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Reds Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects

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Elizardo Ramirez

Top 20 PRE-SEASON Reds Prospects in Review

This is the PRE-SEASON list. That means it was generated BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED and that the grades were PRE-SEASON. Anyone complaining about the grades based on 2006 performance will be smacked up the side of the head with a Gookie Dawkins autographed bat.

1) Homer Bailey, RHP, Grade B+
Is 4-0, 0.75 in four starts since being promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. On a real roll right now. Combination of plus stuff and improved command makes him a dominator.

2) Travis Wood, LHP, Grade B
6-2, 4.14 in 18 starts for Class A Dayton, 88/37 K/BB in 87 innings, 68 hits allowed. Holding his own, good K/IP mark.

3) Jay Bruce, OF, Grade B
Hitting .315/.383/.563 in 90 games for Dayton, with 36 doubles and 13 homers and 14 steals. Breakout campaign establishing him as one of the best outfield prospects in the game.

4) B.J. Szymanski, OF, B-
Hitting .238/.315/.428 in 86 games for Dayton, 18 steals and 13 homers. Power and speed, but horrible contact problems as shown by 123 strikeouts.

5) Phil Dumatrait, LHP, B-
Combined 6-7, 3.99 in 17 starts combined between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville. 68/32 K/BB in 90 innings isn't that good. Needs more time in the minors.

6) Chris Denorfia, OF, C+
Hitting .347/.409/.454 with 14 steals for Louisville. Replacing the traded Austin Kearns in the Reds outfield. 7-for-22 (.318) so far.

7) Tyler Pelland, LHP, C+
5-3, 3.46 ERA in 19 starts for Chattanooga, 72/58 K/BB in 96 innings, 100 hits allowed. Good ERA but his components aren't that hot. Note too-high walk rate. Still an interesting pitcher.

8) Joey Votto, 1B, C+
Hitting .324/.401/.582 for Chattanooga, much better than last year. Has even stolen 15 bases. Overall numbers have revived his prospect status. Move him well up the list.

9) Justin Germano, RHP, C+
3.93 ERA in 17 starts for Louisville, 64/21 K/BB in 110 innings. Classic finesse strike thrower.

10) Zach Ward, RHP, C+
7-0, 2.45 in 16 starts for Dayton, 91/29 K/BB in 103 innings, just 67 hits and 2 homers allowed. Looks good!

11) Sam Lecure, RHP, C+
3.56 ERA, 81/27 K/BB in 91 innings for Class A Sarasota. Solid all-around performance but not spectacular.

12) Bobby Basham, RHP, C+
Traded to San Diego, on the DL at Double-A Mobile.

13) Adam Rosales, SS, C+
Combined .240/.327/.404 in 59 games between Dayton and Sarasota. Nothing to get really excited about there.

14) Jeff Stevens, RHP, C+
Traded to the Indians system. Combined 4.96 ERA and 62/26 K/BB between Dayton and Lake County. Decent strikeout rate but not much else.

15) William Bergolla, 2B, C
Hitting .254/.285/.333 in 74 games for Louisville. Performance is inadequate right now to deserve a full shot in the majors.

16) Travis Chick, RHP, C
Traded to Seattle. 5-5, 4.37 in 18 starts combined between Chattanooga and Double-A San Antonio. A fair prospect, nothing more.

17) Elizardo Ramirez, RHP, C
3-6, 4.16 in 14 starts for the Reds, 55/19 K/BB in 84 innings. This is in line with expectation.

18) Rafael Gonzalez, RHP, C
Just activated from extended spring, has pitched 15 innings for Billings in the Pioneer League, allowing 12 hits and six runs. Sample too small to mean much.

19) James Avery, RHP, C
5-6, 5.31 in 18 starts for Sarasota, 57/34 K/BB in 88 innings, 95 hits and 11 homers allowed. Components are not impressive and his status has slipped.

20) Miguel Perez, C, C
Hitting .251/.300/.319 in 77 games for Chattanooga. Not much pop, low OBP, won't hit enough to be a regular without dramatic improvement.

Bailey and Bruce are an outstanding 1-2 prospect combination. Votto's resurgence is a good thing to see, and I still like Travis Wood. Otherwise the system seems to lack some depth, with several of the sleeper prospects not panning out this year.