Thu, 27 Nov 2014 11:00:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fangraphs talks about Raisel Iglesias Thu, 27 Nov 2014 11:00:07 +0000 Two fangraphs writers take a look at Cincinnati Reds RHP Raisel Iglesias.

The post Fangraphs talks about Raisel Iglesias appeared first on


The guys over at Fangraphs have up an article on the Cuban players that participated in the Arizona Fall League this year. Clint Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel both put their scouting grades on all of his pitches, command and future role on Cincinnati Reds RHP Raisel Iglesias after getting a look at him while out in Arizona. I’ve covered some scouting information on Iglesias from the Arizona Fall League in the past here, but these two guys provide a different look and even with them both seeing the same pitcher at the same time, very different looks from each other.

Longenhagen’s future value for Iglesias is that of a “low end closer, high end setup type”. McDaniel sees him more as a #3 or #4 starter, or a closer. There is a whole lot more in the article to read up on, including a minute and a half of video from an appearance.

Now, stop playing around on the internet and enjoy Thanksgiving with your family.

The post Fangraphs talks about Raisel Iglesias appeared first on

]]> 5
Reds prospects before they were Reds prospects Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:30:38 +0000 A series that looks back at how some of the Cincinnati Reds prospects performed in high school and college before they were drafted.

The post Reds prospects before they were Reds prospects appeared first on


Baseball Prospectus and Perfect Game have up a rather interesting series that looks back at prospects before they came into the professional ranks. Yesterday they covered the National League Central Division and looked back on four Cincinnati Reds prospects as a part of the series. They looked back at outfielder with potential on the mound Michael Lorenzen, a raw high school fireballer in Nick Travieso, a two sport star who didn’t do much national traveling in Phillip Ervin and an overshadowed starting pitcher in Ben Lively. The article is rather interesting and to see where the guys have come from over the years before they joined the Reds organization.

Here is a snippet from the write up on Michael Lorenzen from the article:

Lean athletic build with sloped shoulders, loose actions. Two-way prospect because of special arm. Huge OF arm strength, 99 mph in drills, 6.80 speed. Balanced hitting approach, good clean swing, creates bat speed, gap to gap power, can handle the bat head, projects much more strength. Arm strength translates to mound, FB easy 91-93 mph, simple delivery with long arm stroke, low effort release, SL has good depth, CB spins hard, may have higher ceiling as RHP. Could explode by next June as a pitcher. Early draft possibilities especially on the mound.

Offensively, his profile was similar to that of another former college standout, Drew Stubbs—also a first-round pick of the Reds—with good speed, great range, and instincts in center field, his strong arm and intriguing power potential, especially to the right-center-field gap as a right-handed hitter. However, the more time Lorenzen got on the mound the more it became impossible to ignore his special arm strength, as noted in the showcase report shared above, peaking as high as 99 mph during his junior year and routinely working in the mid-90s in short relief stints to go along with a sharp breaking ball.

There is a whole lot more worth checking out and the article is completely on the free side of the site, so go give it a read.

The post Reds prospects before they were Reds prospects appeared first on

]]> 1
Wednesday All Questions Answered Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Ask some baseball questions and get some baseball answers.

The post Wednesday All Questions Answered appeared first on


It has been seven weeks since we last had one of these on the site, though if you are a reader at Redleg Nation you also got one yesterday as a part of my scheduled posts every Tuesday over there. It didn’t get nearly as much traction as we usually get over here though, so I am hoping to get a few more questions today.

The rules are the same as always:

  • Each user gets three questions.
  • Ask before midnight.
  • Try to avoid questions that will require me to look up answers.
  • Try to avoid questions that will require more than a paragraph to answer.

Let’s get to it.

The post Wednesday All Questions Answered appeared first on

]]> 55
Felix Perez continues hitting well in Venezuela Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:00:26 +0000 Cincinnati Reds prospect Felix Perez is hitting very well in the Venezuelan Winter League.

The post Felix Perez continues hitting well in Venezuela appeared first on


30-year-old outfielder Felix Perez, who spent the 2014 season in Triple-A Louisville where he hit .280, is playing winter ball in Venezuela. The Cincinnati Reds prospect is hitting an impressive .331/.359/.548 on the season while playing for Leones del Caracas.

