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Thread: Roster Prognostication: AAA Hitters

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    Member Bourgeois Zee's Avatar
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    Roster Prognostication: AAA Hitters

    We've handled low A Daytona previously. I thought I'd talk about the highest level today. The issue, at this point, is that it's hardly fleshed out. I'm guessing the Reds have plans for at least a couple more MLB players which would, in turn, move some of those guys down the ladder.

    Overview
    Still, the outline of what should be a solid team has already taken place. Louisville will undoubtedly own a veteran squad, but it's not so much old as experienced. Lots of mid- to late-20's guys who might be able to provide depth at the major league level and a couple of solid prospect bats and maybe a couple of pitchers. It's built similar to the Cincinnati squad-- not a lot of upside but a high floor. Assuming few injuries, this squad should compete.

    Everyday Lineup
    C Devy Grullon
    1B Wilson Garcia
    2B Jonathan India
    SS Jose Garcia
    3B Alex Blandino
    LF Dwight Smith
    CF TJ Friedl
    RF Narciso Crook
    DH Cheslor Cuthbert

    Comment: You've seen these names before, either at the MLB level or on prospect lists. The only relative surprises might be at 1B (Wilson Garcia) and catcher (Devy Grullon). Garcia's a switch hitter who blossomed after giving up most of his catching duties a couple of seasons ago. He only played 1B last year and was limited to 69 games due to injury. (He didn't play again after June 19 with a right foot sprain.) A big-bellied switch hitter, he's likely to be a crowd favorite in the Dmitri Young vein.



    The Reds acquired Grullon off waivers from Boston just before Christmas. He hit very well in 2019 when given full time innings. Even better, he started working the walk into his ABs. He'll K a bunch but is a fine third catcher stashed in AAA and a prescient sign IMO. He'll probably be a better than league average hitter. Both Garcia and Grullon are a bit old for their level, but should be find AAA backups and depth guys.

    Blandino, Smith, and Cuthbert are all in similar boats. They're AAAA guys who've tasted the bigs and can probably be stashed in AAA in case of injury. All three can play multiple positions, and all three offer similar leadership, steadiness, and probable league average of better bats. I've got Cuthbert at DH, but I'm guessing he'll play all over the infield (and maybe the OF too), allowing others to take a day or two if need be. Smith might be a sneaky good pickup as a AAA guy. He could explode and is still young enough to find another gear.

    TJ Friedl is the only real grinder amongst the group. He was an NDFA and is going on 25 at this point. Over his minor league career, he's shown a propensity for high BA and good OBP, but little pop. He may add some pop as he's matured, or he might just be a flea fourth OF who won't be a complete zero with the bat at the MLB level. (I'm a sucker for that type, I confess.) He's always been considered a good defender and should man CF in Louisville. IMO, Freidl's a bit underrated as a prospect, if only because of that high floor. He'd be a fine fifth guy/ pinch runner.

    India is, I'm guessing, going to be tried at 2B first, then 3B, but really, it doesn't matter in terms of Louisville's lineup. Blandino and Cuthbert can both play either post. (As can Alfredo Rodriguez and Errol Robinson, two possible middle infield backups.) India's focus should the bat that got him drafted fifth overall a few years ago. He needs to show the pop he had in Florida-- and not have to sacrifice BA to do it.

    Garcia will almost assuredly begin the season at AAA SS. He should be here all year-- or at least until September call-ups. (If there even are September call-ups.) He's the top prospect on the team and should be working on his propensity to chase sliders away. He's Brandon Phillips redux right now in that regard. And in his speed/ power profile. Garcia's probably not going to be a .300 hitter, but he might end up with a 260/ 320/ 450 line, 20 SB, and superior defense. That'll certainly play as Wily Adames Lite.

    Starters
    Tony Santillan
    Riley O'Brien
    Brandon Bailey
    Bo Takahashi
    Ryan Lillie

    This is my guess as of right now. With injuries and major league club's needs, it can certainly change. Santillan apparently threw effectively in 2020 at Prasco, so that's good. He'll have to show it in Louisville. He has great stuff at times, great control at times, great focus at times. Those times haven't consistent. He's still relatively young and could be in for a well above average season as the Bats' "ace." O'Brien was a good get from Tampa in the Cody Reed deal. His numbers rival those of Santillan, but his stuff is a step below. The Reds love spin, and he apparently has that in spades. I think he's the best bet in Louisville to stick in the rotation all season. Another high floor guy. Bailey is an off-speed guy who may, if the Reds don't acquire other relief arms, be a part of the MLB squad right away. He's got off-speed stuff for days. If the parent club acquires more relievers (and they almost assuredly will), they'll probably look at Bailey as a spot starter/ long reliever. Takahashi is young for a free agent pickup. I suspect the Reds lured him with a promise on the AAA staff (and a relationship with Boddy). Lillie's a former Marlin who was acquired for international money. He was very good for Daytona in 2019 before a cup of coffee in AA that pretty much sucked. I'm guessing both Vlad Gutierrez and Matt Ball are moved to the AAA pen (Gutierrez after his suspension runs its course) to offer some MLB help and K punch.

