Lots of more information floating about the Reds floating around the Internet…

As Doug Gray mentions on his website, Baseball Prospectus has the Reds’ farm system 9th in baseball. The BP site says that Aroldis Chapman‘s addition to the organization raised the team from the second half of the group (16th to 30th) all the way to 9th. The site also says that Mike Leake could move quickly and that much of their top talent lies near the top of the organization.

As for next year? BP says it depends on whether Leake, Todd Frazier, Chris Heisey, and Travis Wood (with “a few” others) move up to the Reds, as well as Chapman. If they all advance, and I think they will, the organizational ranking will drop back.

BP also discusses the Reds’ nine-year consecutive losing streak and suggests that a change in managers may be necessary. They link to both pitching concerns as well as playing young position players, too. The pitching concerns have been discussed a lot, but position players aren’t often discussed.

ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer discusses Nomar Garciaparra and reminds us all not to jump to conclusions about future stardom. It kind of reminds me of Barry Larkin‘s Hall of Fame status. How many of the current shortstops that others said would outshine Larkin in the Hall of Fame vote played shortstop their entire careers (Garciaparra, Alex Rodriguez for example)? Shouldn’t Larkin get bonus points for staying at the tougher position rather than people ragging on him for being injury prone?

Neyer also compares early reports on Aroldis Chapman to comments about other great fireballing lefties in their early days.

And, (I feel like Rob Neyer’s publicist, but, hey, we’re in the news), Neyer also reports that Juan Francisco is featured on a baseball card titled “Reds Heavy Artillery” with Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. He gives some history behind the “heavy artillery” card program, but doesn’t it seem that Francisco should be a sure bet to make the 2010 Reds team before producing such a card?

The Hardball Times has also published “The Philosophy of Batting Leadoff” which many of us may find interesting…someone may want to forward it to Dusty Baker.

Oh, the Minnesota Twins need a closer; don’t the Tigers need one, too?

And, finally, here’s a Reds’ team analysis from the viewpoint of a Pittsburgh Pirates blog. I do think it’s always good to see what the other guys are saying.

13 Responses

  1. BJ Ruble

    Mike Leake is quickly becoming one of my favorite players. You should read his comments on cnati or Fay’s blg, it’s great. I can see him being a very good pitcher for a long time because he understands the “art” of pitching like a Greg Maddux type of pitcher.

    Twins may need a closer, but they don’t have the resources with their payroll around 100 mil, and the Tigers signed Valverde, so unless he got hurt too, they shouldn’t need a closer.

    I could see the minor league system take a huge step backwards next year if Chapman, Leake, Frazier, Heisey, Francisco, etc… are up on the big team. This has to be the best minor league depth the Reds have had in quite some time.

    Also, for anyone here who did not catch the Reds Classic Rewind and want a copy visit me over here, and I can hook you up. 🙂

  2. Matt WI

    My first thought upon hearing about Nathan was trading Cordero too. But I agree with BJ, the Twins aren’t the right team for that contract. Neither are the Reds, but whatever. He’s good, that’s all I really ask.

  3. Matt WI

    Great link to the Pirate fan blog. A pretty fair and well informed take on the Reds from the opposition. Other than his disbelief in Chapman, I don’t have any strong beefs with his analysis. He was probably reading on this site and just didn’t cite his sources.

  4. Greg Dafler

    From the Pirates blog:

    – Rolen has been fading for years? He’s had to re-do his swing to compensate for his shoulder injury. It caused his to be more of a doubles hitter than a HR hitter, but I still see him as a 110-120 OPS+ with solid defense.

    – “the 2009 Reds gave 250 or more plate appearances to four guys who posted OPSes of .620 or lower. That’s reasonably likely to happen again” Except that three of those four players are no longer in the organization and the Reds signed Cabrera to keep the 4th player on the bench.

    – He doesn’t seem high on any of the Reds prospects…

    • Steve Price

      He doesn’t seem high on any of the Reds prospects…

      Greg,

      In all due respect to our farm system, I’m not nearly as high some people are either. Baseball Prospectus had us in the lower half of team farm systems until Chapman was signed, and even then, said most of our prospects were nearly ready at the top…and that still put us in the bottom half.

