With the draft over and it being nearly midseason, I thought it would be the perfect time to bring out an updated Top 10 Prospect list with the new draft picks added.

1. Daniel Corcino – RHP – AA Pensacola

Corcino was the highest rated prospect coming into the season who is still prospect eligible and he has not done anything to change that. He is a 21 year old in AA with a 3.77 ERA and while he had a bit of a slow start in the strikeout department, he has made the adjustment and has 37 strikeouts and 13 walks in his last 31 innings (6 starts). He has two above-average pitches right now and a solid third pitch that he can throw for strikes.

2. Billy Hamilton – SS – A+ Bakersfield

Hamilton has had the best season of anyone in the Reds system from the position players. He is hitting .320/.405/.445 with 71 steals, 34 walks and 47 strikeouts. On top of that, he has also improved his error rate so far this season. He has some plus tools to his game and his numbers have been nothing short of outstanding this year.

3. Robert Stephenson - RHP – RK+ Billings

2011’s first round draft pick has yet to make his debut as the Reds held him back in extended spring training to work on learning a circle change and plan to send him to Billings when their season begins on June 20th. Armed with an above-average to plus fastball and an above-average breaking ball he has all of the tools to project as a top end starting pitcher.

4. Nick Travieso – RHP – Yet to be determined

While Travieso has yet to sign his contract, it is expected he will sign rather quickly. Much like Stephenson, Travieso has yet to make his debut, but also features an above-average to plus fastball and an above-average breaking ball. Like Stephenson he also needs to work on his change up, but has what you want to see from a guy who could project as a front end starting pitcher.

5. Tanner Rahier – SS – Yet to be determined

The Reds second round pick from the 2012 draft has already signed his contract and is getting ready to begin his season on June 20th, likely with the AZL Reds. While Rahier isn’t expected to stick at shortstop long term, he should be able to slide over to third base just fine if he outgrows the position. He has a whole lot of power potential and there is still a chance he can remain up the middle.

6. Didi Gregorius – SS – AA Pensacola

Gregorius has had a bit of an up and down season so far, hitting .333 in both April and so far in June, but slumped in May where he hit just .220. He has all of the defensive tools you want to see for a player to be considered strong up the middle. At the plate he is a high contact hitter who has some power potential but hasn’t quite figured out how to use it consistently in games yet.

7. Henry Rodriguez – 3B – AA Pensacola

While Rodriguez is currently on the disabled list with a broken thumb, he has had himself a really strong season with the time he has played. Before the injury the switch hitter was batting .348 and playing a solid third base. He has always been a strong hitter for average and moving to third base makes him an unconventional guy at the position, but I think he could be valuable there with a high average, solid on-base skills and solid defense.

8. Jesse Winker – OF – Yet to be determined

Winker, like Rahier, has already signed his contract and will begin his professional career on June 20th, likely with the AZL Reds. The supplemental first rounder projects as a corner outfield or perhaps a first baseman if he fills out enough and loses too much speed. Despite being limited to a corner position, his bat projects well. He is said to have a very advanced approach and good future power potential who can hit to all fields.

9. Kyle Lotzkar – RHP – AA Pensacola

Lotzkar has been through a whole lot since being drafted by the Reds back in 2007. There have been several injuries and a whole lot of missed time, rehabbing and even re-learning new mechanics. If he can manage to throw three innings in his next start he will set a new career high for innings in a season. Despite all of that, he is performing very well this season with a combined ERA of 2.53 between Bakersfield and Pensacola. Like Corcino he had an adjustment period in AA, but in his last three starts he has 23 strikeouts and just 3 walks over 18 innings. With two above-average pitches and a solid third one he could become a solid middle of the rotation pitcher in the future if he can stay healthy and continue to build up his innings.

10. Gabriel Rosa – 3B – Yet to be determined

The Reds 2nd rounder from 2011 is just 18 years old and has a professional season under his belt. He may return to the AZL or could head to Billings on June 20th. Rosa has some big power potential in his bat, but he does need to hone in his plate approach some if last year is an indication of where he is at in that regard. He was solid defensively at third base after being a shortstop in high school. He is a raw player, but he has some impressive tools to work with.

