Photo by: Barbara Moore (Flickr)Arizona Fall League Rosters Announced Doug Gray August 26, 2014 26 Comments Major League Baseball just released the 2014 Arizona Fall League rosters. The Cincinnati Reds will be a part of the Surprise Seguaros and will be managed by Pensacola Blue Wahoos manager Delino DeShields. Games begin October 7th. The Reds are sending a whole slew of top prospects to the Fall League this year. The Pitchers RHRP Ben Klimesh RHSP Nick Howard The Postion Players OF Jesse Winker OF Kyle Waldrop 2B Ryan Wright 3B Seth Mejias-Brean This is probably the best group of guys that the Reds have sent to Arizona in quite a while. It looks like Nick Howard is on a similar plan to that of Michael Lorenzen. He wasn’t pushed up as high during the season, but he actually got some starts and like Lorenzen, is heading to Arizona for the Fall League. Reliever Ben Klimesh will be joining him on the pitching staff. He has 74 strikeouts and 20 walks in 60.1 innings out of the bullpen this year. On the position side of things we see the top position prospect in the organization heading out there in Jesse Winker. This probably doesn’t come as a shock for those who follow things closely as the organization tends to send guys who lost time to injury to Arizona to make up for lost time and Winker fit that bell quite well. Joining him will be fellow Pensacola outfielder Kyle Waldrop and infielders Ryan Wright and Seth Mejias-Brean. Waldrop and Wright are both Rule 5 eligible this season if they go unprotected. Waldrop has put together an outstanding year between Bakersfield and Pensacola. Ryan Wright hit quite well in Bakersfield but has really struggled in his time with Pensacola. The same can be said for Seth Mejias-Brean (except that he isn’t Rule 5 eligible this season). For both Waldrop and Wright their time in Arizona could be vital to whether or not they are protected and added to the 40-man roster before December. With a good showing it would increase their chances of being added, though if they struggle they could be left off. Here are the current stats for everyone that is heading to Arizona. Player Team W L ERA SV IP H HR BB K WHIP Nick Howard Dayton 1 1 4.56 0 23.2 21 3 8 15 1.23 Ben Klimesh BAK/PEN 5 2 4.77 7 60.1 53 6 20 74 1.21 ____ Player Tm PA 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG Jesse Winker BAK/PEN 341 20 0 15 57 5 54 68 .287 .399 .518 Kyle Waldrop BAK/PEN 515 35 4 12 65 14 39 95 .337 .387 .508 Seth Mejias-Brean BAK/PEN 556 14 5 14 65 8 71 95 .272 .366 .410 Ryan Wright BAK/PEN 480 29 2 10 57 9 19 83 .262 .298 .402 26 Responses Randy in Chatt August 26, 2014 Good list. Quite surprised (pun not intended) Raciel Iglesias not on the list. Doug Gray August 26, 2014 I am too. The Reds had said they wanted to get him there, and maybe they still can. DaveCT August 26, 2014 Probably the best list top to bottom I’ve seen (or can remember). No filler. The Duke August 27, 2014 I’d probably say that Wright is a borderline filler. charliefunny August 26, 2014 Thanks for the update Doug. Thought we could ask our fans to make their picks before this announcement, like you did the last few years. I made my picks last weekend: 2014 Rule 5 decisions: Waldrop, Wright, Selsky, Gonzales, Pinckard & McMyne 2015 Rule 5 decision & ready for 2015 AAA: Winker 2015 Rule 5 decision & not ready for 2015 AAA: SMB It will be interesting to see how the Reds picks do in the AFL. Most have repeated half a season at high-A even though they were ready for AA this Spring. This is what happens when there are too many suspect players at AAA this season. It jams the AAA roster which ripples down the line, so prospect players repeat AA, High-A, Low A etc. The biggest jump is from high-A to AA, but this Spring, the Reds never gave the deserving players in High-A, a chance to play at AA. Why not promote them to AA in Spring, let them learn & improve in the Summer so when they face AFL’s AAA/AA level pitching they wont have as big of a learning curve (to hit). Not a smart way to develop players like most mid-market teams do. I predict Waldrop will adapt fine based on the PNJ website article about him adjusting faster than any of the 7 players promoted midseason. http://www.pnj.com/sports/blue-wahoos. Plus his performance has shown it too. The rest I think will struggle more at the beginning and might do average in the end. The real test will be how well they apply their 2014 AFL lessons in their 2015 performance. We’ll know in about 8-9 months, next May. Doug Gray August 26, 2014 Honestly, it snuck up on me this year. I didn’t have it on my calendar, so I couldn’t have a prediction topic for discussion. I didn’t realize rosters came out today until about two hours before they were announced. Tom August 26, 2014 Doug, is Winker healed from the wrist injury? Obviously they are hoping he will be in time for the AFL. Doug Gray August 26, 2014 He should be ready in plenty of time. Games don’t start for 6 more weeks. Shchi August 26, 2014 I’m glad to see Winker Mejias-Brean and Waldrop on the AFL roster. Winker needs the playing time after the injury just after his promotion to AA. Mejias-Brean needs to use the opportunity to get back on track for 2015. I’m not sure Waldrop needs to prove or validate his inclusion on the 40-man roster in 2015, but a good showing in the AFL could be an early ticket to AAA in 2015. I think Wright might be playing for a slim chance at the 40-man roster. The Reds simply must be more selective about doling out 40-man roster spots going forward. Dale Pearl August 27, 2014 I agree!!! This year their 40 man roster was a disaster. The injuries to the guys in the big leagues demonstrated just how illogical the selection has been to include players on it. Doug Gray August 27, 2014 The non-25-man roster portion of the 40-man roster is more about protecting assets than it is having back ups for the big leagues. The Reds protected assets and just had an insane amount of injuries that happened that led to them needing 4-5 guys at a time, which simply isn’t something teams can handle because of how everything is set up. MK August 26, 2014 I a MK August 26, 2014 Oops. Do players have to be AA or beter to qualify? Doug Gray August 27, 