The left hander has been hitting well for the entire season in Venezuela over his 32 games played where he has 11 doubles, two triples and four home runs. With that said he has been even better of late with 11 hits in his last nine games. In that stretch he has hit .367/.406/.667 with four doubles, a triple and a home run in 30 at-bats.

He’s struggled somewhat in keeping his walk and strikeout rates close to each other as he’s walked just five times in 131 plate appearances with 29 strikeouts. It hasn’t stopped him from being very productive in Venezuela so far, but it is something you’d like to see improve as the season continues forward.

With a strong season in Venezuela the outfielder could be an option to perhaps help fill out the Reds bench as a 5th outfielder in 2015. The bench is one of the places that the Reds will be looking to upgrade. If he continues to hit well he could get an invite to spring training as a non-roster invitee and given the chance to earn his spot on the roster. He could provide a lefty bat off of the bench with the ability to cover all three outfield spots, though covering center is more of a “in-a-pinch” situation for Perez.

The post Felix Perez continues hitting well in Venezuela appeared first on

]]> 0
2014 Season Review: 3B Taylor Sparks Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:00:20 +0000 Taking a look back at the 2014 season of Cincinnati Reds third base prospect Taylor Sparks who played his season with the Billings Mustangs.

The post 2014 Season Review: 3B Taylor Sparks appeared first on


Taylor Sparks began the 2014 season as the reigning Co-Big West Conference Player of the Year, and a preseason All-American candidate for the UC Irvine Anteaters. He responded to the expectations by slashing a solid .308/.389/.506 during his junior campaign, which propelled him to become the 2nd round pick of the Cincinnati Reds in the June draft.

Upon signing for a cool $972,800, Sparks reported to the Billings Mustangs where he would greatly contribute to the Reds rookie-ball affiliate winning a Pioneer League championship. He first appeared in a game for Billings on July 3rd and provided an instant spark, as he went 2-3 with a double, a stolen base, two walks and a strikeout. His first game would be an indication of things to come, as Sparks regularly showed off his power, speed, and patient hitting approach, as well as his propensity to swing and miss.

The third baseman came out of the gate red-hot, hitting .394/.512/.667 over his first 10 games. Sparks continued his torrid pace, as he homered in three of his next five games, which actually improved his slugging percentage to a video game like .725 through 15 games. Although his bat cooled down towards the end of the July, he completed his exceptional first month of professional baseball hitting .289/.421/.577, with five bombs, 10 stolen bases, and an excellent 14.9% walk rate. If there was any cause for concern in month one, it was that Sparks did strikeout 35 times in 121 plate appearances, which equaled a slightly alarming 28.9% strikeout rate.

The rookie league season did not finish nearly as smoothly as it began for Sparks. For the entire month of August and three regular season games in September, he collected only three multi-hit games compared to seven in July. Sparks struggled to hit .178 over these final 28 games with an astronomically high 41.2% strikeout rate.   He did however continue to show off the power/speed combination that made him an intriguing 2nd round talent, as 10 of his 18 hits during this period were for extra bases, including five home runs and three triples. He also helped the Mustangs sweep through the playoffs by going 3-5 with a triple in the first game of the championship series, and caught the final out, a line out, in the second game of the series to clinch the Pioneer League championship (No word on whether or not he pulled a Doug Mientkiewicz with the ball).


As is the case with many young players, Taylor Sparks is trying to translate his enormous potential into consistent production. As Doug’s draft day scouting report indicates, Sparks has true 5-tool potential, as his athleticism helps him to be an above-average defender at the hot corner along with the power/speed combo that he possesses on offense. Despite the ups and downs of his season, Sparks managed to OPS .840 for the season and finish tied for 8th in the league in homers, en route to being named the Pioneer League’s 12th best prospect by Baseball America. He will look to improve his contact rate and overall consistency in his first full season in Dayton next year.

To view more 2014 Season Review articles, click here.

Regular Season Stats

240 7 7 10 30 14 31 84 .232 .350 .490

The post 2014 Season Review: 3B Taylor Sparks appeared first on

]]> 4
Sebastian Elizalde, Donald Lutz and Marquez Smith crushing the ball in Mexico Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:01:15 +0000 The Cincinnati Reds have a trio of prospect tearing the cover off of the ball in the Mexican Winter League.

