First off I have to say, hats off to Terry Reynolds, Chris Buckley and staff for completely rebuilding the Reds Minor Leagues from the dirt floor up. Although I do really feel for the affiliates for all having very poor seasons despite the influx of talent.
But all in all next year that could change.
Lets look at talent at each level of the system.
This year was supposed to be an offensive juggernaut for the Louisville squad with the pitching to match. Things haven't really panned out that way.
The Pitching has been well above par ranking 2nd in the IL with a team ERA of 3.68 right behind Durham at 3.38. 1st in Shutouts, 5th in team K's, 1st in IP, 4th in fewest hits allowed, 2nd in fewest Runs and ER's allowed, 2nd in fewest HR's allowed, 1st in fewest Hit Batters, 8th in BB's and 2nd in WHIP at 1.30.
This squad has done this with severe flux in the pitching staff all season long. Going into the season the starting rotation was:
LeCure is on the DL and made it to the ML's for 6 starts.
Wood is currently in the Reds rotation.
Lehr had season and probably career ending TJ surgery.
Chapman has been moved to the bullpen to conserve Innings.
Maloney is now in the Reds rotation.
All 5 starters gone. 3 have been to the Majors and a 4th will make it.
The rotation now consists of:
Reineke started the season as a reliever but has went 4-4 in 10 starts with a 3.22 ERA. He is not a prospect at 28 but could be a short term BP arm if needed.
Jukick started the season on the reserve list and the a reliever but has now joined a depleted rotation and has responded by going 2-2 in 8 starts with a 4.35 ERA. Like Reineke he is not a prospect at 27 but probably has no future in the Majors even as a Loogy since LH's hit .060 higher against him than RH's.
Klinker many of us though would be in AAA to start the year but due to the Chapman signing and the ML contract given to Lehr, he was sent to AA to start the year. He responded by going 5-4 in 13 starts and a sparkling 1.75 ERA. He has only made 3 starts in AAA, going 2-1 with a 5.29 ERA. Will be 26 going into next year. Still has projection to the Majors as a #4 or #5 at best.
Delgado was a bullpen arm converted to start due to short numbers and lack of depth at AA. Fair well so far going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 2 starts. At 26 still could be a usable arm out of the Bullpen for the Reds.
Serrano was just recalled from A+. Had mediocre numbers there as a starter. Probably a one game start for the Bats.
Volquez is on a rehab assignment and will be with the Reds after the ASB if not sooner if Harang is put on the DL.
The bullpen has been very fluid all season with 16 different players making a relief appearance this year.
6 are gone from the team
Viola - Released
Baez, Krebs, Tabor - Demoted to AA
Ondrusek, Bray - Reds
3 are in the rotation
Reineke, Jurick, Delgado
The remaining 7 are
3 have been with the Reds and are on the 40 Man
Herrera, Del Rosario, Fisher
Valiquette and Chapman are both 100 MPH LH's who will be ML Players someday
Burton remains a mystery, but has produced at the ML level before and Adkins is fodder.
8 pitchers who have pitched the year in Louisville have been with the Reds so far. 9 once Volquez gets promoted.
The hitting which we all figured to be the strength wasn't until the recent returns of Dorn and Francisco, the Release of Burke and the improved hitting of Alonso and Frazier. They rank 6th in BA, 11th in OBP, 5th in SLG%, 6th in OPS, 5th in Runs Scored and RBI's, 4th in Hits, 4th in HR's, 14th in BB's and 7th in fewest K's.
Dorn was injured for the majority of the first half missing about 45 games with a hand injury. When he has played according to GOYA he has been the Reds best hitter and it ain't even close. Posting a .380/.480/.860 Slash. Just doesn't seem to be in the Reds plans. He is even hitting LH's this year at a .800 OPS clip and still won't get a sniff. 26 in 2 weeks. Time is running out.
Valakia has been the most consistent hitter on the Bats this season playing a decent 2B, but his power has just vanished since getting to AAA. Currently SLG .381. Still 24. Has value and time.
Francisco had a emergency appendectomy in May right as he got on one of his insane tears, (Had a 1.603 OPS in May through the first 8 games). has come back in June without a rehab assignment, with a decent .770 OPS and .813 OPS for the year. Destroying RHP at a .365/.602/.967 OPS. Just turned 23 two weeks and has a ton of value based on bat potential alone.
Cozart perhaps the most important prospect to the Reds next year has been ok at the plate this year, his first in AAA. On a nice 10 game stretch where his line reads .432/.500/.932. Overall for the season he runs a .324/.421/.745 line. Leads Louisville current roster in 2B's 20, 3B's 3, TB 141, BB's 31, SB's 18 and RBI's 38 and 3rd in HR's with 10. Only committed 7 Errors in 85 games. Will be 25 by seasons end.
Frazier was the biggest disappointment in the system until recently. Overall he is batting .226 with a slash of .287(Lowest on team)/.431/.717... Although his OPS has increased and improved ever month since April.
His last 10 games read...
.368/.706/1.074... So he is starting to live up to his hype. 24 years old.
Alonso the #2 prospect in the system has had a eh year. Played LF early on, now back to his real position of 1B he is forever blocked by Votto. Stuggling all year, some say its his hamate injury others think he lacks power. Regardless, over 2 levels this year his slash reads .323/.383./.718 with a .291/.387/.678 in AAA. 23 years old and probably will be included in any deal for SP.
Terrero and Griffin are filler. Matthews was recently signed and may be with the big club before long. Long, Burke and Anderson have all been released.
Sutton and Castillo are both switch hitters who both play a variety of positions and while not true prospects both have value at the ML level.
Balentien has struggled all year and OPSing .267 in July.
Denove is a 28 year organizational catcher going 2 for his last 28 and OPSing .581 in AAA.
Heisey began the year in AAA OPSing .737 before his promotion to the Reds.
Miller was OPSing .829 before his call up.
Only 4 AAA players have been on the ML roster all season. Miller and Heisey currently and Sutton who had a Grand Slam and Francisco who had 1 H in 6 AB's to start the season.
Alonso, Francisco, Cozart and Frazier are all still solid everyday ML prospects. Heisey already in the Majors is too. Valakia, Dorn, Sutton and Castillo have value as bench players, Dorn for his bat the other 3 for their versatility. There is depth there but at least 2 of Alonso, Francisco, Frazier and Cozart could go toward a SP at the Deadline.