    Like the offense, the starting staff is all about adequacy. There's not a sure-fire dominant guy in the bunch, but any of them could put up solid numbers over an entire season of AAA work.

    In the 'pen, I've got Gutierrez (eventually), Ball, Edgar Ernesto Garcia (another Tampa relief arm with good K rates), RJ Alaniz, and Ryan Nutoff as the main AAA guys. Each of them (odd for a AAA team) has a real chance at helping the parent club with depth innings. Each is also fungible. Josh Osich and Art Warren-- two MLB arms who've shown to be league average or so-- are also going to be a part of that I-71 shuffle. Ryan Hendrix is another arm that will shuttle between Louisville and Cincinnati.

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    camisadelgolf (01-16-2021),RED VAN HOT (01-16-2021)


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    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: Roster Prognostication: AAA Hitters

    Gotta figure Kuhnel is in AAA bullpen too.
    Bud Selig: "I'm the worst commissioner ever"
    Rob Manfred: "Hold my beer"

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    camisadelgolf (01-16-2021)

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Roster Prognostication: AAA Hitters

    At the moment, I imagine Blandino will spend most of the year in Cincinnati. Farmer appears to be the only infielder on the bench. Does this mean you see Chris Okey and Reiver Sanmartin playing in AA?

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    Re: Roster Prognostication: AAA Hitters

    The middle infield is the only interesting part of that lineup.

    Will Lodolo and Greene both be starting in AAA or does Hunter start in AA?
    Go BLUE!!!

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    Daffy Duck RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: Roster Prognostication: AAA Hitters

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    The middle infield is the only interesting part of that lineup.

    Will Lodolo and Greene both be starting in AAA or does Hunter start in AA?
    I think Lodolo starts at AAA and Greene AA.

    Greene has a ton to prove and everyone seems to think Lodolo is basically a finished product with high floor/low ceiling.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    At the moment, I imagine Blandino will spend most of the year in Cincinnati. Farmer appears to be the only infielder on the bench. Does this mean you see Chris Okey and Reiver Sanmartin playing in AA?
    Blandino is just a guy at this point. Looking back and seeing who was drafted after him gives me heartburn.
    What would you say.....ya do here?

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    Member Bourgeois Zee's Avatar
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    Re: Roster Prognostication: AAA Hitters

    Quote Originally Posted by RedTeamGo! View Post
    I think Lodolo starts at AAA and Greene AA.

    Greene has a ton to prove and everyone seems to think Lodolo is basically a finished product with high floor/low ceiling.
    I suspect they both start in AA.

    I also believe they're on similar development trajectories. We will see, of course.

    That AA SP group could be really fun to watch.

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    Old school 1983 (01-24-2021)

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    Re: Roster Prognostication: AAA Hitters

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    The middle infield is the only interesting part of that lineup.

    Will Lodolo and Greene both be starting in AAA or does Hunter start in AA?
    Mostly agree, but T.J. Friedl could still get interesting again. .369 OBP over 4 minor league seasons, consistent ability to walk at least 10% at every level.

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    BillDoran (01-23-2021)

  13. #8
    Moderator Kinsm's Avatar
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    Re: Roster Prognostication: AAA Hitters

    Bullpen - Alaniz, Biddle, Garcia, Hendrix, Kuhnel, Osich, Perez, and Warren...maybe Romano if he is outrighted out of camp
    Rotation - Bailey (if he doesn't make the 25 man), Gutierrez (after suspension is served), Perez, Santillan, Takahashi
    Fielders - Grullon, Garcia, Blandino, AlfRod, Cuthbert, Smith, Heineman, maybe Payton (if he doesn't make the 25 man)
    Bench - Gale, not sure who else - probably minor league free agent signings

    Don't see Lodolo, Greene, India, O'Brien, Lillie, etc. making the AAA team out of the gate. It'll be interesting to see how the Reds handle the missed season last year.

    Though I'm more interested to see who is cut during the massive purge that is going to happen when minor league seasons start - most teams will be limited to 255 players under contract (instead of the 325 allowed last year - 360 if you had 2 DSL clubs).

  14. #9
    Moderator Kinsm's Avatar
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    Re: Roster Prognostication: AAA Hitters

    And still plenty of time to sign more AAAA type guys between now and opening day.


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