USA Today’s 100 Names to Know for 2006 list is up. Below is a quick description and the Reds prospects who made the list.

Here’s the 10th annual list of Sports Weekly’s 100 Names You Need to Know: The next wave of players coming into the majors, who, in our view, could make the biggest impact during the 2006 season.

These aren’t necessarily baseball’s 100 best prospects. Many top prospects are too far down in the minor leagues to contribute in the majors this season. Others are stuck behind established major leaguers.

Not all of the players on our list have rookie status, but our criteria for inclusion is that players must have had more innings or at-bats in the minor leagues in 2005 than they have had during all of their major league time.

Hitters:
5. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B, Reds
31. Chris Denorfia, OF, Reds

Pitchers:
36. Elizardo Ramirez, Reds
44. Bobby Basham, Reds
47. Justin Germano, Reds

It’s refreshing that Encarnacion is ranked so high. That would indicate that they feel he is in position to get lots of playing time and will not get unseated by someone like Aurilia. Too bad Encarnacion accumulated too many ABs last season to qualify for this season’s ROY award. Denorfia belongs, he should get at least 300 ABs backing up our often fragile outfield. If he does, that’s a good sign, because it means that Womack didn’t eat up any time in the OF.

I expected to see Ramirez and Germano, they are currently positioned to be the first in line to be recalled to replace someone in the starting rotation. I can only hope that this means that the likes of Milton and Wilson are on short strings. I don’t want to see them left out there for a third of the season putting up 6.00+ ERAs before we give one of these two a chance.

I was surprised to see Basham not only listed here, but also listed above Germano. I’m regarding him, Gardner, and Pauly as sleepers this season, as they all continue to rebound from stints under the knife. We’d be doing well if any of the three made it through the season healthy, pitched well, and ended the season at AAA.

Later,
Tom

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3 Responses

  1. al

    i think if the general manager has any say about who plays where, EdE just got a boost yesterday. The twins have a long tradition of winning with young players, and i bet krivsky understands way better than anyone else we’ve had that EdE needs to learn to hit in the bigs for this team to be strong.

    The scary part of this list is that there are 7 pitchers in the NL central ranked higher than the reds best. worse is that 3 of them are on the pirates and in the top 15 (1 for the stros and crew, 2 for the cubs). The reds may be turning things around, but so is everyone else and this division is going to be tougher than ever.

    The cards maybe got worse this off season but they won 100 games last year, so they won’t be bad. Ditto stros, with the cubs getting marginally better and the pirates and crew getting significantly better.

    you never know how it will go until you play the games, with the division being what it is, i’d feel a lot better if we weren’t losing the arms race by so much too.

  2. jimbo

    Just so you know, Basham had a 2.98 in a half season at AA last year so I think he’s proven he is healthy enough to progress. Remember that he was one of the top pitching prospects in baseball when healthy before.

  3. Tom

    Basham did make some big strides last season coming back from his injuries, which was very encouraging. But it is still a little puzzling seeing him on a list of prospects who are expected to make an impact at the major league level next season. Last year was the first time, in his second stint, that Basham had shown success at AA, and that was as a 25 year old. Where the 23 year old Germano, who they ranked lower, has put up a 3.61 ERA over two full seasons at AAA. I’d think that if Basham’s stuff was all the way back, and he was as close to breaking into the bigs, as this list suggests, that the Reds would have at least have given him an invite to major league camp, like they did Josh Hall. Best case, he starts the season at Louisville, which will be very crowded, dominates and gets a call midseason. Germano, on the other hand, should be right about at the top of the list for replacing a down or failed starter for the big league club.

    Later,
    Tom