Over at Minor League Ball, John Sickels has taken a moment to look back at his pre-season assessment of Reds prospect Devin Mesoraco, and to reevaluate Devin based on the extraordinary season he’s had in 2010. It’s good stuff. As you might imagine, it’s very complimentary of Mesoraco.

We will continue to insist that Mesoraco’s career started to shoot into the stratosphere at precisely the moment that Devin joined us for an episode of Redleg Nation Radio.

12 Responses

  1. Steve Price

    Mesoraco has had a tremendous season; too me, he’s a no doubter for Reds Minor League Player of the Year. He may even get some support for Minor League Player of the Year from natonal media; since only a small portion of the season was at the AAA level, he may not win, but give the young man credit.

    I, for one, had pretty much written him off so this is hugely pleasant surprise.

    If Grandal is real, we may have catcher roster slot issues very soon.

    I hope Corky Miller stays in the organization.

  2. Doug Gray

    Brien,
    Why would you ‘sell high’ on a guy who has shown to be a stud at the most difficult position to fill on the field, who is close to the majors and is a position of need?

    As for Sickels… I wish someone would reply to my post in that topic.

  3. Brien Jackson

    @Doug Gray:

    1. I’m not sure he’s really a “stud.”

    2. I’m not saying give him a way, by any means, but there’s usually teams who get talked into trading away some good players in the offseason, and if it were me, I’d be shopping Mesoraco to see if he could land me a starting pitcher or another power bat for the big league team.

  4. Doug Gray

    1. He is. Scouts see it. The numbers are there. There is no real reason to not believe he isn’t legit at all. He is the absolute best catching prospect in the minor leagues and probably the best catching prospect with eligibility left.

    2. Only very dumb teams trade stud catchers (Dodgers I am looking at you – Carlos Santana…. you guys are morons).

  5. Brien Jackson

    1. He hasn’t had numbers whatsoever until this year. Not even a .400 slugging percentage. Which isn’t to say he hasn’t put it all together finally, just that it’s too early to say it has any sort of staying power.

    Also best catching prospect in the minors? How much attention do you pay to prospects?

    2. That’s a very myopic way of looking at things. No player at any level is untradeable, it’s all about what you can get back for them. Trading Santana wasn’t stupid, trading him for Casey Blake was. If they’d traded him for Sabathia or Lee, it would be a different story.

    • Doug Gray

      1. He hasn’t had numbers whatsoever until this year. Not even a .400 slugging percentage. Which isn’t to say he hasn’t put it all together finally, just that it’s too early to say it has any sort of staying power.Also best catching prospect in the minors? How much attention do you pay to prospects?2. That’s a very myopic way of looking at things. No player at any level is untradeable, it’s all about what you can get back for them. Trading Santana wasn’t stupid, trading him for Casey Blake was. If they’d traded him for Sabathia or Lee, it would be a different story.

      I pay more attention to prospects than just about anyone. The only guy that is better that is a ‘catcher’ in the minors is Jesus Montero and no one expects him to catch in the major leagues. Wil Myers is a better hitting prospect, but much like Montero (though to a slightly lesser extent), he probably isn’t sticking at catcher. Beyond that, there isn’t anyone ahead of him IMO. My question is, how much do YOU pay attention to prospects because you don’t seem to pay much attention from what you say.

      As for his SLG, he has had multiple hand injuries (that are synonymous with sapping ones power) and then last season he played in the Florida State League. Despite that, his isolated power (SLG-AVG, which gives us the amount of power he actually hit for) was at .153. For his age group, in the same league over the previous 4 years, that put his ‘power’ 31% higher than his average age group in the same league. Say what you want about his slugging percentage, but in 2009, the guy hit for a lot more power than other guys his age in his league had for the previous 4 years combined.

      As for trading Carlos Santana not being stupid… well sure, if the Cardinals offer both Pujols and one of Carpenter/Wainright, sure. But trading him was stupid, this side of Joe Mauer, he is probably the best catcher in baseball over the next 10 years. Trading him for a rental like Lee would have been very stupid. Sabathia is a little better because he has a longer contract, but its a giant one too.

  6. Greg Dafler

    Sell high? Why would you do that? It’s kind of like the team a couple of years ago where folks were wanting the organization to start moving some of the legit prospects that the team was finally getting in the upper minors. Votto and Bruce for Erik Bedard? I think that a pretty good trade that wasn’t made.

    Now the Reds are in a position to move prospects without hurting their long-term production at the major league level. But I would look at trades involving blocked players, like Alonso or Francisco, before I moved the only catching prospect in the organization above A-ball.

    If Grandal and Mesoraco are both pushing for a ML job in 2012, then maybe you talk about moving one, but until they have more than 1 prospect pushing for time, I stay greedy with the only catching prospect that they have.

    Why would you trade Mesoraco for a pitcher? If anything, it’s a starting pitcher prospect or two that they are likely to move this offseason.

  7. Brien Jackson

    @Greg Dafler:

    Well look, there’s almost always trades to be made people don’t see coming in the off-season. Teams are looking to cut payroll, GM’s do stupid things for no good reason (see the Cliff Lee-to-Seattle trade), etc. So I wouldn’t give him away but any means, but I’d definitely be aggressively shopping him to see if I couldn’t get a very valuable major leaguer in return for him.

  8. Brien Jackson

    @Doug Gray:

    I would be careful about using broad generalizations. Far from “no one” thinking Montero will stick at catcher, lots of people that follow the Yankeesthink Montero will catch for the Yankees, at least in the interim. He probably won’t play there forever largely because his body type isn’t great for it and because he’ll only be 27 when Mark Teixeira’s contract expires, at which point he most likely moves to 1B and Gary Sanchez takes over at catcher. And speaking of Sanchez, both he and Romine would rate over Mesoraco right now too.

    And sure, a .153 ISO sounds good, but then it works out to a .228 BA and a .381 SLG%, which isn’t good. So all that really does is show how flawed ISO is at the extremes.

    As to the last point, I guess that depends on context. In 2008 you would have been getting 2.5 years of Cliff Lee on a team that ultimately lost the NLCS twice in that time frame and was looking down the barrel of some major financial issues. I’d it would have made a lot of sense to pick up someone to give you the best chance of winning it all in 2008 or 2009.

  9. Pete Snow

    Brien,

    Asking Doug how much attention he pays to prospects is comical considering he has his own excellent website redsminorleagues.com devoted to that very thing.

  10. Doug Gray

    I don’t really care what people who follow the Yankees think about Montero sticking at catcher. I care about what paid talent evaluators think about it and not a single one believes its going to happen. Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus recently had a quote from an unnamed pitcher who said that Montero was, and this is a direct quote, “The worst defensive catcher I have ever seen”.

    As for isoP being flawed, no, it really isn’t. Your statement about his power was flawed. If you said he wasn’t hitting well prior to this year, then your statement would have held more water. But you said power and well, as I showed, you were just simply incorrect. When he had hits, they were for power. The problem was, he wasn’t finding the holes. Most guys don’t in the FSL.

    And to be realistic, Devin Mesoraco wasn’t getting you Cliff Lee in 08 or 09 and even with him the Reds weren’t winning anything more than 5-6 more games than they did… which wouldn’t have gotten them close to the playoffs.