63 Responses

  1. RobL

    Glad to see you found your new Yorman with Rosa. I agree that he has a ton of potential, but not much to show for it. Give me Lutz or Vidal for sure. If Rosa hits this season, then he flies up.

    • Doug Gray

      Eh, I had Rosa ranked higher than those two guys last year and neither has really done much to show me they have jumped ahead of him at this point. Lutz has hit for a lot of power in a hitters league, but is struggling with his plate discipline. Vidal hit well in a hitters league, but has not shown the adjustment to AA yet. His upside isn’t the same as it is with Rosa.

      I have to admit, I fully expected the first questioning of my rankings to be about a certain left handed pitcher with dominant numbers not being on this list.

      • RobL

        I’m not really questioning your rankings, as I know your methodology of power is king. Or power potential.

        But I’d like to point out about Lutz plate discipline, he has the same K percentage as Bruce did at high A. And his walk rate. is 7% compared to 8%. I’m not comparing the two as prospects, but I don’t know if you had issues with Bruce at that level (in regards to walk rate), when Lutz is very similar. Also, I’m not going into anything like iso or slugging because Cal is much different then FSL.

      • Doug Gray

        Bruce was significantly younger at the same stage, so it certainly made it a bit more acceptable. Now, I will give that Lutz is probably just as baseball young at this point as Bruce was at 20. Of course, Bruce was also playing center field at the time, while Lutz is a poor left fielder at this point in time. Huge, huge difference.

        Some people will point out though that Bruce’s discipline in the minors is probably why he struggled early on in his career as a Major Leaguer.

      • RobL

        Fair enough. Thank you for pointing out that Lutz is relatively new to baseball, and that kind of counteracts the age difference. I must admit that I haven’t taken into account Lutz’s defensive prowess, or lack thereof.

      • Doug Gray

        The one thing I need to point out is that while Lutz is young in baseball terms, it doesn’t really counteract things. It just means he is going to be older and have less time to build up to his peak value (generally age 27-28) before he begins his decline period. So when a younger player gets there sooner, they are providing more value in their careers and that is really what I prospect based on, the value a player is going to provide in their career.

  2. The Duke

    ii won’t argue with your methodology. I have the real young guys (Rahier, Winker, Rosa) lower because I want to see something from them at the professional level first. I do keep them in mind as potential fast risers. The only exception I give to that is the first round picks given of everyone that was available with their first pick, that is the guy they wanted, and that thinking is helped along by Chris Buckley’s incredible track record of success with 1st rd picks.

  3. Rick in Va.

    Four out of the ten have never played an inning of professional ball, yet they are ranked above Cingrani, who has dominated in 3 levels? I get that these guys have good potential, but I would have thought a “mid season” top ten would heavily reflect performance in the first half of the season, and they haven’t performed anything at all.

    • Doug Gray

      My lists are typically based on a combination of potential and likelihood of reaching that potential. Cingrani has dominated 3 levels, but he has done so in a way that hasn’t really answered any questions that were on him when he was drafted and that was “can he start” and I still don’t know if he can. Performance honestly doesn’t go into rankings this high as much as it does later in the rankings where the ‘upside guys’ are generally gone. At this point on a list, I am at least, looking at what a guy will be in the future, rather than what he is now. If I were simply looking at how good of a player a guy is now, it would be full of guys in AA/AAA.

      • Rick in Va.

        OK, I get that (and even agree with it). But you include Stephenson, even though they have held him back in extended spring training to teach him a third pitch, one he has yet to even try throwing in competition. So, how can you say the questions about him are answered to a greater degree than about Cingrani, who has now dominated up to the AA level, consistently throwing enough innings to qualify for “quality starts” in the majors? I think we will just have to respectfully disagree on this one. I am, of course, hoping that Stephenson turns out to be everything you think he might be, but I think the “might” is still there for him more than for Cingrani.

      • Doug Gray

        Well, just about every pitcher coming out of high school needs to really work on their third pitch. In isn’t really comparable to a college guy still needing to make significant strides not only with one pitch, but with two. If Stephenson, in 3 years, is throwing 75% fastballs and not throwing a good secondary pitch a majority of the time he throws it, he probably will also find himself being questioned as a future starting pitcher.

