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    Member Bourgeois Zee's Avatar
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    Dec 2014

    End-of-Season Prospect Lists?

    Who's on your end-of-season prospect list, RedsZone?

    1. Noelvi Marte, 3B
    Marte's shown some pop and some speed as a 3B who can moonlight as a SS. I'm hoping, with more experience, he irons out his defensive issues and becomes really good over there. He has the tools to do just that. I suspect his power will play and have been pleasantly surprised by a lack of K issues. He remains vulnerable to low and away sliders, but so, seemingly, does everyone else in the game. And he can punish any that don't break. I'm hoping his BA remains high, as that's one of the needs for the Cincinnati offense moving forward. Regardless, he looks like a lineup fixture for the foreseeable future and might end up an All-Star.

    2. Edwin Arroyo, SS
    I originally had Arroyo as the Reds' fourth-best prospect, but couldn't justify that after looking under the hood, so to speak. Arroyo's poor opening six weeks has obscured what has been a very good season. His three-game cup of coffee with Chattanooga couldn't have gone much better though. AA at 19 presages a special kind of talent. I'd like to see him iron out his defense over the off-season and develop a bit more pop. Regardless, he looks like a legitimate Top 50 (if not Top 25) prospect who's almost assuredly in AA for most of his age-20 season.

    3. Connor Phillips, SP
    Phillips moved two levels this season and has pitched like the typically not-ready-for-prime-time hurler we suspected when pressed into service in the pennant race. But underneath the painful HR rate and BB issues are some underlying numbers that are promising. Good K rate, lots of spin-- he's probably the leader in the clubhouse for the 5th starter's spot next season, behind Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, and Williamson. At just 22, he's got time to figure it out.

    4. Rhett Lowder, SP
    Lowder will more than likely be ranked higher by most experts than Phillips, but Phillips' time in AAA and MLB give him the edge for me. (Even poor innings at the MLB level can teach valuable lessons.) Lowder's likely to start next year in Dayton, but be a fast mover. It wouldn't shock me to see him in Louisville by the end of 2024 and a canddate for the rotation by Opening Day 2025. The changeup is what I'm most excited to see-- not sure the last good, consistent changeup in the Red rotation.

    5. Chase Petty, SP
    Petty's underrated by the majority of would-be national experts largely because of his lack of starter innings. The 20-year-old has been absolutely ridiculous all season as the Reds have limited him to four-iinning starts to protect his vulnerable wing. But holy crap, has he been dominant. Petty doesn't walk anyone, and he K's plenty. Beyond that, he seems as if he's a student of the game. Apparently, he has a sweet offspeed pitch and can dial it up to triple digits, but limits his fastball in order to throw more strikes with better control. I debated whether to put he or Lowder at number four on my list, and Petty's lack of innings-- only 68 so far on the season-- was the deciding factor. Should be a Top 100 prospect.

    6. Cam Collier, 3B
    Others will rank Collier higher. I like him plenty. His youth is his main selling point. And it's not like he put together a bad season. He shows good control of the strike zone and is a patient hitter. His August was dynamite too. But others of a similar age have also showed out. And he's not yet put everything together. His stroke will have to be retooled-- he hits way too much stuff on the ground. (He figured out some of that in 2023, fwiw, so there's promise there.)

    7. Ricardo Cabrera, SS/3B
    Cabrera was a big-time international signing who struggled to acclimate to the DSL last year. This year, there was no struggle. He was in the Top 10 in the ACL in BA, OBP, SLG< and OPS, tied for 3rd in SB, and walked at a 12% clip while striking out one in five times to the plate. There's not much to dislike there. I'd argue he's probably the best prospect in the ACL when combining production and helium. In a late-season callup to Daytona, he more than held his own too. Not only that, he's looking more and more like a legitimate SS-- he cut his errors from 23 in the DSL to 13.

    8. Sal Stewart, 3B
    Stewart gets lost among the Red prospects. Drafted in the first round with Cam Collier, he also plays the same position. Too, he blossomed a bit after Hector Rodriguez and Carlos Jorge, so he didn't get the early-season helium bump. But he certainly held his own in the offensive-challenged Low A FSL and put up an 800 OPS as a 19-year-old. That he was nearly 30% better than league average would be cause for celebration, certainly, but the way he did it is even more exciting, at least to me. Stewart walked more than he struck out, K'ing only 15.2% of the time. He's supposed to be a power guy, and his physicality screams power production. I'm guessing that'll grow as he fills out and understands his strength. He's apparently a decent 3B too-- the Reds kept him there all season even as he competed with Collier at the spot. I think Stewart's probably underrated on the board and should be higher on prospect lists in general. In a typical season, he'd be in my top five.

