Once a month during the regular season I will spend a day answering all of your questions about the Cincinnati Reds farm system. Whether you are interested in a players performance (or lack of performance), their future, the upcoming draft, how something works in the farm system or something else, this is the day to be sure to get your question answered.

There are some rules, but they are pretty easy:

  • Each user gets three questions.
  • Ask questions before 9pm and they will be answered.
  • Avoid questions that will require more than a paragraph to answer… I’m long winded as it is.
  • Avoid questions that will require me to look up an answer (such as: How many guys have stolen 50+ bases in the Reds system in the last 20 years).

Other than that, give it a go. I will check in throughout the day and answer questions. Just because this is a minor league article doesn’t mean I won’t answer questions about the big league team, so if you have those, I’m open for them as well.

79 Responses

  1. CTRedsFan

    Hi Doug,

    Thanks for taking the time to do this. Given your familiarity with the younger players, what is your “best guess” for what the Reds rotation looks like opening day 2016?

    • Doug Gray

      I’d venture to say that they will go with: DeSclafani, Lorenzen, Moscot, Free agent signing (someone in that $8-10M range signed for a year or two) and Iglesias. If Iglesias isn’t going to stick in the rotation, they may look at Cingrani. I’d think that they will keep Stephenson down to begin the season unless he just goes out and dominates in the second half of this season in the minors. He’s had some struggles this year, but last night he looked quite good and if he can repeat that performance in terms of throwing so many strikes, it will be a big step forward.

  2. jessecuster44

    Hi Doug –

    Who are the three most major league ready hitters in the system? Are there any arms in the system that can throw 100mph with control?

    • Doug Gray

      In Triple-A I would say that Eugenio Suarez is probably the closest bat in terms of a future starter. Irving Falu and Ivan De Jesus could probably be solid pieces off of the bench right now.

      If someone in the system could throw 100 with control, they’d be in Cincinnati right now. Only two guys in the system right now have even hit 100 to my knowledge: Stephenson and Kivel, and neither has had too much control this season.

  3. doctor

    What is the latest defensive evaluation on Alex Blandino, can he stay at SS or 2B? Thoughts on him being promoted soon?

    Any thoughts on Amir Garrett moving up a level soon, especially since he is already age 23 and given his minors level?

    • Doug Gray

      With Blandino, I will be honest: I haven’t seen him this season, but I did see him last season and what I saw last season was a guy who didn’t quite have the range to stick at short. Things could have changed since then, and I haven’t talked with anyone about it. With that said, when I spoke with people in the organization last year and over the offseason, they felt more confident of him sticking at shortstop than I did. It’s probably a tad early for a promotion, the team usually waits until midseason to move guys up.

      Garrett is older, but he’s got less pitching experience than anyone on that staff. It wouldn’t surprise me if he spent the entire season in Daytona. Of course, it wouldn’t surprise me if he got moved up around midseason either.

      • gaffer

        Dont you think Balndino is likey to be Phillips replacement, if you had to bet?

  4. Gregg Lestina

    1. Is there any HR power anywhere in the farm system?
    2. Last year, Jon Moscot pitched as well as M. Lorenzen at AA. This year, he’s lighting up AAA. Why is he not on the 40 man roster? Is there something about him that doesn’t show up in the box score?
    3. What’s up with top prospects Stephenson and Winker? Stephenson seems to be getting progressively worse at AA. Is Winker still on track for 2016?

    • Doug Gray

      1. I’d say the guys with 20+ HR potentialin the system would include: Rodriguez, Lutz, Winker, Waldrop, Mejias-Brean, Ervin, Blandino, Arias, Duran, Sparks, LaValley, Franklin, Ortiz. There’s of course a difference between having the potential to hit 20 and actually being able to of course. But those guys all have the potential to be 20+ guys.

      2. The 40-man roster works in a way that doesn’t always mean the best 40 guys are on the 40-man roster. Right now, Moscot doesn’t need to be on the 40-man roster because he was drafted in 2012. He won’t have to be placed on the roster until after this season, unless the team wants to call him up before then (I’d bet this happens). There would be no reason to add him before he has to be on the roster because it then wastes an option year.