    • Doug Gray

      As far as I know, he is in Arizona right now. John Fay tweeted the other day that Janish and Rodriguez were still a bit aways and that Janish was closer to returning.

  4. Billy

    How has Cingrani plowing through 3 levels of professional ball not answered any questions about his ability to start? Doug, I like your site, and usually agree with your opinions but that is absurd. One could argue that Joseph, Cingrani, Lutz, Vidal, Sulbaran, Soto, LaMarre, Wright, Mugarian, Cisco, etc. I could go on. If this list is based on “potential” where is Drew Cisco? Wes Mugarian? At some point you have to reward success and there is no excuse for leaving a guy who has a sub 1.25 ERA in the most hitter friendly league in the minors. THEN he made the “biggest” jump in the minors to AA and has a 1.42 ERA through 2 starts going 6 + IP in BOTH starts.

    • Doug Gray

      Because Cingrani is still out there throwing 80% fastballs and not showing much confidence in his offspeed stuff or much consistency with his offspeed stuff being that good. He will flash both the slider and change up being quality pitches, but more often than not they aren’t that good and he simply doesn’t throw them enough. He hasn’t shown me that he is a starter in the Major Leagues at this point. Until he does show me something, he is questionable. Sulbaran almost made the list. Cingrani probably would have been after him. Cisco doesn’t have the same kind of potential as these guys do, even if he is back to full strength.

      When Cingrani shows better secondary pitches and confidence in actually throwing them, he will absolutely vault up the rankings. But he hasn’t done that yet. Until he does, I simply don’t have faith that he can be a starter in the big leagues.

      • J-Man

        I agree on Cingrani. Check out minor league stats on a guy like Matt Maloney. Dominating AA doesnt mean jack when you’re 23. Thats what he’s suppose to do. He can get away with having only one above average pitch there, in the majors that won’t be the case. Therefore his ceiling is limited.

  5. Brad

    Can we get some chatter about candidated for #11-15???
    RHP Sulbaran
    LHP Cingrani
    OF LaMarre
    1B Soto
    LHP Joseph
    2B Wright
    3B Vidal
    OF Waldrop
    IN Buckley
    IN Greene

    Anyone else?

    • Doug Gray

      I stopped at 12 because no one else was really in the conversation for me at that point for the Top 10.

  6. bj

    This list is so far out in left field I stopped reading it. Really?????? kind of disappointed in this one

    • Doug Gray

      That is why they pay me the big bucks! Wait, they only pay me in gum.

      • The Duke

        Is it at least Big League Chew? That grape flavor is more addictive than crack.

      • Doug Gray

        The only thing grape flavored I like, is grapes. I can’t stand anything else grape flavored.

      • jimmy

        Doug, I am one of your biggest fans but I too wouldn’t have included players that were just drafted! I think most here that read your blog want to learn more about the players that are actually out in the trenches! And I think most would have preferred seeing a top 20!

      • Doug Gray

        Well, I only included one guy who isn’t actually Reds property at this time and that was Travieso, who is expected to sign and soon. Withholding them from the list would be a disservice to the system and work the scouting department has done.

      • J-Man

        Disagree. Would much rather see the recently drafted players on the list. It’s way more exciting to talk about prospects that could actually have an impact someday. The 12-20 guys on any potential list are all 4th outfielders and relief arms at best.

  7. bj

    Love ya Doug, but you are wearing the golden sombrero with this list. Don’t worry even The Babe struck out sometimes. you will be back on top tomorrow

  8. Cooper

    11-15 For Me:
    11.Joseph
    12.Cingrani
    13.Soto
    14.Sulbaran
    15.Lutz

    • jimmy

      Cooper…You need to do a little more research if this is all you got!

  9. Fish

    I think what everyone is missing is that quality prospects are a combination of tools and their age/level. The list seems like a compilation of Reds’ prospects who have plus tools but no warts. You don’t want your top prospects to be relievers (joseph) or DH types (lutz).

    I am a regular reader and I don’t see anything wrong with the list at all, it just shows the lack of toolsy players left after the trades this off-season but we should know that given the performance of the teams.

