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Thread: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

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    Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    After a nine month hiatus, it's back: The Reds Top Prospects List.

    Unlike the last couple years, however, I've decided to trim the list to 15 prospects, with others falling under the OTHERS TO WATCH category. There is too much liquidity and uncertainty surrounding guys who would fall in the 15-25 range (there's enough uncertainty with all prospects as it is.) As always, GRADE A indicates a player has a chance to be an all-star at the major league level, GRADE B indicates a player should be a starter at the major league level, and GRADE C indicates that a player has a decent shot to contribute in some form at the major league level. Also, as always, I do not like to rank guys who have yet to play at a full season level (A ball or above.) Mike Leake will be an exception to that rule, as most people believe he should be in Cincinnati by 2011 at the latest. Finally, I do not rank anyone with significant time at the big league level (Homer Bailey) or anyone over 25 (Sutton, Maloney & Roenicke.) Without further ado...

    GRADE A

    1. Yonder Alonso 1B AA Once he starts hitting in Carolina, he could be in Louisville by August
    2. Zack Stewart RHP AA Meteoric rise since converting to starter

    GRADE B

    3. Mike Leake* RHP Will be interesting to see who gets to Cincy first- him or Stewart
    4. Todd Frazier 3B/LF AA Should be playing 3B in Louisville
    5. Drew Stubbs CF AAA Would be in Cincy already if Dickerson wasn't playing so well. Should see him soon.
    6. Chris Heisey CF AA Second fastest rise up the charts, he belongs in Louisville and should get there any day now.
    7. Neftali Soto 3B A+ Don't forget about him- he could be the best hitter in the system after Alonso. Very young for his level
    8. Juan Carlos Sulbaran RHP A+ Doing well for a 19 year old in Dayton, has great stuff.

    GRADE C

    9. Chris Valaika 2B/SS/3B AAA Dropped a bit after missing some time due to injury. His value depends on whether he can stay at SS.
    10. Zack Cozart SS AA Has looked great so far this year, could be another fast riser. His glove is ML-ready and he's hitting well in Carolina, look for a promotion sometime this summer.
    11. Travis Wood LHP AA Been the best pitcher in the system this year after Stewart, you could make the argument for him being higher. Should get a promotion around The Break.
    12. Juan Francisco 3B AA Ranked low because still hasn't shown the plate discipline everyone's been hoping for. However power is there and defense is strong at 3B.
    13. Matt Fairel LHP A Has had some absolutely dominant outings. Probably belongs in Sarasota.
    14. Pedro Viola LHP AAA Has fallen apart in the last month, but still has the stuff to pitch in Cincy at some point this year.
    15. Devin Mesoraco C A+ Ranked here based on pedigree alone. His numbers are poor in Sarasota although his peripherals and defense are improving. Should probably repeat Sarasota next year.

    OTHERS TO WATCH
    Brad Boxberger* RHP
    Alexander Smit LHP AA
    Jordan Smith RHP AA
    Robert Manuel RHP AAA
    Sean Henry OF AA

    KEEP AN EYE ON (too early to tell)
    Yorman Rodriguez CF R
    Juan Duran OF R
    Billy Hamilton* SS

    INJURED
    Kyle Lotzkar RHP A
    Dallas Buck RHP AA
    Daryl Thompson RHP AAA

    PROMOTIONS ON THE HORIZON (in order of neccessity)
    Heisey to AAA
    Stubbs to MLB
    Fairel to A+
    Frazier to AAA (and move back to 3B)
    Cozart to AAA (by The ASB)
    Wood to AAA (by The ASB)



    *unsigned
    Last edited by Benihana; 06-11-2009 at 09:50 PM.
    Go BLUE!!!

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    I think Frazier is an "A" if Alonso is right now. Frazier has proven he can hit AA pitching while Alonso hasn't proven it yet (though I'm sure he will). Frazier has spend quite a bit of time in AA now and is doing quite well.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    Agree with just about everythng you said Beni. Great job.

    I really like the way the farm system is shaping up. I know the strength of the system is generally agreed to be in the A+, AA & AA levels, but I think there are some sleepers in the lower levels that are going to strengthen our depth over the next few years. A couple of top Latin signing would really set things off nicely though.

    I think this year was a critical draft year for the club. At first blush, it was a little underwhelming, but it's growing on me. I'm really liking the Leake pick more and more and think he's a solid bet to tunr out to be a solid middle of the rotation starter in as little as two years. I liked the college arms too, but the key to the draft to are the HS signability questions at C & SS. Sign a couple of them and the draft looks fairly solid,

    I know Jocketty is going to be tempted to be a buyer this year and most fans would support him. I don't want to be throwing prospects at rental guys like Holiday if they can be packaged to land high ceiling young guys with a future. I think now is whenthey need to really be laying the ground work for the next few years when I think the Reds have a chance to really take off.

    I'd be looking to move guys like Harang, Arroyo, Weathers, Cordero and Encarnacion and even Phillips too between now and the start of ST. I'm not talking firesale or giving anyone away (I want a solid return(s) or no deals), but with the injury questions, I'd be willing to jeoaprdize chances somewhat for this year to make gains for 2010, 2011, etc.

