Sat, 22 Nov 2014 17:51:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Scouting Cincinnati Reds shortstop Carlton Daal Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:00:44 +0000 Looking at a scouting report for Cincinnati Reds shortstop prospect Carlton Daal.

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As a part of the subscription side of the site I will be including some of the scouting reports from the 2015 Prospect Guide over the winter and leading up to the season. Today is the first of that series and will be looking at the #19 prospect in the Reds system, Carlton Daal.

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Cincinnati Reds add Amir Garrett and Kyle Waldrop to 40-man roster Thu, 20 Nov 2014 23:00:12 +0000 The Cincinnati Reds made roster moves to add left handed pitcher Amir Garrett and outfielder Kyle Waldrop to the 40-man roster.

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As expected the Cincinnati Reds made just two additions to their 40-man roster today. They added left handed pitcher Amir Garrett and outfielder Kyle Waldrop to the 40-man in order to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. Both guys took steps forward in the 2014 season.

Garrett took his first full season of baseball and turned in a strong season for the Dayton Dragons as he posted a 3.64 ERA in 133.1 innings with 51 walks and 127 strikeouts. After having spent the previous two years splitting time between baseball and college basketball he decided to give up basketball and focus solely on baseball. It paid off in a big way as he put together his best year of his career.

Waldrop repeated a level for the first time in his career in 2014 as he headed back to Bakersfield. He took the California League by storm as he hit .359/.409/.516 before earning a midseason promotion to Double-A. He didn’t slow down much with the step up in competition, hitting .315/.359/.517 with the Blue Wahoos in 252 plate appearances. Between his two stops he hit .338/.385/.516 with 37 doubles, four triples and 14 home runs.

With the addition of just two players the Reds are leaving several players at risk for being selected. We will have to wait a few weeks to see how the Rule 5 shakes out at the end of the Winter Meetings.

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Should the Reds look for help in the Rule 5 draft? Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:17:29 +0000 Should the Cincinnati Reds look at adding players through the Rule 5 draft?

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We’ve covered the players that the Cincinnati Reds will need to protect from the system to keep them from being drafted in the Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings. What we haven’t discussed is if the Reds should consider drafting someone to help their team for the 2015 season. Well, this afternoon we are going to talk about that.

The Reds have several weaknesses on their team looking at 2015. You are not going to get a starting caliber player in the Rule 5 draft unless you are just incredibly lucky. It rarely, rarely happens. But you can find bullpen arms and bench players and both of those are positions of need for the team. Let’s look at each of those options.

The bullpen could probably use some help. Looking at 2015 I would say that these guys have a spot locked up: Aroldis Chapman, Jumbo Diaz, Sam Lecure and one of Alfredo Simon or Tony Cingrani (whoever doesn’t get the 5th starter spot). That leaves several spots open for the taking, but the Reds also have JJ Hoover, Manny Parra, Logan Ondrusek, Sean Marshall (possibly) and more than a few prospects all fighting for the remaining spots. With all of those options, I’d be hesitant to select a reliever. That isn’t to say that I wouldn’t take someone, but they had better really be something with plenty of potential.

The bench would seem to be a lock for these guys: Brayan Pena and Chris Heisey. That’s it. Guys like Kristopher Negron and Donald Lutz will compete for spots in the spring, but there is clearly room and even a need for bench players. I’d be on the look for someone who was in Triple-A last year who can play around the infield, maybe not be a starting shortstop caliber defender, but someone who can cover you if needed, who can hit some. The bench needs guys who can hit far more than it needs guys who can defend. The starters are all good defenders so there is no need to have glove guys for late defensive switches. Get guys who can hit and won’t kill you on defense if they do need to play. Those guys may be out there for the taking. Perhaps look for someone who can play some outfield who can be a similar type of player. Not a great defender, but can cover all three spots if needed who can hold his own at the plate.

Those are the kinds of players I would be looking at adding and I’d clear a spot or two on the roster and prepare to do just that when December 11th rolls around and it’s time to select players. What would you do?