2014 Here are the Rules: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/winterleagues/about/?league=119&id=player_elig One guy below AA per organization, though teams can usually get a second if they really want. Same for foreign players…. Yorman went last year despite not being “eligible” because Venezuela has a winter league. The Duke August 27, 2014 I think Waldrop is added to the 40 man and Wright is not. I can’t see anyone putting Wright on their MLB roster all of next year. tct August 27, 2014 I couldn’t see anyone putting Duran or Guillon on their rosters for a whole year, but the reds put those 2 on the 40 man. But I think Waldrop has got to be on. I really like Yorman and all, but every time someone questions the production someone mentions his age. Well Waldrop is a whole 3 months older than Yorman and Waldrop has been great in AA. I think Rodriguez will be the better player, and I’m not trying to say that Waldrop is as good a prospect. But I think he has been good enough that the reds need to protect him, plus he could possibly be ready by next summer to fill in for a injury and wouldn’t be dead space on the 40 man like some of the guys the reds have had on there lately. tct August 27, 2014 Correction: Waldrop is 9 months older than Rodriguez. Math was never my thing. Doug Gray August 27, 2014 Duran surprised me last year with his addition. Guillon didn’t. Someone would have stashed him in the bullpen as a lefty all year, no question in my mind. I don’t have much doubt that Waldrop gets added in November when they make the moves. Dale Pearl August 27, 2014 This list is very telling. The Reds are clearly starting auditions for Left Field right now. We have a triangle of players: Winker – Waldrop – Rodrigquez all that will trying to grasp at the positions left voided by Ludwick and Heisey. My guess is that if Rodriquez comes up on September he plays enough for the Reds to see if he is ready to go opening day 2015. The other two are contending for either starting at AAA or as a bench player on the MLB roster opening day. Wright could sneak in there as well. Phillips is aging and his # of games will have to be curtailed next year along with Votto so we are going to need a quality backup second baseman in the system. I was thinking more along the lines of Negron – Elsmore but maybe Wright can join in that discussion as well? Disappointed not to see Raciel Iglesias on the list. I thought he would going to be a lock in there so he could leap frog the first level or two of the farm system ladder. Considering Moscot – Corcino – Lively – Bender – Garritt – Lorenzen – Stephensen – Travisco – Conteras and maybe even Axelrod the Reds are in no rush to advance Iglesias so maybe that log jam has the Reds thinking there is no need to rush him? I am just as curious on why they choose Howard and Ben Klimesh. I haven’t been following either of the two that much but I do know that the Reds are going to be pressing to have some quality middle relief out there for 2015. Hoover – Ondrusek – Lecure among others have probably lost quite a bit of stock with the organization based upon performance this year. Hoover’s s 10 losses…. imagine if 7 or 8 of those were wins or holds instead. If there any possibility that stays on as a reliever? I doubt it myself as I know the plan has been from day 1 to use him as a starter, but maybe we have a whole Chapman scenario going on where we need relievers more than starters so the growth on Howard is focused toward reliever development? Just a thought. Doug Gray August 27, 2014 There is no chance that Winker/Waldrop/Rodriguez will be on the bench for opening day unless it’s one of those situations where it’s for a week. With Howard, I think it is just all about getting him additional innings on his arm. Klimesh is a good arm that they are probably trying to get another look at as a potential 2015 option. Dale Pearl August 27, 2014 Realistically Doug why not start opening day with 2 of the guys from Winker/Waldrop/Rodriguez? What is the downside there? Certainly one will have to start in AAA maybe another one traded off but I don’t see any reason why not. Isn’t it the majority opinion that how the Reds use Heisey that they have effective given up on him as a starter and based upon him heading to arbitration at the end of the season won’t his contract be so expensive as to be prohibitive? Combine that with Ludwick and we have 2 openings for the start of 2015. If not 2 of those 3 then who? Doug Gray August 27, 2014 The downside is that they ride the bench and don’t get the developmental time that they need. Heisey might make $2M next year. Guys only get expensive in arbitration if they produce. Heisey got a .661 OPS the last two seasons as a bench player without home runs/RBI/AVG to try and work an arbitrator into picking a good number. His raise isn’t going to be much because he doesn’t have the production to warrant it. The Reds will stick with Heisey on the bench and if needed go with Lutz or a free agent back up type. They aren’t sticking a 21 or 22 year old on the bench as a back up. MK August 27, 2014 So you would start the arbitration clock, and retard the development process for two young players? Dale Pearl August 27, 2014 I see it as a very real possibility we start 2015 with a rookie playing full time in Left Field. Goodness we did it in 2014 with bham. We got the results we expected so why wouldn’t we do the same with Left field? I don’t see Heisey coming back, I really don’t and I think he is probably conceding that as well. If we can get better performance or equal performance or heck his stats are not good so even poor performance for the league minimum is an upgrade. Doug Gray August 27, 2014 A starter, sure. But a starter and a bench player? Not going to happen with two guys that are 22 and under. Krozley August 27, 2014 Ryan Wright is designated as taxi squad and can only play on Wednesdays. I’m not sure that will be enough to upgrade or downgrade his current stock, but at least he will be around competitive baseball for a while longer this season. Could we see Iglesias in one of the Latin winter leagues? Puig played in the Puerto Rican league after he defected, so there is precedent.