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Cincinnati Reds 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (23) | 2009 (14) | 2008 (3) | 2007 (12) | 2006 (30) | 2005 (23) | 2004 (26)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [91 – 71] NL Central
AAA: [79 – 64] International League – Louisville
AA: [58 – 79] Southern League – Carolina
A+: [61 – 77] Florida League – Lynchburg
A: [53 – 85] Midwest League – Dayton
R: [38 – 37] Pioneer League – Billings

The Run Down

Grey just finished a fantastic fantasy outlook on one of the most dynamic arms in the majors in Aroldis Chapman and the BBWAA just voted Joey Votto NL MVP on Monday. The only thing better than the Reds already terrific 2010 would have been beating the Phillies in the NLDS. With the emergence of Travis Wood, Mike Leake and the continued progress from Drew Stubbs helping the already young core of Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey, the Reds have the makings of a serious contender. Overall, the Reds minor league system assisted their major league team beyond what anyone could have dreamed; that raises a whole other concern about repeating the 2010 success in 2011. Well, then maybe Yonder Alonso, Todd Frazier, Brad Boxberger, Zack Cozart or Devin Mesoraco will provide that boost. Beyond the aforementioned names, the Reds minor league depth is lacking. As this series of articles is for fantasy purposes, the 2011 draft is ignored – even with the rare college pitcher to prove this point wrong on the Reds (Leake). Hopefully this article will be as fruitful as the Reds 2009 Minor League Review where Travis Wood was mentioned as a sleeper pick.

Graduating Prospects
#3 (RHP) Mike Leake; #4 (RF) Chris Heisey; #7 (LHP) Travis Wood; #14 (RHP) Logan Ondrusek; #16 (RHP) Jordan Smith; (RHP) Sam LeCure

Arizona Fall League Players – Peoria Saguaros
Pitchers: (RHP) James Avery; (LHP) Jeremy Horst; #23 (LHP) Phillippe Valiquette
Hitters: #30 (C) Devin Mesoraco; (SS/2B) Kris Negron; (CF) Dave Sappelt

Players of Interest
Hitters
#2 Yonder Alonso | 1B | D.o.B: 4-18-87 | Stats (AA/AAA): .290/.362/.458 | 507 AB | 53 XBH | 15 Hr | .168 ISO | 13/3 SB/CS | 92:56 K:BB | .293 BABIP (AA) and .339 BABIP (AAA)
Alonso had a fairly quiet year, but did receive 29 plate appearances with the Major League squad and had six (6) hits and 10 strikeouts. For a detailed report, read his Scouting the Unknown. Much is the same, although a trade or an injury will be needed for us to see him get major league playing time.

#1 Todd Frazier | OF/2B/3B | D.o.B: 2-12-86 | Stats (AAA): .258/.333/.448 | 480 AB | 53 XBH | 17 Hr | .190 ISO | 14/4 SB/CS | 127:45 K:BB | .317 BABIP
The average was a killer along with spotty plate discipline. However, Frazier’s ability to play multiple positions and hit with some moderate power makes him intriguing. Here is what I said about him in the 2009 review, “Meaning he isn’t above-average at any position. He has a strong arm and soft hands which would translate well to left field and third base. Owning above-average raw power, Frazier could provide average defense at either left or third with 20 to 25 homers a season with a good average (.275 to .300 range). Think Melvin Mora.” Not bad, especially since the Reds want to place him at third long term. I envision a poorman’s Ben Zobrist. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him break camp with the Reds if he can beat out Juan Francisco.

#5 Juan Francisco | 3B | D.o.B: 6-24-87 | Stats (AAA): .286/.325/.565 | 308 AB | 46 XBH | 18 Hr | .279 ISO | 1/0 SB/CS | 81:16 K:BB | .332 BABIP
The winner of the Spring Training battle between Frazier and Francisco have similar fantasy possibilities with Francisco being the better power option. Here is what I said in the 2009 review, “Francisco is projected as the future third basmen, Frazier may be relegated to the outfield. Granted, he may out grow third and need to be traded or switch positions. Playing in the Reds bandbox, Francisco could put up some surprising rookie numbers.” He has long arms and a swing that generates a lot of power; defense on the other hand, well, that isn’t so hot. Francisco has the leg up on Frazier as he had 59 plate appearances in 36 games for the Reds in which he slashed .273/.322/.382. Personally, I like Francisco for fantasy purposes over Frazier due to the power, but Frazier has more real-life value.

#10 Zack Cozart | SS | D.o.B: 8-12-85 | Stats (AAA): .255/.310/.416 | 553 AB | 51 XBH | 17 Hr | .161 ISO | 30/4 SB/CS | 107:40 K:BB | .286 BABIP
Good defense, improving power, an average control of the strike zone and an average runner. All of this leads to a potential 10 to 15 home run shortstop with 15 steals and a low average. Sounds like a cheap version of a poor man’s Ben Zobrist, or I guess a lesser Todd Frazier, without the hype and slightly younger.

#30 Devin Mesoraco | C | D.o.B: 6-19-88 | Stats (A+/AA/AAA): .302/.377/.587 | 397 AB | 56 XBH | 26 Hr | .285 ISO | 3/3 SB/CS | 80:43 K:BB | BABIP (see below)
A+: .358; AA: 300; AAA: .257 BABIP
See Scouting the Unknown for complete analysis.

