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    Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    At the midpoint of the season, it’s time to take a refreshed look at the Reds Top Prospects. There have been some notable additions to the list, namely the recently signed Raisel Iglesias as well as recent draftees Nick Howard, Alex Blandino, and Taylor Sparks. There have been some steep climbers up the list – namely RHP Michael Lorenzen and 3B Tanner Rahier, both Californians surpassing all expectations and enjoying excellent seasons. There have also been a number of disappointing starts including from OFers Phil Ervin and Yorman Rodriguez, who is still young but has fallen the farthest on this list since the season began. All in all, the Reds are obviously flush with RHP talent (especially in Pensacola), yet could still use some bats – infielders especially – to become more “impact” prospects. As such, I would really like to see the Reds sign some middle infielders in the international FA period that kicks off today. In the meantime, here’s how the system currently shakes out:

    GRADE A (Top 25 prospect in the game, future Franchise player potential)

    1. Robert Stephenson RHP AA – Hasn’t lit the world on fire this year, especially with his command, but still the best pitching prospect the Reds have had in at least a decade. Slow start may have pushed his ETA back from 2015 to 2016.

    GRADE A- (Top 25-50 prospect in the game, future All-Star potential)

    2. Jesse Winker OF AA – Would love to see the masher win the LF job in Cincy next season.
    3. Michael Lorenzen RHP AA – Running away with the “2nd best pitcher in the system” title.

    GRADE B (Top 100 prospect in the game, future major league starter potential)

    4. Raisel Iglesias RHP AA – Like Howard, one could argue where he should land on this list. I started him at the higher and Howard lower end of their ranges. (One could argue the 4-8 guys in any order)
    5. Nick Travieso RHP A – Making nice progress, no sense of urgency given all the depth above him.
    6. Ben Lively RHP AA – Could he be a future Mike Leake?

    GRADE C (Future major leaguer)

    7. Phil Ervin OF A – Had a nice June after a very slow start. Could move quickly into B territory and hopefully to Bakersfield.
    8. Nick Howard RHP – Could be up to three spots higher. Hoping he also moves quickly to Dayton and maybe even Bakersfield. The advanced college reliever conversions usually move quickly (eg Stewart, Cingrani, and Lorenzen)
    9. Seth Mejias-Brean 3B AA – All he does is hit, and I understand he’s a good fielder too. Too bad the tools guys have always thumbed their nose at him. Potential trade bait?
    10. Jon Moscot RHP AA – Also an achiever who has put up nice numbers in Pensacola. Could be the first from that rotation to get promoted to Louisville.

    HONORABLE MENTION/ON THE RADAR (THE NEXT TEN)

    11. Yorman Rodriguez OF AA – He’s starting to heat up, which is much needed as some are starting to lose faith. Still only 21.
    12. Tanner Rahier 3B A – Biggest riser on the list and a personal favorite along with Cory Thompson.
    13. Carlton Daal SS A – Best (only?) true shortstop prospect in the system, but he needs to cut down on errors.
    14. Alex Blandino SS R+ - He needs to hit and hit well in Billings to impress me. I still think he should be playing 2B in Dayton.
    15. Kyle Waldrop OF AA – Another one of my favorites recently joined the dream team in Pensacola.
    16. Taylor Sparks 3B R+ - I’m rooting for him. Will be interesting to see how he compares to Franklin and Rahier.
    17. David Holmberg LHP AAA – Hefty lefty is back from injury and his early season suckitude. Wish he would get the spot start against the Cubbies to gauge what we have.
    18. Jose Ortiz C A – Curious to see how he does in full season ball.
    19. Junior Arias CF A+ - Dropping while he’s sidelined with injury. Still has great tools but it’s looking more like CF in Cincy could be occupied for a while.
    20. Amir Garrett LHP A – This spot could go to Garrett, Langfield, or Corcino. I went with Garrett purely based on upside and the flashes/improvements he has made in his last few outings.

    TOP TEN GUYS TO KEEP AN EYE ON (TOO EARLY TO TELL) - no particular order

    SS Cory Thompson R+ My favorite rookie leaguer is starting off strong.
    3B Kevin Franklin R+ Last year’s second round pick has stumbled out of the gate. Still would like to see him tried at catcher given his build, tools, and the 3B depth ahead of him.
    OF Aristedes Aquino R+ The Reds lone OF prospect in Rookie League.
    1B Gavin LaValley R- Big boy can mash. I like his stick.
    2B Shane Mardirosian R- Another pick I liked, the speedster could challenge Blandino in the future to be the heir to Brandon Phillips.
    3B Montrell Marshall R- My second favorite rookie leaguer hasn’t started playing yet.
    RHP Jeremy Kivel R+ Big arm, nice to see him healthy.
    RHP Wyatt Strahan R+ There’s a new sheriff in town.
    RHP Tyler Mahle R+ Has advanced ahead of last year’s third round pick, Mark Armstrong.
    LHP Jacob Constante R- A deep sleeper that could move up the charts quickly. Would like to see him get some time in Billings if not Dayton this year.
    Last edited by Benihana; 07-02-2014 at 04:16 PM.
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  4. #2
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    *crickets*
    Go BLUE!!!

