What a horrible top 10 list by Katz.
Do the Reds have help (from Homer) on the way?
Pitcher Bailey, slugger Votto are the Reds minor-leaguers best positioned to make the jump to the big leagues.
By Marc Katz
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Outfielder Adam Dunn stands out as a player who fulfilled some high expectations. Pitcher Ty Howington is one who didn't. Relief pitcher Todd Coffey is one who rose well beyond his stature as a 41st-round free agent draft pick.
Obviously, evaluating who will become a major-league player is not an easy job.
Dunn, a second-round draft choice of the Cincinnati Reds in 1998, has not hit for average, but he is the consummate Reds power hitter.
Howington, a big, hard-throwing left-hander taken with the first pick of the 1999 draft, encountered several arm injuries and never advanced beyond Class AA Chattanooga before being released last spring.
Coffey, a chubby high-schooler, was not only a low draft pick, but had Tommy John surgery early on, yet pitched in 81 games this season, his second with the Reds.
During the summer of 2006, the Reds developed and elevated no one of note — Chris Denorfia? — to their major-league team despite general manager Wayne Krivsky remaking the roster.
Help is on the way, as early as 2007.
"Over the past three years, we have had really good drafts," Reds farm director Johnny Almaraz said, while shying away from naming names. "The infusion of talent has fertilized our farm system with good quality prospects."
Who are they? Who are closest to making the Reds? Here's a good place to start:
1. Homer Bailey, RHP (age 20 when 2007 season begins): Reds would like him to log at least a few games at Class AAA Louisville, but this top-of-the-rotation youngster may force the issue in spring training. At worst, he's a late-season call-up and in the rotation for good in 2008.
2. Joey Votto, 1B (23): Likely to begin 2007 at Louisville. Shows ability at the plate. Still learning how to field his position as a converted catcher.
3. Jay Bruce, OF (20): Owns the five tools and knows how to use them, but might not see Cincinnati until 2008 or '09. Even at his young age, he may need only one more minor-league season.
4. Paul Janish, SS (24): The question was, 'Could he hit?' He has, up through Class AA. Nobody questioned his ability in the field, and the Reds desperately need a shortstop who can play defense. Mid-2007 isn't too early to have him plug that hole.
5. Johnny Cueto, RHP (21): Throws as hard as any player in the organization, although scouts continually question his sub-6-foot body. They project him as a relief pitcher, but he has succeeded as a starter.
6. Chris Dickerson, OF (24): If he picked up his hitting, he'd be with the Reds now. Touted as the best athlete in the organization, easily the best outfielder.
7. Craig Tatum, C (24): Finally figured out how to hit and improved his catching. Strong arm, and who's in his way?
8. Miguel Perez, C (23): Right now, he's in Tatum's way, but, like Dickerson, has to pick up his offense. Said to have had poor defensive season in 2006, but has shown major-league skills.
9. Carlos Fisher, RHP (24): Big season with the Dragons this year, but must move quickly because of his age. Appears to have the right stuff.
10. B.J. Szymanski, OF (24): Needs a big, injury-free year, or he goes back to school to pursue medical degree. Has power and other tools, but needs to cut way back on strikeouts.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2157 or mkatz@DaytonDailyNews.com.