Monday news, notes and winter league stats Doug Gray November 2, 2009 53 Comments With last weeks Top 40 prospect list going on there was a lot of news that went unposted, so today I am going to catch up with it all. Danny Dorn (pictured) had a 3 HR game last week in the Venezuelan League. John Fay is reporting that the Reds will have a new High A team in Lynchburg next season. Thats in the Carolina League. ProjectProspect.com had Todd Frazier as the #1 rated second baseman in the minor leagues. The Reds have released Tyler Stovall, Shea Snowden, Humberto Sosa, Keltavious Jones, Jason Louwsma, Justin Tordi, Petr Cech, Bryan Gardner, Chris Kelly and Sergio Guerrero. Tomorrow will be a YouScout article, just switching the schedule up some with last week throwing eveerything off balance. Here is the winter league updated stats for our guys playing in the Venezuelan, Dominican, Mexican or Arizona Fall Leagues. The Puerto Rican Winter League starts in just over a week. Player League AB 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS Yonder Alonso AFL 45 0 1 2 12 3 4 0 0 .244 .275 .422 .697 Wes Bankston LMP 48 3 0 1 7 4 14 0 0 .229 .291 .354 .645 Kevin Barker DWL 49 3 0 0 5 5 9 0 0 .367 .439 .429 .867 Luis Bolivar VWL 33 0 0 0 0 6 5 3 0 .242 .390 .242 .633 Zack Cozart AFL 48 5 0 2 10 5 8 3 0 .354 .407 .583 .991 Danny Dorn VWL 52 1 0 4 9 8 14 0 1 .250 .400 .500 .900 Lew Ford VWL 63 4 2 1 7 6 13 0 2 .317 .386 .492 .878 Juan Francisco DWL 42 2 0 2 9 6 15 0 0 .190 .292 .381 .673 Chris Heisey AFL 55 5 2 3 10 7 11 4 1 .364 .453 .691 1.144 Darnell McDonald LMP 74 6 0 6 20 8 10 3 0 .378 .429 .703 1.131 Miguel Rojas VWL 29 2 0 0 2 2 5 0 2 .310 .344 .379 .723 Adam Rosales LMP 80 4 1 2 12 12 9 3 1 .325 .419 .475 .894 Craig Tatum DWL 28 0 0 0 4 1 9 0 0 .179 .200 .179 .379 And here are the pitchers stats: Player League W L ERA IP H HR BB SO AVG Brad Boxberger AFL 1 1 7.00 9.0 9 2 2 10 .265 Oscar Castro LMP 0 0 0.00 1.0 2 0 1 0 .500 Enerio Del Rosario DWL 2 1 2.70 6.2 7 0 1 5 .269 Ben Jukich DWL 0 1 4.22 10.2 17 1 3 8 .378 Jeff Kennard DWL 0 1 2.08 4.1 4 1 0 5 .250 Mike Leake AFL 0 1 1.04 8.2 13 0 2 6 .342 Sam Lecure DWL 0 2 7.71 7.0 11 0 3 5 .344 Ruben Medina VWL 1 0 6.30 10.0 11 0 7 3 .268 Logan Ondrusek AFL 2 1 10.80 6.2 15 3 0 7 .417 Sean Watson AFL 0 1 11.57 7.0 16 2 4 7 .410 53 Responses stew November 2, 2009 Any surprises in the players that were released? Do Cozart’s numbers in the AFL mean anything in terms of how the reds view him for next year? Doug Gray November 2, 2009 I think Cozart is one of the guys who with a good AFL could actually benefit his plan for next year. With Janish being a bad bat at best Cozart could push for a job in April if he finishes strong and has a good spring training. KyWilson November 2, 2009 With as well as Cozart has hit this year and as good as he is said to be in the field i dont see how the Reds can deny him a spot over Janish. Janish is a back up with very good defense. If they leave Cozart down in AAA he will be even longer in picking up the nuances of being in the big(speed of the game, travel, advanced scouting, etc.) If he starts with the big club he will be much more adjusted and helpful to the team then if they bring him up in June and he starts learning then. wanderinredsfan November 3, 2009 I disagree whole-heartedly. Cozart needs to prove at least some success in AAA before being slotted as the big-league SS. You cannot simply discount the AAA experience. Bringing him up prematurely could do more long-term harm than good. It’s not a good thing to destroy a player’s confidence, especially if Cozart slumps out of the gate and starts ‘tinkering’ with his swing at the major-league level. The majors are not a good place for rookies to ‘work on things’ or ‘figure it out’. Janish is up because the Reds don’t have any other options and he had already played in a season’s worth of games in AAA. Unfortunately, the Reds don’t currently have the payroll flexibility to sign a viable alternative until they can shed a contract or two. I believe that Walt (and player-development staff) have determined that Janish will not likely improve much offensively from his AAA performance, therefore they