      3. Stephenson had a strong start last night outside of the home run he allowed, which was unfortunately a 3-run shot. Control has been his biggest enemy. He’s been working on some things and we’ve seen the improvements show up at times this season and last night his control was quite good, so hopefully he is able to carry that forward. With Winker, I think he will be fine and ready at some point in 2016. I wrote about him last week and what is going on with him thus far over at my site if you want some more details. http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/05/15/explaining-jesse-winkers-early-struggles/

  5. Beroader

    Is there a reason to be worried about Robert Stephenson? He seems to be struggling with his control again this year (24 BBs over 34.2 IP). He also has a 5.45 ERA though some of that can be attributed to a single bad outing.

    • Doug Gray

      After last night I’ve got more faith that he’s coming back around. I was never too worried, because despite the control issues he’s had for the last year, he’s also been a guy that I’ve watched locate all of his pitches exactly where he wanted them for a prolonged period of time in the past, so I know that he is capable of actually doing it. It was just a matter of being able to find that once again. But, it was getting concerning this season when he seemed to be taking a step backwards a few different times. Last night the control was there on his pitches, and while it wasn’t where it once was when he was at his best, it was a big jump forward. As I said in an earlier reply, he’s been working on some things to improve the control and you saw it in spurts in previous starts, but last night it was there a lot more often than it wasn’t.

  6. Tom

    Phil Ervin seems to run hot and cold. Are injuries a problem or is it just growing pains?

    • gaffer

      IMO, ts starting to seem like Ervin doesnt have a great hit tool, although the power is there.

    • Doug Gray

      This year it’s just baseball being baseball. Hardly anyone plays even keel all of the way through a season, right now he’s just not finding the grass on his hits. His approach seems to be holding up just fine despite the lack of hits lately and that’s what matters in the long run.

  7. Tom

    Blandino seems to really be coming along offensively. Defensively, could he play SS in the majors or 2B?

    • Doug Gray

      As I noted above, I don’t think he’s a shortstop based on what I saw in Dayton last year, but maybe things have changed since then. I have not seen him yet this season and won’t until later on in the summer. You can have an additional question if you’d like since this one was already addressed.

  8. Tom

    Ryan Wright (2B) seems like he’s having a pretty solid season. Do the Reds think he has major league potential?

    • Doug Gray

      They do, but I think it’s probably more as a bench type of guy who can play some second and third, pinch run and pinch hit. He’s healthy this season and he’s changed his approach and it’s really helped him put up good offensive numbers so far.

  9. droomac

    When you create your 2016 list of top Reds prospects, how many will have been acquired via trade before the end of the 2015 season? . . . Also, who would you target and have a realistic chance of acquiring via trade in exchange for some combination of Cueto, Leake, Chapman, Cozart, Phillips (if he waived his no-trade), and Pena?

    • Doug Gray

      That’s an impossible question to answer, really. I don’t know what kind of guys the Reds will be targeting. If they move Cueto they could land several guys capable of being inside the Top 10 organizationally, but at the same time they may seek out a non-prospect. Someone who is maybe a year or two into the big leagues with plenty of upside, but is still on the cheap side of arbitration. For Cueto and Leake, I’d target guys in AA/AAA who are Top 100 prospects. You will get more for Cueto, no doubt. I can’t see them trading Chapman, Cozart or Pena. If they move Pena they have one catcher on the team, so that’s not going to be a move they will make. Phillips probably doesn’t have much value in trade. He’s not cheap, though not entirely expensive either, but he’s a singles hitter in his mid 30’s.

  10. Vanessa Galagnara

    1. What minor league player has the most value as of today?
    2. Assumng that the Reds lose Cueto and Leake in 2015 and do not pick up a major league replacement who will be in our 5 man rotation.
    3. If the season ended today the Reds outfield would come up as one of the poorest in all of baseball. Of the 3 starters are any of their jobs in jeopardy for the remainder of this year and maybe even replaced for 2016?

    • Doug Gray

      1. I’d say either Stephenson or Winker depending on who you are asking. I don’t think it would be particularly close for anyone else in the system.

      2. That one was answered above, so feel free to ask another question if you’d like.

      3. I think Bruce and Hamilton are safe for 2016 if things ended today. Both have to improve, but Bruce is showing every sign possible that he’s just been flat out insanely unlucky this year when it comes to him finding hits. The strikeouts are a concern, but when he’s making contact, it’s been hard contact over and over and the ball just isn’t finding the grass. That’s going to change and the hits will come. Hamilton has a lot of work to do with the bat. He isn’t hitting. He’s not walking. For as incredible as he is on the bases and in the field, he’s got to do more with the bat. It’s still early in 2015, so there’s time, but he’s got to improve. Byrd has turned his season around, but he’s also got a clause in his contract that triggers a 2016 option if he gets enough playing time. He’s the one I believe is most likely to be replaced for 2016. I could see him being traded in July if the team is struggling.

