Minors

Taking a look back at the pre-season top twenty prospects

John Sickels has taken a look back at his pre-season top twenty Reds prospects, and how each has developed midway through the season. Interesting stuff for you DOTF types.

A couple of thoughts:

–I hope the Reds have a backup plan for next year’s center field (after Shin-Soo Choo vacates the position), because it’s looking increasingly likely that Billy Hamilton is going to need another year at AAA.

–Robert Stephenson is looking like a great draft pick. Kid is a stud.

29 thoughts on “Taking a look back at the pre-season top twenty prospects

  1. Its been a tough year so far for many on that top-20 list.
    Stephenson is a stud. Rock solid. He got off to a rocky start, but since the end of April he has been his dominant self. Cingrani to step in after BA leaves. And Stephenson ready to step up in 2015 if Bailey and/or Cueto leave after the 2014 season.
    IMO, 2015 is going to be very, very special season in Cincinnati.

    • @WVRedlegs: My money’s on Bailey being the one from that and/or situation. Latos is younger and has a much better track record of success and durability. Also while Cueto being hurt is terrible, these injuries are just making him more reasonably priced for Cincinnati to retain.

      Cueto/Latos/Cingrani/Leake/Stephenson is my guess on the 2015 starting rotation.

  2. Read that article and wow, even in the “Others” section there’s no mention of either Bryson Smith or Juan Silva. Both of who I think have a better chance of contributing to the team in the future than some of the guys they mentioned. Heck, even Pedro Villareal got mentioned in the “Others”.

    Are they lowkey?

  3. While the 25 man roster has been pretty well stocked from the Reds’ farm system, the 40 man roster and future prospects are sadly barren of talent.

    Daniel Corcino is a major bust at AAA this season and doesn’t look to get any better. I believe the Reds were really counting on Corcino to step up and fill a future stater role at the majot league level and that plan appears lost.

    Pedro Villareal has been an even bigger bust at AAA this season, to the point of being removed from the starting rotation in an effort to salavge some possibility of a major league role in the bullpen.

    Henry Rodriguez had limited ceiling at the major league level but I think the Reds were looking for him to fill a roster spot as a utility infielder at the major league level. His lack of hitting at AAA and lack of defensive excellence has probably cancelled those plans.

    BHam has struggled to get on base at AAA, but he is young and talented enough to remain with a pretty high ceiling, at least for one more season.

    Stephenson has probably elevated to a higher ceiling prospect. On to AA ball to start next season.

    Jesse Winker has established himself with a higher ceiling after a two solid seasons at ROK and A- ball. He should land in AA next season after starting in A+ ball.

    My biggest personal dissappointment in the Reds’ minor league system this season has been Ryan LaMarre with a .680 OPS and 7 errors at AA. I think LaMarre has dropped of the radar regarding a future prospect.

    My biggest personal surprise has been Tucker Barnhart and his .353 OBP at AA, very Haniganesque. I expect to see Barnhart at AAA next season and ready to make an impact at the major league level in 2015 if Hanigan or Mesoraco are gone.

  4. I can’t believe Tucker Barnhart isn’t listed in the top 20…and he’s having a solid offensive year at Pensacola, would think he’d leap into the top 15 or so next year.

    • @Bill Lack: IMO…I think the reason some minor league players that are performing well (or better than players currently listed) but not listed is because the list is an update of the 2013 preseason rankings/comments, not a complete mid-season redo.

      Next years preseason list will most likely include Barnhardt(who is doing really well IMO), Silva etc…

        • @LWBlogger: It looks like Hanigan will be arbitration eligible after this season. His MLB Service Time is just over 4 years going into this year. So I guess that last contract he signed didn’t buy out all his arbitration eligibility. That also would explain why Hanigan doesn’t appear on Cot’s 2014 free-agent list.

