Devin Mesoraco came into the 2011 season fresh off of a huge breakout year for him in which he hit .302/.377/.587 across three levels. The 2011 season would be a big one, ending with him catching games in Cincinnati for the Reds.

April was pretty much a pick up from where Mesoraco had left off the season before as he would go out and hit .313/.405/.552 with 10 walks and 18 strikeouts on the month. In just 67 at bats on the month, Mesoraco had 7 doubles which would be a sign of things to come to go along with 3 home runs.

In May there was a slight step backwards, though it really only came in the power department. Mesoraco had 10 walks and 15 strikeouts in 93 at bats while hitting 8 doubles and 2 home runs. For the month the catcher would post a .301/.375/.452 line. On May 9th, he may have had the worst game of his career as he went 0-8 with 2 strikeouts in an game against Rochester. 8 days later he would have a 5 hit game with a double, 2 runs and an RBI.

June continued the strong seasonĀ  as he would hit for a .317/.391/.554 line in 101 at bats. Over the month he would strike out 20 times and walk 12 times to go along with 13 doubles, a triple and 3 home runs. On June 3rd Mesoraco had arguably his best game of the season with a 3-3 effort to go with a walk, 2 doubles, HR and 5 RBI.

The month of July was a bit of a step backwards for Mesoraco. In 94 at bats he walked just 6 times and had 22 strikeouts. The 6 walks on the month were a season low for a month, by a wide margin. His power also dropped off with 5 doubles, a triple and 2 home runs as he hit just .277/.324/.415 for the month.

August was a bit of a strange month for him as he hit just .235, but had 14 walks and just 8 strikeouts in 81 at bats along with a season monthly high of 5 home runs. He would post a .235/.364/.457 line for the month. His best game of the season did come during the month though as he went 4-4 with 2 home runs, a double and 5 RBI on August 23rd.

Mesoraco received a September call up from the Reds after posting a .289/.371/.484 line for Louisville. He made his debut on September 3rd as a pinch hitter and smacked a double in his lone appearance on the night. He would struggle during the month in the Majors, perhaps due to being worn down or perhaps it was due to his .184 BABIP during the month. For the month, stretching 53 plate appearances he would hit just .180/.226/.360 with 3 walks and 10 strikeouts.

Overall Thoughts

If anyone had any doubts on Mesoraco’s breakout coming into the season, their concerns were clearly put to bed and quickly. Heading into the 2012 season he should find himself getting the bigger platoon of the catching split in Cincinnati as he splits some time with Ryan Hanigan. He has the potential to be an All-Star level catcher who can both hit and play defense. I wouldn’t expect that this upcoming season, but it wouldn’t be out of the question either if he can make adjustments throughout the season.


2011 LOU 499 436 60 126 36 2 15 71 52 83 .289 .371 .484 .855
2011 CIN 53 50 5 9 3 0 2 6 3 10 .180 .226 .360 .586

27 Responses

  1. Foxred

    There is a lot riding on the performance of the two rookies in the lineup. Mes will need to show a competent bat quickly, if not as a run producer, at least as an OBP guy. The power will come eventually if not right away at home.

    On another subject, Doug, still seems odd to have the payroll decrease over last year’s. What can we take from this? Ticket sales not off to a good start? Lost more than we thought last year? Just seems odd in a year they are all in. Madsen’s deal deferred a lot to after the season. Count all of the 8.5mill and they still are significantly under last year’s payroll. Do you think they budgeted for another move not yet made or budgeted for some July acquisitions or just budgeted less?

    • Doug Gray

      Maybe they overspent last year thinking they would sell more tickets. Or maybe you are onto something and budgeting for a July deal if needed.

      • Stock

        Everything I read last summer was that they underestimated the attendance bump and under spent. I think they were anticipating signing Cespedes this winter and were (are) setting money aside for this signing. When they saw him struggling in winter ball they realized they needed a plan B and signed Ludwick. I wouldn’t mind signing Soler and Cespedes.

      • Doug Gray

        I don’t know that Cespedes is in the plans. They haven’t even been mentioned on him anywhere that I have seen.