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    *crickets*
    It's a compliment Beni - there isn't anything on your list or explanations I disagree with. You are too non-controversial. How can you start a ruckus being reasonable like this?
    No - I am not from State Farm!

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    Benihana (07-03-2014), mdccclxix (07-03-2014)

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    Will be interesting to see how many of these names are traded in the next 12 months.

    Who I think will be traded, by nothing buy guesses:

    Yorman Rodriguez
    Ben Lively
    SMB

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by RedTeamGo! View Post
    Will be interesting to see how many of these names are traded in the next 12 months.

    Who I think will be traded, by nothing buy guesses:

    Yorman Rodriguez
    Ben Lively
    SMB
    Agreed. I'd add Moscot, Corcino, Soto, and maybe Duran if it's an AL team.

    SMB is my #1 pick to get traded. He seems like a Sappelt-type, a later round pick with great numbers (offensive and defensive) but underwhelming "tools." Also with Frazier emerging as a franchise fixture, and the glut of 3B depth in the lower minors, he seems a logical guy to get moved. I also think 1-2 of the AA arms have to get moved.
    Last edited by Benihana; 07-03-2014 at 11:41 AM.
    Go BLUE!!!

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    Nice Job. The word 'suckitude' sent me to my Funk and Wagnalls, but all I could find was a montage of former Reds' backup shortstops.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    *crickets*
    Benihana, your list is so terrible I can't even begin.

    Better?

    Really though, just picking nits.... but Daal isn't the only shortstop in the system, just the only one in full season ball that has a realistic chance to hit enough and stick at the position. I don't buy Blandino as a SS, but there are still three guys in rookie ball worth looking at as shortstops.

    I think you are selling Yorman short. I feel like I've always been the high guy when it comes to ranking him (highest ranker, not someone who is high while ranking him - come on guys, you're better than that), but still, I think you are a bit too low on him. Same for Garrett.

    Nothing at all for Guillon? Bakersfield debut scare you away? Something else?

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    If Winker has an adequate shot at LF in 2015, bring him up for a cup of coffee in Sept.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    O ' Grady from Rutgers is worth keeping an eye on , no?
    Attended 1976 World Series in my Mother's Womb. Attended 1990 World Series Game 2 as a 13 year old. Want to take my son to a a World Series Game in Cincinnati in my lifetime.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by powersackers View Post
    O ' Grady from Rutgers is worth keeping an eye on , no?
    Eh. He is a college senior sign who is crushing Billings. Get him to Dayton this year and he starts crushing it, maybe you start keeping an eye on him as a prospect. Right now, it's just a fun story that he has gotten off to a good start. At his age, he should be doing exactly what he is doing.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Benihana, your list is so terrible I can't even begin.

    Better?

    Really though, just picking nits.... but Daal isn't the only shortstop in the system, just the only one in full season ball that has a realistic chance to hit enough and stick at the position. I don't buy Blandino as a SS, but there are still three guys in rookie ball worth looking at as shortstops.

    I think you are selling Yorman short. I feel like I've always been the high guy when it comes to ranking him (highest ranker, not someone who is high while ranking him - come on guys, you're better than that), but still, I think you are a bit too low on him. Same for Garrett.

    Nothing at all for Guillon? Bakersfield debut scare you away? Something else?
    Fair point on SS - Cory Thompson is one of my favorite prospects.

    Also fair points on Yorman and Garrett, although the latter will really need to either commit to baseball full time or show sustained improvement beyond what he did in June to substantially move up the rankings in my book. Yorman is young and has the tools, but he's running out of options soon and he hasn't shown a whole lot of progress - especially this year. This is the first time I've had him outside the top 10 (although one spot out) in probably 2 years. Other guys just deserve it more at this point IMO.

    Guillon is in the 20-25 range for me, maybe right behind Langfield and Corcino as the guys who didn't make it. Anyone of those three could be listed in the 18-20 range and you wouldn't get much of an argument out of me.

