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Thread: dougdirt's top 40

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    dougdirt's top 40

    Doug's more than halfway through his top 40 over on the redsminorleagues site. I figured since we always have a thread for the BA top 10, the least we could do is have one for Doug's top 40, because he's one of our own and he defintely pays more attention to the Reds system than BA.

    He's up to #16 right now.

    Adam Rosales and Justin Reed haven't been listed yet, so it's probably fair to issue a helium watch on those guys.

    Zach Cozart also hasn't been listed and you've got to figure he's not making the top 15 ahead Chris Valaika (#16) and Justin Turner (#18).

    It doesn't look like Travis Webb is going to make the list either, which isn't shocking, but Webb struck me as a guy who took a step forward in 2007.

    Three guys I'd rank higher than Doug did are Chris Dickerson (#31), Carlos Fisher (#22) and Matt Maloney (#19). I figure Dickerson will spend the next few years as a backup OF or bouncing between the majors and AAA (think a slightly better version of Dewayne Wise). You'll be able to find him in your Basball Encyclopedia and he'll have more than a cup of coffee, which no doubt will be better than a number of guys ranked ahead of him.

    Fisher's my pet sleeper in the system. He's a big boy. He throws a hard sinker which induces a high GB rate. He also fans hitters with regularity, keeps his BB rate low (he's got close to 3:1 K/BB rate in the minors) and he's stingy on allowing HRs. He struggled a bit in AA, but it was a two-level jump from where he pitched in 2006. He's a late bloomer (he turns 25 next year), but he strikes me as exactly what the Reds are theoretically seeking in a pitcher. He certainly should be able to make the majors as a middle reliever if he stalls as a starter.

    Maloney's a LH flyball pitcher with more moxie than stuff, but he's getting results in the high minors. Doug's knock on the guy is that got BABIP lucky when he came to the Reds and he profiles as a guy who's troubles will mount as he faces better hitters. That said, he really clamped down on the BBs in 2007 and pushed his K/BB north of 3:1. He might be an excellent trading chip if nothing else.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    m2, I was going to post the entire thing over here once I put it all up on my website... but this works. I will say that Justin Reed didn't make the cut, as he came in at #41 on the list. Love the improvements he made this year, and could be someone who flies up the rankings next year, but I would like to see a little more power out of a guy playing a corner outfield. His strikeout rate in Billings also scared me a little bit. Still a raw player, but he has a TON of potential. May be one of the 5 best athletes in the entire system.

    As for Rosales.... you will see him soon enough.

    Cozart, I didn't understand the pick then, and I don't understand it now. His offensive struggles at Dayton did nothing to show me anything other than he is a glove with a bat that needs a LONG way to go to even be passable.

    Dickerson, I like a bit, but I just don't know if he will ever be more than a 4th outfield type unless he finds the right situation. His age is certainly working against him, and its something I do factor in. Love the defense, love the walks and I love the athleticism. Strikes out an awful lot, and while I don't usually care much about strikeouts, when you are swinging and missing that much in AA and AAA, it worries me a little. So really I think we are on the same page with him, just not with some other guys I ranked ahead of him.

    Fisher, again, I think we are on the same page with. Love the guy. Not really sure he is a late bloomer, as he didn't start pitching until he was 21 and a junior in college.

    Maloney, well you covered that one for me. I don't think he is a bad prospect by any stretch, I just am not as high on him as some others are. I did like the improvement in the walk rate from last year.

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I will say that Justin Reed didn't make the cut, as he came in at #41 on the list. Love the improvements he made this year, and could be someone who flies up the rankings next year, but I would like to see a little more power out of a guy playing a corner outfield. His strikeout rate in Billings also scared me a little bit. Still a raw player, but he has a TON of potential. May be one of the 5 best athletes in the entire system.
    I'm a sucker for guys like that. Their athleticism magnifies everything they do right.

    Interesting list so far, I appreciate the work you've put into it.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    Yeah... like I said over on my site, if I were to redo the list right this second I could easily have put the guys at 41 and 42 (Reed and Jordan Smith) at 30 and 31 and been perfectly fine with it.

