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Premium Content Cincinnati Reds Top-15 Prospects of 2012

March 28, 2012 BY ALEX EISENBERG No Comments Yet

Reds Top-15 Prospects of 2012

    1. Devin Mesoraco | C | Age – 23 | Grade – B+
    2. Robert Stephenson | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – B
    3. Zack Cozart | SS | Age – 26 | Grade – B/B-
    4. Daniel Corcino | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – B-/B
    5. Billy Hamilton | SS/2b | Age – 21 | Grade – B-
    6. Didi Gregorius | SS | Age – 22 | Grade – B-
    7. J.C. Sulbaran | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B-
    8. Tony Cingrani | LHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B-
    9. Neftali Soto | 1b | Age – 23 | Grade – B-/C+
    10. Henry Rodriguez | INF | Age – 22 | Grade – B-/C+
    11. Kyle Lotzkar | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B-/C+
    12. Kyle Waldrop | OF | Age – 20 | Grade – B-/C+
    13. Gabriel Rosa | 3b | Age – 18 | Grade – C+
    14. Ryan Wright | INF | Age – 22 | Grade – C+
    15. Yorman Rodriguez | OF | Age – 19 | Grade – C+

Key Links
› Prospect Primer (Grading Criteria Explained)
› Team Page Listings
› 2012 Top Prospect List Index Page
› Index of Last Year’s Top Prospect Lists
Reds Links
› Reds Team Page
› 2011 Reds Top Prospects

    Grades are based on a prospect’s projected value over the course of his career and how likely it is that prospect will fulfill his projected value. Various factors are accounted for including upside, red flags, actual performance, and closeness to the majors. See the 2012 Top Prospect List Primer for more information as it relates to prospect grading and philosophy. Grades can be subject to change.

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Prospect Quick Takes

    1. Devin Mesoraco | C | Age – 23 | Grade – B+ … See his full report below and click here to see him go head-to-head vs. Twins prospect Liam Hendriks.
    2. Robert Stephenson | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – B … 2011 first round pick potential makings of front line starter.
    3. Zack Cozart | SS | Age – 26 | Grade – B/B- … He’s old for his prospect, but he’s got a very well rounded game at a premium defensive position…could see him holding down the position for a while if he takes advantage of this opportunity.
    4. Daniel Corcino | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – B-/B … Similar to Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto. Same size and similar repertoire/stuff, though maybe not quite on the level of Cueto.
    5. Billy Hamilton | SS/2b | Age – 21 | Grade – B- … Not as high on him as others are. One of the better athletes in baseball, but he has to add a lot of strength and needs to show more production offensively in categories other than steals.
    6. Didi Gregorius | SS | Age – 22 | Grade – B- … Overshadowed by Cozart and Hamilton, but quietly put together a strong season in 2011. See his full report on Page 2
    7. J.C. Sulbaran | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B- … Pitcher has good stuff, but results haven’t followed. Last year he showed signs of putting things together.
    8. Tony Cingrani | LHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B- … Lefty from Rice put together a fantastic pro debute season. In fact, it was one of the more statistically impressive seasons for any starting pitcher at any level last year
    9. Neftali Soto | 1b | Age – 23 | Grade – B-/C+ … Power bat at first base, but has to get on base at a higher rate than he currently does if he wants a shot to play at first base on an everyday basis.
    10. Henry Rodriguez | INF | Age – 22 | Grade – B-/C+ … Undersized infielder has pretty good pop and versatility to play multiple positions.
    11. Kyle Lotzkar | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B-/C+ … Still trying to determine if he can hold up over course of full season…
    12. Kyle Waldrop | OF | Age – 20 | Grade – B-/C+ … Talented, but raw outfielder has a lot of work to do regarding his plate discipline.
    13. Gabriel Rosa | 3b | Age – 18 | Grade – C+ … Last year’s second round pick is a good ways off, but does a number of things well.
    14. Ryan Wright | INF | Age – 22 | Grade – C+ … High contact hitter who plays a number of defensive positions.
    15. Yorman Rodriguez | OF | Age – 19 | Grade – C+ … Needs to show more development than he has thus far if he’s going to stay a prospect on these lists.
    16. Amir Garrett | LHP | Age – 19 | Grade – C+ … Two-sport star was given a $1 million signing bonus to sign with the Reds. He’s a terrific athlete who has been clocked in the low 90s with his fastball and features two other useable pitches. He’s raw, but has a lot going for him.
    17. Junior Arias | 3B | Age – 20 | Grade – C+ … Power potential looks good, but striking out in 30+ percent of his at bats isn’t acceptable.
    18. Juan Duran | OF | Age – 20 | Grade – C+ … Physical specimen started tapping into his power potential, but striking out in over 37% of his bats is a huge, huge red flag.
    19. Chris Manno | LHP | Age – 23 | Grade – C+ … Traded to the Reds from the Nationals during mid-season, Manno is a low upside, limited role prospect. However, he’s very good at what he does. He’s extremely tough on left handers and is capable enough against right handers where he doesn’t have to be immediately replaced. Impressive stat: Manno struck out around 44% of all batters last year.
    HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order) – James Allen (RHP) | Donnie Joseph (LHP) | Drew Cisco (RHP) | Ismael Guillon (LHP) | Humberto Valor (SS) | Juan Silva (OF) | Josh Judy (RHP) | Samuel Diaz (SS) | Clayton Tanner (LHP) | Alejandro Chacin (RHP) | Brandon Hynick (RHP) | Danny Dorn (OF) | Daryl Jones (OF) | Mark Fleury (C) | Ryan LaMarre (OF) | Daryl Thompson (RHP) | Josh Ravin (RHP) | Josh Smith (RHP) | Tucker Barnhart (C) | Drew Hayes (RHP) | Devin Lohman (SS) | Sean Buckley (3b) | David Vidal (3b) | Kyle McMyne (RHP) | Wes Mugarian (RHP) | Bill Rhinehart (OF) | Jonathan Perez (RHP) | Stephen Hunt (RF) | Sal Romano (RHP) | Tim Crabbe (RHP) | Eliezer Beard (RHP) | Carlos Sanchez (1b) | Dan Wolford (RHP) | Pat Doyle (RHP) | Chad Rogers (RHP) | Juan Perez (2b/SS) | Vaughn Covington (RHP)
    *Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier, and Juan Francisco are no longer considered prospects based on the criteria set forth for these lists.
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  • Pitch-by-Pitch: Devin Mesoraco vs. Liam Hendriks
  • Scouting Didi Gregorius and Henry Rodriguez
  • Scouting Devon Mesoraco
  • 1. Devin Mesoraco | C | B – R | Age – 23
    MLB | Drafted – Round 1 (15), 2007