      To me, Frazier’s luster has worn…I now think he may be a Mark DeRosa type, which is valuable but not an impact player. I feel that Heisey’s a fourth outfielder on a good team, I don’t think Alonso can hit lefties (which makes him a platoon player), and Cozart is may be the odd shortstop that hits .240 with 15 homers and a good glove. I think Chapman’s the real deal, and I think Leake will be in the rotation within a year, but he’s not a #1 guy (Chapman is). I believe Boxberger will end up in the bullpen.

      My take for a Reds lineup and rotation in two years:

      CF–Stubbs
      2b–Frazier
      1b–Votto
      Rf–Bruce
      3b–Francisco
      LF–Yonder/Heisey
      ss-Cozart
      C–Hanigan and somebody else

      Bench–Dickerson, Janish, catcher, Miguel Rojas, veteran pinch hitter outfielder

      I think Billy Hamilton will be a CF getting ready to take Stubbs’s place. OF Yorman Rodriguez will be knocking on the door, too.

      SP–Chapman
      SP–Bailey
      SP–Volquez
      SP–Leake
      SP–Woods
      Closer–Boxberger
      RP–Donnie Joseph
      RP–Nick Masset
      RP–Phil Valiquette
      RP–Kyle Lotzkar
      RP–Enerio del Rosario or Jose Arredondo

      SP–Matt Fairel will be knocking; Sam Lecure and Matt Klinker will be around

  5. Greg Dafler

    What was the Reds farm system ranked a couple of years ago when the Reds had 4 players in the top 50? (Bruce, Votto, Bailey, & Cueto.)

    Graduating some guys from the upper levels may not drop the system too far for too long.

  6. TC

    The Twins have got depth enough to cover Nathan adequately. They don’t have another Nathan, but Cordero is no Nathan either.

    The Pirate’s blog was very interesting. It reflects a lot of what we say here. I’m also surprised at the farm system being ranked so high. It does worry me that the talent really drops off under the AA level. Dayton was horrible in the games I saw last year. I mean really bad.

    Did anyone catch Lance McAlister tonight during the 8:00 hour before the UC game? Simply amazing. Love that guy.

  7. TC

    @Steve Price: Wow, great post. Where is Cueto? Traded?

    I really think the Reds will have some pieces to trade by the end of the year to pick up several low level top talent guys. The guys at the top really need to hit this year, or their stock will fall off the table.

    • Steve Price

      Steve Price: Wow, great post. Where is Cueto? Traded?

      hate it when I do that…that’s why my bullpen wasn’t adding up…

      I think Cueto and Boxberger will be in the pen as #1 and #2. Arredondo will probably be on the 25-man; Lotzkar, del Rosario, and Valiquette will battle it out. There’s a chance Masset will be making too much money by then.

  8. RiverCity Redleg

    @Matt WI: I agree, it was a pretty fair analysis. And, if you just consider this year alone, his analysis of Chapman isn’t far off, IMO. However, I think he’s missing the boat on Chapman for the future. I think he’s also missing the impact Bailey should have this year. Overall, he’s got us going 80-82, which isn’t too far from what we think as homers.

  9. RiverCity Redleg

    Has Valaika completely fallen off everyone’s radar b/c of last year. I look for him to have a big bounce back year this year. I’m not sure where he translate to the majors, but I see him as being as valuable as Frazier will be.

    • Steve Price

      Has Valaika completely fallen off everyone’s radar b/c of last year. I look for him to have a big bounce back year this year. I’m not sure where he translate to the majors, but I see him as being as valuable as Frazier will be.
      Reply

      I don’t see him being more than an infield reserve at this point…he’s not known for his glove and Frazier is said to have a higher upside hitting wise…and he’s younger

  10. BJ Ruble

    @RiverCity Redleg: I see Valaika at his high end league average 2nd baseman and at his low end a bench reserve logging time at every position in the infield.