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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Cozart, I didn't understand the pick then, and I don't understand it now. His offensive struggles at Dayton did nothing to show me anything other than he is a glove with a bat that needs a LONG way to go to even be passable.
    I'd be curious where you rank him then. Top 50? 80? 100?? There are lots of interesting guys in the minors who are far off.

    I must be the only one left on the planet who is still intrigued by Cozart, even though chances are good that he will flame out or head down the utility player route. . .

    At the risk of quoting myself (poor form, I know), here is what I said in June:

    I think *somebody* in the Reds scouting department must believe this kid can hit. And frankly, Cozart has shown some aptitude for hitting. He hit pretty well in 2006 and was a preseason 1st Team All American coming into 2007. He fell apart at the beginning of 2007 and only hit .250 to begin the year. However, he certainly improved as the weather warmed and hit .345 in the second half.

    http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pb...706010353/1287

    http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pb...10352/0/SPORTS

    Below are Cozart's college numbers.

    2005: .281/.341/.475
    2006: .338/.370/.515
    2007: .304/.382/.428

    http://www.olemisssports.com/ViewArt...48&SPSID=13065

    If he can hit--and he has shown he can hit against the rather tough SEC competition--then the Reds have an Adam Everett glove and a Luis Castillo offensive game, sans the steals. That would help quite a bit, IMO.

    On the other hand, he could be a Rey Olmedo-like flameout in AA. I suppose that seems likely at this point.

    One final thought. . . This guy was a hot commodity coming into the year, and his stock slipped. Same thing happened to Xavier Nady in his junior year in college, and he turned into a decent ballplayer. So the Reds might be buying low here. Here is what Bryan Smith at Baseball Analysts said about Cozart in 2006:

    "Cozart is the best shortstop in the group, a well-skilled player defensively that won't have to think about changing positions. At the plate there are some questions, and they start with Cozart's inability to draw a walk. [editorial note: his BB rate went up since this article was written.] However, his contact rates are the best in the group, and he hit for more power than Horton did on the year. Add enough quickness to steal a base, and he seems a top 15 pick."

    http://baseballanalysts.com/archives...ng_through.php


    http://www.redszone.com/forums/showt...26#post1377926

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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    Luis Castillo sans the steals? Ewww.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    The only person I would have liked to see higher would have been Hildenbrandt. Other than that I am pretty much in agreement with all the prospects so far.
    If you can't build a winning team with that core a fire-sale isn't the solution. Selling the franchise, moving them to Nashville and converting GABP into a used car lot is.
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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    I like Cozart a lot, and I believe whole-heartedly that he will hit enough to play MLB. I'd probably rank him in the 30-40 range of top Reds prospects right now, but he hasn't done enough to be worthy of much more than that. As much as I like him, I don't think he was worth a second round pick, though.

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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    I agree with M2 on Carlos Fisher. I really, really like that guy. Great size, solid stuff and a fresh arm due to him not pitching until late in his college career. This is a guy who I think profiles as an average to above average innings eater in the middle of the rotation. I expect to see him up sometime late next season.

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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    Quote Originally Posted by D-Man View Post
    I'd be curious where you rank him then. Top 50? 80? 100?? There are lots of interesting guys in the minors who are far off.
    Based simply off of the fact that someone liked him a lot more than I did, I had him at #45. Maybe the stuff I heard from some scouts just saw him at bad times, but there were some serious questions as to whether he would ever hit at a reasonable level.

    I must be the only one left on the planet who is still intrigued by Cozart, even though chances are good that he will flame out or head down the utility player route. . .

    At the risk of quoting myself (poor form, I know), here is what I said in June:

    I think *somebody* in the Reds scouting department must believe this kid can hit. And frankly, Cozart has shown some aptitude for hitting. He hit pretty well in 2006 and was a preseason 1st Team All American coming into 2007. He fell apart at the beginning of 2007 and only hit .250 to begin the year. However, he certainly improved as the weather warmed and hit .345 in the second half.
    He did hit well in college, but I don't put much stock into college hitting numbers due to aluminum.
    If he can hit--and he has shown he can hit against the rather tough SEC competition--then the Reds have an Adam Everett glove and a Luis Castillo offensive game, sans the steals. That would help quite a bit, IMO.
    I know he is supposed to have a slick glove, but Adam Everett type gloves don't come around very often. Without seeing him play in person yet, I will not go as far as saying I don't buy it.... but if he is indeed that good with the leather, he still only gets into the 30's. However being that 'if he can hit' turns him into a guy who has topped .750 in OPS 3 times out of 12 season... its not exactly praise.

