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Thread: Fangraphs Cincinnati Reds: Draft Review

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    Member redsfandan's Avatar
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    Fangraphs Cincinnati Reds: Draft Review

    Cincinnati Reds: Draft Review by Marc Hulet - December 2, 2009

    General Manager: Walt Jocketty
    Farm Director: Terry Reynolds
    Scouting Director: Chris Buckley

    2006-2009 Draft Results:
    First three rounds included
    x- over-draft signees ($200,000+ signing bonus)

    2009 1st Round: Mike Leake, RHP, Arizona State
    1S. Brad Boxberger, RHP, Southern California
    2. Billy Hamilton, SS, Mississippi HS
    3. Donnie Joseph, LHP, Houston
    5x- Daniel Tuttle, RHP, North Carolina HS
    10x- Tucker Barnhart, C, Indiana HS
    37x- Dayne Read, OF, Florida JC

    The ‘09 draft infused some talent into the Reds system, as a number of the players listed above have shown enough to be considered amongst the organization’s top prospects. Leake did not appear in a game during the regular season, but he made six appearances (five starts) in the Arizona Fall League and had nice results. He was a little too hittable with 20 base-knocks allowed in 19.2 innings, but he showed solid control with just three walks. He also struck out 15 batters and showed a nice ground-ball rate. In a small-sample size, Leake struggled a bit more against left-handed batters, than those who swing from the right side, by allowing 12 hits in 9.2 innings of work. However, he induced more than twice the number of ground balls off the bats of lefties than off righties, so there could have been some bad luck involved.

    Boxberger also appeared in the AFL, but with less successful results. The right-hander allowed a .333 batting average, along with seven walks in 12.2 innings of work. Two balls also left the yard against him. Right-handed batters hit .360 against him in limited at-bats. Hamilton actually appeared in some regular season games… 42 to be exact. He struggled with his bat and hit just .209/.257/.282 in 163 at-bats. He showed some impatience at the plate with a walk rate of 6.3% and Hamilton struck out far too much (28.8%) for someone that posted a .074 ISO. On the positive side, he showed good speed with 14 steals in 17 attempts.

    Joseph had a very nice debut in both rookie ball (2.34 FIP) and low-A ball (1.80 FIP). Working out of the bullpen in low-A, the southpaw posted a walk rate of 4.35 BB/9 and a strikeout rate of 13.50 K/9. Overall, he allowed just 19 hits in 32.1 innings. Joseph did not allow a home run. Tuttle had excellent results for a prep player receiving his first taste of pro ball. In rookie ball, the right-hander posted a 2.86 FIP during 32.1 innings of work. He allowed 32 hits and kept the walks to a minimum with a rate of 2.78 BB/9. His strikeout rate was solid at 8.35 K/9 and he has an outside shot of opening 2010 in low-A ball.

    Barnhart appeared in just 14 games after signing and posted a .541 OPS in rookie ball. The switch-hitter did show some patience with a walk rate of 11.1% but he was hurt by a .256 BABIP and a small sample size. Read has yet to play a pro game. Outfielder Josh Fellhauer (7th round) also had a nice debut in low-A ball despite a .303 BABIP.

    2008 1st Round: Yonder Alonso, 1B, U of Miami
    2. None
    3. Zach Stewart, RHP, Texas (Traded to TOR)
    11x – Andrew Means, OF, Indiana
    30x – Juan Carlos Sulbaran, RHP, Florida HS
    35x – Matt Fairel, LHP, Florida State

    Alonso was a solid No. 1 pick, although he had a modest ‘09 season… mainly due to injuries. He’s in the discussion for the Reds’ top prospect. The club forfeited its second-round pick due after dabbling in the free agent market, but it got excellent value in the third round with Stewart. The right-hander was flipped to Toronto in the puzzling Scott Rolen trade. Fairel had a solid first pro season in ‘09 and he ended the year by making eight starts in high-A ball where he posted a 3.26 FIP. The club has yet to see much return on its investment in Means, but Sulbaran has shown flashes of brilliance. The right-hander posted a strikeout rate of 9.71 in low-A ball, but he posted a 5.88 FIP and struggled with the long-ball (1.85 HR/9).

