Looking at another prospect list, a few notes and All Questions Answered Doug Gray January 31, 2013 43 Comments Yesterday Marc Hulet released his Reds Top 15 Prospects list at Fangraphs. I can understand his rational through number 5 on the list. Then things get a little more confusing for me. He ranks Dan Langfield 6th, followed by Hoover, Lotzkar and then Jesse Winker. It isn’t that I am not a fan of those guys, but I just don’t understand where that comes from with Langfield at 6 and Winker at 9. I posted this in the comments section, which sums up my confusion. Jesse Winker was universally higher ranked heading into the 2012 draft than Dan Langfield. He was drafted much higher. Then he went out and hit the cover off of the ball as an 18-year-old in the Pioneer League and winds up several spots behind Langfield? Don’t get me wrong, I like Langfield, but he is a guy who has questions about whether he can even make it as a starter. Just can’t figure out how those two are ranked where they are. The rest of the list is one I can get behind, though I don’t agree with all of the information in some of the scouting reports (for example, I have continued to see Cingrani labeled as throwing 94-95 at times when I never got a single report of that this year and his entire time in AA never heard of him even hitting 93). Mark Sheldon has up a piece on the MLB.com Top 100 Prospect list as it pertains to the Reds at Reds.com. He has some quotes from Billy Hamilton, Tony Cingrani and Robert Stephenson in the article. Go check it out. Website News I have lined up a few interviews that will be running over the next few weeks before spring training gets rolling. So keep your eyes peeled. We are up and running on facebook. Give us a like and help get our numbers over 50. We are moving slow. This weekend, barring any setbacks, should have a new design and layout. It may take a few hours to get up and running, so if things seem slightly “off” every now and again, that is why. All Questions Answered Usually reserved for Wednesday, AQA gets pushed to Thursday. The rules are the same as always: Each user gets three questions. Ask before midnight. Avoid questions that will require me to look up answers. Avoid questions that will require more than a paragraph to answer. That’s it. Get to it. 43 Responses Stock January 31, 2013 I was reviewing your website last weekend and looked at the 2012 draft. I noticed Jeremy Kivel had a higher signing bonus than Langfield. This may be nothing more than it costs more to sign someone out of high school. However, Kivel was projected as a 2nd/3rd round pick before his injury. Do you have any idea how Kivel compares to Langfield or if a better comp exists another Reds prospect? This year in addition to their first round pick the Reds also get a supplemental first round pick due to the fact that they are in a smaller market. Any word on the strength of this years draft? Next year Choo and Arroyo are headed to free agency. My assumption used to be that the Reds would offer both arbitration which both would turn down and then the Reds go into the 2014 draft with 3 first round picks and two supplemental first round picks. However, Kyle Lohse has to be having second thoughts on turning down arbitration from the Cards this winter. I think Lohse and Arroyo are comparable pitchers. Based upon this do you feel the Reds will offer Choo and Arroyo arbitration next October? Cbus January 31, 2013 I think everyone assumes Arroyo is gone after this year but I could see him re-signing with the Reds for 2-3 years at a slight discount with deferred money. The Duke January 31, 2013 Maybe offer him arbitration where we either get him on a one year deal or get a higher draft pick if they want him back after this year at all. Arroyo will be 36 this season, paying $10+ mil a year in his late 30′s is very very risky. Especially since we have Cueto, Latos, and Bailey back in 2014, we’ll see if Chapman works out as a starter, and we have Corcino and Cingrani in AAA. Choo will almost certainly decline arbitration as a Boras client, get that draft pick! Doug Gray January 31, 2013 1. I think it was the price of doing business to keep Kivel from college. With that said, he has a really live arm when healthy. He is viewed as a bit raw, but he has impressive arm strength to work with. 2. I am not too sure to be honest. 3. They will offer Choo. They won’t offer Arroyo. Arroyo would absolutely accept an offer worth $13M+. MK January 31, 2013 If Chapman starts in the pen to build up innings, Leake gets off to as good a start as Arroyo and Corcino/Cingrani and/or any of the other AAAers are solid for depth, I could see Arroyo being moved by the trade deadline for prospects with Chapman taking over his spot in the rotation. Doug Gray January 31, 2013 I would be shocked if that were to happen because of how all of his deferred money gets paid immediately if he is traded. wanderinredsfan January 31, 2013 FYI: Cingrani sat at 93-94mph consistently in Bakersfield, and I don’t recall him ever dipping below 91mph with his FB. Perhaps his lower FB velocity in Pensacola was due to the wear of a long season. However, I do recall him consistently hitting 93-94 mph during his short stint in Cincy, even mixing in a 95mph FB with great life once or twice. Doug Gray January 31, 2013 Very interesting about his time in Bakersfield. It seems that the people who did see him in California seem to have higher readings than those who saw him at the AA level. Out of the Reds bullpen he averaged 91.1 MPH. Late in the season and I am sure he was tired. But that isn’t far from where he was as a starter in the second half. wanderinredsfan January 31, 2013 Went back and checked his velocity during his three outings with the Reds (brooksbaseball). Looks like my recollection was close. Cingrani consistently ramped it up to 94mph, and even got up to 95mph once. A lot of his 4-seamers were 93 mph, but he did mix up his FB velocity a lot, probably by design. The Duke January 31, 2013 1) Given the dearth in the system and the Reds liking defensive versatility, do you expect to see up the middle players (ss, c, cf) early and often in this year’s draft? 