redsminorleagues.com http://redsminorleagues.com Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:41:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Jon Moscot continues to impress early in spring training http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/27/jon-moscot-continues-to-impress-early-in-spring-training/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/27/jon-moscot-continues-to-impress-early-in-spring-training/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:41:22 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12073 Cincinnati Reds right hander Jon Moscot continues to impress early on in spring training.

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On the first day of throwing for the pitchers, Jon Moscot stood out to Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price.

Yesterday guys began throwing live batting practice to the position players and once again, Price was impressed with what he saw from Moscot.

He throws efficiently,” Price said. “He throws plenty hard enough. He’s an 89 to 92, maybe a touch better at times. It’s command. It’s bottom-of-the-zone command, side to side. Very, very good slider. His change-up has made great strides over the last season. As I tell the starters, if you’re going to start, you need that off-speed pitch, some kind of change-of-pace pitch, but primarily a change-up, if you’re going to be really good.

The right hander is one of the more polished pitchers in the system and outside of Anthony DeSclafani, he’s probably the prospect most equipped to step into the big leagues right now and pitch as a starter. He’s probably still on the outside looking in for one of the open rotation spots right now, behind the favorites of Desclafani and Tony Cingrani. Moscot has been making some good early impressions on the manager though and with a good spring and a slip up by someone else he could be the guy the team looks to in order to fill out the rotation.

Video

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2015-2016 Cincinnati Reds International Bonus Pool revealed http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/27/2015-2016-cincinnati-reds-international-bonus-pool-revealed/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/27/2015-2016-cincinnati-reds-international-bonus-pool-revealed/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:00:57 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12071 The 2015-2016 International Bonus Pool amount for the Cincinnati Reds has been released.

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Major League Baseball released the bonus pool amounts that each team is allowed to spend without penalty in the 2015-2016 international signing period. The amounts are much like the draft pools, the worse your record was last season, the more money you are allowed to spend. The Cincinnati Reds have the tenth largest pool of money to spend.

Bonus pool money is up from last year and the Reds are given a limit of $2,873,000 to spend before facing penalties. What makes the international pooling money intriguing is that teams can trade it. There is a whole lot of money out there that could be moved in trades too. The Diamondbacks have the largest amount of pool money, nearly $5.4M, but they aren’t allowed to sign anyone for more than $300,000 because of penalties for going over their limits last year. The Red Sox have the sixth largest pool, nearly $3.7M and also face the same penalty of being unable to sign anyone over the $300,000 mark. Three other teams face the same penalties.

The Reds only had $2,033,400 to spend last year, so they are getting a boost of 41% over that for this upcoming signing period. The boost in pool money is enough to make an additional big time signing or two mid-level signings. Earlier this week we looked back at the players that were signed in the last signing period. There wasn’t a known large bonus signing in the last period. We would have to look at two signing periods ago to find the last known large bonus the team handed out when they signed Jacob Constante for $730,000. They also signed Reydel Medina that year for $400,000.

With more money to work with, perhaps the Reds will sign a few larger bonus players, though they could also use the money to sign a handful of additional mid-tier guys to hedge their bets and hope more players works out better than going all in one one guy for say, $800,000 instead of four guys for $200,000 each.

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Reds Raisel Iglesias looks good in first live BP session http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/26/reds-raisel-iglesias-looks-good-in-first-live-bp-session/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/26/reds-raisel-iglesias-looks-good-in-first-live-bp-session/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:30:05 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12069 New Cincinnati Reds RHP Raisel Iglesias was impressive in his first live batting practice session on Wednesday out in Goodyear.

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C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer talked about Cuban export Raisel Iglesias in his spring training rundown video yesterday. It was the first time hitters faced live pitching as the Reds pitchers took turns facing various Reds hitters.

Rosecrans says in the video:

It appeared to be really good, guys were taking checked swings. (snip)The early returns were very positive.

Here’s a clip of Iglesias facing Jesse Winker.

