The Reds pretty much stocked their AAA Louisville club for the 2008 season with the following two sets of minor league signings, one from the MLB.com site and one from Baseball America.

From MLB.com transactions:

1/4/08 Cincinnati Reds
Claimed OF Jeff Fiorentino off waivers from the Orioles; Signed RHP Jim Brower, INF Jolbert Cabrera, INF Andy Green, INF Andy Phillips and LHP Adam Pettyjohn to Minor League contracts with invitations to Spring Training.

From Baseball America:

Cincinnati Reds
Signed: RHP Dan Denham, LHP Chris Michalak, LHP Luca Panerati, LHP Adam Pettyjohn, LHP Matteo Pizziconi, 1B Kevin Barker, 1B Andy Phillips, 2B Andrew Green, 3B Jolbert Cabrera
Released: RHP Thomas Pauly, 2B Billy Rojo
Traded: OF Josh Hamilton to Rangers for RHP Edinson Volquez and LHP Danny Ray Herrera

The Reds signed two players from Italy, Panerati and Pizziconi, and it is the former who has the higher ceiling. The 6-foot-1, 156-pound Panerati, who turned 18 in December, pitched for Italy in the World Cup in Taiwan, the highlight coming when he struck out Cardinals top prospect Colby Rasmus. Panerati had struggled a year earlier against Team USA at the IBAF World Junior Championship in Cuba. He was named the top pitcher at the European Junior Championships when he was 17, pitching 12 1/3 scoreless innings with 14 strikeouts. Panerati’s fastball currently tops out at 86 mph with some life, and the pitch should gain velocity as his frame fills out. His go-to pitch is his changeup, which sits in the mid-70s and tails away from righthanders. He also throws a curveball. Pizziconi turned 18 in October, and at 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds he is another slender Italian lefthander. His delivery has some deception and his fastball tops out in the high-80s, but his secondary stuff is rudimentary. (Ben Badler)

Look for some combination of Phillips and Barker to man 1B and DH at Louisville. Green and Cabrera will probably combine to fill 2B and 3B at Louisville. Fiorentino will most likely start in the OF at Louisville. Brower, Michalak, and Pettyjohn should all help fill out the pitching staff at Louisville.

Denham was a resign, he was obtained in a trade from Oakland, last season I believe, and will most likely be at AA.

It will be interesting to see how the two international signings, Panerati and Pizziconi from Italy, fare next season. My best guess is that Panerati may start in A ball and Pizziconi at one of the Rookie level squads.

I was sorry to see that Redleg Nation Spotlight player Thomas Pauly was released. He was once a top Reds pitching prospect until sidelined by arm injuries. Best wishes Thomas.

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. If Phillips/Barker are going to be 1B/DH in Louisville where do we see Adam Rosales at? Is he moving back to 3B?

  2. That’s a good question? My guess is that he will start the season out at AA and it will be very interesting to see where they play him defensively. I’d like to see him back at SS if he is fully healthy again. I think he was set back defensively by a shoulder injury. Worst case, I’d like to at least see him at 2B. His bat would look even better if he can move back to the middle infield. If he does start at AA and continues to hit, he will be a quick callup to AAA. He turns 25 in May, so he will need to keep advancing quickly.

  3. I want to publicly thank our friend Thomas Pauly for being a part of RN. If he continues in baseball somewhere, I wish him nothing but success…if he is ready to move on, I know he’ll be successful in whatever he chooses.

  4. I would be very surprised if they start Rosales back in AA where he posted a .923 OPS in 305 PA.
    Defensively, he isn’t a shortstop. He just doesn’t have the range. His elbow was giving him some problems in 2006 and maybe it carried over to 2007 a little. His bat is going to play anywhere though, the guy can just flat out hit.

  5. Hadn’t heard he lacked the range at SS, I know when drafted they said he had good speed and a great arm. Here is some BBA Red’s prospect chat from JJ Cooper on the subject.

    Q: Kyle from Middletown asks:
    How do you see the glut of middle infielders starting out in 2008? Cozart and Soto playing short and second in Dayton? Justin Turner and Todd Frazier in Sarasota? Valaika playing second in AA with Castro playing short?

    A: J.J. Cooper: Here’s my best guess: Waring at 3B with Cozart and Soto at SS and 2B in Dayton (Cozart’s the better SS but he has experience at 2B so maybe he plays 2B or maybe they swap back and forth), Francisco at 3B, Frazier at SS and Turner at 2B at Sarasota, and Rosales at third, Jose Castro at SS and Valaika at 2B in Chattanooga. That’s a lot of infield prospects to sort out over the next couple of years.

    Q: Kyle from Middletown asks:
    What position do you see Rosales playing next year? At what level?

    A: J.J. Cooper: I’d expect to see him at third base, but if his elbow can’t hold up at third base it will be a big hit to his big league chances. He fits much better as a third baseman than he does as a first baseman.

    Q: Todd from Chattanooga asks:
    Thanks for the chat J.J. – what are your thoughts on Adam Rosales? Do you see him getting swtiched back to shortstop or staying at first?

    A: J.J. Cooper: I would expect to see him at third base, which is where he played in the Arizona Fall League.

    Makes sense for a move back to third if the above average arm is healthy and he doesn’t have the range for SS. I’d still like to see his bat in the middle somewhere if he could field either SS or 2B. I guess we’ll find out soon.

  6. i was hoping the reds would get andy phillips
    he is pretty good

    i would like to see him in the majors
    he can also play some 3rd
    he originally came up as a SS

  7. Power-hitting 3B out of the SEC… big minor league numbers… crappy major league numbers.

    I see a lot of similarites between Andy Phillips and Brandon Larson.

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