    I believe that now is the time to start making some decisions on some of the young guys too, Who will form the backbone going forward and who will be used to land missing pieces. I haven't given up on Jay Bruce by any means, but any means, but I would float his name some to see how much interest I receive.

    I've been anticipating a signature blockbuster deal from Walt since he took over. Something big and surprising that will solidly stamp this as his franchise. It may come next offseason, but I feel it coming and it may be sooner than many think.
    Last edited by corkedbat; 06-12-2009 at 02:33 AM.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    whatever happened to Roenicke buzz, anyway? replaced by... crickets.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton View Post
    whatever happened to Roenicke buzz, anyway? replaced by... crickets.
    Actually, based on the numbers, should be trumpets.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Actually, based on the numbers, should be trumpets.
    he's getting leapfrogged. I expect to see him out of the organization by July 31.

    coddling is good, though. when he makes the majors, he should be way ready.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton View Post
    he's getting leapfrogged. I expect to see him out of the organization by July 31.

    coddling is good, though. when he makes the majors, he should be way ready.

    The only guy who leapfrogged him was Fisher who had a better start at AAA this year.

    Roenicke was rumored as potential trade bate last off-season, it is a possibility. Reds have said he is a late bloomer, started as a position player. Whether or not he is traded, he has been dominant at AAA after a shaky start this year.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    W/ gonzalez's contract set to expire following this season, I wonder what the odds of Cozart grabbing the opening day SS position next season? On the surface one would think a kid playing in Dayton last year would be at least 1 more season away (beyond this year), but who's in front of him to block him? No one really. I'd like to see him get the bump up to AAA at the all-star break and if he continues to do well there, get a september call up w/ a shot at making the major league roster out of spring training next year.

    Of course I wouldn't mind Janish get more playing time, I don't think his bat keeps him in the starting roll long term, but he's done reasonable well in a limited capacity this season.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    Few observations.

    If Soto is the second best hitting prospect in the organization, he's not showing it this year. He has a .645 OPS right now at High A ball. IMO Todd Frazier is unquestionably the second best hitting prospect in the organization, even arguably the first. He has adjusted to AA with a .333 BA and an .885 OPS and should be at AAA and the major leagues very soon. IMO a very underrated prospect in minor league ball generally.

    Juan Francisco's bat has picked up, his OPS is over .750 and rising. But you say his defense is strong, perhaps, but I'd point out he has 18 errors this year so far.

    Josh Roenicke has 25 Ks and allowed 3 BBs in 23 innings this year at AAA. He has a 1.22 WHIP and a 3.13 ERA after a few early bad outings. He's allowed zero homers and has ten saves. Probably deserves some mention someplace, no?
    Last edited by Kc61; 06-12-2009 at 11:42 AM.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Few observations.

    If Soto is the second best hitting prospect in the organization, he's not showing it this year. He has a .645 OPS right now at High A ball. IMO Todd Frazier is unquestionably the second best hitting prospect in the organization, even arguably the first. He has adjusted to AA with a .333 BA and an .885 OPS and should be at AAA and the major leagues very soon. IMO a very underrated prospect in minor league ball generally.
    Soto had an absolutely horrible April, since then he has picked it up and has been right around .300 since then. Add in the Florida league's power sapping abilities, and his age. Put all this together and you can see why he is considered the 2nd best hitting prospect. Also he is very young for A+ ball at 20, most of the guys he is facing are 21 to 23.

    Editted for the age 20, come on guys we didn't celebrate his birthday here...
    Last edited by bellhead; 06-12-2009 at 01:15 PM.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    Quote Originally Posted by bellhead View Post
    Soto had an absolutely horrible April, since then he has picked it up and has been right around .300 since then. Add in the Florida league's power sapping abilities, and his age. Put all this together and you can see why he is considered the 2nd best hitting prospect. Also he is very young for A+ ball at 19, most of the guys he is facing are 21 to 23.
    Soto is over 20 now, but I agree with your post.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    Quote Originally Posted by bellhead View Post
    Soto had an absolutely horrible April, since then he has picked it up and has been right around .300 since then. Add in the Florida league's power sapping abilities, and his age. Put all this together and you can see why he is considered the 2nd best hitting prospect. Also he is very young for A+ ball at 20, most of the guys he is facing are 21 to 23.

    Editted for the age 20, come on guys we didn't celebrate his birthday here...
    I don't have monthly stats, but I'm not sure this analysis tells the full story. I know Soto had a bad April and a strong May. But it looks to me, based on watching the boxscores, that perhaps he has fallen back again.

    Right now he is hitting .258/.294/.350/.645. He has 33Ks and 9 walks. He has 6 doubles, 4 homers and 14 RBIs. After 217 at bats.