Rosecrans posted more than a few video clips of live batting practice on Vine, including clips of Iglesias, Winker, Michael Lorenzen and Anthony DeSclafani. Go check them out.

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Don’t sleep on: Reds reliever Drew Hayes http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/26/dont-sleep-on-reds-reliever-drew-hayes/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/26/dont-sleep-on-reds-reliever-drew-hayes/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 11:00:45 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12067 In the second part of the series we look at why you shouldn't sleep on Reds reliever Drew Hayes.

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Today is the second part in a series that we are running the first and last Thursday of February and March that will look at a player that you shouldn’t sleep on and forget about heading into the 2015 season. One player will be chosen from the infield, outfield, relief group and starters group. Today we will be jumping into the reliever category and look at right hander Drew Hayes.

Drew Hayes is a bit older than some other players in the system, turning 27-years-old last September, but don’t sleep on him just yet. The Reds selected him in the 11th round out of Vanderbilt in the 2010 draft. After dominating with both Billings and Dayton, Hayes has spent each of the last three seasons pitching for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.

In Double-A with Pensacola he’s had a mixed bag of results. His ERA at the level is 4.29, which isn’t bad. He’s also struck out 201 batters in 197.1 innings pitched, which is quite good. He’s struggled with his walk rates though, walking 110 batters in that span, which is far higher than you would like to see.

Something strange happened in August of last year though. He stopped walking guys. Literally. Once the calendar flipped over to August he would go on to face 74 batters and he walked just one of them. One. Prior to that he had walked 38 of the 237 batters he faced in 2014 (16%).

After the season was over Hayes headed to the Dominican Republic to player winter ball. The right hander threw 13.0 innings over the course of nine appearances and he continued his stingy ways, walking just two batters and posting a 1.38 ERA while striking out 17. Couple that with his time to end the Double-A season and Hayes, who has always had the stuff but struggled with the control, walked just three batters out of the last 123 batters he faced in 2014.

Scouting Report

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Reds not falling into an old trap http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/25/cincinnati-reds-not-falling-into-an-old-trap/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/25/cincinnati-reds-not-falling-into-an-old-trap/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 17:00:12 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12064 The Cincinnati Reds manager talks about keeping starting pitchers as starters and not moving them into the bullpen to fill a need.

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John Fay had an article this morning in the Enquirer going over some things from Cincinnati Reds spring training. In it he notes that the veteran signings for the bullpen is going to keep top prospect starting pitchers out of the bullpen.

Every team does it,” Price said. “Sometimes, you’re forced to use your younger, less-prepared players. We talked a lot about Donald Lutz over the last year or two, the fact that we had him on the team, but he hasn’t gotten a lot of playing time. That probably hasn’t helped his development in any way. We also brought up (Aroldis) Chapman, who we thought was going to be a good starter. But he was so good in relief we didn’t put him in the rotation.

Without jumping down the “Aroldis Chapman should have been tried as a starter” debate too much, the idea that someone who you believe could start doesn’t get that chance because he first went to the bullpen and found success is mind numbing. Nearly every starting pitcher could go to the bullpen and post better numbers (ERA/K Rates/WHIP) than they would as a starter. That’s just how it works. Their flaws are less exposed and they can just go out there and go full force for 15-20 pitches without worrying about saving something for later.

The Reds fell into the trap with Chapman of placing a guy into the bullpen for a short term need and never truly veering back to the rotation because he was so good as a reliever. Every team needs relievers, and very few in the history of the game have been as dominant as Chapman has been in the role, but he still only throws 60 innings a season. A less dominant Chapman as a starter could be far more valuable simply because of the additional innings he would throw, assuming he were still effective in that role (which isn’t guaranteed).

Robert Stephenson, Michael Lorenzen and Nick Howard (those mentioned by Fay in the article) are all able to hit high numbers on the radar gun. Howard and Lorenzen both have plenty of experience as relievers as both spent time in college as relievers at times, as well as in their first professional seasons after being drafted. Stephenson has never really worked as a reliever. His lone relief appearance in his career was simply him following up a rehabbing pitcher on his normal start day and he threw a starters number of innings.