    One final thought. . . This guy was a hot commodity coming into the year, and his stock slipped. Same thing happened to Xavier Nady in his junior year in college, and he turned into a decent ballplayer. So the Reds might be buying low here. Here is what Bryan Smith at Baseball Analysts said about Cozart in 2006:

    "Cozart is the best shortstop in the group, a well-skilled player defensively that won't have to think about changing positions. At the plate there are some questions, and they start with Cozart's inability to draw a walk. [editorial note: his BB rate went up since this article was written.] However, his contact rates are the best in the group, and he hit for more power than Horton did on the year. Add enough quickness to steal a base, and he seems a top 15 pick."
    Maybe I am underrating him a lot, and that very well could be... but his performance matched the scouting reports I got on him to a T.... which has me soured on him quite a bit. I really hope I am wrong on him though, becuase the better he is, the better it is for the Reds. I just haven't seen anything yet that would get me thinking in the other direction.

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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    I agree with M2 on Carlos Fisher. I really, really like that guy. Great size, solid stuff and a fresh arm due to him not pitching until late in his college career. This is a guy who I think profiles as an average to above average innings eater in the middle of the rotation. I expect to see him up sometime late next season.
    I think we are all in agreement on Fisher. He gets overlooked often because of his age, but as has been noted, he started late. Stuff wise, build wise, he has the potential to be quite good.

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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    Gratified to see that Roenicke (apparently) made Doug's top ten. Based on some earlier discussion this season, didn't think that would happen.

    Glad to see it.

    Excellent list by the way, looking forward to the top ten even though I can guess the remaining names (although not the order).
    Last edited by Kc61; 10-26-2007 at 08:43 PM.

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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    Hmm, Francisco at 12, Valaika at 16, Maloney at 19, Rafael Gonzalez at 37. I would rank the first three in my top 10. Francisco is a beast - and Valaika has hit throughout his career - he's a poor man's Hardy.

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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    Quote Originally Posted by Betterread View Post
    Hmm, Francisco at 12, Valaika at 16, Maloney at 19, Rafael Gonzalez at 37. I would rank the first three in my top 10. Francisco is a beast - and Valaika has hit throughout his career - he's a poor man's Hardy.
    What is your top 10?

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    Re: dougdirt's top 40

    I should probably wait for the rest of the list (Good Work Doug). But assuming the top 10 includes the big 4, Stubbs, Mesoraco, Frazier, Wood, Roenicke and Soto in some order, that would mean that Jose Castro, Jose Rojas, Phil Valiquette, Ben Jukich and Alex Smit didn't make the cut. I'd probably rank those guys ahead of Janish, Lutz, and Jones anyway. Castro in particular should be in the top 10 or 15 IMO. He is a guy with the defensive chops to play SS in the majors, showed a decent bat in the pitching dominated FSL (.318/.342/.383) and showed some promise as a 20 year old in AA. He at least looks like a defensive minded IF who isn't completely an automatic out. At age 20 that is a prospect IMO.

    I think Fisher, Maloney, Rosales, Griffin, McBeth and Watson should be higher. Though in the case of Maloney especially and maybe McBeth it may be based more on trade value than on optimism for performance in Cincy. I've gone a year with Fisher as my top sleeper and am still on board with him. I'm a little less optimistic that he can develop into a solid #4 starter (but still think he could) based on his tired arm in the middle of the year and the stamina questions it suggests. I still think he could be a vaulable multi-inning reliever in Cincy and given that many of these guys may never even sniff the big leagues that still qualifies him as one of the better prospects IMO. I think Rosales can be very valuable to a team if he develops the versatility that his background suggests. Griffin could do the same but he doesn't have the pop and I share Doug's concern with the lack of walks. I think Watson could be a late inning stud and think its his eventual role.

    I'd probably drop the ranking of most of the recent draft picks who have struggled (Stubbs, Mesoraco, etc.) and at this point Travis Wood would need to show some health and progression to higher levels before being in the top 10. I wonder what his trade value is at this point.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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