    2007 1st Round: Devin Mesoraco, C, Pennsylvania HS
    1S. Todd Frazier, 3B/OF, Rutgers
    1S. Kyle Lotzkar, RHP, B.C. HS
    2. Zack Cozart, SS, Mississippi
    3. Scott Carroll, RHP, Missouri State
    3. Neftali Soto, 3B, Puerto Rico HS

    The club received a number of compensatory picks in ‘07 and it had a solid haul overall. However, the first pick of the draft for the Reds has not had much success, with Mesoraco’s bat having gone backwards since signing. In ‘09, the backstop hit just .228/.311/.381 in 312 high-A at-bats. He’s suffered from a chronically-low BABIP (which tends to plague slow-footed catchers) but he did show a 4% improvement (10.1%) in his walk rate over ‘08. He also saw his ISO increase over the past three seasons to .154. Mesoraco is still just 21. He’s bounced all over the field, but Frazier is on the cusp of making the Majors and he’s at the top of the Reds prospect list. Lotzkar has shown a lot of potential with a nice fastball, but he’s had those pesky injury problems that tend to haunt Canadian pitchers.

    Cozart is another farmhand that has struggled with low BABIPs in his career, despite better speed, but he had a nice year in double-A and saw his walk rate increase almost 7% over ‘08 to 12.0%. He also stole double-digit bases for the first time with 10 in 12 attempts. Carroll’s career was slowed by a suspension and he came back to post a strikeout rate of just 3.12 K/9 in 40.1 high-A ball innings. He also received a two-game trial in double-A that did not go well. Soto’s ‘09 season was a bit of a step back but he is still loaded with potential and is just 20 years old. A .286 BABIP did him no favors; his ISO also dropped off to .114 and he has yet to show a willingness to take a walk.

    Brandon Waring was an astute pick in the seventh round, but the corner infielder was packaged to Baltimore in the Ramon Hernandez trade.

    2006 1st Round: Drew Stubbs, OF, Texas
    2. Sean Watson, RHP, Tennessee
    3. Chris Valaika, SS, UC Santa Barbara
    16x – Jamie Arneson, LHP, California CC

    Stubbs took a little while to turn his raw athleticism into baseball talent, but he graduated to the big leagues in ‘09 and should not return to the minors unless he struggles mightily with the strikeouts. Watson has been a disappointing pick in the second round with inconsistent performances, as well as control and weight problems. Valaika’s progression was halted this season with a bleak performance in triple-A. Arneson struggled to find the plate in his first three pro seasons and he did not play in ‘09.

    Josh Roenicke (10th round) was a great fifth-year senior choice but he was sent to Toronto along with Stewart in the Rolen deal. Outfielder Chris Heisey (17th round) was another key choice in this draft and has made himself into a solid prospect.

    Up Next: The Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospects
    "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs Cincinnati Reds: Draft Review

    This post was tossed into the other Draft Review from today.
    http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79515

    Interesting how both places came out with their today for the Reds.

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    Re: Fangraphs Cincinnati Reds: Draft Review

    and now their top 10...

    Cincinnati Reds: Top 10 Prospects

    by Marc Hulet - December 3, 2009 - Share this Article

    General Manager: Walt Jocketty
    Farm Director: Terry Reynolds
    Scouting Director: Chris Buckley

    FanGraphs’ Top 10 Prospects:
    (2009 Draft Picks/International Signees Not Included)

    The organization’s strength is certainly on the offensive side of things. However, the club addressed the lack of pitching depth by focusing on the area early on during the 2009 draft. Five of its first seven picks were pitchers; four out of those five were college arms, who will hopefully ascend through the system quickly to provide depth in the upper minors, as well as the Majors.

    FanGraphs’ Top 10 Prospects:

    1. Yonder Alonso, 1B, Double-A
    DOB: April 1987 Bats: L Throws: R
    Signed: 2008 1st round – University of Miami
    MLB ETA: Late-2010 40-Man Roster: Yes Options: 2

    A 2008 first rounder, Alonso has appeared in just 90 regular season pro games after signing late in ‘08 and then missing time due to injury in ‘09. Even so, the first baseman has risen to double-A, where he hit .295/.372/.457 in 105 at-bats. Prior to that, he hit .303/.382/.497 in 175 high-A at-bats. Alonso has shown a solid eye throughout his career, and his walk rate was 11.8% in double-A. He’s considered a threat to hit .300 at the MLB level, but it may come at the expense of some power. Alonso posted a .162 ISO in double-A but he hit just two homers in 29 games (a total of nine on the year). On the plus side, he doesn’t strike out much, either, and whiffed at a rate of 14.3%. To be a true, everyday threat, Alonso is going to have to improve against southpaws after hitting just .222/.329/.317, albeit in a small sample size with a .260 BABIP. It be nice to see him get through 2010 without suffering a significant injury.