  10. Terry M

    BA shows that Rahier signed for the exact slot amount $649,700

    • The Duke

      Great sign, I thought we might have to go a little over slot to get him since most had him ranked significantly higher than where we took him. I think Mason Felt is our only over slot deal in rds 1-10, and we have no one over $100,000 after rd 10 so far. The guy after rd 10 I really hope we sign is Sweet.

  11. fromcubawithluv

    I think I would have included Cingrani and removed Rosa. I am a little uncomfortable with some of the new guys, but I really can’t argue about much here.

    I think the list is fine. Thanks for doing it.

    • fromcubawithluv

      In fact, I would have put Cingrani 6th. For the same reason that you think he is out is the reason that I think he should be in. Being able to get guys out at this clip with mostly fastballs makes his floor very high. He is essentially at worst an above average major league reliever. In a system that is a bit lacking like ours, that kind of floor has to mean something. And it is not like his ceiling is all that low.

      I think he should have been included but I can see why you didn’t.

  12. lollipopcurve

    Wow. We all like those high-round draftees, but how quickly the bloom comes off the rose. I don’t think you’ll want to look back on this list in 2-3 years, Doug. Still, I give you credit for being willing to make a list.

    • fromcubawithluv

      When your system has been depleted of high end talent, your draft picks end up pretty high on the list. I was surprised too at first glance, but other than Cingrani, who would we replace them with? Everyone has pretty significant question marks that he left out of his top 10.

    • Doug Gray

      The only two guys I think could really come back and bite me would be Sulbaran and Cingrani. I just don’t see the upside with anyone else in the system to make a true impact that makes me wonder how I left them out and those guys were #11 and 12 and they still have a chance to break into the top 10 with the rest of the year.

  13. Matt McWax

    I wonder how much Cingrani’s pitch selection has to do with his own personal choice or lack of confidence in the offspeed stuff. I honestly don’t know how the pitches are called at those levels but I would guess he doesn’t just avoid offspeed pitches. I’ve seen mention of a good changeup this year (Goldstein) and a progressing slider as well. Even if these are contentious statements, I think his combination of high ceiling and results should have him in the Top 10.

    I might have Hamilton at #1 now with the obp holding steady and the BB/K ratio vastly improved. I think it will be tough for him to maintain this level at AA but if he does he would definitely be my #1. Anyone with on-base skills and top-of-the-pile speed will be very valuable. Can you imagine if he had an obp of .365 to .380 in our leadoff spot especially if he could handle SS?

  14. 44reds

    I was surprised that BH was not number 1. It seems like he has addressed a lot of the questions coming into the season (K/BB% and hitting in general), and it also seems like he has an unlimited ceiling (Jose Reyes). Corcino, on the other hand, has fairly mediocre stats this season and a ceiling of Johnny Cueto, but more likely less. Your thoughts? Thanks Doug.

    • Doug Gray

      Hamilton has a limited ceiling. He is never going to show the power that Reyes has. At age 18, Jose Reyes hit 5 home runs in Low A. Billy Hamilton has 6 in his career. When Reyes was 20, he hit 5 home runs in the Majors in half a season. Hamilton is already 21 and has 6 in his minor league career. With that said, I think Hamilton has the ceiling of a repeat All Star caliber player who in some years could compete for an MVP award. I also think he is a lot more likely to turn into what Michael Bourn has been prior to this season in his career (.271/.336/.358 career hitter coming into the year).

      With Corcino, I could see him becoming Cueto like, but I also think his floor is higher than that of Hamilton. Right now, Corcino could pitch out of a MLB bullpen and be successful. There is absolutely no way that Hamilton could be a MLB hitter of any kind right now. That is what gives Corcino the slight edge for me. He is just a safer player and has a pretty darn high ceiling as well.

      • The Duke

        I still view Corcino as a poor man’s Cueto. Seems like more of a #3 to me, which is still a very good MLB pitcher.

