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Thread: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

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    Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    Six weeks into the season, it's time for an update.

    GRADE A All-Star Potential and Top 25 Prospect in the Game
    (none)

    GRADE B Big League Starter and Top 100 Prospect

    1. Billy Hamilton SS/CF? A+ Biggest question is whether he remains at SS or moves to CF. Could end up in Grade A if he maintains production in Pensacola.
    2. Daniel Corcino RHP AA Has not disappointed despite skipping High A.
    3. Robert Stephenson RHP R Would like to see him get some starts in Dayton before the year is out.

    GRADE C Should Contribute at the Big League Level

    4. DiDi Gregorius SS AA Questions about his bat are only thing keeping him from "B" grade. Like the next several guys, could upgrade to a "B" in next couple months.
    5. David Vidal 3B AA Helium watch. Contender for Reds 3B of the future.
    (tie). Kyle Lotzkar RHP AA His health has always been the biggest question. So far so good in 2012.
    (tie). Tony Cingrani LHP A+ Should join his fellow pitching prospects in Pensacola soon.
    (tie). Donald Lutz LF A+ Would like to see him play exclusively in LF. Best stick of any OF in the organization.
    9. JC Sulbaran RHP AA Showing flashes of brilliance. Hopefully he continues to put it all together.
    10. Henry Rodriguez 3B AA When he comes back from injury, I'd like to see what he can do in Louisville so he can compete for a job in ST next year.

    ON THE RADAR

    Neftali Soto 1B AAA - Slow start and Joey Votto paint a bleak future for him in Cincy
    Donnie Joseph LHP AA - Has gotten himself back on the map, but as a reliever he needs to move up the ladder quickly.
    Yorman Rodriguez OF A+ - Still has the tools but not the production.
    Kyle Waldrop OF A - Most promising OF in Dayton and my pick to click this year has not disappointed so far.
    Radhames Quezada RHP A - Has emerged as the best starter in Dayton this year.

    In terms of other players, I don't see Ryan LaMarre as anything better than a 4th OF in the big leagues. Tucker Barnhart may never hit enough despite his solid D, although I definitely wouldn't write him off yet. Juan Duran still looks like he has miles to go. I'm excited to see what Gabriel Rosa can do once Billings starts. I'd also like to see what Drew Cisco can do when he's ready. Ditto for Amir Garret, although he's obviously going to be a long term project.

    PROMOTIONS ON THE HORIZON (if I were in charge)

    Donnie Joseph to AAA
    Henry Rodriguez to AAA
    DiDi Gregorius to AAA
    Cody Puckett to AAA
    Tony Cingrani to AA
    Billy Hamilton to AA
    Donald Lutz to AA
    Robert Stephenson to A

    Next update will be after the draft, with hopefully a lot of new talent infused into the system.
    Last edited by Benihana; 05-14-2012 at 09:30 PM.
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    I am pretty impressed with Didi's contact rate.
    http://diamondvisits.blogspot.com/ My Minor League stadium review site.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    You are really underrating LaMarre if you have Quezada over him.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    You are really underrating LaMarre if you have Quezada over him.
    I'm not too worried about it, especially if you are going to argue over the #15 spot. The bottom line for me is that neither are "Grade C" prospects at this point, and I don't see LaMarre as a starting OF at the major league level. He turns 24 this year and has never OPS'd .800 over a season. He has also yet to have an AB in AAA. Until he displays some power and/or produces in AAA, he is not a Top 10 prospect IMO.
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    I'm not too worried about it, especially if you are going to argue over the #15 spot. The bottom line for me is that neither are "Grade C" prospects at this point, and I don't see LaMarre as a starting OF at the major league level. He turns 24 this year and has never OPS'd .800 over a season. He has also yet to have an AB in AAA. Until he displays some power and/or produces in AAA, he is not a Top 10 prospect IMO.
    He is a good defensive center fielder with good plate discipline and tons of speed to burn with some power potential in there. He won't be 24 at any point this baseball season.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    He is a good defensive center fielder with good plate discipline and tons of speed to burn with some power potential in there. He won't be 24 at any point this baseball season.
    He's also spending his offseason training with one of the best in the business... Mike Barwis

    http://youtu.be/hPAMsH2fJBA

    Look at the numbers David Molk and Mike Martin put up at the combine this season for example...
    2010 Mock Draft Selections (picking for Rays)

    Bryce Brentz
    Brandon Workman
    Kris Bryant
    Matt Lipka
    Rick Hague

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    My Current top dozen might be a little different than most. (Are any of these guys higher than C+ though?)