    2. Todd Frazier, OF, Double-A
    DOB: February 1986 Bats: R Throws: R
    Signed: 2007 supplemental first round – Rutgers University
    MLB ETA: Mid-2010 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3

    Where’s Frazier? Many fans may be asking that very question, as the prospect has played almost every position in the field over the span of his short, three-year pro career. In ‘09, the 23 year old spent time in left field (79 games), second base (37), first base (15), and third base (four). He spent much of his early career at shortstop, and does not project to be much more than average at any position. He could end up with a Chone Figgins or Tony Phillips type of career, where he plays everyday and simply moves around each season based on team need at the time. Offensively, he had a solid year in double-A, where he hit .290/.350/.481 in 451 at-bats. He posted a .191 ISO but had some trouble on the base paths and was caught stealing eight times in 15 attempts. He earned a late-season promotion to triple-A, where he posted an .839 OPS in 16 games.

    3. Chris Heisey, OF, Triple-A
    DOB: December 1984 Bats: R Throws: R
    Signed: 2006 17th round – Messiah College
    MLB ETA: Mid-2010 40-Man Roster: Yes Options: 3

    Heisey’s popularity continues to rise, but he may be in danger of falling into the over-hyped category now (says someone listing him as the third overall prospect in the system). However, Heisey – who projects to be a corner outfielder – has yet to post consistent impact power numbers in the minors. With that said, 2009 was a nice start and it will be interesting to see if he can repeat his 20+ homer season. The soon-to-be 25-year-old outfielder is not going to knock Drew Stubbs out of center, or Jay Bruce out of right, so that leaves left field (which could end up being patrolled by Joey Votto, once Alonso is ready). Heisey does the majority of his damage against left-handed pitching, with an OPS of .929, compared to .801 against right-handers. In truth, Heisey’s ceiling may be that of a platoon outfielder, who may also provide a few average-to-above-average MLB seasons.

    4. Travis Wood, LHP, Triple-A
    DOB: February 1987 Bats: R Throws: L
    Signed: 2005 2nd round – Arkansas high school
    MLB ETA: Mid-2010 40-Man Roster: Yes Options: 3
    Repertoire: 87-91 mph fastball, plus curveball, change-up

    The 22-year-old Wood rebounded after a horrible half-season in double-A in ‘08. He posted an ugly 7.09 ERA (5.43 FIP) in 80.0 innings. Challenged to improve at the same level in ‘09, the left-hander responded with a league-leading 1.21 ERA (2.75 FIP) in 119.0 innings He allowed just 78 hits and posted a walk rate of 2.80. Move up to triple-A, Wood allowed 43 hits in 48.2 innings and posted a walk rate of 2.96 BB/9. His strikeout rate dropped from 7.79 K/9 in double-A to 5.92 in triple-A. He did a nice job of keeping the ball in the park by allowing just six homers all season. Although he doesn’t have a blazing fastball, Wood should settle in nicely as a No. 3 or 4 starter in the National League.

    5. Zack Cozart, SS, Double-A
    DOB: August 1985 Bats: R Throws: R
    Signed: 2007 2nd round – University of Mississippi
    MLB ETA: Late-2010 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3

    Cozart’s batting average and slugging percentage both dropped in ‘09, but his OPS did not fall too far (.787 to .758), thanks to a 7.0% increase in walk rate. He also broke double-digit steals for the first time in his career with 10 in 12 attempts. The infielder should – at the very least – develop into a MLB utility player, but he could also see some time as a regular middle infielder. The right-handed hitter batted .262/.360/.398 on the season in double-A. Last season he showed some power with an ISO of .177, but that dipped to .136 in ‘09. Cozart needs to have more success against right-handed pitchers after hitting just .243/.336/.384 against them. He also had a poor second half of the year despite hitting almost .300 in the first half. The former Mississippi grad should begin 2010 in triple-A.