      • RobL

        I’ll take issue with the Bourn line. I guess you picked his numbers due to the fact that he has been a slap hitter with speed, and profile Hamilton the same way. If you can ignore this season, why not ignore his first full-time season when he had a babip of less then 300. He had a bad year. Over the last 3 years he has accrued 13.8 WAR. If you value production and you feel that Hamilton has a similar style, don’t you think 4+ war a season is very good (defense only bolstered one season that he was slightly below average offensively, but he got negative value for his defense last year which seems implausible, so it evens out). On top of that, Bourn has a split differential against lefties that surpresses his numbers. Hamilton switch hits and as of right now doesn’t show split difference. Thus, Hamilton should produce better than Bourn.
        Look, I get it. Hamilton won’t hit for power, but he is progressing very well and the combination of slightly above average wRC+ (like Bourn over the last 3+) and mind numbing speed (on defense and the bases) give him a great chance to be an above average major league player. Corcino is holding his own in AA, and is young, but he couldn’t jump to the majors today and hold his own, even as a reliever. I don’t mind having faith in Corcino, but he is only the third or fourth major league ready guy on the team. Cingrani, Lotzkar, and Sulbaran would all be better today in the bigs than Corcino (better K rates). That’s not a dig at Corcino, just an acknowledgment that he needs more time to ply his trade.

      • Doug Gray

        Before this year, Bourn had a career high season OPS of .738. Bourn has himself some awesome defense. Like, really awesome. Hamilton could be that guy too. Which is why I have him ranked so high. But what if he turns into Bourn offensively and is just an ok defender? What about just an average one? What if he turns into more Juan Pierre with a little better defense? I think Bourn is the ultimate ceiling for Hamilton and as you noted, that isn’t a bad player at all. He could also turn into Dee Gordon with a little more power. The array of options for Hamilton is just a whole lot wider for me than the one with Corcino.

        Corcino coming out of the bullpen could throw 94-95 and bring an above-average slider along with it. I think that could play just fine out of a MLB bullpen. Corcino has been pretty darn dominant since April ended with more strikeouts than innings and a solid walk rate to boot. I don’t think for a second that Cingrani would be better in the Majors today with one above-average pitch and little faith in his other two pitches. Lotzkar and Sulbaran, I might listen to arguments on in terms of a bullpen role, though more so on Lotzkar than Sulbaran who I think needs to find more consistency within his game still.

      • Jimmer

        I see Hamilton as more of a Vince Coleman type player. He was a 1-2 WAR type player at his peak. I don’t see him as being able to hit for a high average in the majors. Hopefully Hamilton can be a little better defensively at SS or CF to add more value.

        The Corcino vs. Hamilton arguemnt is kinda silly. Any other prospect guide will have them ranked 1 or 2. Just comes down to personal preference. I can see an argument for either. Be glad we have both.

  15. mdccclxix

    I like the list because it has the new draftees, who I also believe in. My order would go like this though:

    1 Hamilton
    2 Stephenson
    3 Travieso
    4 Corcino
    5 Rodriguez
    6 Cingrani
    7 Rahier
    8 Lotzkar
    9 Winker
    10 Vidal
    11 Lutz
    12 Rosa
    13 Joseph
    14 Didi
    15 Lamarre
    16 Fellhauer

  16. sultan of swaff

    I would’ve swapped LaMarre for Rosa. LaMarre could be the starting CF as soon as next season depending on what Stubbs does. That’s no small feat. More to the point, LaMarre’s skill set has a much higher probability of ML success than a kid with plate discipline issues.

    • Doug Gray

      We need to remember that Rosa was 17 years old last year. Most guys are still in high school at that age and he was playing against a lot of 3 and 4 year college guys. I like LaMarre, I just don’t love LaMarre. He would probably be the next position guy on the list for me though.

  17. Mike

    ust a quick question . What is with Yorman Rodriguez? Did he pass away? . He has not since May. Is he a bust already at age 19?

    • Doug Gray

      He went back to Arizona to work on his swing, which got all sorts of out of whack. Certainly not a bust, but his prospect status has really lost some of its luster in the few months after some good reports from instructional league.

