Cincinnati Reds Minor League All-Star Team Doug Gray September 15, 2014 15 Comments This is not the Cincinnati Reds official All-Star Team or Awards that are handed out at Redsfest each year. This is my own opinion on the best guy at each position for the 2014 season. This is not a prospect list and prospects don’t get any extra nod over a player who may not be as highly ranked. Levels played at, defense and even park factors are applied in my weighing of the players season. To be eligible a position player must have had at least 200 PA and must have spent at least 51% of his time at the position. To be eligible a starting pitcher must have thrown at least 70.0 innings with 51% or more of his appearances coming as a starter. To be eligible a reliever must have thrown at least 25.0 innings and had at least 51% of his appearances come out of the bullpen. The All-Star Team Catcher | Ross Perez There were a few options to pick from at the catcher position, but in the end Perez gets the nod after hitting .312/.379/.439 mostly with Pensacola (nine games with Louisville) while walking more than he struck out. Defensively he did have struggles throwing out base runners, but his bat made up the difference over the better catch-and-throw guys. Other considerations: Bryan Anderson, Joe Hudson 1st Base | Marquez Smith There really isn’t another option here given just how good the 2014 season was for Smith. He spent most of his season with Bakersfield but had a short lived call up to Pensacola as well. In total he hit .311/.424/.601 with 30 home runs and 131 RBI. It’s been a long time since anyone in the Reds farm system has had a season like that. Other considerations: Argenis Aldazoro, Robert Ramirez 2nd Base | Ty Washington Washington got the nod for a well rounded season with the Billings Mustangs. He would hit .288/.336/.424 with 19 extra-base hits, 16 walks and 28 strikeouts in 218 plate appearances. He would also finish one stolen base short of leading the league as he stole 20 bases in 23 attempts. Other considerations: Ruben Gotay, Juan Perez 3rd Base | Seth Mejias-Brean Like Washington above, Mejias-Brean gets the nod for his overall game. He split the season between Bakersfield and Pensacola where he hit .270/.368/.406 with 14 home runs, 76 walks and 99 strikeouts in 577 plate appearances. His defense was also strong and was essentially the tie breaker on a close call at the position. Other considerations: Taylor Sparks, Gavin LaValley Shortstop | Rey Navarro Splitting his season between Pensacola and Louisville in 2014 Rey Navarro hit .282/.343/.435 with 12 home runs, 46 walks and 58 strikeouts in 542 plate appearances. Defensively he made just 10 errors in 81 games (.967 fielding percentage). His success at the higher levels got him the nod here as he performed well at the Double-A and Triple-A levels. Other considerations: Alex Blandino, Carlton Daal Center Field | Beau Amaral Center field gets its own position because it is a bit different from the corners. Beau Amaral spent time at three levels on the season, but most of it came in Bakersfield (17 games in Dayton and 10 more in Pensacola). He hit .292/.352/.440 on the season with 44 extra-base hits in 488 plate appearances. Amaral would also add 23 stolen bases and is a strong defender in center. Other considerations: Brian O’Grady, Yorman Rodriguez Corner Outfielder | Kyle Waldrop In a breakout season for Waldrophe hit .338/.385/.516 between Bakersfield and Pensacola with 14 home runs, 37 doubles and 67 RBI. He also added 14 stolen bases. His full season of 540 plate appearances helped get him the edge in a close three way race for two spots. Corner Outfielder | Jesse Winker Winker gets the nod for the second corner outfield spot as hit .287/.399/.518 line with 35 extra-base hits in an injury shortened season of just 341 plate appearances. He walked 54 times and struck out just 68 times. He spent most of the year in Bakersfield but also saw a short call up to Pensacola before injuring his wrist. His time at higher levels got him an ever so slight nod over Aristides Aquino for the final corner outfield spot. Other considerations: Aristides Aquino Starting Pitcher | Amir Garrett In his first full season experience Amir Garrett took full advantage as he tossed 133.1 innings for the Dayton Dragons in 27 starts where he posted a 3.64 ERA. The left hander had 51 walks and 127 strikeouts to go along with his 1.25 WHIP. Starting Pitcher | Ben Lively While he cooled off some when he was promoted to Pensacola from Bakersfield he still more than held his own, posting a 3.04 ERA in 151.0 innings between the two stops with 52 walks and 171 strikeouts to go along with a 1.12 WHIP. Starting Pitcher | Jon Moscot Moscot spent most of his season in Pensacola but saw a late season call up to Louisville. He led the system with 166.2 innings pitched where he posted a 3.40 ERA between his two stops to go along with 50 walks and 120 strikeouts. Starting Pitcher | Nick Travieso Coming back for a second year in Dayton did wonders for Travieso as he posted a 3.03 ERA in 142.2 innings with just 44 walks and 114 strikeouts. While pitcher wins isn’t the best stat around, he led the Midwest League with 14 of them and posted a WHIP of 1.17 on the season. Starting Pitcher | Daniel Wright An under-the-radar season for Wright shouldn’t go unnoticed. The right hander split time between Dayton and Bakersfield where he posted a 3.54 ERA in 152.1 innings with just 22 walks all season to go with 141 strikeouts and a 1.07 WHIP. Other considerations: Michael Lorenzen, Tyler Mahle, Sal Romano Relief Pitcher | Brennan Bernardino The left handed closer for the Billings