    9. Carlos Jorge, 2B/CF
    Jorge's been outstanding offensively since he signed. He put up a 173 wRC+ in the DSL before a 151 in the ACL in 2021 and 2022. This year, challenged with Daytona as a 19-year-old, he was 40% better than league average. Jorge's shown very good BB totals for three years now, and he cut way down on his K's this year in Daytona. He K'ed less than 20% of the time, an exceptional mark. He also stole 30+ bases after stealing 27 the past two seasons. As a result of his speed and surprising pop, Jorge moved to CF late in the year. He also played some 2B, so it might just be an example of positional versatility. (If so, good on the Reds for doing it.) Jorge's likely going to start next year as a 20-year-old in Dayton. I like that patience as a leadoff or number two hitter.

    10. Hector Rodriguez, OF
    Stolen from the Mets in a deal wherein the Reds also nabbed Jose Acuna, Rodriguez was supposed to be an all-hit, no-pop CF with a little speed. Rodriguez finished fourth in the FSL with 16 HR this season. So much for that. He still has a very good hit tool-- as his top 10 finish in the FSL BA title would suggest-- and speed-- 18 SB ranked 23rd even after a pretty serious angle injury supposedly sapped his wheels. Rodriguez is nearly six months younger than Jorge, but rates below him largely because of his lack of walks. He walked only 6% of the time he came to the plate this season. Still, a .510 slugging percentage in the FSL is no joke. He'll start next season in Dayton.

    11. Alfredo Duno, C
    Here's where the Reds' list takes its first drop Duno's just too far away to make an accurate guess on what he might be. We know he can hit. That 153 wRC+ was truly dominant, especially considering he was among the youngest players in the DSL. We know he has power. 6 HR ranked just out of the league's top 10. We know he has a preternaturally good eye at the plate, walking (19.5%) nearly as much as he K'ed (21%). We don't know anything about his catching abilities-- or whether he'll be able to put together seasons like this while catching. (That's doubtful.) As is, it's a hell of a debut, but like all DSL prospects, there's a lot more we don't know than what we do.

    12. Ty Floyd, SP
    Speaking of things we don't know, Floyd's another cypher. He didn't play at all after being drafted out of LSU, but his stuff is absolutely filthy. Not sure if he's going to end up as a starter or a relief arm, but he'll be tried early in the rotation. I'm guessing he ends up in Dayton with Lowder. He'll need to learn an offspeed pitch, but there are days I'm inclined to put him ahead of Lowder on stuff alone. The spin rates he possesses are ridiculous (2500+). His fastball is in the high 90s, and his slider is a put-away pitch. That alone would make him an ideal

    13. Blake Dunn, OF
    Dunn is really difficult to gauge as a prospect. He's 25, so he's positively ancient. But he's also inexperienced, so you have to give him some credit for doing this the first time through. There's actually some upside with Blake Dunn-- and good God, if he can produce as he has so this season, he's something special. Tons of speed, tons of BBs, outstanding HR power, and CF-capable. He was 50% better than league average across two levels this year. I see visions of a RH-hitting TJ Friedl, but maybe with more pop and far more aggression on the basepaths. Too, he's smart. I suspect he's going to be the second guy to be called up (behind TJ Hopkins) in case of injury. That should give him at least some MLB time this season before being given a larger role next year. Great draft and development story.

    14. Rece Hinds, RF
    Wasn't sure how to rank Dunn and Hinds, but went with the better K rate and CF-capable guy over the big-time power guy. Hinds found his swing in May and hit like a legitimate prospect from that point forward. he had 70-ish Ks in nearly 300 PAs. That K rate works out to less than 25%, a massive improvement. He also hit 18 HR in those nearly 300 PAs-- and stole 13 bases. He's a legitimate RF too, with a cannon for an arm. He has 14 assists on the season so far. He and TJ Hopkins are probably the Bat corner OF guys to start next year, with Hurtubise and Dunn mixing and matching in CF and DH. If he proves his last few months real, he'll absolutely get a shot late in the year. Great development story.