2) Everybody wants to know who the next breakout prospect will be, but who do you think is in line for a regression this year (ie – not a believer)? 3) If you could only protect one player from outside the Reds top 10 from acquisition, who would you pick? Doug Gray January 31, 2013 1. As I am sure you know, Buckley and his staff have generally gone with plenty of up the middle guys early throughout the years. I would expect it again, but to address more of your point, yes. I think we will see them take a few guys with a shot to stick at shortstop in the first 10 rounds. 2. I could see a guy like Steve Selsky taking a step back. He exploded with power once he got to Bakersfield after hitting for very little in Dayton. His BABIP in Bakersfield was also over .400 (and .350 in Dayton). 3. Ismael Guillon followed closely by Jonathan Reynoso. Of course that makes plenty of sense. Neither was in my Top 10, but both were in the BA Top 10. Dick January 31, 2013 FYI: Cingrani sat at 93-94mph consistently in Bakersfield, and I don’t recall him ever dipping below 91mph with his FB. Perhaps his lower FB velocity in Pensacola was due to the wear of a long season. From Wanderins post. How accurate are the guns at these minor league parks? Could what Wanderin’ is referring to be due to hot or cold reads? I thought Hoover was no longer a prospect? Doug Gray January 31, 2013 I can’t speak for how accurate the readings are in Bakersfield, or even where Wanderin got his readings from (maybe he got them from the Reds gun in the stands where the pitchers were charting him). Hoover is not a prospect, but just about every prospect place goes with the generic 130 ab/50ip threshold and doesn’t pay attention to the 45 days on a non-September roster exemption. It hardly ever comes up with players, and it is almost always relievers when it does. But this year, Hoover fell in there and will not be eligible to win the 2013 ROY, therefore he isn’t a prospect and has no rookie eligibility by the rules. wanderinredsfan January 31, 2013 Bakersfield doesn’t have the velocity displayed, but there are usually quite a few folks with their guns right behind the plate (pitchers charting each other, to go along with quite a few scouts). Considering how sparse the crowds are, it’s pretty easy to move around and position yourself right behind the guns. The Duke January 31, 2013 Do you think the new stadium will be able to attract a larger following? wanderinredsfan January 31, 2013 Probably. I don’t think it will attract crowds like Dayton, but it should do just as well as any other Cal league park, so long as the park and surroundings are done up right. Even with the most recent recession and housing collapse, Bakersfield continued to show growth. All economic indicators point to Bakersfield becoming one of the fastest growing areas in the West, mostly due to it’s large oil-field expansion and other nearby energy developments of wind and solar. Also, Billings is becoming a major transportation hub for the mountain west, which bodes well for the future of the franchise there. I could see both locations remaining quite desirable for the Reds, so long as the park owners put profit back into the facilities. Doug Gray January 31, 2013 Yeah, it will be incredibly tough to see 7,000 in Bakersfield every night like there is in Dayton, but if Bakersfield jumped to 2500-3500 a night with the new stadium, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. The Duke January 31, 2013 If they can get to 3000+ a night it would be a huge win imo. Randy in Chatt January 31, 2013 FYI: the Reds re-signed Rieneke and Brackman signed with the White Sox. Krozley January 31, 2013 Carlos Fisher and former Red Pedro Viola signed minor league deals with the A’s. sultan of swaff January 31, 2013 Getting back to something somone brought up the other day about plate discipline, I am wondering what metrics exist in that regard. Is there a catch-all value? I’m talking something that could give me a single value for stuff like: swinging strike % (broken down by pitch) swinging ball % (broken down by pitch) contact rate (broken down by pitch) walk % K % Just spitballing here. Stock January 31, 2013 This is in Fangraphs.com For example Jay Bruce swung at 29% of the pitches outside the strike zone and 76% of those in the strike zone. He made contact on 56% of the pitches he swung on outside the zone and 85% of the time when inside the zone. Jay’s K rate was 24.5% and his BB rate was 9.8% Joey Votto swung at 21% outside the zone and 62% in the zone making contact 70% and 86%. Votto’s K rate was 17.9% and his BB rate was 19.8% Doug Gray January 31, 2013 As Stock noted, fangraphs has probably the best breakdown of the data you are going to be able to find without creating the data yourself from the individual Pitch F/X files. Ted in CA January 31, 2013 First time poster Las Vegas odds have the Dodgers, Nationals, and Blue Jays as favorites to go to/win the world series this year. Maybe this question is best answered in an article, but I’d like to see your comparison of the Reds vs these teams by starting pitching, bullpen, and starting 8. Thanks for this site; it’s my favorite on the Reds Doug Gray January 31, 2013 Nationals and Blue Jays I get. Dodgers though? I just don’t know that I see it. Good team, yes. I just don’t see them being among the best in the game though. wanderinredsfan January 31, 2013 I’d take their 1-2 in the rotation over anyone in the N.L., and they do have the best CFer in baseball. They are as deep as any team in the league, IMO. Doug