    1. Lutz (My style - Power with Average, but the fairly low walks and position are worrisome. I like that he's a lefty and may be able to provide production on the good side of a platoon)
    2. Hamilton (Not really my style of player and I'm generally a skeptic that high SB guys in the low minors will ever amount to much in the big leagues, but he's hitting so its hard to stray too far from the "experts" here.)
    3. Corcino
    4. Cingrani
    5. Vidal
    6. Stephenson (on faith, there is a gap after the top 5 IMO)
    7. Sulbaran (could be on the rise)
    8. Gregorious (again, w/o the "experts" he wouldn't make the list. His lefty bat is a help.)
    9. Lamarre (Sleeper? Needs more pop IMO)
    10. Joseph (most likely to help this year)
    11. Bryson Smith (I'd like more info on him)
    12. Chad Rogers (him too)

    Still a skeptic on Lotzkar's health. If he holds up over the season, he may move to the top. Radhames Quezada and Justice French are a couple of arms I considered. Also considered Cody Puckett but I'm just not sure about him or whether he'll ever play a position at a major league level. I have an inkling that he may wind up going the Danny Dorn route. Have Gregorious lower than most because of the lack of extra base power. At this point he looks like another minor league glove who can't hit much. Guys dropping like a rock include Neftali Soto, Denis Phipps and Tucker Barnhart whose lack of production in such a hitter's haven is pretty alarming. Guys like Rosa and Garrett may give this list a bump when we see them play.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    My Current top dozen might be a little different than most. (Are any of these guys higher than C+ though?)

    1. Lutz (My style - Power with Average, but the fairly low walks and position are worrisome. I like that he's a lefty and may be able to provide production on the good side of a platoon)
    2. Hamilton (Not really my style of player and I'm generally a skeptic that high SB guys in the low minors will ever amount to much in the big leagues, but he's hitting so its hard to stray too far from the "experts" here.)
    3. Corcino
    4. Cingrani
    5. Vidal
    6. Stephenson (on faith, there is a gap after the top 5 IMO)
    7. Sulbaran (could be on the rise)
    8. Gregorious (again, w/o the "experts" he wouldn't make the list. His lefty bat is a help.)
    9. Lamarre (Sleeper? Needs more pop IMO)
    10. Joseph (most likely to help this year)
    11. Bryson Smith (I'd like more info on him)
    12. Chad Rogers (him too)

    Still a skeptic on Lotzkar's health. If he holds up over the season, he may move to the top. Radhames Quezada and Justice French are a couple of arms I considered. Also considered Cody Puckett but I'm just not sure about him or whether he'll ever play a position at a major league level. I have an inkling that he may wind up going the Danny Dorn route. Have Gregorious lower than most because of the lack of extra base power. At this point he looks like another minor league glove who can't hit much. Guys dropping like a rock include Neftali Soto, Denis Phipps and Tucker Barnhart whose lack of production in such a hitter's haven is pretty alarming. Guys like Rosa and Garrett may give this list a bump when we see them play.
    I actually don't think you and I are all that far apart. You're obviously a little higher on Lutz and lower on DiDi, but I can see the argument for that. I'm not sure about Smith and Rogers, but again I won't argue over who deserves to be last on a top prospects list.

    I do think Lutz's lack of positional flexibility could hurt him, in that he has to rake in order to get on the field. Obviously he has done so thus far, and if he continues to do so in AA he would clearly be a top 5 prospect to me. I would like to see him take more walks, as I don't want him to become the next Jeff Francouer.

    I am also highly skeptical of speedy all-glove players, but I think Hamilton could and should be more Michael Bourn than Felix Pie. Ditto for DiDi hopefully not being another Gookie Dawkins, although I'm less sure about that one.

    If Lotzkar can stay healthy, I do think he's as much of a pitching prospect as any arm in the system.
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    He is a good defensive center fielder with good plate discipline and tons of speed to burn with some power potential in there. He won't be 24 at any point this baseball season.
    But like I said, he turns 24 this year (who cares if it's during the baseball season or not?)

    I don't see how he's any better than Drew Stubbs, and I do see how he could be significantly worse (less power and good but not as good D). This (his age 23 season) is the year Stubbs put it all together and shot through the system, finishing with an .834 OPS in AAA. I think we need to see that kind of year out of LaMarre in order to start planning for a real future in Cincy, otherwise he looks like bench fodder to me, especially with Billy Hamilton knocking on the door.

