Monday news, notes and a major announcement

The Hardball Times is taking a look at the best arms in minor league baseball by position. Denis Phipps (pictured above) had far and away the best right field arm in minor league baseball last season. Phipps came in at +8, while the second place finisher was at +5. Phipps is a very good athlete with good tools. If his bat can come around a little bit, he could turn into a very good prospect.

Mark Sheldon has an article up about Juan Francisco and his future. The article centers around whether Francisco can be an answer for left field. I think it will be a while before we see that happen. Francisco has maybe 20 total games in left field in his life. Todd Frazier is slated as the Bats left fielder to begin 2010 and Francisco at 3B according to Terry Reynolds. Francisco needs to jump over a lot of players in order to become a left fielder for the Reds. Wladimir Balentien, Chris Dickerson, Chris Heisey and Todd Frazier all have to be ahead of him on the left field depth chart currently if for nothing else, they know how to play the position defensively.

Jamie Ramsey is finishing up the Player Development portion of the Reds Media Guide and one guy’s accomplishments jumped out at him. Mark Serrano, who I had an interview with last week (read here), left Ramsey so impressed he decided to write about him on his blog. He quotes Terry Reynolds who had this to say about Serrano:

“Mark has a very good arm, good demeanor on the mound and a good feel to pitch. He has a chance to be a quick mover in our system.”

He also talked with Tom Nichols who is the voice of the Dayton Dragons. Tom had more to say, but this is something worth repeating:

“He has an outstanding slider that he goes to when he gets ahead in the count and it is a great strikeout pitch.  But above everything, when you watch Serrano, the thing that stands out the most is his tremendous poise and quiet confidence.”

2010 Minor League Season News

So I have decided to start planning out a week long Reds minor league road trip for the 2010 season. The plan is to take in 3 games in Lynchburg and then drive to Zebulon and take in 3 games in  Carolina before heading home. One week and about 1500 miles worth of driving to see about six baseball games. Including the rental car, my trip looks like its going to cost about $800, which is $100 more than my travel budget was last season. Of course there is more to my plan than to just watch the games. Part of this plan is to up the ante and at the end of the season I plan on producing a Reds Prospect Guide. Inside the guide will be scouting reports, stats, seasonal breakdowns and spray charts for all hitters. Part of the scouting reports will include quotes from scouts, times from home to first base, pop times for catchers and for pitchers it will have velocities for each pitch and mechanical breakdown’s for guys I was able to see throughout the season. I will also be expanding from the Top 40 to at least a Top 75, but perhaps a Top 100. Also included will be video of what I am hoping is at least80% of the players in the guide. I will be armed with a digital video camera as well as my digital camera that takes high quality video. With that said, if anyone would like to help contribute to it, I will gladly accept some help if you are going to see any of the teams this season (especially Billings/Arizona as I won’t be making it out there this season unless I come into a lot of money).

John Sickels Farm System Rankings

John Sickels has now finished all thirty teams rankings. Working off of the data found by Victor Wang and later turned into a dollar amount (surplus value) by the guys at Beyond The Box Score, I gave value to each and every team per their grades by John Sickels. The one problem was that C level prospects were not counted because John can’t list every player that is a C prospect, so only C+ or higher grades were counted. Here are the results:

About Doug Gray

Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2004 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, contact him via email here or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.