Q: Ben S from Newington, CT asks:
Besides the draft hype and scouts drooling over Upton and Maybin since high school, what sets Jay Bruce apart from that Elite Duo of OF Prospects? So far, hes putting up better all around numbers than BOTH Upton and Maybin, and at the same age. His makeup and additude is off the charts, and there still remains questions about how much full effort Upton puts into his everyday play. Since your midseason 25 is based on the numbers and it said quote "Not far behind UptonMaybin duo in Midwest League." my question is, what can Bruce ever do to put himself with, or ahead of these other two elite prospects?
A: John Manuel: Good question Ben; for me, some of it is physical. Upton has more present strength, and Maybin looks like a big leaguer right now physically. I've used this line before but minus the 6-foot-8 part, Maybin looks like LeBron James to me, just so broad-shouldered and physical at such a young age. I just think Bruce isn't as physical as those guys right now (even though he's no shrimp himself), and that's why he's considered a bit behind them. But there's no reason he can't overtake them, and the higher up the ladder prospects the go, the more performance matters. He has significant tools and significant talent, obviously. If he translates his tools into performance more at higher levels, then he'll be rated ahead of them. Right now he is, but he's also a Texan who came into pro ball with a lot more polish than, say Maybin. He SHOULD be outperforming Maybin. I don't know what Upton's excuse is for not performing, but everyone still says the supreme talent is in there, and it shows itself from time to time.
Q: Deywane from Memphis asks:
If your list included 100 prospects where would Joey Votto rank and would Drew Stubbs get any consideration for the list?
A: John Manuel: Votto would; he got much love from scouts at the Futures Game. Stubbs would not, he needs to hit consistently with wood to earn consideration.
Q: Mark from Davis, Ca asks:
is there a chance we see Bailey pitching for the Reds this year, or even next year?
A: John Manuel: I could see him up this year, though I think the Reds will wait until next year.
Q: Joshua from Springfield, NJ asks:
How do bailey and hughes compare to the top pitching prospects from the beginning of the year who have since graduated to the bigs (ie liriano, verlander, billingsley, cain, etc)?
A: John Manuel:
Another good Q. Hard to think either one will be as dominant as Liriano and Verlander have been; those guys are real and spectacular. I'd put them closer to Billingsley and Cain, a little more raw (especially Bailey). Hughes has polish and stuff but I don't see him as being as electric as any of the others. he could be the most productive of the group but I don't think of him as electric. Elbert, as I have said, also belongs in this discussion for me.
Q: Stu from Minnapolis asks:
Does it look like the Reds farm system is starting to show a little life?
A: John Manuel:
Absolutely. Great strides made thanks to guys picked in the last three drafts. They have legit guys from Double-A on down and have had very few flameouts this year (Szymanski, Valiquette and Dickerson stick out as disappointments). Encouraging signs. Still progress to be made but lots of progress.