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Thread: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

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    Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    Assumptions

    The following players either make the OD roster (or are traded in the offseason):

    Devin Mesoraco
    Zack Cozart
    Yonder Alonso
    Todd Frazier
    Juan Francisco
    Dave Sappelt
    Either Travis Wood or Edinson Volquez

    Omissions

    There are some familiar names that don’t appear below, including Chris Valaika, Danny Dorn, Kris Negron, Miguel Rojas, Chris Richburg, etc. It is either because their time has passed (Valaika, Dorn, Negron) and I’m not sure what role they will have in the organization going forward or because I don’t really see them as significant prospects (Rojas, Richburg). Also inevitably, there will be some suggested additions ("don't forget so-and-so") and while I welcome those, what I tried to do here was highlight what I felt are the most significant minor leaguers to watch in the Reds system. Of course I may have missed one or two, but these are the guys to pay attention to IMO.

    Without further ado:

    AAA Louisville
    C Yasmani Grandal
    1B Neftali Soto
    2B Henry Rodriguez
    SS DiDi Gregorius
    3B Eric Campbell
    LF Cody Puckett
    CF Felix Perez
    RF Dennis Phipps

    SP Edinson Volquez/Travis Wood (whichever doesn’t make the OD rotation)
    SP Matt Maloney
    RP Brad Boxberger closing (if he doesn’t make OD bullpen)
    RP Donnie Joseph setting him up


    AA Carolina
    C Kevin Coddington/Mark Fleury
    1B ???
    2B Devin Lohman/Alex Buchholz
    SS Brodie Greene
    3B David Vidal (skipping A+)
    LF Josh Fellhauer
    CF Ryan LaMarre
    RF Dayne Read

    SP J.C. Sulbaran
    SP Josh Ravin
    SP Daniel Renken

    A+ Pensacola
    C Tucker Barnhart
    1B Dominic D’Anna
    2B Ronald Torreyes
    SS Billy Hamilton
    3B Sean Buckley (skipping A)
    LF Juan Duran
    CF ???
    RF ???

    SP Daniel Corcino
    SP Kyle Lotzkar
    SP Josh Smith
    SP Mitchell Clarke

    A Dayton
    C Danny Vicioso
    1B Nick O’Shea
    2B Ryan Wright
    SS Juan Perez
    3B Junior Arias (could repeat Billings)
    LF Juan Silva
    CF Kyle Waldrop
    RF Yorman Rodriguez

    SP Robert Stephenson (could start in Billings, but I’d like to see him in Dayton)
    SP Tony Cingrani
    SP Drew Cisco
    SP Ismael Guillon (could repeat Billings)

    Players On The Fringe Levels

    Devin Lohman (A+/AA)
    Daniel Renken (A+/AA)
    Josh Smith (A+/AA)
    David Vidal (A+/AA)
    Sean Buckley (A/A+)
    Junior Arias (A/Rookie)
    Robert Stephenson (A/Rookie)
    Ismael Guillon (A/Rookie)

    Top Prospects (not including Rookie Leaguers)

    1. Yasmani Grandal C AAA
    2. Neftali Soto 1B AAA
    3. Daniel Corcino RHP A+
    4. Robert Stephenson RHP A
    5. Ronald Torreyes 2B A+
    6. Billy Hamilton SS A+
    7. Juan Duran LF/1B A+
    8. Yorman Rodriguez OF A
    9. Brad Boxberger RHP AAA
    10. Tony Cingrani LHP A

    Rookie Leaguers To Watch

    3B Gabriel Rosa - Billings
    SS Brandon Dailey - Billings
    2B Humberto Valor - AZL
    SS Oliviel Florentino - AZL
    LHP Amir Garrett - AZL
    RHP Salvatore Romano - AZL
    RHP Kyle McMyne - Billings
    RHP Wes Mugarian - Billings
    RHP Jonathan Perez? - AZL (if he’s not in the VSL)

    Reds seem to have a logjam at 3B in the lower minors, which is a good thing considering the big league status at that position. If Francisco and Frazier both make the OD roster (or are traded in the offseason), then I would start Campbell in Louisville, have Vidal and Buckley both skip a level to start at Carolina and Pensacola respectively, start Arias in Dayton and Rosa in Billings. Otherwise everyone could start a level lower and Arias would play MI while Rosa plays 3B in Billings.

