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Thread: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

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    Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    This month, I decided to do the "Top Prospect" list in a slightly different manner.

    Given that there are a plethora of older prospects that are on the cusp of the majors (and likely will have graduated out of prospect status by the end of the season), I thought it would be worthwhile to take a deeper delve into the Top Prospects under the age of 25 in order to get more visability into the future of the Reds' minor leagues. Rather than debate the merits of Frazier vs. Francisco vs. Cozart, which has clearly been bandied about on this board for several years and several dozen threads, I thought it would be more worthwhile to temporarily look past those guys and see what we can expect in Cincinnati in the latter half of this decade. The following takes a closer look at what is IMO the 20 most interesting players in the system that fit those qualifications:

    GRADE A

    1. Devin Mesoraco C AAA 22 - should be with the Reds at some point in the 2nd half of the season. Top 20 prospect in the game.
    2. Yonder Alonso 1B/LF AAA 24 - if he can be passable defensively, should start getting LF reps or traded by August

    GRADE B

    3. Yasmani Grandal C A+ 23 - often overlooked because of Mez, he is a valuable asset as a trade chip or future catcher
    4. Billy Hamilton SS A 20 - Hamilton, Duran, and Y-Rod have tantalizing upside yet are so raw they are being exposed in Dayton.
    (tie) Yorman Rodriguez OF A 18 - see above. Nothing to worry about given that they are teenagers in full season ball, but will hope for improvement in 2nd half.
    (tie) Juan Duran OF A 19 - has bounced back nicely and is back to being mentioned in the same breath again as Y-Rod (and Hamilton).

    GRADE C

    7. Daniel Corcino RHP A 20 - has ascended to the top pitching prospect in the system. Cueto comps abound, could continue to rise up the list.
    8. Brad Boxberger RHP AA 23 - nice success as a bullpen arm. Could see him promoted to Louisville later in the season with an extended tryout in ST next year.
    9. Cody Puckett 2B/LF AA 24 - still unsure of his position, although he can certainly rake. Has more value as a 2B but defensively looks to be a LF.
    10. Ryan LaMarre OF A+ 22 - would like to see him hit more than he has, but speed, defense, and intangibles are there.

    INJURED

    Dave Sappelt OF AAA 24 - should get more LF reps if Alonso is called up and he gets healthy
    Kyle Lotzkar RHP A 21 - if he could stay healthy, he'd be as good as any arm in the system. But he hasn't been able to yet.

    ON THE RADAR (next on the list)

    Josh Smith RHP A 23 - needs to be challenged in Bakersfield, as he is old for Dayton. Still hard to argue with his success there.
    Tucker Barnhart C A 20 - has looked great in Dayton despite the All-Star snub. Unfortunately could be blocked by Mez and Grandal.

    KEEP AN EYE ON (too early to tell)

    Ismael Guillon LHP 19 - looking forward to see him perform well in Billings. Could form a nice trio of the future with Corcino and Stephenson.
    Robert Stephenson RHP 18 - has as much upside as any arm in the system. Has drawn comparisons to Homer Bailey and Matt Garza.
    Ronald Torreyes 2B 18 - hoping he'll start strong in Billings and be in Dayton by late Summer
    Junior Arias 3B 19 - with no clear help at 3B in this year's draft, still appears to hold title of 3B of the future
    Kyle Waldrop OF 19 - excited to see how one of last year's draft sleepers performs in Billings
    Gabriel Rosa OF 17 - very raw with the upside of a 30-30 guy

    PROMOTIONS (should be on the horizon)

    Mesoraco to MLB
    Alonso to MLB
    Boxberger to AAA
    Grandal to AA
    Corcino to A+
    J.Smith to A+

    EDIT: Forgot that Francisco turns 24 this month, but given his major league experience and how much debate he has already incurred, it is OK to leave him out of this conversation.
    Last edited by Benihana; 06-07-2011 at 06:14 PM.
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    So I guess we're all in agreement then?
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    Not in agreement. No way Puckett belongs that high.

    Is Sappelt left off because he is injured or because you don't see him in the Top 10?

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    Would lower: Alonso, Duran, Puckett.
    Would raise: Barnhart, Torreyes, possibly Smith and Guillon.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by mace View Post
    Would lower: Alonso, Duran, Puckett.
    Would raise: Barnhart, Torreyes, possibly Smith and Guillon.
    Have to be in full season ball to make the list (hence no Guillon or Torreyes).

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Not in agreement. No way Puckett belongs that high.

    Is Sappelt left off because he is injured or because you don't see him in the Top 10?
    Because he's injured. Otherwise he would likely come in at #4 right behind Grandal.

    Can you name a few people in full season ball you would put ahead of Puckett? Josh Smith, Tucker Barnhart, and LaMarre are the only three I see a real case for. The guy can rake and it seems could be a DeRosa-like player, at least at the level he is currently at.
    Last edited by Benihana; 06-08-2011 at 03:44 PM.
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    I think Boxberger is a B prospect now as he is now dominating AA ball as a closer, to me this moves him into that area.

    The 3 headed monster at Dayton I think are all C's as we don't know whether they can hack it. I think the jury is still out on them.

    Corcino needs to be bumped. If he dominates the next level, then we may have a gem.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    Neftali Soto? Does he not qualify, or do you just have him behind Barnhart and Smith?

    Also, I'm not sure we should be writing off Donnie Joseph just yet. If his struggles are based on working on a new pitch or a nagging injury, then getting blown up is understandable and fixable. He seems like too hard of a worker with incredible stuff to have dropped so far so quickly.