    Soto is very young and he may have suffered after Alonso was promoted, perhaps leaving little protection for him in the lineup. And the league is tough on hitters. But he isn't putting up good numbers this year and I don't agree that he's the second best hitting prospect in the organization.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I don't have monthly stats, but I'm not sure this analysis tells the full story. I know Soto had a bad April and a strong May. But it looks to me, based on watching the boxscores, that perhaps he has fallen back again.

    Right now he is hitting .258/.294/.350/.645. He has 33Ks and 9 walks. He has 6 doubles, 4 homers and 14 RBIs. After 217 at bats.

    Soto is very young and he may have suffered after Alonso was promoted, perhaps leaving little protection for him in the lineup. And the league is tough on hitters. But he isn't putting up good numbers this year and I don't agree that he's the second best hitting prospect in the organization.
    Here are his monthly splits with the keys bolded.
    Code:
    Split	PA	AB	ISOP	HR	BB%	K%	BABIP	GB%	LD%	AVG	OBP	SLG
    April	82	80	.062	1	0.0%	12.2%	.232	54%	16%	.213	.220	.275
    May	104	94	.149	3	5.8%	13.5%	.390	42%	35%	.351	.394	.500
    June	46	43	.023	0	6.5%	19.6%	.176	71%	15%	.140	.196	.163
    We are kind of seeing Soto on a little bit of a roller coaster ride. His walk rate is certainly going in the right direction. That was always a knock on him in the past. If he keeps it up, a 6-7% walk rate would be fine for someone with his skillset (assuming that skillset doesn't change for the worst). His BABIP has been all over the place. The interesting thing though is the power. Is it because he isn't hitting the ball far or is it because the hits aren't finding the grass? I am not sure, but I am going to go back and look through the gameday for June for him and see.

    Edit - I went back and looked in June and it doesn't look like he is hitting for power. Interesting to note though, Mesoraco probably should have 2 more HR's this month if he were playing in slightly smaller parks. Looks like he had 2 fly outs to the wall in a stadium thats 340 down the line.
    Last edited by dougdirt; 06-12-2009 at 02:07 PM.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    I agree with the way you rated the top three pitching prospects in the organization.

    1. Zach Stewart
    2. Mike Leake
    3. Juan Carlos Sulbaran

    I like Zach Stewart a lot. Two plus pitches, a developing changeup, good control, solid strikeout totals, and tons of groundballs. He has the stuff to be a top-of-rotation starter, IMO. Sulbaran arguably has the highest ceiling of any starter in the Reds system. But I rank him slightly behind Leake because Leake is closer to the majors.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Few observations.

    If Soto is the second best hitting prospect in the organization, he's not showing it this year. He has a .645 OPS right now at High A ball. IMO Todd Frazier is unquestionably the second best hitting prospect in the organization, even arguably the first. He has adjusted to AA with a .333 BA and an .885 OPS and should be at AAA and the major leagues very soon. IMO a very underrated prospect in minor league ball generally.

    Juan Francisco's bat has picked up, his OPS is over .750 and rising. But you say his defense is strong, perhaps, but I'd point out he has 18 errors this year so far.

    Josh Roenicke has 25 Ks and allowed 3 BBs in 23 innings this year at AAA. He has a 1.22 WHIP and a 3.13 ERA after a few early bad outings. He's allowed zero homers and has ten saves. Probably deserves some mention someplace, no?
    First, I said that Soto could be the second best hitting prospect. And it's true. I like Frazier a lot, and he is more likely to make the majors than any player in the Reds' system right now. However, his lack of power so far this year is a little troubling. Granted, he's getting on base at an impressive clip and a lot of his doubles could turn into dingers as he progresses, Frazier strikes me more of a very solid major leaguer, maybe similar to a Sean Casey, while Soto appears to have more upside. It just depends on what you prefer- Frazier is the safer pick while Soto has potentially more upside. I still ranked Frazier ahead of Soto as a prospect due to Soto's young age and inconsistency so far this year, but don't be surprised if Soto is an All-Star someday. (Also don't be surprised if he never makes it as a regular starter- that's why they're harder to read the younger they are.)

    As far as Francisco goes, errors aren't neccessarily the best judge of defense. Francisco's D was good enough to send Frazier (who is a much better prospect) to the outfield, and get Brandon Waring shipped out of the organization. The Reds are high on it and so am I. As far as his offense goes, he continues to hit bombs but shows disappointing discipline. He should remain in Carolina for the rest of the year.

    Finally, I echo princeton's sentiments on Roenicke. First of all, he did get mention if you read my original post. Second, he's 27 years old, and if you read my guidelines, I don't like including guys that age on my list- just a personal preference. While there are many late bloomers (Chris Dickerson appears to be the latest) most players who have yet to make a significant debut by that age are no longer considered "prospects." I like my lists to look at the long term future of the organization from a minor league perspective. Finally as princeton said, the Reds don't appear to be that keen on him for whatever reason. First they signed the geyser FAs, then they brought up Herrera and Fisher before him, and most recently discussed bringing up Viola instead. I would expect him to be wearing another team's threads by the end of the calendar year.
    Go BLUE!!!


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