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View Poll Results: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

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  • Dallas Buck

    0 0%
  • Zach Cozart

    1 0.83%
  • Danny Dorn

    28 23.14%
  • Carlos Fisher

    1 0.83%
  • Ryan Hanigan

    4 3.31%
  • Chris Heisey

    1 0.83%
  • Jeremy Horst

    0 0%
  • Sam Lecure

    0 0%
  • Matt Maloney

    4 3.31%
  • Devin Mesoraco

    41 33.88%
  • Ramon Ramirez

    7 5.79%
  • Yorman Rodriguez

    11 9.09%
  • Josh Roenicke

    5 4.13%
  • Adam Rosales

    1 0.83%
  • Zach Stewart

    10 8.26%
  • Justin Turner

    4 3.31%
  • Pedro Viola

    3 2.48%
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Thread: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

  1. #31
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Danny Dorn is the highest rated guy I have left, He's number 8 on my personal list and he already is a LH bat that can add some pop in a platoon role. I see him becoming a Matt Stairs type. Not a top end star, but a solid guy in the rank and file of major league baseball players. Others may have higher potential, but they also have high possibilities of becoming nothing.

    I have Mesoraco rated lower than most do (#19) but just like with Valaika, I'm skeptical of guys whose bats are only assets at positions that they haven't demonstrated that they'll be able to play. Mes plays a spot dying for good players, but his defensive issues really bother me. His bat isn't special and if he can't stick at catcher, he's fodder. OTOH, if he gets it together at catcher, he moves up into my top 5. I know he was a number 1 pick, but he's a project that may never be completed. Usually number 1 picks rate higher if for no other reason than trade value, but I doubt that Mes would bring much back until he shows he can catch. I also think his number 1 status is a bit cheap. I'm guessing that the Reds knew they could reach a bit for need because they had a couple of sandwich picks at the end of round one to fall back on (those picks became Todd Frazier and Kyle Lotzkar). I'm not sure the Reds take on a project like Mes without the safety net that those other picks provided. As a result, his 1st round status gets a little less weight in the evaluation process than it normally would IMO.
    I'll be honest everything in me wanted to place Dorn ahead of Mesoraco lord knows I'm a sucker for production and proximity to the majors. But I resisted that notion here and i'll explain why in a second.

    First I wanna say that you make a fair point about a players bat only being "productive" enough to be considered good if he can play that premium defensive position. I agree with that idea, but where I disagree is saying these 2 fit that argument.

    #1 Valaika - 2B is a notch down the defensive chart for more than one reason. His range coupled with his arm make him inadequate at SS (for my taste anyway) because even if he gets to some balls he won't likely be able to throw out the average runner as well. However his arm is no detriment at all at 2B so it kinda assists his range there. So in essence what I'm saying when I say his range doesn't play well at SS, Is that his other tools don't allow his range to be suitable. And his bat will play at 2B as is, if his discipline and power improve (which I have no doubt about his power improving) he's not Jeff Kent but could be a Ryne Sandberg (.285/.344/.452) level player or slightly better. What's not too like about that?

    #2 Mesoraco - I agree he looked miserable behind the plate and that part of the equation has yet to be determined. But we all know it's by far the toughest defensive position on the field and it takes an inordinate amount of time to play it well. So a tad over a full year in pro ball doesn't give it adequate time to reach a logical ultimate conclusion in my mind. I'm also not sure we have seen enough to suggest his bat isn't capable of far better #'s than we have seen to this point. In fact if you take into consideration that he was perhaps hitting at a level higher than his age/experience would normally slot him then you might feel he more than held his own. I'm not so sure he was at a level higher but it's definitely arguable. So taking those things into consideration coupled with his talent and current position i'd say his value right now exceeds a guy who has exhibited for multiple seasons now that he cannot hit pitchers who throw from one whole side of the mound and that his talent apparently doesn't represent a future defensive gem himself (at a far less important defensive position).

    Really i'm not arguing your rankings, we all have reasons for why we rank guys where we do and that's fine. But are we really giving these guys enough thought or are we just looking at the surface, forming an opinion and going with that?
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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  3. #32
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo View Post
    I'll be honest everything in me wanted to place Dorn ahead of Mesoraco lord knows I'm a sucker for production and proximity to the majors. But I resisted that notion here and i'll explain why in a second.

    First I wanna say that you make a fair point about a players bat only being "productive" enough to be considered good if he can play that premium defensive position. I agree with that idea, but where I disagree is saying these 2 fit that argument.

