Pitcher of the Year

Jordan Hotchkiss gets the nod from me on this one. As a guy who split his time between the rotation and the bullpen, Hotchkiss posted a 2.43 ERA between Lynchburg and Carolina in 129.2 innings with a 1.06 WHIP, 37 walks and 101 strikeouts. Hotchkiss was also named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year for his efforts with the Hillcats.

Honorable Mention: Donnie Joseph

Position Player of the Year (Full Season)

Devin Mesoraco put together a season for the ages between Lynchburg, Carolina and Louisville where he hit .302/.377/.587 with 25 doubles, 5 triples and 26 home runs in 451 plate appearances. Behind the plate he also threw out 41% of attempted base stealers as well.

Honorable Mention: Dave Sappelt

Position Player of the Year (Short Season)

Ronald Torreyes was an easy pick here, despite the fact that he began the year playing in the Venezuelan Summer League. While most of the season came in the VSL, Torreyes also got 114 plate appearances in the US between the AZL Reds and the Dayton Dragons. Combined between the three stops the 17 year old hit .370/.434/.564 with 46 extra base hits and 19 strikeouts in 399 plate appearances. Yes, you did read that correctly. Fourty-six extra base hits and nineteen strikeouts.

Honorable Mention: Billy Hamilton

Those are my picks. Are yours any different?

26 Responses

  1. Big Heat

    Hey Doug, I’m curious what made you choose Meso over Sappelt?

    Additional honorable mention for HRod at Dayton. Finished the year hitting over .300 – huge improvement

    I also like Torreyes as short season player of the year – 46 xtra base hits is insane at 17 yrs old. Dayton infield will be crowded in 2011

    • Doug Gray

      Mesoraco over Sappelt was simple. His season was simply better. He was the best hitter in the system this year and he plays the toughest position on the field when it comes to hitting. Sappelt had a great year, but he just happened to have it in a bad year for this award.

  2. Tony

    Doug,
    With Mesoraco playing so well this season, does the Reds first round pick, Yasmani Grandal take a hit as a prospect or will we be seeing a 1-2 punch at catcher in a couple of years?

    • Ryan D

      you can never have to many up the middle players, it will sort itself out.

    • Doug Gray

      In terms of prospect evaluations, you should never ding someone as a prospect because they are blocked. With that said, he certainly could find himself in a situation similar to Yonder Alonso right now if Mesoraco comes up and does well. Fortunately, unlike first base, catchers often split time, but if Mesoraco plays well, he won’t be in a situation like the Reds have now where our catchers amost split the time, but it will be like Mesoraco plays 5 days a week and the back up gets a start or two.

  3. Beard

    You really have a lot of young position players to be super excited about watching next season to see how they build on this year’s successful campaign. I think Doug mentioned a lot of them in his article: Mesoraco, YRod, Hamilton, Torreyes, and Sappelt.

    Looking at those it will be interesting to see how Doug’s top 10 prospects shake out, but you have to enjoy the possible future All-Star talent level coming up with Mesoraco, YRod, and Hamiltion. Visions of the Reds fielding this everyday team is making me almost excited as I am for this October:

    RF-Bruce
    CF-Stubbs
    LF-YRod
    3B-? (still Francisco or Frazier could win this spot and have appeal)
    SS-Hamilton/Cozart
    2B-Hamilton/Cozart
    1B-Votto
    C- Mesoraco

    depth from Heisey, Sappelt, Janish, Frazier, and Hannigan

    Obviously this is probably 3 years away with Hamilton and YRod being so young (I didn’t even include Torreyes on here because of that but maybe I should given he already had a cup of tea at A ball).

    • Alan Horn

      That lineup looks pretty good. Obviously, there will be some trades. We need both a power hitting LF who can play defense along with a closer(Chapman is a possible choice here) in the meantime. A good lead off hitter would be good also.

      • Alan Horn

        I might add that if Votto was both willing and successful in playing LF, that would solve that problem.

      • Beard

        Yeah that really solves a lot of problems. I sure hope that they can talk him into reconsidering and then you have a lineup next year that looks like this years’ but hopefully with Alonso at 1B and Cozart at SS.

  4. Kyel

    I don’t know that I would have picked Hotchkiss because of how old he was for the Carolina league. I would have gone with Donnie Joseph or maybe Matt Fairel.