  18. Mel

    I have scouted for well over 30 years and many of you including me say whop de do. I say this because I want to make a point . Scouting is not an exact science. Scouts get it wrong more times then they like to admit. Guys I live in DC and NYC. So I follow the Yankees and mets and the Nationals. When I cover the big league teams, I am amazed at the success at some of the players, and I say that with all the respect in the world. These guys are playing at a level that not many others have ever played. But I again have to caution everyone here about how we grade players. I will not mention names of players but lets go to pitchers. If a guy throws 93-95 he is a huge prospect on the blog. We have mentioned guys who have 4 and 5 era’s and 1.5 to 2 Whips and say they are major prospects. I disagree. we talk about guys that only have a fast ball and he is considered a major prospect on this blog. Let me say this to you. If you are a pitcher it is about getting outs. What have you done in your minor league career stat wise. Please pay attention. I want to use Andy Petite as an example. 26th round draft choice, probobly pound for pound one of the best post season pitchers in recent years. Takes a year off and dominates is first 5 or 6 starts. He dominates with 86-88 fastball , cutter and change up. I could keep going on and on with guys like John Franco ect ect…

    Yes I will not deny that at first all scout look at the gun, but when you get to the minors. I look to see approach and I look at outs.

    • Doug Gray

      Outs are deceiving. Getting out minor leaguers is not the same as getting out Major Leaguers. Minor Leaguers have a whole lot more weaknesses than Major Leaguers do. Toss in that the talent level isn’t always equal and that adds another thing to it. Most guys can’t get Major Leaguers out while working in the 80’s. A few outliers doesn’t mean we should expect others to be able to.

      As for approach, yes, that certainly matters. Being able to mix it up well and hit your spots certainly allows your stuff to play up. But, 95% of guys playing professional ball can’t hit their spots often enough to get away with lesser stuff. The guys who can, those guys are special.

      Velocity isn’t everything, but it allows more leeway in all of your pitches.

      • Mel

        Doug I ask you this , guys that get to the majors more often then not lose velocity in thier first 3 years . A good example of this is young Clayton Kershaw, Cole Hamels, and many many more. But they succeed because of thier approach and know how. I 100% disagree with you about guys in thier 80’s Now when I say 80’s I mean upper 80’s 88,89 level. Personally from my experience, if you can pitch in AA and AAA you can pitch in the bigs. Remember Glavin Maddux . They both entered the bigs throwing mid 90’s only to have more success when they threw in the high 80’s. Pitching is a chess match and yes Velocity helps but I refuse to be part of a way of thinking that guys like Petite are just plain lucky. Rivera of the NY Yankees the past 2 years is 90-91 and just dominates maybe just maybe the big arms should learn from this. Back in my day a guy name Koufax , threw 95 or so, His success did not kick in until his velocity dropped. In a perfect world I would love to have a guy throw 100 and locate , but we all know that the Verlanders of the world are far and view between

      • Dan

        Well sure, Mel, but how many guys in our minor league system (or any system) are as good as Kershaw, Hamels, Glavine, Maddux, Rivera, or Pettitte? You’re talking about Hall of Famers to possible borderline HOFers.

        I think Doug’s point is, as unproven 18-22 year olds, we don’t know which (if any) have the Maddux-esque ability to dominate throwing 88-90 MPH. Hell, as rare as those guys are, we probably don’t have ANY who can do that.

        Besides, as good as all those guys were working in the high 80’s to low 90’s, I bet any of them COULD dial it up to 94-95. They have that ability.

        If we have guys in the minors who are maxed out throwing 88-89 MPH, that’s very different.

        Anyway, of course you’re right, ultimately, that the job is to get guys out, not to light up radar guns. And not all hard throwers are going to be good. But still, I think Doug’s point is well-taken – a young guy throwing 95 has “leeway” that a young guy throwing 88 doesn’t have, even if they both are currently getting minor leaguers out.

      • Doug Gray

        Mel, those guys aren’t lucky. They are good. But most guys don’t have the other pitches and control to be able to work in the 80’s. Some guys do. Most guys don’t. It is why velocity matters for just about everyone. Koufax started to be successful when he was able to control his pitches. The first half of his career he was walking 5 guys per 9 innings. The second half he was walking 2.1 per 9 innings.

        Throw strikes on the corners and you will succeed. Most guys don’t have that kind of command. When you don’t have that kind of command, then you need to be able to throw it by them. You can’t do that at 89. At least not consistently (if you can’t show pinpoint control).