    The starting pitching in AA and AAA is pretty bleak. Klinker, Fairel and company are fringe guys. It is debatable whether Guillon, McMyne and Mugarian start in Billings or Dayton, as none of them have been all that impressive in Billings this year. I think Stephenson and Cisco should both join Cingrani in starting in Dayton. Corcino, Lotzkar, Smith, and Clarke will headline the Pensacola rotation, and Daniel Renken could either pitch there or in Carolina.

    Duran could play 1B or LF in Pensacola, but I’d keep Yorman back in Dayton at least to start the year. Could be a wake up call for the kid. Will be interesting to see who gets slotted in CF between Yorman and Waldrop. My money is on Waldrop.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Benihana; 08-24-2011 at 11:47 AM.
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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    First, isn't Pensacola to be the AA franchise, with A+ back in Bakersfield? Carolina's the franchise that will be out of the system (unless it comes back a year later in the A+ Carolina League).

    This is a good working reference. Thanks, Beni.

    The most glaring omission I see right off is Donald Lutz. To me, he's definitely a prospect.

    I also wonder about the status of acquisitions such as Bill Rhinehart and Quintin Berry. Others are better than I am at determining whose rights are maintained and how.

    I would hope that Jordan Hotchkiss would return and find a place in a rotation.

    I disagree on two guys. I don't believe Rojas would be considered a non-prospect at this point. His defense is too good, and he has shown an occasional aptitude for hitting at least a little bit. And I wouldn't expect them to start Cisco at Dayton. Or Stephenson, for that matter.
    Last edited by mace; 08-24-2011 at 12:18 PM.

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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    Quote Originally Posted by mace View Post
    First, isn't Pensacola to be the AA franchise, with A+ back in Bakersfield? Carolina's the franchise that will be out of the system (unless it comes back a year later in the A+ Carolina League).

    This is a good working reference. Thanks, Beni.

    The most glaring omission I see right off is Donald Lutz. To me, he's definitely a prospect.

    I also wonder about the status of acquisitions such as Bill Rhinehart and Quintin Berry. Others are better than I am at determining whose rights are maintained and how.

    I would hope that Jordan Hotchkiss would return and find a place in a rotation.

    I disagree on two guys. I don't believe Rojas would be considered a non-prospect at this point. His defense is too good, and he has shown an occasional aptitude for hitting at least a little bit. And I wouldn't expect them to start Cisco at Dayton. Or Stephenson, for that matter.
    Sorry I guess I was confused on the whole Pensacola thing. I thought about Rhinehart and Berry but I'm not sure where they'd fit into the Louisville mix? I like Puckett and Phipps both better as corner OF. Berry turns 27 in a couple months and has never played above AA. Rhinehart just strikes me as a minor league masher, not a real prospect. Hotchkiss could bounce back, although he'll be a 26 year old in AA next year, which doesn't exactly scream prospect to watch IMO.

    Lutz can hit but I'm not sure where he plays on the field (if anywhere). Rojas, at least in my mind, can't hit enough to be a real prospect. While still young, a career .605 OPS in the low minors doesn't have me holding my breath. At best he looks like Juan Castro or Paul Janish redux.

    You may be right about Cisco and Stephenson starting in Billings instead of Dayton. I guess I was just hoping they'd start there- Stephenson as a first rounder, and Cisco as a 20 year old who was drafted with "first round polish/readiness".
    Last edited by Benihana; 08-24-2011 at 12:38 PM.
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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    Lutz can hit but I'm not sure where he plays on the field (if anywhere).
    Doesn't he play 1b ahead of D'Anna now? If there is that big of a hole at 1b at AA, could Lutz be jumped a level to fill that spot?

    /"challenge thy hitters" -- Princeton
    The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. -- Terrance Mann (Field of Dreams)

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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    If there is that big of a hole at 1b at AA, could Lutz be jumped a level to fill that spot?