  11. David Eberly

    Moscot seems to be pitching very well in Louisville. Can you give us insight on him? Any chance he replaces Marquis (soon!)?

    • Doug Gray

      Moscot is a lot like Mike Leake. Low 90’s, four pitches that are all average/slightly above-average, throws strikes, mixes things up well. Unlike Leake, he’s not a bigger groundball guy – he’s more of a fly ball guy.

      He’s at the point in his career where throwing 195 innings should be in his range, so if the Reds are keeping Marquis around because someone has to throw the innings, Moscot can fill that role. I’d have him up here today instead of Marquis, who has been horrible, but the Reds don’t let me make those decisions.

  12. ragekage83

    Given the players we currently have in the system, when do you see the Reds starting another multi-year playoff run?

    And how would the draft affect this?

    • Doug Gray

      The draft won’t effect it at all. Guys are too far out when drafted to plan on them in the future. Half of the 1st rounders don’t even make the Majors outside of a cup of coffee, and while the Reds have been outstanding in the 1st round with Chris Buckley running the ship, you can’t draft based on big league needs because by the time the guys are ready for the big leagues it’s 3-5 years later and your needs have changed.

      If the Reds play things right, they can contend in 2017. The key will be making the right moves when you trade Cueto and Leake. Get the right guys that can step in during 2016, get the experience and be ready to really step forward in 2017. That 2017 team will have Joey Votto and Devin Mesoraco on it, for sure. Middle of the order bats that you can build around and several offensive parts from the minors should be ready by then to join the club. The pitching is a big unknown, but you’d have to think that Bailey, Lorenzen, Iglesias, Stephenson, Moscot Travieso, Garrett, Romano should all be on the team in some shape by then. The talent will be there.

  13. Beroader

    There was a lot of talk about Eugenio Suarez taking over at SS this year. Obviously, that has been put on hold indefinitely with the year Cozart is having at the plate.

    However, he does have a healthy .782 OPS in AAA, and we’ve had a bad bench for awhile now. How many positions does he play? Could he at least be an effective utility IF and bat off the bench?

    • Doug Gray

      I still think that Suarez is going to wind up taking over at shortstop for Cozart in the next year/year-and-a-half. He’s a big league caliber shortstop, so I’m sure he can handle second and third (especially as a utility guy who doesn’t have to play there every day). But, the organization has shown nothing that would lead you to believe they will bring someone on the bench under the age of 28 and actually use them, so I wouldn’t count on it happening.

      • RonnieO16

        Doug, Are you expecting a regression from Cozart or is Suarez really that good offensively and defensively?

      • Doug Gray

        Regression from Cozart. I don’t believe he’s a .700 OPS bat. His walk rate is up a little bit this year, but it’s really just over the last two weeks that has caused the climb. I hope it’s a true improvement, but given his age and lack of improvement there for his entire career, I’m betting is a blip on the radar and it’ll drop back to the 4-5% range. Same for his power output. His current HR/FB rate is double his career rate. Possible that it’s a true improvement? Sure, it’s possible. But he’s at the same rate that Jay Bruce has been at in his career. So it’s incredibly unlikely that this is his new talent level. Then there is his BABIP. It’s 31 points higher than his career average is. Nothing in his batted ball profile this season looks different than his past years, so it’s probably just some luck on the balls finding the grass. If his walk rate normalizes, his HR/FB rate normalizes and his BABIP normalizes, he’s the same Zack Cozart he was in 2012 and 2013. There’s not much there yet to think he’s any different, he’s just been luckier. Luck tends to have a way of evening out in the long run.

  14. Max Pavy

    Doug, I’m traveling from Orlando to go to the Tortugas game on Thursday night in Daytona. Who should I be excited about seeing? Anyone you are higher on than most on the team?

    • WVRedlegs

      4 of Doug’s top-10 prospects are in Daytona’s starting rotation. Another 4 of Doug’s top-25 are in the field. I am going to Daytona in June to see a couple of games. Can’t wait.