Stephenson and Lorenzen have both shown that they can start. They’ve carried stuff over 120 innings in minor league seasons. Tossing them into the bullpen for a short term need would be a bad move.

Howard started in college at Virginia in his first two seasons, but his stuff wasn’t the same as it was in 2014 as a reliever in college or as a starter in the pros after being drafted. He will need to do what Lorenzen did in 2014 and show that he can keep that stuff over the long haul of 100+ innings. Placing him into the bullpen would be a little short-sighted as well, since the team believes that he can start, but it would make more sense because unlike the other two he hasn’t shown that starter workload yet. Of course, he’s also yet to pitch above Low-A and that would be an enormous jump on it’s own.

While it wasn’t ever too likely that any of the three made the team as a reliever, it’s nice to see manager Bryan Price actually say it out loud. Starters are far more valuable than relievers. Don’t waste starting pitching talent in the bullpen so they can throw 2-3 innings a week. If a guy has shown an ability to start, keep them in the rotation. The bullpen should always be a fallback option, not the first option.

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Wednesday Reds spring training rundown http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/25/wednesday-reds-spring-training-rundown/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/25/wednesday-reds-spring-training-rundown/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:46:00 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12062 Taking a look at some news and notes from around Cincinnati Reds spring training for Wednesday morning.

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The newest episode of the CDot Show C. Trent Rosecrans sat down with Jesse Winker to talk about life, about baseball and a few other things. You can listen to it below, subscribe to the CDot Show on iTunes or click here to subscribe using another device.

Yesterday was the first full day workouts with the pitchers and position players for the Cincinnati Reds. Reports were that Joey Votto looked good in the cage. While it doesn’t mean much, it’s better than the alternative.

David Holmberg is in good shape and throwing well early on, according to Bryan Price.

He wasn’t in shape when he got here, he gained some weight,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “I don’t know if his arm was in great shape or not. He addressed it immediately. We had to talk about it and address it. To his credit, not only did he make an immediate adjustment, he learned his lesson and came into camp this year in great shape.

He’s throwing the ball beautifully. Most of the guys on the board have thrown the ball very well this spring.

Dropping 30 pounds since coming to the Reds is certainly a good thing for Holmberg and perhaps that extra weight effected what was going on. If his stuff takes a step forward it will be big for the Reds. It was only a few years ago that reports had Holmberg throwing a tad harder than he has thrown the last two seasons and his control was considered quite a bit better. More velocity and more control from the left hander would be huge.

Bubba Watson bought a share in the Pensacola Blue Wahoos during the offseason. Yesterday he hit Goodyear, Arizona for a tour of the Reds facilities and talked smack to Billy Hamilton about who was faster. To be perfectly honest, I think I’d take Watson in his bet with Hamilton. Sure, he would lose straight up, but the bet was that if he started at second and Hamilton started at home who would reach home first. Hamilton is fast, but he’s not THAT fast.

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All of the Cincinnati Reds 2014 international signings http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/24/all-of-the-cincinnati-reds-2014-international-signings/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/24/all-of-the-cincinnati-reds-2014-international-signings/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 17:00:09 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12055 Taking a look at the Cincinnati Reds international signings for the 2014 season.

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Update: Corrected an error that listed a player that doesn’t fall into this category. The map above is unchanged, but the info below has been corrected.

