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Cincinnati Reds Top 20 2012 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

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Cincinnati Reds Top 20 2012 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

Continuing with our mid-season reviews of our pre-season Top 20 Prospect Lists, we go back to the National League with a look at the Cincinnati Reds farm system.

Remember, this is the pre-season list. It is NOT a new list.

This list was originally published January 8th, 2012

The Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, and Cleveland Indians are the next teams I intend to do, but the schedule may get changed depending on events in the baseball world.

1) Devin Mesoraco, C, Grade A-: Hitting .226/.301/.387 in 137 major league at-bats, 14 walks, 28 strikeouts. I think he will be fine with more consistent playing time.

2) Billy Hamilton, SS, Grade B+: .323/.417/.445 with 61 walks, 81 strikeouts in 393 at-bats between High-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola, with 116 stolen bases, didn't lose any production ground after his promotion. We'll have to see about defense, but his speed is amazing and he's developed the OBP skills to go with it.

3) Daniel Corcino, RHP, Grade B: No problems adapting to Double-A: 3.23 ERA, 103/48 K/BB in 111 innings, 90 hits. Cueto comparisons still look valid.

4) Robert Stephenson, RHP, Grade B: 1.77 ERA with 43/10 K/BB in 36 innings, 23 hits combined between Billings in the Pioneer League and Low-A Dayton in the Midwest League. All systems look go.

5) Zack Cozart, SS, Grade B-: .243/.289/.393 with 10 homers, 23 walks, 80 strikeouts in 387 at-bats. Impressive defense with some power, and I think his on-base skills can improve.

6) Tony Cingrani, LHP, Grade B-: Borderline C+. I thought the B- was aggressive but he's been excellent, 10-3, 1.62 ERA with 130/32 K/BB in 111 innings, 75 hits allowed between High-A and Double-A, no performance slippage at the higher level. Any issues with his breaking ball aren't showing up in the numbers.

7) Didi Gregorius, SS, Grade C+: ,287/.343/.421 with 31 walks, 62 strikeouts in 390 at-bats combined between Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville. Can likely stick at shortstop, gives a future option if Cozart doesn't hit better.

8) Todd Frazier, UT, Grade C+: .277/.333/.523 with 11 homers, 20 walks, 66 strikeouts in 235 at-bats in the majors. Finally got a chance to play and has made the most of it.

9) Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Grade C+: Overmatched in California League (.156/.181/.200) due to severe contact issues. Sent down to Midwest League and has hit better, .295/.336/.470, but plate discipline remains poor (7/29 BB/K in 132 at-bats). Profile is the same: very young (19), quite raw.

10) Henry Rodriguez, 2B, Grade C+: .322/.354/.417 with 13 walks, 28 strikeouts in 242 at-bats split between Double-A, Triple-A, and a rookie ball rehab assignment. Being groomed as a utilityman and should be useful.

11) Neftali Soto, 1B, Grade C+: .227/.294/.392 with 13 homers, 30 walks, 95 strikeouts in 344 at-bats for Louisville. No change in profile: lots of power, but serious contact issues.

12) J.C. Sulbaran, RHP, Grade C+: 4.04 ERA with 111/54 K/BB in 105 innings, 101 hits for Pensacola. Still quite promising.

13) David Vidal, 3B, Grade C+: .281/.358/.512 in 121 at-bats in High-A, but less effective after moving up to Double-A, .231/.289/.373. Good glove. Another young Reds hitter with talent and power but plate discipline/contact concerns.

14) Tim Crabbe, RHP, Grade C+: 4.90 ERA with 93/66 K/BB in 86 innings for Pensacola. Sent back to Cal League, 2.50 ERA with 17/4 K/BB in 18 innings. Control the biggest problem here.

15) Kyle Lotzkar of the Hill People, RHP, Grade C+: 5.32 ERA with 85/42 K/BB in 68 innings for Pensacola, 63 hits. First-class stuff, command still a work in progress after losing considerable development time to injuries. I like him.

16) Juan Duran, OF, Grade C: .222/.274/.359 with nine homers, 18 walks, 115 strikeouts in 306 at-bats for Bakersfield. Takes the "no plate discipline" philosophy to extremes.

17) Gabriel Rosa, 3B, Grade C: Hitting .179/.188/.256 with one walk, 25 strikeouts in 78 at-bats for Billings in the Pioneer League. Young at 19, but another guy with big contact problems.

18) Tucker Barnhart, C, Grade C: .278/.371/.409 in 198 at-bats for Bakersfield, .184/.245/.265 in 49 at-bats for Pensacola. Has thrown out 40% of runners. Could end up being Mesoraco's backup in the long run.

19) Junior Arias, 3B, Grade C: .198/.251/.277 with 18 walks, 73 strikeouts in 278 at-bats in Low-A. Has stolen 21 bases, but without a better feel for contact his tools will go to waste.

20) Denis Phipps, OF, Grade C: .200/.271/.328 with 22 walks, 72 strikeouts in 250 at-bats for Louisville. Last year was a fluke.

The Reds system has done well for the most part this year, although they have to figure out some way to help these raw power guys make better contact.

J.J. Hoover was on the Braves list pre-season and what he did in the majors isn't a fluke in my view. The development of Cingrani was good to see too, Corcino has lived up to expectations, and Lotzkar has been a favorite of mine for awhile despite his control problems. I like Ryan Wright's chances to be a surprise at higher levels.

They mixed high school and college talents in the draft, ending up $92,400 under slot budget but bringing in a nice power arm in Nick Travieso, two good high school bats in Jesse Winker and Tanner Rahier, and a college guy who could move quickly in Jeff Gelalich.