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Thread: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

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    Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field
    Dragons had bright spots despite missing playoffs for 5th time in 10 years.

    By Marc Katz, Staff Writer
    1:20 AM Wednesday, September 9, 2009

    DAYTON — By the end of the season, the Dragons had some players to watch if not a team to win.

    “You really can’t judge the success of a team until two, three years down the road,” Dragons manager Todd Benzinger said as Dayton failed to make the Midwest League playoffs for the fifth time in 10 seasons.

    “When the season began, I was informed shortstop Miguel Rojas was going to be our prospect. He not only lived up to expectations, he exceeded them. He hit 50 points higher than anyone thought.”

    So, who were the Dragons who did well?

    Start with these:

    Rojas: Hit .273 for the season, nearly 100 points higher than his rookie year at Billings, Mont. Also was named the Midwest League’s best defensive shortstop by Baseball America.

    Catcher Kevin Coddington: A 44th-round draft choice who made the Dragons in spring training and was supposed to be the backup, started opening day and he finished with a .278 batting average, above average catching skills, a powerful arm and renewed interest from the Reds.

    Outfielder Byron Wiley: “(He) is a flat out pure hitter,” Benzinger said. “He needs to improve his range to win and his play in the outfield. But he can flat out hit.”

    Third baseman Carlos Mendez: “He was kind of an afterthought in spring training,” Benzinger said. “But he reminds me of a guy I played with — Wade Boggs. He could hit but he wasn’t a real good fielder and didn’t have a great arm. But he kept hitting .300.” Mendez led the Dragons with a .308 average and struck out just 50 times in 455 at-bats.

    Pitching was a heartbreak story for the Dragons.

    “We had a bunch of Jekyl and Hydes,” Benzinger said. “Our pitchers were all over the place.”

    Jordan Hotchkiss ended up being the most valuable at the end. A career reliever, he began starting during the last month, then went back to the bullpen where he saved the final game of the season. Hotchkiss finished with a 3-6 record, and a 2.73 ERA.

    Matt Fairel, who started opening day, and Mark Serrano, who joined the team out of the June draft, had the most success. Fairel was moved up during the season, and Serrano finished the year with the Dragons.

    Serrano was named as the Reds Minor League Pitcher of the Month for August, and Mendez was named the batter of the week for the final week of the league’s regular season.

    It was all watched by more than a half-million fans, who kept the team in the top 10 of all Minor League Baseball teams for the 10th consecutive season.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayto...ld-289091.html

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    It was all watched by more than a half-million fans, who kept the team in the top 10 of all Minor League Baseball teams for the 10th consecutive season.

    He cant go one story with out trying to take a stab at the Reds

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    I have liked Mendez all season

    I think he has the chance to be something special

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    I have liked Mendez all season

    I think he has the chance to be something special
    How so? The numbers make him look like a solid contact hitter, but not much power or OBP.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    The power should come if he continues to develop and gets enough playing time

    I think he could hit 15-20 HRs if he fills out and develops his game a little more over the next season or two

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post

    By Marc Katz, Staff Writer
    1:20 AM Wednesday, September 9, 2009

    DAYTON By the end of the season, the Dragons had some players to watch if not a team to win.
    He lost me at hello.

    He lost me at hello.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    Some interesting prospects. Serrano is the most interesting, maybe because he was simply the best player despite being over-aged. Joseph, I think was a good pick in the third round and has good stuff (but not as good as that third rounder they got in '08, what was that kid's name? How did he do this year?). Rojas is a big league defensive shortstop who improved dramatically as a hitter and might be a Rey Olmedo type player. Coddington was a big upgrade on Mesoraco and could be a Ryan Hanigan type. I like Mendez and agree that he could add power. Fellhauer, not so sure about. Good Single-A player, maybe a Brady Clark. Maybe a Chris Denorfia. Ravin made some big strides and could go either way. Oliveras is a very interesting prospect to me. I might like him as well or better than some of the older guys like Sappelt, Wiley, and Puckett. Sulbaran was the big disapointment for me but he is still young so lets wait and see. I thought losing Andrew Means really hurt the team.

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    So how is the 2010 Dayton Dragons team looking? They look a little underwhelming imo. Here's my stab at it.