    #1 Valaika - 2B is a notch down the defensive chart for more than one reason. His range coupled with his arm make him inadequate at SS (for my taste anyway) because even if he gets to some balls he won't likely be able to throw out the average runner as well. However his arm is no detriment at all at 2B so it kinda assists his range there. So in essence what I'm saying when I say his range doesn't play well at SS, Is that his other tools don't allow his range to be suitable. And his bat will play at 2B as is, if his discipline and power improve (which I have no doubt about his power improving) he's not Jeff Kent but could be a Ryne Sandberg (.285/.344/.452) level player or slightly better. What's not too like about that?

    #2 Mesoraco - I agree he looked miserable behind the plate and that part of the equation has yet to be determined. But we all know it's by far the toughest defensive position on the field and it takes an inordinate amount of time to play it well. So a tad over a full year in pro ball doesn't give it adequate time to reach a logical ultimate conclusion in my mind. I'm also not sure we have seen enough to suggest his bat isn't capable of far better #'s than we have seen to this point. In fact if you take into consideration that he was perhaps hitting at a level higher than his age/experience would normally slot him then you might feel he more than held his own. I'm not so sure he was at a level higher but it's definitely arguable. So taking those things into consideration coupled with his talent and current position i'd say his value right now exceeds a guy who has exhibited for multiple seasons now that he cannot hit pitchers who throw from one whole side of the mound and that his talent apparently doesn't represent a future defensive gem himself (at a far less important defensive position).

    Really i'm not arguing your rankings, we all have reasons for why we rank guys where we do and that's fine. But are we really giving these guys enough thought or are we just looking at the surface, forming an opinion and going with that?
    Valaika is OB challenged and a comparison to a stellar defender who was an annual threat to lead the league in Total Bases is pretty optimistic for Valaika. In this era a .750 OPS is nothing special and Valaika's got a low OBP and his power is pedestrian. He needs to hit about .320 to OPS .800. His glove is not good enough for SS and we don't know if he can play 2B because the Reds haven't really given him much of a look. IMO his bat only plays well as a MI. His best chance is to have a Ryan Freel type career.

    Mes is a guy who hasn't hit much and doesn't do anything to inspire confidence with the glove. He's got some tools and may put it all together one day. If he weren't a well known 1st round pick, I'd be touting him as a nice sleeper to keep an eye on. I want better than that for my top 10 prospect list.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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  4. #33
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Valaika did hit 18 HR last season. Thats nothing to sneeze at.

  5. #34
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Valaika is OB challenged and a comparison to a stellar defender who was an annual threat to lead the league in Total Bases is pretty optimistic for Valaika. In this era a .750 OPS is nothing special and Valaika's got a low OBP and his power is pedestrian. He needs to hit about .320 to OPS .800. His glove is not good enough for SS and we don't know if he can play 2B because the Reds haven't really given him much of a look. IMO his bat only plays well as a MI. His best chance is to have a Ryan Freel type career.

    Mes is a guy who hasn't hit much and doesn't do anything to inspire confidence with the glove. He's got some tools and may put it all together one day. If he weren't a well known 1st round pick, I'd be touting him as a nice sleeper to keep an eye on. I want better than that for my top 10 prospect list.
    Ok it's clear we see one thing differently you don't think Valaika will improve much if any and I do see more power and patience on the way. Why you assume he can't play 2B is interesting, the only SS's I've ever seen not capable of playing a better 2B are those who don't try to play it well. Valaika doesn't strike me as the type who is against working hard or is going to be put off by having to learn to make a turn on a DP or learn to cover 1st base on a bunt. It's probably easier to envision how a guy's game translates to another position by watching him play enough defense. I have seen him play enough defense to see it won't be an issue so I have no problem assuming this part of it.

    With regards to Mes I can't argue his defense it was abysmal and unfortunately I can't offer much of a take on him as I haven't had the pleasure of watching him play. But I think he held his own with the bat taking age/inexperience into consideration. He and Dorn IMO are close in terms of value currently though I just see Dorn as the higher floor and Mes with the higher ceiling. The fact Mes is still at a premium defensive position gives him the nod for me. Next season if left at Dayton for at least half of it should tell alot more about Mesoraco's game and that could make him move up or down the prospect ladder alot.
    Last edited by Mario-Rijo; 11-08-2008 at 06:16 AM.
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  6. #35
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo View Post
    Ok it's clear we see one thing differently you don't think Valaika will improve much if any and I do see more power and patience on the way. Why you assume he can't play 2B is interesting, the only SS's I've ever seen not capable of playing a better 2B are those who don't try to play it well. Valaika doesn't strike me as the type who is against working hard or is going to be put off by having to learn to make a turn on a DP or learn to cover 1st base on a bunt. It's probably easier to envision how a guy's game translates to another position by watching him play enough defense. I have seen him play enough defense to see it won't be an issue so I have no problem assuming this part of it.

