Tom Nichols, voice of the Dayton Dragons, has started an 8-part series on the potential 2010 Dayton starters. Each article outlines the potential starters at each position and finishes with the players who played the position in 2009. So far, he’s taken a look at catcher and first base.
Part 1 takes a look at the potential catchers who may start with the A-ball team this season. He provides a nice, detailed background for each of the following catchers:
– Kevin Coddington, 44th round, 2008
– Mark Fleury, 4th round, 2009
– Jordan Wideman, 11th round, 2007 (the only high school pick in this list)
– Chase Weems, 6th round, 2006 (Yankees), acquired for Jerry Hairston, Jr.
– Chris McMurray, 18th round, 2008
– Trey Manz, 26th round, 2009
Coddington, Wideman, and Weems are also mentioned as in the mix to start at A+ Lynchburg.
Excerpts on the 2009 picks follow:
The Reds invested their fourth round draft pick in 2009 in a catcher, selecting University of North Carolina star Mark Fleury. Fleury, the Most Valuable Player of the Georgia High School Baseball Tournament as a prep senior in 2006, started all 66 games last spring for the Tar Heels as they went all the way to the College World Series. For the season, he batted .309 with 12 home runs and 60 runs batted in (243 at-bats). He was a semi-finalist for the Johnny Bench Award as the nation’s top catcher.
Trey Manz was the Reds 26th round draft pick in 2009 out of the University of South Florida. He had the best season offensively of any of the catching candidates, batting a combined .310 with 5 HR and 11 RBI in 87 at-bats while posting a .552 slugging percentage in 28 games between Billings and the Gulf Coast League Reds.
Part 2 is a look at the potential first basemen who may start with the Dragons. Nichols again offers a detailed write-up for each of the first base prospects, all of whom were drafted in 2009:
– Chris Richburg, 23rd round
– Tommy Nurre, 38th round
– Derrick Lowery, 26th round