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Cincinnati Reds Retrospective: 1985-1989 Drafts Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:07:18 +0000 Taking a look back at how the 1985-1989 Cincinnati Reds drafts helped shape the franchise.

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In this weeks retrospective we are looking back at the 1985-1989 drafts for the Cincinnati Reds as we work our way towards today to see how the drafts have helped shaped the franchise. You can see the entire series here.

The 1985 Draft

The 1985 draft was both great and terrible. The team would draft four players who would go on to reach the Major Leagues from the crop of players. The team missed on rounds 2-10 before landing three guys who landed cups of coffee between rounds 11 and 17. Don Wakamatsu played in 18 games and is better known as a big league manager where he’s had 298 big league wins. Marty Brown landed three different cups of coffee from 1988-1990 where he had a combined 68 plate appearances. In the 17th round Mike Roesler was taken and had threw 31.0 innings in his big league career over two seasons. Those three players combined for -0.5 WAR between them. All of that can be forgiven though as they hit a grand slam with the 4th overall pick in the draft by selecting, for the second time, Barry Larkin. Larkin would spend his entire Hall of Fame career with the Reds as he played in 2180 games, won an MVP and a World Series for the franchise and is one of the best players to ever put on a Cincinnati jersey. He would rack up 70.2 career WAR. Total WAR for signed players: 69.7

The 1986 Draft

The Reds drafted more than a few future Major Leaguers in the 1986 draft and they got things started with 1st rounder Scott Scudder. The right hander  threw 386.1 innings in his big league career in parts of five seasons and posted a career -1.2 WAR. In the 3rd round the team would select Reggie Jefferson. He would only spend a few games with the big league club before being traded to Cleveland for Tim Costo in 1992. Jefferson would go on to player in parts of nine big league seasons and was a career .300 hitter, including a great run from 96-98 where he hit .327/.372/.524 in 320 games for the Red Sox. He would post 4.5 career WAR. The team would select catcher Ed Taubensee in the 6th round. They would lose him in the Rule 5 draft after the 1990 season but the Reds would trade for him at the start of the 1994 season and he would spend seven seasons with the team. He went on to an 11-year career where he hit .273 and posted a career 5.5 WAR. The 7th round pick was Jeff Richardson who would get into 53 games in 1989 for the Reds, but he hit just .168 that season and only played in 21 games the rest of his career while compiling -0.7 WAR. In the 9th round the team would  look to California where they took high schooler Chuck Carr. The speedy outfielder would never play for the Reds as he was released right before the 1987 season. The Mariners picked him up later that year and after a few seasons in the minors he would make his debut in the big leagues before completing his rookie year in 1993 where he led the league with 58 steals. He would play in 507 games over eight seasons where he posted 4.3 career WAR. With their 11th round pick the Reds would select Keith Lockhart, a resilient infielder who kept his dream alive by fighting in the minor leagues for years before making his debut at age 29. He would go on to spend 10 years in the big leagues and play 979 games where he would hit .261 and post a 1986 Reds draft best 6.1 career WAR. The final Major Leaguer that was drafted and signed with the team in 1986 was right handed pitcher Keith Brown who would get a few cups of coffee in four seasons that saw a total of 47.2 innings for 0.3 career WAR. Total WAR for signed players: 18.8