    With regards to Mes I can't argue his defense it was abysmal and unfortunately I can't offer much of a take on him as I haven't had the pleasure of watching him play. But I think he held his own with the bat taking age/inexperience into consideration. He and Dorn IMO are close in terms of value currently though I just see Dorn as the higher floor and Mes with the higher ceiling. The fact Mes is still at a premium defensive position gives him the nod for me. Next season if left at Dayton for at least half of it should tell alot more about Mesoraco's game and that could make him move up or down the prospect ladder alot.
    As far as Valaika goes, there are a lot of guys who can't play SS that go on to prove that they aren't very good at 2B either. Tony Womack, Felipe Lopez, Todd Frazier even Kevin Mitchell might be a few Reds related examples. For me its simple. I want a plus defender at both SS and 2B. The only way a guy who just "gets by" over there would be acceptable would be if he's a 900 OPS guy year after year. Its not worth compromising defense up the middle for a .775 or so OPS and I believe that is optimiistic for Valaika unless he develops a lot more patience. I see a .275/.335/.425/.760 type player. A guy like that better be a plus defender or I'd let some one else have him, or as I suggested earlier, make him a supersub so that his defense doesn't cause the cumulative drag on the staff that having a "gets by" type up the middle every day creates. I would need to see that Valaika holds down 2B capably for an extended period before assuming he can play there. Not being good enough at SS doesn't make a guy good enough at 2B automatically, especially when range is the question. If it was only his arm strength, then I'd probably feel differently.

    I mostly agree on Mes, but where I have a hard time is giving him so much credit for "playing a premium position." If he'd have proven he could actually play that position I'd agree. As of now he's only proven that he has some tools and a lot of time to develop. Lots of guys like that.
    Last edited by mth123; 11-08-2008 at 07:17 AM.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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  7. #36
    Member SMcGavin's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Valaika did hit 18 HR last season. Thats nothing to sneeze at.
    Yeah, I don't really have an issue with Valaika's power. It's the OBP that worries me.

    I think mth is hitting the nail on the head with this one. If Valaika can play a good 2B, he's a solid prospect. I still worry about his OBP at 2B, but it's less of an issue and I could see him getting it up enough to stick there. If he has to move out of the middle infield, he's more than likely not an everyday player.

    Unless the Reds think he's going to be a major league SS, I'd get him to 2B ASAP so we can see what he's got. Since they designated him the SS for AFL, that's probably not going to happen. Hopefully either a) they think he can really play SS or b) they are trying to keep his trade value high. If they expect a position change later but are just dragging their feet on doing it, that is poor management of your assets IMO.

  8. #37
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Valaika spent last winter playing 2B in Hawaii. He played around 30 games. Maybe the Reds saw something they didn't like and decided to leave him at SS.
    He has the ability play SS in the big leagues. The question is will it be with the Reds.
    Last edited by BigRed07; 11-08-2008 at 11:45 AM.

  9. #38
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by SMcGavin View Post
    Yeah, I don't really have an issue with Valaika's power. It's the OBP that worries me.

    I think mth is hitting the nail on the head with this one. If Valaika can play a good 2B, he's a solid prospect. I still worry about his OBP at 2B, but it's less of an issue and I could see him getting it up enough to stick there. If he has to move out of the middle infield, he's more than likely not an everyday player.

    Unless the Reds think he's going to be a major league SS, I'd get him to 2B ASAP so we can see what he's got. Since they designated him the SS for AFL, that's probably not going to happen. Hopefully either a) they think he can really play SS or b) they are trying to keep his trade value high. If they expect a position change later but are just dragging their feet on doing it, that is poor management of your assets IMO.
    I think Valaika has the ability to hit .300 in the majors on a fairly consistent basis. At that point his 40-50 walks per year isn't nearly as big of a deal as other guys only getting that many walks who are hitting .260-.280.

    With the position thing, I am feeling a lot more confident about him sticking at SS than I was last year.

  10. #39
    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    Mesoraco based on being a catcher and his tools.
    When I first glanced at this, I thought you said "Mesoraco based on being a catcher and a tool", at which point I was going to ask

    "What did Mesoraco do to you?"

    My bad!

  11. #40
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I think Valaika has the ability to hit .300 in the majors on a fairly consistent basis. At that point his 40-50 walks per year isn't nearly as big of a deal as other guys only getting that many walks who are hitting .260-.280.

    With the position thing, I am feeling a lot more confident about him sticking at SS than I was last year.
    I agree I think Valaika is perfectly capable of hitting a consistent .300 and it's not like he's not taking any walks at all. Heck he's been hitting over .300 for his minor league career and has yet to fully develop his plate discipline. If he never finishes developing that part of his game yeah he's not gonna be anything special. But that remains to be seen and I think the odds are with him. I actually think he needs to struggle a bit 1st before he understands he needs to adjust his approach to swinging just at driveable pitches. Once he does that watch out.