    /"challenge thy hitters" -- Princeton
    Good point. That may be a good idea. I'm not sure who would be a better candidate to make the jump though- Lutz or D'Anna.
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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    First off here are the minor league free agents the Reds have:

    Cochran
    Hamulack
    Mobley
    Berry
    Campbell
    Skelton
    Phipps
    Corky
    Avery
    Cook
    Gil
    Gustafson
    Lehr
    Reinke
    Castro
    Costanzo
    Griffin

    Here is how I see Triple-A and Double-A Pensacola panning out:

    Rotation:
    Carroll
    McCulloch
    Hynick
    Wood/Leake
    Klinker

    Avery might resign.

    Bullpen:
    Christiani
    Boxberger
    Smith
    Horst
    Webb
    and MAYBE Freeman or Joseph.

    lineup:
    Yas
    Soto
    Valakia
    Negron
    Francisco/free agent
    Perez
    Phipps
    Dorn/Yonder/Puckett/free agent. Puck may go back to Double-A though. Doubtful


    Double-A Pensacola
    SP:
    Fairel
    Hotchkiss
    Ravin
    Villarreal
    Sulbaran/Partch/Serrano

    Pen:
    Maybe Freeman and Joseph return, but could go to Trips. Bullpen could be toughest to predict.

    lineup:
    Coddington/Flurey. Maybe Grandal even.
    1B-not sure
    2B- Rodriguez
    3B-Buccholtz/Rojas/Jake
    SS-DiDi
    OF-Fellhauer, LaMaree, Hunt.

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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    I would imagine Hunt will be the 1B/ 4th OF in Pensacola next year.
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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    Welcome back, 21. Missed you.

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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    Would Jerry Gil have to go on the 40-man to be protected? If so, that could be a tough call. They obviously like his arm enough to be patient with his conversion to pitcher. And he has thrown very well in the second half of the season. But he'll be 29. Dunno.

    As far as the rest of that list, Phipps looks like the only other guy that would be a candidate for the 40. I like Campbell and Berry but don't see them on anybody's major-league roster next year. I love Corky, but no need to put him on. I'd like to see Campbell, Costanzo and Skelton back, but again . . .

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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    Yes on Gil, he's Rule V eligible. As for will they protect him or even bring him back? Probably not.

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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    I don't see either Volquez or Wood in AAA next season. If they haven't worked out their issues by then, I see them as trade bait, since they lose value with each loss of minor league playing time. Keep in mind that Willis likely won't be back.

    I wouldn't assume that Frazier stays promoted next season. He hasn't particularly impressed so far. Even assuming that the Reds don't make any unnecessary offseason signings and let the 1-year contract players go, we're left with this for returning, MLB experienced players:

    C-Hanigan
    1B-Votto
    2B-Phillips (or an outside signing, we don't have any acceptable internal options)
    SS-Janish
    3B-Rolen
    RF-Bruce
    CF-Stubbs
    LF-Heisey
    Util- Cairo (1 year left on contract)

    That's 9 spots filled right away, leaving only 3 or 4 open for:

    Devin Mesoraco
    Zack Cozart
    Yonder Alonso
    Todd Frazier
    Juan Francisco
    Dave Sappelt

    Having Mesoraco or Hernandez as catcher is essential, so that's a spot filled right there. Cozart is clearly our best internal option at SS (Janish is no everyday starter), so he's there too, leaving only 1 or 2 spots for Alonso, Frazier, Francisco, and Sappelt. With the season's they've all had, and the talent coming up from behind them in AA, somebody has to go.

    Also, don't forget Correa. He was suspended for a year, but is still one of our top pitching prospects.
    Last edited by The DARK; 08-24-2011 at 04:30 PM.

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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    Quote Originally Posted by The DARK View Post
    I don't see either Volquez or Wood in AAA next season. If they haven't worked out their issues by then, I see them as trade bait, since they lose value with each loss of minor league playing time. Keep in mind that Willis likely won't be back.

    I wouldn't assume that Frazier stays promoted next season. He hasn't particularly impressed so far. Even assuming that the Reds don't make any unnecessary offseason signings and let the 1-year contract players go, we're left with this for returning, MLB experienced players:

    C-Hanigan
    1B-Votto
    2B-Phillips (or an outside signing, we don't have any acceptable internal options)
    SS-Janish
    3B-Rolen
    RF-Bruce
    CF-Stubbs
    LF-Heisey
    Util- Cairo (1 year left on contract)

    That's 9 spots filled right away, leaving only 3 or 4 open for:

    Devin Mesoraco
    Zack Cozart
    Yonder Alonso
    Todd Frazier
    Juan Francisco
    Dave Sappelt

    Having Mesoraco or Hernandez as catcher is essential, so that's a spot filled right there. Cozart is clearly our best internal option at SS (Janish is no everyday starter), so he's there too, leaving only 1 or 2 spots for Alonso, Frazier, Francisco, and Sappelt. With the season's they've all had, and the talent coming up from behind them in AA, somebody has to go.