The post Sebastian Elizalde, Donald Lutz and Marquez Smith crushing the ball in Mexico appeared first on


Earlier today we looked all of the way around the world to Australia to talk about Jake Turnbull. This afternoon we are still looking to the south, but not nearly as much by checking in on Sebastian Elizalde, Donald Lutz and Marquez Smith who are playing winter ball in Mexico.

Sebastian Elizalde is playing with Naranjeros de Hermosillo. He’s hitting .323/.371/.511 in 133 at-bats with 11 doubles, a triple and four home runs. That’s really good all on it’s own, but he’s been on a roll over the last five games where he’s gone 10-20 with a double and a walk. That streak has moved him into third place in the Mexican League in average and fifth in OPS.

Donald Lutz has been on a bit of a roll as well over the last five games for Yaquis de Obregon. Lutz has gone 7-17 with a double, RBI, three runs and four walks. In 143 at-bats on the season he’s hit .287/.382/.510 with 12 doubles, a triple and six home runs. His hot streak has moved him into third place in OPS of the league. He’s hit lefties and righties well, but has done more damage against left handed pitching with a .986 OPS against them.

As hot as the two lefties hitters have been, Marquez Smith has been even hotter. Playing with the Charros de Jalisco he’s had 141 at-bats and has hit .277/.350/.560. He leads the league in OPS at .910 and is third in home runs with nine. He’s hit .378 over his last 10 games with six doubles and three home runs to go along with 11 RBI and seven runs. All 10 games have had at least one hit and eight of the ten have included extra-base hits.

The post Sebastian Elizalde, Donald Lutz and Marquez Smith crushing the ball in Mexico appeared first on

]]> 11
16-year-old Jake Turnbull now playing in Australia Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:00:09 +0000 Cincinnati Reds prospect Jake Turnbull has seen recent playing time in the Australian Winter Baseball League.

The post 16-year-old Jake Turnbull now playing in Australia appeared first on


The Reds signed Australian catcher Jake Turnbull in the middle of October. The 16-year-old is one of the youngest players in the organization and won’t be 17 until February, but despite his age he was added to the Perth Heat roster in the Australian League that started at the end of October. At his age, I didn’t expect him to get more than a few at-bats throughout the season as the average age of his own Perth Heat is 25-years-old. If you remove him the age jumps up another half-of-a-year. That’s a large gap between Turnbull and the rest of the league, especially considering that this is also his first professional experience.

After not playing in the first nine games of the season for the Heat, the catcher has made appearances in three straight games. On the 21st he came into the game as a pinch hitter with two outs in the 9th inning of a five-run game, a good place to give a guy an appearance with little pressure. The left handed hitter battled before lining out to shortstop on the sixth pitch of the at-bat.

The next day he again came into the game as a pinch hitter with one out remaining in the game, but this time he was representing the tying run. Facing a 26-year-old he would strike out on four pitches to end the opening game of a double header. In the second game the catcher would enter the game as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 8th inning and single to center field on the seventh pitch of the at-bat against a 27-year-old who twice drafted in the MLB draft and pitched a few seasons in the minor leagues. He got his first time on the field with a glove for the top of the 9th inning and caught a scoreless inning of work.

It’s early and the sample size is incredibly small, but it’s nice to see a young hitter facing much older and more experienced competition see 17 pitches over the course of three at-bats.

Here is a video showing the entire at bat that led to his first hit. The video is supposed to begin playing at 2:37:04, but if it doesn’t that is where you should jump ahead to.

The announcer makes note that Turnbull may see time in the infield or the outfield as well as at catcher during the season. I don’t know that the Reds have any plans on using him anywhere other than catcher, but it’s worth keeping in the back of the mind for the future.

The post 16-year-old Jake Turnbull now playing in Australia appeared first on

]]> 14
Bill Bavasi leaves openings in Reds front office Sun, 23 Nov 2014 20:29:40 +0000 The Reds front office loses another key figure this offseason.