    Trust me, I am rooting for the guy, not only because he's a former Reds 2nd round draft pick but because, like me, he's a Michigan Wolverine. Unfortunately, he hasn't given me all that much to get excited about since he left Ann Arbor. I really hope that changes in the near future.
    Last edited by Benihana; 05-15-2012 at 10:04 AM.
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    But like I said, he turns 24 this year (who cares if it's during the baseball season or not?)

    I don't see how he's any better than Drew Stubbs, and I do see how he could be significantly worse (less power and good but not as good D). This (his age 23 season) is the year Stubbs put it all together and shot through the system, finishing with an .834 OPS in AAA. I think we need to see that kind of year out of LaMarre in order to start planning for a real future in Cincy, otherwise he looks like bench fodder to me.
    Outside of just being a plus speed guy, can you tell me the difference between the MLB projections for Billy Hamilton and Ryan LaMarre, both in CF since you think that is where he will wind up, that makes such an enormous gap between the two players? Don't get me wrong, I have Hamilton higher than LaMarre, but I don't think the difference between where the two could wind up is all that different. Hamilton will have more steals and more range in CF, while LaMarre will have more power at the plate and a much better arm in the outfield. Everything else they do looks very similar to me. You have one guy as the best prospect we have and the other fighting to be bench fodder.

    As for the Drew Stubbs comparison.... he had a hot 3 weeks to end the season in Louisville which culminated his season with a .788 OPS over three levels.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Outside of just being a plus speed guy, can you tell me the difference between the MLB projections for Billy Hamilton and Ryan LaMarre, both in CF since you think that is where he will wind up, that makes such an enormous gap between the two players? Don't get me wrong, I have Hamilton higher than LaMarre, but I don't think the difference between where the two could wind up is all that different. Hamilton will have more steals and more range in CF, while LaMarre will have more power at the plate and a much better arm in the outfield. Everything else they do looks very similar to me. You have one guy as the best prospect we have and the other fighting to be bench fodder.

    As for the Drew Stubbs comparison.... he had a hot 3 weeks to end the season in Louisville which culminated his season with a .788 OPS over three levels.
    You answered your own question - better speed and better range. Hamilton's speed will not only help in SB, but should help his AVG and SLG as has been discussed on the board. I think Hamilton could be a significant difference maker at the top of the order, whereas I see LaMarre being more of a Heisey/Stubbs type with significantly less power. One translates to a top-of-the-order disruptor while the other translates to a 4th OF.

    Hamilton is also two years younger, which I think is pretty significant when talking about prospects. And he can switch-hit. And has the potential to be a plus-plus defender (in CF) who can make out-of-this-world defensive plays. And finally, I do think Hamilton gets a slight bump due to his potential for positional flexibility- the fact that he could remain in the middle infield. It certainly should help his trade value, which I think directly correlates to "prospect rankings."

    And for what it's worth, I don't think that LaMarre is "fighting to be bench fodder." Rather, I think he has a very good chance of being bench fodder (which is no small feat to be a 4th OF at the major league level).
    Last edited by Benihana; 05-15-2012 at 10:25 AM.
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    My Current top dozen might be a little different than most. (Are any of these guys higher than C+ though?)

    1. Lutz (My style - Power with Average, but the fairly low walks and position are worrisome. I like that he's a lefty and may be able to provide production on the good side of a platoon)
    2. Hamilton (Not really my style of player and I'm generally a skeptic that high SB guys in the low minors will ever amount to much in the big leagues, but he's hitting so its hard to stray too far from the "experts" here.)
    3. Corcino
    4. Cingrani
    5. Vidal
    6. Stephenson (on faith, there is a gap after the top 5 IMO)
    7. Sulbaran (could be on the rise)
    8. Gregorious (again, w/o the "experts" he wouldn't make the list. His lefty bat is a help.)
    9. Lamarre (Sleeper? Needs more pop IMO)
    10. Joseph (most likely to help this year)
    11. Bryson Smith (I'd like more info on him)
    12. Chad Rogers (him too)

