A Minors Obsession

Catching up on the Reds minors

The offseason is nearly two months in for the minor leaguers (it’s been more than two months for the guys who were playing for the Arizona League Reds), but that doesn’t mean that everyone is completed with baseball for 2016.

Right handed reliever Barrett Astin was named to the Arizona Fall League’s Rising Stars game yesterday, which will take place on Saturday at 8pm ET. You can tune in on MLB Network or MLB.com if you would like to watch the game. He was the only Red to make the team, but you can get Brandon Dixon into the game by voting for him in the fan vote for the next 36 hours or so. Astin posted a 2.26 ERA this past season with Double-A Pensacola in 103.1 innings pitched.

In a bit of shameless self promotion, all week I will be unveiling my new Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List. If that’s your kind of thing, be sure to check it out. If it’s not, come check it out anyways and tell me how wrong I am.

While he wasn’t named to the Arizona Fall League’s Rising Stars game, shortstop Zach Vincej has arguably been the best hitter in the league so far. He’s tied for the league lead with three home runs (and has the fewest at-bats of anyone he’s tied with), while also leading the league in runs batted in with 12. His 1.127 OPS is also tops in the league. He’s only played in nine games for Peoria, but he’s made every last bit of them count.

Left handed reliever Nick Routt is having a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League as well. He’s allowed just two runs in 7.0 innings pitched, walked just one batter and he’s struck out eight.

Down in Mexico, outfielder Sebastian Elizalde is out to another good start in the Mexican Winter League. In 17 games played he’s hitting .313/.403/.422 with 10 walks and just nine strikeouts. His 16 RBI rank third in the league and he’s ninth in walks.

If you’d like to keep track on all of the Reds players in the winter leagues around the world (Dominican, Venezuelan, Mexican and the Puerto Rican Winter Leagues are all underway. The Australian Winter League will start up in just over two weeks), you can follow along at this link.

13 thoughts on “Catching up on the Reds minors

  1. The play of SS Zach Vincej makes the Reds SS depth a better situation. Plenty of 2B prospects, but not a lot at SS. This certainly helps. And I am not even including the $6 Million Man from Cuba.
    I like your new top-10 prospects, so far, but the order is somewhat out of sorts. The #1-#5 is very good, but having R. Stephenson at #3 is shameful. Shame, shame, shame (wink). I think he has fallen to the #7- #8 spots. But you have 4 pitchers that are poised to pass him up if he stumbles again in 2017. That is fair. It is also fair where you have the new Cuban pitcher. It will be very interesting to see where he starts the 2017 season. He may end up not far off from the ML level. Your #10 pick is probably 2 or 3 spots too high, but it is close. I would have had another position player here and leapfrogged a certain young 2B prospect named Shed Long in at #10.
    The cream is rising to the top. It may be time for the Reds to thin out some hurdles this winter for the cream of the cream to keep rising.

    • The thought has occurred to me that maybe part of the reason the Reds seemingly overloaded on pitching prospects in the draft over several years might have been that they simply weren’t very good at recognizing raw positional talent. Hopefully I was wrong or things have changed given the take in the last draft.

      • No, I think you are right. And things did change with the last (2016) draft. The arrival of a new GM started in 2016. Maybe, just maybe, that isn’t a coincidence.

        • Could be.

          Another possible take: the success rate for finding truly quality pitching may be lower than for position players plus the time to develop and/or find out that you really have something may be longer plus the higher risk of filtration through injury (i.e. TJ surgery). Thus, you start with and overload pitching in the early phase of a restock on the grounds that one can catch up on the other positions (apart from catcher) later. Second part: what was the -second- priority? Catcher – thus Wallach, Stevenson, etc.

          It’s just a wild guess. Note the excessive use of the gratuitous “may” throughout.

  2. Lots of good discussion in the comments over on your site, Doug! That’s cool! (Except that one guy…)

  3. I couldn’t be more appreciative of the work Doug is doing. But I can’t wait for the day that he makes up a completely fake name of a minor leaguer and slips it into the middle of one of these reports, just to see if we’re paying attention.

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