        • @LWBlogger: Hanigan has another arbitration year (2014) before he would become a free agent in 2015. So while the Reds don’t have a contract with Hanigan for 2014, they still have team control over him. It will be interesting to see if the Reds try to sign him to a deal beyond 2014.

    • @rfay00: Something has to be wrong with the guy. It’s either physical or mental but something is off for sure. I wonder how his velocity and mechanics have been?

  5. I think Choo IS the backup plan if Hamilton isn’t ready for next year. If they feel he isn’t ready I think they will try to lock up Choo and when Hamilton is ready, move Choo to left for an outfield of Choo, Hamilton, and Bruce

    • @redsfan48: Question: Why not just lock up Choo now? I think we’ve seen this year that OBP matters (a lot). Aren’t the Reds a better team with Choo, Hamilton and Votto all at the top of the order getting on base at an extremely high clip?

      I salivate at the thought of Hamilton leading off with Choo, then Votto batting right behind him. You can’t throw a bunch of slow curves that hit the hit the dirt with a speedster like Hamilton on the bases. That means a lot more fastballs for Mr. Choo and JoeyMVP. And we all know what good hitters do with fastballs, espicially when they know its coming.

      My final example is the Marlins only World series title, not great offensively but Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo at the top of the order getting on base and pressuring the D with steals had as much to do with that Title as Kevin Brown and Josh Beckett.

      • @L.A.Red:
        Like LWblogger said, Boras wouldn’t extend Choo until he can at least see other team’s offers but the reds would hopefully make a better offer to Choo if Hamilton weren’t ready than if they knew they would have Hamilton

    • @redsfan48: I think Scott Boras is the reason that the Reds can’t get a deal done with Choo right now. Boras prefers to see most of his clients go to free-agency rather than sign extensions. Choo isn’t an exception to this. I think signing him will be very, very difficult for the Reds and I’m not sure the dollars Boras will be seeking are in the best interest of the Reds. I love Choo, but that’s just how I see it.

  6. Corcino can still bounce back, but I don’t really think he’s in the plans even if he does. I think His future in the Reds organization is as a 6th starter, spot starter type with, hopefully, some trade value after he improves.

    Robert Stephenson is the real deal. I have seen issues with some guys like Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon about strike out numbers, problems Stephenson doesn’t have. And I’ve heard of mechanical issues with guys like Dylan Bundy and Trevor Bauer, of which Stephenson doesn’t have. Stephenson has, according to Keith Law, 2 plus-plus pitches in his fastball(hits 3 digits) and curveball (strikeout pitch). Stephenson needs to develop a third pitch, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem. By what I’ve read, his changeup looks like an average to above average pitch, but his other stuff is so voerwhelming, he doesn’t need it. He is the real deal.

    Hamilton is concerning to me simply because I read somewhere that a scout said he has the bat knocked out of his hands with good velocity. That’s bad news. But other than that, it isn’t like he’s hitting .200 with no .OBP. He’ll be fine, even if he isn’t a superstar.

    Meijas-Brean is the sleeper of the group for me, although it isn’t like he’s a secret. If he can keep hitting, he’ll have some major value down the road.

    The Reds’ system isn’t bad, and with Ervin performing well, Cory Thompson performing well, and Michael Lorenzen performing well, it seems like we had another good draft. It isn’t dark days, my doomy and gloomy friends. They’re prospects, nothing but the best should be hoped for and expected.

    • @hermanbates: Great point about this years draft class. Ben Lively is also pitching very well, he has 21 IP and a 0.00 ERA.

      There is a lot of talent in the system but they are still very young. The Reds have targeted high school talent lately with the strength of their 25 man roster. Dayton is going to be fun to watch next year too.

  7. Jesse Winker was a great pick up from last years draft. I know he is limited with what position he can play but his numbers are very comparable to Bruce’s at the same age in Dayton in ’06.

    Robert Stephenson has been amazing since he hasn’t been trying to throw as many 2 seam fastballs. He has established himself as an elite pitching prospect IMO.

