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Thread: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

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    Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    At the halfway point in the season, let's take a look at how the system currently stacks up. Keep in mind this only looks at prospects currently in the minor leagues (thus, Homer Bailey is not eligible.)

    GRADE A

    1. Daryl Thompson RHP, 22, AAA
    2. Todd Frazier 3B/LF, 22, A+
    2a. Yonder Alonso, 1B, 21 unsigned (this is where he'd rank if/when he signs.)

    GRADE B

    3. Chris Valaika 2B/SS, 22, AA
    4. Neftali Soto 3B 19, A
    5. Kyle Lotzkar RHP, 19, A
    6. Travis Wood LHP, 21, AA
    7. Drew Stubbs CF, 23, AA
    8. Devin Mesoraco C, 20, A

    GRADE C

    9. Juan Francisco 3B/1B/RF, 21 A+
    10. Josh Roenicke RHP, 25, AAA
    11. Matt Maloney LHP, 24, AAA
    12. Zach Stewart RHP 21, A
    13. Shaun Cumberland OF 23, AAA
    14. Robert Manuel RHP 25, AA
    15. Justin Turner 2B 23, AA
    16. Sean Henry OF, 22, AA
    17. Brandon Waring 3B/1B 22, A
    18. Sam LeCure RHP 24, AA (welcome back)
    19. Ben Jukich LHP, 25 AA
    20. Danny Dorn OF, 23, AA

    ON THE RADAR

    21. Tyler Pelland LHP 24, AAA
    22. Danny Ray Herrera RHP 24, AAA
    23. Jordan Smith RHP 23, A+
    24. Zach Cozart SS, 22, A
    25. Justin Reed CF, 20, A

    DROPPED OFF THE RADAR

    Sean Watson

    KEEP AN EYE ON (too early to rank)

    Juan Duran OF
    Clayton Shunick RHP
    Evan Hildenbrant RHP
    Alex Buchholz 2B/SS
    Alex Oliveras OF

    As always, a GRADE A ranking usually corresponds with being a Top 50 prospect in all of baseball. A GRADE B ranking would garner consideration for being a Top 100 prospect in the game, and is reserved for players who have the upside to work their way into a Grade A ranking. GRADE C players may intrigue a few teams and therefore have some trade value, but not enough to warrant being the centerpiece of any major trade.

    The changes on this list are highlighted by the meteoric rises of last year's draftees Soto and Lotzkar, as well as Zach Stewart from this year's draft. Soto and Lotzkar are two bright spots on the Dayton roster that make the drive up I-75 worth making again. Stewart has been on fire in his professional debut, and is poised to be a very fast riser through the system. I wouldn't be surprised to see him start next season at Chattanooga, and if his success continues I wouldn't be shocked if he doesn't finish 2009 in Cincinnati. Meanwhile, Lotzkar and Soto could easily find themselves at the top of this list by season's end at the rates which they're currently going. Both have big time potential. Stubbs remains in the B class with his recent promotion and dazzling debut in Chattanooga, but I'd like to see him sustain his hot start for the remainder of the season. Next year will most certainly be Stubbs' make or break season, so I'm glad to see him wet his feet in Chattanooga this year. Travis Wood has struggled his last couple outings in Chattanooga, but should remain in the rotation there indefinitely, as he's already proven his mastery over Sarasota. Assuming he signs, it will be interesting to watch Alonso and Frazier challenge each other through the system. Both of them should have comparable major league ETAs, and with Joey Votto occupying either 1B or LF, there might only be room for one of them in the Reds' long term plans.

    IMMINENT PROMOTIONS

    Josh Roenicke should be with the Reds immediately.
    Danny Dorn and Sean Henry should be bumped up to Louisville soon, but they may have to wait until a spot opens on the big club for Dickerson.
    Robert Manuel should close games for Louisville as soon as Roenicke gets called up to the Show.
    Ben Jukich and Sam LeCure should also be promoted to the Louisville rotation as soon as possible.
    Zach Stewart looks like he could easily be the best bullpen arm in Sarasota right now.

    LATE SUMMER CALLUPS

    If he continues to mash and can find a position he can call home, Todd Frazier might get a taste of Chattanooga by the end of the summer.
    If he doesn't get a spot start or two sooner, Matt Maloney will almost certainly get a big league tryout come September.
    Tyler Pelland and Danny Ray Herrera should also get big league bullpen additions in September.
    Adam Rosales looks to be a September callup, provided he doesn't relapse into his early season funk.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Benihana; 07-11-2008 at 06:52 PM.
    Go BLUE!!!

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  3. #2
    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    Well done.

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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    I cant say I disagree too much. Few here and there, but overall nothing way out of whack other than Duran.

