Turn Off Ads?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19

Thread: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Bedford, KY
    Posts
    8,992

    Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    Every year, I take a look at the minor league squads and try to determine who has a legitimate chance as a breakout star. Now, the term star is relevant. I don't mean the guys on this list will become perennial All Stars. No, these guys should have a chance to break into the Cincinnati Top Ten prospects or, in the case of upper level propects, help the parent club.

    Of course, that being said, every year, I look at my picks and laugh at the end of the year. Does the name Steve Kelly mean anything to anyone? He was one of my picks last season. Of course, two years ago, I tabbed Chris Denorfia, so I have that going for me. Which is nice.

    So be it. I once again enter the murky depths of prognostication, fearless in the face of facts, staring sabremetricians square in the eye. (In other words, these are my WAG's.)

    My picks for 2007 are:

    AAA
    Brad Salmon
    Why he'll blossom: Salmon has been solid to above average wherever he's been. His BB rate is a bit high, but he's lowered it to nominal levels in the past couple years. Too, his K rate is excellent (over 10/ 9IP overall last season) and one thing the Reds need is guys that miss bats.
    Why he'll matter: Every team needs relievers. The Reds, with the apparent glut of relievers at this point, will probably need more than the average team because, hey, they're the Reds. It's how they roll, baby. He'll probably not be on the Opening Day roster, but he's good enough to be a solid middle reliever on the Cincinnati roster by the end of the year.

    AA
    Camilio Vazquez
    Why he'll blossom: Vazquez is young (22) and has a live arm. He's also had a taste of AA in 2006, with middling results. His 4.33 ERA is certainly nothing special, but I suspect he's right on the cusp of figuring something out. His K rate is above average (career 8.64/ 9IP) and his BB rate is trendind down, all good signs. Add in possible AA rotation members Cueto, Pelland, Lecure, Avery, and/ or Fischer and Vazquez will have to be sharp to be remembered. I think he will.
    Why he'll matter: Any good numbers by a southpaw will generate excitement. With apologies to Pelland, Vazquez's arm is the best lefty arm in the Red upper minors. He could shoot into the top five and is the best bet of the bunch to garner serious consideration, IMO, as a darkhorse candidate.

    High A
    Craig Tatum C
    Why he'll blossom: Tatum's got ability, but he can't stay healthy. He's also in the one position where Reds brass will take a wait and see approach-- catcher. There is absolutely no one in front of him to keep Tatum from starting in High A and he's a solid bet to exceed expectations at this point. He's got some pop and is willing to take a walk, but he'll need to shine in order to generate real excitement. My guess is he will, more because of who's around him in the lineup than his own talent.
    Why he'll matter: That thundering silence you hear (or don't, for that matter, no need to get all existential and stuff) is the lack of a minor league catching prospect in the Cincinnati system. There hasn't been one since 34 year old Jason LaRue won the AA batting title more than a decade ago. The law of averages says that will change. Since Tatum's the only candidate to hit his weight with the wooden thing, he's my pick.

    Low A
    Danny Dorn
    Why he'll blossom: Dorn hit better than anyone in Rookie League last season, blasting an OPS over 1.000 with a BA over .350. He probably won't repeat that, but he's got skills. As an OF, he's not horrid, but he's not in Stubbs' league. Still, he's got the bat and looks to be one of many suprisingly solid performers coming up to Dayton out of Billings.
    Why he'll matter: The Cincinnati pipeline has few sure things. One of them-- Jay Bruce-- is an OF. That leaves, oh, seven positions to be filled. Dorn's a solid bet to move up on merit and keep moving up as he improves. (No blocked talent here.) (One of the reasons, aside from being included in many Top Ten lists, Chris Valaika isn't included is that he's blocked as a SS by both Janish and Rosales) and won't be moved up unless one or both of them struggles, improves, or switches positions. Unless, of course, Valaika switches to 2B, thereby screwing Red Tuner, so he, too, doesn't get a nod. It's all relative, y'see.)

    So, that's it. That's my list. Think you can do better? Pony up and try, Burger Boy. Let's see your list. One per minor league team, AAA-A-.

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    14,947

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    Good post. I can't argue with these choices too much. I might go with Coutlangus at AAA but I think he and Salmon will both be key guys in the Reds pen by 2008. I agree on Vasquez but wonder if Avery could push as well. In A+ I like Carlos Fisher and Derek Lutz in A-.

    Honorable mention to Calvin Medlock. With the glut I don't know if he'll be in AAA or AA but I think he will contribute in Ciincy by 2008 as well.

  4. #3
    Member Superdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,805

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    I felt really restricted by the every level rule, so here's a couple other guys who might slide up a spot or two on the prospect lists next year...

    Chris Dickerson: It's hard to look at his second half numbers and not think he figured something out.

    Bo Lanier: This one's a stretch, but he struck out a better an inning the second half last year. With a 94-96MPH fastball and a sweet power curve, he might be a surprising bullpen guy next year.

    Josh Ravin: We don't know a whole lot about him yet, but from everything I've heard, he looks like a steal in the draft last year. If he can live up to the hype in dayton, he'll move in with Wood and Cueto as one of our top pitching prospects in the post Homer Bailey era.