    Still a skeptic on Lotzkar's health. If he holds up over the season, he may move to the top. Radhames Quezada and Justice French are a couple of arms I considered. Also considered Cody Puckett but I'm just not sure about him or whether he'll ever play a position at a major league level. I have an inkling that he may wind up going the Danny Dorn route. Have Gregorious lower than most because of the lack of extra base power. At this point he looks like another minor league glove who can't hit much. Guys dropping like a rock include Neftali Soto, Denis Phipps and Tucker Barnhart whose lack of production in such a hitter's haven is pretty alarming. Guys like Rosa and Garrett may give this list a bump when we see them play.
    Well said. I'm pretty much completely in agreement with everything you said. I'm higher on Lutz than Hamilton too.
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    You answered your own question - better speed and better range. Hamilton's speed will not only help in SB, but should help his AVG and SLG as has been discussed on the board. I think Hamilton could be a significant difference maker at the top of the order, whereas I see LaMarre being more of a Heisey/Stubbs type with significantly less power. One translates to a top-of-the-order disruptor while the other translates to a 4th OF.
    I feel they will wind up with similar average/OBP if Hamilton keeps developing his plate discipline to come close to that of LaMarre's plate discipline. His SLG isn't going to match that of LaMarre. There is hardly any room for growth in his slugging. LaMarre has plenty of room for growth in his. Stubbs and Heisey both have significant contact problems. LaMarre might have that, but there isn't really any signs that he will. Not a high contact guy by any stretch, but I don't think anyone should be ready to claim he is going to strike out 28% or more at the MLB level like those guys are doing.

    Hamilton is also two years younger, which I think is pretty significant when talking about prospects. And he can switch-hit. And has the potential to be a plus-plus defender (in CF) who can make out-of-this-world defensive plays. And finally, I do think Hamilton gets a slight bump due to his potential for positional flexibility- the fact that he could remain in the middle infield. It certainly should help his trade value, which I think directly correlates to "prospect rankings."
    Age matters a lot more when it concerns the player growing into their body, but Hamilton's body is just about tapped out. He isn't going to be getting bigger/stronger. His game is going to be made up of the same stuff it is made up now.... contact and speed. Age for him isn't the same as it is for a guy who is going to be growing into his body. Hamilton will have problems being a plus-plus defender with his arm in center. Perhaps a plus defender because of his speed, but that is just a little above where LaMarre is. Marginal difference.

    In the end, I can see Hamilton having small advantages offensively and small advantages defensively, adding up to an overall advantage if things go right for both players. I just don't equate that to the gap you seem to be placing between the two players.

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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I feel they will wind up with similar average/OBP if Hamilton keeps developing his plate discipline to come close to that of LaMarre's plate discipline. His SLG isn't going to match that of LaMarre. There is hardly any room for growth in his slugging. LaMarre has plenty of room for growth in his. Stubbs and Heisey both have significant contact problems. LaMarre might have that, but there isn't really any signs that he will. Not a high contact guy by any stretch, but I don't think anyone should be ready to claim he is going to strike out 28% or more at the MLB level like those guys are doing.


    Age matters a lot more when it concerns the player growing into their body, but Hamilton's body is just about tapped out. He isn't going to be getting bigger/stronger. His game is going to be made up of the same stuff it is made up now.... contact and speed. Age for him isn't the same as it is for a guy who is going to be growing into his body. Hamilton will have problems being a plus-plus defender with his arm in center. Perhaps a plus defender because of his speed, but that is just a little above where LaMarre is. Marginal difference.

    In the end, I can see Hamilton having small advantages offensively and small advantages defensively, adding up to an overall advantage if things go right for both players. I just don't equate that to the gap you seem to be placing between the two players.
    LaMarre strikes out less than Stubbs did but also walks less. Also, with less power to punish pitchers, advanced pitchers are going to challenge him more, making his plate discipline less of a factor. If he develops power, his plate discipline matters more, but if he continues to hit 6 HR/season, his plate discipline isn't going to be such a difference-maker.

    And (in Hamilton's case) age does matter when a player has only been switch-hitting and concentrating exclusively on baseball for less than three years.

    Put it this way, if the Reds put both players on the market or offered both up in a trade for major league help, I think there would be a sizeable gap in other team's reactions. As I said before, perceived trade value and prospect rankings have a pretty strong correlation in my eyes.
    Last edited by Benihana; 05-15-2012 at 01:32 PM.
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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Top Prospects May 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    LaMarre strikes out less than Stubbs did but also walks less. And age does matter when a player has only been switch-hitting and concentrating exclusively on baseball for less than three years.

    Put it this way, if the Reds put both players on the market or offered both up in a trade for major league help, I think there would be a sizeable gap in other team's reactions. As I said before, perceived trade value and prospect rankings have a pretty strong correlation in my eyes.
    LaMarre is currently rocking a 13% walk rate in AA. That is in the Stubbs range. Granted we are talking 175 PA's too.

    I guess I have to ask, where do you expect Hamiltons skills to improve with time? Significantly lowered strikeout rate? More power? And if so, how much more power?

    I am sure other teams would be more interested in Hamilton. That doesn't mean that he will significantly outproduce LaMarre though. I prefer to try and figure out what a guy will produce at the MLB level and rank the guys that way.


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