    Even if Chapman qualifies, I still believe that Mesoraco has clearly passed him on this list. Being a "born leader" catcher with quality defense and leading the entire IL in OPS should make him a better prospect than an erratic starter/reliever project with massive mechanical issues. I know that Chapman isn't just that, but I wouldn't rank someone with such a rocky road to being an ace ahead of a guy who's clearly ready to be a team leader at the next level.

    I agree with your high ranking of Alonso, btw. Just because he's not a great defender at LF doesn't mean we should ding him for that; he's having a great season in a pitching-friendly league.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by bellhead View Post
    I think Boxberger is a B prospect now as he is now dominating AA ball as a closer, to me this moves him into that area.

    The 3 headed monster at Dayton I think are all C's as we don't know whether they can hack it. I think the jury is still out on them.

    Corcino needs to be bumped. If he dominates the next level, then we may have a gem.
    Boxberger isn't going to get all that much higher on my list, simply because it is difficult for me to consider minor league relievers Top 5 prospects. It has been discussed on here before, but IMO relievers' margin for error is too thin, and their average weighted impact just doesn't compare. If he dominates in Louisville like he has so far in Carolina this year, he might become a B grade #5 or 6 guy, but only then and will likely not surpass that.

    Fair point on the three-headed monster being "C" grade at this point, although their upside and young age is still buoying them in the lower "B" grade. If they show no improvement or adjustment in the 2nd half, they may drop some (but not a ton considering they are still teenagers in full season ball.)

    As I noted, Corcino is on helium watch and could be a quick riser up the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by The DARK View Post
    Neftali Soto? Does he not qualify, or do you just have him behind Barnhart and Smith?

    Also, I'm not sure we should be writing off Donnie Joseph just yet. If his struggles are based on working on a new pitch or a nagging injury, then getting blown up is understandable and fixable. He seems like too hard of a worker with incredible stuff to have dropped so far so quickly.

    Even if Chapman qualifies, I still believe that Mesoraco has clearly passed him on this list. Being a "born leader" catcher with quality defense and leading the entire IL in OPS should make him a better prospect than an erratic starter/reliever project with massive mechanical issues. I know that Chapman isn't just that, but I wouldn't rank someone with such a rocky road to being an ace ahead of a guy who's clearly ready to be a team leader at the next level.

    I agree with your high ranking of Alonso, btw. Just because he's not a great defender at LF doesn't mean we should ding him for that; he's having a great season in a pitching-friendly league.
    Yes, Soto is behind Barnhart and Smith, mainly because of his position limitations and the fact that he hasn't OPS'd over .800 for a full season since he was a teenager in A ball in 2008. If he's going to play 1B, he has to produce better than he has.

    I can't argue with those that would place Mez ahead of Chapman at this point, and I won't argue because Chapman doesn't qualify for the list.
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    I think Boxberger as a B is relevant if he is being groomed as a setup/closer guy. If he gets bumped at the all star break, goes to AAA and continues to show game he is looking at a 2012 or 13 callup.

    Are B prospects MLB players and A prospects potential all stars?

    As a side note if Boxberger makes it up next year then that draft I think was a really good one as Leake is a already up and showing good results..

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by bellhead View Post
    I think Boxberger as a B is relevant if he is being groomed as a setup/closer guy. If he gets bumped at the all star break, goes to AAA and continues to show game he is looking at a 2012 or 13 callup.

    Are B prospects MLB players and A prospects potential all stars?

    As a side note if Boxberger makes it up next year then that draft I think was a really good one as Leake is a already up and showing good results..
    I agree with all of your points (and yes, Grade A are potential All-Stars and Grade B are solid major league regulars/contributors). However I believe that if Boxberger shows success in AAA in the 2nd half of this year, his timetable could be rapidly accelerated from the one you mention, with him even garnering a look in ST next year. Relievers, particularly highly drafted college relievers, always move quicker than almost anyone else.

    If Boxberger gets promoted to Louisville and continues to dominate, he will be a "B Grade" prospect.
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by The DARK View Post
    Also, I'm not sure we should be writing off Donnie Joseph just yet. If his struggles are based on working on a new pitch or a nagging injury, then getting blown up is understandable and fixable. He seems like too hard of a worker with incredible stuff to have dropped so far so quickly.
    Meant to address Joseph in a previous post. I wouldn't say he's been written off, rather he falls in the 12-15 range or next bucket after the players that I mentioned. As I've said with Boxberger, relievers have such a thin margin of error that it is easy for them to fall off the reservation, and that is one of the reasons I rarely rank them in the Top 10 and almost never in the Top 5. I don't believe Joseph ever made it higher than Boxberger is now on my list, even at his peak.

    I do think both Joseph and Box can be major league contributors if everything goes right, although I'm not sure if either will ever be a dominant closer. That is the kind of impact you need to have as a reliever if you're going to be a Top 5 prospect IMO.
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    Cozart?
    "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 2011 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Cozart?
    Took out anyone 25 and over - see original post.
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    Thanks Benihana for clarifying everything on Box.

    Can't wait for Billings to start so we can see Torreyes & Guillon will do this year. They both seem to have a high upside.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects - June 2011 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by bellhead View Post
    Thanks Benihana for clarifying everything on Box.

    Can't wait for Billings to start so we can see Torreyes & Guillon will do this year. They both seem to have a high upside.
    Yep, Arias and Waldrop too.
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