    I still like Nick Travieso. I know he has been a little inconsistent this year but he is still getting use to just being a starter.

    Daniel Corcino’s struggles have been by far the biggest disappointment with Arroyo’s contract ending and Cueto’s injuries.

    Tucker Barnhart is one of my favorite players in the system and doesn’t get near the credit he deserves. He plays solid defense and has a great approach at the plate.

  8. It’s hard to make a case for anyone else when standing next to Robert Stephenson, but Drew Cisco should make the list of top 20 prospects this year.

    I also like Ben Klimesh, but he is a relief hitter and hasn’t been able to have a shutout inning yet in his short stint at Bakersfield

    Pat Doyle is closing at Bakersfield. He’s a stud, but not quite a top 20 prospect imo.

    Chad Rogers is struggling right now, but has had a nice season so far. He’s in AAA. He may be a callup next year.

  9. A very, very important week in Redsland this week. The Cards and Pirates will beat each other up for 5 games in 4 days. The Reds have 3 vs. SD, a plane ride home and then an off day to get ready for 3 against the Cards. Hopefully the Cards come limping into Cincinnati. This is Make Up Ground week.
    Plus the trading deadline is mid-week. Between StL, Pit and Cin, who makes the biggest move to improve their chances?

  10. I do not think Stephenson will be in the minors all of next year.

    Choo and Arroyo compensation picks will help us have another replenishing draft in 2014.

    I think Hanigan is a great chip to trade next year because Barnhart is getting ready. I cannot see us offering arb for Ryan at the end of 2014, so if Tucker is ready this time next year, that may be the best time to reap for Ryan, if a team is in need of catching.

    And a trade will be made from within the starters in the next year as we have surplus there

    • I do not think Stephenson will be in the minors all of next year.

      Choo and Arroyo compensation picks will help us have another replenishing draft in 2014.

      I think Hanigan is a great chip to trade next year because Barnhart is getting ready.I cannot see us offering arb for Ryan at the end of 2014, so if Tucker is ready this time next year, that may be the best time to reap for Ryan, if a team is in need of catching.

      And a trade will be made from within the starters in the next year as we have surplus there

      I wondered about trading a starter. I assume it will be either Bailey or Latos as they will cost the most to resign but will also bring back that most talent in a trade situation. My guess is the reds will keep whoever is willing to sign the most team friendly deal. Get the deal signed then shop the other one.

      Which by the way is exactly how the A’s always seem to have a surplus of starting pitching at the MLB and minor league levels. When a good SP approaches the end of affordability (granted their numbers are diff than the Reds) they ship him out and bring back 2 to 3 quality minor league arms (every now then again they’ll ask for a position player). But they know the way to compete year in and year out is with a great staff relievers included. IMHO.

  11. Seattle has just DFA’d OF Jason Bay. This sounds like what WJ might make a trade for. Watch for a Reynolds for Bay trade coming soon. WJ won’t want to give away Reynolds to waivers.

    • @WVRedlegs: commented on that in the prospects.

      Although Bay has not been doing well this year, his SO/Walk is still about even this year.

      He could have a lot of fun in GABP. Ludwick had the same kind of change coming out of SD, which is a lot like Safeco

  12. Seattle Mariners veteran outfielder Jason Bay has been designated for assignment.

    Wow, that guy use to bring it. a few years ago I would have loved to see him on our team…

    He might be a cheap lightning in a bottle attempt. Seattle versus Cincy could add 50 points to your average quickly.

    The thing I like about Bay was his power and a one to one SO/Walk ratio.

    • @reaganspad: I was at spring training in 2008 when the Reds were still in Sarasota. I went to a Pirates game in Bradenton one night and this was still when Jason Bay was in the middle of his great run for the Pirates. I was sitting around a lot of hard core Pirates fans and was really surprised at how much they didn’t like him. (Not a comment about whether he’s a fit for the 2013 Reds, just a story about him that has stuck with me.)

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