The 1987 Draft

The Reds got things started out right in the 1st round when they selected Jack Armstrong. He was in the big leagues a year later and an All-Star in 1990. He would go on to a seven year big league career where he hat 786.2 innings pitched and he posted a career 1.2 WAR. In the 2nd round the team would select Freddie Benevidas. He would spend parts of four seasons in the big leagues from 1991-1994, playing in 219 games. After posting a -0.7 WAR as a player he would move on to managing and working in other parts of the Reds organization and is now on the big league coaching staff. After missing on rounds 3-6 the team hit a grand slam in the 7th round by selecting Reggie Sanders. Drafted as a shortstop he would eventually move to the outfield where he spent his 17-year big league career. He would go on to make an All-Star game in 1995, play in 1777 games and hit 305 career home runs while posting 39.6 career WAR. In the 14th round the team took right hander Bill Risley. He would never pitch for the Reds as he was traded in a deal for Willie Greene, Dave Martinez and Scott Ruskin. The reliever would see time in seven big league seasons, though three of those seasons combined for six total appearances. He totaled 221.1 innings and a 3.98 ERA in his career while posting a career WAR of 3.6. In the next round the team would take left hander Butch Henry out of high school.  He would be traded in 1990 in a package for Bill Doran and never play for the Reds. After several seasons of struggling early in his career he put together three outstanding seasons in Montreal and after missing 1996 with an injury a very strong 1997 with Boston. His career saw him post 8.2 WAR with a career 3.83 ERA in 621.0 innings. Way down in the 28th round the team would select right handed pitch Milt Hill. The reliever would see time in four seasons, throwing 117.0 innings with a 5.08 ERA and -0.1 WAR. In the 45th round the team would make their final selection of a future big leaguer when they took catcher Glenn Sutko. He would get two brief call ups for a combined 13 plate appearances. He had one hit in his career and posted a -0.1 WAR. Total WAR for signed players: 51.8

The 1988 Draft

The Reds didn’t have a 1st round pick in the 1988 draft but landed a big leaguer with their second round pick as they took infielder Jeff Branson. He would go on to a nine year career, mostly as a utility type of player for the Reds. In his career he posted a career WAR of 0.0 in 694 games. The team didn’t sign a future Major Leaguer until the 12th round when they took Steve Foster. The right hander didn’t see much time in the big leagues, but in his three seasons he was dominant as he posted a 2.41 ERA for his career in 89.2 innings from 1991-1993. He threw just three innings in the minors in 1994, so I’m guessing he had an injury and never recovered before retiring with 1.9 career WAR. In the 19th round the team would select right handed pitcher Jerry Spradlin. The reliever would go on to pitch in parts of seven seasons with a 4.75 career ERA before retiring after the 2000 season. In his 371.2 career innings he posted a 1.1 career WAR. In the 32nd round the Reds would select big right hander Mo Sanford. The 6′ 6″ pitcher would pitch in parts of three seasons for a total of 82.1 innings with a career ERA of 4.81 and 0.0 career WAR. The one that got away: In the 13th round the team selected Paul Byrd, but he chose to go to college and was later selected by the Indians before going on to 14-year big league career and 16.3 career WAR. Total WAR for signed players: 3.0

The 1989 Draft

The team missed out on the first two rounds worth of pick before landing a future Major League in the 3rd round when they selected left handed pitcher Ross Powell. In parts of three big league seasons he would post a 5.40 ERA in 53.1 innings and -0.4 WAR for his career. In the 5th round the team would select Darron Cox. After years of toiling in the minors he would finally get a cup of coffee in 1999, hitting .240 in 27 plate appearances in his only big league season. He would post a 0.0 WAR. The Reds would follow that pick with the selection of Tim Pugh. He would go on to pitch for six seasons in the Major Leagues for a total of 416.2 innings with a 4.97 ERA and 0.4 career WAR. In the 11th round the Reds selected shortstop Trevor Hoffman. After two seasons of struggling at the plate he was moved to the mound. In two seasons as a pitcher in the Reds system he posted an ERA of 2.96 but was selected by the Marlins in the expansion draft. He would go on to seven All-Star games in his 18-year career where he saved 601 games with a 2.87 ERA. When he retired he had the most saves in the history of baseball, though he’s been passed by Mariano Rivera since. Hoffman would post a career WAR of 28.4. In the 34th round the Reds would take outfielder Scott Pose. He would make his debut in 1993, playing in 15 games. He wouldn’t play in the Majors again until 1997. He would see time in both 1999 and 2000 before retiring with 202 career games played and -1.5 career WAR. Total WAR for signed players: 26.9


The Reds drafted two Hall of Fame caliber players (I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that Trevor Hoffman will join Barry Larkin in the Hall of Fame) in this stretch of time, though the selection of Hoffman was one of luck given that he was selected as a shortstop and will go in as a pitcher. Barry Larkin was the best selection, though as the 4th overall pick in 1985 he should have been expected to be quite good. You never expect Hall of Famers though, which is why he gets the nod of Reggie Sanders who was a great pick in the 7th round in 1987. Aside from Larkin and Sanders, this stretch of drafts was not strong as only Trevor Hoffman, a failed pick in reality, posted a career WAR over 8.2.