    • wanderinredsfan

      Fairel spent half the season in Lynchburg and is only a year younger. I don’t think Hotchkiss’ age is that big of a deal.

      Of course, I think I would have gone with Joseph’s season. I usually don’t put much value on minor-league relievers’ stats, but Joseph’s K-rate is silly-good.

      Doug recently stated that he doesn’t think that there’s a chance Joseph makes the big-league squad next season, but I personally think there is a decent chance. If Joseph comes to spring training and blows big-league hitters away, I think he would open some eyes. Lefties will always get extra looks, and Walt and company don’t seem to mind going with the young-guns (e.g., Mike Leake and Jordan Smith).

    • sagevic

      I tend to dissagree with most evaluators on the age issue. I think that players tend to improve until they hit 27-28 years of age and then are at that peak until 32-33, (If they stay healthy).

      Most think that if a guy hasn’t developed by 22-23, he’s going to be too old to start his MLB seasoning. That is true in many cases, but it’s equally true that many 22 year olds will fail in the big Leagues despite superior athletic skills for a variety of reasons.

      Once a player’s arb clock starts, you really are only going to keep him on the active roster beyond five seasons if he is exceptional. If he is a great back-upplayer and wants to stay with the team, fine. But sign his as a vet FA, or to a minor league deal.

      So if the average tenure is going to be five years, why start his Major League tenure before age 26-27? Give him a rookie season to figure things out, and then get him going into his peak years. This is pretty much what they are doing with Stubbs and Heisey.

      If a guy is so incredibly talented he forces you to start him sooner, then fantastic. But Homer Baily wasn’t that guy. Neither were guys like Edwin Encarnacion or the newly-released-from-the-Cards Felipe Lopez. I love Jay Bruce, but I really, really wish this was his first full year in the majors, insead of a Super Two year for him. He’s going to be a free agent just as he hits his peak age.

      I hope all the young guys we have up here now (Leake, Wood, Cueto, Chapman, and the afore-mentioned Bailey and Bruce) all become seasoned, reliabe veterans by next year. That will be an amazing assortment of talent (Most of it mid-priced)to build on and improve the team further.But only one club in a league (if even that many) can pull that off.

  5. Krozley

    I just saw BA’s top 20 prospects from the AZL. Reds and Royals the only teams with 3 prospects in the top 12. Arias was #5, Guillon #9, and Correa #12. Is Arias really that good, one spot above Donovan Tate? That makes me a little excited.

    • wanderinredsfan

      Glad to see BA thinks similarly to my thoughts regarding Guillon and Correa. I think both are special players to keep an eye on going forward, with Guillon the better prospect of the two. Another lefty to be excited about.

  6. Broman

    This is kind of off topic Doug, but according to Wikipedia, the Bakersville Blaze could be moved to another city AND to another league. Do you think there is any chance of the Reds doing this and moving back into the Carolina League?

    • Doug Gray

      We can all hope. I have actually heard about it as an idea before, I believe someone tried it a few years ago but it fell through.

  7. Adam

    What is the chance that Hotchkiss reaches the bigs as a starter? If it’s low, how about keep bringing him along as a starter until he becomes attractive trade bait?

    • Doug Gray

      Given what we have right now between our rotation + Leake + Chapman, I don’t think anyone in the minors has a good chance of reaching the starters for the Reds any time soon.

      • Alan Horn

        You can never have enough pitching. They are too prone to injury and non production(Cordero). While we have an abundance today, tomorrow could be an entirely different story. They are always just one pitch away from a career ending/altering arm injury. They are just very volatile.

      • Doug Gray

        Well sure, but I don’t see any reason to think any of the guys should get hurt. I am sure someone will, because thus is how pitching goes, but projecting forward I can’t say with any kind of confidence that X pitcher will get hurt. So I don’t see anyone jumping up and taking the reins from anyone of those guys for a while.

      • Alan Horn

        If we play our cards right, we have some room for adversity with the starters (7 quality ones on board for next season. In addition, we have Maloney and Lecure who could start). If we include any of the surplus in trades, we could potentially come up short. I would stockpile the surplus in AAA for at least most of next season unless someone offers us a trade we can’t refuse.

  8. The Rage

    i wonder if Cueto isn’t having some shoulder pain. His motion has changed a little and it is disconcerting.

    • Nick

      You jump to some pretty irrational conclusions. Most people sould just not bother reading your posts.