are content with sacrificing his poor offense for superb defense until a better option (Cozart or FA) is ready/available. I think this is the most sound decision, for now. KyWilson November 3, 2009 He is going to see just as talented if not more talented pitching in AA then he will in AAA. It wouldnt hurt him to skip a level at all imo. If his approach is good, which it seems to be, it then hes fine. And the hitting coach at the MLB should be better then the ones in the minors so he would benifit more from them. I personally feel like Sutton is as good of an option at SS as Janish in a the short run. I dont see how Janish wasnt a highly regaurded SS prospect because he didnt project as a hitter, yet Escobar(Brewers) is in that same mold yet he is considered a top prospect. Im guessing its just that Escobar has the “potential” to become a good hitter. Jim H November 3, 2009 Sutton is not close to the option Janish is. Janish is not much of a hitter although his doubles rate was strong, doesn’t mean much when the rest of it is weak. But his glove is special and Cozart has a lot of room to grow and the minors is where you grow, not the majors. Let Janish hold the spot warm. We were awfully good with him in the lineup. Alan Horn November 3, 2009 I agree. I’m willing to go with Janish for at least most of next season. We can see how Cozart progresses, plus by July we can better decide which of our surplus pieces to trade. July is the time to decide if we need to trade for a SS. If we trade for a SS, it is likely going to adversely affect our budget(which isn’t good for the Reds). KyWilson November 3, 2009 If they traded for a SS before they gave Cozart a chance that would be very stupid. Unless he was part of the trade then he would be blocked and be in AAA. But with the trade for Rolen you just never know with the Reds. Alan Horn November 3, 2009 I agree. Cozart deserves a chance. We should have a better picture of things by around July. If Cozart can do the job, it certainly fits our budget plus we will have him fairly cheap for a good while. No need to spend large sums of money foolishly(as with Rolen). In Rolen’s case, not only is it the money, but also what we gave up. wanderinredsfan November 3, 2009 “He is going to see just as talented if not more talented pitching in AA then he will in AAA.” …uhh, I don’t think so. You’ll need to back up that statement, because I don’t agree. Right off the top of my head, I can think of many of this past season’s upper-echelon of pitching prospects that saw time in AAA: Hellickson, Price, Hansen, Tillman, Carrasco, Feliz, Arrieta, Rondon, Stewart,…. Do I need to go on? Yes, there are a few pitchers that get rushed and succeed, like Porcello, but there are a lot more ‘stinkers’ that a batter faces in AA than they will in AAA. As for Sutton being better than Janish, I just have to ask: Did you watch both of them during their infield defense this past summer? Night and day. Sutton will have to hit a whole lot better than he did last season to make up the difference between the two. Doug Gray November 3, 2009 He will see better fastballs in AA, and better ‘raw stuff’ in AA, but most certainly not better pitchers. This year we saw a lot more ‘stud’ pitchers in AAA than I can ever rermember, at least that stayed there for more than a month or two. KyWilson November 3, 2009 I never said Sutton was as good of a defender, but he is a better hitter and he can field the position.Trust me i really enjoyed watching Janish field, but his bat was aweful and the Reds need as much O as they can get. And im sure if i wanted to take the time to look it up i could back it up. I didnt say better pitching, i said as talented or more talented, and thats a true statement most years. The fact that that many pitchers reached AAA(not all on your limited list started there meaning they were in what, AA) is pretty impressive this year. But Hansen and Price both spent plenty of time with their big club this year. But off the top of my head Leake, Scheppers, Lincoln, Drabek, Robbie Ross, Christian Freidrich. As for learning in AAA, what will he learn in AAA if hes there for 2 months? If they plan to just call