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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    but overall nothing way out of whack other than Duran.
    He's obviously the #1 guy to "Keep an eye on", which means it's too early to include him in the rankings because he's not yet in A ball. That's just my way of avoiding too big of discrepancies in the projection vs. likelihood of reaching debate.

    Duran has undoubtedly one of the highest ceilings in the system, but in order to be eligible for my list you have to at least have made it to Dayton.
    Go BLUE!!!

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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    Stewart if he keeps putting up the numbers should be moved up to the B list. It´s good to know the minor system still has some talent left.

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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    I expect Joshe Roenicke to be pitching the 7th inning in potentially winning games for the Reds by September. Or next April at the latest.

    Don't see how this translates into a C prospect.

    Soto is a good prospect but all the enthusiasm is overheated. Last year he came down to earth after a blazing start. Not a shortstop, apparently not a special defensive player. I think he's a good prospect for sure, in the top ten, but would avoid getting carried away.

    Travis Wood is also rated a tad high. I know, he has a very good changeup. And he looks like a potential major leaguer. BA had him way lower down. Not a projectable hard thrower, he may make it, he may not. Yes, a good prospect, glad the Reds have him. But a tad high here.

    Lotzkar, on the other hand, seems like a very exciting prospect with his velocity and success at a young age. Hillenbrandt looks to me as a very exciting prospect.

    Right now, assuming Alonso is signed, I think Alonso and Todd Frazier are head and shoulders the top of the class. The next group to me is Thompson, Roenicke, and Lotzkar. Lotzkar is a hard throwing young pitcher whose performance in Dayton at this young age is very promising. And, ok, add Stubbs to this group because he is a true centerfielder and they don't grow on trees.

    So I've got Alonso, Frazier, Thompson, Roenicke, Lotzkar, Stubbs as 1-6.

    I would then put Valaika but uncertainty as to his position is an issue here. He looks like a solid hitting prospect, not a powerhouse but solid, whose infield position is up in the air. Sounds like a seven.

    The last three of the top ten is then Soto at 8, Mesaroco at 9 (just on draft hype, really), and whomever you like at 10. Just going on this season's showing, I would probably pick Lecure or Maloney. Lecure's pitching at AA is fairly viewed as dominant right now. Maybe he's better than folks have projected. Maloney having a great stretch at AAA. A number of others vying for this spot, Francisco, Hillenbrandt, Wood included. Pick Lecure.

    So Valaika, Soto, Mesaroco and Lecure 7-10.
    Last edited by Kc61; 07-12-2008 at 11:54 AM.

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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I expect Joshe Roenicke to be pitching the 7th inning in potentially winning games for the Reds by September. Or next April at the latest.

    Don't see how this translates into a C prospect.

    Soto is a good prospect but all the enthusiasm is overheated. Last year he came down to earth after a blazing start. Not a shortstop, apparently not a special defensive player. I think he's good, in the top ten, but people are getting a bit carried away.

    Travis Wood is also rated a tad high. I know, he has a very good changeup. And he looks like a potential major leaguer. BA had him way lower down. Not a projectable hard thrower, he may make it, he may not. Yes, a good prospect, glad the Reds have him. But a tad high here.

    Lotzkar, on the other hand, seems like a very exciting prospect with his velocity and success at a young age. Hillenbrandt looks to me as a very exciting prospect.

    Right now, assuming Alonso is signed, I think Alonso and Todd Frazier are head and shoulders the top of the class. The next group to me is Thompson, Roenicke, and Lotzkar. Lotzkar is a hard throwing young pitcher whose performance in Dayton at this young age is very promising. And, ok, add Stubbs to this group because he is a true centerfielder and they don't grow on trees.

    So I've got Alonso, Frazier, Thompson, Roenicke, Lotzkar, Stubbs as 1-6.

    I would then put Valaika but uncertainty as to his position is an issue here. He looks like a solid hitting prospect, not a powerhouse but solid, whose infield position is up in the air. Sounds like a seven.

    The last three of the top ten is then Soto at 8, Mesaroco at 9 (just on draft hype, really), and whomever you like at 10. Just going on this season's showing, I would probably pick Lecure or Maloney. Lecure's pitching at AA is fairly viewed as dominant right now. Maybe he's better than folks have projected. Maloney having a great stretch at AAA. A number of others vying for this spot, Francisco, Hillenbrandt, Wood included. Pick Lecure.

    So Valaika, Soto, Mesaroco and Lecure 7-10.