    6. Juan Francisco, 3B, Majors
    DOB: June 1987 Bats: B Throws: R
    Signed: 2004 non-drafted international free agent (Dominican Republic)
    MLB ETA: Late-2010 40-Man Roster: Yes Options: 2

    After beginning the year in double-A, Francisco reached the Majors for the first time at the end of the season. The third baseman hit .281/.317/.501 in 437 double-A at-bats. He posted a .220 ISO in double-A and slammed a total of 28 homers on the year. He hit .359 in a 22-game stint in triple-A, before hitting .429 in 14 big-league games. However, Francisco took just 27 walks on the entire season, and has a walk rate of 4.3% in the minors, which was (sadly) a career high. With that lack of patience, as well as a strikeout rate of +22.0%, it will be difficult for Francisco to hit for average in the Majors… even with a high BABIP. He’s not a star glove man at third, but he’s an improvement over former third baseman Edwin Encarnacion. Scott Rolen will likely keep the position warm for one more season until Francisco is fully ready.

    7. Matt Maloney, LHP, Majors
    DOB: January 1984 Bats: L Throws: L
    Signed: 2005 3rd round – University of Mississippi (Philadelphia)
    MLB ETA: Now 40-Man Roster: Yes Options: 2
    Repertoire: 87-91 mph fastball, slider, plus change-up

    Maloney was acquired from the Phillies during the ‘07 season and he’s had his ups and downs since joining the system, which is not surprising for a young pitcher that relies on control and changing speeds to be successful. The left-hander finally made his MLB debut in ‘09 after a solid triple-A campaign where he allowed 143 hits in 143.0 innings, while also posting a walk rate of just 1.51 BB/9. He also struck out his fair share batters with a strikeout rate of 7.87 K/9. At the MLB level, Maloney struggled with a 5.41 FIP, but his walk rate remained solid at 1.77 BB/9; he may have actually been in the strike zone a bit too much (at least over the heart of the plate). He’ll need to improve the 34.4% ground-ball rate if he’s going to stick in the rotation, especially with a fastball that averages out at 87 mph.

    8. Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Rookie
    DOB: August 1992 Bats: R Throws: R
    Signed: 2008 non-drafted international free agent (Venezuela)
    MLB ETA: Mid-2014 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3

    Rodriguez spent his first season in North America playing at two rookie ball levels and he did not turn 17 until mid-August. The right-handed hitting outfielder struggled in his first taste of pro ball and posted a strikeout rate of about 30.0% in 265 at-bats. Rodriguez showed flashes of both power and speed, but the base running skill is a little more advanced at this point and he nabbed 10 bases in 12 attempts. On the plus side, Rodriguez was showing improvements as the season progressed. He’ll likely repeat rookie ball in 2010.

    9. Neftali Soto, 3B, High-A
    DOB: February 1989 Bats: R Throws: R
    Signed: 2007 3rd round – Puerto Rico high school
    MLB ETA: Late-2011 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3

    It was a bit of an off-year for Soto, but he’s still just 20 years old and he spent the year as one of the youngest players in high-A ball. The third baseman hit .248/.282/.362 in 505 at-bats and it’s clear that he needs to show some patience at the plate after posting a walk rate of 4.4%. His power dropped from an ISO of .174 in low-A ball in ‘08 to .115 in ‘09, but his strikeout rate remained respectable at 18.8%. After hitting well in ‘07 and ‘08 despite holes in his game, the ‘09 struggles may have been humbling for Soto, who may now be more willing to make some adjustments to his approach.

    8. Devin Mesoraco, C, High-A
    DOB: June 1988 Bats: R Throws: R
    Signed: 2007 1st round – Pennsylvania HS
    MLB ETA: mid-2012 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3

    A resident of Punxsotawney, Mesoraco’s offense has taken after Phil, the famous ground hog, by disappearing at the first sign of spring. The catcher has been under a spotlight because of his draft status, but his offense has not been quite as terrible as it might seem on the surface after he hit .228/.311/.381 in 312 high-A at-bats. At just 21, he’s still young for the level and he did see his walk rate increase by 4%. He also saw his ISO increase over the past three seasons from .051 to .137 to .154. The BABIP of .278 definitely hurt his batting average. On the downside, his strikeout rate has risen from 19.0 to 20.9 to 24.4%. In his first two pro seasons, Mesoraco hit right-handed pitchers well, but his numbers dropped to .222/.294/.374 (.270 BABIP) in ‘09. Defensively, his throwing improved significantly over ‘08: from 17% to 30%. He has work to do, but don’t give up on Mesoraco just yet.

    Up Next: The Cleveland Indians
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    what is the posting threshold for new thread ability?

  5. #4
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs Cincinnati Reds: Draft Review

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    what is the posting threshold for new thread ability?
    I think you have to have 50 posts and have been registered for two months before you can start a thread.

    I'll start a different thread for the Fangraphs top 10.


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