    As far as his defense I don't ever expect him to be a great defender but I do think he can play a suitable MI defense just probably at 2B. But Michael Young has stuck at SS for quite some time now and the 2 aren't much different if at all.
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  12. #41
    Boom Goes the Dynamite Screwball's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo View Post
    As far as his defense I don't ever expect him to be a great defender but I do think he can play a suitable MI defense just probably at 2B. But Michael Young has stuck at SS for quite some time now and the 2 aren't much different if at all.
    But of course, Michael Young has Gold Glove defense somehow!

  13. #42
    Member SMcGavin's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I think Valaika has the ability to hit .300 in the majors on a fairly consistent basis. At that point his 40-50 walks per year isn't nearly as big of a deal as other guys only getting that many walks who are hitting .260-.280.

    With the position thing, I am feeling a lot more confident about him sticking at SS than I was last year.
    The problem is that he might have to hit .300 if he's going to have any kind of acceptable OBP. The past two seasons he's hit just over .300, and his OBP is a touch under .350. That OBP is OK, but it's trouble if it starts dropping much. We're asking him to transfer his minor league numbers right over to the bigs without a drop.

    Offensively he's not all that different than the guy the Reds have at 2B right now. Brandon Phillips' 2006 season is pretty close to what I'm expecting from Valaika:

    .276/.324/.427

    If you're a middle infielder who plays top notch defense (Phillips), that's enough to be a pretty solid player. If you're a middle infielder who plays average defense (I'm hoping Valaika fits into this category), that's probably enough to get you a starting gig during your prime years. But if the D is below average, or you have to move out of the middle infield, that line is not an everyday player. So it comes back to the same question, where is Valaika going to play and how good is he going to be there?

  14. #43
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Screwball View Post
    But of course, Michael Young has Gold Glove defense somehow!
    Well he does do a fair job of maximizing what he is capable of but that doesn't make him the best defender at SS in either league so yeah I agree.
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  15. #44
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by SMcGavin View Post
    The problem is that he might have to hit .300 if he's going to have any kind of acceptable OBP. The past two seasons he's hit just over .300, and his OBP is a touch under .350. That OBP is OK, but it's trouble if it starts dropping much. We're asking him to transfer his minor league numbers right over to the bigs without a drop.

    Offensively he's not all that different than the guy the Reds have at 2B right now. Brandon Phillips' 2006 season is pretty close to what I'm expecting from Valaika:

    .276/.324/.427

    If you're a middle infielder who plays top notch defense (Phillips), that's enough to be a pretty solid player. If you're a middle infielder who plays average defense (I'm hoping Valaika fits into this category), that's probably enough to get you a starting gig during your prime years. But if the D is below average, or you have to move out of the middle infield, that line is not an everyday player. So it comes back to the same question, where is Valaika going to play and how good is he going to be there?
    Taking every SS in baseball with 400 or more PA last year they had a .337 OBP and a .412 SLG. There is very little doubt that he could put up those numbers in my mind. People continue to harp on his 'plate discipline' as if he doesn't understand a ball or a strike. He does. He can hit take that outide pitch and drive it the other way for a hit and he does that rather than taking it. Its why he is a career .306 hitter in the minor leagues. Yeah, he won't walk a whole lot (although he was on pace for 40 walks this year over a major league season's worth of PA), but he is going to hit for an average with some pop.

  16. #45
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #11 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Taking every SS in baseball with 400 or more PA last year they had a .337 OBP and a .412 SLG. There is very little doubt that he could put up those numbers in my mind. People continue to harp on his 'plate discipline' as if he doesn't understand a ball or a strike. He does. He can hit take that outide pitch and drive it the other way for a hit and he does that rather than taking it. Its why he is a career .306 hitter in the minor leagues. Yeah, he won't walk a whole lot (although he was on pace for 40 walks this year over a major league season's worth of PA), but he is going to hit for an average with some pop.
    Those are averages of a bunch of glove men. If he's going to play SS, he better do a whole lot better than that or become a lot more rangey with better hands and a stronger arm.

    That's the entire argument. These MI averages that everyone is saying Valaika can beat are based on a bunch of defense first players putting those numbers up. Since he is an offense first guy, he should crush those numbers and I just don't see him doing it. If he was Brandon Phillips on defense, I wouldn't have any problem with how his offense projects, but if he's going to play defense like Jeff Kent, he needs to hit like Jeff Kent or he's inadequate.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS


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