I’m going to take a look at the Reds top level minor league depth at seasons end.  The last three weeks I covered the pitchers, catchers, and infielders.  Now I’ll take a look at the outfielders.  This is more of a who is closest to helping in the majors type of ranking rather than who has the most top side prospect ranking.  I’ll only be covering players who played at least as high as AA this season.

Outfielders

Jason Bourgeois – Bourgeois is a 32 year old RH who can play all three OF positions.  He’s totaled 549 PA over 7 major league seasons with a .258/.303/.324/.627 slash line.  He batted .242/.265/.303/.568 over 34 PA with the Reds in September after putting up a .278/.328/.363/.691 line in 600 PA at Louisville.  He’s way too old to be a prospect and doesn’t get on base enough to be a leadoff hitter and put his speed to use.  He’s a 5th outfielder on a bad team.  I was disappointed that the 34 September PA he got didn’t go to someone like Lutz or Rodriguez.

Felix Perez – The 30 year old LH OF can play all three OF positions.  He put up a .280/.325/.450/.775 line at AAA this season.  This was his 3rd straight full season at AAA with this year being his best year there.  The Reds have not placed him on their roster or given him a Sept. call up so one can only assume he’s not in their plans.  He’s a 5th OF at best who would struggle to top a .700 OPS in the majors.

Ryan LaMarre – LaMarre is a 25 year old RH CF.  He lost nearly all of last season to a knee injury and was removed from the Reds 40 man roster.  He spent the two previous seasons at AA where he put up a .255/.343/.362/.705 line in 1092 plate appearances.  He’s a speedy, good defending CF, who has a 9.2% walk rate in the minors.  I was looking forward to seeing how former 2010 2nd round pick would fare in AAA last year after a disappointing 2nd season in AA in 2013.  Hopefully he will be healthy next season and we will get to see how he responds to AAA pitching.

Donald Lutz – Lutz is a 25 year old LH LF/1B.  He has 113 PA with the Reds over the last two seasons with a .211/.239/.284/.523 line.  He’s put up a .266/.335/.463/.797 line in 517 PA over the last three years in AA.  This season he did get 218 PA at AAA with a .236/.307/.395/.702 line.  The Reds seem determined to let him rot unused on the major league bench when he obviously needs minor league ABs.  He’s only totaled 570 minor league PA over the last two seasons.  He’s playing winter ball in Mexico now to get some extra AB.  Hopefully the Reds will let him get the time he needs in AAA this year because a LH LF/1B with power off the bench is something they’ve been without for several years now.

Steve Selsky – This 24 year old is a RH OF/1B who began the year with a solid .301/.410/.367/.777 line in 205 PA at AA.  He put up a .240/.359/.339/.697 line in 145 PA after he was promoted to AAA.  His 9.9% minor league walk rate and .379 OBP illustrate his very good on base skills.  His SLG numbers have fallen off badly since reaching AA.  He could be a viable option as the RH OF/1B off the bench if he continues getting on base at AAA this coming season.

Yorman Rodriguez – The toolsy 21 year old RH OF got a late season call up this year and hit .222/.276/.222/.498 over 29 PA.  Before his call up, he had 502 PA at AA where he put up a .262/.331/.389/.720 line that closely resembles his career minor league line.  His late season promotion however was a reward for a very strong 2nd half where he slashed .291/.379/.453/.832 over his final 254 AB.  He’ll be headed to AAA next season and we can only hope he continues his hot second half there.

Juan Duran – This 22 year old RH corner OF put up a .243/.297/.464/.761 line over 364 PA in his first appearance at AA this season.  He has big power and strikes out a lot.  He’s had between 130 and 152 SO in each of the last four seasons.  He’s going to need to make better contact and improve on his career minor league average of .240 to see continued success.

Kyle Waldrop – Waldrop is a 22 year old LH corner OF who began this year back in A+ where he put up a .359/.409/.516/.925 in 288 PA.  He was then promoted to AAA where he got another 252 PA and hit .315/.359/.517/.876.  He’s now playing in the Arizona Fall League where he is off to hot start and logging time at 1B.  Likely to start out at AAA next season where he will test his bat against more advanced pitching.

Jesse Winker – Winker is a 20 year old LH LF and is the Reds best hitter in the minors.  He too started this season at A+ and hit .317/.426/.580/1.006 over 249 PA.  Promoted at mid season to AA he started out slow and hit .208/.326/.351/.677 over 92 PA before a wrist injury in a car accident ended his season.  He appears to have recovered well though as he too is off to a hot start in the Arizona Fall League where he’s batting .350/.440/.600/1.040 over his first 20 AB.  If he continues to hit there and shows well in Spring Training, he will most likely begin next season in AAA.

 

17 Responses

  1. Daytonian

    How about Sebastian Elizalde? He hit .311 and had some pop in his bat in his time with Dayton. He too is playing winter ball in Mexico.

    • Tom Diesman

      I really like Elizalde and nearly broke my own had to play as high as AA this season rule to include him here. The 22 year old LH OF/1B put up a .311/.439/.503/.941 in 229 PA at A Dayton, and then a .272/.330/.461/.790 line in 267 PA at A+ Bakersfield. I was hoping for a bit better in the A+California League, but still a solid line. He actually played 6 games in CF at Dayton and stole 19 bases, but had 17 CS. So despite the CS, it appears he’s not your typical lumbering OF/1B type. You have to love his 12.1% BB%, he did have 92 SO in 496 PA combined on the season which isn’t awful, his K% was better than Winker or Waldrop. I’m hoping he starts out at AA Pensacola next year to see how he fares against more advanced pitching.

