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Cincinnati Reds 2011 Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

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Cincinnati Reds Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

I am reviewing my PRE-SEASON list of Top 20 prospects for 2011 for each organization, continuing today with the Cincinnati Reds. This list was originally published December 21, 2010. We will look at the Detroit Tigers tomorrow, followed by the Atlanta Braves on Monday, the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, the San Diego Padres on Thursday, and the New York Yankees on Friday.

This is a review of the 2011 Pre-Season Top 20 list. IT IS NOT A NEW LIST.

The 2012 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: Erratic command and injuries have held him back somewhat this year, but he still has a 3.86 ERA and a 45/25 K/BB in 30 major league innings, with NINE hits allowed.

2) Devin Mesoraco, C, Grade B+: Hitting .305/.376/.496 with 38 walks, 73 strikeouts in 351 at-bats for Triple-A Louisville. Has caught 25% of runners. Very strong year confirms '10 was not a fluke.

3) Yonder Alonso, 1B, Grade B+:  Just promoted to the majors, as you know. Hit .296/.374/.486 with 46 walks, 60 strikeouts in 358 at-bats for Louisville. No complaints here.

4) Billy Hamilton, 2B-SS, Grade B+:  Hitting better recently after slow start, currently at .256/.320/.343 with 75 steals in 394 at-bats for Low-A Dayton, 37 walks, 96 strikeouts. Amazing speed. 30 errors and poor range factor at shortstop.

5) Yasmani Grandal, C, Grade B+: .296/.410/.510 with 41 walks, 57 strikeouts in 206 at-bats for High-A Bakersfield, .291/.354/.477 with seven walks, 23 strikeouts in 86 at-bats for Double-A Carolina. Has caught 34% of runners, though passed ball rate is quite high. Overall I'm pleased.

6) Juan Francisco, 3B, Grade B-:   .304/.333/.525 with 10 homers, seven walks, 43 strikeouts in 204 at-bats for Louisville. Still has the impressive power but doubtful strike zone judgment.

7) Todd Frazier, UT, Grade B-:   .260/.340/.467 with 15 homers, 17 steals, 34 walks, 82 strikeouts in 315 at-bats for Louisville. 4-for-15 so far in the majors with two doubles. Can contribute in many ways.

8) Donnie Joseph, LHP, Grade B-:   7.86 ERA with 52/22 K/BB in 45 innings for Carolina, 52 hits. The ERA is misleading but he hasn't had a good year, and hasn't lived up to the aggressive ranking I gave him. Effective against lefties (.237) but right-handers kill him (.324 with lots of power).

9) Kyle Lotzkar, RHP, Grade B-:   5.71 ERA with a 36/11 K/BB in 35 innings for Dayton, 29 hits, back on the DL. Still has loads of talent if he can stay on the mound.

10) Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Grade C+:   .257/.320/.399 with seven homers, 24 walks, 82 strikeouts, 20 steals in 276 at-bats for Dayton. Very young at 18, power/speed combo intriguing but he's still raw.

11) Zack Cozart, SS, Grade C+: Hit .310/.357/.467 with seven homers, 23 walks, 51 strikeouts, nine steals in 323 at-bats for Louisville. Now in the majors, hitting .324/.324/.486 in his first 11 games. Good glove too.

12) Brad Boxberger, RHP, Grade C+:  1.31 ERA with 57/13 K/BB in 34 innings for Carolina, 16 hits. Promoted to Triple-A, 4.30 ERA with 18/7 K/BB in 15 innings so far, 10 hits. Much better than last year, impressive K/IP ratio.

13) David Sappelt, OF, Grade C+: Hitting .310/.374/.464 with 27 walks, 36 strikeouts in 274 at-bats for Louisville. Another guy having a fine campaign and ready for a major league trial.

14) Ismael Guillon, LHP, Grade C+:  6.00 ERA with 23/25 K/BB in 30 innings for Billings in the Pioneer League, 35 hits. Sample is small, but serious command troubles are evident.

15) Henry Rodriguez, 2B, Grade C+:  Hit .340/.378/.513 with 14 walks, 35 strikeouts in 238 at-bats for Bakersfield. Promoted to Carolina, .281/.317/.382 so far with nine walks, 25 strikeouts in 178 at-bats. Has stolen 22 bases and hit 10 homers. No complaints here.

16) Junior Arias, SS, Grade C+:   .206/.274/.340 with seven walks, 34 strikeouts in 97 at-bats for Billings. Young at 18, toolsy, raw. Converting to third base with poor results so far, seven errors in 16 games.

17) Ryan LaMarre, OF, Grade C+: Hitting .280/.354/.378 with 37 steals, 34 walks, 74 strikeouts in 328 at-bats for Bakersfield. Less power than expected, but impressive speed.

18) Jonathan Correa, RHP, Grade C+: Hasn't pitched this year.

19) Ronald Torreyes, 2B, Grade C+: Hitting .406/.444/.524 with eight walks, eight strikeouts, nine steals in 143 at-bats for Dayton. Outstanding since being activated in June, and just 18 years old...but he's just 5-9, 140 pounds.

20) Sam LeCure, RHP, Grade C:  2.34 ERA with 45/12 K/BB in 50 major league innings, 34 hits. A very successful season so far in the majors.

I think Reds fans have a lot to be happy about with their farm system. Some of the tools guys are having issues, but there's a good mixture of players close to the majors with guys at lower levels, guys with upside, guys with skills, and some with both.