Bats: 5 Position Players

Hello BRM readers,

This is your new staff member/blogger Kevin Geary from Louisville, KY. My job here will be to provide you updates and opinions on the happenings of the Louisville Bats. My goal is to keep you up to date and informed on the Reds’ top prospects; who’s hot, who’s not, and who did what in rehab appearances (we all know there’s going to be some this year). So, without further adieu, my story on Five Exciting Bats Position Players:

Dave Sappelt, CF – Sappelt tore through the Reds minor league system last year starting in Single-A Lynchburg for 19 games, then moved to Double-A Carolina for 89 games, and finally landing in Louisville for the final 25 games of the Bats season. In those 133 games, Sappelt hit .342 with 10 HR and 74 RBI. He also had 32 doubles and 11 triples on the year. He also swiped 25 bases last season. Sappelt has since torn the cover off the ball in spring training. In 20 games Sappelt hit .564 with 3 HR 12 RBI, five doubles and one triple. Sappelt definitely made a strong case to land a spot on the big league club. But the fact and matter remains: Sappelt is not currently on the 40-man roster and with GM Walt Jocketty and Reds manager Dusty Baker saying Drew Stubbs will most likely be the lead-off man of the future, it doesn’t look like the time is quite right for Sappelt. This is a very exciting proposition for Bats fans. Sappelt is a proven lead-off man who will definitely make the big leagues at some point in his career. You will definitely want to see him before he’s gone.

Zack Cozart, SS – Cozart is entering his second full season with the Bats. In four full minor league seasons Cozart has hit .262 with 43 HR and 193 RBI in 429 games. However, it’s not his bat the Reds are excited about; it’s his defensive prowess. Cozart has a 97% fielding percentage in his four seasons, committing only 57 errors in his career. Cozart is sure to shine once again at shortstop and he seems to have turned the corner offensively—hitting .394 1 HR 6 RBI in 16 spring training games this year.

Yonder Alonso, 1B – Alonso made his way from Carolina all the way up to the big league club last season. In 101 games with the Bats last season, Yonder hit .290 with 15 HR and 69 RBI. Alonso hit .207 with the Reds in 22 games. Alonso will be a key piece to the Bats puzzle this season. He could get the call up from the Reds if he gets off to a hot start—he is on the 40-man—but could also be used in a trade for a player that could help the Reds better their chances of winning the National League pennant. Better get out and see this guy, Bats fans. His days in Louisville could be numbered.

Devin Mesoraco, C – Devin quite possibly had the most memorable Triple-A debut in Louisville franchise history—hitting a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth on August 18 then following that up with another grand slam in his very next at bat on August 19. Overall last season, Devin batted .302 with 26 HR and 75 RBI in 113 total minor league games. He crushed the ball in spring training this year, hitting .455 with 2 HR and 7 RBI in 19 games. Mesoraco is a very exciting prospect for the Reds, but getting the call up will be a tall order as he sits behind Ryan Hanigan and Ramon Hernandez.

Todd Frazier, LF – Frazier, who went into 2010 rated the Reds’ #1 prospect according to Baseball America, fell back a bit with a disappointing season. Todd batted just .258 with 17 HR 66 RBI in 130 games with Louisville. He has yet to have been called up to the big league club, but he hopes that will change by turning it around in 2011. Todd hit .241 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and had a .313 OBP in 14 games this spring and enters 2011 rated the Reds’ #9 prospect, according to Baseball America.

These are just five players that will bring plenty of excitement to Louisville Slugger Field this season. Players that didn’t make this list, but easily could have, include Kris Negron, Danny Dorn, and Mike Costanzo. The Bats will be looking to win their fourth consecutive International League West Division Championship.

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