  5. #4
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35,779

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    Vazquez is actually 23.
    I see Valaika starting at SS in Sarasota, while Milton Loo starts at SS in Dayton. Adam Rosales may be on his way to a move to another position, as he was questionable as a SS to begin with.

    All that said, here is where I am putting my chips.

    AAA - No one.

    AA - Cody Strait. Last year he showed very good power in the FSL posting an 18 HR season (league leader had 21). He also stole 50 bases. If he can get his average up just a bit, he can be a very interesting prospect with that kind of power and speed.

    A+ Carlos Fisher. He started pitching in his sophomore season of college. He had a very good season last year in Dayton, but was mostly overlooked due to his age, and being in the same rotation with Johnny Cueto and Zac Ward. He is an extreme groundball pitcher, getting 57% of the balls in play put on the ground. He has good control, walking just 2.23 batters per 9 innings. Allowed just a .606 OPS against on the season.

    A - Josh Ravin. Last year he was clocked at 96MPH with his fastball and he also brings to the table a decent change up and a decent breaking ball.

  6. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    130

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    I saw Josh Ravin pitch twice last summer. He has a live arm and a tail to his fast-ball. I agree with the thoughts on his upside but, watching him pitch, he was in the 89-91 mph range. He was in control and getting outs, great prospect overall.

  7. #6
    Member Superdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,805

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    BA said Strait's stolen base numbers came mostly from great base running, not great speed. He'll probably always be able to swipe a bag pretty well, but it'll be interesting how his 50 stolen bases holds up against more advanced catchers.

  8. #7
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35,779

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    BA said Strait's stolen base numbers came mostly from great base running, not great speed. He'll probably always be able to swipe a bag pretty well, but it'll be interesting how his 50 stolen bases holds up against more advanced catchers.
    Well even if he drops to 30 stolen bases eventually....that is quite good.

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Cumming, GA
    Posts
    620

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    Where will Rick Asadoorian start the year?... I think he will be interesting to watch this year.

    another guy i think could have a breakout year is Jamie Arneson, an '06 pick who passed up a scholarship to Florida State to sign with the Reds. Arneson is a 6'5" projectable lefty who throws his fastball 88-92, touching 94. He just turned 21 in November.

    '06 stats w/Billings:
    W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
    2 1 3.35 17 8 0 0 3 43.0 31 20 16 3 24 46 1.10 .199
    "I hate SF."

    -Mat Latos

  10. #9
    Member JaxRed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    9,563

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    Asadoorian is one of the big questions of the spring. If he's an outfielder, he's a non-factor. If he's made the switch, he might pitch for the Reds this year.
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

  11. #10
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    34,844

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    AAA - Chris Dickerson

    AA - Carlos Fisher

    A+ - Travis Wood...regains velocity, improves control, and retains a strong K rate and develops into a top 75 prospect in the major leagues.

    A - Josh Ravin

  12. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    190

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    My pick is Rafael Gonzalez. This guy has insane stuff, a notch below Homer according to BA. Yes, he's a headcase and this may be the beginning of the end for him which is why I think he'll grow up a bit and start producing.

    A couple other picks are Strait, Dickerson, Anderson, and Rosales coming back in a big way.

  13. #12
    Member JaxRed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    9,563

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    BTW, in case you didn't notice, Steve Kelley had a pretty good year.
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

  14. #13
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    14,947

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    Quote Originally Posted by JaxRed View Post
    BTW, in case you didn't notice, Steve Kelley had a pretty good year.
    I wonder why he never gets a shot. When the Mayses and Michaleks of the world are called-up, Kelley is passed over.

  15. #14
    Ya can't teach speed... Triples's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Indpls
    Posts
    341

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    Based on Scrap Irony's definition of "Star" Drew Anderson is another guy who could have a break out year that consistently gets overlooked, IMO.

    He was in the top 5 in a number of offensive catagories in the FSL before being promoted to AA mid year.

    His defense was exceptional last year at high A, AA and AZFL.

    Aside from Homer Bailey, he is the only player from the 04 draft class to get as high as AA.

    He was one of the 7 players the Reds selected to attend the AZFL this year.

    He began switch hitting as freshman in college only to have his college coach take it away from him during his sophmore and junior years. The Reds started him switch hitting again about half way thru his rookie season in Billings. Looking at the Minor League splits for last year, including the AZFL, it appears the left side is starting to catch up with right side. Given that there are more right handed pitchers than left handed, it is reasonable to expect (hope) that his offensive stats will continue to improve this year with the improvement from the left side of the plate. (BTW, this is a good example of why low level minor league stats don't always tell the complete story).

    He plays his butt off every game and is considered to be one of the hardest working players in the Reds minor league system.

    Just one man's opinion rooting for an apparent underdog.

  16. #15
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35,779

    Re: Possible Breakout Minor Leaguers

    Triples, Paul Janish also played some in AA last year and was from the 2004 draft. And if we want to be REALLY picky, Cody Strait played 3 games in Louisville last season, who also was a 2004 pick, but he will head to Chattanooga probably.
    I also almost picked Drew Anderson to break out this year, so I think he has a chance to be one of those guys.


Turn Off Ads?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25