A Minors Obsession

Minor League All Questions Answered

It’s been just over two months since we did an All Questions Answered topic here at Redleg Nation, and with the Reds just setting their roster for the upcoming Rule 5 draft, combined with just how long it’s been, I thought it would be a great time to bring this back. Before jumping into the rules for the AQA though, I thought that I’d touch on a couple of other notes from around the system.

JJ Cooper has up a list of the top 12 players eligible for the Rule 5 draft at Baseball America and two Reds relievers are on there. Right handed pitcher Zack Weiss, who missed all of 2016 with an elbow injury (that didn’t require surgery) and left handed pitcher Ismael Guillon both find themselves as real possibilities to be taken after being left unprotected by the organization.

The Arizona Fall League came to an end over the weekend. Zach Vincej entered the final day leading the league in OPS and within shouting distance for the batting title, but fell short of taking home the crown in either. He finished leading the league in slugging percentage and second in OPS. Brandon Dixon finished fourth in OPS and fifth in average with a .333 mark.

Alright, onto the rules for the All Questions Answered part of today.

  1. Try to avoid questions that will require me to look up answers (such as: Who was the last guy to steal 25 bags and hit 25 home runs in the system).
  2. Try to avoid overly long answer-type questions. I tend to give thorough and detailed answers as it is, so please don’t have my type out a novel.
  3. Each user can ask up to three questions.
  4. Ask your questions before 8PM and I will be sure to answer it. If you ask after 8PM on Tuesday, then I can’t guarantee that I will answer your question.

I probably won’t begin answering questions until around 11am, but feel free to filling up the comments with them before that.

35 thoughts on “Minor League All Questions Answered

  1. Why don’t the Reds do what the Cards do and move young starters to the pen to strengthen. Most of the best relief pitchers are failed starters.

    • More often than not, when you do that, guys wind up remaining in the bullpen and that’s not what the Reds want. It also tends to waste a year of a players control for a handful of innings out of the bullpen.

      The Reds would, seemingly, rather have a guy throw 120+ innings in the big leagues, continue their development as a starter, than have a guy throw 65 innings as a reliever and not have nearly the same kind of development.

  2. The Hot Stove league has been percolating lately. Activity is sure to ramp up once Thanksgiving Day passes.
    1. Do you see any more 40-man roster spots opening up before next Friday’s non-tender deadline and who might the casualties be?
    2. Of those top 12 available for this draft that you referenced, do you see any upgrades there that the Reds might roll the dice on?

    Thank you and keep up the good work. Going to do what Christmas shopping I do on Amazon by going through your site.

    • 1. It wouldn’t shock me to see Tony Cingrani non-tendered, but he’s probably the only guy, and even then I don’t expect it.

      2. Honestly, I’d keep Zack Weiss over anyone on that list, but I’d also keep him over several guys that are currently on our 40-man roster, too. It’s a weird decision from where I’m sitting that they left him unprotected. The more that I think about it, the more that I believe we will see the Reds create a roster spot between now and the winter meetings and see them select a hard throwing reliever in the Rule 5.

      Thanks for shopping on Amazon through the site – every little bit helps out.

  3. Thanks for doing this again; always interesting and informative.

    1. Given that the Reds know who is Rule 5 eligible from other teams, and they would have (at worst) the second pick if they can participate, would you guess the Reds are likely to strive to create space on the 40-man roster in order to take a chance on one or two?

    2. Assuming yes, and the Reds do in fact create space on the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 Draft, which 2-3 eligible players would you guess the Reds might be most interested in. (If you prefer at this point to comment only on Baseball America’s cream of the crop article, that’s good enough for me.)

    3. Do you see those players as more attractive to the Reds than either Weiss or Guillon?

    • Apologies for the partial overlap from the question above; I didn’t see that before I posted.

    • 1. I kind of covered this above, but I’ll expand it a little bit. I do think they will create a spot and take a hard throwing reliever. I don’t think they create two spots for it though. I’d imagine that Selsky, Renda and Peralta are the three guys that should be feeling less than comfortable about their 40-man spot right now.

      2. Even from that list, the guys I like the most include our own guys. I’d say the Reds will probably at least talk about Yimmi Brasoban and Phillip Evans. Brasoban is a hard throwing right hander with a good offspeed pitch – control issues may be there some, but no one is going to be a perfect fit or they would have been protected. Evans may be able to fill that utility infielder role that the Reds are saying they are looking for.