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Reds must decide who to protect for the Rule 5 draft by tomorrow Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:40:46 +0000 The Cincinnati Reds have to decide who to protect from the Rule 5 draft in the next day.

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The Rule 5 draft will take place on December 11th at the end of the Winter Meetings, but tomorrow is the deadline for protecting players. The current roster is sitting at 38 players, which leaves two spots available. The team could still create room to add more players (either of their own or for players removed from other teams rosters to create space to protect someone else). Here is the list of players who are eligible for the first time for the Rule 5 draft:

Player Position
Amir Garrett Pitcher
Bryson Smith Outfielder
Carlos Gonazlez Pitcher
El’Hajj Muhammad Pitcher
James Allen Pitcher
Jimmy Moran Pitcher
Joel Bender Pitcher
Jon Matthews Outfielder
Jonathan Reynoso Outfielder
Juan Perez Infielder
Kyle McMyne Pitcher
Kyle Waldrop Outfielder
Michael Dennhardt Pitcher
Nick Benedetto Outfielder
Pedro Diaz Pitcher
Ryan Kemp Pitcher
Ryan Wright Infielder
Sean Buckley Outfielder
Steve Selsky Outfielder

I’ve covered this in the past, so this is a bit of a refresher course on who is eligible. From looking at the list, I think it’s a lock that we see Amir Garrett and Kyle Waldrop added to the roster and are protected. After that things get dicey. I’d be surprised to see the Reds add anyone else beyond those two from the group above, but I do believe the Reds can make room for others if they wanted to protect someone beyond those two. I’d say that given how the history of the Rule 5 draft has played out that there aren’t many guys who would be at risk of losing beyond Garrett and Waldrop, though left handers with some stuff do get grabbed up frequently.

There are only two possible names that stick out from guys eligible for their second or third Rule 5 draft. Left hander Wandy Peralta fits the profile of a guy who could be taken as a lefty with good stuff. While his numbers weren’t great as a starter in the California League in 2014 he dominated lefties and a team could take a chance on him as a loogy option for 2015 and then go from there. From the position players side of things Junior Arias jumped out immediately. While he missed most of the 2014 season and went unselected in the 2013 draft, he fits the type of player who could be selected. He has a huge upside, though unpolished in parts of his game, but could provide quality speed and defense off of the bench right now for a team.

I think that I would leave both unprotected and take a chance they don’t stick to someone’s 25-man roster next season, I’d certainly protect Arias over keeping a few guys that are currently on the 40-man roster who are the exact definition of replacement level players that should be freely available at most points in time.

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Fangraphs Cincinnati Reds Top 20+ Prospects Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:42:51 +0000 A new Top 20 Prospects list for the Cincinnati Reds has come out.

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Fangraphs had a bit of an overhaul of their prospect staff before the offseason began and they were able to bring in Kiley McDaniel as their lead prospect writer. I’m a big fan of Kiley’s work, so I was happy to see him land somewhere that I also really enjoy reading every day.

Today he released his Cincinnati Reds Top 20+ Prospects list. Like I have been saying all offseason, Kiley confirmed about the Reds system.

If you asked me before I started making calls on the Reds what I expected from their system, I would’ve said average to a bit below.  I was surprised to find they have at least average depth and a surprising amount of high end talent; they have an above-average eight 50+ FV players and three more that could’ve been in that group.

My contention has been that the national guys had an idea of the Reds system and their players that simply hadn’t been updated based on 2014 and that when they did begin making calls they would see the depth and upside of the players I had been talking about for months.

