My favorite things about right now is without a doubt, the countdown to spring training. We are currently sitting at 25 days until pitchers and catchers report. Can. Not. Wait.

John Sickels will occasionally post player comments from his book. Yesterday he posted Billy Hamilton as one of his comments. Here is a peak:

I have been watching baseball for 35 years and I have never seen anything like this guy. Vince Coleman was incredibly fast, but he didn’t have the best instincts for baseball and it held him back from being the player he might otherwise have been. Hamilton isn’t like that: he is the fastest man in baseball, but he knows how to use it. He runs the bases aggressively and without fear. Every ground ball puts pressure on the defense; every single or walk has a good chance of becoming a double, or a triple.

Check out the link for a full read.

I saw this link yesterday. It is about three weeks old at this point, but it is the first place I have seen a Top 100 Prospect list following the 2012 season. A site called has the list up and it includes four Reds.

  • 15. Billy Hamilton – OF
  • 66. Robert Stephenson – RHP
  • 88. Tony Cingrani – LHP
  • 93. Daniel Corcino – RHP

I went and read the scouting reports he had on the Reds players and I can’t say that the ones I have agree with his. It is fun to discuss, but I am not sure it is somewhere I will be heading to in order to gather scouting reports on players I don’t know from other teams.With all of that said, I think this will reflect other Top 100 lists pretty well. Personally, I would have Stephenson much higher, but from talking to others, I would be surprised if he cracked a Top 50. I think they are all crazy for it, but I would be surprised to see it.

Slow news days. Check back tomorrow for another season in review. Going to be a pitcher, but I don’t know who just yet.

34 Responses

  1. Stock

    Sickels has 78 players rated B+ or higher. That means at least the four above Reds make his top 78. Billy Hamilton is in the 9-26 range since he was given a grade of A-. If you assume a uniform distribution (which you can’t) that would leave Stephenson in the 35-40 range, Cingrani 50-55 and Corcino 65-70. I don’t know if Sickels povides a top 100 list. Winker would make Sickels top 150 list.

    • Doug Gray

      He does make a Top 100 list, but he really doesn’t like to because he doesn’t like the idea of mixing pitchers and hitters together because they are completely different animals.

      • Stock

        I agree that it is extremely difficult to slot pitchers and hitters together. Even at the major league level they have problems. For example, Zack Cozart had a better WAR last year than Arroyo. Hard to say Cozart(2.7 WAR) was better than Arroyo (2.5)last year and just shy of Bailey (2.8) and Latos (3.1).

        Add to the complication, less data, fewer opportunities to view performances, different levels of competition,park differences and many other factors and it becomes a nightmare. Still it is fun to read.

  2. DaveCT

    Favorite comment re: 2013 pitchers/catchers: Hamilton will be “driving batteries insane.”

    Can you just feel the sweat dripping, the anxiety rising, and the sense of defeat in the opposing clubhouse?

  3. Scott R

    How can Sickles have such a glowing writeup and not rate Hamilton an A (instead of A-) ??

    • Stock

      A- is pretty darn good for Sickels. Only 8 players received an A. If he gets his K rate down a little in AAA this year he will probably receive an A next year.

  4. Super Reds

    Who ends this season on a higher level Yovan Gonzalez, Nick Travieso, Juan Silva, Jose Ortiz, Kris Negron, Neftali Soto & Gabriel Rosa?

    Line for Yovan Gonzalez, Nick Travieso, Juan Silva, Jose Ortiz, Kris Negron, Neftali Soto & Gabriel Rosa

    • Doug Gray

      There is no chance Travieso or Ortiz are even in this conversation with guys already in AAA. Go with the guys in AAA.

      Don’t have a clue for the other question. Depends on where they play, how long they stay there, any improvements they make.

  5. Greg


    Curious if you saw that the Pirates release Zach Stewart today? I am thinking back to your comments about him following the Scott Rolen trade…care to change your opinion now? You dogged that trade from the beginning, mainly because of Stewart being in the deal, and were pretty firm in your beliefs that this one would come back to bite the Reds. Definitely makes a believer out of me that very few “prospects” are untouchable when it comes to trading for a known commodity.

    • Doug Gray

      I will never change my tune about that trade. The Reds traded too much value in the move. I will never believe otherwise. Scott Rolen was forcing his way out and would only accept a trade to a team in the midwest. That left the Reds as the only suitor. Yet the Reds traded their most premium prospect at the time to do make that happen. They overpaid given the market, because they were the only team in the market. The fact that Stewart didn’t pan out has no bearing on anything.

    • wanderinredsfan

      Deals really should only be evaluated at the time, and Stewart was considered a good bet towards success, while Rolen was considered nearly done. Stewart didn’t work out, but that’s hindsight.

      What I think gets overlooked a bit, is Encarnacion’s success in Toronto. Imagine if EE could have been retained and shifted to LF? (a good possibility, since he was considered the trade’s ‘throw in’) He sure would look really good batting between Votto and Bruce.

      • Jon Ryker

        Perhaps the Reds brass didn’t see him a such a good prospect…..It was a good trade for both teams for different reasons….

      • Doug Gray

        I can’t speak for Jocketty, but I do know that coaches in the minor leagues were none to happy about losing him. Assuming he gets his reports from those guys, my bet is that Jocketty thought well of him.