    • Doug Gray

      Unfortunately you will miss one of the stud starting pitchers in the rotation, but Barrett Astin is off to a strong start and he’s a solid prospect, just not of the caliber of the other guys in that rotation right now. Ervin, Blandino and Arias are the top 20 prospects on the position side from that team. I’ve also got Daal and Elizalde inside the top 30. There’s a lot of talent on that team.

      Arias has the best tools of the bunch. He’s got three loud tools: Power, speed and his arm. He’s also the least polished of the players. Some days he can look lost at the plate and other days he looks like a future all-star.

  15. charlottencredsfan

    Doug. can you update Chad Wallach’s progress? Can this kid’s bat play at the MLB level? Any chance that if Mes can not make a go of it at C in the long term, Chad may be a viable everyday C?

    • Doug Gray

      I think the bat is a safer bet than the glove. He’s still relatively new to catching after making the transition to the position just a few years ago. The potential is there, he’s got the tools to do it, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.

  16. Robert Fout

    Doug. Any word on Juan Duran. Seems to have disappeared after 7day d/l in April.

    • Doug Gray

      I honestly haven’t asked anyone about him, somehow. I knew he was injured in the spring, but didn’t think it was serious. It’s probably time I check in and see what’s going on with him.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Thanks. You do important work and its relevance is seldom going to be more so then now. Just made a $20 and encourage others to do the same. Keep it up, Doug!

  17. Scott Nash

    Doug, first thanks for all you do. Second what Reds player(s) have best chance of playing in futures game? Third, if Reds trade Cueto around deadline what is a realistic prospect you would like to see them get?

    • Doug Gray

      As the host team, the Reds should get three players. Assuming they aren’t called up at any point and takes them out of the running, I’d guess it’ll be Winker, Stephenson and Rodriguez. Other options would include Ervin, Blandino, Garrett, Travieso. Stephenson and Winker were the guys last year, so maybe they don’t come back. But, with the game being in Cincinnati, showcasing the top two guys seems like a solid bet.

      Honestly, I don’t have a name in mind for Cueto. It all depends on when he’s traded and who he’s traded to. You better get a Top 20 prospect + more for him though.

  18. jdx19

    Doug, in your opinion, which Reds affiliate has the most talent relative to its level. Thanks!

    • Doug Gray

      It’s tough to argue against Daytona. They don’t have the top talent, Pensacola has the #1 and #2 prospects, but top to bottom they’ve got the most.

  19. WVRedlegs

    Doug,
    1. If BP has to go to the DL with his turf toe injury, who is best suited to be called up, De Jesus, Falu, or Saurez? All 3 are doing well.
    2. Kyle Waldrop is now raking at AA after a slow start, does he get promoted to AAA soon and YorRod go back to AA since YR is struggling mightily?
    3. With Stephenson’s continued struggles starting at the AA level, do the Reds move him to the closer’s role to groom him to replace Chapman? Is that a discussion to be had at all in the Reds front office?

    • Doug Gray

      1. If the team is going to play one of those guys every day, I’d call up Suarez. If they are going to play Schumaker and put one of them on the bench, go with De Jesus.

      2. Waldrop has 3 walks and 38 strikeouts. There’s absolutely no reason to promote someone with that kind of issue, whether or not he’s hitting the ball well. It’s not going to continue if you are literally swinging at everything. He’s got to show he can be more selective before he should be promoted. And no way Rodriguez goes back to AA. He’s hit better in May, though like Waldrop, he needs to draw some more walks. Both guys are where they need to be.

      3. Absolutely not a conversation they are having for a few years. He doesn’t have to stick on the big league roster until the 2019 season. No way they are even thinking about moving him from starter.

  20. WVRedlegs

    Last year’s #1 draft pick, P Nick Howard has already been moved back to the bullpen at A+ Daytona. He was a complete bust as a starting pitcher with an astronomical BB% and stratospheric ERA.
    Can the Reds experiment with drafting college closers to turn them into professional starting pitchers be considered a big failure now? It didn’t work with Cingrani, it was a huge failure with Howard, and the jury is still out on Lorenzen. He could wind up back in the pen.
    I can see why the Reds got Crawford in the Simon deal now, to make up for this Howard debacle.
    The #19 overall pick is way too high to waste on a bullpen reliever. A hitter would have been nice in this spot.

