On Wednesday, Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper released his top 10 prospects (and some other interesting info about them…and other prospects). If you’re one that likes to peruse Doug Gray’s site, RedsMinorLeagues.com, you are no doubt aware that he published his top 25.
Let’s compare the lists and see how they view those within the Reds organization.
|1st||Devin Mesoraco – C||Devin Mesoraco – C|
|2nd||Yasmani Grandal – C||Billy Hamilton – SS|
|3rd||Daniel Corcino – RHP||Yonder Alonso – 1B|
|4th||Yonder Alonso – 1B||Yasmani Grandal – C|
|5th||Yorman Rodriguez – OF||Zack Cozart – SS|
|6th||Robert Stephenson – RHP||Daniel Corcino – RHP|
|7th||Billy Hamilton – SS||Robert Stephenson – RHP|
|8th||Dave Sappelt – OF||Didi Gregorius – SS|
|9th||Zack Cozart – SS||Todd Frazier – INF/OF|
|10th||Neftali Soto – 1B||Brad Boxberger – RHP|
Between the two, there are seven prospects that appear on both. Let’s look at those seven first.
Devon Mesoraco (RML and BA – #1)
It’s hard to realistically argue this one. Reds fans have been waiting for Mesoraco to emerge for some time now. He got a chance to play some after September call-ups and while he still has some things to learn from being an everyday MLB backstop, he has not a thing left to prove as a minor league player.
Yasmani Grandal (RML – #2; BA – #4)
Gray’s selection of Grandal being his #2 is a bit interesting. Catchers at #1 and #2. Kind of odd, but Grandal progressed well as a hitter during 2011. Gray does point our a minor flaw in that Grandal might not have the defensive prowess he had while at Miami (Fla.).
Daniel Corcino (RML – #3; BA – #6)
Corcino made great strides in Low A Dayton. He’s also a story of not letting being undrafted be a setback. Just needs to get the work and more innings under his belt. Cooper, like Gray, both believe Corcino is the Reds best pitching prospect, but having only experience at the Low A level makes you think about what’s between Cincinnati and Dayton.
If you want even more Corcino insight, check out Seedling to Stars where Nathaniel Stoltz has Corcino as his #75 overall prospect. He’s the only Reds prospect between #51-#75.
Yonder Alonso (RML – #4; BA – #3)
Like Mesoraco, Alonso has not an ounce to prove regarding his bat. We hear about how he’s blocked at the position of first base (Having Joey Votto ahead of you can do that.), but the Reds are open to continuing the left field experiment over the spring. We’ll see how that goes…provided he’s a Red come spring training. With that bat, you could hope he is.
Robert Stephenson (RML – #6; BA – 7)
Both Gray and Cooper are close in their ranking of Stephenson, yet he has not thrown one professional pitch. With having plus potential for all his pitches, he is without a doubt on the intriguing side. Innings, innings, innings. Refine, refine, refine.
Billy Hamilton (RML – 7; BA – #2)
I’m not sure why he’s so high on BA’s list? Could be all that speed. Hamilton may be the fastest player on earth! Hamilton started slow in 2011, but put together a solid season. Still, Gray has some concerns…
His contact rate, plate discipline, pitch recognition and power are all warts in his game.
Hamilton will be working on his defense as well. He committed 39 errors in 132 games last season. There are some scouts that feel Hamilton is best served as a second baseman.
Zack Cozart (RML – #9; BA – #5)
Should be the starting shortstop come Opening Day in 2012 provided all is well after having Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing elbow. If there is any real flaw in Cozart’s game, it might be that he doesn’t see enough pitches due to an aggressive approach. In the small sample from 2011, Cozy whiffed 6 times while not drawing a single walk. That could be good or bad depending on your outlook.
Looking at these lists ahould bring about a concern as only one prospect that is listed on these two lists played at a level between Triple-A and Low A: Grandal. If you check out at Gray’s list, you will see the Reds might be a little deeper than BA believes.
That Neftali Soto sure hit a lot of home runs last season…