In this year’s first installment of “This Week on the Farm”, I’d like to take a quick look at what the Reds top two farm clubs rosters might look like opening day.  The rosters of these two farm clubs will contain the players that have the best chance of helping out at the Major League level this season.

First we’ll take a stab at what the Reds roster might look like opening day this season.

Reds

  • RF Bruce
  • CF Hamilton
  • LF Duvall
  • SS Cozart
  • 3B Suarez
  • 2B Phillips
  • 1B Votto
  • C  Mesoraco
  • C  Barnhart
  • IF DeJesus
  • OF Schebler
  • OF Rodriguez
  • OF Cave
  • SP DeSclafani
  • SP Iglesias
  • SP Simon
  • SP Finnegan
  • SP Moscot
  • RP Hoover
  • RP Ciingrani
  • RP J. Diaz
  • RP O’Grady
  • RP D. Diaz
  • RP Sampson
  • RP Villarreal
  • DL Bailey
  • DL Lamb
  • DL Lorenzen
  • DL Skipworth

There’s a lot of room for debate here, but that’s not the focus of this discussion.  Essentially, that’s a list of 25 names which will not be included on the AAA and/or AA rosters below.

AAA Louisville Bats

I’m going to mostly stick to prospects and fringe prospects for the roster selections.  I’ll try not to include any Jermaine Curtis’, Hernan Iribarren’s, Brandon Allen’s, or Ray Chang’s on the rosters.  I’m sure a few of those AAAA types will end up making it, but I’m mostly sticking to the younger players who might be on these rosters on opening day this year.

 

  • C  Cabrera
  • 1B Lutz
  • 2B Vincej
  • 3B Mejias-Brean
  • SS Peraza
  • LF Waldrop
  • CF Holt
  • RF Winker
  • C  Berset
  • IF Renda
  • IF Triunfel
  • OF Selsky
  • OF Smith
  • SP Stephenson
  • SP Reed
  • SP Melville
  • SP Adleman
  • SP Wright
  • RP Weiss
  • RP Hayes
  • RP S Johnson
  • RP Somsen
  • RP Cotham
  • RP Ramirez
  • RP Smith

Restricted List:  Duran

Jesse Winker and Jose Peraza are, of course, the guys everyone will have their eyes on.  Peraza slashed .293/.316/.378/.694 at AAA last year and with a strong spring is simply awaiting a trade or injury to open up a full time spot for him.  Winker slashed .282/.390/.433/.823 at AA last year and has just one level of the minors to conquer before supplanting himself in the one of the OF corners in Cincinnati.

Seth Mejias-Brean, .247/.352/.360/.712 at AA, will look to add a little power to the good batting eye and glove he displayed last year.  Kyle Waldrop will be in a make or break type year, as he will need to prove he can make the adjustments and perform at AAA.  It will also be interesting to keep an eye on Selsky and Lutz to see how they come back from injuries that shortened their seasons last year.

Pitching wise, the Bat’s fans will be treated to the Reds top two pitching prospects in Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed.  The rest of the rotation will soon be bolstered significantly as Bailey, Lorenzen, and Lamb return from the DL in late April and/or early May.  That will result in the Reds having to make some really tough decisions and some combination of Moscot, Lamb, Lorenzen, and Finnegan joining the Bat’s rotation.  That is, of course, if they don’t decide to utilize any of them to bolster the major league bullpen instead.  Zack Weiss will hope to continue to prosper in the closer role at the AAA level and be the first to be recalled help bolster the bullpen.

The Reds retool/reboot/rebuild strategy of obtaining near ready MLB talent has resulted in providing some good depth for the Reds to draw from at the AAA level and also provided what will be a very exciting team for the Louisville fans watch this summer.

AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Here’s my best guess at what the Blue Wahoos might look like to start this season.

  • C  Hudson
  • 1B Jagielo
  • 2B Blandino
  • 3B Sparks
  • SS Daal
  • LF Elizalde
  • CF Amaral
  • RF Ervin
  • C  Wallach
  • IF Wright
  • IF Dixon
  • OF Gelalich
  • OF Buckley
  • SP Garrett
  • SP Travieso
  • SP Mella
  • SP Romano
  • SP Davis
  • RP McMyne
  • RP Klimesh
  • RP Moran
  • RP Bender
  • RP Becker
  • RP Peralta
  • RP Astin

The two best hitting prospects here will be on Alex Blandino and Phil Ervin.  Blandino slashed .294/.370/.438/.808 at A+ last year before hitting a more modest .235/.350/.374/.724 in 138 PA at AA.  He will look to show that he can continue to hit at AA and his time here could be short if he starts out strong.  Ervin slashed .242/.338/.375/.713 at A+ and then .235/.409/.412/.821 in 66 PA after a promotion to AA.  Ervin will look to show he can continue to hit at this level and be more consistent at the plate.