    • WVRedlegs

      Sorry about asking a 4th Question, but I was shocked to see this.

      • rhayex

        Don’t worry, you can count that as one of mine. Im curious about it too.

      • gaffer

        I agree, I was on record of Howard being a horrible pick (he was barely a top 50 prospect with a medium velocity straight high fastball). Its like the Reds are trying to do Moneyball by taking people who are undervalued HIGHER in the draft, which is not how that was designed to work. Cingrani in the third round was fine. Lorenzen was also picked a little too high but he has been very good so far.

    • IndyRedMan

      I wouldn’t say Cingrani can’t be a decent starter just because Price says so. Price thought Kevin Gregg and Marquis could get outs so what does he know!!

    • Doug Gray

      I’ve got more faith in Howard being a starter than I do Crawford, to be honest. Crawford doesn’t have a third pitch.

      Also, go read what I wrote about Howard this afternoon at my site for some more insight into that. http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/05/19/reds-rhp-nick-howard-moves-to-the-bullpen-for-now/

      I’d argue that Cingrani was a success. He pitched injured last season and the results weren’t there. In the only season he was healthy and starting, he was dominant, posting a sub 3.00 ERA. Of course, Cingrani, like Howard, started in college. Cingrani started three of his four years in college, relieving his senior season. He, like Howard, weren’t truly “drafting relievers and making them starters”. Michael Lorenzen is the only guy that fits that bill over the last 6 years for the Reds.

      As for wasting the pick…. if you get a Major Leaguer out of a 1st rounder, it’s a win. Do you want more than a reliever? Sure you do. But if you get a solid reliever, it’s a big time win because most 1st rounders don’t manage that. Look back at the 2005 draft, one of the stronger ones in a long, long time. Among the true 1st rounders, the top 30 picks, 13 of them has less than 1 WAR in their big league careers. Three more have less than 3 WAR in their big league careers. So 16, more than half, have provided less career WAR than Bryce Harper has provided in the first six weeks of 2015. The Reds success in the 1st round for the last 11 years has distorted just how tough it is to pick good players in the 1st round because they’ve been so stinking good at it.

  21. RFM

    1. Nick Howard, does his move to the bullpen seem temporary or long term? Are they likely trying to get him to regain his confidence before returning him to the rotation, or does this seem like a step towards fast tracking him as a reliever?
    2. Sal Romano, he throws pretty hard and has been fairly successful at a very young age. What keeps him from being ranked higher as a prospect?
    3. I’ve seen names like 2b/OF Ian Happ, CF Andrew Benintendi, OF Kyle Tucker, C Tucker Stephenson, and RHP Carson Fulmer associated with the Reds in mock drafts. Is there one who you’d be happiest to see the Reds select?

    • Doug Gray

      1. Wrote about it today at my site: http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/05/19/reds-rhp-nick-howard-moves-to-the-bullpen-for-now/

      2. I don’t have a clue. I ranked him 6th in the system coming into the year and was easily, far and away, the highest ranking person for him. I don’t know what everyone else is missing.

      3. The one that worries me the most from that group is Ian Happ. He’s got awfully high strikeout numbers for a supposed top end college hitter, especially when we consider he plays in the AAC and not the SEC/Pac12/Big12. If AAC pitchers can make him strikeout over 20% of the time, what will professional ones do? As a comparison, Benetendi, playing in the SEC, has a strikeout rate just under 12%. From what I’ve read about Kyle Tucker, I’d love to have him in the system as well.

  22. IndyRedMan

    So we’re supposed to lose Cozart pretty quickly too? I saw where Suarez hit a 3 run bomb in the 9th the other night to win the game. I thought he could possibly play 3rd next year and hit maybe .260ish w/10-15 bombs and a decent obp since they prob can’t move BP. He wouldn’t cost them much and they could move Frazier to LF.

    • Doug Gray

      Cozart’s not a free agent until after 2017, so he’s not going anywhere if they don’t want him to. I like Suarez, but he’s not a starting third baseman at the big league level. And even if he were, I can’t imagine the team moving Todd Frazier off of the position at this point. He’s established himself there, as an All-Star. They won’t do that to him, even if a scenario presents itself where it’s better for the team unless they can land an elite caliber guy to replace him.

