Baseball America released its listing of the Southern League’s Top 20 Prospects. Among those 20 were four Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
The Reds top prospect, Billy Hamilton, was the 5th overall prospect and first position player listed. He was also one of six shortstops to make the list. Hamilton will be making the move to the outfield during the AFL season (which began yesterday) although it is expected for him to play a little shortstop as well. Hamilton notched the most notable accomplishment during this past minor league season when he surpassed Vince Coleman’s record of 145 stolen bases. Hamilton finished the 2012 season with 155 thefts.
For the entire season, Hamilton sported a slash line of .311/.410/.420 and reduced his strikeout rate (21.8% to 18.7%) and increased his walk rate (8.5% to 14.2%) from the previous season.
Tony Cingrani had himself a 2012 to remember as well. Listed as the #11 SL prospect, Cingrani dazzled the California League for 10 starts before being promoted to Pensacola. The only number that was “elevated” was his ERA (1.11 in Bakersfield to 2.12 in Pensacola), and even that was impressive. When the rosters expanded in September, Cingrani saw his fast track to the bigs become even faster. He didn’t even get to see Fifth Third Field in Dayton as he was promoted from Billings last year to Bakersfield this year before being summoned to Pensacola. Yes, a pretty fast track, indeed.
Cingrani finished 2012 with a record of 10-4, an ERA of 1.73 and a WHIP of 1.027.
At the #15 spot is another shortstop, Didi Gregorius. Most think of defense when Gregorius is mentioned, but his bat was also on display. As a member of the Blue Wahoos, Didi posted a respectable slash line of .278/.344/.373. While he didn’t find his stroke as much when he was promoted to Louisville, Gregorius popped 6 home runs in 202 plate appearances.
Gregorius is another of the Reds prospects currently playing in the Arizona Fall League.
The final Reds prospect listed falls at #17, Daniel Corcino. For the past two seasons, the major comparison has been to Reds current ace Johnny Cueto. Corcino didn’t post as impressive a SO/9 this season as compared to last (10.1 to 7.9), but he also curtailed the hits he permitted per nine innings (8.3 to 7.0). The ERA was lower (3.42 to 3.01). Opposing batters could only manage hitting .213 against him.
If there was one area of concern, it was the increased walk rate (2.2 to 4.1).
We’ve already seen Cingrani and Gregorius in Reds uniforms. Some speculation cites that Hamilton might be a September call-up next year given the position change. For Corcino, I believe it’s just a matter of time. If he isn’t a call-up next season, he could certainly be in the running for a 25-man roster spot in 2014.