    I was anticipating getting some pushback on having Rahier and Daal as high as they were, and Blandino and Sparks as low as they were. Holmberg too I thought might be controversial.
    Go BLUE!!!

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    Fair point on SS - Cory Thompson is one of my favorite prospects.

    Also fair points on Yorman and Garrett, although the latter will really need to either commit to baseball full time or show sustained improvement beyond what he did in June to substantially move up the rankings in my book. Yorman is young and has the tools, but he's running out of options soon and he hasn't shown a whole lot of progress - especially this year. This is the first time I've had him outside the top 10 (although one spot out) in probably 2 years. Other guys just deserve it more at this point IMO.

    Guillon is in the 20-25 range for me, maybe right behind Langfield and Corcino as the guys who didn't make it. Anyone of those three could be listed in the 18-20 range and you wouldn't get much of an argument out of me.

    I was anticipating getting some pushback on having Rahier and Daal as high as they were, and Blandino and Sparks as low as they were. Holmberg too I thought might be controversial.
    Thompson came into the season 3rd on the depth chart at shortstop according to BA. Daal was fourth. I'm sure Daal has moved up since then with his hitting in Dayton. Still, the two guys that were ahead of them are both in Arizona right now.

    Yorman was fine until he went on the DL. Then he clearly came off to early and played like it. He was TERRIBLE in May. But we also know he was coming off of an injury. In June and in April he .294/.349/.418 with 15 walks and 39 strikeouts in 187 plate appearances. As one of the youngest guys in the league. Just seems like a big drop off because he had a really, really bad three weeks coming off of an injury.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Thompson came into the season 3rd on the depth chart at shortstop according to BA. Daal was fourth. I'm sure Daal has moved up since then with his hitting in Dayton. Still, the two guys that were ahead of them are both in Arizona right now.

    Yorman was fine until he went on the DL. Then he clearly came off to early and played like it. He was TERRIBLE in May. But we also know he was coming off of an injury. In June and in April he .294/.349/.418 with 15 walks and 39 strikeouts in 187 plate appearances. As one of the youngest guys in the league. Just seems like a big drop off because he had a really, really bad three weeks coming off of an injury.
    With me (with Yorman) it's a little more about starting to lose faith. I still think he has tools and a lot of upside, but at what point does the performance start to negate that - kinda like Kurt Stillwell (one of yours and my favorite topics). I still believe in Yorman, which is why he has the highest ranking of a prospect with a sub-.700 OPS after 2000 career plate appearances, maybe ever. That said, the fact remains he has a sub-.700 OPS over 2000 career plate appearances. At a certain point, that starts to catch up with you and people start to understandably lose faith.

    Personally, I'll give Yorman another year. If he turns it on, great. However if he's still falling short of a .700 (or even .800) OPS in AA this time next year, he'll probably be left off of these lists. But for now, he's right in the middle - and I think the #11 ranking makes sense. He'll either make a big move up or a big move down, depending on how he hits over the next 6-12 months.

    And that's to say nothing of his options, for which he has a pretty high risk of getting Wily Mo Pena'd. Except that Wily Mo was performing much better than Yorman- at the same age and at same or higher levels.

    Also what Arizona shortstops are you referring to?
    Last edited by Benihana; 07-03-2014 at 04:12 PM.
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    i haven't seen these guys but have read quite a bit about them and focused on their stats.

    IMO Lorenzen is #1, Stephenson #2, and Winker #3. More important, I think they are extremely close as prospects.

    Lorenzen doesn't have the pitching experience yet but has control, ground ball tendencies, polish, and sounds like he will miss more bats as he gains experience. Stephenson probably has more dynamic stuff, but perhaps not the control as yet.
    Winker would probably be third because he seems to be solely a LFer. Hopefully Jesse can hit lefties reasonably well, important for a LHH and often missing. We'll find that out as we go along.

    Just my view, all very good prospects, I just don't see the huge gap others may see.
    Last edited by Kc61; 07-03-2014 at 04:19 PM.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - Midseason/July 2014 Edition

    Good stuff (except for the Go Blue in your sig). Not much to disagree with, though I might have a few of the recent draft picks a couple spots higher.

    I think next April is too optimistic on Winker. Best case realistically is probably August or September of 2015.

    It seems I am very much in the minority, but I like Blandino. When watching him, he just seems like one of those guys who is at home on the baseball field. Kind of a Todd Frazier vibe (not that he has that type of upside, just on field personality). I know that's a very weak defense of him, but just call it a gut feeling I guess. If his defense plays in the middle infield, I like his chances of moving up pretty quickly as I think he will hit enough to be an above average utility INF and maybe even a starting caliber guy.


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