    Player Grades
    Contact – 50 Now | 55 Future
    Power – 60 | 65
    Discipline – 55 | 55
    Speed – 40/35 | 35
    Defense – 50 | 55
    Arm – 60 | 60
    Instincts – 55 | 60
    ETA – 2012
    Final Grade – B+

    Last Year’s Team Ranking – No. 2

    Last Year’s Top-100 Ranking – No. 19

    Last Year’s Grade – B+

    Body Type – Thick, muscular build.

    Scouting Report

    Click here to see Mesoraco go head-to-head against Twins pitching prospect Liam Hendriks…

    Devin Mesoraco wasn’t able to match last year’s breakout season production, but then again, I’m not sure it was physically possible for him to. He had about as good a season any one hitter could have. Instead, what he did was just as important: proved his 2010 season was no fluke.

    Mesoraco followed up his huge 2010 campaign with a strong 2011 showing. His .855 OPS with Triple-A Louisville was down from his combined .964 OPS, which came across three levels of competition. A large drop off in power production accounted for almost the entire difference. Why the drop off in power? A couple of reasons…

    1. Power production at the level he had in 2010 is very hard to replicate, and therefore mostly unsustainable.

    2. He faced better pitchers. They aren’t going to give you the same stuff to hit like they do at lower levels of competition.

    3. He has a reputation now, and pitchers are careful pitching to him.

    Mesoraco maintained the same level of plate discipline, however, making contact at a pretty good rate. In fact, for a power hitter, his contact rate is well above average. In addition, Mesoraco has one of the lowest ground ball percentages in all of baseball, at just 30%. Line drives he hit at a pretty incredible 27% clip. If Mesoraco can replicate all that at the next level, he’s looking like a player who hits for both average and power, while playing a premium defensive position at catcher.

    Defensively, Mesoraco actually took a step back last year, at least when it came to throwing runners out on the base paths. He only threw out 26% of all runners, down significantly from the 41% caught stealing percentage in 2010. This had to do with his footwork getting a little out of whack, causing some of his throws to sail on him. He still has plenty of arm strength.

    He has room for improvement in his receiving skills, where he allowed 10 passed balls in 97 games. However, that figure was dow from a year ago. Where Mesoraco excels is his ability to move behind the plate and block balls in the dirt, keeping them in front of his body.

    With Ramon Hernandez moving on to Colorado, Mesoraco is slated to be the club’s starting catcher heading into 2012.

    Best Case Outcome – All Star level potential.

    More Likely Outcome – Above average everyday catcher.

    2. Robert Stephenson | RHP | Age – 19
    Did Not Pitch Last Year | Drafted – Round 1 (27), 2011
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  • Second Take: Scouting Aroldis Chapman
  • Scouting Didi Gregorius and Henry Rodriguez
  • Scouting Devon Mesoraco
  • Continue Reading » 1 2

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