  2. Michael J Hampton

    The Way the Reds have mismanaged Donald Lutz is just sad. It’s almost like they purposely designed a development program that would guarantee his failure. The Reds have put him in a deep hole development wise. Lutz has a lot of untapped potential, but the Reds have done everything they can to stunt his development.

  3. GOREDS

    YRod will make or break this group as the only RH with potential to play for the Reds. Winker is a virtual lock to be a 10 year starter in LF. Waldrop is nearly a lock as a LH version of Chris Heisey. All the rest are nearly locks to never play significant time in the majors. Cautiously optimistic.

    BTW, Phil Ervin too young (and disappointing?)

    • Gary Yarco

      Wrist injuries do that to a hitter.

      No way I would give up on this young man yet

    • Tom Diesman

      Ervin was just not considered because of the had to play in AA rule I imposed on the list. Even with a poor season I would have included top prospects. I’m anxiously awaiting to see if Ervin rebounds next season. I’m hoping it was after effects of the wrist injury, but I’ll be more convinced if he goes out tears it up in A+ Daytona next year.

  4. cfd3000

    It does seem that Lutz has been squandered, at least so far. And even if he’s not in the Reds’ plans why not find a way to showcase him as a major prospect for trades? He’s too young with too much power to just fritter away like that. I totally agree with you Tom that it makes no sense at all that Bourgeois got at bats at Lutz’ expense. Disappointed for him at major league and minor league levels.

  5. WVRedlegs

    Winker, Waldrop, and YorRod are going to have the Reds asking themselves next off-season, Is Jay Bruce a Red for life?
    Waldrop reminds of a young Paul O’Neill.
    Winker is another Votto at the plate.
    YorRod has all the tools.

    • Tom Diesman

      It would be real nice if Rodriguez that .379 OBP in the second half into a consistent thing so he could push Hamilton in CF. Hamilton is not useful if he can’t get his OBP up to .320+ since he can’t bat anywhere but the leadoff spot apparently.

  6. RedMountain

    The knock on Waldrop is that he is not a good fielder. How he reminds you of Paul O’Neill, I cannot imagine. If Bruce does not show a lot better discipline this year, then I do not see how or why the Reds would keep him. There are Real prospect OFs throughout the system and they would be a lot cheaper than keeping Bruce. This is why I would think it is silly for the Reds to invest in a long term solution for LF by trade or FA.

    • GOREDS

      It all depends what you get in trade but a there is always room for a difference maker. Winker is the only sure starter and Bruce only has 2 years left (if they even pick up the option). Hamilton is not a drop dead guarentee either. YRod and Waldrop may be a soild LH/RH 4th and 5th outfield combo.

      I think they will get a 1 year LF anyway. If they do not, why not see what Winker can do?

    • wvredlegs

      I don’t know where you got your info that Waldrop is not a good fielder.
      I saw Waldrop play for Pensacola this summer. 2 games. Good arm, but not YRod good or O’Neill good. Hustles in the field. Good range, but not great. Very good hitter. Hustles on the base paths. He is built like a big WR in football. About 6″4″ and 215-220. Good athlete.
      I didn’t get to see Winker play because he was injured, but I came away impressed with Waldrop. Good player, good future.

  7. Shchi Cossack

    Two weeks into the AFL…

    Jesse Winker: .417/.500/.625; #1 in OPS
    Kyle Waldrop: .406/.406/.625; #8 in OPS

    Ryne Dennick: 0.00 ERA, 0.69 WHIP
    Carlos Gonzalez: 2.25 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
    Ben Klimesh: 3.60 ERA, 0.80 WHIP
    Nick Howard: 5.14 ERA, 1.14 WHIP

    The Reds prospects are aquiting themselves quite nicely through the first two weeks. I do not see how the Reds can keep Winker and Waldrop off the Bats roster, especially since they obviously have no interest in Lutz, Soto, Perez or Selsky as prospects.

    I really like both Winker and Waldrop, but I think the Reds are missing the boat by not giving any of the other four players real consideration as prospects.

    • Thegaffer

      They need to get Soto off the roster. Whether right or wrong (i think rightly) he has no future here. Lutz is unimpressive but he clearly has had no chance to learn to play given his late start in baseball. Price has been more Dusty than Dusty was about going with established players.

    • Dale Pearl

      I think Winker skips AAA right or wrong of it and he finds himself on the opening day roster. The Reds have shown in the past a willingness to throw unproven and undeveloped talent to the wolves. With that said if Winker started tomorrow in the bigs he would end the season with the third or fourth highest OBP for the team so that makes him already better than existing roster options.

    • Captain Hook

      If Winker and/or Waldrop start in AA it is not too big of a deal. Increasingly, teams do not see a big difference between AA and AAA pitching talent because AAA rosters often include so many older non-prospects.

  8. Shchi Cossack

    Dang!!! Winker is just a relentless machine out in the AFL. Through 6 innings today he’s 2/3 with a 3B, elevating his BA to .378. He came into the game slashing .353/.465/.588, 3rd in the AFL with an OPS of 1.053. I guess he is fully healed from his accident and looking to make up ground after his slow start in AA. I’m liking the idea of signing Aoki on the cheap more and more. Winker may be seriously pounding on the major league door duri9ng the 2015 season.