Thursday news and notes Doug Gray November 29, 2012 28 Comments Billy Hamilton and Jesse Winker were each named to the Topps/MiLB All Star teams for the levels that they played at this season. Billy Hamilton got the nod at shortstop for the Advanced-A level and they had this to say in the blurb for his being named: Billy Hamilton (22) of Taylorsville, Miss., stole 104 of his season-record 155 bases with the Bakersfield Blaze, before a promotion to Double-A®. The shortstop and California League MVP ranked seventh in Class A with a .413 on-base percentage and ninth with a .323 batting average. The Cincinnati Reds picked Hamilton in the second round in 2009 out of high school. Jesse Winker got the nod as one of the three outfielders for the Short-Season level and they had this to say about his being named: Jesse Winker (19) of Windermere, Fla., hit .338 and ranked third among short-season players with a .443 on-base percentage. The Billings Mustangs outfielder’s batting average tied for second best in the Pioneer League and his OPS of .943 was third. The Cincinnati Reds selected Winker in the first round (49th overall) in this year’s draft out of high school. They were the only Reds to have been named to a league All Star team by Topps and MiLB.com. MLB.com released another prospect ranking where managers and coaches from the AFL selected the AFL “All Prospect Team”. The Reds had two players selected to be named on the team. Billy Hamilton and Didi Gregorius were the Reds two representatives on the 22 man team. No team had more than two players make the team. Baseball America named the Billings Mustangs as the 2012 Freitas Award winner for the Short-Season level. Here is the explanation of the Freitas Award: The Freitas Awards, named after longtime minor league baseball ambassador Bob Freitas, are awarded to honor minor league baseball clubs that show sustained excellence in the business of minor league baseball. Franchises must have been in operation for five seasons before they’re eligible to win. The Reds affiliates are just locking up awards all over the place. Billings received this one and a few weeks ago the Dayton Dragons took one home with them. I am working on a drop down menu of “resource” pages. One is going to be a list of players who will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft over the next few years. One will be a glossary of statistics that I often use that aren’t always common knowledge. Can you guys think of anything else that would be a good “resource” type page that you would like to see. Leave it in the comments and I will see what I can do. Here is an update on the guys playing winterball, check out the doubles rate that Henry Rodriguez is on… he is channeling Votto on the doubles: BATTERS LG AB 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG Hargreaves, Elliott ABL 21 1 0 0 1 1 8 0 0 .286 .318 .333 Gregorius, Didi AFL 74 3 1 1 8 6 4 2 1 .284 .333 .392 Hamilton, Billy AFL 64 1 1 1 9 7 12 10 2 .234 .306 .328 Lutz, Donald AFL 43 3 1 1 4 1 7 2 0 .395 .422 .581 Mattair, Travis AFL 32 1 0 0 3 2 10 0 0 .188 .250 .219 Phipps, Denis DWL 66 2 1 2 10 9 20 1 0 .182 .295 .333 Vicioso, Danny DWL 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 Silva, Juan PWL 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000 Soto, Neftali PWL 31 0 0 0 1 5 11 0 0 .194 .306 .194 Vidal, David PWL 20 1 0 0 1 0 11 0 0 .150 .150 .200 Fellhauer, Josh VWL 34 2 0 0 3 6 9 1 0 .206 .325 .265 Perez, Felix VWL 101 7 1 1 12 3 20 2 4 .297 .321 .416 Rodriguez, Henry VWL 113 12 0 1 12 7 15 0 0 .301 .336 .434 _ PITCHERS LG W L SV IP H HR BB SO ERA WHIP Crabbe, Tim AFL 1 1 0 19.0 19 3 9 11 4.26 1.47 Hayes, Drew AFL 2 0 0 14.0 13 0 8 11 4.50 1.50 Partch, Curtis AFL 0 0 1 12.2 8 2 6 14 3.55 1.11 Ravin, Josh AFL 0 1 0 10.1 10 1 2 10 6.97 1.16 Corcino, Daniel DWL 0 0 0 7.0 10 0 4 4 5.14 2.00 Judy, Josh DWL 0 1 1 4.2 9 1 0 0 3.86 1.93 De Sousa, Jose VWL 0 0 0 0.1 1 0 0 0 27.00 3.00 Freeman, Justin VWL 1 1 2 8.1 14 0 4 8 8.64 2.16 Morillo, JR VWL 0 0 0 2.1 4 1 3 1 7.71 3.00 Parra, Jesus VWL 0 0 0 2.0 3 0 0 0 0.00 1.50 Romero, Franderlin VWL 0 0 0 1.0 2 0 0 2 9.00 2.00 28 Responses Jake November 29, 2012 Wherever Henry goes, he hits Doug Gray November 29, 2012 Except for AAA.But I think that he just never got back into things when he came back off of the DL. Jake November 30, 2012 Well, yeah, just that one exception. I thought it was a small sample anyways. Like you said, he was still recovering. MK November 29, 2012 Unfortunately the awards being won have noting to do with player development. As most know the minor