    Also, don't forget Correa. He was suspended for a year, but is still one of our top pitching prospects.
    I agree someone has to go- between Alonso, Frazier, Francisco and Sappelt, they need to decide who they want to keep and who they want to trade. I will be very disappointed (but not surprised) if any of these guys are in Louisville next year.
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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    Nice work, Beni.

    The questions at the major league level-- assuming no blockbusters or even smaller deals-- are Janish, Frazier, Alonso, Sappelt, and Francisco. Only three will be kept, and the others will have to go somewhere. The rotation and bullpen are also set if you assume four of Arroyo, Volquez, Bailey, Leake, Chapman, and Wood end up in the rotation and the other two end up in the pen. (My money, FWIW, is on Chapman-- as closer-- and Wood as the long man.)

    That will, IMO, leave Janish as the AAA SS and either Francisco or Frazier in Louisville as well. That only leaves one spot to drop-- and that's probably SS, as Campbell and the loser of the mlb battle as Rolen's caddy can play nice together at 3B, corner IF, corner OF, and DH.

    Janish moving down to AAA affects, in turn, DiDi Gregorius. That should be okay, as Gregorius is very young and has only played in AA for 27 games so far. He could use the extra time and not consider it a slap in the face.

    The AA team should include Shooter Hunt, who's had a very good and underrated season in Bakersfield, with an 824 OPS. He can play 1B, DH, or corner OF. Either way, he deserves the promotion. With Gregorius demoted to AA, he, Greene, Lohman, and Buchholz will all play middle infield. Or Lohman could be moved down to A+ to play behind Torryes and Hamilton. That's a logjam that will need to be worked out. (Buchholz could be released, as he's not been good enough as a hitter since his first stint in Rookie League.)

    Other than that, my only other observation is that both the A+ and Dayton A teams will be stellar. In A+, D'Anna and Lutz will again split DH and 1B. Dayne Read might very well slip into the OF discussion (as he's been splitting time between Billings and Bakersfield), along with Duran and Rodriguez. (Yorman moves up on talent alone.)
    Hamilton SS
    Torreyes 2B
    Vidal 3B
    Lutz 1B/ DH
    Read RF
    D'Anna DH/ 1B
    Duran LF
    Rodriguez CF
    Barnhart C

    That's nine offensive prospects who could very well see time at the major league level with at least three of them as possible A-/B+ guys (Hamilton, Torreyes, Vidal) next season.

    Add to that another outstanding team in Dayton.
    Perez SS
    Wright 2B
    Smith CF
    Buckley 3B
    Maddox 1B
    O'Shea 1B/ C
    Waldrop RF
    Silva LF

    Add in a DH (Dickinson, I'm guessing), and this group has a chance to be outstanding offensively. They're not too young (as this year's team was at the beginning of the season), and they may develop an absolute ton of power.
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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    Looking at this as a bats fan, I am not sure how much there is to look forward to if these scenarios pan out. I hope the Reds sign some good 6-year FAs to help AAA.

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    Re: Looking Forward to the 2012 Reds Minor Leagues

    AAA Louisville should still be really interesting, just not as stacked as they've been over the past three years. I count half of their roster as probable major leaguers with above average mlb starters at four or five spots.

    Grandal is going to be a Top 100 prospect next season. Soto probably will as well. Boxberger might also make that list. Phipps will get some love after the season he's put up. Janish has already been a major league starter. The Frazier/ Francisco loser has some luster still. You've also got a 21-year-old in the middle of the diamond who looks for real, as well as another just behind him.

    Lots to like there.

    Of course, they also need to pitch. And, as of now, there's Boxberger and Maloney and... maybe Thompson? I like Carroll, but that's probably because every time I see him, he pitches well.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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