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2010 Cincinnati Reds Top 20 Pre-Season Prospects in Review

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2010 Cincinnati Reds Top 20 Prospects in Review

Here is a review of the 2010 Reds prospect list, originally published January 14, 2010. THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST AND PRE-SEASON GRADES. THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST.  The 2011 list and new grades won't be ready until the season is over and I start writing the book.

1) Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Grade A-: Hype has died down, but this isn't a bad year at all: 3.74 ERA, 116/52 K/BB in 91 innings, 75 hits for Triple-A Louisville. The walks are high, but the K/IP and H/IP are terrific and reflect his plus/plus stuff.  Has been used in relief since mid-June, has a 1.10 ERA with a 25/5 K/BB in his last 16 innings.

2) Todd Frazier, INF-OF, Grade B+:  Hit .197 in April and May for Louisville, but has been back to previous levels of performance since. Overall hitting .252/.323/.439 with 15 homers, 11 steals. Contact and plate discipline have been sketchy this year, but he fought back from the slow start and is still an interesting prospect, although at age 24 he needs to establish himself quickly.

3) Yonder Alonso, 1B, Grade B+:  .289/.362/.445 in 117 games between Double-A Carolina and Louisville, 50 walks, 81 strikeouts in 447 at-bats. Hitting .354/.443/.556 in the second half.

4) Mike Leake, RHP, Grade B:  3.78 ERA, 86/47 K/BB in 136 major league innings, 147 hits. The grade was conservative since he hadn't pitched professionally yet. Hard to knock his rookie performance.

5) Chris Heisey, OF, Grade B:  .277/.375/.509 in 112 major league at-bats. Although sample is small, I don't think this is a huge fluke; he's a solid player.

6) Juan Francisco, 3B, Grade B-:   .286/.326/.569 in 269 at-bats for Louisville, 7-for-22 (.318) in the majors. Plate discipline a problem but you have to like the power production.

7) Brad Boxberger, RHP, Grade B-: Very effective as a starter for High-A Lynchburg: 3.19 ERA, 70/20 K/BB in 62 innings, 57 hits. Horrible as a reliever for Double-A Carolina, 9.58 ERA, 27/17 K/BB in 21 innings, 26 hits.  I have no idea how I will grade him; will have to see what end-of-year reports are like.

8) Travis Wood, LHP, Grade C+:  3.06 ERA, 99/24 K/BB in 100 innings for Louisville, followed by 2.65 ERA with 40/13 K/BB in 51 innings in the majors. Very strong year.

9) Matt Maloney, LHP, Grade C+:   10-6, 3.43 with a 90/25 K/BB in 118 innings for Louisville, 112 hits. Has given up four runs in 11.2 major league innings. I still think this guy will be a surprise eventually.

10) Zack Cozart, SS, Grade C+:   .262/.321/.432 for Louisville, 16 homers, 29 steals. Have to like the power/speed production from a  shortstop, although batting average and OBP are mediocre.

11) Donnie Joseph, LHP, Grade C+:  1.58 ERA with 96/22 K/BB in 57 innings between Low-A Dayton and Lynchburg, 33 hits, 22 saves. K/IP and H/IP are outstanding, and he has good stuff.

12) Billy Hamilton, SS, Grade C+:  .322/.386/.475 with 27 steals for Billings in the Pioneer League, 18/38 BB/K in 202 at-bats. He's doing well.

13) Josh Fellhauer, OF, Grade C+:   .246/.304/.342 for Lynchburg. Not much power, just seven steals, poor OBP skills. I thought he was a sleeper but he is still slumbering.

14) Chris Valaika, SS, Grade C+:  .307/.334/.414 for Louisville. The batting average is pretty, but OBP skills are weak and power unimpressive. Still, it is better than last year when he was hurt.

15) Neftali Soto, 3B, Grade C:  .255/.300/.440 for Lynchburg, 18 homers, 23 walks, 90 strikeouts in 443 at-bats. Like the power, plate discipline needs a lot of work.

16) Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Grade C: .340/.340/.468 in 94 at-bats for Billings in the Pioneer League, one walk, 17 strikeouts. Great tools and just turned 18 yesterday, but extreme lack of patience is an issue.

17) Juan Silva, OF, Grade C:  .231/.320/.369 in 160 at-bats for AZL Reds, 20 walks, 43 strikeouts, four steals. Good tools, still figuring out how to play.

18) Juan Duran, OF, Grade C:  .264/.331/.428 with 16 walks, 52 strikeouts in 159 at-bats for Billings in the Pioneer League. Good tools, doesn't know what he's doing yet.

19) Juan Carlos Sulbaran, RHP, Grade C:   4.99 ERA, 83/49 K/BB in 79 innings for Dayton, 78 hits. Good strikeout rate but hampered by wobbly command. Currently on the DL.

20) Eneiro Del Rosario, RHP, Grade C:  3.13 ERA, 29/14 K/BB in 55 innings for Louisville, has allowed four runs in 8.2 major league innings. Gets lots of grounders, could be decent middle man.

I think the Reds farm system has had a pretty nice year. The large group of young power-hitting corner players from Latin America with questionable plate discipline has produced mixed results, but Leake, Heisey, and Wood have all done well as rookies, Chapman's enormous potential still stands out, and Cozart, Frazier, Alonso, and Maloney could contribute next year. I'm also a big fan of Donnie Joseph.