As I’ve stated publicly, I expect the Dragons to be a much more competitive team this year than last. The talent in the organization is much better and it’s slowly moving it’s way up the ranks. Where last season’s Dragons roster had many players who were undrafted free agents, this year’s roster has only a few.

On the pitching staff, the rotation is headed by 2 high draft choices from last year’s draft in Travis Wood and Zach Ward. Wood was very effective last year, but this will be Ward’s professional debut. Carlos Fisher is another 2005 draftee (11th round) who pitched at Billings last season. Valiquette hopes to have better luck this year in Dayton.

A couple pitchers of interest could be Terrell Young and German Melendez. Young was drafted in ’04 in the 10th round, but has only thrown 18 innings in 2 seasons. Another interesting story may be Melendez was originally signed by Houston in ’98 as a catcher, and seems to have been converted to the mound in ’04. He appears to have been was cut loose by the Astros after spending last season in Lexington.

The offense looks like it should be improved as BJ Szymanski and Paul Janish return and are joined by JD Reininger and JD Roberts who both put up an OPS over 850 in Billings and are joined by 2005’s #1 draft pick, Jay Bruce, who put up an OPS over 800 in both the GCL and at Billings (at age 18). Gerardo Cabrera, who put up an 873 OPS for the GCL Reds last year, will probably hold the other outfield spot.

The Reds front office promised in today’s Cincinnati paper to make the Dragons more competitive. I think this team will be vastly superior to the product they put on the field last year.

One Response

  1. Blue

    It seems to me that the Reds are trying a little too hard to accomodate Dayton fans. At very least Ward and Szymanski should be in Sarasota, and perhaps Paul Janish should be there as well.

    Actually, I don’t understand a lot of the minor league assignments. Carlos Guevara should be in AA, it wouldn’t hurt Chris Dickerson to be there either, Medlock should definitely be there, Tyler Pelland should also be in AA, but he’s blocked by Phil Dumatrait who is blocked from AAA by less talented pitchers. It just doesn’t make sense.