      3. I’d like to look deeper into Brasoban. Heck, I’d also like to look deeper at a guy like Julian Fernandez (though I highly doubt I’d draft him – but I’d have real conversations with my guys about it). I’d prefer to keep Guillon and Weiss over Evans, without a doubt.

  4. 1. Who are your “safest” prospects? Safest as in highest floor potential.
    2. Out of your top 25, how many players do you expect to see time in the big leagues this year?
    3. Do we have any players in our system that could have a similar breakout to Adam Duvall’s in the future?

    • 1. Winker and Senzel. Plate discipline. Can hit.

      2. Seven.

      3. Tough to really peg the 26-year-old breakout. Most believed he wouldn’t hit enough in the big leagues (and I think there’s still a good chance that’s going to prove to be correct in the long run). With that said, it wouldn’t surprise me if say, Phillip Ervin wound up being one of those 25, 26-year-old guys that puts it together. Very different skillset than Duvall (less power, way more speed, likely better defense, way more walks, way fewer strikeouts).

  5. My third question if I can sneak it in.
    In all of AAA baseball, the IL and PCL, there were only 10 POSITION players that were listed in Fangraphs League hitting leaders as being 22 years old or younger in 2016. Some have since turned 23, or will by spring training. Didn’t look at pitchers ages, just position players. The Reds had 2 in OF Jesse Winker and 2B Dilson Herrera. The Reds also have 22 year old Jose Peraza at the ML level.
    The other 8 were 3B Rio Ruiz (Braves), SS Daniel Robertson (Rays), OF Nick Williams (Phils), SS Gavin Cecchini (Mets), OF Manuel Margot (Padres), SS Orlando Arcia (Brewers), 3B Joey Gallo (Rangers), 1B/OF Matt Olson (A’s), and DH Renato Nunez (A’s).
    Do you see a match in these 8 where the Reds could pick up another young advanced prospect in a trade or trade package?

    • I’d have to imagine that Joey Gallo would be available in the right deal, but is he worth the price they’d want? Couple that with where to play him and the incredibly riskiness involved with how often he strikes out, and I wouldn’t pay the asking price I believe it would take. Outside of the Mets, the rest of those teams are all rebuilding, so I can’t see them actively trying to move any of these kinds of players.

  6. Hi Doug.

    1) Where does Senzel start this year out of spring training? A+ or AA?
    2) Do you think the Reds will sell high on Iggy (in hopes of getting a huge return)? If so when? Winter meetings? trade deadline 2017?
    3) Projected line up and rotation for opening day 2018?

    • 1. Daytona is more likely. I’d say 80-20 that he winds up in Daytona to start the year over Pensacola.

      2. No chance. They will put him in the bullpen if he can’t start and throw him 100 innings a year.

      3. Mesoraco, Votto, Herrera, Suarez, Peraza, Winker, Hamilton – question mark in right field. Bailey, DeSclafani, Finnegan, Stephenson, Reed.

  7. 1. What are the chances of Vincej being taken in Rule 5?
    2. What are the chances of him sticking all year with a team that takes him?
    3. What the first Reds team you remember following when you were a kid?

    • 1. Not so good. He’s a glove first guy who just cracked a .700 OPS in AA, who had a nice three weeks in a league where the ball flies out in Arizona at age 25. Teams don’t tend to try and find roster filler in the Rule 5, they try to find potential difference makers. While I’m not sure that’s always the best approach, it’s why you see teams select a bunch of pitchers who throw really hard, even if the results haven’t ever really been there for them, instead of guys that throw low 90’s and throw strikes, but have had some success. You can find guys like that in minor league free agency every year. You don’t always get to sign the guy that throws 99. It’s just about the cost opportunity and “maybe could one day be a solid utility guy” isn’t something that’s tough to find in the market.

      2. Well, I don’t think he gets picked, but if he does, I’d be surprised if he made the team. I’m just not sure he’s ready to hit big league pitching.

      3. The 1995 team was the first one I really followed a lot. I was 11. I mean, I was always an enormous baseball fan, but that was around the time we started being able to watch more and more games with cable, too. It just made it easier to follow day-by-day.

      • Doug, it’s amazing you are such a die hard reds fan given the poor teams you have seen over your years. Most of us got hooked in 1975-6 or 1990 so we have an excuse. If all you have had are the chokes in 1995 and 2012 I sympathize.

  8. Do you see any hope that Alex Blandino or Nick Howard ever provide any MLB value to the Reds?

    Haven’t seen Chris Okey mentioned here. Where does he start the year and how far do they let him go (production meriting).