Eric Jagielo is penciled in here at 1B, but will see some time at 3B as well I’m sure.  He slashed .284/.347/.495/.842 at AA before a knee injury ended his season.  He could be in line for a quick promotion if he continues to put up those kind of numbers here.

Taylor Spark will look to show off his big power again and cut down on his strikeout numbers.  Sebastian Elizalde will look to continue his slow and steady climb through the Reds system by showing that he can hit at the AA level also.

The big story on the mound for the Blue Wahoos is the starting rotation.  With Garrett, Davis, Mella, Romano, and Travieso the rotation is stacked with solid prospects.  Any of these five starters could blossom this season and get promotions given there is room for them at the next level.

The Pensacola fans are in for a great season as they are getting what was a playoff team last year at A+ that is bolstered even more by the Reds acquisitions over the winter.

Join the conversation! 16 Comments

  1. Have been waiting for this. Thanks.
    Nothing makes the wife think I am bat crazy more than me looking at the Louisville or Pensacola box scores on my ipad late in the evening.

  2. After the Big Lutz’ performance in Australia, this could be a huge season for 27 year old, or a mail in the coffin of his career. The LF situation at GABP will be a work in progress, but the possibility exists that no one will step forward and claim that territory in the OF grass as their own. Big offensive numbers by the Big Lutz at AAA and he could finally get his shot at the show with an extended, consistent tryout in LF. The situation with Bruce could also result in an OF opening in RF.

    • Lutz is kaput! I’d rather see Duvall full time or a Duvall/Schebler or Duvall/Cave platoon. I guess Hamilton is going back to leadoff but no new rule changes that I’m aware of…..still can’t steal first base?

      • Lutz will or will not produce offensively, but that opportunity will be at AAA. He has never had an opportunity to produce at AAA. or MLB, but was solid everywhere else with regular playing time. You may be correct that Lutz is done, but he is still only 27 and got a very late start in baseball.

        Duvall, Schebler and Cave will get 1st dibs on their opportunity at the major league level with regular playing time. If they succeed, Lutz may be squeezed out even if he performs at AAA, but if none of those 3 succeed over the 1st 3 months and Lutz is performing at AAA, I can’t see how or why he would not be afforded the same opportunity to prove what he can do with regular playing time at the major league level.

  3. Peraza?

  4. What a starting rotation in Pensacola. Incredible. I’d get season tickets if I lived near there this year. Jagiello at 1B is interesting.
    Louisville looks very solid too with the Reds top 3 prospects there. Lots of fans will be checking in on the minors this year, probably more so than in recent times.
    Tom, good work, and you will have to be on your game this year. Lots of eyes will be on your reports. Keep up the usual good work!

  5. That Louisville lineup looks strong! That team should be fun to watch. Look at that AA rotation down in Pensacola!! Wow!

  6. Good stuff, Tom!

    I’ll be a happy fan if I see Winker and Peraza in Cincy at the end of the year (even if just Sep call-ups) and Ervin and Blandino in Louisville.

    • I’m with you Patrick on the September callups for Winker & Peraza, but I really don’t want to see either of those two prospects until September unless the Reds absolutely stun the masses and compete for the playoffs in 2016.

      Tom, I think you are really going to enjoy writing your post this season. I think we can really get excited about the Bats AND Blue Wahoos for the first time in … oh … maybe ever?! While not as high profile, Dayton and Daytona could also be interesting.

  7. Impressed with Ervin’s OBP. This is especially true considering his batting average. I’d have to think that batting average should come up some and he should maintain a good walk rate.

    • Indeed. It’s nice to see that his high walk rates continued at A+ and AA last year. The higher you get, the more predictive those walk rates will be.

  8. That Pensacola starting rotation is going to be stacked. You’d be hard pressed to find a better rotation in the minor leagues.

  9. Yorman Rodriquez is out of options, but not showing much in Spring Training. The Reds may try to get him through waivers and send him back down to AAA. That may leave an opening for Holt or Peraza on the Big roster.
    Schebler play centerfield? Billy looks like he has regressed as a hitter (if that is possible) from last year. I think Cave will stick.
    A word on the AA starting rotation: don’t count your chickens before they are hatched. At least one, may two of those pitchers will regress. My guess would be Travieso and Romano.

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