Gray January 31, 2013 I can’t argue the pitching, but Mike Trout is the best center fielder in baseball. Still, the Dodgers are good. I just don’t know that I put them with the Reds/Nationals in the NL or with a few top AL teams. MK January 31, 2013 Dodgers have a couple of ifs but if Ramirez and Crawford are back to where they were a few years ago that could be an outstanding line-up. Doug Gray January 31, 2013 Absolutely. But if Beckett has an ERA of 4.50 and those guys don’t rebound rather significantly, that are some real concerns there. Scott from upstate NY January 31, 2013 I liked Stock’s post on the 29th that reviewed the Red’s draft history. He mentioned he thought a successful draft resulted in two regular players and one role player. Doug: What is your definition of a successful draft? How would you guess the drafting staff/scouts are evaluated by ownership? Doug Gray January 31, 2013 Generally speaking, the prevailing thought for a while has been that each draft should produce 1 starting player (either a position player or a starting pitcher) and two role players in order for it to be successful in the long term. Of course that is just generic talk. In a year where you have 6 picks in the Top 100 versus just two, that changes the expectations. As for how ownership values the draft, that is interesting. Given how long it usually takes for drafts to come full circle, I don’t know that the owner really even does much evaluation on it. He probably just relies on the GM to know that stuff. wanderinredsfan January 31, 2013 A few questions: 1. At future catcher, who is next in line behind Barnhart? 2. Which player do you have more confidence in going forward: Gabriel Rosa or Junior Arias? 3. Why? Doug Gray January 31, 2013 1. I would say that Joe Hudson is probably next in line. There is a lot of time for someone else to throw their name in the hat though. 2/3. Tough question. I could make an argument for either guy. Arias has hit somewhat in rookie ball, Rosa hasn’t. Rosa is much more athletic and has age on his side. I guess I will go with Rosa, due to his better athleticism and potential more defensive value meaning he would have to hit less in the long run. Still, both are “lottery ticket” type guys right now. Rosa though is barely a few months older than some high schoolers we drafted in 2012 and will be 19 next season. Hopefully being healthy will do him some good. The Duke January 31, 2013 I’m real interested to see how Jose Ortiz does this year in Billings I’d definitely go with Rosa. Younger, only one level behind, much more athletic, more defensive versatility. Both of them need to prove they can hit though. Doug Gray January 31, 2013 I am intrigued by Ortiz as well. MK January 31, 2013 Talked to a player in the system last summer and was talking about third basemen in the system and how bad Arias was defensively. He said from what he saw Arias was way ahead of Rosa in that regard. That is almost scary to think about. Might want to wear helmets if sitting behind first base in Dayton. Herbie January 31, 2013 Guys with frequent throwing errors always fluster me. Seems that should be one of the simplest areas of a player’s game to fix. My minimum defensive expectation for a professional player is that I shouldn’t be able to field a routine ball better than them. MK January 31, 2013 With the recent signings of Gallaraga, Rienke, Reynolds and Marquez there is quite a backlog of AAA level starters to go with holdovers Redmond, Villareal, Corcino, Cingrani. This tells me Leake has to be in the ml bullpen or rotation and maybe Cingrani in the big league pen. This would probably put Rogers, Lotzkar, Renken Smith and Crabbe at Pensacola, with a couple of those free agents guys getting released Doug Gray January 31, 2013 I think you are right with your AA rotation. Louisville will be interesting to see how it shakes out beyond Cingrani and Corcino. clint January 31, 2013 Doug, what are your thoughts on Devin Lohman? Ty washington? Doug Gray January 31, 2013 I think Lohman probably profiles best as a utility infielder. I don’t quite think he can start at the MLB level, but versatility and enough bat to play around the infield could get him a job. Ty Washington is a pretty good athlete. Unfortunately, he simply hasn’t played enough to get too good of a read on him other than that. I like his potential though, but hopefully he can stay healthy in 2013 and we get to see him display some of that athleticism on the field. Rob February 1, 2013 As the Reds have become more competitive and should be for the next 4-5 years, how does this affect their draft strategies? Will we see more high school players drafted in the first round and players who have the tools but have not yet translated into results? Now that we should be a very good team for the foreseeable future, how does that affect our minor league systems? What has happened to other smaller market teams that had to consistently draft at later positions? Doug Gray February 1, 2013 I don’t think it will change the strategy much. Teams generally just take the best player available. I don’t think that will change much. With drafting later, I don’t know that it will matter much. Looking at the Reds right now we have an undrafted guy behind the plate and a middle of the 1st rounder, second rounders at first, second and short and a supplemental first rounder at third. Bruce was a middle of the first rounder, Choo is an international guy and Ludwick was a second rounder. In the rotation Bailey was a top end first rounder, Cueto/Chapman were international guys, Latos was an 11th rounder (though he did sign for first round money, so look at him more like a late first rounder) and Arroyo was a third rounder. Of our entire team, only Bailey was a top end first rounder. Teams can be and have been built without drafting in the top 5 year after year.