      • Ryan the Red

        I disagree about evaluating trades only at the time of the deal IMO you cant really call a winner/looser until players have time to succeed or fail.
        At the time to outsiders and “experts” the Reds overpaid. The Reds brass liked the deal and IMO were right on the money. I cant say this for certain but i doubt the Reds make the playoffs in 2010 w/o Rolen. EdE showed he had no clue on D at 3rd(i never really doubted his stick) and we had Votto at 1st. Dude never played the OF so he would have been a major liability on D. And as we all know now Stewart was way over-hyped. Solid W for Jocketty and CO.

    • doctor

      Greg, I see your point but think back, it was not that long ago the trade rumors were some combo of Votto, Bailey, Cueto, Encarnarcion for Erik Bedard and others.

      Bedard was the “proven/known” commodity. That would have been devastating for the Reds losing Votto or Cueto or likely both. Luckily Reds mgmt was able to say no.

    • Stock

      Absolutely terrible trade. In the three years since the trade Rolen has 33 HR. EdE hit 42 last year alone. How can you say the Reds won the trade. Granted Stewart didn’t succeed as expected but Rolen stinks and with Dusty in town is guaranteed playing time when healthy, which luckily for Reds fans isn’t often.

      • Ryan the Red

        Where does EdE play on the Reds during that time. Last i checked the NL does not have a DH. And do you remember how awful he was on D.

  6. Josh

    I loved the Rolen trade, how can you not? That man taught this young team how to win, how to play pro baseball day in and day out, ask any player on the current roster how they feel about Scottie and why that is.. Yes, EE has finally clicked on offense, but the Reds are a better team and a better organization BC of what Scott Rolen did for this team the last 3 1/2 years. The clubhouse chemistry he brought to this ballclub is not debatable.

    • Doug Gray

      I believe very little in baseball chemistry. They simply don’t need each others reliance to perform like you do in other team sports. Scott Rolen isn’t why they won. Otherwise 2011 wouldn’t have happened. The Reds won because they had a ton of talent.

      • Jon Ryker

        Baseball chemistry is a fact….at least on good teams that don’t have 150 million dollar payrolls….Reds management knew that….they fixed the problem….

      • Doug Gray

        I go to the Jim Leyland school of chemistry: Teams with talent win and have good chemistry. Teams without talent lose and don’t. Yeah, every now and again you can have talented teams who have a handful of nut jobs that screw things up, but that really is the outlier, not the rule.

      • Jon Ryker

        No teams without talent win. No need to link no talent with chemistry. On nearly all successful teams, there is chemistry that emerges as players move from playing for themselves to playing for a team. Even supposedly good teams with bad chemistry didn’t really have bad chemistry. On the field, they played together and had a collective confidence and focused on winning. That’s chemistry. This Reds team didn’t have it and didn’t know how to grow it or even how to approach playing as successful professionals. They got Rolen to teach those things. It was successful. They no longer need him, as others have learned from him. Toronto got more talent. Reds got catalyst for excellent chemistry. Good trade for both.

      • Ryan the Red

        And b/c the pitching was much better in 2010 than 2011. Rolen cant be to blame for Edinson and Bronson pitching so dastardly that year. The reds were 7th in ERA in 2010 and 12th in 2011. Also the Reds won the Division by 5 games and Rolen posted a 3.9(BR) WAR in 2010 and lost by 17 games in 2011. The Reds felt they were one piece away when they got Rolen and in hindsight were right on. In 2011 they were 3 Joey Vottos away.

    • Doug Gray

      And it isn’t that I didn’t want to acquire Rolen, it was that they overpaid for him.

  7. zblakey

    Thank goodness its a free country and we can all have our own opinions about a trade and how a trade should be judged.

    Perhaps the Reds overpaid with Stewart, but if it was Stewart or no trade, in hindsight (which is not fair!) I think everyone would still do the trade, given the results- that many attribute to Rolen.

    We judge drafts many years down the road, why is not fair to judge a trade in the same manner? Perhaps we should just judge drafts on draft day, with the best information available at that time?

  8. Krozley

    In the 3 1/2 years since the trade, Rolen has a WAR of 6.9 and EE had 7.2. Rolen had a higher WAR than EE in every year but 2012. The Reds made the playoffs twice, the Blue Jays zero. Looking at it post-trade, it was not a bad deal.

    • MK

      I liked Edwin then and I like him now but I really think his time in Cincinnati was at an end (again a player forced to the big a year or so early) and don’t believe he would have become the hitter in Cincinnati he has become in Toronto. Plus he is doing this as a DH.

    • Doug Gray

      Sure… if you played him at third. I still can’t believe they never tried him in left. He was athletic and had a strong arm. Probably could have been pretty good out there.

      • Ryan the Red

        Ur idea of an athletic MLB player and mine is quite different. Sure he had a cannon but no accuracy.

    • Doug Gray

      Sure… if you played him at third. I still can’t believe they never tried him in left. He was athletic and had a strong arm. Probably could have been pretty good out there.

      • Jon Ryker

        I, too, was surprised they didn’t try that. I think he could have played there just fine….perhaps he told them he didn’t want to….at the time, they had a lot of LFers…