The Cincinnati Reds signed over 30 players from the international free agent ranks. Some of them played in the Dominican Summer League last season, but a majority of them did not play at all. The largest signing, of course, was Raisel Iglesias. He’s already 25-years-old and close to being ready to step in and help the big league team. The list below is looking at those players who were signed in 2014 and did not play during the season and will be making their professional debuts in the 2015 season (not including Iglesias). There were some surprising things from the list. The Reds signed one player out of Venezuela in 2014. They signed more players from Mexico, the Bahamas and Australia than they did from Venezuela (at least of those who didn’t play in 2014). That’s a bit shocking. More than half of the signings came from the Dominican Republic. Five players that were signed were born in 1998. Here’s the breakdown for the home countries for the signings:

Country Players Signed
Dominican Republic 16
Mexico 3
Bahamas 2
Australia 2
Venezuela 1
Netherlands 1
Germany 1
Curacao 1
Colombia 1

Here is a breakdown of the positions played by those 28 players:

Position Players Signed
Right handed pitcher 8
Shortstop 8
Outfielder 7
Left handed pitcher 3
Catcher 2

Plenty of pitchers and shortstops. The shortstops likely include guys who will be moving to second or third base in the near future, but when guys are 16-18 they can probably still handle the position that they will eventually outgrow. Here’s the list of players that will be making their 2015 professional debuts:

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What does the Yoan Moncada signing mean? http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/24/what-does-the-yoan-moncada-signing-mean/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/24/what-does-the-yoan-moncada-signing-mean/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:00:37 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12053 With the Red Sox signing of Yoan Moncada, what are the implications of the big deal for the teenager from Cuba on the long term for Major League Baseball?

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Yesterday the Boston Red Sox signed 19-year-old Cuban Yoan Moncada to a deal worth $31.5M. With his age that meant anything he signs for counts toward the teams signing pool money. For the Boston Red Sox that meant they had a pool of $1.88M for the 2014-2015 signing period, a pool that they had already gone over before signing Moncada.

What is the point in having a bonus pool if a team is able to spend more than 15 times their allotted amount? Sure, the Red Sox have to face penalties for going over by such a large amount, which in this case means the loss of the ability to sign players on the international market for more than $250,000 over the next two years and they have to pay a 100% tax on all money over their pool (which in this case is $31.5M). While Moncada will only see $31.5M, the Red Sox are committing $63M to him when we include the money they have to also pay Major League Baseball as a penalty.

The amount of money he signed for was not a surprise in the slightest. It was just about what was rumored for quite a while now. Despite that, when the signing was announced, several things started running through my mind. Let’s talk about some of them.

What makes Moncada worth a $63M investment at 19, but an elite level Latin American kid won’t sniff $5M?

There are obviously a few differences that jump out. Moncada is currently 19-years-old and most Latin American kids are signing at 16 or 17. There’s less projection both skill wise and physically. The competition each has faced. The Latin American kids aren’t really playing in a league, they are participating in work outs and glorified practices. Moncada played professionally in Cuba against grown men. Those differences are real and they do provide more comfort for teams committing money to a guy like Moncada.

The question I have is why is it worth so much larger of an investment? The Latin American signings are only getting a bonus, the team will still have to pay them for their six years of big league service time, which could be upwards of $30M if they turn into a superstar over those six years and get paid fairly in arbitration. So it isn’t as if their pay is completely out of whack if they turn out to be a very, very good player. The question is why are they guaranteed so little comparatively. If Moncada, who is expected to spend another year or two in the minor leagues, completely flops, he is still going to get every last penny of his money. The risk factor is there on both ends and one is certainly less risky than the other, but the numbers don’t jive up in my mind fairly for the amount of risk on each.

Is this the signing that brings us a world-wide draft?

Major League Baseball has been pushing for a world-wide draft for years now, but after this season the CBA is up and that is when things can really get moving towards making it happen. While I imagine we would still see guys over the age of 23 remain as free agents (as well as seeing the Korea/Japanese leagues exempt), players that are under the age of 23 would be eligible for a draft. This would be held separately from the draft of players from high schools and colleges in America, Canada and Puerto Rico. Much like that draft, there will probably be bonus pools with hard caps, though the cap was set up to be a hard cap under the current rules and that didn’t really make a difference in this case.

Should the Latin American buscones set up a league for prospects?