The post Bill Bavasi leaves openings in Reds front office appeared first on


On Friday news came out that Bill Bavasi would be leaving the Cincinnati Reds front office and would be taking over as the director of the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau. Several front office members have now left the Reds this offseason, though they have also added Kevin Towers.

Bavasi came to the Reds in August of 2008. For the Reds he served as the Vice President of Scouting, Player Development and International Operations. I can’t say for sure what all of the responsibilities are for someone who is the Vice President of Scouting, Player Development and International Operations are but there is a whole lot that goes into it.

When Bavasi joined the organization I will be honest, I wasn’t so happy about the move. With the Mariners he struggled to put together a good farm system and made some rather questionable moves. With all of that said, the scouting and player development has been pretty good since he came over to the Reds organization. It will be important to put someone into the role he had to continue what the Reds had going for them when he left.

The post Bill Bavasi leaves openings in Reds front office appeared first on

]]> 2
Cincinnati Reds sign five minor league free agents Sat, 22 Nov 2014 17:51:24 +0000 The Cincinnati Reds have have started the offseason in the minor leagues with the signing of five minor league free agents, including the re-signing of Marquez Smith.

The post Cincinnati Reds sign five minor league free agents appeared first on


The Cincinnati Reds may not have done much in the way of big league moves, but on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday they made their first minor league moves as they signed five free agents to minor league contracts.

Things were kicked off on Wednesday as the team signed catcher Kyle Skipworth and right handed pitcher Jose Cisnero. They followed that up by re-signing infielder Marquez Smith. On Friday they picked up two infielders as they grabbed corner infielder Josh Satin and middle infielder Ivan De Jesus.

Let’s get some background information on these guys.

Kyle Skipworth

Skipworth is a former top prospect of the Marlins. He was the 6th overall pick in the 2008 draft out of high school. He had four plate appearances with the Marlins in 2013, but that is the extent of his big league time. Despite his high draft spot he has never lived up to the selection. He has topped a .700 OPS once in his career, all of the way back in 2009. He’s a career .215 minor league hitter with a .279 on-base percentage. He’s had real plate discipline issues with 162 career walks and 715 career strikeouts.  He does have some power to work with and he will be just 25-years-old in 2015. Defensively he’s solid, but nothing stands out.

2013 23 AAA 257 13 2 11 30 12 82 .188 .241 .397
2014 24 AAA 227 7 1 10 30 16 75 .216 .292 .407

Jose Cisnero

The right hander has spent parts of the last two seasons in the big leagues as he has 48.1 innings in his career with a 4.66 ERA. He missed most of the 2014 season though after going down in May with a torn UCL and he had Tommy John surgery. The reliever is a power arm who topped out at 98 MPH this season and averaged over 95 MPH in limited action at the big league level. He throws a 4-seam fastball, change up, slider and a curveball. He’s a former starter who the Astros moved into the bullpen in the 2013 season. He has a history of struggling to throw strikes with a career walk rate of 4.6 walks per 9 innings pitched in the minor leagues. He has missed plenty of bats along the way as well with 42 strikeouts in 28.2 innings over the last two seasons in Triple-A and 46 strikeouts in 48.1 big league innings with 26 walks.

2013 24 HOU 2 2 4.12 43.2 49 5 22 41 1.63
2013 24 AAA 1 1 8.66 17.2 25 2 13 24 2.15
2014 25 AAA 0 0 2.45 11.0 5 1 4 18 0.82
2014 25 HOU 0 0 9.64 4.2 8 0 4 5 2.57

Marquez Smith

Smith has been in the system for the last two years and has put up incredible numbers for the Bakersfield Blaze. I won’t go into his background much as he’s been with the team for a few years now and everyone is familiar with him.

Josh Satin

Satin will be 30-years-old when the season begins and he has seen time in four Major League seasons, but only one of those seasons did he see more than 45 plate appearances. In 2013 he saw 221 plate appearances and was outstanding as he hit .279/.376/.405 for the Mets, good for a 123 OPS+ (Jay Bruce territory – which shows you the park effects in action). In the minor leagues he’s been quite good with an OPS of .911 and .825 in the last two seasons with a lot of walks and moderate power output.He’s spent time at first base, third base and even played 17 games at second base in 2014. He even made it into a game as a left fielder in 2013. I’d wager he has a decent shot to make the big league team as a utility bench player. He can play several positions and looks to be a solid bat off of the bench.