him up in june its stupid if he performs in ST not to have in from day one. Doug Gray November 3, 2009 The Reds need a lot of Offense, but Janish has defense that at shortstop is more than enough to make up the difference between the bats of the two players. Bogey November 3, 2009 I have a feeling that Janish is somewhere working on his hitting and getting stronger. He should see this as his golden opportunity and I would expect that he will put forth the effort to make himself a better hitter. I think will hit enough to make it very difficult for someone else to win the job. He hit 21 doubles and had a low whiff rate, unlike Sutton. Sutton is utility at best. KyWilson November 3, 2009 Do you think he wasnt putting in extra work his entire career as a hitter? If he wasnt he wouldnt have hit .220. He just not a good hitter, not every one can be. Alan Horn November 3, 2009 I too think we could get by with Janish(at least for the short term) if the rest of the position players can stay off the DL and produce close to their potential. Just having Bruce and Votto producing full time will be a big help. Plus Stubbs and whoever plays LF should be an additional boost to the offense. If anyone fails, there should be potential help available at AAA. Barring injury, the pitching should be ok. Rolen’s addition is a help(although at a high cost for the return) both for the offense and defense. Janish/Cozart along with Stubbs and Phillips makes us strong defensively up the middle. Again, the key is to keep everyone off the DL. Doug Gray November 3, 2009 Escobar has always been a better hitter at the minor league level, has plus speed and is touted to have an outstanding glove as well. Escobar doesn’t have much power and likely won’t top 10 HR in a season, but he does have the skillset to hit .300 because of his approach and speed. I think Escobar could be a guy who could hit .300/.350/.415 with 40 steals and well above average defense for 10+ years. That is a pretty valuable player. Doug Gray November 3, 2009 While I think Cozart could use some time in AAA and that he will get some of it early in the year, I think that given the Reds situation at shortstop they owe it to themsevles to look at Cozart. Jim H November 3, 2009 I don’t disagree that he deserves the look, but I am content with Janish getting a whole season based on his D. It is often said if he can just hit .250, he can be OK while providing plus-plus defense. If Cozart beats him out in the spring that’s great, but it’s better to plan on the known and let someone surprise you. KyWilson November 3, 2009 That pathetic when you have to say “if he can hit .250” because hes going to struggle to hit that well and Dustbags will slot him in the 2 hole every day because thats where his SS hits. I would be estatic with a .260avg .330obp from him, but i dont ever see that being a sustainable thing for him. Doug Gray November 3, 2009 Janish can’t hit .250 though and we know that. Is it better to go with the known when its not good? KyWilson November 4, 2009 I personally wouldnt. Cozart is a plus defender as well, so he cant be any worse then Janish, but his bat has way more potential. Kyle November 2, 2009 Why did Shea Snowden get released? He pitched well in Billings then made it to Dayton at a young age. On top of that he’s a lefty with room to add weight. It’s not like he is a 23 year old putting up mediocre numbers in Billings. Doug Gray November 2, 2009 Snowden has below average stuff and well, in the past he has had some off the field issues. Not sure if they arose again, but if they did then that could be a reason for the release. wanderinredsfan November 2, 2009 Makes sense then. He was quite a soft-tosser. We have enough of those to go around. wanderinredsfan November 2, 2009 Yeah, I’m very surprised by Snowden’s realease, and a little surprised by the release of Sosa and Cech. Surprised by Cech, because he’s a catcher. Surprised by Sosa, because the system is a little thin on first baseman. Although Sosa’s a little old for prospect status, he sure knocked the cover off the ball in Billings before moving up to mediocre success in Dayton. Not overly concerned by any of the