    I like Roenicke a lot, and agree that he should be pitching the 7th inning in Cincinnati right now. However, the Reds brass for whatever reason still thinks that he is not as good of an option as Gary Majewski. Granted he got a very late start to his professional pitching career, but when you're 25 and getting passed over for Gary Majewski, it's hard to consider you a top prospect. Furthermore, relief pitchers, particularly those that aren't poised to become an immediate closer, generally get ranked lower because of their projected impact on games. I think that of this list, Roenicke and Thompson are far and away the most likely to have an impact on the Reds in the immediate future, however because Roenicke is considerably older than anyone else in the top group on the list, he falls a bit. Generally, once a guy turns 26 he's no longer even considered a prospect.

    Valaika is definitely ahead of Stubbs at this point purely because of their offensive numbers. Whether or not he can stick at SS is a heavily debated topic, but for now Valaika is putting Stubbs' offensive numbers to shame at (until Wednesday) a higher level, and they both play premium defensive positions.

    While Sam LeCure has put up very good numbers in the last month, he had a poor April and May- at least, for a "top prospect." I'm excited about his recent stretch and would like to see him challenged in Louisville, but proceed with caution here.

    As far as Hildenbrant goes, I share your enthusiasm over his performance in the GCL, but like I said earlier to doug about Juan Duran, I refuse to rank anyone on the list before they can play in A ball.

    And finally, while Frazier (and Alonso) is a great looking prospect, it's difficult to argue that both guys should be "head and shoulders" above Daryl Thompson, who has dominated AAA and even had a taste of major league success at the (same) age of 22. Oh yeah, and he throws in the mid-90's. I don't think you could say anybody in high-A will ever be head and shoulders above that.
    Go BLUE!!!

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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    I like Roenicke a lot, and agree that he should be pitching the 7th inning in Cincinnati right now. However, the Reds brass for whatever reason still thinks that he is not as good of an option as Gary Majewski. Granted he got a very late start to his professional pitching career, but when you're 25 and getting passed over for Gary Majewski, it's hard to consider you a top prospect. Furthermore, relief pitchers, particularly those that aren't poised to become an immediate closer, generally get ranked lower because of their projected impact on games. I think that of this list, Roenicke and Thompson are far and away the most likely to have an impact on the Reds in the immediate future, however because Roenicke is considerably older than anyone else in the top group on the list, he falls a bit. Generally, once a guy turns 26 he's no longer even considered a prospect.
    But shouldn't this be your own analysis and projections (re: Roenicke)? Who knows why he is still in AAA. If you think Roenicke is better, then you should rank him as such and not worry about what the Reds (may) think. I think Roenicke is a "B" prospect at this point, based on his numbers this season and what he projects to be.

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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRedleg View Post
    Well done.

    x2.
    Who's on first?

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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    Two guys who I've always thought were overrated: Chris Valaika and Travis Wood.

    Danny Herrera is quite a bit lower than I'd place him also. How on earth is he behind Pelland?

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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    Good list - I love to discuss these.
    Here are my opinion, for what they're worth: Soto, Wood and Mesoraco are not in my top 10. They would be replaced by Maloney and Stewart. Soto would be close to the top 10. Mesoraco has been MIA offensively for weeks. Wood will need a lot of time to be ready, and will have to avoid injury.
    Manuel and Jukich are not in the top 40 and Waring is barely a prospect.
    I would replace them with Tatum, Valiquette and Terrell Young.
    I also think Ravin and Scott Carroll are outlying prospects.

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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by SMcGavin View Post
    Two guys who I've always thought were overrated: Chris Valaika and Travis Wood.

    Danny Herrera is quite a bit lower than I'd place him also. How on earth is he behind Pelland?
    Why do you think Valaika and Wood are overrated?

    As for Pelland over Herrera.... probability to succeed in the majors is likely the biggest reason.

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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Betterread View Post
    Good list - I love to discuss these.
    Here are my opinion, for what they're worth: Soto, Wood and Mesoraco are not in my top 10. They would be replaced by Maloney and Stewart. Soto would be close to the top 10. Mesoraco has been MIA offensively for weeks. Wood will need a lot of time to be ready, and will have to avoid injury.
    Manuel and Jukich are not in the top 40 and Waring is barely a prospect.
    I would replace them with Tatum, Valiquette and Terrell Young.
    I also think Ravin and Scott Carroll are outlying prospects.

    Dag, I think Soto will be top 3 within a year in the system.
    Who's on first?

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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    Good list. It's always fun to think about these. Does last night get Ramon Ramirez somewhere on the radar screen? I think he should be. He's had some rough outings but has also pitched some very good baseball for Louisville. He's making a strong case for some kind of role on the pitching staff in Cinti.

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    Re: Reds Top 25 Prospects- Midseason Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    in order to be eligible for my list you have to at least have made it to Dayton.
    Yonder Alonso at #2a?


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