USA Today’s 100 Names to Know for 2006 list is up. Below is a quick description and the Reds prospects who made the list.
Here’s the 10th annual list of Sports Weekly’s 100 Names You Need to Know: The next wave of players coming into the majors, who, in our view, could make the biggest impact during the 2006 season.
These aren’t necessarily baseball’s 100 best prospects. Many top prospects are too far down in the minor leagues to contribute in the majors this season. Others are stuck behind established major leaguers.
Not all of the players on our list have rookie status, but our criteria for inclusion is that players must have had more innings or at-bats in the minor leagues in 2005 than they have had during all of their major league time.
5. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B, Reds
31. Chris Denorfia, OF, Reds
36. Elizardo Ramirez, Reds
44. Bobby Basham, Reds
47. Justin Germano, Reds
It’s refreshing that Encarnacion is ranked so high. That would indicate that they feel he is in position to get lots of playing time and will not get unseated by someone like Aurilia. Too bad Encarnacion accumulated too many ABs last season to qualify for this season’s ROY award. Denorfia belongs, he should get at least 300 ABs backing up our often fragile outfield. If he does, that’s a good sign, because it means that Womack didn’t eat up any time in the OF.
I expected to see Ramirez and Germano, they are currently positioned to be the first in line to be recalled to replace someone in the starting rotation. I can only hope that this means that the likes of Milton and Wilson are on short strings. I don’t want to see them left out there for a third of the season putting up 6.00+ ERAs before we give one of these two a chance.
I was surprised to see Basham not only listed here, but also listed above Germano. I’m regarding him, Gardner, and Pauly as sleepers this season, as they all continue to rebound from stints under the knife. We’d be doing well if any of the three made it through the season healthy, pitched well, and ended the season at AAA.