As per the blog, ProjectProspects.com:
1. Homer Bailey, RHP: A 2004 first round draft pick, Bailey, 20, started the season in High-A Sarasota and aced that test with a 10.06 K/9 ratio and a paltry 1.00 WHIP. Promoted to Double-A Chattanooga in mid-June, Bailey continued to improve, this time putting up a 10.19 K/9 ratio and a 1.15 WHIP to go along with just one home run in 68.0 innings (he gave up six in 70.2 A+ innings).
Bailey has the build, stuff, and competitive spirit to be a frontline starter as soon as 2007. His fastball touches 97 mph and he offers a plus-plus curveball to go with his changeup and slider. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound righty has continued to grow physically, adding an inch and 15 pounds last year. With his frame and velocity, Bailey reminds us of Josh Beckett – though he hasn’t had quite as amazing K/9 rates as Beckett did in the minors, he has given up fewer home runs.
After pitching 103.2 regular season innings in 2005 and 138.2 in 2006, Bailey still may not be ready to pitch a full season in the majors, but that won’t keep the Reds from giving him a shot at opening 2007 in their rotation.
If he continues to improve, I think you’ll see Homer in a Reds uniform in ’07, but I don’t believe it’ll be coming out of ST.
2. Joey Votto, 1B: Don’t get us wrong, we really like Jay Bruce, but Votto, 22, just kept giving us reasons to rank him No. 2. For example, Votto was one of only five 20/20 men in the entire minor leagues in 2006. His 22 home runs and 24 stolen bases came as he maintained a 955 OPS at Double-A Chattanooga. Votto was successful in 77.42% of his stolen base attempts, so the 6-foot-3, 220-pound lefty could keep getting the green light when he is promoted to the big leagues. How many recent 20/20 major league first basemen can you think of? (Derrek Lee went 30/20 in 2003 and Jeff Bagwell went 30/30 in 1997 and 1999.)
The 2nd round draft pick from 2002 put up .319/.408/.547 vitals in 508 at bats in 2006, rebounding like a slinky from his .256/.330/.425 A+ 2005 season. Votto had 46 doubles and 22 home runs – both easily career highs – and sports good plate decipline (1.40 K/BB ratio). Likely ticketed for Triple-A Louisville, if Votto keeps up his 2006 pace, he could be ready to contribute for the Reds by mid-2007.
I think Votto will get a shot to make the team in ’07, but unless he completely outplays Hatteburg or Hatteburg is traded to make room for Votto, he starts the season at Louisville. I don’t see him sitting on the bench to play once a week or less at age 23.
3. Jay Bruce, OF: Performance-wise, Bruce, 19, has been one of the best high school hitters out of a 2005 draft that also included Cameron Maybin, Andrew McCutchen, and Justin Upton. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound lefty hit .291/.355/.516 with 42 doubles, 16 home runs, and 19 stolen bases in 28 attempts (67.86%) at A-Dayton in 444 at-bats. Bruce has amazing potential but needs to work on his plate discipline (2.41 K/BB ratio) along with his base running.
High school hitters taken in the top 15 picks of the 2002-2004 drafts include: Matt Bush, Chris Nelson, Billy Butler, Neil Walker, Delmon Young, Chris Lubanski, Ryan Harvey, Nick Markakis, Lastings Milledge, B.J. Upton, Prince Fielder, Scott Moore, Jeremy Hermida, Khalil Greene, and Russ Adams. So, you’re looking at a very high percentage of major leaguers here and a decent amount of players with star potential.
Bruce will likely start 2007 in High-A Sarasota, and may remain there all season. It’s unlikely that he’ll get any time at the big league level in the next year due to his age and development, The Reds hope he can be Ken Griffey Jr.’s successor in center field. But by the time he breaks into the majors, Bruce could be one of the top five prospects in the game.
My only complaint with this is they don’t take into account that he missed most of the last month of the season, which affected his numbers.