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Thread: Players who could skip a level

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  1. #1
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    Players who could skip a level

    Good chance: Josh Smith (Dayton to Pensacola); Drew Hayes (same); Tony Cingrani (Billings to Bakersfield).

    Possibilities: Danield Wolford (Dayton to Pensacola).

    Might be possible: Ryan Wright (Billings to Bakersfield).

    I do not count guys that start in extended and then jump to Bakersfield, as Stephen Hunt did in 2011. I also am not counting guys that jump from AZL Reds to Dayton, though Chacin would appear to be a guy that may get that opportunity.

    It is also possible that everybody on this list jumps one level only, but those are the ones that I think have a shot.
    Last edited by redsof72; 01-05-2012 at 05:41 PM.

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    Two-Time Batting Champ Edd Roush's Avatar
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    Re: Players who could skip a level

    Do we really want our top pitching prospects (Cingrani) to even pitch in Bakersfield? I am all about our pitching prospects building a lot of confidence and to have him go out to Bakersfield and get shelled, does not sound good for any one's confidence. I guess it could be a good reality check for him and let him know that he has to improve, but I really hate having this Bakersfield affiliate with all of these skewed numbers. Doesn't provide the good hitters with a challenge and makes all of the pitchers look worse than they really are.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Players who could skip a level

    Quote Originally Posted by Edd Roush View Post
    Do we really want our top pitching prospects (Cingrani) to even pitch in Bakersfield? I am all about our pitching prospects building a lot of confidence and to have him go out to Bakersfield and get shelled, does not sound good for any one's confidence. I guess it could be a good reality check for him and let him know that he has to improve, but I really hate having this Bakersfield affiliate with all of these skewed numbers. Doesn't provide the good hitters with a challenge and makes all of the pitchers look worse than they really are.
    If you miss bats, you can do fine in the California League. Tim Crabbe posted strong numbers there. Josh Ravin was dominant when he was not walking everyone because he missed plenty of bats too.

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    Re: Players who could skip a level

    I agree but it is the high-A affiliate for better or worse. It is not going to be easy to get back into the Carolina League or the Florida State League either. Holding onto Pensacola and getting the high-A club back east will be two major challenges. The latter might be the more difficult.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Players who could skip a level

    How about Donald Lutz? Already a little old, on the 40 man and the Reds don't really have a 1B for AA.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Two-Time Batting Champ Edd Roush's Avatar
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    Re: Players who could skip a level

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    How about Donald Lutz? Already a little old, on the 40 man and the Reds don't really have a 1B for AA.
    I like that idea. I have no problem having hitters skip A+. I wouldn't mind seeing him sink or swim in Pensacola and if he does struggle over a couple hundred ABs, he can always get his confidence back in Bakersfield.

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    Re: Players who could skip a level

    With Pensacola, teams will wait to see how it plays in 2012 before they think about stealing the PDC. I from my three visits inside think it's going to be a nightmare some nights for the outfielders due to the wind from the Gulf or be an extreme pitching friendly stadium with the wind keeping everything in the park like San Antonio's wind corridor from the Gulf.
    http://diamondvisits.blogspot.com/ My Minor League stadium review site.

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    Re: Players who could skip a level

    Pitchers in Bakersfield may not look good on the stat line, but scouts aren't ignorant enough to mistake that for a failure. JC Sulbaran has appeared higher on many professional scouts' lists than our own, and he had a 4.60 ERA. It's not like the staff there are the dregs either... they think enough of it to make Ken Griffey the manager.

    Putting Lutz in AA seems reasonable to me, however. He needs to be challenged and fast-tracked if people are going to start taking him seriously as a prospect, and he could be the premier hitter and most recognizable name on the Pensacola team if all goes well.
    Last edited by The DARK; 01-06-2012 at 01:43 AM.

