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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 08:50 PM.
    Go BLUE!!!

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  3. #2
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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 01:33 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)

    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 10:42 AM.

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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)

    Nice post, Benihana.

    My comments:

    Agree with KC that Roenicke is coming on. I've been a skeptic, but I think he's turned a corner and could be ready.

    Not convinced that Alonso and Stewart stand above the rest. But it's splitting hairs.

    Logan Ondrusek and some of the Dominican relievers (Del Rosario, for one) are worth keeping an eye on as bullpen sleepers. Not a big fan of Smit, from what I saw in the WBC. Lefty, yes, but stuff looked marginal.

    Agree with the assessment of Cozart. His performance so far may have the team reassessing how to handle SS heading into 2010.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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

    Viola is better than a C. He has not "fallen apart" in the last month. He had two bad outings in mid-May and after that has been very effective. He could cut down on walks but he is not hurting himself with them.

    Alonso is struggling to find his bat in AA and that's just about where I see him. I don't think that earns an A.

    While we don't know where Valaika would be if he didn't break his hand, he didn't show me anything at AAA except his glove. Even then, he had too many errors. Maybe C is too kind.

    Heisey should be an A, no question.

    Soto is young for A+ but I'd give him a C.

    Mesoraco doesn't rate a C.

    Carson Kainer might get a mention but he's a little old for A+.

    Drew Sutton should get a mention.

    Richar has shown a lot of improvement in my eyes. He may turn out to be a player afterall.

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

    Very nice overview.

    I might tweak your B class a bit. Sulbaran is in A ball, not A-plus, which really doesn't affect the rating. But I think I'd move up several guys--to the point, I guess, that I don't make much distinction between your B and C classes. I haven't been a big fan of Wood, for instance, but I have to acknowledge that, this year, he's done absolutely all a guy could do. He's still young for his level and he's dominating it. I'd say a similar thing for Fairel, except that he's not young for the level (A) that he's dominating. But he has pitched about as well as a person can pitch. Cozart is another who, to me, has been all good. He's reportedly a great fielder and he has hit very nicely after moving up two levels--even showing power. And I still love Francisco's combination of power and defense. He just seems like a guy who will always drive in a bunch of runs--even when he's off his game a bit, as he's been this year (until lately).

    I'm still not convinced that Mesaraco belongs in that grouping. But I'm thinking that Miguel Rojas might. Some people think that his defense at SS is good enough that he's the best prospect at Dayton even if he doesn't hit. And while his numbers don't really show it, he has actually begun to hit with some consistency. And I still like Horst. Cody Puckett is another who might be sliding into the photo. Ondrusek, definitely. And while I haven't been a Sean Watson supporter, he'll be worth a mention if he puts up five more outings anything like his last five (9.2 IP, 1 H). I'd put Josh Ravin in the same category. (I guess that'd be the "others to watch" category, with reluctance.) He's finally showing signs of getting it together.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by GOYA View Post

    Drew Sutton should get a mention.
    Goya, you see him more than most of the rest of us do (which is, well, not at all). He obviously has a nice bat, but, from what you've seen, would you say that his glove does not preclude him from being a decent big-leaguer?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mace View Post
    he's the best prospect at Dayton even if he doesn't hit.
    condemnation, not praise.

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

    Great job, Beni. I just have a few comments. I know he's off to a slow start, but Danny Dorn deserves a mention. And if not for his suspension, we might be talking about Scott Carroll as a prospect right now. Also, why would you omit Alex Buchholz? Finally, both Shea Snowden and Evan Hildenbrandt impressed people late last year, and when the short season leagues start, we could see them pick up where they left off.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    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
    Good list. Viola and Manuel are both a month or so away from turning 26, so I don't think they would qualify for your list. I understand removing the prospect label past 25, but guys like Stubbs and Heisey will be 25 in 4-6 months and I have a problem not considering them prospects. I like Stewart, but I also think he's slightly overrated on this board. I'm excited about his future, but his numbers don't blow me away. I would probably rank Leake (once signed) ahead of Stewart on my list.

    My list of prospects under 25, followed by level of play and age (years.months)

    HITTERS
    1. Alonso AA (22.2)
    2. Frazier AA (23.4)
    3. Stubbs AAA (24.8)
    4. Heisey AA (24.6)
    5. Soto A+ (20.3)
    6. Francisco AA (22.0)
    7. Cozart AA (23.10)
    8. Valaika AAA (23.10)
    9. Mesoraco A+ (21.0)
    10. Henry AA (23.10)

    Also under consideration:

    Puckett A- (22.2), Sappelt A- (22.5), Wiley A- (22.6), Rojas A- (20.4), Brown A+ (21.4), Reed A+ (21.5), Parker AA (24.11), Dorn AAA (24.11), Fleury ? (21.1), Fellhauer ? (21.3)


    PITCHERS
    1. Leake ? (21.7)
    2. Stewart AA (22.9)
    3. Sulbaran A- (19.7)
    4. Wood AA (22.4)
    5. Fairel A- (21.11)
    6. Boxberger ? (21.0)
    7. Lotzkar *injured* (19.8)
    8. Hildenbrant *R* (20.4)
    9. Thurman A+ (22.2)
    10. Smit AA (23.8)

    Also under consideration:

    Watson AA (23.11), Valliquette AA (22.4), Horst A+ (23.8), Ondrusek AA (24.4), Buck AA (24.6), Ravin A- (21.5), Janke A- (22.8), A. Gonzalez A- (22.9), Cline *R* (19.0), Shunick *R* (22.9), Joseph ? (21.7), Serrano ? (23.9), Pearl ? (21.1)
    Last edited by BuckeyeRedleg; 06-12-2009 at 11:41 AM.

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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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