Interesting look at some of the prospects in the Reds organization from MiLB:

First interesting prediction:

SS Chris Valaika likely will start at Sarasota, though Dayton is not out of the question, especially if Milton Loo is not ready for a full-season assignment. The 2006 third-rounder out of Santa Barbara quickly got on people’s radar charts in his pro debut when he posted a league-record 32-game hitting streak at Billings. He won Pioneer League MVP honors after batting .324 with eight homers and 60 RBIs to go with a .520 slugging percentage. A gap hitter with doubles power, he eventually could move to second base to pair with Janish up the middle but stays at shortstop for now.

Assuming Janish is at Chattanooga, I’d think that Rosales would be the SS at Sarasota, at least until they see how Valaika starts the season. He could be moved up like they did with Janish last year. I think he’ll start the year in Dayton.

OF B.J. Szymanski was the club’s second-round pick in 2004 out of Princeton but has struggled with the bat in his last two seasons at Dayton. In 2006, he hit just .239 and led the Minors with 191 strikeouts. This year, the switch-hitter will move up to Sarasota for a change in scenery and a chance to show that the tools that made him a high-round prospect. He’s due for that breakout season.

Szymanski was really bad last year at Dayton. I’ve heard rumors he was going to be asked to drop switch hitting, but don’t know that for certain. After the last two years, you have to wonder how long the Reds will stay with him. Krivsky’s already shown that he’ll trade an O’Brien pick at the drop of a hat and you’d assume he’d release one just as easy. I’d have to believe that BJ’s on a short rope, he needs to produce.

SS Milton Loo, a 2005 ninth-rounder who signed as a draft-and-follow last spring, appeared in just 14 games in the Gulf Coast League, hitting .372 before his season was ended by an elbow injury. He could start the year at Dayton but may begin in extended Spring Training. He’s a great athlete who may project at third or the outfield eventually.

Extended ST is code, I think, for starting the year in Billings.

RHP Daryl Thompson was the top prospect acquired from the Nationals in last summer’s multi-player trade. A torn labrum pretty much 86’ed his entire 2006 campaign, but when healthy he had a low-mid 90s fastball and the makings of an impressive changeup and curve. He posted a 3.35 ERA in 11 games with the Nats in 2005 and was one of their most intriguing prospects.

No word on where they think he may fit in or where he is right now (minor league camp/major league camp).

I’ve been a Reds fan since the late ’60’s, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in ’84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in ’90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. thompson, though a long shot, could be something that helps The Trade, in the long run. He posted decent numbers (2.57 ERA, 10+ k/9) in limited appearances (14 IP) after coming over, and, if healthy, i’d expect him to go to Dayton.

    He’s 20 now, so he’d be about the right age for the competition, and he’s been through rookie ball a few times now.

  2. I thought extended ST was a legitimate thing, where they play intersquad games every day until the GCL starts. I don’t know about many guys going back to Billings.

  3. Don’t the GCL and Billings start at the same time? And as for Loo, I don’t think he made it to Billings last year, played the little he did in the GCL.

  4. Thompson is intriguing, but isn’t a torn labrum awfully difficult to recover from?

  5. This is the second or third time I’ve seen “SS Milton Loo.” However, he was a 3b in college, and a 3b for the few games he played in the GCL last year. What’s with the switch? The Reds are overflowing with SS in the low-to-mid-minors already, especially if they plan to leave Valaika there for the time being.

  6. Devilsadvocate,
    Milton Loo actually never played 3B last year for the Reds. He actually only started 1 game not as the DH, and it was at SS. In college, he played 3B the year we drafted him (2005) becuase he was a younger player and the SS from the previous year had returned. To the best of my knowledge, in 2006 at Yavapai, Loo was the SS. Also, something of note, in college, Yavapai is a wooden bat league, so he should not have an issue of transfering to wooden bats.

  7. Thanks doug – that’s much more informative than the database I looked at that simply said “Loo, 3b”.

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About Bill Lack

I've been a Reds fan since the late '60's, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in '84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in '90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

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Minors, Reds - General