2013 28 AAA 264 14 0 9 32 43 45 .305 .420 .491
2013 28 NYM 221 15 0 3 17 30 56 .279 .376 .405
2014 29 AAA 440 27 1 9 49 61 79 .289 .386 .439
2014 29 NYM 43 2 0 0 3 6 14 .086 .256 .143

Ivan De Jesus

The infielder has limited action in the big leagues, seeing action in 2011 and 2012 with the Dodgers. He’s hit just .205/.253/.247 in 80 plate appearances. He’s moved around a bit in the last few years, playing with the Dodgers, Pirates, Orioles and Red Sox (in two different stints) farm systems since the 2012 season. De Jesus is known for his glove, but has also hit some at the minor league level where he has a .298/.369/.395 career line. He has experience at shortstop, second base and third base.

2013 26 AAA 345 27 3 3 32 29 65 .319 .380 .457
2014 27 AAA 478 19 5 5 57 52 85 .281 .359 .386

These are all good signings for the Reds. Skipworth stands out as the outlier in the sense that unlike the others, he’s really lacked the production that the others have had. Still, he has some upside to work with and if he can even become a platoon type of guy, at the catcher position that has plenty of value. De Jesus and Satin could both fit into the Reds bench plans out of spring training in the right scenario and if nothing else give the team good depth to work with. Marquez Smith returning will get him out of Bakersfield, if for no other reason than he actually can’t play there with the Reds, but he should be heading to Double-A to play for the Blue Wahoos. Cisnero is another signing that I love. Assuming he is ready to go by the start of the season he could fit into the bullpen with a big time arm. If not, he certainly provides depth for the bullpen and gives the team options to work with.

The post Cincinnati Reds sign five minor league free agents appeared first on

]]> 11
Baseball Prospectus Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospects Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:14:51 +0000 Baseball Prospectus released their Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospects list this afternoon.

The post Baseball Prospectus Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospects appeared first on


Earlier this week we saw the Fangraphs version of the Cincinnati Reds Top 20+ prospects. Today we get the Baseball Prospectus version of their Top 10 Reds prospects.

Earlier this fall the head prospect writer and evaluator at Baseball Prospectus, Jason Parks, was hired by the Chicago Cubs, and left the site. This is my first chance to get a good look at the type of information and evaluations the new staff has and how it compares with the information and evaluations I have. You will need to be a subscriber to Baseball Prospectus to read any of the scouting reports on the site, but they do give you the Top 10 list for free. Here’s how it compares to my own list as well as the Fangraphs list:

Reds Minor Leagues Fangraphs Baseball Prospectus
1 Robert Stephenson Robert Stephenson Robert Stephenson
2 Jesse Winker Michael Lorenzen Jesse Winker
3 Michael Lorenzen Jesse Winker Michael Lorenzen
4 Nick Travieso Raisel Iglesias Yorman Rodriguez
5 Yorman Rodriuez Nick Howard Nick Howard
6 Sal Romano Alex Blandino Alex Blandino
7 Amir Garrett Phillip Ervin Ben Lively
8 Nick Howard Nick Travieso Nick Travieso
9 Raisel Iglesias Yorman Rodriguez Phillip Ervin
10 Ben Lively Aristides Aquino Gavin LaValley

It should be noted that Baseball Prospectus chose to not include Raisel Iglesias because of his age and his experience as a professional in Cuba. With that said, in the “talents under 25″ section he ranked between Lorenzen and Rodriguez.

It seems that once again the velocity reports out of Dayton on Nick Travieso didn’t make it to one of the national places, which is a little strange since I absolutely talked with one of their guys at the end of the season and gave them the full breakdown. Having Travieso listed as working in the 88-92 range is 100% incorrect and really does make me wonder a little bit about the list.

If you are a Baseball Prospectus subscriber, go read the breakdown of the players. There’s some information in there that is a little bit interesting. With that said, I’m not in agreement with some of it either as it doesn’t jive with the reports I have on some of the guys.

The post Baseball Prospectus Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospects appeared first on

]]> 9