Mustangs put together one of the stronger years right out of the draft in recent memory as he posted a 1.01 ERA in 26.2 innings while racking up nine saves. He would walk just nine batters and strike out 31 while posting a 0.98 WHIP. Relief Pitcher | Alejandro Chacin The Dayton Dragons closer posted a 2.34 ERA in 65.1 innings in his second tour of the Midwest League. He saved 20 games while allowing just two home runs, walking 28 batters and striking out 84 batters to go with a 1.22 WHIP. Relief Pitcher | Carlos Gonzalez Gonzalez split his season between Bakersfield and Pensacola where he posted a 1.84 ERA in 53.2 innings pitched while racking up 15 saves. He struck out 53 batters and walked just 21 while posting a 1.23 WHIP. Other considerations: Ryan Dennick, Zack Weiss The Awards Player of the Year | Marquez Smith Hitter of the Year | Kyle Waldrop Starting Pitcher of the Year | Ben Lively Relief Pitcher of the Year | Brennan Bernardino 15 Responses The Duke September 15, 2014 How did Marquez Smith not get hitter of the year when he got player of the year being a bat only player for the most part? DaveCT September 15, 2014 Seems to me Smith is more of an MVP due to his impact on his team, which is a stretch of the ‘Player’ category. Otherwise it looks like a RML no win situation. Naming Smith both Player and Hitter of the Year leaves out prospects. And to split the awards isn’t consistent, as Smith is clearly both, or requires a qualifier, i.e., Smith is too old for his league. Doug Gray September 15, 2014 No doubling up on awards. sultan of swaff September 15, 2014 Seems to me the pipeline is rich with both starting pitchers and relievers. It makes me very reluctant to offer extensions to Cueto (break the bank) or Latos (bone on bone rubbing in his elbow???). My inclination is to keep the rotation intact and see if we can’t win it all. These kinds of windows for small market teams don’t come along all the time, and we’re not sacrificing the future to do it. If the plan fails, then you transition to Stephenson/Lively/Moscot/Lorenzen. AWA85 September 15, 2014 I am starting to lean towards keeping all the starting pitching an decide what to do later. If the team crumbles, trade in season to contenders. If the Reds make some noise, can’t they keep all 3 and worst case scenario make all 3 (Leake, Cueto, Latos) a qualifying offer. sultan of swaff September 15, 2014 Ross Perez—if the bat will play at the upper levels but the glove is lacking, I think you might have to look at trying him out at 1b or 3b. Hitting is at such a premium, you gotta fast track the bats. Navarro–I still don’t get why he didn’t receive a callup. SMB—This guy has me really excited. I don’t see him as a MLB all-star, but I could easily see him as a regular. With a solid glove and good on base skills, the floor on this guy is solid. Pair that with SuperTodd’s positional flexibility, and it gives Price some great options. Doug Gray September 15, 2014 I don’t know that the glove is lacking with Perez. What did you see that makes you say that? MK September 15, 2014 Hard for me to pick short season guys over full season. The consistency, grind, and success over 5 months compared to 2 and a half is tough and has value, especially with relief pitchers where one appearance can askew the stats. Would have to take Gonzalez or Chacin for Relief Pitcher of the Year. Doug Gray September 15, 2014 I understand, but Bernardino was just that dominating. He can’t do much for being drafted this year and when he took the mound he got the job done. Among the position guys it was only Ty Washington at second base that came from the rookie levels as the full season guys did get more credit overall in my book. Sparks and Aquino were the other two guys who were real close to getting the nod though. DaveCT September 15, 2014 Think the Bernadino selection should really be Gonzalez, who was no less dominating until his promotion, then Chacin. But it’s again not a fair comparison as he didn’t have the full season or promotional opportunity as the others. But in that case, I say tough luck to the short season guy. But that’s just me, as we have fine alternatives. Unlike for Ty Washington. Norwood Nate September 15, 2014 Hard to argue any of the selections. All things considering I might take Yorman over Amaral, because outside of about twenty injury-skewed games the numbers are pretty similar, while Yorman did it in a park that doesn’t play to his strengths and in a league that is more advanced. How much did Navarro play 2B? I was under the impression he split time there and at SS while in Pensacola. I might be inclined to take Navarro at 2B and Daal or Blandino at SS. Doug Gray September 15, 2014 I set the rules that you had to spend 51% of your time at a position to qualify for the position. Navarro played more shortstop than second, so he didn’t qualify there. He played more second with Pensacola, 39-30, but spent 51 of 67 games at short with Louisville to swing his position eligibility in favor of shortstop. Norwood Nate September 15, 2014 Also, you know your SP is stacked when neither Lorenzen or Stephenson make the top five for the season. Doug Gray September 15, 2014 It was tough to leave Lorenzen off, but the addition innings a few other guys had got them the nod. While that isn’t his fault as he was clearly being held to pitch counts and innings limits that others weren’t, I just chose to go with the extra innings over a little better ERA. There’s not a wrong answer to the question of top 5 starters for the 2014 season though. There’s about 8 right ones. DaveCT September 15, 2014 Agreed, especially as their numbers are so consistent, 1-5.