  23. George Mirones

    Let me bring up Steve Selsky. His overall numbers seem to better than last year (1st at AAA) but he does not “flash” future major leaguer. Is he a future “gadget man” in the outfield.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s good to see his power has shown up early on, but he can’t cover center for you and as a corner outfielder, even a back up, I’m just not sure the bat is there. He strikes out a bunch and he doesn’t really have that home run off of the bench kind of power, so I’m just not sure he fits any role on the big league club.

  24. jessecuster44

    Question #3 for me.

    You’re given the keys to this franchise for the next 5 years. What three moves – macro or micro – would you make to strengthen the franchise/make it a World Series contender?

    • Doug Gray

      I’d trade Johnny Cueto right now. Get as much possible value as you can. Target a Top 10-15 prospect, another Top 100 prospect and a wild card prospect at the lower levels or maybe get a reliever for the big league club in return that’s got another year on his deal at a cheap price.

      I would begin investing money at the minor league level in stuff like trackman/pitch F/X to help our developmental team. I’d expand the “stats” crew at the front office level in one big swoop. This may not pay off immediately in terms of getting us to a contender spot, but in the long run it’s going to make the organization better prepared and improve how things operate and ideally, get our players to perform better through better understanding and instruction from our minor league coaches.

      I’d do everything in my power to get our manager to do the things he said he would do when he got the job. When he was hired he talked new ideas about lineups and bullpen usages and they lasted all of a week before they were scrapped and he turned into Dusty Baker Jr in terms of how me managed games. He had some good ideas. Run with them over a long period of time and let’s see how they work. Giving up on something after a week in baseball is like deciding a play in football won’t work because you ran it once and lost a yard.

      • jessecuster44

        Thanks! Great stuff – all of this is really informative. I’m amazed that I once looked to a box score to get nearly all my day-to-day information about the Reds!

  25. Craig

    To put things in perspective, if the Reds were trading Cueto and Leak to themselves, which Reds prospects do think would be a good trade? IE, could they get a Winker for a Leake?

    • Doug Gray

      I think Winker is probably too much for Leake, but I think they’d be able to get a Travieso for Leake. For Cueto, I’d want a someone better than what the Reds have to offer and a Winker type of guy.

  26. Pooter

    Does Tejay Antone have what it takes to make it to the Bigs? If so, when might we see him?

    • Doug Gray

      Yes he does, but I’m not sure what role it will be in either. I’d lean towards the bullpen at this point, but even so, he’s still several years away.

  27. Matt

    I remember reading something a while ago talking about how hard it is to eat a good diet as a minor league player because of how little money they make.

    What are your thoughts on doing something like hiring a professional chef for every minor league team and cooking free meals that are fit for a young developing athlete? At the very least, I feel like that would help ensure you get the most out of the talent you have by making sure they’re in good physical condition, and it protects the investment you have.

    Same kind of question about having professionals who deal with the psychological aspect of baseball and helping kids deal with the psychological issues involved in the sport?

    Are either of these things that any clubs do?

    • Matt WI

      Somewhere, a Taco Bell manager just freaked out at your suggestion about minor leaguers getting a chef. Actually, jokes aside, that’s a very interesting idea.

    • Doug Gray

      Matt,
      I’ve been a proponent of doing something to help out the minor leaguers for a while now in terms of increasing their pay or doing something to help make things a little easier for them.

      I’ve mentioned it before that I think having catered meals before and after the game for the players would be a big step in the right direction. At home and on the road.

      The argument I’ve actually heard come out of the mouths of people in baseball (though honestly, never a Reds employee) is that having them learn to eat on their own is going to make them better in the long run because it teaches responsibility. I never understood that argument, first, they can’t afford to eat properly unless they got a nice signing bonus and very few of them did. Baseball is so backwards with how they handle their minor leagues. It’s like the military in the 1890’s…. let’s crush their souls to weed out people. For relative chump change to a big league franchise, they could overhaul the payscale to every minor leaguer with ease, or cater their meals… but it’s not really happening. I’ve heard of two organizations that do that kind of thing. Now, with that said they do get clubhouse meals and booster clubs help out with meals at times as well, but still. The organizations can and should be doing more.

      I’m not sure that any team has someone on their staff for that kind of thing, but the organizations will provide that kind of thing if approached for it.

