Friday, July 22, 2011

5 Prospects The Reds Shouldn't Trade Away

With the trade deadline just under nine days away, all indications are that GM Walt Jocketty and the Reds will make an acquisition before July 31st.  And if a deal is struck, it likely means that the club will have to part ways with one or several of its top prospects. 

However, if I'm in the Reds front office, here are five prospects currently in the organization that I would refuse to trade -- no "ifs", "ands" or "buts" about it:

5) OF Yorman Rodriguez - Signed by Cincinnati at age 16, the Venezuelan native is currently playing this season with the Single-A Dayton Dragons.  He possesses a good combination of speed and power, but still has room to improve on his .258 season average and strikeout/walk ratio (82/24).  No worries though, Rodriguez has plenty of time to blossom as the youngster won't turn 19 until mid-August.
4) INF/OF/UTL Todd Frazier - A former first-round selection by the Reds in '07, Frazier is still working his way toward the majors spending '11 with Triple-A Louisville.  Tabbed as one of the top three prospects in the Reds farm system in '09 & '10, his stock has dropped off a bit this year.  However, his ability to play just about anywhere on the diamond makes him a rare and valuable commodity.  With Scott Rolen's career appearing to be near the end - in addition to the Reds carousel in left field - the New Jersey native may just get his shot with the big club very soon. 
3) SS/2B Billy Hamilton - Arguably the fastest player in the organization, the former second round pick currently leads the Midwest League in stolen bases this year with 72.  A teammate of Rodriguez's in Dayton, Hamilton may be next in line to take over at 2B should the team fail to re-sign Brandon Phillips in the coming years.  But with that said, the 20-year old still has a lot of work to do both with his glove (29 errors in 90 games this season), and his OBP (.309) before he can legitimately become the leadoff hitter this franchise so desperately seeks.  Oh, did I mention he's a switch hitter?
2) SS Zack Cozart - Although we have just a small sample size to go by, it appears as though the Memphis native may have solved the Reds shortstop predicament -- for now at least.  After posting solid numbers in 77 games in Triple-A this year (.310 BA, 7 HR's, 32 RBI's, 57 RS), he's carried that momentum up with him thru nine games in the majors so far.  Aside from posting stellar offensive numbers at his shortstop position (a position usually occupied by defense-first type guys), he's shown himself to be a real solid defender as well. 
1) C Devin Mesoraco - Rated as the #2 overall prospect in the Reds system by and the 45th overall prospect in all of MLB by before the '11 season, the 23-year old has continued to live up to expectations.  The former first round draft pick has hit for both average (.305) and power (10 HR's, 31 2B's) this year in Triple-A Louisville.  With current Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez likely to become a free agent after this year, it makes way for Mesoraco to compete with Ryan Hanigan for the backstop position starting in 2012.  Furthermore, should Cincy decide to trade their other top catching prospect in Yasmani Grandal before the deadline, it makes it all the more vital to hold onto Mesoraco.  He is unquestionably, the catcher of the future in Cincinnati.                    


camisadelgolf said...

I wouldn't say Hamilton is "arguably" the fastest player in the organization. It's pretty much a well-known fact.

Jimmi Adair said...

You're probably spot on there, but there's always somebody whose willing to argue. :)