RML v. BA: Top 10 Reds Prospects


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.

RedsMinorLeagues.com Baseball America
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…

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Tags: Baseball Billy Hamilton Cincinnati Reds Daniel Corcino Devin Mesoraco MLB Reds Prospects Robert Stephenson Top Reds Prospects Yasmani Grandal Yonder Alonso Zack Cozart

  • beeker

    Yonder Alonso: what do you consider the odds that the Reds trade him? I’ll be honest that, in spite of his defensive liabilities, I love the protection that he could give Votto. His plate discipline is truly impressive.

    Brad Boxberger: I haven’t seen the kid. I assume that, despite the ST invite, he will start out in Louisville. How long do you think before he is pushing for a big league spot?

    Yasmani Grandal: Does he sit in Louisville this year and become Hanigan’s replacement? Or is he trade bait at this point?

  • beeker

    Yonder Alonso: what do you consider the odds that the Reds trade him? I’ll be honest that, in spite of his defensive liabilities, I love the protection that he could give Votto. His plate discipline is truly impressive.

    Brad Boxberger: I haven’t seen the kid. I assume that, despite the ST invite, he will start out in Louisville. How long do you think before he is pushing for a big league spot?

    Yasmani Grandal: Does he sit in Louisville this year and become Hanigan’s replacement? Or is he trade bait at this point?

  • Steven Engbloom

    On Alonso: the odds of him staying in a Reds uniform appear to be less than 50-50 only because his bat is so wanted and there are teams that need a first baseman. There are no other reasons. The experiment for LF could prove fruitful offensively if he can adapt (as we well know), but if the Reds can include him in a deal for a SP, it all may become moot.

    Boxberger is the next closer provided he shows well. The ST invite should be setting alarms off in his head that he could be the closer come Opening Day if he performs. Not keen on the idea being a rookie and all but to that you can say two words: Craig Kimbrel. Not saying it will work out the same way though.

    Grandal isn’t trade bait although if the Reds could get enough in return, they could include him in a deal. This kid is legit at the plate. The Cal League is known for “elevating” numbers, but Grandal hit well at Carolina. He’s still has at least one year to go, I believe. With Hanigan having two years left on his current deal, next offseason will interesting especially if Mesoraco and Grandal play well in 2011.

  • Steven Engbloom

    On Alonso: the odds of him staying in a Reds uniform appear to be less than 50-50 only because his bat is so wanted and there are teams that need a first baseman. There are no other reasons. The experiment for LF could prove fruitful offensively if he can adapt (as we well know), but if the Reds can include him in a deal for a SP, it all may become moot.

    Boxberger is the next closer provided he shows well. The ST invite should be setting alarms off in his head that he could be the closer come Opening Day if he performs. Not keen on the idea being a rookie and all but to that you can say two words: Craig Kimbrel. Not saying it will work out the same way though.

    Grandal isn’t trade bait although if the Reds could get enough in return, they could include him in a deal. This kid is legit at the plate. The Cal League is known for “elevating” numbers, but Grandal hit well at Carolina. He’s still has at least one year to go, I believe. With Hanigan having two years left on his current deal, next offseason will interesting especially if Mesoraco and Grandal play well in 2011.

  • JohnHeitz

    I can’t speak much for the upper levels of the Reds system but I take issue with Doug Gray’s list as it relates to Corcino and Hamilton. I have gone on record many times with regard to Billy’s defense. He makes plays NO ONE else in the Reds organization can make at short stop. His extreme range creates situations where he gets a little out of control and commits errors but he is a gifted defensive player. His speed changes games. Daniel Corcino is good but he does not overwhelm me as I feel he should given the hype surrounding him. I consider the trio of pitchers the Dragons used last season, Corcino, Daniel Renken and Josh Smith, to be on a relatively level playing field. But under no circumstances would I ever rate any of them as more important to the Reds organization than Hamilton.

    Billy made great strides from the beginning of the season until the end. I would be surprised if he ever develops much power but with his speed, power is irrelevant. I stopped being a skeptic when I watched him reach base on an error, steal 2nd on the first pitch thrown to the next batter, steal 3rd on the second pitch and when the panicked errant thrown skittered into left field he went ahead and scored. He stole two bases and caused two errors but the end result was the same as a home run. He scored and the batter after him was at the plate.

  • beeker

    @Steven Engbloom I didn’t realize that Boxberger was a closer. I just assumed he was a starter. Makes my question about him silly. (DOH!)

  • JohnHeitz

    I can’t speak much for the upper levels of the Reds system but I take issue with Doug Gray’s list as it relates to Corcino and Hamilton. I have gone on record many times with regard to Billy’s defense. He makes plays NO ONE else in the Reds organization can make at short stop. His extreme range creates situations where he gets a little out of control and commits errors but he is a gifted defensive player. His speed changes games. Daniel Corcino is good but he does not overwhelm me as I feel he should given the hype surrounding him. I consider the trio of pitchers the Dragons used last season, Corcino, Daniel Renken and Josh Smith, to be on a relatively level playing field. But under no circumstances would I ever rate any of them as more important to the Reds organization than Hamilton.

    Billy made great strides from the beginning of the season until the end. I would be surprised if he ever develops much power but with his speed, power is irrelevant. I stopped being a skeptic when I watched him reach base on an error, steal 2nd on the first pitch thrown to the next batter, steal 3rd on the second pitch and when the panicked errant thrown skittered into left field he went ahead and scored. He stole two bases and caused two errors but the end result was the same as a home run. He scored and the batter after him was at the plate.

  • beeker

    @Steven Engbloom I didn’t realize that Boxberger was a closer. I just assumed he was a starter. Makes my question about him silly. (DOH!)

  • Steven Engbloom

    @JohnHeitz Hamilton will most likely not develop power, but we all know where high strikeout rates lead (ask Stubbs and Bruce…or even Adam Dunn!). Nobody in their right mind would ever doubt Hamilton’s speed and ability to get to balls. It’s a matter of what he does once he gets there. If he is out of control as you state, it may be advised for him to hold the ball instead of potentially allowing the opponent an extra base with an errant throw.

    I would have rated him higher than Stephenson (as Coopoer did) only because we at least have an idea of what we have with Hamilton. We have yet to see what the Cali kid really brings.

    Corcino, I completely agree with you. Maybe too much hype. Hard to believe with the trio of Corcino, Smith and Renken and with Drew Hayes on the back end of games, the Dragons didn’t win the MWL title. Then again, the Phillies had all that pitching and it only got them to the NLCS.

  • Steven Engbloom

    @JohnHeitz Hamilton will most likely not develop power, but we all know where high strikeout rates lead (ask Stubbs and Bruce…or even Adam Dunn!). Nobody in their right mind would ever doubt Hamilton’s speed and ability to get to balls. It’s a matter of what he does once he gets there. If he is out of control as you state, it may be advised for him to hold the ball instead of potentially allowing the opponent an extra base with an errant throw.

    I would have rated him higher than Stephenson (as Coopoer did) only because we at least have an idea of what we have with Hamilton. We have yet to see what the Cali kid really brings.

    Corcino, I completely agree with you. Maybe too much hype. Hard to believe with the trio of Corcino, Smith and Renken and with Drew Hayes on the back end of games, the Dragons didn’t win the MWL title. Then again, the Phillies had all that pitching and it only got them to the NLCS.