Pitchers
Ben Jukick | LHP | D.o.B; 10-17-82 | Stats (AAA): 8.0 K/9 | 3.6 BB/9 | 115 1/3 IP | 3.90 ERA | 3.51 FIP | 1.34 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 8.4 H/9 | .308 BABIP
Jukick is more of a 5th starter for a bottom dweller team who can eat innings. His 2010 season was great by his standards. Here is what I said in the 2009 review, “(H)is great career ground ball ratios (53.6%) he’ll perform better than expected. He is rather old and his prospect status is non-existent. His fantasy prospects aren’t much different, but each year a ground ball pitcher can come up and surprise (Matt Palmer had a few good outings [in 2009], Scott Feldman had a great year relying on a sinking 2-seam fastball, etc).” Sounds about right for the 2011 season too.

Matt Klinker | RHP | D.o.B: 10-8-84 | Stats (AA/AAA): 7.6 K/9 | 2.5 BB/9 | 163 2/3 IP | 3.79 ERA | FIP (see below) | 1.24 WHIP | 1.0 Hr/9 | 8.7 H/9 | BABIP (see below)
He had a fairly decent year with some of the ratios; he wasn’t overly lucky (.289 BABIP at Double-A and .328 BABIP at Triple-A) and his FIP (3.42 FIP; 2.75 ERA at Double-A) wasn’t drastically indicative of substantially overproducing, nevertheless pitching slightly over his head. However, it doesn’t help that Triple-A rocked his world. John Sickels states that he has “(A)verage fastball velocity … potentially a 5th starter or a middle reliever.” I’m taking the average fastball velocity to be 89 to 92 MPH. He also throws a curveball, a splitter and a changeup. I see no reason to be full of hope for Klinker.

Sam LeCure | RHP | D.o.B: 5-4-84 | Stats (AAA): 8.0 K/9 | 2.1 BB/9 | 98 IP | 3.67 ERA | 3.37 FIP | 1.24 WHIP | .7 Hr/9 | 9.0 H/9 | .309 BABIP
Most of you can make your own call on LeCure as he threw 48 uninspiring innings for the Reds at the major league level with a 4.50 ERA and 5.04 FIP along with 7.0 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 in six (6) starts and nine (9) relief appearances. If you’re looking for LeCure to help you win in 2011, you have more issues than pitching depth.

Honorable Mentions
Hitters
Henry Rodriguez | 2B/SS | D.o.B: 12-9-90 | Stats (A): .307/.337/.473 | 54 XBH | 14 Hr | .165 ISO | 33/13 SB/CS | 74:22 K:BB | .333 BABIP
Rodriguez has good speed, good contact skills, and gap power. His defense is stellar at second and above-average at short and is capable of playing third. Sounds like Chone Figgins with some power. Can’t turn that down for a cheap price in 2012. He did receive 24 at-bats at High-A where he hit six (6) singles to go along with four strikeouts

Pitchers
#9 Bradley Boxberger | RHP | D.o.B: 5-27-88 | Stats (A+/AA): 10.8 K/9 | 4.1 BB/9 | 91 2/3 IP | 4.91 ERA | FIP (see below) | 1.46 WHIP | .7 Hr/9 | 9.0 H/9 | BABIP (see below)
Boxberger throws 91 to 93 MPH fastball as a starter and can raise that to sit between 94 and 96 MPH along with a slightly above-average slider, a curveball and a developing changeup. The Reds aren’t sure if they want him as a starter or a reliever and I believe they pitched him as a reliever at the end of the 2010 season to save his arm. However, his arm didn’t save his overall stat-line from a disaster in Double-A. Take a look for yourself:

  • A+: as a starter: 10.2 K/9 | 2.9 BB/9 | 62 IP | 3.19 ERA | 2.78 FIP| 1.24 WHIP | .4 Hr/9 | 8.3 H/9 | ,336 BABIP
  • AA: as a reliever: 12.1 K/9 | 6.7 BB/9 | 29 2/3 IP | 8.49 ERA | 4.78 FIP | 1.92 WHIP | 1.2 Hr/9 | 10.6 H/9 | .415 BABIP

Those Double-A numbers were atrocious. I still wouldn’t hold my breathe on seeing Boxberger in the majors until the 2012 season, or a 2011 September call-up. If I were to look at his potential, something along the lines of a 4th fantasy starter with 7.5 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a middling WHIP and ERA.

Matt Fairel | LHP | D.o.B: 7-8-87 | Stats (A+/AA): 6.1 K/9 | 2.8 BB/9 | 117 1/3 IP | 3.53 ERA | FIP (see below) | 1.13 WHIP | 1.2 Hr/9 | 7.3 H/9 | BABIP (see below)
Stats split pretty evenly, better K’s and slightly worse BB’s at AA, 10 starts at both A+ and AA with FIPs of .3.64 (A+); 5.33 (AA) and BABIPs of .246 (A+); .238 (AA). I want to say he could have Travis Wood like upside in 2011. However, his strikeouts aren’t the same and he gives up too many gopher balls for me endorse him.

From Around The Web

  1. Dr. Seuss says:
    (link)

    Do you think Dotel, Rauch or Hoffman will close next year?

  2. Stephen says:
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    @Dr. Seuss: I’d say, no, no, and yes. But ask Grey, he’s more knowledgeable in that regard.

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