  9. #9
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Players who could skip a level

    Quote Originally Posted by The DARK View Post
    Pitchers in Bakersfield may not look good on the stat line, but scouts aren't ignorant enough to mistake that for a failure. JC Sulbaran has appeared higher on many professional scouts' lists than our own, and he had a 4.60 ERA. It's not like the staff there are the dregs either... they think enough of it to make Ken Griffey the manager.

    Putting Lutz in AA seems reasonable to me, however. He needs to be challenged and fast-tracked if people are going to start taking him seriously as a prospect, and he could be the premier hitter and most recognizable name on the Pensacola team if all goes well.
    No question Lutz needs to speed up now. I have no problem bumping hitters up a level. I think Pensacola is looking pretty promising prospect wise. They should have H-Rod and Gregorious in the middle IF with Lamarre in CF and Mark Fleury and Kevin Coffington begind the plate. That's a pretty strong up the middle. They would have Sulbaran, Crabbe and Villareal in the rotation with Hotchkiss, Fairel and Ravin. The bullpen would have Shunick, Joseph, Thurman, Freeman and Manno. The weak areas are power and the corner spots. Lutz at 1B could address both of those areas. I'm not as high on Puckett and Fellhauer as most are and know little of Travis Mattair. But that's how I see it starting out (could easily be off though). I'd guess at some point guys like Vidal, Hunt and maybe Duran might make their way to AA in 2012 to add some pop on he corners.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Re: Players who could skip a level

    Lutz is too raw to try to skip a level and I would be shocked if they tried that. One step at a time for him. Dominic D'Anna, who does not have Lutz's tools, is a refined player and could be capable of holding his own in Double-A, but Richburg is the better player at this point and would play ahead of him anyway. I think what they need to do there, with a team that figures to struggle, is sign a six-year free agent first baseman/DH who can come in and hit in the # 4 spot and be a big run producer all-star type player. That would solidify the lineup and take some pressure off everyone else and help keep the team competitive.

  11. #11
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Players who could skip a level

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    Lutz is too raw to try to skip a level and I would be shocked if they tried that. One step at a time for him. Dominic D'Anna, who does not have Lutz's tools, is a refined player and could be capable of holding his own in Double-A, but Richburg is the better player at this point and would play ahead of him anyway. I think what they need to do there, with a team that figures to struggle, is sign a six-year free agent first baseman/DH who can come in and hit in the # 4 spot and be a big run producer all-star type player. That would solidify the lineup and take some pressure off everyone else and help keep the team competitive.
    The Reds already have Richburg, Mike Costanzo, Stephen Hunt, and Bill Rhinehart, so there's no way Lutz is skipping Bakersfield to play in Pensacola.

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    Re: Players who could skip a level

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    Lutz is too raw to try to skip a level and I would be shocked if they tried that. One step at a time for him. Dominic D'Anna, who does not have Lutz's tools, is a refined player and could be capable of holding his own in Double-A, but Richburg is the better player at this point and would play ahead of him anyway. I think what they need to do there, with a team that figures to struggle, is sign a six-year free agent first baseman/DH who can come in and hit in the # 4 spot and be a big run producer all-star type player. That would solidify the lineup and take some pressure off everyone else and help keep the team competitive.
    Wouldn't Rhinehart fit that bill, if he's back in AA--which he might well be, with Soto at AAA? Rhinehart hit 28 HR last year in AA. As camis pointed out, it would seem that he and Richburg, possibly among others, would hold down first base very nicely.

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    Re: Players who could skip a level

    Yes, he fits, but it is going to be pretty hard to send him back to Double-A after the season he had. They may do it anyway. Six year free agents are a different situation in that it can be made clear to the player during the negotiating process what the plan is. I spent a lot of years working at the Double-A level and unhappy players there seldom play productively. They signed some players last season to fill that role. David Cook was an example. He had hit 25 HR in the same league in '09 but he did not provide that kind of production. Sometimes those players in that age range (26-28) start seeing a drop in performance.

    I am higher on Richburg than most but that team is going to need a couple vets who can beef up the lineup. The talent void in the system that has slowly made its way upward is going to leave some holes for a year or so until the best of the '11 Dayton players get there.