league teams basically have two separate operations. One is about selling tickets and one is about developing players and the actual gameplay. The best example of this was the Dragons in 2011 when they made the playoffs with a great group of prospects to watch. When they sent out playoff ticket order forms the marketing was about keeping the sellout streak alive rather than cheering on the players or winning a championship. The Duke November 29, 2012 It’s hard for minor league teams to buld advertising around players who will be there for only 50-150 games. They do love to tout former players who are in the bigs though. Doug Gray November 29, 2012 Player development awards are usually just celebrated by wins on the MLB field. The teams in the minors have no control over the players or coaches. Still, I have been reading some of the stuff that some of these teams have been doing to improve the product that they control and some of it is pretty awesome. You can order food from the concessions with your smart phone and then bypass the line to pick it up at one stadium. It has to be tough at times to push your product if the players in a given year simply aren’t any good. KyWilson1 November 29, 2012 Not really a Reds question but, how does Will Meyers stack up against past top prospect and lock to be a star SS Brandon Wood as a hitter? And who would you compare him to in terms of development? Doug Gray November 29, 2012 Myers is a much safer bet than Wood. Brandon Wood had plate discipline problems and they followed him from early on. He eventually showed a little bit of plate discipline promise at age 23, but then he fell back the next year. Myers has always shown plate discipline. His strikeout rate was pretty high this year, but he struck out at roughly the same clip as Jay Bruce did this season. So it wasn’t like he was going Adam Dunn or Drew Stubbs against minor league pitching in terms of strikeouts. I have a lot more faith in a guy like Myers than I did in a guy like Wood. Better approach at the plate, still pretty darn good power, can play defense. rgslone November 29, 2012 In general, from a historical perspective, the strikeout rates for current MLB players and the players coming up is ridiculous. I’ve read where some of the great hitters from the 70s and into the 80s have said they consider these kind of strikeout rates an embarrassment. I know it’s a different era now, and strikeouts are not alwyas so bad (e.g., better than hitting into a double play), but geez…. I’m dating myself here, but I remember when fans were aghast at the strikeout rate of Dave Kingman – well, today he might be considered a good contact hitter. Jon Ryker November 29, 2012 There are a couple of legitimate reasons for this….First, pitchers throw much, much harder now….their stuff is correspondingly sharper….Second, players are not financially penalized for striking out as they were…..that will eventually change as steroids recede and the game becomes more balanced offensively, but two generations of players where trained to swing for the fences…… Doug Gray November 29, 2012 Yeah, think about how hard guys coming in out of the bullpen are throwing. If you can’t throw 92-95, you are an outlier. Think about scouting terms, an “average” fastball is still considered 90 MPH. That isn’t average anymore. That is below average. Then of course there is the fact that guys are now throwing: Fastball, cutter, splitter, change up, curve, slider. Guys didn’t used to really throw splitters, sliders or cutters. Very few guys did so. Now, just about everyone does. Think about the best pitches in the game. They are the fastball, the cutter and the slider. You don’t see guys out there dominating with the 72 MPH curveball anymore. Everything being thrown is hard today. The game has changed. Guys aren’t trying to be Juan Pierre anymore. They are trying to be Ken Griffey JR. Of course there is a reason for that…. people figured out that power is a lot more important than contact when it comes to scoring runs. There won’t be much of a swingback for that except for perhaps at up the middle positions. jim t November 30, 2012 Doug single hitters don’t generally make the kind of money that the home run hitters do. Doug Gray November 30, 2012 And they shouldn’t because singles hitters don’t produce nearly as much offensive value. Tim November 29, 2012 Doug what do you think about the Reds possibly getting Swisher to play left?? I know he usually plays right but dont teams usually put the worst outfielder in left so he should be able to handle it. hes 32 to give him a 