Sorry about the delay with this one – I was slightly under the weather along with my 2 little ones…
1. Aroldis Chapman, P – Chapman was the prize of the international market this winter and the Reds were the surprise winner. Scouts see everything from top of the rotation starter to middle reliever. I think he’ll end up a good 2-3 starter for the Reds. I don’t expect him to have an impact this year though.
2. Yonder Alonso, 1B – Alonso is the prototypical first baseman; tons of power with a defensive liability. He’s also having problems hitting lefties at this point, something that could limit him in the future. I’ve read that he may be trade bait as the Reds are happy with Joey Votto at first and aren’t comfortable with Alonso in the outfield. If he were on the market, you’d probably find a few teams interested in him.
3. Todd Frazier, 2B – Frazier can hit; there was never a question of that. Frazier was drafted as a shortstop, but has played second, third, and the outfield in the minors. He hasn’t really stuck at a position. I feel he’ll be a capable middle infielder; he’s probably best suited to play second.
4. Mike Leake, P – Leake has the potential to be a middle rotation pitcher. He’s got good stuff and pitches. He could be fast tracked and up by next year; not to bad for a guy that was drafted less than a year ago.
5. Chris Heisley, OF – Heisley appears to be what you want in a corner outfielder – .290 hitter with good pop (15-20 homers) and won’t kill you in the field. He’s pretty much ready and could step in if a guy goes down this year.
6. Juan Francisco, 3B – If Francisco can fix the holes in his swing, he’ll be a great hitter. That’s a big if, because the holes are pretty big. Scouts also question if he’ll be able to stay at third, which is a valid concern. He’ll get lost behind Votto and Alonso if he has to move to first base.
7. Zack Cozart, SS – While he is moving forward, he’s got limited up side. He’s good with the glove, which can be enough for shortstop depending on the team. He’s got decent pop for the position as well. He may not put up a high average though, which could impact him in the upper levels.
8. Travis Wood, P – For a while, Wood was considered a first round bust. Now that he’s healthy, he’s pitching pretty well. He won’t be the ace that many expected, but he’ll be a solid #4 guy. He’s still at least 1 year away, as the Reds should be cautious with him for the time being.
9. Yorman Rodriguez, OF – Rodriguez was another big international signings (2 years ago though) based off incredible tools. He’s working to turn those tools into skills. He’s young and still developing. If he has a big year, then he could be top 5 in the system.
10. Matt Maloney, P – Maloney will be an average starter, due to average stuff. His strikeout rates are pretty good, so that gives people a little optimism.
Tags: 30 Teams in 30 Days, Baseball, Baseball Preview, Top 10 Prospects