  14. #14
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Players who could skip a level

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    Yes, he fits, but it is going to be pretty hard to send him back to Double-A after the season he had. They may do it anyway. Six year free agents are a different situation in that it can be made clear to the player during the negotiating process what the plan is. I spent a lot of years working at the Double-A level and unhappy players there seldom play productively. They signed some players last season to fill that role. David Cook was an example. He had hit 25 HR in the same league in '09 but he did not provide that kind of production. Sometimes those players in that age range (26-28) start seeing a drop in performance.

    I am higher on Richburg than most but that team is going to need a couple vets who can beef up the lineup. The talent void in the system that has slowly made its way upward is going to leave some holes for a year or so until the best of the '11 Dayton players get there.
    I think it's accurate to say there was a big talent void in the system, but I think we've pretty much gotten through it (with the exception of the AAA pitching). Here's an approximation of 2011 Carolina's OPS at each position:
    C .677
    1B .904
    2B .784
    3B .743
    SS .657
    LF .755
    CF .843
    RF .717

    Here's who is expected at each position in 2012:
    C Mark Fleury/Kevin Coddington
    1B Mike Costanzo/Chris Richburg
    2B Brodie Greene
    3B Henry Rodriguez
    SS Didi Gregorius/Jose Castro
    LF Josh Fellhauer
    CF Ryan LaMarre
    RF Andrew Means/Stephen Hunt

    All-in-all, Carolina had an above-average offense last year. I think the 2012 group can put up similar numbers, and it becomes even more likely if guys like Bill Rhinehart and Cody Puckett repeat the level. As you well know, it was the pitching that ruined the Mudcats last year. You're just not going to win games when you give up 5.48 runs per game. However, the pitching is looking to receive a big upgrade. Here are the players I expect to see along with their career and 2011 ERAs:
    Code:
    2011	CAREER	PITCHER
    4.62	4.20	Mark Serrano
    8.92	3.88	Matt Fairel
    4.39	4.34	Pedro Villarreal
    5.17	5.24	Josh Ravin
    4.60	4.89	J.C. Sulbaran
    5.66	5.00	Curt Partch
    3.45	3.96	Tim Crabbe
    6.94	4.10	Donnie Joseph
    5.84	2.83	Jordan Hotchkiss
    0.90	1.26	Chris Manno
    5.25	3.84	Justin Freeman
    5.51	3.47	Mace Thurman
    3.02	4.41	Clay Shunick
    5.29	3.81	Brandon Hynick
    Sure, a lot of those guys are coming off rough seasons for various reasons (injury, first time facing advanced hitting, etc.), but I think it's almost impossible for the pitching to be as bad as it was last year. There's simply too much talent for that to happen again. I'm not necessarily expecting the Blue Wahoos to win the division, but I'd bet nearly everything I own that they win more than 53 games this year.

    The following group of pitchers threw more than 69% of the Mudcats' innings last year:
    Pat Doyle
    Jeff Jeffords
    Jordan Hotchkiss
    Dallas Buck
    Josh Ravin
    Lee Tabor
    Jason Braun
    James Adkins
    Curt Partch
    Justin Lehr
    Donnie Joseph
    Justin Freeman
    James Avery
    Tim Hamulack
    Matt Klinker
    Kyle McCulloch
    Aroldis Chapman
    Drew Bowman
    Travis Webb
    Chris Mobley

    They combined for a 5.82 ERA and 1.649 WHIP. Yikes! When the other pitchers pitched, the Mudcats were easily a winning team. Fortunately, nearly all of those poor performers are going to be replaced with decent pitching prospects like Mark Serrano, Matt Fairel(?), J.C. Sulbaran, Tim Crabbe, Chris Manno, Mace Thurman, etc.

    On top of that, a couple of the successful pitchers are likely to repeat the level e.g. Pedro Villarreal and Clay Shunick. Like I said, I don't expect them to be at the top of the league, but they won't be near the disaster of the 2011 Mudcats.


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