With that said, I do think that he’s missing the boat on a few guys, but that’s how this whole scouting game works. There are lots of different opinions. He is higher on some guys than I am and I am higher on some guys than he is. Go give the list a read, there’s some good information in there on a whole lot of players.

Here is a comparison of my Top 10 and the top 10 from Fangraphs.

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

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The strange pay structure for free agents Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:00:31 +0000 Baseball has a strange pay structure for how it handles international free agents compared to players eligible for the draft.

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I’ve covered the minor league pay several times on the site with the best article on the subject being available here. That of course only covers what the guys get paid once they are in the minor leagues (and it’s embarrassing). Yesterday Baseball America released the Arizona Fall League Top 10 prospects and the list got me to thinking about another situation where baseball has a very strange payscale set up.

On that list there were nine players that were drafted out of the June draft and one international free agent. The international free agent was Red Sox signee Rusney Castillo. Castillo defected from Cuba and signed with the Red Sox in 2014 and even made his big league debut in September with the team. Castillo is a bit older than everyone else on the list, checking in at 27-years-old. He signed a deal that pays him $72M through the 2020 season with 2015-2019 being between $11M and $12M and 2020 coming in just over $14M.

So, Castillo, being from Cuba and over the age of 22 is allowed to be given a guaranteed big league contract without restriction. The American, Canadian and Puerto Rican kids that must go through the draft are limited to bonuses they get coming out of high school or college. The international players under the age of 23 must compete for signing bonuses that are capped by teams spending which ranges from $1.5M to $6M for all players a team signs or the team must pay a penalty.

The top nine prospects in the league, all ranked better than Rusney Castillo, were brought in to professional baseball through the draft and only one player was not a first round pick. That would be Pirates Tyler Glasnow who signed an overslot bonus in the 5th round for $600,000 (which is late second round money). So eight first rounders and a guy who got paid like a second rounder, all ranked as better prospects than Rusney Castillo, signed for a combined total of $29,503,000.

Now, Castillo is capped at his $72,000,000 no matter how much he produces. But he is also going to receive all of that money if he completely flops. The guys brought in through the draft got their bonus, but they will make $1.5M for their first three seasons combined before hitting arbitration, where if they are All-Star caliber players, could make another $30M. So in six seasons, if they are All-Star caliber players, they could get $30-40M if we include their signing bonus in there.

There is some risk because the players are generally 18-21 when drafted, while Castillo was older and in theory has less risk involved, but Byron Buxton, Jesse Winker and Addison Russell would all be entering the draft in 2015 if they had gone to college instead of signing out of high school and professional scouts relayed information to Baseball America that says they are better prospects than Castillo is. And yet those guys, if they turn out as elite kind of players, will make roughly half of what Castillo will make no matter how he performs over the next six seasons.

Baseball isn’t going to change it, but it’s a very strange way that things are set up in their pay. Guys can come over to the US and get insane amounts of money while having never played in the big leagues and it’s all guaranteed for them. But if you are born in the US, Canada or Puerto Rico and are drafted, you have your wages pre-set for you no matter how good the teams actually believe you are or will be. Sports in general pay a player for what they have done in the past rather than what the are doing in the present or what they will do in the future. That is mostly due to the fact that when the leagues unionized the people in charge were the older guys who had been around and over the years they have sold out the younger guys who have no clout in favor of those that have been around for a while.

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Jesse Winker makes AFL top 10 prospects list Tue, 18 Nov 2014 21:46:13 +0000 Cincinnati Reds prospect Jesse Winker made the Arizona Fall League Top 10 prospects list.

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Baseball America released their Arizona Fall League Top 10 Prospects List this afternoon and Jesse Winker found himself on the list from the prestigious league. The left fielder led the league in average and OPS while finishing second in both on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Winker came in at #9 on the list.

It seems that Winker impressed scouts with his ability to hit for a high average and surprised some with his power potential (they should have listened to me – I could have told them all about it). This is just another mark in the plus column this offseason for Winker when it comes to prospect rankings. As the national writers begin to put out more team and overall rankings I’d expect to see him continue to get recognition as one of the best prospects in the game.

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