  28. D Ray White

    Firstly, thanks for all that you do. A couple questions Doug:

    Is there anyone in the minors that profiles as a high OBP top of the lineup guy? It’s something the team has been chasing since before Choo, and after Choo left. I like Hamilton more than most, but his lack of on base skills make him better suited to 7-9 in the order.

    Who is most ready to replace Schumacher and Boesch as the 4th-5th outfielders. Those guys are below replacement level talents.

    Out of the last two drafts, who has surprised you the most?

    • Doug Gray

      If you want a prototypical leadoff guy who gets on base, steals bases and has limited power (sub 12 home runs), then no, I don’t think that guys out there. But if you are willing to bat a 15 HR guy there who won’t steal 30+ bases, then there could be some options. Blandino and Ervin jump to mind.

      Not sure there’s anyone ready right now as far as outfielders go. Lutz is out for the year, Rodriguez needs time in AAA still. LaMarre needs more time. But I’d replace Schumaker with De Jesus and not worry about the fact that he can’t play center. There’s no reason to carry both Schumaker and Negron on the roster. They’re redundant.

      Alex Blandino’s bat has been better than I expected it to be so far this season. Zack Weiss is already in Double-A and his stuff is better than when he was drafted. But the answer has to be Michael Lorenzen. The guy went from a part time college closer to a big league starting pitcher in less than two full years. That’s insane.

      • Tom Diesman

        For the potential leadoff type guy in the minors, I’d like to hear your take on Dayton CF Brian O’Grady. He’s already 23 and was a 8th round pick in 2014 with a now career minor league slash line of .256/.368/.422/.789 in 417 PA. He’s also stolen 21 bases in 23 tries. Curious to hear if you feel he can stick in CF.

  29. seat101

    What future, if any, do you see for Chad Rogers in professional baseball?

    • Doug Gray

      If he can find the strikezone again, he’s got a chance to be a 6th/7th inning reliever type. I’m not really sure what went on there, but he went from a good control guy to a guy who walks as many guys as he strikes out.

  30. ohiojimw

    Doug, Do you feel the Reds develop pitching at the expense of developing position players?

    How do the Reds priorities in developing pitchers and position players compare to those of other teams?

    If you saw enough of Lorensen to be comfortable in projecting his position player potential, how would you project him?

    As always, thanks

    • Doug Gray

      1. No, I don’t. I think the team has just found themselves with more pitching talent of late because they’ve been better at drafting it. The Reds have been successful with their 1st pick in the last few years, but after that they’ve made some interesting choices. Jeff Gelalich was a supplemental 1st rounder. Gabriel Rosa hasn’t worked out as a 2nd rounder. Tanner Rahier wasn’t working out as a 2nd rounder even before his legal troubles. KJ Franklin got off to a slow start as a 2nd rounder. The team has just been better at finding pitchers beyond the 1st round than they have hitters lately.

      2. I don’t think any team is really different, except maybe the Rockies/Padres simply because of their ballparks. In the end, everyone is trying to get the most out of everyone in their system. I don’t think anyone is focusing on, or trying to develop one thing more than the other. Baseball is too hard to develop guys to go with that kind of plan.

      3. I hadn’t, but I do remember the pre-draft scouting reports that had him as a 2nd round talent as a center fielder with plus speed, good power, good defense and of course, a big time arm. His upside was probably as an above-average center fielder.

  31. WVRedlegs

    Busy day for you today. Yeoman’s work today. Thats good in that it shows there is some great interest in the minor league system. Thanks for keeping us informed. I went back to check out your article on Howard. I must have missed it this morning.

  32. i71_Exile

    First of all, thanks for keeping us up to speed on the Reds Minor League system! I took to heart your comment that the Reds should aim for a top 10-15 or Winker-type (BA #47) guy for Cueto. I took a look at Baseball America’s Top 100 list, sortied for potential trading partners for the Reds (no intra-division or non-contenders) and focused on offense. Obviously the Reds might go pitching. These names rose to the surface:

    17. Blake Swihart c Red Sox
    21. Rusney Castillo of Red Sox
    28. Raul A. Mondesi ss Royals
    32. Michael Taylor of Nationals
    53. Aaron Judge of Yankees
    85. D.J. Peterson 3b/1b Mariners

    Is this a reasonable list? If so, who would you target if you were Walt?

  33. CB

    Who will get the spot in the rotation inevitably vacated by J. Marquis ? Cingrani ? Axelrod ?