3 year deal???? Way more consistent than Ludwick and younger. Oh and i just noticed he is from Columbus so maybe we would take a slight discount. Doug Gray November 29, 2012 I wouldn’t be opposed to it on the surface.But as always, it depends on the contract. Alan Horn November 29, 2012 Spann out of the picture. Traded to the Nationals per MLBtraderumors.com. Norwood Nate November 29, 2012 Reportedly for a Single A pitcher, although he was a 1st rounder in 2011. MLBTR says the pitcher would be the 6th best prospect in the Twins system. Seems like the rumors were that the asking price for Span was a little steep at one point. To me, this doesn’t seem so steep. I’m sure the Reds could have found something to top that if they wanted to. Doug Gray November 29, 2012 I think they gave up a prospect that is basically on par with Corcino or Cingrani. Bigger upside than either guy, but not quite as polished as either of those guys. I imagine some places would rank Alex Meyer higher than both of those guys and that some places would rank both of them above Meyer. All are probably in that same general area though. RobL November 29, 2012 Sure, the Reds could top most people if they want. Then this board would erupt with how bad of a move it was. That Single A guy is Alex Meyer, a guy with ace potential. He has question marks because he is so tall, but his upside is through the roof. The Reds would have had to sent Stephenson to match the upside. Norwood Nate November 29, 2012 Sure Stephenson would be the equivalent for upside, and I’m not I’d like that deal from the Reds side. But Corcino or Cingrani with another prospect from the 10-20 range…I think that tops that deal. The Twins need pitching now and both those guys are close. This guy is in A ball, with one season under his belt. He’s a bit away from helping the Twins. It sure would have been nice to have Span at the top of the line up. As of now, I’m not seeing who the Reds can pursue. Bourne and Pagan will likely be too expensive, maybe Victorino, but the market price is already set pretty high with the money Upton got and there are at least 7 teams in on Victorino. He may become too pricey too. After that, it’s trades. And I’m guessing we’d have to give up as much or more for anyone else out there. RobL November 30, 2012 You are projecting what the Twins want in total value. I contend that they wanted a potential difference maker at pitcher, regardless of debut date. Corcino and Cingrani are solid pitching prospects, and may rate similar to Meyer when considering floor and likeliness of remaining a starter, etc. But Meyer’s potential is on another level… Stephenson potential. Just adding additional value by sending more average prospects may not have been appealing to the Twins. jimmy November 29, 2012 I would take this guy over Corcino or Cingrani. Much more upside! I guess I dont see either one of these guys more then No. 4 or 5 pitcher. Meyer will be a No. 1 or 2 pitcher someday! wanderinredsfan November 29, 2012 Perhaps the Nationals would part with Morse. Rather than sign Ludwick, I’d like to see Morse acquired and signed to an extension, so long as he has a good season. He’d be a great fit between Votto and Bruce. Alan Horn November 29, 2012 Can he play LF? What would be the cost? Ludwick wouldn’t cost any players. I agree though, apples to apples, I would rather have Morse as a hitter. Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple to acquire him. Herbie November 30, 2012 I don’t think we’d want Morse. His defense in LF is Adam Dunn level or worse, added to that his numbers’ll probably start trending down and he’s a big injury risk. *edit: looked back at it closer he doesn’t have all that big of a sample size in OF, so his defense might not be quite that bad but he definitely is a sub-par defender at pretty much every position he’s been at. Alan Horn November 29, 2012 Latest mlbtraderumors.com rumor has mutual interest between Ludwick and the Reds per Fay. If they sign Ludwick, Walt and I are on exactly the same page as far as improvements to the Reds(depending on what they do with the bench). Ludwick and Broxton aren’t the best players they could get, but the best players we could get without giving up any more of our top young talent. Likewise, they are the best players as far as fitting the budget. Randy in Chatt November 29, 2012 Is Josh Judy still in the Reds’ organization? Doug Gray November 29, 2012 No, he isn’t actually. For some reason he was listed on the Winter Leagues Reds stats page and I simply copied/pasted into excel and formatted the columns.