    C Trey Manz (destroyed the ball in the short-season leagues)
    1B Mike Konstanty (had a rough time in A-ball but may be able to improve)
    2B Yen-Wen Kuo (contact hitter lacking power but may provide solid defense)
    3B Carlos Mendez (ready for a promotion but blocked by Nefi Soto in the FSL)
    SS D.D. Gregorius (showed a lot of promise this season)
    LF Sean Conner (relatively high-round draft pick needs ABs to show his skills)
    CF Alex Oliveras (toolsy but needs to work on his plate discipline)
    RF Andrew Means (recovering from injury after showing promise this season)

    C Jordan Wideman (needs to work on his hitting)
    C Chase Weems (where's the power?)
    3B Frank Pfister (organizational filler?)
    SS Shane Carlson (organizational filler?)
    OF Tyler Stovall (local product looking to rebound)

    SP Mike Leake (will probably get a promotion before too long)
    SP Kyle Lotzkar (coming back from injury as one of the organization's best prospects)
    SP J.C. Sulbaran (high ceiling but has a lot to learn)
    SP Shea Snowden (young lefty hoping to follow Travis Wood's footsteps)
    SP Oscar Castro (2009 was a giant step backwards)
    CL Donnie Joseph (will get a quick promotion)
    RP Justin Freeman (has great peripherals so far)
    RP Justin Walker (Justin Freeman's clone?)
    RP Ezequiel Infante (has opened eyes since coming to the States)
    RP Josh Beal (young with solid numbers)
    RP Hector Santana (Dominican who has pitched well in his brief time with Dayton)
    RP Mike Bohana (needs to show something to stick in the organization)
    RP Chase Ware (came out of nowhere to provide solid pitching; may do an occasional spot start)
    MU Leo Astorga (will pitch in case of injury or extra-inning games)

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    I heard talk about Konstanty being converted to a pitcher. He apparently hits 90.

    Mike Leake will not start in Dayton. The Reds were going to start him in Sarasota this year if they had him pitch. I also don't think Joseph starts back in Dayton. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mark Fleury there either.

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    I agree on Leake. Despite Serrano's age, maybe he's the guy who would go to Dayton as a SP. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Mark Fleury in Dayton, but the Reds have a lot of catching depth in the lower minors, so it's really hard to predict. I think Donnie Joseph will most likely start the year in Sarasota, but until the Reds make some cuts, I think he's slated for Dayton due to age and seniority.

    Mike Konstanty's grandfather (Jim) was a Major League pitcher, so it doesn't surprise me that someone would try to find out if Mike can do it, too.

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    Shane Carlson spent most of the season, up to the end, at Sarasota. So I wouldn't see him in Dayton next year.

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    I believe Carlson was playing there just to spell the other guys. He clearly didn't belong there.

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    If Leake pitches well in the Arizona Fall League I would start him in Double-A next season.

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    The Reds have a lot of numbers issues because of the extremely high number of injuries in 2009 throughout the system. I was told you could see guys repeating the same level that you would never expect, more repeats than in any other year in recent memory. They moved a lot of guys up who did not deserve it last season based on injuries.

    I expect Boxberger to start 2010 in Dayton, Leake probably in Sarasota.

    Fleury surely will be in Dayton as the starter. Wideman as the backup. Weems did not show anything. He will need to show something in spring training to avoid being released.

    Serrano will be 24. They really need to get him to Double-A by June 1. I think he can handle it.

    Konstanty will not be back as a first baseman, but if he shows enough in I.L., maybe as a pitcher. His days as a position player in the Reds org are over. He topped out at 93 but he has to show some consistency. I think Richburg and Nurre battle for the Dayton first base job.

    You might see someone like a Fellhauer start in Dayton because of the back-up at higher levels.

    Some on these boards like Snowden, and he is young, but I don't know if I see much potential there. Soft-tossing lefty, just doesn't have much to project to a higher level, and doesn't have the same intangibles as a Fairel or Horst. Castro and Astorga will struggle to avoid being released.

    Reds have had a couple of bad drafts in terms of getting players after the 10th round who can contribute. The Billings team was horrible to put it kindly.

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    Re: Individual talent was there at Fifth Third Field (DDN article)

    I think Weems, Pfister and Stovall get released over the winter

    I would also like to think that they will bring Tony Brown back to Dayton for a least a month or so.


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