    15. Lyon Richardson, SP/RP
    Richardson was the biggest mover on the season, beginning the year in Daytona and ending it, at least in part, getting meaningful innings with the parent club. He's got really, really good stuff, but like most Red pitchers, struggles with command and control. Already part of the 40-man roster, I think he's probably ticketed for the AAA rotation (with Connor Phillips, Ben Lively, Christian Roa, Carson Spiers, and Brett Kennedy as other candidates), but I'm guessing he could be a real weapon as a multiple-inning relief arm out of the Red pen. I'm hoping that's how they'll use him, as that'll allow his stuff to play up. I'm probably the low guy on Richardson, as he drops because I just don't see a consistent starting arm. To me, he's got Lucas Sims comparables-- and while that has real value, it's not as high as those ahead of him.

    16. Julian Aguiar, SP
    Aguiar might have had the most productive season on the Red farm. Perpetually underrated by most national guys, he's put up a 2.95 ERA so far this year. (I think he'll have one more start, plus perhaps a playoff start.) His K rate is solid, and his BB rate is very good. Both improved slightly in AA too-- and this was after the league dropped the sticky ball. He's gotten half a season's worth of innings in AA, and there's definitely a school of thought that pushes him to Louisville. I think he'll be in Chattanooga with Petty and Acuna to start the season. (And Floyd and Lowder soon thereafter.) Aguiar has bumped up his fastball velocity as he's matured. It now grades out as average to slightly above, and he's not lost any control or command while doing so. He's probably a BOR type who'll provide some league average or slightly better innings. As a late-round draftee, that's a phenomenal find.

    17. Leonardo Balzazar, SS
    Balcazar was one of the three amigos with Jorge and Rodriguez early in the FSL season hammering Florida State pitching. He tore his ACL, so there's questions about what he'll be when he gets back. But it's a knee, and he plays SS. Even if he has to move, he can still likely handle 2B. And his bat looks legitimate. Small samples in the low levels, but his career line is tasty: .300/ .392/ .495/ .888. Someone to watch. Still only 19-- and he'll be 19 for most of 2024-- so he has time. Balzazar will probably start the season in Daytona, time-sharing SS with Cabrera and Carlos Sanchez. (He'll probably play some 2B and 3B as well.) Of all the guys on the list, he's the one I think most likely to be aggressively moved.

    18. Sammy Stafura, SS
    I'm not typically a big fan of northern bats who explode on the scene their senior season or of guys who had questions about their bats, but nearly all the experts really, really like this pick, so I'm ranking him here. Obviously, there's something I'm missing. He's supposed to have lightning quick bat speed-- really, really like that-- and defensive chops to be a legitimate SS. That's nice too. In a 50-plate cup of coffee, he struggled, but that's little more than noise this early in his development. He's here based on helium. With Cabrera ahead of him, I think Stafura is likely to spend time in the ACL next year.

    19. Jose Acuna, SP
    Acuna hit a wall in August and struggled to end the season. Before that, he was proving to have a fantastic season. After posting OPS against numbers in the low 600s for four months, his last two nearly doubled that mark. Ouch. He gave up 6 HR in 6 games, after giving up just 8 before that. I'm guessing he was absolutely gassed-- or perhaps hurt. Still, his numbers for the entire season are still quite good, especially when considering just how young he is. Acuna, in High A Dayton, has turned in a 3.96 ERA season with solid peripherals. He's also only 20. I'm guessing he starts next year as the third starter in Chattanooga, behind Petty and Aguiar. Really like at least one of that trio to be a solid major league contributor. Acuna's already throwing a ton of innings, logging over 100 this year. He profiles, like Aguiar, as a BOR innings eater.

    20. Jacob Hurtubise, OF
    There are probably several guys who'll be ranked ahead of Hurtubise on the official lists, but this is my list. I suspect this kid will carve out a pretty outsized role contributing to the Reds as a fourth or fifth OF, pinch hitter, pinch runner, and defensive replacement late in games. Like Dunn, he's very old (26). This is the first season he's every shown anything other than 20 power too, so caveat emptor. But I believe in the (limited) power he's got and that he'll reach it enough to be a bit more than Billy Hamilton at the plate. He's got outstanding patience and is fantastic at wasting pitches. He walked much more than he K'ed too. That guy has value for a parent club looking for any edge it might use. Were it not for Friedl, I'd love to see what a Hurtubise/ Dunn platoon could do in CF for the Reds. As is, I think they'll both get some opportunities this year as AAA depth.
    Last edited by Bourgeois Zee; 09-17-2023 at 09:40 PM.


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