As noted in the first question, Moncada has faced better competition and played in actual games, all while being older. That helped him gain a larger contract. Right now, buscones are essentially running things in the Latin American countries when it comes to getting teenagers signed by Major League teams, often at the ages of 16 or 17. Would it be beneficial for them to set up a league for guys between the ages of 16-20, to play in and prove themselves against better competition and thus be able to demand higher bonuses? Everyone would take a short term hit, but would it be more beneficial in the long run for everyone involved (assuming a world wide draft isn’t on the horizon)? Holding off to sign until guys are 18-20 would provide them with a quicker timeline to the big leagues in most cases, a more physical body to work with and less projection to rely on. They would also be entering professional baseball with a better understanding of the skills required rather than just being raw athletes who haven’t really done a ton of playing games.

What is Major League Baseball going to do with all of this excess “tax” money for teams overspending?

The Red Sox owe Major League Baseball over $32M for their “overage tax”. The Yankees over them over $20M for their “overage tax”. Several other teams also owe several million dollars. Let’s just count it up and say that Major League Baseball has $60M in a fund by the end of the year from all of these overages paid by teams to sign players. Right now, that money doesn’t have a use. Baseball did not expect teams to go this crazy with spending and paying taxes when they set up the rules. That is a whole lot of money just sitting there. What is baseball going to do with it? What should they do with it? It’s a bit crazy that all of that money could have gone to the players that were actually signed because of their talents and what teams were willing to invest in them, but somehow Major League Baseball now has it just because, well, they set up the rules.

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Cincinnati Reds Raisel Iglesias working on a 2-seamer http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/23/cincinnati-reds-raisel-iglesias-working-on-a-2-seamer/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/23/cincinnati-reds-raisel-iglesias-working-on-a-2-seamer/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 17:30:14 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12050 Cincinnati Reds RHP Raisel Iglesias has picked up a 2-seam fastball since leaving Cuba.

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On Friday afternoon John Fay talked with Cincinnati Reds RHP Raisel Iglesias. They spoke about plenty of things, but the one thing that jumped out to me was when Iglesias was asked about the pitches that he threw.

Since I came to America and started working at the professional level, I added two more pitches — the sinker and the change-up.

The change up is a pitch that we knew he had added. He used it at times in the Arizona Fall League. What we didn’t see in Arizona last fall was his usage of a two-seam fastball.

While we are working with an incredibly small sample size of pitches, given that he only threw seven innings (and all were one inning outings), and only two innings came with the Pitch F/X system running, we were able to a glimpse of what his pitches moved like.

His four-seam fastball has about 10 inches of rising action to it. His change up has about 6.5 inches of rising action to it. A two-seam fastball usually have less than five inches of rise to it (they tend to be between 0-5 inches of rise depending on the pitcher). It will be interesting to see just how much the pitch actually sinks given that even his change up wouldn’t really qualify as a sinker.

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Jon Moscot impresses Bryan Price early in spring training http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/23/jon-moscot-impresses-bryan-price-early-in-spring-training/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/02/23/jon-moscot-impresses-bryan-price-early-in-spring-training/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:00:46 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12046 Cincinnati Reds pitching prospect impressed manager Bryan Price early in spring training.

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Mark Sheldon reported on Sunday afternoon that Bryan Price was very pleased with the performance of several pitchers, but noted this about right hander Jon Moscot:

“I never had seen Jon Moscot pitch, and I had heard nothing but great things,” Price said. “He has not disappointed in the least.”

As a former pitching coach, it’s not surprising that he was impressed by Moscot. The 23-year-old is coming off of a season where he threw 166.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A where he had a 3.40 ERA.

While guys are essentially throwing bullpen sessions at this point in the spring, Moscot does a lot of things well, throws four pitches and all of them are solid or better and he can throw strikes. Moscot was one of the guys I noted that had a chance to steal one of the open spots in the rotation with a good spring. It’s still likely that Moscot finds himself in the Louisville rotation to begin the 2015 season, but he’s got a well rounded arsenal that could keep him in competition into the latter parts of the spring.

Here’s a little bit of video from August of 2014 with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos right before he was promoted to Triple-A Louisville.

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