moves, with the exception of Snowden, however. Of course, Snowden’s personality might have more to do with his release than his performance. You never know. Rich D November 3, 2009 I believe that at least 4(Humberto Sosa, Keltavious Jones, Jason Louwsma, Justin Tordi) of the 10 released prospects were Rule 5 minor league phase eligible. Mike November 2, 2009 The more I think of it, the more I feel like having Dorn on the Red’s bench next year would be a good idea. You have a back up for Votto at first and someone who can fill in in the outfield when a tough they face a tough righty and want to give Stubbs a break (moving Dickerson to center). Not to mention the Reds don’t have a left handed power bat on the bench at the moment and he would be very cheap. He’s gotta be better than Nix was. I’m also loving the way Heisey and Cozart are hitting the cover off the ball right now. Hope it continues once they get to AZ for the spring. KyWilson November 3, 2009 I hope they protect Dorn and at least give him a shot. His power off the bench in GABP could make him a Matt Stairs type pinch hitter. Doug Gray November 3, 2009 Of course unlike Matt Stairs, Dorn can actually not kill you defensively and could start from time to time. KyWilson November 3, 2009 And start at multiple positions. Hes the clearly the best and cheapest left hand power bat the Reds have for their bench. Chi Redsfan November 2, 2009 out of curiousity what is the source of those transactions? minor transactions are always hard to find, thx. Doug Gray November 3, 2009 Some are out of the DDN, some are from a source. Baseball America has a transactions page that will likely have them all soon enough. Rich D November 2, 2009 Doug, I’m asking something kindof off topic here. Does Free Agency start at the end of the last game of the World Series or after the winter meetings? Doug Gray November 3, 2009 I don’t know the exact date, but it starts sometime between the two. I know its before the winter meetings come around. WanderingBear November 3, 2009 What are these off-the-field issues concerning Snowden? I don’t think I ever heard about that. Seems strange that we released a 21-year old lefty with room to grow still. Doug Gray November 3, 2009 He was suspended 50 games in 2008 for PEDs. icehole3 November 3, 2009 Is the light clicking on for Cisco, what about the 6 walks guys, is that better? Doug Gray November 3, 2009 I think he gets it a little more now than he used to, but his 6 walks isn’t overly impressive as half are of the intentional variety. broadwaydave November 3, 2009 why isn’t valaika playing winter ball somewhere? i would think that after missing all that time with the injury and having such a poor season he would want to try to catch up. Yeah November 3, 2009 I’d expand that to include Soto as well. pw November 3, 2009 I guess this qualifies as Tuesday’s news. The AFL’s Rising Stars Showcase game will be on Saturday, and “The Cincinnati Reds lead all organizations with four players on the West Division roster: Leake, Yonder Alonso, Zack Cozart and Chris Heisey. Several other organizations boast three players in the game.” Joe November 3, 2009 I find it interesting that projectprospect.com has Todd Frazier rated the best 2nd baseman prospect and I hear very little chatter form the Reds’ camp about his prospects to be in the bigs in 2010. Has anyone seen his defense? Assuming the it is not a severe liability, how can the Reds not be considering Frazier in 2010? Notwithstanding a trade (and I am in favor of considering a trade of our prospect depth for a major league ready shortstop), the question should be, considering both offense and defense, who makes the largest contribution to the Reds in 2010, Frazier or Janish (and possibly Cozart and Valaika). Instead, Dusty has taken a position that there is no way he would considering shifting Brandon Phillips to SS. A line-up with Frazier is more potent than Janish, so will Walt push the issue or we have to endure a full season of a low .200 hitter batting in the number 2 hole? Doug Gray November 3, 2009 Frazier is pretty rough at 2B defensively still, or at least he was at the end of the season with Louisville. The