    Could Scott Moss be the sleeper of the last draft?

    • 1. Blandino, yes, I’ve still got hope for. Howard, on the other hand – no. It’s unfortunate to see what’s happened to him, but the number of guys that have gone through the yips, or whatever you want to call it, and have come back from it are next to none.

      2. Daytona to start and let his performance move him from there. Doubt he gets any higher than Pensacola this year.

      3. I guess that depends on how you want to define sleeper. I think he could turn into a solid big leaguer.

      • I think Rich Hill is one of the few people who has overcome the yips. Maybe Howard will be another although it’s probably unlikely.

      • At this point, if Howard could become a reliable middle reliever, you’d have to consider that a win. Speaking of wrist injuries, Blandino suffered one playing this Spring and it seemed to effect him throughout the year. HIs July-end of season numbers look pretty solid, just everything before that stunk.

        • Those numbers were inflated by an unsustainable BABIP of nearly .400 from July 23rd through the end of the season. In that time though, his walk and strikeout rates were good. He showed next to no power though, and if he’s going to be something, he’s going to have to find some power again. The injury could be something that held him back a little bit but he’s going to have to really get out there and show it.

  9. 1) In response to one of your responses above, You left Straily out of rotation to start year. Do you think he’s traded or moved back to pen?
    2) Do you think Guillon’s options status is what left him unprotected?
    3) Assuming Cozy and No are traded before the season, do the reds have anyone you can see them dealing at the deadline?

    • 1. I left Straily out to start 2018. I think by then he gets pushed out for someone with a much better arm and winds up in the bullpen, though a trade wouldn’t be out of the question.

      2. Probably not. He’s got an option left, so he would have had all of 2017 to figure out the upper minor leagues.

      3. If those two go, no, probably not. At least as the roster currently sits. If they bring in a pitcher on a 1-year deal who is pitching well, I’d say that kind of guy would be a prime guy to move.

  10. 1. On this site, people have suggested taking Mesoraco off 40 man roster to protect another player. If Mesoraco is acquired, acquiring team would have to assume his contract. Unlikely he’s taken. Seems like a good idea. Thoughts?

    2. Does A. Aquino have the potential to be Eric Davis 2.0?

    3. IMO Many times managers manage by the book as CYA regarding answering for decisions made and not made? Thoughts?

    • 1. Anyone who thinks the Reds are taking Mesoraco off of the 40-man is looney toons. But, if the team were to DFA him and someone claimed him, they’d pick up his contract.

      2. No. Nowhere near the speed or defense (ED was a special, special kind of player for a 6-7 year stretch when he was healthy enough to be on the field).

      3. I think that is part of it. I think some of them simply believe that’s how it should be because it’s how it’s been done forever. What kills me is that despite all of the forward thinking that has come into front offices over the last 10 years, the general baseball manager still manages the game like it’s 1990 with a few exceptions and guys using the shift more. It’s a real weird concept.

  11. In your opinion, why did the Reds decide to keep Selsky and drop Yorman?

    When do you believe we will see the $9million glove stateside and at what level will he start?

    How much money are you willing to kick in to convince Phillips to accept a trade?

    • 1. They are crazy. I really don’t know why, and I can’t even begin to come up with a baseball reason as to why.

      2. They didn’t give him quite that much, but it was over $8M. He will be stateside this season and honestly, I think he winds up in Dayton, maybe Daytona.

      3. $4M. Nothing more. Which also means it’s probably not happening.

      • I was very surprised late in the season when I discovered that Selsky has a career .295 batting average and career .379 on-base percentage over six minor league seasons. That’s second in the Reds system, only to Winker (.297, .398). I thought Selsky looked pretty good in the late-season appearances with the Reds.

        The Cubs have said openly that they sought people who could get on base — not just by base hits — in their rebuild. Maybe the Reds front office had the same thought.

  12. Surprised to see you had Stephenson and Reed starting in 2018 and not Garrett. Are you not as high on Garrett as the others or do you see the Reds converting him into a reliever?

  13. The Reds really had a horrible Rule 5 Draft last year, didn’t they? It looked bad at the time, but in retrospect, who would you have selected, Doug, and will Williams bring a strategic shift to the Rule 5 (and not take low ceiling relievers and 4th outfielders)?

  14. If Dilson Herrera was still eligible for prospect lists where would he rank in all of baseball?

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