The Reds seem to have several prospects knocking on the door of the Major Leagues. By my count, six hitters at AAA Louisville could be called up to the major leagues at some point this season. So I will recap their seasons thus far.
1. Yonder Alonso-Alonso appears to be the most coveted prospect in the Reds system and he is the most discussed as well. So far this season in AAA, Alonso is batting .260 with not a single home run or RBI to date. I have not watched the Bats games, so I cannot directly speak to how he has looked on the field but he has started slowly so far this season to say the least.
2. Devin Mesoraco-The Reds have received numerous calls from other big league clubs inquiring about whether the Reds are willing to part ways with some of their catching depth that includes Ramon Hernandez, Ryan Hanigan, Corky Miller, Devin Mesoraco, and Yasmani Grandal. Mesoraco is batting .261 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI this season. An average start for Meso so far. He may appear in the Big Leagues at some point this season if he his hitting well enough that the Reds feel they could move Ramon Hernandez.
3. Dave Sappelt-He came out of the gate at AAA Louisville like he did in Spring Training. He hit everything thrown over the plate, and so far this season, he is hitting .318 at Louisville with two steals in 3 attempts. He also has 3 home runs and 7 RBI. He is a good enough hitter to be in the Major Leagues this second, but Dusty Baker wanted to see improvements from Sappelt on the basepaths and in the field.
4. Chris Valaika-Valaika had a cup of tea in the major leagues last September and fared well, but could not make the team out of Spring Training this March. So far in Louisville, Valaika has swung the bat well hitting .306 with one home run and 6 RBI. Should the Reds need another infielder, he would likely get the first call from Louisville. The signing of veteran Edgar Renteria and super-sub Miguel Cairo are keeping Valaika at AAA for now.
5. Danny Dorn-Dorn is playing good 1B for AA Louisville and is hitting at a .320 clip thus far. With 2 home runs and 10 RBIs, Dorn is trying not to get lost in the mix at AAA. With a log jam of Major League ready prospects in AAA, Dorn will need to flash his skills consistently to place his name above someone like Alonso or Sappelt on a call-up list.
6. Todd Frazier-Frazier has seemingly been on the cusp of the show for years now. He has never hit consistently enough to get a lengthy call-up. So far he is only hitting .228 with 3 home runs and 11 RBI this season while mainly playing left field. He can play a variety of positions which makes him very useful to the Redlegs, but he has been passed over by Valaika and Alonso in my mind.
Thoughts on Chris Carpenter:
When I watch Chris Carpenter pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals, I see that he is exactly the type of pitcher that the Reds are trying to develop. He is a consistent, strike-throwing ace and is a stopper for the Cardinals when a skid comes on. At the same time, I am reminded how much I dislike Carpenter for a variety of reasons. When I look at the Cardinals dugout and compare it to the Reds, they seem to be having no fun. Chris Carpenter and Tony LaRussa have everyone on edge, and at times, that is a blessing and at times, detrimental.
Carpenter and the Cardinals ran Brendan Ryan out of town after last season. You may remember Carpenter chastising Ryan in the tunnel underneath the Cardinal dugout in a game last season. Cameras caught on and the media picked up on the story. Ryan was one of, if not the best, defensive shortstop in the National League last season. So far the Cardinals have struggled defensively, and in the saturday game vs. the Reds, Ryan Theriot made another error. I’m not saying that Ryan would have for sure made the tough play on the speedy Phillips, but it is worth considering.
Here’s to hoping the Cardinals defense costs them another game tomorrow and the Cincinnati Reds can get another W! Happy Easter everyone!