      • Stock

        You heard nothing about Latos until it happened. You heard nothing about Marshall until it happened. Per the Reds had not even had discussions with Madson until it happened. A few years back but we weren’t in on Chapman until it happened. More often than not this seems to be Jocketty’s means of operation.

      • Doug Gray

        Difference is, those guys got scouted by our advanced scouts. Those guys have MLB stats to look at and say “we know what kind of player he is”. Cespedes doesn’t have that at all. If we were interested in him, our scouts and GM would have gone to see him. If that happened, someone, somewhere would have reported that. Or that is my take at least.

      • Patrick

        It was about $80 million last year, and its around $77 million to $80 million this year depending on how deferments are budgeted.

      • Alan Horn

        Isn’t Arroyo getting some of his pay deferred? I was thinking he was getting around 12 million this year with some of the money deferred. This should be posted to your response below.

  2. Ry13

    I’m not quite sure why you think their payroll is under budget right now. Cot’s has there budget at $78 mil after Masset and Arredondo it will be $81 then you have aprox. 12 at the league minimum and that puts you at $86 plus the last two signed to minor league contracts is another 1.6. That’s 7-8 more than last year.

    • Foxbud

      See Fay’s Blog on this. It does not agree with your assumptions. I have it more with how Fay explained it. I think it was Monday’s entry.

      • Patrick

        Fay doesnt account for bonuses. He basically just copy and pasted the numbers. Votto makes 11.5 this year not 9.5, Madson is making 2 during the season, another couple due at the end of the year, and another couple at the end of next year. Rolen is making 8.1 because he gets a 1.6 million bonus as well.

      • Alan Horn

        Am I correct in that we are paying close to $20 per year total to Rolen and Arroyo?

      • fromcubawithluv

        that is making determining how much the reds are actually spending nearly impossible.

  3. The Duke

    I take a little heart in that Mesoraco’s BABIP was that extraordinarily low last year. Small sample size or not, .180 can make you nervous.

    • Doug Gray

      We are talking less than 40 balls in play here. Two additional hits instead of outs makes it go up 52 points.

    • Alan Horn

      It’s a gamble with Mesoraco, Cozart, Francisco, Heisey and Frazier. All
      won’t start however. They have all earned a chance to see what they can do(much like Janish got last season). At some point, we have to be able to promote and use our young talent to be successful. We are a small market team and that has to happen. Using that talent can also cover using them in trades to acquire a piece we don’t have. I have a gut feeling they all can be successful at the ML level, but I will feel a whole lot better when they actually do it over a reasonable period of time. Every team faces that unknown with every young prospect when they first come up. It’s a fine line with sticking with a prospect and letting them develop or moving them out. The successful teams make the right call on these prospects.

  4. MK

    I like the Harris signing as long as he spends most of the year in AAA. He adds much needed outfield depth to the upper minors and could be a good fill-in for an injury as well as a role player in September. That is what Championship teams do.

    On Devin, it is so hard to find consistency, month to month in a catchers offensive stats due to circumstances that don’t play into other positions. The wear and tear of foul tips off the hands,thighs, etc., the realities of performance to weather conditions, especially heat. I think looking at the season as a whole is a better gage.

    Tomorrow begins the Reds Minor League Pre-ST Mini Camp in Goodyear for top prospects. Baseball will be back.

    • Alan Horn

      On Mesoraco, I think a slow start, gradually increasing their game is the norm with young prospects. It could well carry over into next season. I don’t think we should expect too much, too soon. Let him gradually develop. If he comes on strong right away, then that is just icing on the cake.

    • Patrick in Cortland NY

      Pitchers and catchers report in 25 days Feb 18

    • Alan Horn

      I like the Madson acquisition better even though it costs us a lot more money. I don’t think Cordero could ugly through another year as the Red’s closer(at least I don’t want to find out).

    • Doug Gray

      I wouldn’t pay Cordero any more than $3M. Anything more than that and its a drastic overpay.

  5. Randy in Chatt

    Where will that put our draft pick we gain from the Jays signing Cordero in the draft order?

    • The Duke

      55 or 56 I think. BA will have it updated sometime in the next week. Ramon is 49 is I remember correctly, and the our 2nd rd pick is somewhere around 76-80. 4 picks in the top 80, this is an important draft for the Reds.