Reds aren’t moving Brandon Phillips to shortstop. Joe November 3, 2009 Then I don’t get it!!! Why the effort to make Frazier a 2nd baseman if they are not considering moving Brandon to SS??? Hopefully they will find out by the end of 2010 whether Frazier or Juan Francisco can hit/field at the major league level. It is hard to see how we can afford Scott Rolen after next year. I will be extremely frustrated if the 2010 opening day line-up includes Janish and Traveras and not Frazier and Heisey. My opening day line-up: Stubbs, Phillips(SS), Votto, Rolen, Bruce, Heisey, Frazier and Hannigan It has more upside than the probable line-up or Stubbs, Dickerson/Traveras, Votto, Phillips, Rolen, Bruce, Hannigan, Janish. coltholt November 3, 2009 That is just not even a fair statement. I am with Dusty on not moving Phillips to SS. Looking at it this way, they would take a very drastic hit defensively if they fielded Phillips (SS) and Frazier over Janish and Phillips (2B). You would be going from 2 above average gloves to a guy who could be average at short with work (although there will certainly be a struggle early) and a below average glove at 2nd. I understand the need for offense, but in the immediate run there is no guarantee that Frazier would be that much better than Janish at the plate anyways. I am not saying that Janish is a better hitter, but Frazier has hardly seen a month of AAA, let alone a major league pitch. Look at some of the guys last year alone, like Jordan Shaeffer in Atlanta who was miserable at the plate after a hot april, or guys like Alex Gordon and Jeff Francouer who were good hitters that for years never got it together at the major league level. Doug Gray November 3, 2009 Phillips won’t be at shortstop. Its simply not going to happen. He hasn’t played there in 7 years. The team has said its not going to happen. As for Frazier and 2B, my guess is that there is a chance that the Reds don’t see BP in the future of the team because of perhaps his pending free agency in 2 years and they are trying to have all available options open. mdccclxix November 3, 2009 Doug, do you think Phillips and Heisey would fetch Kemp? I’m thinking no, perhaps you’d have to add a SP. It would provide salary relief… coltholt November 3, 2009 Kemp is certainly a valuable player, but this doesn’t really add that much to this team. You are downgrading (at least for this season) both offensively and defensively at 2B…assuming you are putting Frazier at Second, and you are improving the outfield, but that isn’t one of the biggest needs. If nothing changes, the reds can be competitive with the pieces they have in the OF. With Gomes, Stubbs, and Bruce…we have one of the better outfields that we have had. We still have holes at SS and C, and now by removing phillips, you have weaknesses at 2b, SS, and C…so I don’t think that this is the right move. Doug Gray November 3, 2009 Matt Kemp is much better than Brandon Phillips. Kemp is younger and was worth 5.1 wins last year compared to 3.2 wins for Phillips. That 1.9 difference was the difference between Phillips and Drew Stubbs or Jay Bruce last year. We are talking about a very significant upgrade. I don’t think the Dodgers would do that deal. Still, if I can play Kemp/Stubbs/Bruce in the outfield I will take a downgrade at 2B as long as its to a guy like Frazier and not a guy like Rosales/Sutton. Not just that, Phillips makes 30 million over the next three seasons. Kemp won’t come close to that. mdccclxix November 3, 2009 If the SP is Wood, does the deal get done? This is ignoring they could sign O Hudson again… Doug Gray November 3, 2009 Probably not. Wood doesn’t fit the profile the Dodgers like in pitchers (big and throw hard). Sulta of Swaff November 4, 2009 I think you guys are onto something here. Trading Phillips (who is at max value right now after spending an entire season in the #4 hole piling up numbers he wouldn’t normally get) is one of the few options we have if payroll flexibility is a need. I’d gladly slot Frazier into 2b if it meant upgrading LF while saving money long term. There may be more to this than just hot stove chatter. The Dodgers would be a perfect fit.