  19. Mel

    sorry long words todays that is why systems that are successful develop the players fully before exposing them to the major leagues. Player development is the most underrated part of this game. We do not speak of this much on this blog. Guys in the minors that develop these players and get the most of thier talent are the real MVP’s of any system

  20. Mel

    Dan I understand your point and to a certain degree , I am actually in your camp. Lets look at the reds and the Yankees minor league system. Let me say this first money talks and you know what walks. a guy that an organization has given large bonus packages to, will always get the benefit of the doubt. I have seen things that would make your skin crawl. Different sets of rules and regulations. So lets agree that talent is not always the determining factor in getting a shot at the bigs. If you are not a bonus baby , you have to prove yourself in the offseason and during spring training and then turn it on during the season. And still this may not be enough because the organization has money invested in several guys that will never be successful in the big. Now getting to my point of velocity , I am simply saying that you do not have to be a 95 plus guy to be successful in the majors. Lets look at several guys in two systems that I know well. wade of the yankees is at best 88 MPH and is having a fantastic year out of the pen for the Yankees. The Yankees rate Delin Betances and Manny Banuelos the num 2 and 3 players in the system. Betances sits 94-95 and touches 98 . He has 60 walks in 60 innings. How is he rated num 2 and the same goes for Banuelos . We rate guys on this blog as a top prospect and they have not thrown a pitch in a minor league game. Not sure how this happens. Look at our AA pitching staff and AAA staff and tell me who is a prospect and who is not , and justify your decision. My problem is that many of the blogs decisons are based on here say and not solid pitchability.

    • Doug Gray

      Mel, Those rankings are based off of last season. Betances had some control questions last year, but he was striking out twice as many guys as he was walking, even with a poor walk rate. This year, his walk rate has gone up 60%. He will not be ranked nearly as high this year unless he does a complete turn around in his control department.

      As for ranking guys that haven’t pitched yet, it is simple. To me, the term prospect is broken down as the prospects for future Major League ability. Yes, stats can help determine that. But so does the guys tools. Yeah, they still need to turn those tools into skills, but when you have the tools, you have a solid base to work from. Pitchability only goes so far.

    • Dan

      Well, Mel, “how it happens” is, Doug decided to make it happen. This is not some official ranking system. It’s Doug’s blog. So, he made a list.

      The new twist is, he decided to make a list that includes guys who were just drafted, who OF COURSE as of right now have not played a single game in pro ball. (If he didn’t include them, then it’s just the same old list that we’ve seen before, with some minor tweaks based on recent games.)

      Why include guys who haven’t played a game in the minors yet? B/c it’s fun! And we all read here and comment here b/c that’s fun too. (And also b/c, while Doug is not a Reds insider, he has the best info and most well-informed opinions I know of, based on what’s publicly available.)

      Chris Buckley doesn’t and can’t keep a blog w/ this level of info. So, without that, for us fans (who are also not insiders), this is where we come. And it’s good – it’s informed opinions backed up with his reasons.

      But still, at the end of the day, Doug is just a guy with a blog and an opinion, which you’re welcome to disagree with. Me, I read it and found it very informative. I just think it’s kind of cool to see these brand-new names showing up in our “top 10 prospects” list.

  21. Dan

    Based on numbers only… would you say Ryan LaMarre is roughly comparable to, say, a Scott Podsednik? (I’m simple-minded so I like to latch onto comparisons like that.) ;)

    By the way, the Bourn/Hamilton discussion was very interesting. Makes some sense.

    • Doug Gray

      Not the worst comp I have ever seen. I think he could turn into that kind of player. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him have a little more home run pop in the future though. Nothing big, but 10-15 home runs.

  22. Mel

    Guys do not misunderstand me and forgive me if I did not represent my views properly. this is 100% not a knock on Doug and how he does things. This is a knock on how players are ranked and assessed . I will end my words before it gets me in trouble with you fine people

    • Dan

      No no, glad to hear your opinions, Mel. I didn’t mean to knock your opinion either.

      So, just curious, Mel, with your knowledge of Yankee pitchers… I don’t suppose your last name rhymes with “Bottlemyre,” does it? ;)